Pancake zooms: Panasonic 12-32 vs Olympus 14-42

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by marcl, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. marcl

    marcl Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 8, 2012
    I strongly subscribe to the adage that the best camera is the one you always carry with you. So I am looking to buy a small m4/3 kit to replace my Olympus XZ-1 and complement my E-M5 setup. I am looking at both the GM1 and E-PM2. I am not so hung up on the differences between both cameras as I am on the kit zooms, though the GM1 seems more interesting. I've done research on both lenses. I can find some reviews on both but there are no direct comparisons. Here are my thoughts so far from the research I've done:

    + good image quality
    + wider angle at 12mm
    + stabilized
    - need to extend zoom to take picture

    + longer telephoto at 42mm
    + ingenious lens cap (no need to remove)

    Frankly, I use the longer telephoto more than the wider angle so I am more interested in the 14-42. The lens cap also sounds interesting as it makes it easier to get the camera ready to take a photo. But in terms of image quality, there are plenty of praises for the 12-32, not so much for the 14-42.

    Can anyone provide any comparison between these lenses, or any input to help me decide?

    Thank you in advance!
  2. boostin

    boostin Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 21, 2013
  3. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I think for E-PM2 or GM-1 you'd want OIS especially for occasional video. 12-32 seems more interesting choice to me. I recommend a pocket RX100 to use as a P&S, it has longer reach and higher true resolution (insanely sharp lens) than any m43 camera.
  4. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Love the PL12-35. However, I have not tried the O14-40, so I cannot offer a comparative opinion.
  5. marcl

    marcl Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 8, 2012
    Thanks. The RX100 did cross my mind but I would like to leverage the prime lenses I already own.
  6. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Don't forget the 12-32 does not have a MF ring so you can't MF on the E-M5.
  7. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    is there any reason to MF this lens?
  8. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    Nope ;-)
  9. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    As a MFT shooter I have gone trough numerous P&S gadgets and sold everyone after month or two. The IQ wasn't anything I was looking for. I haven't tried Sony RX100 II though. Would that be my good-enough biker friend? That GM-1 is absurdly small also, but the lens makes it not-SO-pocketable, although it seems to be very good lens..
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Swandy

    Swandy Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 15, 2009
    For you maybe - for others (myself included) perhaps not so definitive an answer.
  11. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ricoh GR?

  12. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    Thanks but I'm afraid that fixed focal length camera is not for me.
  13. peterpix

    peterpix Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 8, 2010
    So. Maine
    Peter Randal
    Just got a nice E-mp2 with a VF-3 from a fellow on this site and have the PANNI pancake on the way. Wanted a "pocketable" camera so looking forward to how this all works out. will post some shorts when I get the lens from Henry's. Thinking about the 20 also. Had one a few years ago and sold it.
  14. Jermonic

    Jermonic Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 14, 2012
    My observations with the P12-32:

    - Good optical quality across the focal lengths - A bit softer on the right side than on the left. Check out test shots below.
    - Interestingly though, I can't seem to push my RAW files as much as with my P20, noise shows up earlier... must investigate further.
    - Fast and almost silent AF.
    - Bokeh is quite busy - I'm used to the blissful bokeh of the P20 + O45.
    - Takes a few outings to get used to "uncollapse" the lens before use. Now I don't really think about it anymore
    - Excellent for video, fast focus, good action on the zoom (can operate with no noise/shake)
    - Missing manual focus (I have the G3): A bummer when trying to capture night sky with little contrast to AF on. Really the only scenario where I would use MF though.
    - Lens cap - well, when shooting a series of shots, I keep the cap in my pocket... I use a UV filter, so no trouble there.
    - I think the price is about 100 $ too high (european prices). Bought mine second hand @ 350 $ though. :)

    My test shots @ wide angle
    • Like Like x 1
  15. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    A word about the lens cap, it does not come with the lens and adds ~$40. And, it is a mechanical device and does not work with a filter. That said, it is cool and it works very well. If you would like, I can post a pic of the EZ lens and lens cap on a E-PM1.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. marcl

    marcl Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 8, 2012
    The GM1 with 12-32 is now down to $659 on Amazon/Cameta. I think that's my best bet right now.
  17. yehuda

    yehuda Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 14, 2013
    I actually wanted to write a mini review on the 12-32 having owned one a couple of months..
    I uploaded 65 images from various scenarios in Italy but can't find a way (don't have time to delve into this) to use the photos from that album in my message.
    If anyone knows how - I'll try to do it today.

    Sent from my W200 using Mu-43 mobile app
    • Like Like x 1
  18. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    Similar to my buying both the Samyang fisheye AND the 15mm BCL a month before the 9mm fisheye BCL was released (I wouldn't have bought the other two!), I bought the 12-32 just before the 14-42 pancake was released. In this case, however, I think I'd take the Panasonic still. Sharper, wider, ability to NOT collapse when you need a longer lens to balance in your bag, and my only lens with IS to test it against the PM2's 2-axis crappy IS.
  19. yehuda, you have some spectacular shots in your gallery. Certainly shows the capability of the 12-32 to very good effect ... although, at least equally, the capability of the photographer!

    Thanks for posting.
    • Like Like x 2
  20. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    I saw that over on 43rumors. Nice deal. I also made the mistake of looking through the comments. :frown:
    • Like Like x 1