Panasonic Lumix 14/42 PZ- What's up with this lens?

Started Dec 11, 2012 | Discussions thread
tony h1620 New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Panasonic Lumix 14/42 PZ- What's up with this lens?

Hi all, I don't know how active this subject is any more but I will add my findings to the forum anyway.

I just could not resist buying the Panasonic GF5 and PZ 14- 42 lens combination as it has been reduced to £249.99 on Amazon UK (June 2013) and was such a good quality and small combination.

I tried the speeds and 42mm settings as soon as I could and struggled to find any double images but did find a significant softness anywhere above about 20-25mm zoom. After many, many more tests (my lens is version 1.2) I found that I could indeed see the double image specifically with black background with white lettering. This was quite small but visible above the general softness and I could easily understand how many users would miss it.

I purchased an "ever ready" type case shortly afterwards (not leather) from ebay which was a nice snug fit around the camera bottom half and a upper part just big enough to fit around the PZ lens.

I had already tried various combinations of gripping the camera and lens when previously testing for the fault and found some improvements but was amazed to find that the lower case (screws into the tripod mount) made a significant improvement!!!!!!

I repeated this testing many hundreds of times and came to the conclusion that I could repeat this perhaps 75% - 80% of the time. Occasionally without the case it could be OK but nearly always with the case I could see an improvement. I would estimate that this improvement was as much as 50% (not always) in the double image. This does not mean that this lens is sharp in this range but reducing the double image certainly helps.

I also have a canon sx230 small compact camera which has easily the best photo quality for a small sensor I have ever owned (I have tried many!!) which I am keeping, and I use this to compare quality (at low ISO). Basically the canon can match and even exceed the PZ lens sharpness at 42mm in the 80 - 200 shutter speed but falls behind at other combinations. I was not surprised by this as I had previously owned an earlier Olympus pen 4/3s camera (which I sold) as the quality overall was worse than a compact (a similar vibration problem I recall).  The larger sensor on the Panasonic has other attributes, however, and can produce outstanding images on many occasions plus the lightning fast autofocus (fantastic) so I am keeping it.

I hope you find this interesting and welcome your comments, I also hope Panasonic engineers are reading as I wonder how they can ignore this issue for so long, shame on you!!!!!!!!!!!

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