Lens Comparison: Panasonic 14-140 II vs 12-35/35-100

Started Aug 18, 2014 | Discussions thread
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ijm5012 Senior Member • Posts: 1,331
Lens Comparison: Panasonic 14-140 II vs 12-35/35-100

One of the best things m43 has going for it is the superior lens selection. In fact, it's what drew me to come to the system. Originally I had a Sony NEX-6, but I wasn't thrilled with the customization of the camera, and there weren't that many really great lenses available for the system. Last fall, I sold all my NEX gear (what great timing, as I sold my NEX gear right before Sony announced the A7 and basically abandoned APS-C E-mount) and jumped on a great deal for a brand new G6 with the 14-42 II kit lens. I also bought a 45-150 to go along with it, and it made a really 2-lens starter kit.

While both lenses were great, I didn't like having to change lenses as much as I was. Fortunately Panasonic had just released the 14-140 II around the same time I got in to m43. So I purchased one when they became available, and was surprised at just how good the IQ was from a "superzoom" lens, and just how compact and light the lens was. So I sold the 14-42 II, and 45-150, and made do with 14-140 II and a prime lens for a while. A pair of lenses that had always interested me though were the 12-35 and 35-100 f/2.8 lenses. Over the past couple of months, I've managed to purchase both lenses. I wanted to test just how sharp the 14-140 II was when compared to these two "professional quality" lenses.

To test the lenses, I shot the following focal lengths for both of the lenses at two apertures, the aperture of the 14-140 II wide open, and f/8.0. I also shot the 2.8 lenses wide open at both extremes of their zoom range, to see how consistent the lenses were. All pictures were shot in manual mode with a set white balance, with manual focus for all of the lenses. The camera was on a tripod, and all images were shot with the electronic shutter. The focal lengths tested were:

  • 14mm: 14-140 & 12-35
  • 25mm: 14-140 II & 12-35
  • 35mm: 14-140 II, 12-35 & 35-100
  • 50mm: 14-140 II & 35-100
  • 70mm: 14-140 II & 35-100
  • 100mm: 14-140 II & 35-100

The pictures can be seen in the Flickr album I've linked to below, but I was genuinely surprised at just how good the 14-140 II is. It's super sharp when shot wide open, and just as sharp as the 2.8 "pro" lenses. It really makes you question if the 2.8 lenses are worth an extra ~$1700 over the 14-140 II, when all they offer is weather sealing and an extra 2mm on the wide end (while giving up 40mm on the long end). I also noticed what many owners of the 35-100 have said, that it doesn't seen that the lens is truly 100mm on the long end. Compare the shots between the two lenses at 100mm, and you will see just how much wider the 35-100 lens is compared to the 14-140 II.

Overall, I am very happy with the performance I get from the 14-140 II, as it is a truly outstanding lens.

Panasonic 14-140 vs 12-35/35-100 Flickr Album

 ijm5012's gear list:ijm5012's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm 1:2.8-4.0 SWD Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 50-200mm 1:2.8-3.5 SWD Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 +7 more
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 Sony Alpha 7 Sony Alpha NEX-6
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