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Panasonic still has "sharpest" kit lens

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by RichA, May 19, 2012.

  1. RichA

    RichA Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Mar 28, 2012
    I got the OM-D but I've kept my G1 and the 14-45mm. It's a great kit lens. For lower light shots where you want maximum definition and speed, the 12mm f2.0 (despite the $800 tag) is a good idea.
    The shot here is the frame edge with the lenses wide open at f3.5.

    original.
     
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  2. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Ad
    Wow, that's quite a difference, and the Panny 14-45 vastly improves when stopped down to f/5.6. That does it, if I buy an E-M5, it'll be the body-only option.
     
  3. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Considering Panasonic no longer has the 14-45 as a kit lens...I'm inclined to disagree. That said, I feel that both the P14-45 and 14-42 miss the point of the system entirely, and are a damaging factor to the Panasonic line-up by being stupidly huge. What really pushed it over the edge for me was the discovery that the NEX 18-55 kit lens is smaller than the P14-42. Faaaaaiiiil.

    Not that the 12-50 seems like a nice lens to me, mind you.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
    there's a few things that are omitted which are also important in evaluating a lens. Which focal length is the Oly at for this shot. It will obviously be softer if it's at it's widest setting (and 12mm isn't even an option with the Panasonic).

    Also, how do they compare when stopped down? Would you like to be able to focus closely....sorry the Panasonic won't do it even half as well as the Oly.

    It's truly like comparing apples and oranges. And to me the sharpness at the edge of the frame is the least important part, but everyone else focuses on different performance metrics. One just needs to consider them all.
     
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  5. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Ad
    Just checked, the Panny 14-45 is still in the program shown on the Panasonic site and stores in The Netherlands carry it. I think the OP was referring to IQ specifically in the corners, which I also deem as important for my landscape and architecture shots. Size is another matter and personal preferences will come into play here; for me, the size of the 14-45 never bothered me.
     
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  6. Wandering Aengus

    Wandering Aengus Mu-43 Regular

    105
    Mar 23, 2012
    Shoot the Oly at 14 and see how it fairs. I'm not saying it is better, but you are comparing a width on the Oly that doesn't exist on the Panny.

    If one is interested in these lenses for landscape purposes, compare them at apertures appropriate for those type shots. For landscape, I am not concerned with what a lens does wide open. I am more concerned with what it does at F5.6 to F8 for a micro 4/3.

    The Oly may be as good or better than the Panny in the range of 14-45. It may not be as good. If it is, it has other features such as weather sealing, smaller size and less weight, and a macro feature that may or may not lead one to choose Oly over Panny.

    I've never used the Panny, so I have no basis for comparison. Just saying that comparing them both at their widest setting wide open may not tell the whole story.
     
  7. CUB

    CUB Mu-43 Veteran

    275
    Apr 19, 2012

    The Panasonic 14-45mm is no longer offered as a kit lens because it is no longer manufactured. The remaining stocks will probably last many months, or several years, but once they're gone, they're gone for good.

    Used examples are available quite cheaply on eBay, Craigslist etc., and this is a well made and durable lens. I think every m4/3 user should own one. :wink:
     
  8. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Andrew
    Stupidly huge?? Drastic overstatement don't you think.

    As far as the Nex lens goes its a whole 1.6mm shorter but 50g heavier than the p14-42 and again based on couple reviews I quickly scanned has poorer edges and CA performance, so perhaps sony should have made it a little bigger.

     
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  9. RichA

    RichA Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Mar 28, 2012
    Stopping down is kind of...cheating. All even marginal lenses perform well enough stopped down to f5.6 or f8. Also, it's not a portrait lens at 12mm or 14mm so expect it to be used across the frame.
     
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  10. RichA

    RichA Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Mar 28, 2012
    Here are both lenses at 14mm

    Both at 14mm:

    143412991.
     
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  11. RichA

    RichA Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Mar 28, 2012
    Things improve a little for the Olympus at f5.6:

    original.
     
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  12. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
    perhaps you could compare the zoom ranges and the weather resistance of them as well. It is quite obvious that when it comes to corner sharpness @ 14mm, the discontinued Panasonic is clearly the winner.
     
  13. RichA

    RichA Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Mar 28, 2012
    Olympus 12-50 macro mode compared to Panasonic 14-45mm

    original.
     
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  14. RichA

    RichA Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Mar 28, 2012
    Well, I won't dunk it in fountain like my E-1!

    Maybe Olympus compromised on the normal distance sharpness to obtain such a close focus mode?
     
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  15. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
    Well, those photos do tell a story. Actually, they tell a couple stories.....and one of them is that it's a shame they stopped producing the lens.
     
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  16. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Ad
    I fail to see why this matters. It's available today so you can get a new one with factory guarantee if you want to. Sure, it won't be available at some point in time, but that holds for every product.
    It's not discontinued. It's still listed on the Panasonic website :smile:, and in The Netherlands it's readily available new.
    i-P6mSvFv-XL.

    For the record, I don't hold stocks in the plant producing this lens. I just want to point out that the statements about discontinuation are simply incorrect.
     
  17. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    I've used the Pany 14-45 in a lot of circumstances since first entering the m4/3 system in late 2009. The GF1 with 14-45 was my first m4/3 gear. I have perhaps a dozen or so m4/3 lenses at this point, including the often lauded fast primes and still find the 14-45 to be a needed and much appreciated lens in the system. While my GF1 body now languishes on the shelf, the 14-45 remains as useful and optically crisp today as it was in 2009.

    It's a very well made lens that delivers excellent performance indeed. Surprisingly so, for a small "kit" lens. As far as size is concerned... never an issue for me at all.. I consider it a small lens for the performance and flexibility it offers. Weather sealing - not important to me at all.

    The one aspect of the 12-50 that does appeal to me is 12mm. However, the sacrifice in IQ for the extra FOV isn't a worthwhile trade off, to me, as I also have the 7-14, 9-18, and the 12/2.0 for my much-used wide-angle imaging at 12mm and below.

    The many samples created with the 14-45, to be found on this site, are clear testaments to the excellent performance of this lens.
     
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  18. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
    I'm sticking with the Oly. When IQ matter, I'll be shooting with primes. When I just want the convenience of a kit zoom, I'll stick with the Oly for its' other selling points. I'm still a bit surprised at the results.
     
  19. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    I like the Pany 14-45 when wanting a compact kit lens on my E-M5, to benefit from both excellent IQ AND the convenience of a zoom. The Oly 14-42II that came with my E-M5, though not a bad lens, will be off loaded.
     
  20. Brownian

    Brownian Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Apr 28, 2012
    Ireland
    The extreme corner of the zuiko is indeed a little soft, but only at the level of pixel peeping and it appears to sharpen quite rapidly. It covers a considerably wider focal length range than the Panasonic, is weather sealed, has a power zoom for video and a very usable macro function. Given the very wide range of features it encompases it does a decent job IMO.

    Here is my quick test. For reference, a full frame would be the width and down to the bottom of the second note. The enlarged segments are 100% crops. At 14mm, the maximum aperture is f3.8

     
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