Is the Panasonic 14-45 the best "kit" zoom?

Started 6 months ago | Questions
fevan
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Is the Panasonic 14-45 the best "kit" zoom?
6 months ago

I'm getting the EM10 body only and a couple of good primes.

But i will want a small zoom occasionally.

Is the consensus that the Pany 14-45 is the best optically?

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Olympus OM-D E-M10
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gandalfII
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Re: Is the Panasonic 14-45 the best "kit" zoom?
In reply to fevan, 6 months ago

Yes, that's the consensus and though it's the only m43 kit I've used it does very, very well. Consider also the bigger, faster and IMHO sharper oly 43 14-54, about the same $ not counting adapter.

FWIW my 14-54mI AFs fine in live view, supposedly the only difference from the more expensive mII.

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Klarno
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Re: Is the Panasonic 14-45 the best "kit" zoom?
In reply to fevan, 6 months ago

I think the consensus right now is that the Panasonic 14-42 II, the current Panasonic kit lens for most of their cameras, matches the 14-45 for resolution; however the newer lens stops down fast for a zoom: it's at f/5.3 by the time you get to 25mm. Already stopped down over a stop halfway through the zoom range. Now, in real life, this probably doesn't matter a jot; the 14-45 is at f/4.9 at 25mm, and a 1/3rd stop scale isn't precise enough to tell the difference between 4.9 and 5.3.

Almost all of the kit zooms are actually pretty good optically, despite what the naysayers say. I even get results that are just fine with the 1st version Panasonic 14-42, which was just about the most hated lens in the system. The one above all others to avoid is the 1st generation Olympus 14-42 (the kit lens for the E-P1 and E-PL1), which isn't bad so much optically as mechanically-- no internal focus, slow AF, the front element rotates as you focus making polarizers more problematic.

I think the most interesting kit zoom is the Panasonic 12-32. Tough to get stateside though; normally it's only sold in the US as part of the GM1 kit.

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nevada5
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Not based on my experiences
In reply to fevan, 6 months ago

fevan wrote:

I'm getting the EM10 body only and a couple of good primes.

But i will want a small zoom occasionally.

Is the consensus that the Pany 14-45 is the best optically?

I've owned 2copies of the 14-45 and they were undoubtedly excellent.

Last year I bought a 14-42 ll to use with my GX7. As I've said before, trying to spot a difference in IQ would be akin to picking fly sh!t out of pepper with boxing gloves on. One exception - the 14-42 ll has a much smoother bokeh.

Combine that with the fact that it's a lot smaller and lighter AND it only extends 1/4" when zooming, it's a no brainer.

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Guy Parsons
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There's only one lens...
In reply to fevan, 6 months ago

The one lens to buy is the Oly 12-40/2.8, makes primes look silly, a true gem of a lens to use.

But some don't like the chunkiness. For me the chunkiness is an advantage as the weight adds some stability (on E-PL5).

It's the one lens to do most of everything so well.

Cheaper to buy than a bunch of primes to cover the same range, way way more convenient as no lost shots due to time lost in lens change fumbles. Familiar controls for the whole range of focal lengths from 12 to 40mm with that slip ring manual focus being a totally nice idea and so easy to use.

Regards....... Guy (one-eyed 12-40 fanboy and proud of it!)

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JeanPierre Martel
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Re: Is the Panasonic 14-45 the best "kit" zoom?
In reply to fevan, 6 months ago

fevan wrote:

I'm getting the EM10 body only and a couple of good primes.

But i will want a small zoom occasionally.

Is the consensus that the Pany 14-45 is the best optically?

The best normal zoom for any m4/3 camera that has IBIS, is the M.Zuiko 12-40mm. It's almost impossible to make a better normal zoom. On most of its range, it's at its best wide open.

There were very few "scientific" tests about the Lumix 14-45mm. That being said, I've taken thousands of pictures with it and I have to say that it's a very good lens.

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JohnLock
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Re: pana12-32
In reply to Guy Parsons, 6 months ago

I prefer the 12-32 to the 14-45 on my EM10.  It's plenty sharp and starts at 24mm-- a favorite focal length for me.  And when retracted for carry it's amazingly small.-- tiny really.  The 12-32 on EM10 can be carried in a typical outdoor jacket pocket.

JL

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baggyns
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Re: Is the Panasonic 14-45 the best "kit" zoom?
In reply to fevan, 6 months ago

I'll add my vote to for the Oly 12-40mm. I had the Panasonic 14-45mm and it is a lovely lens but the 12-40 is of a completely different order, yes it's large but it just feels right when you use it and produces stunning results.

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superstar905
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Re: There's only one lens...
In reply to Guy Parsons, 6 months ago

The one lens to buy is the Oly 12-40/2.8, makes primes look silly, a true gem of a lens to use.

But some don't like the chunkiness. For me the chunkiness is an advantage as the weight adds some stability (on E-PL5).

It's the one lens to do most of everything so well.

Cheaper to buy than a bunch of primes to cover the same range, way way more convenient as no lost shots due to time lost in lens change fumbles. Familiar controls for the whole range of focal lengths from 12 to 40mm with that slip ring manual focus being a totally nice idea and so easy to use.

Regards....... Guy (one-eyed 12-40 fanboy and proud of it!)

Guy your enthusiasm for the 12-40 lens is obvious but to say it makes primes look silly is kinda funny. Rather that massive lens on the epl5 is what looks silly.

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Guy Parsons
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Re: There's only one lens...
In reply to superstar905, 6 months ago

superstar905 wrote:

Guy your enthusiasm for the 12-40 lens is obvious but to say it makes primes look silly is kinda funny. Rather that massive lens on the epl5 is what looks silly.

Not at all, the lens chunkiness is quite handsome.... just like me....

The "look silly" comment was more to do with functionality and not with appearance. When travelling some photo opportunities only last a few seconds, so the zoom makes that easy to cope with. Selecting and swapping primes is not for travel, more for studio or careful slow field work.

As for size the two zooms that I use easily fit in a small snoot bag, or in a small camera bag if I want to carry all the usual bits and pieces. Size is definitely not a problem.

My light kit for the Pen Lite.

As for primes, in some other threads I mentioned trying the 45mm and 75mm in extremely low light and the darn things had awful problems auto focusing, swapped back to the 12-40mm and it snapped to AF every time, no hunting at all. Weird but it's what happened to me, and a couple of E-M5 people have also found the same weirdness. That totally removed any slight remaining prime lust for me.

Regards...... Guy

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baxters
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Re: Is the Panasonic 14-45 the best "kit" zoom?
In reply to fevan, 6 months ago

When you have primes as a baseline for comparison, I believ it doesn't matter that much whether you have the Olympus 14-42, 14-42 II, or the various Panasonic iterations. You're  taking a hit in IQ for the convenience of a zoom, and there's nothing wrong with that. The IQ of M43 kit zooms is good.

It wouldn't matter if all of them were the same price, but there is a significant cost premium for the 14-45's and only an incremental gain in optical quality, if I were paying that premium,  I would spend it instead on  the smaller size of the Panasonic 12-32 or EZ 14-42.

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Hen3ry
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Re: There's only one lens...it’s the panny 12-35! :)
In reply to Guy Parsons, 6 months ago

Lens wars!

Guy Parsons wrote:

As for primes, in some other threads I mentioned trying the 45mm and 75mm in extremely low light and the darn things had awful problems auto focusing, swapped back to the 12-40mm and it snapped to AF every time, no hunting at all. Weird but it's what happened to me, and a couple of E-M5 people have also found the same weirdness. \

I have had the same with the otherwise delightful f1.8 45 on the E-PL3. The Panny f2.5 14 snapped into focus in a nanosecond. I put it down, in my case, to the fact that the 14 has lots of edges to work with; the 45 did not.

That totally removed any slight remaining prime lust for me.

But not primal lust, one hopes. LOL.

My choice is the Panny 12-35 for exactly the same reasons as Guy chooses the Oly 12-40, except in my case, I have gone with the G6 body. I love that fully articulated screen.

I do agree, however, that there are times when the kit is overly chunky and eaven (gasp!) a touch heavier than I want to deal with. Then I reach for my GM1 with the 12-32, or more and more frequently, swap the 12-32 onto the G6. The GM1 which is still a handy thing to have but is getting a lot less work since I found how small and handy the G6 with 12-32 is as a walk-around outfit.

I find the constant plaints of the primophiliacs a touch irritating from time to time. Sure, back in the day, the 1970s, I eschewed zooms and my professional kit was two OM1 cameras, and the 21, 28, 85, and 200 prime lenses -- all wonderfully sharp and matched for color rendering (yes, we had to check that in those olden days!).

Today I need just one camera and a couple of zooms. Swapping primes was a necessity in the 1970s, the zooms were woeful, but today the zooms have caught up and made the need for prime swapping history. Except for the Oly f1.8 45. But then, I use it almost entirely for set-up situations where rapid lens changes are not called for and the enviromnment is not dusty and/or wet and/or otherwise challenging.

Cheers, geoff

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captura
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Re: Is the Panasonic 14-45 the best "kit" zoom?
In reply to fevan, 6 months ago

It's one of the few with a metal lens-mount.

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Alexsfo
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Re: Is the Panasonic 14-45 the best "kit" zoom?
In reply to captura, 6 months ago

Panasonic 14-42 II is excellent. I recently acquired this gem to use with E-M10 during the upcoming vacation. Very sharp Nd contrasty throughout the focal range. Fast focusing, very effective OIS, no purple fringing on Oly body, smooth bokeh at 42mm. Overall, very lightweight and stylish. One of the better values in m43 system currently.

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dennis tennis
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Re: Is the Panasonic 14-45 the best "kit" zoom?
In reply to fevan, 6 months ago

Of the many "kit" lenses that I've gotten, yes.

12-40 f2.8 is not a kit lens.  You can buy it as part of the package but this doesn't make it a kit lens.

try to find a good use one.

I;m curious about of new pany small kit though.

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ttan98
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Re: Yes...
In reply to fevan, 6 months ago

fevan wrote:

I'm getting the EM10 body only and a couple of good primes.

But i will want a small zoom occasionally.

Is the consensus that the Pany 14-45 is the best optically?

I own one get it....

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cainn24
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Re: No...
In reply to fevan, 6 months ago

fevan wrote:

I'm getting the EM10 body only and a couple of good primes.

But i will want a small zoom occasionally.

Is the consensus that the Pany 14-45 is the best optically?

I don't own one don't get it....

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RichRMA
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Re: Is the Panasonic 14-45 the best "kit" zoom?
In reply to fevan, 6 months ago

Better images, better build, better focusing speed.  Which is why they no longer offer it.  Even Panasonic's brochures comparing it to the 14-42 that replaced it showed it was better.  WAY better than Olympus's $450 12-50, unless you do macro.

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Burnfoot
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Re: Is the Panasonic 14-45 the best "kit" zoom?
In reply to fevan, 6 months ago

I have the Panny 14-42 II and I really like it, can't fault it and it's quite cheap as well. Bought separately it has a metal mount, the ones bought in a kit has a plastic mount. Mine is metal, not sure if there's any optical difference.

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captura
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Re: Is the Panasonic 14-45 the best "kit" zoom?
In reply to Burnfoot, 6 months ago

Burnfoot wrote:

I have the Panny 14-42 II and I really like it, can't fault it and it's quite cheap as well. Bought separately it has a metal mount, the ones bought in a kit has a plastic mount. Mine is metal, not sure if there's any optical difference.

Doesn't matterm it's Heavy Metal!

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