Lumix 14-42 X versus Oly 45mm

Started May 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Lumix 14-42 X versus Oly 45mm
May 4, 2012

I know this is counter-intuitive, and I agree that the Oly 45mm is a great lens, but I have found that in low light indoors -- shooting with my GH2 -- the new Panny 14-42 X, shooting at 42mm with power OIS engaged, consistently equals and often outperforms the Oly 45mm at resolving details.

If I shoot something across the room with packaging text on it, for instance, the Oly can shoot at f1.8, but my GH2 will appropriately leave the shutter speed at 1/100th (in A mode) since there is no OIS or IBIS in the Panny camera. The ISO will be raised to 2000 for sufficient light in my kitchen. Taking the same shot with the Panny X at 42mm, the aperture can't open wider than F5.6, but the "power OIS" enables the shutter speed to be reduced to 1/15th of a second, with ISO 3200 in the same light. If I then play back both images in the EVF, zooming in 16X, the small text on a package in the kitchen is clearly more legible from the Panny than the Oly lens. I have repeated this type of thing indoors in low light with the 14-42x consistently equalling if not exceeding the detail from the 45mm Oly.

I realize these are casual comparisons and that the results would be quite different on an Oly camera with IBIS, but I still think it makes the point that what constitutes a "low light" lens depends upon the camera/lens combo. Nobody mentions the panny 14-42x as a potential low-light alternative to the Oly 45mm (and for good reason), but those with Panny cameras might want to make note of my observations.

And FWIW, the new 14-42x way outperforms the older panny 14-42mm and even the 14-45mm as a low-light shooter on my GH2. The newer OIS in the X lens seems to be quite a bit better.

 bowportes's gear list:bowportes's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 Fujifilm X-M1 Fujifilm X-T1 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +9 more
Panasonic Lumix DMC-F5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2
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