Panasonic 14/2.5 now reviewed by Photozone

Started Apr 29, 2011 | Discussions
Anders W
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Panasonic 14/2.5 now reviewed by Photozone
Apr 29, 2011
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Jogger
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Re: Panasonic 14/2.5 now reviewed by Photozone
In reply to Anders W, Apr 29, 2011

The Oly 14-42 outperforms it in all respects, except it doesnt stop down to 2.5. So, unless you need a very small lens, the kit lens at 14 is the optically better solution. The barrel distortion is atrocious.

Anders W wrote:

Here's the link to the review:

http://www.photozone.de/olympus--four-thirds-lens-tests/613-pana1425

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Kopend05
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Re: Panasonic 14/2.5 now reviewed by Photozone
In reply to Jogger, Apr 29, 2011

The vignetting is a shocker as well

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jimboyvr
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Re: Panasonic 14/2.5 now reviewed by Photozone
In reply to Kopend05, Apr 29, 2011

on the bright side this will likely drop the price of the 14mm to under $200.

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Adventsam
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Re: better than pax da21 3.2!
In reply to jimboyvr, Apr 29, 2011

Seems a bit dubious this yesterday I read that Anon preferred it the k5 with 21mm go figure.

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Alexsfo
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Re: Panasonic 14/2.5 now reviewed by Photozone
In reply to jimboyvr, Apr 29, 2011

It's a tradeoff for the small size. Distortions are corrected in camera so I don't consider them to be a problem. Also, for outdoors shots vignetting is not a poblem (above f4). It is still a sharp lens.
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ericN2
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Re: Panasonic 14/2.5 now reviewed by Photozone
In reply to Jogger, Apr 29, 2011

Jogger wrote:

The Oly 14-42 outperforms it in all respects, except it doesnt stop down to 2.5. So, unless you need a very small lens, the kit lens at 14 is the optically better solution. The barrel distortion is atrocious.

Anders W wrote:

Here's the link to the review:

http://www.photozone.de/olympus--four-thirds-lens-tests/613-pana1425

It's funny how different people always seem to have varied views on a piece of equipment ..

I've just picked up a 14mm (all Black one) at a great price.. and although I've yet to give it a big amount of usage I already have found it to be a cracker of a lens - VERY quiet and FAST.. better than the 20mm .. and certainly no obvious vignetting..although I can't as yet fully compare that aspect with the 20mm
But in AF speed AND quiet AF, it is certainly better than the 20mm ..

I had an Oly 14-42 lens (admittedly the early first edition, and after one usage I just dropped it..got a Pannie 14-45 and found it a great improvement.. but I certainly would not in any way say the 14-42 is better than the 14mm .. NO WAY.

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Jogger
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Re: Panasonic 14/2.5 now reviewed by Photozone
In reply to ericN2, Apr 29, 2011

i cant do screen shots where i am, but, just take a look at the MTF charts, vignetting, and distortion of the 14 compared to the Oly 14-42 at 14. obviously, the zoom doesnt do f2.5, but, its much sharper.. esp. at the corners and in the edges.. the 14/2.5 has poor performance in the corners and edges up to f4, where its only reasonable (and definitely not acceptable for a prime).. maybe the extreme barrel distortion correction is hampering the corner and edge performance?

ericN2 wrote:

Jogger wrote:

The Oly 14-42 outperforms it in all respects, except it doesnt stop down to 2.5. So, unless you need a very small lens, the kit lens at 14 is the optically better solution. The barrel distortion is atrocious.

Anders W wrote:

Here's the link to the review:

http://www.photozone.de/olympus--four-thirds-lens-tests/613-pana1425

It's funny how different people always seem to have varied views on a piece of equipment ..

I've just picked up a 14mm (all Black one) at a great price.. and although I've yet to give it a big amount of usage I already have found it to be a cracker of a lens - VERY quiet and FAST.. better than the 20mm .. and certainly no obvious vignetting..although I can't as yet fully compare that aspect with the 20mm
But in AF speed AND quiet AF, it is certainly better than the 20mm ..

I had an Oly 14-42 lens (admittedly the early first edition, and after one usage I just dropped it..got a Pannie 14-45 and found it a great improvement.. but I certainly would not in any way say the 14-42 is better than the 14mm .. NO WAY.

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Kopend05
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Re: Panasonic 14/2.5 now reviewed by Photozone
In reply to Jogger, Apr 29, 2011

Instead of Panasonic getting obsessed with size, i would of prefered a larger lens that is optically better, i mean what's with the massive distortion with these prime lenses anyway ?? they are simple in design so what gives .

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amtberg
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Re: Panasonic 14/2.5 now reviewed by Photozone
In reply to Jogger, Apr 29, 2011

Jogger wrote:

i cant do screen shots where i am, but, just take a look at the MTF charts, vignetting, and distortion of the 14 compared to the Oly 14-42 at 14. obviously, the zoom doesnt do f2.5, but, its much sharper.. esp. at the corners and in the edges.. the 14/2.5 has poor performance in the corners and edges up to f4, where its only reasonable (and definitely not acceptable for a prime).. maybe the extreme barrel distortion correction is hampering the corner and edge performance?

I don't know about the charts, but according to SLRGears actual tests, the 14mm pancake eats the Oly zoom's lunch in terms of resolution. It's as good wide open as the Oly is at it's best aperture ( 5.6). At f/5.6 the Panny absolutely slaughters the Oly zoom.

As far as vignetting goes, that's very easy to correct in ACR.

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Jonas B
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Re: Panasonic 14/2.5 now reviewed by Photozone
In reply to Kopend05, Apr 29, 2011

Kopend05 wrote:

Instead of Panasonic getting obsessed with size, i would of prefered a larger lens that is optically better,

So would I but small sells fine.

...i mean what's with the massive distortion with these prime lenses anyway ?? they are simple in design so what gives .

I think you have answered your question? They make it simple, they can make it small and we get a lens that performs good enough as it is made for a system where some imperfections are taken care of by the software. It's by design.

Jonas

EDIT: Spelling...

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453C
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Re: Panasonic 14/2.5 now reviewed by Photozone
In reply to Kopend05, Apr 29, 2011

Kopend05 wrote:

Instead of Panasonic getting obsessed with size, i would of prefered a larger lens that is optically better, i mean what's with the massive distortion with these prime lenses anyway ?? they are simple in design so what gives .

I'm not a lens designer so I can't say what gives. Here's a few general thoughts on the matter - and I agree with Jonas.

Every m43 lens needs to balance IQ and size/weight, moreso than other, larger ILC systems. If optical perfection is created in a big, heavy package, a major benefit of m43 is lost. The trick is to balance IQ and size, without letting pricing go Leica. So far, I think Olympus and Panasonic have done ok, but there's plenty of room to improve both selection and pricing. Once the low to mid grade lenses are out there, maybe some high end stuff will be developed.
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Jonas B
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Re: Panasonic 14/2.5 now reviewed by Photozone
In reply to Jogger, Apr 29, 2011

Jogger wrote:

The Oly 14-42 outperforms it in all respects, except it doesnt stop down to 2.5. So, unless you need a very small lens, the kit lens at 14 is the optically better solution. The barrel distortion is atrocious.

This just goes to show that you can't trust reviews (as SLRGear says the new 14mm pancake is sharper than the Oly kit zoom...) and that you still doesn't like the idea of letting software take care of distortion and CA. This is by design, like thought out, and probably what makes it possible to make the lens this small. I think Nikon uses some in-camera adjustments of CA? Better get used to it.

Jonas

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tedolf
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the primes are overpirced...
In reply to 453C, Apr 29, 2011

453C wrote:

Kopend05 wrote:

Instead of Panasonic getting obsessed with size, i would of prefered a larger lens that is optically better, i mean what's with the massive distortion with these prime lenses anyway ?? they are simple in design so what gives .

I'm not a lens designer so I can't say what gives. Here's a few general thoughts on the matter - and I agree with Jonas.

Every m43 lens needs to balance IQ and size/weight, moreso than other, larger ILC systems. If optical perfection is created in a big, heavy package, a major benefit of m43 is lost. The trick is to balance IQ and size, without letting pricing go Leica. So far, I think Olympus and Panasonic have done ok, but there's plenty of room to improve both selection and pricing. Once the low to mid grade lenses are out there, maybe some high end stuff will be developed.
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for what they are. There is no reason for u 4/3 primes to be much bigger than equivalent speed C mount lenses and the prices should be similar. The fetish for "pancake"designs is the cause of the problem. A longer, slimmer lens (colapsible a la Leica) would be a simpler and better optical design.

OTOH, the zooms are pretty impressive. Especially the colapsible Oly's.

Tedolph

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Jonas B
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Re: the primes are overpirced...
In reply to tedolf, Apr 29, 2011

tedolf wrote:

for what they are. There is no reason for u 4/3 primes to be much bigger than equivalent speed C mount lenses and the prices should be similar. The fetish for "pancake"designs is the cause of the problem. A longer, slimmer lens (colapsible a la Leica) would be a simpler and better optical design.

Hi Tedolph.

I'm not sure you are right here.

First I'm thinking of the 14mm pancake. Is it 14/2.5? I know of several c-mount lenses in this focal length, or there about. The problem with all of them is that they don't cover the sensor. I also don't think any of them has low numbers with regards to distortion and CA.

A lens not covering the sensor... what sense does that make? Then one can as well buy a somewhat longer lens cover the sensor and end up with better IQ, no?

A lens covering the sensor will not be smaller than a lens not covering the sensor.

I agree about the "pancake" as a problem itself. I mentioned in another reply here that I would prefer a somewhat larger lens if optically better. These small lenses are also bad from ergonomic point of view. But, many like them and as the pancakes sell like hotcakes there is no wonder Panasonic made another one.

A collapsible wide angle lens? I guess it is possible as we have UWA zooms. But is it desirable? I don't find fiddling with my Olympus micro 9-18 fun or practical. It could just as well have been made without the collapsing function. That's probably just me though...

Jonas

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Iskender
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Re: Panasonic 14/2.5 now reviewed by Photozone
In reply to Jogger, Apr 29, 2011

Jogger wrote:

i cant do screen shots where i am, but, just take a look at the MTF charts, vignetting, and distortion of the 14 compared to the Oly 14-42 at 14. obviously, the zoom doesnt do f2.5, but, its much sharper.. esp. at the corners and in the edges.. the 14/2.5 has poor performance in the corners and edges up to f4, where its only reasonable (and definitely not acceptable for a prime).. maybe the extreme barrel distortion correction is hampering the corner and edge performance?

Once again, don't forget people very rarely shoot MTF charts. In actual photography the subject is for the most part destroyed only if the lens is really bad: in this system probably only the old m14-42 at the tele end qualifies here.

In real photography the harder to measure features come to the forefront. Mount it on a GF2 and you have a system camera kit that weighs 365 grams! It will be light, small and more or less invisible. I believe the lens still has good contrast, and that combined with good stopped down performance should make it very nice to use. There are sharper lenses, but they will be used less since they are either larger or much larger.

As for what's acceptable for a prime...this is below the register distance and therefore a retrofocus prime. It's also a pancake prime. I know of no case of a retrofocus pancake prime having exceptional sharpness. It's really only the fixed focal length that keeps this lens in the same category as longer primes: good performance is perfectly reasonable, and there's no reason to expect the stellar performance of teles with focal lengths above the register distance.

Photography is full of compromises, as we know. This lens is tiny and very light, and therefore not as amazing at other things. This compromise might not be for you, but I think you should just settle for the existing 7-14 or 9-18 then instead of implying that this perfectly functional lens is somehow defective.
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453C
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Re: the primes are overpriced...
In reply to tedolf, Apr 30, 2011

tedolf wrote:

453C wrote:

Kopend05 wrote:

Instead of Panasonic getting obsessed with size, i would of prefered a larger lens that is optically better, i mean what's with the massive distortion with these prime lenses anyway ?? they are simple in design so what gives .

I'm not a lens designer so I can't say what gives. Here's a few general thoughts on the matter - and I agree with Jonas.

Every m43 lens needs to balance IQ and size/weight, moreso than other, larger ILC systems. If optical perfection is created in a big, heavy package, a major benefit of m43 is lost. The trick is to balance IQ and size, without letting pricing go Leica. So far, I think Olympus and Panasonic have done ok, but there's plenty of room to improve both selection and pricing. Once the low to mid grade lenses are out there, maybe some high end stuff will be developed.

for what they are. There is no reason for u 4/3 primes to be much bigger than equivalent speed C mount lenses and the prices should be similar. The fetish for "pancake"designs is the cause of the problem. A longer, slimmer lens (colapsible a la Leica) would be a simpler and better optical design.

OTOH, the zooms are pretty impressive. Especially the colapsible Oly's.

I'll have to take your word for it, but I don't doubt it. I wonder what the profit margin is on the 20 or 9-18, because as nice as they are, that's a lot of money for me to put into two lenses. I'm banking on m43 being around long enough for those purchases to last me a long time.

Researching this market has to be a real PITA because of the two distinct groups driving it. P&S upgraders will look at prices for high end MILC systems and run for a superzoom or high end compact. Prosumers (you know, the "real photographers" we occasionally hear about ) basically want mid to high end DSLR quality in a MILC package, and if it doesn't deliver, it's back to a DSLR for them. It's got to be tough trying to win on both fronts, but that's what a successful MILC system has to do.
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amtberg
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Re: the primes are overpriced...
In reply to 453C, Apr 30, 2011

No offense intended, but I think a lot of you guys must be moving up from digicams if you think these pancake lenses are expensive. By way of comparison, Canon makes a "cheap" 35mm f/2 that's about the same price as the 14/2.5, except that it's a lot harder to make a quality WA lens than a barely-wide lens (on FF) and the 14/2.5 is far lighter and more compact.

I could be wrong but I doubt you will find ANY sub-16mm prime at f/2.8 or below with AF and electronic aperture control that sells for less than the 14mm pancake.

Prove me wrong?

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Chez Wimpy
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Re: the primes are overpriced...
In reply to amtberg, Apr 30, 2011

amtberg wrote:

I could be wrong but I doubt you will find ANY sub-16mm prime at f/2.8 or below with AF and electronic aperture control that sells for less than the 14mm pancake.

No, you are right. Getting upset about $300 prime lenses in the face of $30 ebayed thirty+ year old MF video/film camera lenses that almost cover the sensor and have significantly worse measurable performance (not to mention halation, flare, and "unique" bokeh) seems quite out of touch to me. Then there is the Nokton...

Sure, you can get kit zooms that are slightly cheaper - but prime lenses are now a niche, and they have to be priced to recoup costs. The Oly 17, Panasonic 14 and 20 all seem reasonably priced to me.

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papillon_65
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I always take lens reviews...
In reply to Anders W, Apr 30, 2011

with a large pinch if salt. They are just a guide, nothing more , nothing less. I have seen reviews praising a lens that I found to be very poor and vice versa. I have seen lots of anecdotal evidence to suggest that the 14mm is a pretty nice lens, with images. The 20mm has been an excellent lens for me and I have not noticed any real flaws with it compared to some of the reviews of it. You can't beat actually using the lens for yourself in real life situations.

As for the prices of these lenses, I think they are reasonable. The 20mm is a lens I really enjoy using so I am more than happy with it from a value perspective. I have bought far more expensive lenses with better reputations that I have used a lot less than I thought I would. I think that the 14mm is great value if you use it a lot and are happy with it. I have seen plenty of evidence to suggest that a lot of buyers are getting value from theirs.
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