Is the Panasonic 14-45 the best "kit" zoom?

Started Apr 17, 2014 | Questions thread
Klarno Veteran Member • Posts: 4,146
Re: Is the Panasonic 14-45 the best "kit" zoom?

I think the consensus right now is that the Panasonic 14-42 II, the current Panasonic kit lens for most of their cameras, matches the 14-45 for resolution; however the newer lens stops down fast for a zoom: it's at f/5.3 by the time you get to 25mm. Already stopped down over a stop halfway through the zoom range. Now, in real life, this probably doesn't matter a jot; the 14-45 is at f/4.9 at 25mm, and a 1/3rd stop scale isn't precise enough to tell the difference between 4.9 and 5.3.

Almost all of the kit zooms are actually pretty good optically, despite what the naysayers say. I even get results that are just fine with the 1st version Panasonic 14-42, which was just about the most hated lens in the system. The one above all others to avoid is the 1st generation Olympus 14-42 (the kit lens for the E-P1 and E-PL1), which isn't bad so much optically as mechanically-- no internal focus, slow AF, the front element rotates as you focus making polarizers more problematic.

I think the most interesting kit zoom is the Panasonic 12-32. Tough to get stateside though; normally it's only sold in the US as part of the GM1 kit.

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Olympus PEN E-PM2 A3000 Olympus E-M1 Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 II Olympus Zuiko Digital 11-22mm 1:2.8-3.5 +3 more
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