1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Pancake zooms

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by emilb, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. emilb

    emilb Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 26, 2014

    I'm currently using a em5 with the pl25, o45, and o75, but am interested in a pancake zoom for those cases where I want a simple compact camera. I would appreciate hearing people's thoughts between the p12-32, p14-42pz, and o14-42ez.

    The focal length on the 12-32 is obviously different, and my current understanding is that the p12-32 has a zoom ring but no focus ring, p14-42pz has a zoom toggle and no focus, and the o14-42ez has both rings, but the focus ring is thin and hard to use. The auto lens cap for the oly is appealing to me.

    And just to clarify, for this use I am not interested in a pancake prime like the p20, and I'm unlikely to spring for an entirely separate camera like a sony rx100.

  2. hemuni

    hemuni Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 18, 2014
    I'm currently using my ep5 with the 12-32 as an "always on me" solution. I originally bought the gm1 with the 12-32 kit for this purpose, but I ended up preferring the handling of the ep5 and the difference in size is insignificant to me.
    I like the 12-32 for its silent operation, fast and accurate af and very compact size. What I don't like so much is the front lense is prone to catching smudges (I never use a lense cap) and the fact that you have to turn it to bring it in to action, the missing focus ring only bothers me when shooting video.
    I mostly use this combo with an Optech compact sling strap and it's mainly for family snapshots. Most of the time I just leave the lense open, so it's ready to go, but it does make me worry for its safety, occasionally.
    I have considered getting one of the other two compact zooms and I think I prefer the p12-42, but I think it might be better to get the oly, because the ep5's in body image correction (purple fringin, ca, barrel distoriton) is probably better tuned to oly's own lenses.
    Bottom line: I like the 12-32 but I might change it just to get automatic extension.
    Good luck with you search.
  3. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    I have also got the 12-32mm, I think it is a cracking little lens. It has been used with both a Panasonic G3 and Olympus EPM2 and it works well on both though I feel slightly better on the G3's it is my most used zoom and have printed shots from it up to 40x30" from both cameras, including one cropped image that made the image about 2/3 of the original including edges. The last print was from the Olympus and looks excellent, so I would recommend it whole heartedly especially if you want the 12mm fov. I have not yet been in a situation that made me miss the focus ring, but then knowing its not there may make me subconsciously not look at framings that could require that. If I go out with one camera then it will either be this lens or the O25 depending on mood that day, with the rare trip with the O17 2.8.
  4. janneman

    janneman Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
    Jan (John) Kusters
    I just bought the Oly 14-42 EZ zoom. Pretty much similar in size to the Pany 12-32 zoom. I am using it on a E-PM2 body as my point&shoot alternative. It is still early days, but so far I am pleasantly surprised. Quite sharp, a little CA that is easily corrected in Photoshop (have not tested Viewer 3 yet), quick in use and focus.

    In the Netherlands the Oly is more expensive than the Pany.

    To me the perks of the more expensive Oly EZ won out; no separate activation needed. Turning the camera on activates and extends the lens and, with the separate sold shutter lens cap, opens up the lens cap. Faster in every day use.

    There are some reports on Pany lenses suffering from more purple fringing on Oly camera's, although I never had a chance to test that myself.

    The motorized zoom takes some getting used to.
  5. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    I have no experience with the newer oly 14-42EZ, but I've had the other two (and still have the Panny 12-32mm). In my opinion the Panny 12-32mm is a gem of a lens--incredibly tiny yet very, very good, especially at 12mm. I don't really find the need to twist it open a nuisance at all.

    The Panny 14-42mmPZ was a lens I absolutely detested--mostly because of the PZ mechanism. It was also pretty soft (my copy), at least compared to other kit lenses in that range I'd had (e.g., Oly 14-42mm, Panny 14-45mm). Finally, it's really not that all small, especially compared to the diminutive 12-32mm.

    Reports on the Oly 14-42mm are generally favorable, though suggest it's not quite as sharp as the panny.
  6. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I have the Panasonic 14-42 power zoom. It's a very compact walk around lens. Really makes the whole package small when retracted , not like traditional kit lenses that stick out from your body when wearing around the neck. You don't really need a lens cap imho . When using a protective filter will do. When ready to put away , the regular lens cap goes on. By most accounts, 12-32 is the sharpest of the bunch and provides the wide 12 mm view as well.
  7. bg2b

    bg2b Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 22, 2009
    Berkeley Heights, NJ
    IIRC, there was a thread saying that the Oly auto lens cap also happens to work on the Pana 12-32.
  8. gpburdell

    gpburdell Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 16, 2014
    With the understanding that I'm very new to the format and don't have any real experience with other m43 lenses, I've been very pleased with my Oly 12-42 EZ pancake zoom.

    Why do you say the focus ring is hard to use? It rotates fine, easy to distinguish from the zoom ring without looking, and gets the job done. The zoom-by-wire is taking a bit to get used to but honestly it's more because my E-M10 is so small my muscle memory thinks I'm using my Canon S100 and I reach for the zoom lever on the top... It doesn't at all feel like my old Canon 50D. :) 
  9. emilb

    emilb Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 26, 2014
    Thanks everyone for your thoughts!

    I was just repeating what some others have said (I unfortunately don't have the link to the 14-42ez review that was complaining about the thin ring). I haven't had a chance to handle any of the lenses which was why I was hoping to hear people's thoughts. It does seem like there are a lot of people who are pretty happy with the 12-32. Having the 12 is definitely appealing and I'm leaning in that direction.
  10. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    Having a narrow focussing ring is a small price to pay against having no focussing ring at all and this is something you get used to once you get accustomed to it
    There would be no way of combining such a compact pancake design with anything more for your focussing
    Compromise will always be an issue with such designs and I think Olympus have done remarkably well combining the features of this lens.
    Auto parking and extension is great and means that the camera is ready to go as soon as it is switched on - much better than the 14 - 42 mk2 and R lenses
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.