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Panny 14-140 vs. PL 14-150?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by theflyer, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. theflyer

    theflyer Mu-43 Regular

    59
    Jan 14, 2011
    anyone out there have both of these zooms, or used both?

    i currently have the 14-140 that came with the GH2 but i'm curious as to whether there's a significant IQ bump with the PL 14-150. besides the weight of the 4/3 lens (and having to use the adapter) and the silent operation of the 14-140 for video, what are the other significant differences? is the AF speed similar?

    any input from the board would be greatly appreciated!

    Andrew.
     
  2. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    782
    Feb 2, 2010
    Worcestershire
    This is a difficult one to answer. I've used both and I'm an enormous fan of the PanLeica 14-150mm. Its my primary lens for the GH2 and I use it for shooting library / stock images which is my job.

    It is a sharper lens and I often describe it as being as good as a collection of primes. However to try and quantify how much sharper it is and to help you make a decision is difficult. Particularly as its not a cheap lens and you need to buy an adapter.

    First the "easy" stuff. The AF speed is slower, though not by much. I actually think the Panasonic 4/3 > m4/3 adapter is faster than the Olympus, but its again quite a small difference. It doesn't do continuous AF for video, if thats important to you, but does everything else. It has an OIS system as good as the 14-140mm. It is big and chunky, but its only slightly heavier.

    If you are considering it and you want the best "superzoom" for m4/3 then this is it. Its better wide open and its certainly better fully extended, though there is some slight vignetting at the 150mm end. What you have to remember is its almost twice the price of the Panasonic lens, and its certainly not twice as good. Because this is my job, firstly I can afford it and secondly I'm prepared to pay to get absolutely the best quality I can. Even if that quality improvement is marginal. The best I can say is, if you've used the prime lenses like the 20mm and 45mm, its as good as them. Now thats pretty remarkable for a zoom. Obviously you don't get the speed of the primes but set it at f/8 or f/11 and its remarkably sharp. Its also pretty good for CA and fringing.

    It is probably along with the new Nikon 28-300mm the best you get in this type of lens. It certainly puts anything Sigma, Tamron, Canon and previous Nikons etc. have come up with in the shade.

    I would do a comparison for you but I don't have a 14-140mm any more.

    Does that help?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. theflyer

    theflyer Mu-43 Regular

    59
    Jan 14, 2011
    soundimageplus - actually, i was hoping you would chime in as i've been a big fan of your blog for awhile now. in fact, one of the reasons i became interested in finding a "better" mega zoom was partially due to several of your postings regarding the 14-150 mounted on the GH2 (which is actually the combination i would be using if i were to acquire the PL).

    at present i'm a bit unhappy with the 14-140 for stills - it's my longest lens - and i had all but given up on the possibility of having an all in one walk around zoom that would still give me "satisfying" results (especially in terms of sharpness and contrast). i mostly use primes, including the ones you mention. i love the sharpness and the shallow depth of field one can get with either the 20 or the PL45 (my other two favorites being the CV 25/.95 and a CZ 50/1.5 sonnar), and therefore gather from your post that i will most likely appreciate how the 14-150 optically performs.

    if i may ask:

    do you find the 14-150 too slow for most types of indoor work (having the high iso of the GH2 helps i suppose)?
    do you use it much to capture people or moving objects?
    do you end up in MF mode a lot and if so, how does it perform in MF mode?

    fortunately (or unfortunately!) cost isn't the final say for my particular situation. the bigger issue for me is will i be satisfied with the performance from the lens and it's sounding more and more like i would be.

    thanks for your input on this. it's very much appreciated.
    Andrew.
     
  4. Conrad

    Conrad Mu-43 Veteran

    For some reason I wished (or rather my wallet), that you didn't make it this "easy"...
     
  5. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    782
    Feb 2, 2010
    Worcestershire
    It has typical zoom apertures, slightly faster than the 14-140mm, though not by much. I very rarely use it indoors for that reason. But then I probably wouldn't use any zoom indoors, unless it was f/2.8. The wide end isn't bad at f/3.5 but the tele end does need a fair amount of light.

    Yes I use it for people and moving shots if the light is good. As I said you would find it slower than your 14-140mm for AF. Its not a huge difference but it could be significant.

    I don't think I've ever used it in MF, at least not for stills. I've done that a bit for video.

    If you are looking for faster AF the 14-50mm f/3.8-5.6 is the last of the PanLeicas and that has really fast AF. Its obviously not that long but its a great lens. Every bit as good as the 14-150mm and maybe even just a little bit sharper. Its the one that always gets ignored of the four but its a superb lens.

    I've put a shot that I took recently with the 14-150mm on flicker at:-
    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/45203414@N06/5595699713/" title="P1010542 by soundimageplus, on Flickr"> 5595699713_f985644ae7. "500" height="500" alt="P1010542"></a>
    I shot it in the square format on my GH2. Its heavily jpg'd so ignore the artefacts, but it gives a good idea of how it typically performs. I'd go to the largest (full) size and download it to your screen rather than view it on flickr, which is not ideal. See what you think then.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

    Soundimageplus,

    If you wanted the sharpest possible image for a still photograph in average outdoor light at f/5.6 to f/8.0 and 100mm to 150mm (35 mm equivalent) with a GH-2, which Panasonic or Leica lens will give this result? Is this with AF? Is this with O.I.S,?

    Many thanks in advance for the help.

    Regards,
    Tom
     
  7. theflyer

    theflyer Mu-43 Regular

    59
    Jan 14, 2011

    soundimageplus - thanks for your input. the idea of combining superb IQ with the convenience of a zoom - especially for the m4/3 platform - is one that very much intrigues me. there have been rumors regarding a whole range of new lenses coming out this year, both from pan/oly and several 3rd party lens manufacturers. from what i've read, however, it's hard to tell if there is a fast(er), high IQ zoom in the works or not.

    a local shop here actually has both the 14-50 and the 14-150 in stock (used). the 14-50 at $350 is extremely tempting, especially considering i may not need the length of the 14-150 (at 3X the price) for the kind of photographs i take.
     
  8. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    782
    Feb 2, 2010
    Worcestershire
    If you asking about the image I posted, it was taken with AF and OIS.

    The sharpest possible results under the circumstances you've described I've ever achieved have been taken with a MF M-Mount Zeiss 50mm f/2 Planar lens.
     
  9. soundimageplus

    soundimageplus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    782
    Feb 2, 2010
    Worcestershire
    There are rumours of a 12-50mm f/2.8-3.3 or similar but as you say who really knows - only Panasonic I guess. The 14-50mm at $350 sounds good to me. If your shop is local, maybe they will let you try out both.