Pan 14mm, enough added value to Oly kit lens 14-42 II?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by greenlife, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. greenlife

    greenlife Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 24, 2011

    I am new here and thought of asking you a question about Panasonic 14mm lens. I have been reading many threads here last days, and I really like this forum, very helpful and has a nice atmosphere here! Tried to use search also, but still did not find really an answer to this. Sorry, if I am asking something that is well know, I am not so familiar with mFTs yet.

    I have Olympus E-PL3 and I like it a lot. I have the new kit lens 14-42 mm II, but have not used it really much, after I bought the amazing Olympus 45 mm/F1.8, which I really really love! I think it takes amazing images, but of course it is not a wide lens.

    I often take pictures in dim light, handheld with no tripod, no flash.

    I had the much liked Panasonic 20 mm/F1.7 for few days, but returned it... I just almost hated it... I did not like the bokeh at all. I thought the results were week, the focusing many times did not find the focus in cloudy daylight outside, if I changed from far to near objects. Closing the camera or focusing somewhere between helped. I might have used also the C-AF+TR (witch you should not use, found it out here?), but I am quite sure I also shot with S-AF (can't check it, I am not home now). I tested both 45 mm and 20 mm focusing the same spot, and the 20mm image was too unsharp and noisy or something, when 45 mm was great. Maybe I had a faulty lens or just did something wrong, but I did not like it at all. I was very surprised, but in this forum I have read also not so positive thingt of the lens, that I have not found really elsewhere. Of course some images were ok, but just ok, did not see really much difference from the kit lens. Well, I told this so you won't recommend it to me. Maybe I'll take a test sometimes with it later, with another piece, but not now.

    I actually would like to have the 25mm/F1.4, just fell in love with it yesterday when looking the amazing images here taken with it! That would replace the 20mm. But that is later on, when I get more money, I cannot afford it now. And the rattlesnake noise issue on Oly's made me think twice also...

    Well, to my real question here: I found really cheap Panasonic 14mm/F2.5 lenses in eBay. But is it worth buying, when I have the new kit zoom lens with 14mm/F3.5? The Pan 14mm is of course much smaller and is a faster lens, but is it enough a reason to buy it? What is the difference in the image quality between these? Sharpness, focusing? I understood that the Pan 14mm focuses very well and fast in low light? Does it work well on Olympus E-PL3?

    Thanks for any hints and opinions with this :smile: And yes, the 12mm would be great, but cannot afford it either right now :frown:.
  2. okinana

    okinana Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 21, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    Go for it!

    The 14mm is a gem. Just look at the image thread.

  3. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    The question really is "how much do you use that focal length?" imo. Personally I can live with the wide end on the kit lens or my GRD for my 28 needs. If you need the speed the lens is a good 'un.
  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    The 14/2.5 is small fast-focusing lens. If you need something small, or need the extra 1 stop of light vs. the kit lens, it's a nice option. OTOH, it's not a big step up from the kit lens in other respects.

    I'm surprised you didn't enjoy the 20/1.7. It's true that it isn't the fastest focusing lens, but I've never had accuracy problems, and it's sharp, small, and has a nice wide aperture which would make it useful in low-light, more so than the 14/2.5 in fact.

  5. dennisk

    dennisk Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 4, 2011
    Bay Area, California
    I have pretty much exactly the equipment you mentioned. For me the 14mm was worth it. Because of it's small size I tend to use it the most and is the default lens on the camera. I don't use the kit lens anymore and I'll soon sell it or I may keep it to sell with the body later.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    the 14mm is unbelievably small. nice pancake lens when a kit lens is big at times.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. G.Sal

    G.Sal Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 4, 2011
    The Philippines
    Dodged the 45mm with the 14mm having the 20mm. If bokeh isn't a problem, this is a great lens - affordable, fast, and wide-angle lens.
  8. greenlife

    greenlife Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 24, 2011
    Thank you all for your kind answers. I just ordered the 14mm lens from; great price, about 135€ with shipping, when the Finnish shops' prices are 400€ for the 14mm lens!?

    I am sure with the 20mm lens, that I either had a faulty lens, or should have done updates to camera's and/or lenses firmware or had some wrong settings (that though have worked with the 45mm and kit lens) or there just is some problems with Oly camera + Pana lens. Anyway, dreaming of having the 25mm someday...

    Those, who have PEN camera (I have the E-PL3) and the 20mm (or the 14mm) Pana, do they require firmware updates? And is there some settings you should or should not use? Thanks again.