Should I buy a Lumix 14-42?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by DrLazer, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. DrLazer

    DrLazer Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Mar 23, 2011
    Sheffield, UK
    I'm going travelling again next month, but my interest in photography has grown since I last went away and a superzoom alone (Lumix FZ35) isn't going to be enough.

    I am very interested in landscape photography. I don't really have much experience in landscape yet but it is something I want to improve.

    I have a Lumix G10 which I use just for macro work at the moment. Seems like a native lens would be a good idea to improve the quality of my landscape work (superzoom only at the moment).

    I was pretty interested in a pancake lens as they are fairly wide angled, fast and have a fixed focal length so I would expect them to perform well. However, the price of both the 14mm and 20mm has put me off somewhat, especially seems as the 14-42 appears to be about a third of the price.

    Is there a big quality difference when comparing the 14mm @ 14mm to the 14mm pancake?

    Also are there any other options available for my body. I think AF would be nice for this purchase.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. G1 User

    G1 User Mu-43 Veteran

    411
    Jul 20, 2010
    I can't help with a compare reply, but I own a 20 an Oly 14-42 ED MKI, (I perter the collapsible lens for compactness), I think it is just as sharp as the P/14-42 (-) IOS. And a bit smaller when in use.

    But, the lens is a good walk-about lens, not really a speed demon, but offers a good value. a 14 is good for Landscape, but a 12 is better... a $100-$150 .7x wide converter that doesn't vignette is a good accerory will give you a 10 (right around a 95* FOV), to a 30 (about a 75* FOV) -- a 10mm-30mm m4/3 wide zoom. Randox makes a good one.
     
  3. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
    from what I understand in the tests (not done by me) the 14 is comparable (not better, not worse to any meaningful degree) to the 14 end of the 14-42. The 20 is appreciably better and the reason that it commands more money. I use the 14-42 quite often and have never been disappointed. I would never want to be without the 20mm, but the flexibility of the 14-42 is super handy.

    your other option is the Oly 14-42 which will auto focus. It's got a slick collapsible design. Older versions of this lens can be had quite cheaply secondhand since Oly put out a newer version that is quicker to focus. But the Oly lacks image stabilization.
     
  4. DrLazer

    DrLazer Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Mar 23, 2011
    Sheffield, UK
    How much better are we talking for the 20. Is it worth triple the price of the 14-42? Do you know anywhere that has a comparison up?
     
  5. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    827
    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    With sufficient light (the 14mm is about a stop faster), the difference between the 14mm and the 14-42mm @ 14mm is small. That's the sharpest end of the 14-42mm. If you find one for not much more, the older 14-45mm is a little bit better throughout its range, has a metal mount (instead of plastic), and an OIS on/off switch.
     
  6. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    The 20 is in a completely different league. IMHO...yes it's worth triple the cost of the 14-42.
     
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    That's a tough call. The 14-42 (or the 14-45 if you can find one) is a nice flexible lens and great for traveling. That said, I tend to prefer using primes and the 14 is amazingly small and light. I had the 14-45 and 14 at the same time (sold the 14-45) and @14 they were almost identical IQ wise.

     
  9. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
    The 14-42 is a Volkswagen, the 20mm is a Porsche. They are both very good at what they do. The 14-42 has never let me down in sharpness or contrast or whatever other metric you want to measure it with. But the 20mm does some stuff that is quite magical......kind of like when you are shooting with a really nice piece of old glass.....except that it'll auto-focus.

    It's worth the difference, if it's in your budget. But then you are "stuck" with one focal length (which I don't mind MOST of the time.....but you have to decide that for yourself...and if you;re gonna have a legacy 50 in your collection anyways, you kind of have both ends covered and you can zoom with your feet for the in betweens.......but I'm rambling now)
     
  10. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    BTW DrLazer your macros are incredible.
     
  11. DrLazer

    DrLazer Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Mar 23, 2011
    Sheffield, UK
    Great info - thanks

    Good question. One I'm asking myself. I think maybe i'll buy it, it's a big step up from the superzoom. If I become more interested in landscape I can allways save for the 20.

    I always have been fond of Porsche. I think I'm going to buy the 14-42 for now. I have yet to see a "proper" landscape image taken with the 20 that has made me rush out to get it.

    Thanks, I'm glad you like them. It's a frustrating but rewarding hobby :smile:
     
  12. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Luke
    you'll freaking love that 14-42.....it may even make you sell your beloved FZ38 (not that I have)
     
  13. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    The 14-42 is a good, economical lens and can serve well indeed.

    By all accounts, however, the original version, the 14-45, is better in build quality and image quality.

    I've used the 14-45 quite a bit and have been stunned by the wonderful IQ the 14-45 is capable of. It is a "must have" lens in my view because it is so small and light weight, yet so wonderfully capable. The 14-45 does cost more money than the 14-42, but you get what you pay for!

    Thus, given the choice and the opportunity, I'd seek out a nice 14-45 over a 14-42 if it were me. But if the 14-42 is at the limit of the budget, then I'd say get one and enjoy it.

    My 14-42 will be making an appearance (along with my GF1) on eBay in the near future. I've not even used my 14-42, as it came with my G3 chocolate kit and I prefer to stick with the 14-45 I already have.
     
  14. DrLazer

    DrLazer Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Mar 23, 2011
    Sheffield, UK
    Luke: I cant sell the FZ, I still love it. Plus it was a birthday gift from my lovely. G10 with a 14-42 might be nice for some things, but it cant beat the FZ at a zoo.

    DHart: Thanks for the reply. I'll defo try and look around for the 14-45
     
  15. brianb032

    brianb032 Mu-43 Veteran

    216
    Jan 10, 2011
    N.Carolina
    If you're not shooting faster than the 14-42's fastest aperture on both lenses then you probably won't be able to tell a difference unless if you're pixel-peeping.

    I recently bought my dad a G2 and loaned him a Panasonic 14-42, Oly 14-42, and the Panasonic 20mm--each lens a couple days at a time. Whichever lens he liked best would be the one I would buy for him. He's no camera aficionado, but when he compared pics from all three lenses he couldn't figure out why the 20mm (aside from size and speed) commanded so much money. He claimed that pictures from all three looked virtually the same when shot at the same focal-length. In the end he took the Panny 14-42 for video stabilization.
     
  16. JudyM

    JudyM Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 5, 2010
    Westminster, MD
  17. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    827
    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    One word: bokeh. :thumbup:

    Really, though, it's the shallow DOF that you can get at f/1.7, but not at f/4.0 (or so) on the kit lens. I'm also not convinced that OIS will give you that much improvement at that focal length.
     
  18. DrLazer

    DrLazer Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Mar 23, 2011
    Sheffield, UK
    Thanks for the replies everyone it has been really helpful.

    I think that just sealed the deal. I want the OIS as video is something I am very much interested in.
     
  19. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    827
    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    I just got my first copy of a 14-42mm with the G3. Is the zoom always so rough? It definitely has that sliding plastic-on-plastic feel (like the Sony SLT-55 kit lens.) The 14-45mm zooms so smoothly by comparison. I suppose that it could smooth out with use, but I don't remember the 14-45mm ever being like that. I will definitely sell the 14-42mm long before the 14-45mm, as the latter just feels like a much better built lens. I do like the black base on the 14-42mm (vs. the traditional purplish silver on most Panny lenses), but the aesthetics aren't worth the difference.
     
  20. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Yes, the Panny 14-45 is definitely the preferred kit zoom to have, though the 14-42 does get the job done.