Is it still worth buying the Panasonic 14-45mm lens separately?

Started May 13, 2012 | Discussions
Sgt_Strider Senior Member • Posts: 2,275
Is it still worth buying the Panasonic 14-45mm lens separately?

Right now the Panasonic GX1 body is going for a pretty decent price. I'm thinking of picking that up. I've had experience with the Panasonic 14-42mm lens and for the most part, it was a decent lens. I've read that the 14-45mm lens is better. However, the cheapest that I see is US$273.99 at the moment. Is this worth buying at that price? It does give pretty decent coverage and seems to have good sharpness across its focal length. Any comment?

Adventsam Veteran Member • Posts: 4,983
Re: Is it still worth buying the Panasonic 14-45mm lens separately?

The new pancake zoom is more flexible imo, especially on the GX1, is their a package deal?

papillon_65
papillon_65 Forum Pro • Posts: 27,030
Re: Is it still worth buying the Panasonic 14-45mm lens separately?

Sgt_Strider wrote:

Right now the Panasonic GX1 body is going for a pretty decent price. I'm thinking of picking that up. I've had experience with the Panasonic 14-42mm lens and for the most part, it was a decent lens. I've read that the 14-45mm lens is better. However, the cheapest that I see is US$273.99 at the moment. Is this worth buying at that price? It does give pretty decent coverage and seems to have good sharpness across its focal length. Any comment?

For me personally it is, it's the best of all the m4/3's kit lenses I've used. It has more consistent performance through the range and better colour and contrast than any of the others. However I am awaiting the delivery of the Panasonic PZ 14-42mm "Pancake" kit lens to try it. If it doesn't match the 14-45mm or has the lens blur issue I shall get rid of it and keep the 14-45mm. I am hoping it will be good but it seems like there is a lot of sample variation with this lens so fingers crossed.

The 14-45mm is a tough act to follow and whilst some may point to lens reviews and comparisons to other kit lenses my personal experience is that the 14-45mm is the best in m4/3's barring a very good copy of the PZ 14-42mm, though my attraction to that lens is about the collapsing design and size.

The Oly 14-42mm mk2 is very good at the wide end but not great at the long end, or should I say very inconsistent at the long end. It seems to struggle at lower shutter speeds for me (sub 1/200th second) at 35-42mm. I have no such issues with the 14-45mm. The other nice feature of the 14-45mm is the OIS switch on the lens itself. This gives me greater control of when I switch it on and off rather than having to menu dive to use IBIS. It's also very effective on this lens enabling very low handheld shutter speeds. Only you can know whether these things are worth it to you but I highly recommend this lens.
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BigBarney Senior Member • Posts: 2,722
Could it be a Leica lens in disguise?

Sgt_Strider wrote:

Right now the Panasonic GX1 body is going for a pretty decent price. I'm thinking of picking that up. I've had experience with the Panasonic 14-42mm lens and for the most part, it was a decent lens. I've read that the 14-45mm lens is better. However, the cheapest that I see is US$273.99 at the moment. Is this worth buying at that price? It does give pretty decent coverage and seems to have good sharpness across its focal length. Any comment?

Most, if not all, of the reviews of this lens are very positive. See:

http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1227/cat/69

for a good examination of its quality. It was originally supplied as the 'kit' lens with the Panasonic G1 and GF1 m43 camera bodies. When I bought my first m43 camera back in 2008, the Panasonic sales rep happened to be in the shop at the time. I was impressed with the camera's light weight and (for the time) revolutionary EVF. The Panasonic sales person told me that the 14-45mm lens was in fact a Leica design even if it was manufactured and quality controlled exclusively by Panasonic. Now he may have been exaggerating to help make a sale, or he may have been telling the truth; we may never know for certain.

I was sceptical, so I agreed with the retailer that I could put one of my own SD cards in his demonstration model and go out into the street and shoot some images. This I duly did and left the shop with a commitment to return and make a purchase if the results were to my liking. I was more than happy with the combination of this camera body and lens.

My G1 now lies almost idle in the museum section of my study, as I find that the choice of either a GF1 or a GH2 for both stills and video imaging is the more common route taken.

The 14-45 mm lens still sees regular use. If you can buy it at an affordable price, I would say go for it or consider getting the GX1 with its 'kit' 14-42mm X series almost pancake lens.

OP Sgt_Strider Senior Member • Posts: 2,275
Re: Is it still worth buying the Panasonic 14-45mm lens separately?

Thanks for the comment guys. I really appreciate it.

Does anyone here know what was the lowest price the 14-45mm lens ever sold for? I'm not sure if $273 is the lowest it's ever been.

Furthermore, I don't really want the 14-42mm X lens because I prefer to zoom my lens manually. I'm not a big fan of power zooms.

rube39 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,093
Re: Is it still worth buying the Panasonic 14-45mm lens separately?

The 14-45 lens is very nice, but it is just too big for any of the m4/3 rangefinder type bodies.
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papillon_65
papillon_65 Forum Pro • Posts: 27,030
Re: Is it still worth buying the Panasonic 14-45mm lens separately?

rube39 wrote:

The 14-45 lens is very nice, but it is just too big for any of the m4/3 rangefinder type bodies.
--
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What? you are surely not serious? does that mean that anything bigger than a Pancake lens is too big for a Pen? what about the 40-150mm etc?
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rube39 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,093
Re: Is it still worth buying the Panasonic 14-45mm lens separately?

papillon_65 wrote:

What? you are surely not serious? does that mean that anything bigger than a Pancake lens is too big for a Pen? what about the 40-150mm etc?

I look at the 14-45 as an 'all day walk around lens' and for the pens, yes it is too big.
Anything bigger than the Oly 9-18 or the 45, or the Sigmas, I find too big.

The 40-150 to me is in a different category. I use the 75-300 for sports, would not use it as a walk around lens either.

Rube
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Clayton Jones Contributing Member • Posts: 866
Re: Is it still worth buying the Panasonic 14-45mm lens separately?

For me personally it is, it's the best of all the m4/3's kit lenses I've used. It has more consistent performance through the range and better colour and contrast than any of the others.
The 14-45mm is a tough act to follow...

I second Tony's statements. It is far better than the Oly 14-42 II I used before getting the 14-45. It isn't perfect, but it's very good.

Regards,
Clayton

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MAubrey
MAubrey Senior Member • Posts: 1,600
Re: Is it still worth buying the Panasonic 14-45mm lens separately?

I saw one go for $190 on ebay this morning and there are used copies on Amazon for $210.
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MAubrey
MAubrey Senior Member • Posts: 1,600
Re: Is it still worth buying the Panasonic 14-45mm lens separately?
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jeffharris
jeffharris Veteran Member • Posts: 8,030
Re: Buy the Panasonic 14-45mm lens!

MAubrey wrote:

There's one available on the reputable used store KEH as we speak:

http://www.keh.com/Camera/format-Digital/system-Panasonic-Digital/category-Zoom-Lenses?s=1&bcode=PD&ccode=7&cc=80351&r=WG&f

Yes, KEH is excellent. They have a very conservative lens rating system and clear and concise descriptions of any possible flaws.

I don't do eBay any more unless there's no other choice. I just bought a Nikon ED 300mm f4.5 IF lens from KEH and even though it was rated BGN (bargain) it's in nearly perfect condition cosmetically. Mechanically and optically it is perfect, as far as I can tell.

And DO get the 14-45mm. It's not big. That Nikon 300mm is big!

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Jun2 Senior Member • Posts: 2,237
Re: Is it still worth buying the Panasonic 14-45mm lens separately?

I am selling mine $220 used on ebay (buy it now). The lens is not big at all. quite nice.

Sgt_Strider wrote:

Thanks for the comment guys. I really appreciate it.

Does anyone here know what was the lowest price the 14-45mm lens ever sold for? I'm not sure if $273 is the lowest it's ever been.

Furthermore, I don't really want the 14-42mm X lens because I prefer to zoom my lens manually. I'm not a big fan of power zooms.

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kodachromeguy Contributing Member • Posts: 780
worth buying the Panasonic 14-45mm lens separately? YES

I agree, the 14-45 lens is a great performer. Beware that the G1 (and, I assume, other Panasonic bodies) may be doing geometric corrections for the JPEG files. On some frames, I see curvature in the RAW image, but the equivalent JPEG has straight lines. My Olympus 14-54 mm for regular 4/3 is better corrected for distortion, but it is a much bigger chunk of glass and plastic.
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MAubrey
MAubrey Senior Member • Posts: 1,600
Re: worth buying the Panasonic 14-45mm lens separately? YES

This is true for many μ43 lenses. But never fear the corrected form is still 14mm angle of view. The uncorrected form is wider.
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GodSpeaks
GodSpeaks Forum Pro • Posts: 12,697
Yes

Yes, the 14-45 is worth it. It is a great little lens and very sharp. It is also significantly cheaper than the new 14-42X lens.

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Marla2008
Marla2008 Senior Member • Posts: 2,419
Re: Yes

It's a wonderful lens, as everybody else noted.
I bought mine used for 150€, boxed, mint, under warranty (still is !!).

Don't pass it up, it's the best walkaround lens, until you're into wide angle. When I travel it's GX-1 + PL25 and 14-45.

Marla.

Chez Wimpy
Chez Wimpy Veteran Member • Posts: 8,867
Re: Is it still worth buying the Panasonic 14-45mm lens separately?

rube39 wrote:

I look at the 14-45 as an 'all day walk around lens' and for the pens, yes it is too big.

Aesthetically maybe, but the balance on the smaller bodies is fine. The 14-45 is very light, and it has never made my GF1 feel unbalanced (doesn't fit in a pocket anymore, but that is the only possible complaint).

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Marco Cinnirella
Marco Cinnirella Veteran Member • Posts: 6,446
Re: Is it still worth buying the Panasonic 14-45mm lens separately?

14-45 is great and it is just fine on the smaller bodies - used it on a GF1 and now on a GX1 and it balances fine

Chez Wimpy wrote:

rube39 wrote:

I look at the 14-45 as an 'all day walk around lens' and for the pens, yes it is too big.

Aesthetically maybe, but the balance on the smaller bodies is fine. The 14-45 is very light, and it has never made my GF1 feel unbalanced (doesn't fit in a pocket anymore, but that is the only possible complaint).

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-CW

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Aleo Veuliah
MOD Aleo Veuliah Forum Pro • Posts: 14,652
Re: Yes, no doubts

Sgt_Strider wrote:

Right now the Panasonic GX1 body is going for a pretty decent price. I'm thinking of picking that up. I've had experience with the Panasonic 14-42mm lens and for the most part, it was a decent lens. I've read that the 14-45mm lens is better. However, the cheapest that I see is US$273.99 at the moment. Is this worth buying at that price? It does give pretty decent coverage and seems to have good sharpness across its focal length. Any comment?

It is one of the best lens I have, sharp and good, I have not sold it to use it on the new cameras

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