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Panasonic 14-42x poor quality

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Iansky, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    I recently picked up my new GX1 + 14-42 X lens, not happy with it - the controls are awkward and in the wrong place and the focus is soft.

    I have done some comparison shots with my original 14-45mm metal mount lens and it is a sharper lens across all focal lengths.

    The images below are all 100% crops from full image and have only been adjusted for tone/col/contrast & levels, no sharpening.

    The original 14-45mm is better at all focal lengths and feels a more solid lens and at 14mm & 45mm it is a lot better than the new pretender - what a shame considering the price & hype!

    • Like Like x 7
  2. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    That's a bummer. That little lens sure is cool looking.
  3. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Wow, that's disappointing indeed. Did you do the shots on a tripod with OIS off?
  4. Eggradio

    Eggradio Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 30, 2011
    hmmm... Thanks a lot for this comparison! That IS pretty soft. Were these all taken hand-held? Could it be lens IS? That is, does one have IS and the other doesn't? Did you try with a tripod.
  5. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    Hi Guys,

    All shot handheld with OIS "ON", I did not want to shoot on a tripod as I shoot 90% of my images handheld and use OIS on lenses that have it (my favourite 20mm does not).

    I feel that shooting with OIS "Off" on a tripod does not allow me to compare quality for my shooting style (handheld) and if the 14-42 x proved sharper on a tripod, it would still not meet my needs so looks like it will have to go.

    The difference is even more noticeable when viewing full image at 100%.
  6. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    DPReview was reporting some weird sharpness problems with the lens at those shutter speeds, something to do with vibration potentially. You might try much slower or faster exposures to see if you have a similar problem. It's not affected by IS.
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Nobody's giving good reports about this lens, it seems. :(  Not that it matters much to me, as I would never buy a lens with a switch for focus and zoom anyways, but it's still disappointing to see. It's a unique idea, but that's as far as that goes... I don't find it to be very small either... even though it's certainly very flat for a zoom lens, it's so bulky in width. I'd rather just have the retractable m.Zuiko 14-42mm which feels more compact and delivers better performance.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
    Promit is right. DPreview has confirmed a bug. It is associated with shutter speeds of 1/60 sec to 1/200 sec.

    Panasonic DMC GX1 Review: 16. Photographic tests: Digital Photography Review

    "With such a pronounced and repeatable difference between both kit lenses under identical test conditions, we have a difficult time recommending the more expensive power zoom model for stills-oriented GX1 users."

  9. greenarcher02

    greenarcher02 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 13, 2012
    Manila, Philippines
    I am so glad I got the dual 14mm/14-42mm kit instead. I was tempted to get this kit because of the size but realized the one with the 14mm prime is better. And I still think the zoom/focus controls are awkward.
  10. This lens doesn't inspire much faith in Panasonic's "X" lens designation, supposedly for premium lenses AFAIK. Hopefully the collapsible design can be refined into sometime better since the concept of the pancake zoom (for storage, anyway) is awesome.
  11. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    Mine works perfect... as good as the 14-45 or better (and is smaller in size as well which I love)... both on Oly and Panny.. at all focal lengths.. maybe you have a bad copy.. I hear a lot about what you are saying, however I haven't seen it so far..
  12. Squidz

    Squidz Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 8, 2012
    Red Deer, Alberta
    As most of you will remember, last week I found the same thing with a 14-42 X lens. I could get past the switches for zoom and focus, as I really do like the size, but I found my lens was very soft as well under normal usage. My comparisons weren't as nice as Iansky's (thank you for that) but I did have very similar feelings towards the image quality.

  13. Comparing (optical) quality of lenses should be done with a tripod mounted camera, not handheld.

    I do not find the difference in sharpness is as dramatic as people here tend to write, the new lens is less contrasty and I think if you massage the files in a converter like Lightroom it will be hard to tell the difference.

    Just my 2c
  14. In the strictest sense yes, but Ian's point here was to compare the lenses under the same conditions that he would use them (handheld, same as I would use a lens 99.99% of the time). If there is an obvious and repeatable difference between the two lenses under these conditions then the test is a valid one. From the sounds of it there are some significant sample variations in this model lens, which doesn't make me any more likely to go out and purchase one.
  15. My point is that handheld is never exact the same condition and as such tests like this are not to be valued as high as this one is now.

    Besides, the 14-42 X lens is a compromise between compact construction, button control and optical performance and looking at the differences in the "test" above it surprises me that the quality of the compact lens differs so little from the high quality 14-45mm lens. You honestly did not expect the same optical quality, did you?
  16. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Oh, then that's not such a big deal then. I mean, how often would you shoot between 1/60s to 1/200s?
    Oh wait... wouldn't that be like 80% of the time? :rolleyes: 
  17. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK
    You are joking?

    I buy a lens to use not compare and if (as in this case) I perceive a problem, then I will test the lens in the same conditions that I use it in (i.e. handheld).

    If I redid the test on a tripod or even with OIS "Off" and the lens proved itself a better performer then to maintain that quality I would always have to shoot on a tripod or, with OIS off so not a practical test or solution for me.

    In answer to your last question about expectations - Yes, I do expect a lens promoted/marked as/sold as a "Premium" top of the range lens to perform at the top of the range and better than any other Panasonic lens of similar focal length otherwise why promote it/price it as such?

    It is not right that this X lens is outperformed by a cheaper/older lens of similar focal length and functions you should be able to use (OIS & all shutter speeds) you have to avoid to get sharp images.............something very wrong there and Panasonic need to resolve it quickly, the button/switch issue is irrelevant by comparison.

    My 14-42X will certainly be heading back to Panasonic or be sold!
    • Like Like x 1
  18. cyclelife

    cyclelife Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 9, 2012
    Oakham, Rutland. UK
    Just rceived my GX1 with 14-42 PZ X - It's already been sold on ebay today to pay for the LVF2 :) 
  19. maxboni

    maxboni Mu-43 Regular

    g3 + 14-42 x @ 42mm f 10 1/100 ois on , handheld :

    Attached Files:

    • ttt.
      File size:
      222.5 KB
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
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