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Panasonic 12-32mm advantage over 14-42mm Oly Kit lens?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by SVENS1, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. SVENS1

    SVENS1 Mu-43 Regular

    90
    Apr 11, 2013
    Canada
    I have a e-pl3 with the 14-42mm 3.5-5.6 older 40.5 kit lens that came with my e-pl1.
    Would there be any advantage buying the Panasonic 12-32 as a general purpose lens?
    Would love to buy a Pro lens, just way out of my budget.
     
  2. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    It's smaller, lighter, and sharper, but I think the BIGGEST difference is that it is quite a bit wider. Those 2mm on the wide (4mm in FF terms) end translate to a noticeably wider field of view. Google "24mm vs 28mm" and you'll find photos to illustrate this difference. I refuse to buy any camera (compact or otherwise) that doesn't go to at least 24mm.

    On the down side, you lose the ability to manually focus (which for me is a near deal breaker with that lens), and you lose about 10mm (20mm equiv.) on the long end, which is not major, but it certainly makes the 14-42 more useful on the long end of the range...32mm really isn't much of a zoom...it gets you a field of view that's slighly magnified from the naked eye, whereas 42mm will give you roughly 2x magnification compared to he naked eye.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  3. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    849
    Jan 28, 2011
    Ellicott City, MD
    Chris
    Agree that 12mm is a nice improvement over 14mm. IMO, the 12-32 is sharper than my Oly kit lens.

    The small size is just icing on the cake.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    What problem are you trying to solve?
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. SVENS1

    SVENS1 Mu-43 Regular

    90
    Apr 11, 2013
    Canada
    No problems. Just hear the Panny lens may be better overall than the Oly kit lens.
    Just wanted a good lens, prefer a zoom for some wider photographs and the 12mm would be wider than the 14mm.
    Still like the ability to zoom and probably 25mm would be a good spot for many photographs.
    Most of my cameras always had zoom lens, I really don't the like the idea of switching lenses back and forth.
    I do have a Oly 60mm 2.8 macro that I use for close-ups. The most I ever spent on a lens. Bought it a couple years ago as I needed
    the clarity and close-up capabilities to take pictures of small items. Occasionally, the zoom kit lens at 25mm comes in handy for those shots.
    So for outdoors, a better zoom than the Oly kit lens might be something to look at?

    I am also thinking of moving up to the e-pl5 with the newer kit lenses, keeping the e-pl3 as a back-up. One came up for sale at a really good price.
    The would sell off the older kit lenses and get another lens.............of some sort. Kind of playing with some options.
     
  6. While it's not quite a pancake, it does compact itself fairly well and I've appreciated that for carrying under my coat for cold and inclement weather shooting. It would also be the ultimate small lens for single camera packing where space is tight. Even if I pulled the bucks together for the 12-40 Pro, I would still keep the 12-32.
     
  7. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Ahh...telling us what other lenses you have and what shooting you do helps a lot. :)

    If you have the Oly 60, then I wouldn't sweat the lack of the long range on the 12-32. You can always use the 60 as a medium telephoto.

    Why do you want a back-up body? Are you a working professional in the photography field? If you're not, there really isn't much of a point to a backup body (people will disagree with this, but I've been both a professional and an amateur - although I still sell lots of photos to this day), and I think most people who have "back up" bodies just like the gear, but don't necessarily NEED it. It really doesn't sound like you do.

    If you don't have any other lenses than your kit and the 60 macro, the 12-32 would be good...the only other kit lens that goes to 12 is the Oly 12-50, which is an awesome lens, but some of its strengths are the 50mm range, macro, and weathersealing, all of which you have covered with your 60.
     
  8. SVENS1

    SVENS1 Mu-43 Regular

    90
    Apr 11, 2013
    Canada
    Yeah, probably don't need a back-up, just out of habit.
    But, I like to keep one specifically set-up for inside the house use, mainly for stuff being sold on-line.
    The 60mm macro works great for this purpose, main reason I bought, better pictures sell an item better.
    Then have a duplicate for out door use. One that can take more abuse so to speak. I would like to do more outdoor shooting
    than I have over the past number of years.

    I upgraded to the e-pl3 to take better quality pictures with and overall I like the features etc. better than the e-pl1, which I still have.
    Figured sell the e-pl1 body and for a few dollars more pick up another e-pl3. Then I spotted an e-pl5 would be 1 step up and layout will be similar to the
    e-pl3.

    I do have the two older Oly e-pl1 zoom kit lenses and the 60 macro. Figured having a few extra bucks handy at the moment, maybe I would like another
    piece of equipment to play with.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2016
  9. SVENS1

    SVENS1 Mu-43 Regular

    90
    Apr 11, 2013
    Canada
    Thanks guys, after much thought and looking at all the info on the web regarding the e-pl3 and e-pl5, for what I am using the camera for, hhe e-pl3 will still cover what I need it to do.
    Decided not going to forward and purchase an e-pl5 at this point. Will just consider another lens. Easy to get caught up wanting this and that....:rolleyes:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    For me, a 14-xx zoom isn't near wide enough. For that reason, my 14-45 (great lens) sits idle and my 12-35/2.8 and 12-32 get the use.

    You asked about the 12-32. It's a fantastic lens. Hits WAY above its weight and price. I've been using my 12-32 recently on my PEN-F and am very impressed with the performance from this very small, very affordable lens.

    [​IMG]

    It isn't very 'fast', but it gives 12mm (24mm equivalent) and out to 64mm (equivalent), which covers a majority of what I like to shoot. As a compact, effective, economical one-lens solution, I can heavily endorse the 12-32.

    A few samples
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Crop from the above image
    [​IMG]

    The 12-32 is capable of capturing great, sharp details. Excellent lens.
    [​IMG]
     
    • Like Like x 3
  11. SVENS1

    SVENS1 Mu-43 Regular

    90
    Apr 11, 2013
    Canada
    It's very affordable, compared to other lenses and will give one a try.
     
  12. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    I picked one up from a Japanese seller on eBay for only $159 in excellent condition. Could have gotten a silver version cheaper, but I wanted black, which goes for a slight premium. On the other hand, while the 12-32 is arguably sharper than the 14-42 Oly kit lens, it does not expand your range of focal lengths or capabilities. Wouldn't you want something to go into wider or longer range instead? Jus wonderin'. :)
     
  13. CWRailman

    CWRailman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    562
    Jun 2, 2015
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Denny
    I have both the Panasonic 12-32 which came with my GM-5 and I have the Oly 14-42 which came with my E-M10. I know this was not part of your question however while those lenses are OK in their own right, personally I find that the Panasonic 14-45 is sharper than both of those lenses. It also feels much better built. I have mentioned this is several other threads on the same subject and several others who have or have owned this lens agree. Here is a link to the DPReview of this lens. Panasonic Lumix GF1 Review You can add other lenses to the graphic for a comparison. You can usually pick them up used on Ebay for $135-$160 which includes the pouch and lens shade. This image shows the 14-45 mounted on my Black body E-M10. It seems to have the same build quality as the more expensive 12-35mm Panasonic lens shown mounted on my Silver E-M5.
    Olympus%2012-35mm%20lensa.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Picking up from Holoholo's post... if you don't have the 9-18, that is a lens that sees a LOT of use from me. There are so many wonderful and dramatic applications for this wide angle. It makes for a great single lens option for walk-around, as well.

    If your widest 'kit' zoom is 14mm, you would find the extra 2mm you get with the 12-32 to be significant. I rarely use the 14-xx zooms anymore, when I can grab a 12-xx zoom instead.

    And, while I really appreciate my long lenses for portraits and reaching out to wildlife, other than those two applications (which I don't often do), I find far more use for the wide angles.

    The 7-14 Pany is a great lens, but I find the 9-18 just a bit more versatile, even if not quite as wide. And the 9-18 is so small and lightweight that there is never a time when I feel it shouldn't come along. These days, 9-18 on the PEN-F and either 12-32 or 12-35/2.8 on the GX7 make for a great working pair of cameras, with no lens juggling needed.
     
  15. PhilippePASCAL

    PhilippePASCAL Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Jan 21, 2015
    I'm selling my 14-45. And yes, it is better built quality/IQ than my "just bought" 12-32 :biggrin:
    I use an Oly, so no manual focus. No stab on/off. 14-45 is clearly a "serious" kit.
    When i received my 12-32, i wondered if there was something in the box :biggrin:
    I don't expect ultra sharp results at full aperture on a "slow" kit lens. If i want sharpness, i close to f8, with any lens, even fast ones (like for landscape on tripod). If i want something faster, i use Pana 20/1.7 or legacy lenses.
    I like 12-32wider view. And i like getting a kit zoom similar to my Pana 20/1.7, very light and small. A kind of "super charged" compact.
    If i wanted a really sharper/better IQ lens, i would just have bought something "pro" at 2.8. Not keeping my 14-45, just because it is a tad better wide open at 3.5.
    Every lens choice is a compromise :2thumbs:
     
  16. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Regarding sharpness and stopping down: As a general rule (with a few exceptions) with m4/3 you tend to maximize image sharpness when the lens is stopped down about 2 stops from wide open. You can use this guide as a quick reference when you don't want to get deeper into technical complexity.

    As you continue stopping down more, you begin to see the effects of diffraction, which decreases image sharpness.

    Thus, depending on your needs for a particular degree of depth of focus vs. sharpness, you need to carefully choose your lens for each task and then carefully determine your chosen f/stop. This is why most professionals use aperture priority when using auto-exposure cameras.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016
  17. PhilippePASCAL

    PhilippePASCAL Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Jan 21, 2015
    As MY general rule on 16MP M43 sensor, i tend to use f5.6 on primes/"wider" side of zooms. And f8 on "tele" side of zooms.

    Diffraction is on the sensor, not the lens. Diffraction on 16MP M43 sensor start at f8. Whatever lens at whatever focal.

    There is a nice calculator here :
    Diffraction Limited Photography: Pixel Size, Aperture and Airy Disks
    Use it in "advanced mode", "pixel" mode.
    f5.6 : not diffraction limited
    f8 : diffraction limited.
    I think the right max value can be set at f7.1 on 16MP M43 without any diffraction.
    As a side note, 20MP M43 sensor don't change this value a lot. Around f6.3, instead of f7.1.

    When you increase a lens sharpness by going over diffraction on 16MP M43 (like f8 on tele side of a zoom), it is because you gain more resolution than what you loose contrast by diffraction.
    The eternal balance between "resolution vs contrast". "Modern Photography" vs "modern MTF" :2thumbs:

    But we are going a lot more further than OP.


    My point was : yes, to me 14-45 is the best kit zoom ever made on M43, IQ wise AND built quality. Old 14-42 is near it.
    BUT i still prefer 12-32 because sharpness is enough at f5.6-f8, when i need it. And it is a lot more convenient than those older "DSLR like" kit zooms. I can swap Pana 20/1.7 and 12-32 in my pocket.
    Try this with a 14-45 :biggrin:
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  18. SVENS1

    SVENS1 Mu-43 Regular

    90
    Apr 11, 2013
    Canada
  19. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    It may interest you that Robin just compared the 12-50 and the 14-42 EZ kit lenses.
    Robin Wong: Battle of the Basic Kit Lenses: Olympus M.Zuiko 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 ED vs M.Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ED Pancake
     
  20. SVENS1

    SVENS1 Mu-43 Regular

    90
    Apr 11, 2013
    Canada
    Thanks always interesting to read more about this and that about what you own.
    Compact is nice, have larger hands so the longer lens feels better in my hand, feel I can stabilize the camera a bit better.
    One day I will own a pro zoom..........................