Panasonic 14mm or Olympus 12mm Lens?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by marklikesit, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. marklikesit

    marklikesit Mu-43 Regular

    180
    Aug 8, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Mark Soon
    Hey guys,

    I have an OM-D and I'm looking at getting one of these lenses to give me wide angled shots for street shooting and landscapes.

    Which of the two would you recommend as a better lens (I know that there's a huge price diff between the 2).

    Thanks!

    Mark
     
  2. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I use the Olympus 12mm and I have also owned the Panasonic 14mm at one point. The biggest differences between the two lenses are size, speed and focal length, of course. The big reason I kept the Olympus 12mm and sold the 14mm is that my primary use is landscapes, and the Oly12 was sharper in the corners for me.

    I will let others provide input on street shooting (know Ray does some great stuff with the 12mm).
     
  3. marklikesit

    marklikesit Mu-43 Regular

    180
    Aug 8, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Mark Soon
    Thanks Kyle for your input!

    Just looked through your photos on flickr. Have you got a set /gallery for your 14mm photos?
     
  4. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    I have both lenses. As Kyle left out one significant difference price. The 14mm is significantly cheaper. But the 12mm is a better lens. Some things to consider is your lens line-up. If you have or plan to have the 20mm, then I recommend the 12mm as the difference in FOV between the 14mm and 20mm is slight (a step or two). If you go 25mm then the 14mm works out nicely. If you have unlimited disposal income, then hell, go for the more expensive 12mm. If, like most of us, gotta live within a budget, then the 14mm has a lot of punch for the buck ... and it's a pancake to boot. The 12mm is a very sharp lens, the 14mm is a very sharp lens.

    P1090783-XL.
    14mm

    1090338.
    14mm

    [​IMG]
    14mm

    [​IMG]
    12mm

    P7080205.
    12mm

    P6230014-L.
    12mm

    Gary
     
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  5. I like the 14mm because it is a) cheap, and is b) tiny, and is a decent little performer even if I don't really find it to have a particularly unique character of its own. Edge softening and vignetting is the biggest issue that I see with it. I effectively got if for free in a trade so I find the value for money to be outstanding!

    Not too much in here yet, but these are some 14mm shots

    Lumix G 14mm f2.5 - a set on Flickr
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Get the 14mm if wide angle isn't a major part of your shooting. Get the 12mm if wide angle is a big part of your shooting. :wink:
     
  7. marklikesit

    marklikesit Mu-43 Regular

    180
    Aug 8, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Mark Soon
    Hey Gary + guys. Thanks for your input. Really appreciate it. I should have added that I own the 45mm, pl 25mm, and now I'm after a wide angle.

    Is the 12 mm only suitable for landscapes?
     
  8. marklikesit

    marklikesit Mu-43 Regular

    180
    Aug 8, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Mark Soon
    Good lord, that grasslands shot is amazing. Love the contrast so much.
     
  9. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    No, and actually wide angles can be tricky for landscapes because they make it all too easy to get a wide expanse of foreground that can actively detract from an image. Don't get me wrong, wide angles can do some great landscapes but there is a learning curve and it's easy to throw away a quarter to half of your frame if you don't pay attention to what you're doing.

    There's 2 ways of looking at the 12 and 14. Most of the earlier replies have tended to discuss image quality concerns but there is another issue that Nic touched on, size. The 14 is a pancake which makes it easy to throw the camera into a small bag and have it with you at all times. I tend to leave the 17mm pancake on my E-P3 and carry it everywhere in a small shoulder bag along with my iPad and a couple of other things. The image quality of the 17 isn't as good as that of my other primes but it makes a small, convenient package when mounted on a body and that can count for a lot as well.

    I find there's times when I'm interested in image quality, and times when I just want a camera with me and I'm happy to trade a little image quality for the convenience of being able to carry a smaller camera/lens combination.
     
  10. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
  11. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I have both and the 12 lives on my camera most of the time. But the primary reason is the manual focus snap ring, which is sublime for street shooting with zone focus. If I was planning to use both in AF mode, I'd save my money and get the 14. For my uses the 12 is worth every penny, but it's not that much better optically and the 14 is a screaming value. So, it depends on how much you'd use the manual focus functionality and how important the optical and FOV differences are to you.

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. This is how I carry the 14mm lens :tongue:

    DSC05639.
     
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  13. marklikesit

    marklikesit Mu-43 Regular

    180
    Aug 8, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Mark Soon
    You guys are so great. Thanks to each one of you for your replies.

    Ray's comment really hit the home run for me. Ordered the 14 mm. From what I've seen from sample images, the 14mm and the 12 are about the same. Depends on the skill of the photographer as a lot of sample images tend to be out of focus too which throws me off. In the end the panny is cheaper and IQ is almost the same. Good point about the 12mm and framing too, didn't consider that one.
     
  14. jsusilo

    jsusilo Mu-43 Veteran

    247
    Aug 28, 2012
    I do not have 12mm and so comparatively I cannot speak for both. I do however use 14mm [kit lens bought from eBay] for a couple of months now. The only negative I could find about it is vignetting when wide open @f2.5 but may not be obvious depending on the overall contrast and lighting of the photo. I initially thought that comes longer (normal) from hood I'm using but doing some test without hood gave me same results. The sweet spot on this lens is at @f4.0 but generally anything between f3.5 to f8.0 is a very good. Lots of technical review for this lens on web that you can review if interested in more scientific explanation. But for value of money, this lens along with O45 and S7.5 is at the top of the chart. 2cents. J
     
  15. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    Good choice. I think this is one of those instances where the price/performance/size of the 14 renders the 12 a niche lens for those who absolutely must have the sharpness and focus ring. For the rest of us the 14 is an incredible lens at a great price. :cool:
     
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  16. marklikesit

    marklikesit Mu-43 Regular

    180
    Aug 8, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Mark Soon

    Jsusilo: I looked at the Olympus 12mm, and it doesn't have vignetting. However, in most of shots, it seems like even in the center, it's not THAT sharp (could be due to the photographers missing the focus - i dunno).

    However, with the Panny 14, I did notice the vignetting but it's very slight, but what I was impressed with was the natural contrast and the sharpness of the thing. I've seen so many beautiful images taken with it.
     
  17. marklikesit

    marklikesit Mu-43 Regular

    180
    Aug 8, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Mark Soon

    Gary, have you got a flickr account? Your shots are really really impressive. Love them.

    PS: Why do you have both the Olympus 12 and Panny 14? How did that come about?

    Mark
     
  18. jsusilo

    jsusilo Mu-43 Veteran

    247
    Aug 28, 2012

    I also agree, GaryAyala posts are impressive and will confused you i.e. can that be the lens or the shooter :--) To help you, below are some MTF numbers which was posted by some reviewer that shows P14 {despite its small price and size!} is as sharp if not better than O12 [all measurements taken at Centre].

    MTF 50 at Widest Aperture Max Avg
    Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 950 785
    Olympus 12mm f/2.0 860 730

    MTF 50 at f/2.8 Max Avg
    Panasonic 14mm f/2.8 1010 850
    Olympus 12mm f/2.8 1000 845

    MTF 50 at f/4 Max Avg
    Olympus 12mm f/4 1040 870
    Panasonic 14mm f/4 1025 860

    Also note any difference less than 50 in those MTF numbers are not discernible by human eyes [as I was told]. While those numbers are good it does not cover overall edge-to-edge [only centre] but you get the idea. As for me, S7.5/P14/PL25/O45 provide good separation in FOV and MOST importantly small & lightweight. Just 2cents.
     
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  19. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    Morning Mark,

    When I was new to µ4/3, I entered the format with the thoughts of owning a fun, little camera with the 20mm pancake lens (GF1). I liked the idea of a tiny pancake lens on a tiny camera ... and wanting something wide I grabbed the 14mm when it was first announced. After using it a bit, I was disappointed that the difference in FOV between the 20mm and 14mm wasn't all that significant (at least for me). So when the 12mm came out I grabbed it because of the wider view.

    Now I have a pair of OM-D's and pancakes are less appealing. Besides my youngest daughter has left to Scotland for her fall semester and took the GF1 w/20mm with her.

    No, I don't have a Flcker account (I have a personal/political problem with Yahoo and won't partake of their services). But my stuff can be viewed at Snaps by Gary Ayala.

    Good Luck, if you were in California I'd let you try out both lenses. I am happy with the IQ of both lenses ... and I think you'll be happy with either one. For me the main differences are size (for some people a pancake is a big deal) and lens line-up (how does the 12/14 fit in what you have now and what you desire to have tomorrow).

    Gary
     
  20. marklikesit

    marklikesit Mu-43 Regular

    180
    Aug 8, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Mark Soon

    Jsusilo: Which 7.5 mm are you using?