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what is the best kit lens?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by charcoalblack, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. charcoalblack

    charcoalblack Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 26, 2012
    please recommend what the best kit lens is? i took the panny 14-42mm on a recent trip as I needed a lens to be versatile but wasn't too pleased with the results. Is the Oly 14-42mm better? but then I loose the built in stabilization on the lens...

  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    If you're looking for something "better" than the kit zoom you have, I have to question why you're looking at another kit zoom? A kit lens is a kit lens. They are the bottom of the ladder. If you want better, you should just get better and not ask about kit zooms. :) 

    Have you considered trying prime lenses?

    To answer your question as directly as I can though... The Lumix 14-45mm (not 14-42mm) is the most highly regarded kit zoom. Although, the Lumix 20mm f/1.7 and Lumix 14mm f/2.5 are also kit lenses and are superior in every way. Even the m.Zuiko 17mm f/2.8 (also a kit lens) would be an upgrade, even though it's the least regarded of the prime lenses.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Isn't the 12-35mm also technically a kit lens? ;) 
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes. :)  Best kit zoom since the Zuiko 12-60mm f/2.8-4, Zuiko 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5, and Leica 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit. XD
    • Like Like x 1
  5. nublar

    nublar Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 22, 2013
    14mm f2.5 is the best kit lens
  6. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    The 14 - 45mm was the original Panasonic kit lens and is a lot better than the 14 - 42 and held in high regard as one of the best standard kit lenses available from any manufacturer
    If you prefer a zoom for the versatility compare with a fixed prime (not everyone wants to be restricted to a fixed focal length with a prime) then that is the one to go for
    It has the advantage of a switch on the side for the built in O.I.S, a superior metal mount and is available at reasonable cost so long as you pay ebay or similar prices rather than brand new (it is still listed by Panasonic in their current range)
    PS there is I believe a 14 - 45mm image thread on this forum should you wish to check out the potential of the lens
  7. Haans

    Haans Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 18, 2012
    If your budget is limited, the 14-45 is the lens to get. It is a fine lens, and one of the only cheap lenses I have kept. Even better is the 14-54 MkI or II, but of course that is technically not a "native" lens, same with the 12-60, a spectacular lens.
  8. Azon

    Azon Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2013
    With Panasonic bodies better to use Pany's because of stabilization. 14-45 or if budget allows 12-35 but it's already not a kit one:)  Kit zooms are not fast so better to have stab then not to...
  9. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    I second this. I've had several kit lenses--two from Olympus, three from Panasonic including the little PZ version--and by far the best is the 14-45mm. Not only sharp, but great micro-contrast as well. It's OIS is also conveniently engaged via an external switch, which makes it useful on small Oly bodies like the PM1 (which can't turn it on via software, and have poor IBIS of their own).
  10. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    14-45 is highly regarded as one of the better kit lenses for Micro 4/3s, if not, the best.
  11. dd1

    dd1 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 9, 2011
    Another vote for the 14-45, having had both Olympus versions, and the Panny 14-42, not only is the 14-45 sharper but it also has markedly better colour and contrast. It's not far from the primes.
  12. charcoalblack

    charcoalblack Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 26, 2012
    yes, I needed a kit zoom lens so as not to restrict myself with one focal point on the trip that I took and not having to keep switching lenses. so it sounds like the 14-45mm is the one to look for. thank you.
  13. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    The 20mm 1.7 was a kit lens:hail:
  14. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    What about one of the Lumix power zooms :confused: 
  15. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
  16. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Not considering the 12-35...

    I'm actually quite content with the 12-50 Olympus.

    12mm on the wide end
    50mm on the long end
    Macro in a pinch

    Probably the most convenient and usable of the bunch. A small and easy to carry set for me is the 12-50 + 20mm f/1.7
  17. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    He said he's looking for the best, not the worst. ;) 

    Yeah, if it has to be a consumer grade kit zoom (no primes, and no high-end zooms like the 12-35mm), then I would personally go for the m.Zuiko 12-50mm. Weather sealing, wide angle, and semi-macro are enough to offset the very minor differences in quality between all the different lower-grade slow zooms.
  18. Azon

    Azon Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2013
    Guys, don't forget that the Oly zooms has no stabs and person who asked a question has Panasonic cameras...
  19. greyhat

    greyhat Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 14, 2013
    Wondering, did you reach your best kit lens yet? I am in similar position except that'd be my very first experience with :43: lens and camera (GH3). Advice I received seems to be in direction of the Pan 14-45mm at least for a starter. BUT I cannot find used 14-45 in decent price that ships to Canada. Even Amazon the new one ($279) doesn't ship here. New in local stores here is $350. Any tips guys?
  20. frank2

    frank2 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 29, 2011
    Columbus, Ohio
    What about waiting for the Tamron 14-150? No price yet but should be $500 or under.
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