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Panasonic announces Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II ASPH Mega OIS

By dpreview staff on Jan 29, 2013 at 04:00 GMT

CP+ 2013: Panasonic has announced the Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II Asph. Mega O.I.S - its latest affordable kit lens for Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras. The 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II is the company's fourth variable aperture standard zoom (following the 14-45mm, original 14-42mm and 14-42mm power zoom), and gains two aspherical elements to help make the lens smaller than the existing version. The 14-42mm II will be available as a kit option with both the DMC-GF5 and DMC-G5 in most markets.

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Press Release:

A New Standard Zoom Lens in Compact and Stylish Design

LUMIX G VARIO 14-42 mm / F3.5-5.6 II ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S.

Panasonic is pleased to announce a new compact standard zoom lens LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 II ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. for LUMIX G based on the Micro Four Thirds System standard. LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 II ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. offers a versatile zoom range of 14-42 mm (35 mm camera equivalent: 28-84 mm) suitable for a wide range of situations from landscape to portrait. Comprising of 9 elements in 8 groups, the lens system adopts 2 aspherical lenses to achieve further reduction of both size and weight yet maintaining its high optical performance at entire zoom range. The inner focus system driven by a stepping motor assures astonishing comfort to take maximum advantage of high speed contrast AF system and in video recording.

Panasonic's MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) makes it easy to shoot super clear shots even at tele end or in low-lit situations by suppressing the blur caused by a hand shake.

With its minimum focus distance of 0.2 m (14-20 mm) / 0.3 m (21-42 mm) even at full zoom, the new lens provides a maximum photographic magnification of 0.17x (35 mm camera equivalent: 0.34x). 7 aperture blades consists a circular aperture diaphragm and produces an attractive smoothness in out-of-focus areas even shooting at large aperture.

The new LUMIX G VARIO 14-42mm / F3.5-5.6 II ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. for LUMIX G is refined in its external design to offer metallic color options of black and silver to offer stylish look on the digital single lens mirrorless (DSLM) cameras of LUMIX G in shooting creative snapshots.

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.-5-5.6 II ASPH Mega O.I.S specifications

Principal specifications
Lens typeZoom lens
Max Format sizeFourThirds
Focal length14–42 mm
Image stabilisationYes (Mega OIS)
Lens mountMicro Four Thirds
Aperture
Maximum apertureF3.5 - F5.6
Minimum apertureF22.0
Aperture ringNo
Number of diaphragm blades7
Aperture notesCircular aperture
Optics
Elements9
Groups8
Special elements / coatings2 aspherical lenses
Focus
Minimum focus0.20 m (7.87)
Maximum magnification0.17×
AutofocusYes
Motor typeStepper motor
Full time manualYes
Focus methodInternal
Distance scaleNo
DoF scaleNo
Physical
Weight110 g (0.24 lb)
Diameter56 mm (2.2)
Length49 mm (1.93)
SealingNo
ColourBlack and silver
Power zoomNo
Zoom lockNo
Filter thread46 mm
Filter notesDoes not rotate on focusing
Hood suppliedYes
Hood product coden/a
Tripod collarNo

Additional images

76
I own it
5
I want it
5
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 40
Tim F 101
By Tim F 101 (Jan 29, 2013)

Seems like a sensible update that brings Panasonic in line with the best selling point for micro 4/3 - SMALL cameras that take ok pictures. The old Panasonic 14-42, being both ok-to-crappy and large, de-emphasized one of the main reasons why people check the system out in the first place. Of course folks who want a small-to-medium camera that takes great pics can always spend extra on primes and a better zoom.

2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jan 29, 2013)

It is not an update on 14-42 X PZ though, which already exists for those who want small (and petter for video too due to the PZ).

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Tim F 101
By Tim F 101 (Jan 29, 2013)

The collapsible X zoom does not compete with the 14-42 kit. It fills the same medium-market niche as the 14-45, where the collapsible zoom is ok-and-very-small (plus video) while the 14-45 is largish-but-very-good. Assuming that Panasonic holds the line with its optics, this registers as a big plus over the last 14-42.

Of course if the optics are any worse then, well, ech.

0 upvotes
mausta
By mausta (Jan 29, 2013)

M4/3 haters are everywhere it seems, or at least plenty on DP review.
The GH1, GH2, GH3 and others by Panasonic and the critically acclaimed Olympus OMD and PENs take pictures on par with their larger APS-C counterparts. This is not debatable.
The statement that m4/3 are "SMALL cameras that take ok pictures" is asinine.

2 upvotes
Demon Cleaner
By Demon Cleaner (Jan 30, 2013)

@mausta
and asiten, and asieleven, and asitwelve...

0 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Jan 29, 2013)

Wonder if it will be worse than previous, tho its hard challenge to beat such cr*p of lens. :D

Last time Panny did kit lens "right" was original 14-45 for G1/GH1. And even that had some serious reservations.. (distortion/sh*tload of CA).

They should ask Leica how to do proper kit lens (14-50mm f2.8 - 3.5 for 4/3 was their design).

1 upvote
Xellz
By Xellz (Jan 29, 2013)

Will a proper kit lens also cost 50-100$ at most? But an option of middle price zoom would be nice, something between those cheap kit zooms and 12-35f2.8.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jan 29, 2013)

No, 12-35f2.8 simply should not be $1300 (or even $1000). This is ridicoulous, much more expensive than bigger, much costlier to made APS-C 17-50/2.8 SLR zooms.

1 upvote
Pythagoras
By Pythagoras (Jan 29, 2013)

the 20mm pancake was a kit lens and it is fantastic.

0 upvotes
mausta
By mausta (Jan 29, 2013)

Sorry to inform you that comparable lenses to the Panasonic 12-35mm CONSTANT f2.8 are much costlier than the $1300 that Panasonic is charging.
AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED (2.9x). $1,900
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM $2,025
You should know what you are talking about prior to making ridiculous statements.
And who says that bigger lenses cost more to make? Another uninformed statement.

0 upvotes
mausta
By mausta (Jan 29, 2013)

The Nikon and Canon versions weigh in at 2 lbs. while the Panasonic metal body version is a mere 10.7 ounces and 1/3 the size too.
The penny is selling for $1144 on Amazon right now

0 upvotes
mausta
By mausta (Jan 29, 2013)

The reason that all three of these lenses are upwards of $1000 is because of the constant 2.8 aperture.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Jan 29, 2013)

I understand that this is an internal focusing lens. However, is it an internal zoom lens(like the 35-100mm F2.8) as well? Does the barrel extend when you zoom?

The picture does not make it clear whether it extends when you zoom or not.

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
1 upvote
hammerheadfistpunch
By hammerheadfistpunch (Jan 29, 2013)

it extends, but minimally (5 mm or so)

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jan 29, 2013)

It extends 5mm? The original 14-42 extends significantly more than 5mm, more like 25mm (at least 1") or more. I'd like to see pictures of it extended only 5mm at full telephoto. That would be some achievement for a lens at this price point.

0 upvotes
Demon Cleaner
By Demon Cleaner (Jan 30, 2013)

It's a shame there's not an image of it extended.

0 upvotes
Pops57
By Pops57 (Jan 30, 2013)

You can see it extended and compared with the 14-42 here:

http://www.dslrmagazine.com/pruebas/pruebas-tecnicas/zoom-estandar-de-panasonic-minusculo-y-bonito.html

0 upvotes
AndyGM
By AndyGM (Feb 8, 2013)

@Pops57 That minimal extension at full zoom is impressive.Metal mount as well. And the MTF-50 numbers are not too bad for a m43 kit lens (better than the lens it replaces, that is for sure).

0 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Jan 29, 2013)

It's just assmall as the X zoom (2 mm longer) and has internal focusing. Lens mount, plastic?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jan 29, 2013)

Wrong, 14-42 X PZ is 27 mm long and 95 g, this 14-42 II is 49 mm long and 110 g according to slrgear. The older 14-42 is 63.6 mm long and 165 g. They are splitting hairs.

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
TimK5
By TimK5 (Jan 29, 2013)

How many gazillion lenses in the 14-42(5) mm range are they going to release?

What about a 9-18 mm update?

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
evoprox
By evoprox (Jan 29, 2013)

Until they get ONE right :)

3 upvotes
miki150
By miki150 (Jan 29, 2013)

If I'm not mistaken, it's shorter than the Oly collapsable kit zoom. I like it very much. Too bad it will be too expensive as a standalone. It's now time for Oly to make a new smaller kit lens.

1 upvote
Ulfric M Douglas
By Ulfric M Douglas (Jan 29, 2013)

I think this is a great step! The existing 14-42 doesn't have a great reputation, the power-zoom 14-42X has a wildly variable reputation, the original 14-45 has an excellent reputation but you can't buy a new Lumix camera with that lens on anymore.
IF this new one goes back to the great optical and QC standards of the 1st 14-45 then everyone will be happier and there will be less "why my photos shakey?" threads.

7 upvotes
Demon Cleaner
By Demon Cleaner (Jan 29, 2013)

I agree, although I suspect IQ will be roughly on par with that of the previous 14-42mm. Still it has a lot more going for it than the piece of glass it's replacing.

1 upvote
Pasha001
By Pasha001 (Feb 3, 2013)

> you can't buy a new Lumix camera with that lens on anymore
You can buy them separately as I did. For example, right now G5 body only and 14-45 are in stock of at least one reputable online retailer in the states.

0 upvotes
armanius
By armanius (Jan 29, 2013)

How many slow "normal" zooms do we need for m4/3? This is about 4 from Pany and about 4 from Oly now? Sigh ...

1 upvote
goshigoo
By goshigoo (Jan 29, 2013)

It is a kit lens; panasonic is not going to bundle a olympus kit lens on any G series cameras!

so, there are only 2 kit lenses from panasonic
PZ - high end pancake
the new 14-42 - low and kit lens

of course there are 2 more lenses in the same range:
14-45 - mid end lens
12-35 - high end lens

I actually agree that panasonic should combine 14-42 and 14-45 and offer a cheap but with 14-45 like IQ kit lens

Let's see if the new 14-42 kit is going to make the 14-45 discountinued

0 upvotes
Infared
By Infared (Jan 29, 2013)

Hmmmmm...I did not know that the 14-45mm was still available, new! That is surprising. The new lens is a lot smaller but I bet the IQ doesn't match up with the 14-45.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Jan 30, 2013)

Its not. you can still buy it... but its not being kitted with anything. its been long gone

0 upvotes
Combatmedic870
By Combatmedic870 (Jan 29, 2013)

If its better then the old then why not... It would be nice if it at least matched the old 14-45 lens.

4 upvotes
whyamihere
By whyamihere (Jan 29, 2013)

Agreed. If the image quality of this new lens at least matches the 14-45mm, I'd gladly make the trade just for the internal focusing alone.

1 upvote
goshigoo
By goshigoo (Jan 29, 2013)

It is a kit lens! It is always good to have version II of kit lens as most people will own it, especially beginner
This is a good upgrade of the existing one
- smaller (easy to spot from the picture)
- lighter (160g -> 110g, almost 1/3 lighter)
- shorter (63mm -> 49mm)
- standard 46mm filter size
- IF
- 12 elements + 1 asph glasses -> 9 elements + 2 asph glasses
- Plastic Mount -> Metal mount
- Minimum focus: 0.3m -> 0.2m
- Color / finishing seem better than the old one

I think it is a good upgrade!!!!

21 upvotes
hammerheadfistpunch
By hammerheadfistpunch (Jan 29, 2013)

From what I've read, its actually a metalized plastic mount.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jan 29, 2013)

Another one nobody needed...

Bundled with GF5 and G5? So it is going to be another SKUs for the kits, right? GF5 is kind of old and outdated, aren't they discontinued it already, or was it for the older SKU?

0 upvotes
Xellz
By Xellz (Jan 29, 2013)

And who you are to say, that no one needs it?

8 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Jan 29, 2013)

I am the one who knows that another 6 just like that already exist. What makes you needing this one while not needing one of the other?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Ergo607
By Ergo607 (Jan 29, 2013)

Yet another kitlens... Where we waiting for that?

0 upvotes
NowHearThis
By NowHearThis (Jan 29, 2013)

No of course not. But if it get the IQ back to the original 14-45mm, then why not. You've already got an F2.8 zoom if you want one, most consumers buy the kit lens with a body. So if this is an improved version of the 14-42 and will be bundled with future Panasonic bodies, then why not. I'm sure there is a few dozen other lenses here that people will want but why not make your basic lens offering better too; Start people out with higher quality images. I may be making some assumptions with this lens, but Panasonic has made good zooms in the past, I'm sure this one will be more than acceptable on G, GX, and GF series bodies.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Demon Cleaner
By Demon Cleaner (Jan 29, 2013)

Yes of course we were. An updated version of the previous lackluster kit lens was always going to be a welcome upgrade. This is great news for anyone purchasing future Pany m43 cameras.

4 upvotes
Total comments: 40