Panasonic 14/2.5

Started Dec 26, 2012 | Discussions thread
Hen3ry Forum Pro • Posts: 18,218
N o, no, no, no! Get it!

australopithecus wrote:

Thankyou all for a fairly diverse set of opinions.

From what I've read:

  • The 14/2.5 is tiny and the perfect lens if one doesn't like schlepping zooms about.
  • That since I have the 14~45 kit (and the 20/1.7) there isn't much point in buying a 14/2.5 despite the weight advantage of the latter.
  • and, if I did (buy one), I'd have to be careful not to throw it out with the packaging !

The Panny 14 should be considered of great advantage to Australopithecuses (or ci?) -- being smallish of stature themselves they should appreciate its small size and being constantly under threat, they should appreciate its "ready to shoot in a moment" capability and the sharpness of the tool.

The Pany 14-45 is a much under-rated lens -- first class quality in my experience -- but it is a big brute of a thing compared with the 14-42 standard zooms around and is positively elephantine compared with the f2.5 14.

Seriously, I started using the 14 with the G1 and it made the package amazingly smaller, lighter, and more manageable. For example, with the 14 fitted, you can confidently pop the G1 sitting up into a small back pack, you can have the camera on a restaurant table without looking like an idiot and taking up a whole plate space, you can walk through a crowd without snagging 27 people's pockets and smacking 3 small children in the face by accident, and you can take some very nice, sharp pix as quick as you can raise the camera to your eye.

I've now moved to the E-PL3 in search of compactness and Oly color (but even after more than a year and thousands of pix I still weep for the G1's outstanding ergonomics) and the 14 is a fixture on the front of the camera. I also have the 9-17 and the 14-42 to cover the 14 range. My crude tests of all three at 14 showed the 14 perhaps just a touch sharper and a touch more contrasty than the other two which are both excellent performers.

But in general use, it is not only as good as the other two at 14, it is a stop and a bit or two stops faster. This extra speed is very, very useful, I find. And it is lighter, so the camera is ready.

Yes, the 20 -- hmmm, I'm not one for "standard" lenses and there would be situations in which the 14 and 20 would seem to be very close, but there are also situations in which the 20 would be the choice because the 14 is too wide. I'm actually considering the 20 at the moment -- I've had a couple of professional situations occur recently where i needed both a little more focal length than the 14 offered and a little more aperture than the 14-42 at 20-25 offered.

Hard choices -- but if I get the 20 it will in no way displace the 14.

Another thought -- do you want to go wider than 14? Consider the 14 PLUS the Panny supplementary lens that takes it down to 11. Reports here and the occasional formal review say the IQ is fine although there is quite marked barrel distortion.

Now -- I've used the Oly 14-42 with the similar supplementary lens. There was lots of sharpness and yes, barrel distortion was a present -- but it was NOT a problem. Why? Because it was very regular, a simple bulge, so you can fix it in literally a minute in any competent software (I use PhotoLine -- costs about $100) if you want to (for most pix it just doesn’t matter and for some pix, the barrel distortion actually enhances the image).

I get the impression that the Panny supplementary on the 14 behaves much the same. Simple barrel distortion, easily corrected.

Now think about it -- what you are looking at here is an f2.5 11mm lens. That's pretty sensational! 11mm and f2.5? Where else will you get that focal length and that aperture at that amazing price?

Cheers, geoff

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