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Why the 14-45mm over the 14-42mm??

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by RichA, May 25, 2012.

  1. RichA

    RichA Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 28, 2012
    • Like Like x 1
  2. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    May 3, 2010
    thanks for the link. i know i find my 14-45 is a bit sharper and more contrasty, but i must admit that in real world pics, the 14-42 often does as well to the naked eye.
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    And the retractable m.Zuiko 14-42mm is a lot more compact. :)  If I don't care as much about size, I'd rather have a fast zoom like the Lumix X 12-35mm f/2.8 or Zuiko 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II.
  4. CUB

    CUB Guest

    The MTF charts tell only a small part of the story. They are almost entirely theoretical because they are made from a test sample, or from optical theory. They may be entirely unrepresentative of the particular copy you just bought. As such, MTF charts mislead more than they inform.

    There is no substitute for testing your own lens. That's exactly what I did when I bought a used 14-45mm. I compared it with the 14-42mm I already owned, and the difference was stark. At every focal length, every aperture and every focusing distance, the 14-45mm delivered sharper, more contrasty images with much less CA.

    Just as with theoretical MTF curves, my tests won't apply to the lenses that other people buy. But they taught me that my 14-45mm was a keeper and my 14-42mm definitely wasn't.

    It doesn't mean that my 14-42mm was a bad lens. It just means that my 14-45mm was a better lens. I test all my lens purchases before deciding whether to keep them. The 14-45mm is the best (relatively) inexpensive kit lens I have ever tested.

    This doesn't prove that any 14-45mm lens anyone else buys is going to be better than a 14-42mm, but there is enough anecdotal evidence on these forums to suggest that it probably will be. You may wish to dismiss anecdotal evidence as unreliable, but in my experience it is far more reliable than MTF charts.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I have had couple of 14-45's and several 14-42's. the big differences for me are that the 14-45 is a bit sharper, has a metal mount and IMHO better build quality and switchable IS on the lens body so I can use it on either my Olympus or Panasonic bodies and still get IS.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. jamawass

    jamawass Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    Advantages of the 14-42 Mk II is that it's collapsible which makes it highly portable. It also has a bayonet end to which two cheap and small macro and wide angle adapters can be attached. I was recently in a Garden with the 14-42 attached and two adapters and panny 20/1.7 in my pocket.

    Example of Macro adapter:P5134784 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    Example of Wide angle adapter:P5134787 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
    Both shots were handheld with IS off.
  7. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    I have never seen a situation where the difference between a good photo and a lesser photo was determined by arcane lens metrics. Sure, less CA is better than more, better MTF is desirable, but IMHO unless the lens is truly awful I don't care very much.

    For example I have Panny bodies but have the much-maligned Oly 14-42 specifically because it is smaller and more pocketable than the alternatives. When I need a little longer focal length than my 9-18 provides, the Oly 14-42 will take a much better picture than the 14-45 that I'm not carrying.

    Seriously, people, we have these little cameras because they are little, not because they have the best lenses in the world. if performance is the goal, spend $10K for a medium format digital starter kit and hire a Sherpa to haul it.
  8. RichA

    RichA Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 28, 2012
    I didn't buy the G1 and E-M5 because of size

    In fact, I hope a mirror-less camera with a 35 (or larger sensor) get released, that is less expensive than the $9000 Leica M9.
    I wanted to get away from optical viewfinders. I also wanted to adapt lots of lenses. Plus, I'll be getting the grip. But I've always tried to obtain the best lenses I can and IMO, $100.00 more for a demonstrably better lens isn't much.
  9. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    I have the Pany 14-45 and the Oly 14-42 II R. They are pretty close in performance to each other in my experience, with perhaps a bit of an edge to the 14-45. Certainly the build quality of the 14-45 is superior.

    As far as size goes, to me the 14-42 Oly is close enough to the 14-45 Pany that physical size really makes no significant difference to me. It's not the big deal some make it out to be. :rolleyes:  In a pinch, I'm relatively happy with either of these two that I have... but having both, I'd pick the 14-45 if I could only keep one.
  10. Rex Deaver

    Rex Deaver New to Mu-43

    Aug 2, 2013
    Overland Park, KS
    For some of us size is not the main reason for purchasing mirrorless. We bought for the higher ISO, video capabilities, high quality lenses, all at a fraction of the cost of FF.

    For anything up to a 16x20 print, a 4/3 sensor behind a high quality lens is indistinguishable from FF.
  11. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    Far, far superior corners, especially at 14mm. That's what did it for me. I had both and sold the 14-45mm.
  12. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Even having the 12-35, I won't let my copy of the 14-45 go... its performed so well for me and yielded truly excellent IQ. I choose it over the 12-35 when I want a smaller, lighter 1-lens kit while still retaining great IQ. The 14-42 II-R that came with my EPL5 remains nearly a virtual virgin lens... reminds me that I should sell it... not a bad lens, just not quite up to the 14-45 standards.
  13. AndrewS

    AndrewS Mu-43 Regular

    May 12, 2012
    The Lumix 14-45 is better than the Lumix 14-42 Mk2.

    As it happens I have been testing Lumix zooms today, having accumulated a few of them. Cut to the chase, those covering a "standard" focal length range , (14-42mm) rank as follows: Best 12-35mm f2,8, next 14-45mm, then the 14-42mm Mk2, and the 14-140mm Mk 2 in the 14-42mm focal length range last. However the amount of difference between them is really very small and even the 14-140mm puts in a very good performance towards the wide end of it's focal length range. The difference between the 12-35 f2.8 and the 14-45mm is really not much more than the f2.8 aperture and the different focal length range. I did not have a chance to systematically test the 14-42mm Mk1 but I was not impressed with my copy of this lens when I had one.
  14. cluber77

    cluber77 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 6, 2013
    By far, the 14-45 it's one of the best kits lens that ever made for a camera.
    ImageUploadedByMu-431375823947.697839. I have it with my GH2...
  15. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    Can you explain that in more details? Any identical pictures?

    I mean why would Panasonic release the 12-35 and not have a superior product based on price alone?

  16. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    The 12-35 is faster w/ constant aperture, better built, weatherproof and 12mm to 14mm is more of a difference than it seems. But from 14mm to 35mm, in reasonable light, it really is hard to tell them apart. I once did a controlled test shooting an oil painting, which was flat, colorful, contrasty and had a lot of texture, and the 2 were almost indistinguishable. I'd say a slight edge went to the 12-35 @ 2.8 compared to 14-45 wide open. Both at f4.5 to f8, no difference really.
  17. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    It's not at all clear which 14-42s you are referencing. I assume you are talking about the Panasonic lenses, but there are also two versions of the Olympus 14-42 as well. Care to clarify?

    Also, can you provide any test shots and describe what criteria you are basing your rankings upon?
  18. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Without having had the benefit of trying the 12-35mm, I suspect this is not a bad summary. A lot of the added cost of the 12-35mm will be down to superior construction, including damp and dust sealing, and the optical and mechanical demands for producing a relatively fast constant aperture zoom lens. It's not as if the 14-45mm is a poor performer, in fact it is quite the opposite, and the fact that Panasonic have managed to make a wider, faster alternative yet maintain or even slightly improve upon the IQ of the 14-45mm is actually quite an endorsement for the more expensive lens.

    My 14-45mm came with my first :43: camera, the G1, soon after it's introduction. I loved the lens but didn't get on with the camera, so I kept it and sold the body only. Since then the 14-45mm has been matched to an E-PL1, E-P3, another E-PL1 and now the E-M5. It seems that cameras come and go but the 14-45mm remains my constant companion. However, given the opportunity I'd gladly swap it for a 12-35mm, a lens I lust after but for reasons other than better resolution.
  19. moccaman

    moccaman Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 4, 2012
    The build quality alone is so noticeable, even if the lenses were matched in performance (which they are not) the 14-45 will last a long time, much longer imho than the 14-42. Look at the price of the 14-45, look where its made, feel the zoom functions next to each other, look at the quality of the fit and finish, my 14-45 was also my first lens and its the one I have kept along with the 14-140 as my everyday zoom and superzoom.
  20. AndrewS

    AndrewS Mu-43 Regular

    May 12, 2012
    Some clarification

    This is in response to various questions in this thread. My reference to the 14-42mm lens was to the new-ish Mk2 version of the non collapsing Lumix standard kit zoom. I suspect the reason Panasonic introduced the GH3 body, 12-35mm f2,8 and 35-100mm f2.8 lenses was to provide a professional standard kit within the M43 environment. I think the initiative has been successful, for my purposes anyway. You can find more detailed comparison between the Lumix 14-45 and the 12-35mm on my Camera Ergonomics blog at Camera Ergonomics look for the heading along the top "lenses, M43".
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