New Lumix G 1:4/7-14

Started Jul 14, 2009 | Discussions thread
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viztyger
viztyger Veteran Member • Posts: 3,280
New Lumix G 1:4/7-14

I couldn’t resist any longer and bought the Lumix 7-14. For a while I considered getting a GH1, but in the end I decided to spend the money on a 7-14 instead. Not really being interested in video, I think the 7-14 opens up a whole new range of photographic opportunities, especially for someone like myself who does a lot of architectural photography.

The Panasonic 7-14 has been criticised for being too expensive, but I grudgingly paid the sum they were asking for it as there aren’t a lot of other ultra wide zooms that start at an equivalent 14mm, have decent optical quality and weigh 300g.

Typically for Micro Four Thirds, in-camera JPEGs as well as some RAW converters correct lens distortions automatically. Some RAW converters like RAW Therapee don’t and so you can see the full extent of the distortion. The 7-14 has relatively pronounced barrel distortion at the wide end. It doesn’t seem severe though when you consider the extremely wide angle.

Below is an example of the amount of distortion that the Lumix 7-14 exhibits at 8mm. The first photo is the corrected out-of-camera JPEG, the second one processed by RAW Therapee has not had any distortion correction applied to it.

There’s a link at the top of the gallery here if you want to download the RAW file:
http://www.pbase.com/viztyger/714_ultra_wide

There’s also some moiré visible in the fence at the base of the yellow “pyramids.” That’s a trade-off resulting from the G1’s relatively weak anti-alias filter, but it’s rarely an issue.

At 14mm, the Lumix 7-14 exhibits so little distortion that an uncorrected RAW file and an out-of-camera JPEG file are virtually identical. The same can’t be said for the Lumix 14-45 kit lens at 14mm: there the uncorrected RAW file is considerably wider to allow for the cropping that is part of the distortion correction. But that’s to be expected since zoom lenses usually suffer more from distortion at their wide ends.

Overall I’m very pleased with the 7-14. It’s fun to use and produces sharp images with good contrast. Detail holds up well in all but the extreme corners, but even there the lens is not distractingly soft.

By the way, it’s great to see a combined Micro Four Thirds forum. At some point tin the future, I can see me using my Lumix 7-14 on a body with sensor based stabilization.

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