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The new X 14-42mm in place of the 20mm

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Bill, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. Bill

    Bill Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2009
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill (really)
    I'm putting the new 14-42 X lens on the G3 as my "everyday" lens in place of the 20mm. I'm very impressed with getting this range of zoom into my small bag.

    I've missed the length necessy to make portraits flattering. This lens provides that length and even a bit wider at the other end as well. These were benefits that I lost when I moved up from the LX3. (Yes, I know that with the 20mm you can back up and crop to a more flattering perspective.)

    The new zoom is slower (by two full stops), but I'm hoping that the stabilisation willl make up for some of that. I'll let you know how it goes once I've had a chance to see the IQ.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Dublin, IE
    Can you please show some shots made with the pancake zoom, especially at the tele end? I'm very interested in this lens, but from what I have seen so far it appears to be rather soft at every setting except for 14 mm.
  3. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    Stabilization can't get you shallow DOF, or let you use a faster shutter speed to get less motion blur when your subjects move.

    As with any choice, there are trade-offs. The ones you've chosen may work well for you, but IS isn't really a replacement for a faster lens.
  4. thelawnet

    thelawnet New to Mu-43

    Nov 13, 2011
    14-42mm Panasonic standard zoom lens - 63.6mm, 165g
    14-42mm Panasonic x zoom - 26.8mm, 95g
    14mm pancake - 20.5mm 56g

    The pancake is 1/3 of the size of the standard zoom, but then the x zoom is not much bigger than the pancake.

    As for the pancake, it's not going to give you particularly shallow DOF as it's a wide lens on a relatively small ensor and not that fast either.

    As for the size, the 14mm is designed for size not speed, but with the x zoom so small, it doesn't do that well on size any more. And when it comes to speed, the 14mm is one stop faster that's true, but that's not such a big difference really, compared to say the 25mm or 45mm lenses, which are more than 3 stops faster.

    So, IMO the 14mm doesn't look so compelling any more. Lenses which sold purely on quality (and speed), such as the 25mm and 45mm are basically not impacted by that x zoom.

    I think IS does help btw, if it allows you to use a slower shutter speed, the aperture disadvantage is basically gone.

    I would like to see multiple proper reviews of the 14-42mm x lens, but as I see it the 14mm f/2.5 is basically dead now.
  5. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    Maybe, but the 20mm is definitely not.

    20mm pancake - 25.5mm, 100g

    It is much faster at f1.7. Shallow DOF is very possible.
  6. thelawnet

    thelawnet New to Mu-43

    Nov 13, 2011
    Well yes, 2 1/2 extra stops vs. only 1 on the 14mm. The 20mm focal length makes it easier to miniaturize compared with the 14mm. The 25mm gives you another stop again of course, at the expense of size, weight and cost (although the cost difference is fair, IMO).

    The 14mm at present is basically a kit lens - they bundle it with GF3s to make them look small in the store. Now that they have an (almost) equally tiny *zoom* lens, the GX1 and GF3s will be walking out of the store compared with the competing cameras with their huge zooms or fixed focal lengths.

    Size for size's sake is no longer so important when the standard zoom is so tiny - aftermarket lenses should now sell based on adding quality, not on reducing the system size.
  7. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    only for camera motion induced blur.

    For subject motion induced blur, there is no substitute for shutter speed.

    Everyone does understand one stop equates to DOUBLING the shutter speed, right? 2-3 stops is HUGE.
  8. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    No. You read my post, but clearly didn't understand. The aperture disadvantage is more than just exposure. It's about DOF and allowing faster shutter speeds to reduce subject blur, too.

    As I said, the trade-off may be worth it for you, but it is a trade-off. IS simply doesn't provide the same benefits as a wider aperture. (It does provide different benefits, however.)
  9. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Sep 3, 2011
    From both a speed and IQ standpoint, I'm waiting for the Panny 12-35mm to render my 20mm obsolete.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    It's faster, smaller, cheaper and from early 14-42X samples, it also has better IQ.

    And it's a prime, which some people simply prefer using (myself included) :smile: Primes are a different way of going about photography and 'seeing' the world - it's not just about speed and size...
  11. I'm waiting for the same lens to make my kit (Olly Crappy 14-42) zoom obsolete for daytime use, but the fast primes (20/1.7, 45/1.8) will always get taken for their evening walkies....

    WRT to the new Panny X 14-42: I doubt that IQ will be any better than the other kit 14-42 lenses, and they aren't THAT big, really. I wouldn't buy it except as a kit if I really wanted the body it came with.
  12. thelawnet

    thelawnet New to Mu-43

    Nov 13, 2011
    Well it's pretty easy to keep a zoom lens at wide angle.

    BTW the 14mm lists at $400, which is the same as the 14-42mm x zoom. You can get the 14mm much cheaper right now, but that reflects its relatived desirability/supply issues.

    It's difficult to comment on IQ really, reviews still thin on the ground.
  13. I would agree that the 20mm is not the right lens for head portraits, but it does work for full body shots.
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