Shootout The great Oly 12-100 vs Pana 14-140 shootout!

ibd

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Inspired by my other thread, I have decided to do a shootout between these excellent lenses. The Pana 14-140 is the newer "mark II" version.
Camera is a Panasonic GX80, vivid settings, NR-5, Sat+2, Sharpness+2, EC +/- 0 mostly, auto WB with A+1.
All shots except for close focusing and stabilization test done on a tripod with 2 second release.
This shootout is mostly only pictures. You can draw your own conclusions.
All pictures shown are SOOC jpegs. Should you want to have a look at the full-sized images in your own software, then you can download all pictures, jpeg + raw, here.

The wide end
Aperture series: wide open, f/6.3, f/9.0 in that order.
Oly 12-100 @ 12mm
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Oly 12-100 @ 14mm
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Pana 14-140 @ 14mm
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Vignetting & flare at the wide end
Oly 12-100 @ 12mm
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Oly 12-100 @ 14mm
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Pana 14-140 @ 14mm
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ibd

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The tele end
Aperture series: wide open, f/6.3, f/9.0 in that order.
Oly 12-100 @ 100mm
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Pana 14-140 @ 100mm
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Pana 14-140 @ 140mm
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Vignetting at the tele end
Oly 12-100 @ 100mm

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Pana 14-140 @ 100mm
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Pana 14-140 @ 140mm
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ibd

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Close focusing / maximum reproduction ratio test
For these tests, I handheld the camera due to different maximum focal lengths.
Focus was set to manual, and I set the focus to the minimum distance.
I was surprised that the Pana 14-140 got as close as the Oly 12-100; many reviews praise the close focusing ability of the Oly 12-100!
Aperture set to f/8 in both cases.
Oly 12-100 @ 100mm
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Pana 14-140 @ 140mm
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Bokeh test

Background is a white wall with a laser pointer adding some patterned light dots.
Aperture series: Wide open, then f/8.
There is some slight blur due to subject movement (the watch was dangling from the ceiling).
Oly 12-100 @ 66mm
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Pana 14-140 @ 69mm
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Stabilization test

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For these tests, I handheld the camera as steady as I could.
Camera set to shutter priority mode.
I slowed down the shutter speed step by step and shot bursts (high speed mode) of about 10 pictures each. I stopped when my "keeper" rate went below 50% due to camera shake.
I will not insert all pictures here as there would be too many and they are boring. However if you want to verify my results, you can download the original files. See link at the beginning of the shootout.
I was very impressed with the Oly 12-100 in this test, given that I used it on a Panasonic camera, so there was no "sync IS" / "dual IS"!
Oly 12-100 @ 14mm
I found that the minimum speed I could hold steady was about 1/5s.
Oly 12-100 @ 100mm
I found that the minimum speed I could hold steady was about 1/10s.
Pana 14-140 @ 14mm

I found that the minimum speed I could hold steady was about 1/8s.
Pana 14-140 @ 100mm

I found that the minimum speed I could hold steady was about 1/15s.
 
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Turbofrog

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Thanks a lot for doing this, it's greatly appreciated!

Subjectively, what have you personally found from the results? Has the testing shaped your perspective at all?

Sharpness wise, the Oly is clearly better at 100mm until they're both stopped all the way down, but do you find that you still get better detail at 140mm vs. cropping the 12-100mm?

And for what it's worth, from the EXIF it looks like you've swapped the two macro/magnification images in your post. The first shot you posted is at 140mm, but is labelled as being from the Oly. So for close-up shooting, it looks like the 14-140mm actually has better magnification. And slightly nicer bokeh, too (fewer hard donut rings).
 

ibd

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Thanks a lot for doing this, it's greatly appreciated!

Subjectively, what have you personally found from the results? Has the testing shaped your perspective at all?

Sharpness wise, the Oly is clearly better at 100mm until they're both stopped all the way down, but do you find that you still get better detail at 140mm vs. cropping the 12-100mm?

And for what it's worth, from the EXIF it looks like you've swapped the two macro/magnification images in your post. The first shot you posted is at 140mm, but is labelled as being from the Oly. So for close-up shooting, it looks like the 14-140mm actually has better magnification. And slightly nicer bokeh, too (fewer hard donut rings).
Thanks, I will correct the swapped close focusing shots.

The Pana will extract more "detail" (the definition varies) at 140mm than the Oly at 100mm. Compare for example the writing on the window in my sample shot. However, that detail comes with optical drawbacks as well (visible CA, at least 2/3 stops slower to get good sharpness).
Maybe the balance shifts slightly when going to higher megapixel sensors (my GX80 has 16MP) -- the Pana seems at the limit with the sensor already, while the Oly seems quite unfazed and offers such great amounts of microcontrast.

My personal takeaway is that both lenses offer excellent compromises given their respective design constraints (price, weight, size, zoom range). Both are very versatile.
I think it comes down to pairing it to your shooting style, big part of which is camera size and how much you are willing to carry around. For any smaller camera than the GX80, or the GX80 without a grip add-on, I would tend to get the 14-140. For any bigger camera, the Oly 12-100 has the slight edge, pairing-wise. I plan to upsize my camera very slightly in the future. I will certainly keep both lenses in the short term.

As a sidenote, I find that the Oly will give slightly warmer colors, with very pleasant greens. I would probably want to tweak the colors a bit to match the ones taken with the Oly when shooting the Pana lens.
 
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ibd

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As a bonus, here's two more shots at the minimum focus distance, with apertures wide open (compared to f/8 as above). It was easier to get the shot with the Oly 12-100 as it provides a heavier, less shaky platform, and because the stabilizer is better!

Raws + OOC jpegs here: shootout_bonus.zip

Oly 12-100 @ 100mm f/4
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Pana 14-140 @ 140mm f/5.6
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tomhongkong

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As a bonus, here's two more shots at the minimum focus distance, with apertures wide open (compared to f/8 as above). It was easier to get the shot with the Oly 12-100 as it provides a heavier, less shaky platform, and because the stabilizer is better!

Raws + OOC jpegs here: shootout_bonus.zip

Oly 12-100 @ 100mm f/4
View attachment 729328 View attachment 729327
Pana 14-140 @ 140mm f/5.6
View attachment 729329 View attachment 729330
Close focusing / maximum reproduction ratio test
For these tests, I handheld the camera due to different maximum focal lengths.
Focus was set to manual, and I set the focus to the minimum distance.
I was surprised that the Pana 14-140 got as close as the Oly 12-100; many reviews praise the close focusing ability of the Oly 12-100!
Aperture set to f/8 in both cases.
Oly 12-100 @ 100mm
View attachment 729299
Pana 14-140 @ 140mm
View attachment 729298
Bokeh test

Background is a white wall with a laser pointer adding some patterned light dots.
Aperture series: Wide open, then f/8.
There is some slight blur due to subject movement (the watch was dangling from the ceiling).
Oly 12-100 @ 66mm
View attachment 729300 View attachment 729301
Pana 14-140 @ 69mm
View attachment 729302 View attachment 729303
Stabilization test

View attachment 729304
For these tests, I handheld the camera as steady as I could.
Camera set to shutter priority mode.
I slowed down the shutter speed step by step and shot bursts (high speed mode) of about 10 pictures each. I stopped when my "keeper" rate went below 50% due to camera shake.
I will not insert all pictures here as there would be too many and they are boring. However if you want to verify my results, you can download the original files. See link at the beginning of the shootout.
I was very impressed with the Oly 12-100 in this test, given that I used it on a Panasonic camera, so there was no "sync IS" / "dual IS"!
Oly 12-100 @ 14mm
I found that the minimum speed I could hold steady was about 1/5s.
Oly 12-100 @ 100mm
I found that the minimum speed I could hold steady was about 1/10s.
Pana 14-140 @ 14mm

I found that the minimum speed I could hold steady was about 1/8s.
Pana 14-140 @ 100mm

I found that the minimum speed I could hold steady was about 1/15s.

The test is exactly what I need, thank you, I know how long doing and posting these things takes.

I use a 14-150ii on my EM1 for my (very wet) sailing shots but am looking for better IQ especially at the edges, I must have WR so the old 14-140ii did not work for me (I had and sold one at one time) I was all set this weekend to buy the 12-100. I will have a happy day tomorrow with your images and LR to see what the potential of the 14-140 really is for me. If I still go ahead with the 12-100 it will be in the knowledge that I have properly evaluated the alternatives (I am assuming that the 14-140iii will be the same optically, I guess it may have better coatings, that's all)

Thanks again

tom
 

tomhongkong

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The test is exactly what I need, thank you, I know how long doing and posting these things takes.

I use a 14-150ii on my EM1 for my (very wet) sailing shots but am looking for better IQ especially at the edges, I must have WR so the old 14-140ii did not work for me (I had and sold one at one time) I was all set this weekend to buy the 12-100. I will have a happy day tomorrow with your images and LR to see what the potential of the 14-140 really is for me. If I still go ahead with the 12-100 it will be in the knowledge that I have properly evaluated the alternatives (I am assuming that the 14-140iii will be the same optically, I guess it may have better coatings, that's all)

Thanks again

tom
I have spent a very interesting morning, playing with your images after I downloaded them. I used the RAW images, and LR6.9 which is the latest I have.

The ones which really interested me were the 12-100 @100mm, 14-140 @100mm, and 14-140 @140mm (1110606-1110619) It is immediately obvious how much better the 12-100 is than the 14-140 at 100mm, even when the 14-140 is stopped down to f9. What was quite surprising was how much better the 12-100 was when cropped to the FOV of the 14-140 @140. When the 14-140 was stopped down to f9, it improved quite a lot, but was still significantly worse than the cropped 12-100, and F9 is really getting quite slow to achieve a decent shutter speed for action shots without resorting to higher iso. The detail of twigs in the hedge was the best way of comparing (I hope it was properly in focus on the 14-140)

So, the 12-100 is bigger, heavier and more expensive, but gives better IQ in all circumstances even when cropped, substantially better in the overlapping ranges. It also has better IS on the EM1 and no worries about focus speed. No big surprise, here, I suppose, but it's nice to confirm it. I will be getting it next week.

Thanks again for the original post

tom
 

betamax

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Thanks for sharing and your hard work on getting these together!

I never expected the Pany to oudo the Oly, but the pany comes closer than I thought after I adjusted the clarity a little bit. Defintely at the wide end the Pany surprised me.

I think in the end you summed it up nicely with respect to their compromises.
 

ibd

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The test is exactly what I need, thank you, I know how long doing and posting these things takes.

I use a 14-150ii on my EM1 for my (very wet) sailing shots but am looking for better IQ especially at the edges, I must have WR so the old 14-140ii did not work for me (I had and sold one at one time) I was all set this weekend to buy the 12-100. I will have a happy day tomorrow with your images and LR to see what the potential of the 14-140 really is for me. If I still go ahead with the 12-100 it will be in the knowledge that I have properly evaluated the alternatives (I am assuming that the 14-140iii will be the same optically, I guess it may have better coatings, that's all)

Thanks again

tom
Very glad you could take something from my post!

Are you aware that Panasonic just announced a new version of their 14-140 which will have weather sealing? They announced it together with the new g95.
 

ibd

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I have spent a very interesting morning, playing with your images after I downloaded them. I used the RAW images, and LR6.9 which is the latest I have.

The ones which really interested me were the 12-100 @100mm, 14-140 @100mm, and 14-140 @140mm (1110606-1110619) It is immediately obvious how much better the 12-100 is than the 14-140 at 100mm, even when the 14-140 is stopped down to f9. What was quite surprising was how much better the 12-100 was when cropped to the FOV of the 14-140 @140. When the 14-140 was stopped down to f9, it improved quite a lot, but was still significantly worse than the cropped 12-100, and F9 is really getting quite slow to achieve a decent shutter speed for action shots without resorting to higher iso. The detail of twigs in the hedge was the best way of comparing (I hope it was properly in focus on the 14-140)

So, the 12-100 is bigger, heavier and more expensive, but gives better IQ in all circumstances even when cropped, substantially better in the overlapping ranges. It also has better IS on the EM1 and no worries about focus speed. No big surprise, here, I suppose, but it's nice to confirm it. I will be getting it next week.

Thanks again for the original post

tom
Regarding focus accuracy at the tele end: in my experience, the CDAF on the newer Panasonic cameras is excellent in terms of accuracy, so I have no doubts about that. However, as I was doing these tests rather quickly, I shot them from my balcony and could not find a perfect flat and fronto-parallel subject. In other words, the hedges are slightly closer to the camera than the wall. And the wall is slightly shot from the side, making it slanted in the camera view. However, the subject being at a large distance should mitigate some of these effects. I do plan to make a more balanced comparison test, in the same vein (12-100@100, 14-140@100, 14-140@140) at some point in the future though. I hope it can provide some additional insights.

Any feedback on the apertures at which I should test? I chose fully open, f/6.3, f/9 as a compromise between number of shots that need to be taken and the typical (for superzooms) range you would use. I'm aware that f/9 is entering diffraction territory; however as you noticed, the 14-140 only becomes very good past f/8 or so.
 

tomhongkong

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Regarding focus accuracy at the tele end: in my experience, the CDAF on the newer Panasonic cameras is excellent in terms of accuracy, so I have no doubts about that. However, as I was doing these tests rather quickly, I shot them from my balcony and could not find a perfect flat and fronto-parallel subject. In other words, the hedges are slightly closer to the camera than the wall. And the wall is slightly shot from the side, making it slanted in the camera view. However, the subject being at a large distance should mitigate some of these effects. I do plan to make a more balanced comparison test, in the same vein (12-100@100, 14-140@100, 14-140@140) at some point in the future though. I hope it can provide some additional insights.

Any feedback on the apertures at which I should test? I chose fully open, f/6.3, f/9 as a compromise between number of shots that need to be taken and the typical (for superzooms) range you would use. I'm aware that f/9 is entering diffraction territory; however as you noticed, the 14-140 only becomes very good past f/8 or so.
I realised that the hedge was closer, hence my comment about focus. However it has far more small detail than the wall/windows so makes the difference in detail more pronounced, and as it runs from edge to centre nicely illustrates the sharpness across the lens.

So far as aperture, perhaps you could just check F8 on the 14-140? There is a such great improvement over f6.9, I wonder which would be sharper...taking into account diffraction (which would in any case be minor at f9). F9 is starting to be very limiting unless the iso is allowed to creep up, which also reduces acuity. It's all a question of compromise and finding the best.

Yes, I know the new 14-140 is WR, whether as good as the 12-100, though....? That is why I could consider it.

Thanks again

tom
 

Egregius V

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I, too, am most grateful for your tests and for sharing the image files, ibd! My most-used lens when I travel is the Olympus 14-150 II. I chose it more for its weather-sealing than for anything else - though at the time it was also a lot cheaper than the 14-140. Like tom, I've been wanting better sharpness away from the center - particularly at the wide end, where the edges are sometimes mushy. The 14-150 II can be rather sharp across the frame if I choose the right focus point and the light is good - but it's hit-and-miss. I was leaning toward the 12-100, despite its considerable weight and cost - but now there's the updated, somewhat-weather-sealed 14-140 II to think about.

Your images have helped me to see what I'd gain and lose, since the new 14-140 II is said to offer nothing new optically. For now, I've decided to keep my 14-150 II for all-weather travel and simply use other lenses when I can (change my habits, not my gear :blush:). I'll try that for a year and see how it works out. I keep arriving at the conclusion that my Oly. is a lot sharper in its long half than the 14-140 I and not that much worse at the wide end (only at 14mm and not all the time). The 12-100 is going to continue to tempt me, especially if it appears on sale in the Olympus refurb. outlet. The Pan-Leica 12-60 is yet another alternative I might come to like.
 
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ibd

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Thanks all for the responses and great interest! I took another round of comparison shots today, both at the wide end and at the tele end. Testing methodology is the same as in the original post, however I shot at some different apertures, including f/8.

Shown in this post are only wide open and f/8 -- the rest, including raws of course, can be downloaded here:
12-100_vs_14-140_round_2.zip

Note that the lower left corner in the tele pictures appears soft not because of lens softness (alone), but because the field expands closer towards the camera. Better to look at the trees at the top, or the fence at the lower right.

Wide end
12-100 @ 12 mm
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12-100 @ 14 mm
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14-140 @ 14 mm
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Tele end
12-100 @ 100 mm
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14-140 @ 100 mm
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14-140 @ 140 mm

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tomhongkong

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Thanks all for the responses and great interest! I took another round of comparison shots today, both at the wide end and at the tele end. Testing methodology is the same as in the original post, however I shot at some different apertures, including f/8.

Shown in this post are only wide open and f/8 -- the rest, including raws of course, can be downloaded here:
12-100_vs_14-140_round_2.zip

Note that the lower left corner in the tele pictures appears soft not because of lens softness (alone), but because the field expands closer towards the camera. Better to look at the trees at the top, or the fence at the lower right.

Wide end
12-100 @ 12 mm
View attachment 733279 View attachment 733280
12-100 @ 14 mm
View attachment 733282 View attachment 733283
14-140 @ 14 mm
View attachment 733285 View attachment 733284
Tele end
12-100 @ 100 mm
View attachment 733291 View attachment 733290
14-140 @ 100 mm
View attachment 733287 View attachment 733286
14-140 @ 140 mm

View attachment 733289 View attachment 733288
Thanks again for more great work. Now I am not so sure about my purchase. I compared RAW images 1110949(14-140 at 140) with 1110953(12-100 at 100), both taken at F8, and I cropped both to the same FOV. Actually I thought this time that the 14-140 image was sharper in the centre than that from the 12-200 (not at the edge, though) It was difficult to compare accurately as the lighting changed quite a bit through your series. Bearing in mind that the new 14-140 may have some coating improvements, even if optically otherwise similar, it would be prudent to wait until it can be tested.
That means that I have at least 3 regattas where I will have to continue to use the 14-150ii. This testing has encouraged me to experiment a bit more with the 14-150ii. At f9 (which I have always thought was unacceptably slow) the edges do sharpen up just a bit. I think I will do the next two regattas (back to back so I don't have the chance to try another lens if I don't get it next week at the latest) with manual exposure, 1/1250, f9, and let the iso float. I'll see if the iso goes too high. Just taking a test shot today, I can keep it under 400, in a 'cloudy bright' light situation
It would be very interesting to hear of the conclusions of others, as I don't pretend to be an expert by any means!
Thanks again
tom
 

ibd

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Thanks again for more great work. Now I am not so sure about my purchase. I compared RAW images 1110949(14-140 at 140) with 1110953(12-100 at 100), both taken at F8, and I cropped both to the same FOV. Actually I thought this time that the 14-140 image was sharper in the centre than that from the 12-200 (not at the edge, though) It was difficult to compare accurately as the lighting changed quite a bit through your series. Bearing in mind that the new 14-140 may have some coating improvements, even if optically otherwise similar, it would be prudent to wait until it can be tested.
That means that I have at least 3 regattas where I will have to continue to use the 14-150ii. This testing has encouraged me to experiment a bit more with the 14-150ii. At f9 (which I have always thought was unacceptably slow) the edges do sharpen up just a bit. I think I will do the next two regattas (back to back so I don't have the chance to try another lens if I don't get it next week at the latest) with manual exposure, 1/1250, f9, and let the iso float. I'll see if the iso goes too high. Just taking a test shot today, I can keep it under 400, in a 'cloudy bright' light situation
It would be very interesting to hear of the conclusions of others, as I don't pretend to be an expert by any means!
Thanks again
tom
@Turbofrog did the math here: [Experience wanted] No serious comparisons between 12-100 and 14-140?
The conclusion basically was that the 14-140 should give better results in terms of resolution at the tele end, coming purely from an optical point of view (i.e., physics!).

Now my takeaway is that the 12-100 can match the output at least in-camera, because it offers very good "microcontrast", and low CA (the 14-140 is not great in that regard). Nice colors, too. Resolution is not everything!

Apologies for changing lighting. It was also a bit windy yesterday, which I hope did not affect results. I checked the images briefly on camera after taking them, but it's difficult to evaluate them like that to the high level required for these pixel peeping activities! ;)

Edit: Oh, and don't doubt your purchase. You will NOT be disappointed. :)
 

ibd

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Just a heads up: I'm running a bit low on google drive disk storage (where I'm hosting the files in this thread -- more than 5GB total). I might have to take them down at some point.
Could I ask interested people to download the files for their purposes?
 
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