Panasonic kit 14-42 vs. 14-45, real world thoughts

Started Nov 18, 2010 | Discussions thread
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csciguy8
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Panasonic kit 14-42 vs. 14-45, real world thoughts
Nov 18, 2010

So I have a G2 with the 14-42mm lens and always wondered if upgrading to the 14-45mm would be worth it. I've read the dpreview reviews but MFT graphs only tell so much. How much difference would I actually perceive?

So I bought a G1 kit (w/14-45mm) and promptly switched its kit lens for mine.
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My impressions from handling...

  • The lens is noticeably heavier. I thought I wouldn't be able to tell, but I did

  • I couldn't tell the size difference, even though the 14-45 is a tad shorter

  • The zoom ring texture feels better. It has a kind of grippy plastic, where the other just feels like hard plastic

  • The zoom in / out action is a good deal smoother. Very nice, but oddly enough, I never really noticed the 14-42 being sticky.

  • The metal mount looks pretty, but I don't really care vs. the 14-42's plastic one

  • The OIS switch looks convenient, but 99% of the time I don't switch it off

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And then I ran some image quality tests...

I used the min / max zooms at both completely wide open and at F8.0 (where they are supposed to be sharpest). I manually focused, turned OIS off, set a 2 second timer, used tripod, set to aperture priority, used the G2 with JPEGs and no post processing.

  • I couldn't tell the difference in center sharpness in any picture

  • The non center areas seemed sharper on the 14-45 at 14mm, F3.5. I couldn't tell a difference in any other picture

  • The difference between 42mm and 45mm is visually really small

  • Both lenses look really good at F8. Sharp, minimal vignetting

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So is it worth trading up? Tough call. Subjectively, I think the 14-42 has 95% the image quality of the 14-45. Handling wise, I liked the zoom action the best, and that's just an incremental improvement. My original plan was to sell the G1 with the 14-42mm. Depending on how much I recoupe from that, it might be worth it.

What do you guys think?

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