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Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH review

May 2010 | By Andy Westlake
Buy on GearShop$1,199.95


The Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH was the third lens Panasonic announced for its fledgling Micro Four Thirds system, back in March 2009. It certainly created a significant buzz on release, with the company taking advantage of the short back focus of the mirrorless mount to deliver a lens whose compact size belies its dramatically wide 114º angle of view and constant F4 maximum aperture. The 7-14mm is far and away the smallest zoom currently available to offer such a wide angle of view; compared to the Olympus equivalent for Four Thirds DSLRs its dimensions are shrunk by at least 20% each way, and it's just 40% of the weight.

Like all other zooms this wide, the 7-14mm F4 features a distinctive design, with a bulbous front element and an integrated hood to protect that large expanse of glass against stray light. The compact barrel houses no fewer than 16 pieces of glass, arranged into 12 groups, and including two aspherical and 4 extra-low dispersion glass elements to combat aberrations. However a side-effect of that large dome of glass at the front is that there's no facility to attach filters to the lens.

The 7-14mm is small and impressively spec'ed, but this does come at an eye-watering price: its $1000 tag is significantly higher than any APS-C wide zoom, and not so far off the Nikon 14-24mm F2.8, which not only covers a full frame sensor but is also a stop faster. It's also a lot more than Olympus's Micro Four Thirds wideangle - the tiny M Zuiko Digital 9-18mm F4-5.6 - which we praised for its combination of decent optics and remarkable compactness. So what extra does the Panasonic offer that might tempt you to spend all that money?

Headline features

  • Super-wideangle zoom range (14-28mm equivalent)
  • Compact design
  • F4 constant maximum aperture
  • Micro Four Thirds mount for Olympus and Panasonic cameras

Angle of view

The pictures below illustrate the focal length range:

7mm (14mm equivalent) 14mm (28mm equivalent)

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH specifications

Price • US: $1000
• UK: £1090
Manufacturer's code H-FE007014
Date introduced March 2009
Maximum format size Micro Four Thirds
Focal length 7-14mm
35mm equivalent focal length
14-28mm
Diagonal Angle of view 114º - 75º
Maximum aperture F4
Minimum aperture F22
Lens Construction • 16 elements / 12 groups
• 4 ED glass element
• 2 aspherical elements
Number of diaphragm blades 7, rounded
Minimum focus 0.25m
Maximum magnification 0.08x
AF motor type Micro Motor
Focus method Internal
Image stabilization via camera body where available
Filter thread • No filter thread
Supplied accessories* • Front and rear caps
Weight 300 g (10.6 oz)
Dimensions 70 mm diameter x 83 mm length
(2.8 x 3.3 in)
Lens Mount Micro Four Thirds

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area

Foreword / notes

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read some of our Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

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Dpreview use calibrated monitors at the PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally also A, B and C.

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