LF1 owners, your comments, please

Started Nov 17, 2013 | Discussions
GeraldW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,296
LF1 owners, your comments, please

I am quite interested in adding an LF1 to my collection, as I think it would be an ideal companion to my FZ200 for travel.  However, neither DPReview, or Imaging Resource have done an in depth review.  CameraLabs has reviewed it; but limited test shots that I can't compare to other cameras, like my S90 or G15.  The LF1 would likely replace the S90.

So, lacking these major reviews, I'd like to get input from current owners.  Here's what I know, or think I know about it so far.

1) CameraLab's comparisons to the LX7 show it to be not as sharp; but definitely better than the ZS30.

2) CameraLab showed it with and without iResolution, and adding iRes. seems to have sharpening things up nicely.  Unfortunately, no ability to compare the iRes. sharpened LF1 shot to anything else.  Anybody using that?  I have no interest in iZoom; but may use the EZ settings.

3) Some early samples on this forum showed a lot of softness at the sides; but others do not and they appeared to be uniform across the frame.  I'd suspect misaligned lens elements rather than a basic design defect.  Particularly if one edge is better than the opposite.  What have you seen?

4) The EVF is a nice addition.  I know it's smallish and low resolution; but so was the EVF on my FZ150, and that was useful to me.  What is your opinion?

5) How is the color?  What I have seen looks good; but I was not happy with the almost fluorescent greens and yellow-greens and weak reds on my ZS15.  So that's two areas of color rendition I am interested in.  FZ200 doesn't do that thing with the greens and reds are pretty good.  I did add +2 amber to the WB on my FZ200.

6) Small and light is good.  I use the S90 on a lanyard (neck cord) and slip it into a front shirt pocket when not in use.  If I bend over to tie a shoe lace, and the camera slips out, the lanyard catches it.  I also carry the S90 and even the G15 in a side pocket in looser fitting trousers or walking shorts.  Both those camera are quite flat on the back; but the LF1 has a protruding eyepiece - is that a problem for pocketability/comfort?  I know most reviews (and manufacturers) don't take account of smaller protrusions when giving thickness specs.

7) I have a Franiec front grip on my S90.  I'll certainly add something similar to the front of the LF1.  Has anybody our there added anything?

I'm hoping that with enough responses from this forum I can make an informed decision.  Sample shots would be helpful.  So, thanks in advance.

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Jerry

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Setter Dog Veteran Member • Posts: 5,675
Re: LF1 owners, your comments, please

I'm not an owner, but I wanted this camera badly, so went to a local camera store to check it out. I was VERY disappointed with the EVF. My opinion was that I would never use it except in an emergency. If the EVF is one of the reasons you're considering this camera, I'd urge you to actually try it first or buy from someone with a good return policy.

Jack

minuteman26 Regular Member • Posts: 316
Re: LF1 owners, your comments, please

Search "New pic's from Lumix LF1" in this forum. Nice thread...

boninsegni
boninsegni Regular Member • Posts: 436
Re: LF1 owners, your comments, please

GeraldW wrote:

I am quite interested in adding an LF1 to my collection, as I think it would be an ideal companion to my FZ200 for travel. However, neither DPReview, or Imaging Resource have done an in depth review. CameraLabs has reviewed it; but limited test shots that I can't compare to other cameras, like my S90 or G15. The LF1 would likely replace the S90.

So, lacking these major reviews, I'd like to get input from current owners. Here's what I know, or think I know about it so far.

1) CameraLab's comparisons to the LX7 show it to be not as sharp; but definitely better than the ZS30.

2) CameraLab showed it with and without iResolution, and adding iRes. seems to have sharpening things up nicely. Unfortunately, no ability to compare the iRes. sharpened LF1 shot to anything else. Anybody using that? I have no interest in iZoom; but may use the EZ settings.

3) Some early samples on this forum showed a lot of softness at the sides; but others do not and they appeared to be uniform across the frame. I'd suspect misaligned lens elements rather than a basic design defect. Particularly if one edge is better than the opposite. What have you seen?

4) The EVF is a nice addition. I know it's smallish and low resolution; but so was the EVF on my FZ150, and that was useful to me. What is your opinion?

5) How is the color? What I have seen looks good; but I was not happy with the almost fluorescent greens and yellow-greens and weak reds on my ZS15. So that's two areas of color rendition I am interested in. FZ200 doesn't do that thing with the greens and reds are pretty good. I did add +2 amber to the WB on my FZ200.

6) Small and light is good. I use the S90 on a lanyard (neck cord) and slip it into a front shirt pocket when not in use. If I bend over to tie a shoe lace, and the camera slips out, the lanyard catches it. I also carry the S90 and even the G15 in a side pocket in looser fitting trousers or walking shorts. Both those camera are quite flat on the back; but the LF1 has a protruding eyepiece - is that a problem for pocketability/comfort? I know most reviews (and manufacturers) don't take account of smaller protrusions when giving thickness specs.

7) I have a Franiec front grip on my S90. I'll certainly add something similar to the front of the LF1. Has anybody our there added anything?

I'm hoping that with enough responses from this forum I can make an informed decision. Sample shots would be helpful. So, thanks in advance.

Hi Jerry
I've a LF1 for a number of weeks and for me it is the ideal companion for my needs.

I do not love the EVF but I like it. Of course it could be better, but it is absolutely usable.

I had a grip on my LF1 but I removed it and instead of a grip I bought a leather half case on eBay

which improved greatly he handling of the cam.

Enjoy your cam!

Christian

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Christian

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cainn24 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,892
Re: LF1 owners, your comments, please

GeraldW wrote:

2) CameraLab showed it with and without iResolution, and adding iRes. seems to have sharpening things up nicely. Unfortunately, no ability to compare the iRes. sharpened LF1 shot to anything else. Anybody using that? I have no interest in iZoom; but may use the EZ settings.

Here's a test scene for you with captures using the FZ200, XZ-2 and LF1. Intelligent Resolution is enabled in both the FZ200 and LF1 shots. Be aware that I let all 3 cameras meter the scene however they wanted to, and so the XZ-2 used a longer exposure. All shots are SOOC:

WB was set to Tungsten/Incandescent. Obviously different cameras interpret such terms a little differently.

3) Some early samples on this forum showed a lot of softness at the sides; but others do not and they appeared to be uniform across the frame. I'd suspect misaligned lens elements rather than a basic design defect. Particularly if one edge is better than the opposite. What have you seen?

Soft corners are a problem when shooting wide-open at the wide end. See here: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52196364

Those results are consistent with what others have observed.

The rest of that thread should be of some interest to you as well.

OP GeraldW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,296
Re: LF1 owners, your comments, please

Thank you!!!  That's exact;y what I was looking for.  The LF1 beats the FZ200 in fine details.  Colors appear identical.  Since I have the FZ200, and like it; the LF1 should do every bit as well in it's own area of usage.

I'll check the thread you listed.

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Jerry

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danpolley Contributing Member • Posts: 570
Re: LF1 owners, your comments, please

I've not had the camera very long but am happy with the results. Here are some examples and an invitation to join our group on Flickr if you use that site.

National 9-11 Memorial, New York, New York

University of Pittsburgh vs Notre Dame

http://www.flickr.com/groups/2371357@N23/

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OP GeraldW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,296
Re: LF1 owners, your comments, please

Christian,

Thank you for replying.  Your comments on the EVF seem to confirm my thoughts based on my experience with the FZ150.  Not "great" like the FZ200; but useful, like the FZ150.  An important piece of the puzzle.

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Jerry

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OP GeraldW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,296
Re: LF1 owners, your comments, please

OK, I checked your earlier post.  28 mm at f/2 is not good.  The softness goes well into the frame.  Unfortunately, that's an important setting for travel for me.  We cruise a fair amount, and dinners and parties on board are important parts for the trip to record.  I'm afraid that's a killer.  My aging S90 does better than that, and the semi-pocketable G15 is better still.

You and the others have done what I needed and I am in your debt.

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Jerry

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cainn24 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,892
Re: LF1 owners, your comments, please

GeraldW wrote:

Thank you!!! That's exact;y what I was looking for. The LF1 beats the FZ200 in fine details. Colors appear identical. Since I have the FZ200, and like it; the LF1 should do every bit as well in it's own area of usage.

You're most welcome

OK, I checked your earlier post. 28 mm at f/2 is not good. The softness goes well into the frame. Unfortunately, that's an important setting for travel for me. We cruise a fair amount, and dinners and parties on board are important parts for the trip to record. I'm afraid that's a killer. My aging S90 does better than that, and the semi-pocketable G15 is better still.

Of course it wont be such an issue for everyone.  In my first couple of outings with the LF1 I didn't spend much time and the wide end, and I was mostly shooting subjects that I situated in the center of the frame where things are nice and sharp even if you are shooting at f/2.  But yeah, wide angle interior shots and fellow dinner party guests filling the frame right to the edges is a different kettle of fish.  If you can stop down and use a flash in the latter scenario it wouldn't be so bad, but that's if you don't mind using the flash.

OP GeraldW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,296
Re: LF1 owners, your comments, please

Use of flash at dinners and parties usually results in a "deer-in-the-headlights" look, a burned out table cloth in the foreground, and a black background - I much prefer a fast lens and higher ISO, for an available light shot.

Some samples don't seem to show the soft edges at wide angle, and they weren't stopped down.  Now, I'm wondering if the issue of the soft edges isn't caused by field curvature.  Your flat map would show soft edges if it were field curvature.  Then the trick is to show if it's concave or convex.  That's easy with a DSLR and manual focus as you can see it happen as you go from front to back focus - not so easy with something like the LF1.

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Jerry

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cainn24 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,892
Re: LF1 owners, your comments, please

GeraldW wrote:

Some samples don't seem to show the soft edges at wide angle, and they weren't stopped down. Now, I'm wondering if the issue of the soft edges isn't caused by field curvature. Your flat map would show soft edges if it were field curvature. Then the trick is to show if it's concave or convex. That's easy with a DSLR and manual focus as you can see it happen as you go from front to back focus - not so easy with something like the LF1.

I guess it's possible that in my efforts to highlight the problem I created a scenario in which the problem would be at its worst.  I would certainly agree that the problem is not so obvious in other sorts of shots, even to the point where some people either wouldn't notice it, or wouldn't really care about it.

I can't say that I'm all that familiar with this sort of optical aberration either.  The problem first came to my attention in a major way when photographing some collectible coins on a piece of nice fabric, which is something I do from time to time, and none of my other cameras have ever exhibited a similar problem (or at least not to a noticeable or significant degree anyway).

If I still had the LF1 I might be able to help you get to the bottom of this, but unfortunately I don't.  For the record though, I didn't get rid of the LF1 because of the soft corner issue as I think I could have lived with it.  It just didn't suit me for other reasons.

Lobalobo
Lobalobo Senior Member • Posts: 2,445
Re: LF1 owners, your comments, please

The link is to the LF1 on the Great Wall of China. I love the camera, which is not quite as good as the LX7 in image quality, but so small and with an EVF:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52432632

OP GeraldW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,296
Re: LF1 owners, your comments, please

Thanks for posting that.  I read through the thread the link goes to, and it brings up an interesting point.  You've never wanted more than 200 mm.  That pretty well fits with my travel experience going back to the 80's. (unless there's a bird sanctuary on the itinerary)  It also reminded me that the first Panasonic travel zooms only went to 300 mm.  Then, they began to creep up in focal length, and get wider, and as they did, the lens got slower and slower.  As if they forgot why they did 25-300 mm in the first place.

Now, along comes the LF1.  And it returns to a more sensible range for a better lens design, adds in a larger modern sensor and processor algorithms, and adds an EVF.  Voila! The ultimate pocketable travel zoom.

On our China trip in 2006, I took a Canon Pro 1 and an S70.  The Pro 1 has a 28-200 mm f/2.4-3.5 L series lens.  Hardly pocketable, as it weighs 23.9 oz.  But the focal length range was fine.

I also currently have a Canon G15.  28-140 mm f/1.8-2.8.  Great little camera; but 140 isn't quite long enough, so i find myself resorting to DZ more often than I should.  The FZ200 actually works better for many trips.

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Jerry

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Lobalobo
Lobalobo Senior Member • Posts: 2,445
Re: LF1 owners, your comments, please

GeraldW wrote:

Now, along comes the LF1. And it returns to a more sensible range for a better lens design, adds in a larger modern sensor and processor algorithms, and adds an EVF. Voila! The ultimate pocketable travel zoom.

My thoughts exactly.

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 6,192
Re: LF1 owners, your comments, please

What Digital Camera have just given it in their awards for 2013 the one for 'Consumer Compact of the Year' so it stands with the Sony RX100 which was the 'Advanced Compact of the Year'.

GeraldW wrote:

I am quite interested in adding an LF1 to my collection, as I think it would be an ideal companion to my FZ200 for travel. However, neither DPReview, or Imaging Resource have done an in depth review. CameraLabs has reviewed it; but limited test shots that I can't compare to other cameras, like my S90 or G15. The LF1 would likely replace the S90.

So, lacking these major reviews, I'd like to get input from current owners. Here's what I know, or think I know about it so far.

1) CameraLab's comparisons to the LX7 show it to be not as sharp; but definitely better than the ZS30.

2) CameraLab showed it with and without iResolution, and adding iRes. seems to have sharpening things up nicely. Unfortunately, no ability to compare the iRes. sharpened LF1 shot to anything else. Anybody using that? I have no interest in iZoom; but may use the EZ settings.

3) Some early samples on this forum showed a lot of softness at the sides; but others do not and they appeared to be uniform across the frame. I'd suspect misaligned lens elements rather than a basic design defect. Particularly if one edge is better than the opposite. What have you seen?

4) The EVF is a nice addition. I know it's smallish and low resolution; but so was the EVF on my FZ150, and that was useful to me. What is your opinion?

5) How is the color? What I have seen looks good; but I was not happy with the almost fluorescent greens and yellow-greens and weak reds on my ZS15. So that's two areas of color rendition I am interested in. FZ200 doesn't do that thing with the greens and reds are pretty good. I did add +2 amber to the WB on my FZ200.

6) Small and light is good. I use the S90 on a lanyard (neck cord) and slip it into a front shirt pocket when not in use. If I bend over to tie a shoe lace, and the camera slips out, the lanyard catches it. I also carry the S90 and even the G15 in a side pocket in looser fitting trousers or walking shorts. Both those camera are quite flat on the back; but the LF1 has a protruding eyepiece - is that a problem for pocketability/comfort? I know most reviews (and manufacturers) don't take account of smaller protrusions when giving thickness specs.

7) I have a Franiec front grip on my S90. I'll certainly add something similar to the front of the LF1. Has anybody our there added anything?

I'm hoping that with enough responses from this forum I can make an informed decision. Sample shots would be helpful. So, thanks in advance.

Jerrich
Jerrich Senior Member • Posts: 2,709
Re: LF1 owners, your comments, please

Maybe it's just me, but on my monitor, the Oly FZ2 shot looks better in all regards, color, contrast, sharpness, etc.  What say you?

JR

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Panny FZ200

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OP GeraldW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,296
Re: LF1 owners, your comments, please

OLy FZ2???  Did you mean the XZ2?

No argumant there about the IQ; but it's quite a bit bigger.  I'm looking for something shirt pocketable like my S90, and the LF1 was the best from a size and weight viewpoint with a longer focal length and the EVF.

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Jerry

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OP GeraldW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,296
Re: LF1 Award, and some new info

Thanks for the heads up on the award.  The more I've looked into the LF1, the better it looks.

On I-R's site, their LF1 review in the comparitor only shows a few test shots; but I did find that in the thumbnails, there were some additional shots.  They have a resolution chart which is flat, and which has an array of small Air Force style charts in the corners and along the diagonals.  Doesn't look nearly as bad as the map shots in an earlier post in this thread.  Comparing those thumbnails to several other cameras (G15, S90, S110, S120) I either have, or have considered; I found the LF1 to be as good as my S90, and better than the S120.  All compared at minimum focal length and maximum aperture.  The G15 was the clear winner; but I'd expect that.  The S90 held up quite well, although showing a little yellow chromatic aberration near the edges; which tends to make the black lines look sharper.  The S110 looks pretty good; but no better than the LF1.

What I have drawn from all this is that there is some variability among LF1's due to misaligned elements in the lens.  Probably a quality control issue.  Early ones seem to have more issues than later production.  Moral: don't be an early adopter.

Another lesson learned, is that the LF1 can benefit from some additional sharpening if used in a "creative" mode (P, A, S, or M).  My S90 is quite soft overall, and benefits from in-camera sharpening.  The LF1 lacks a sharpness adjustment; but does have iResolution.  CameraLabs did show an example with and without iRes. and it looked to add just the right amount of sharpening.  Note that iResolution also adds some smoothing to areas of constant color (like the sky).

So, I see an LF1 in my future. Now I have to go look in my piggy bank.

Thanks to all who chimed in here.  Your inputs were much appreciated, and collectively, very helpful.

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Jerry

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Jerrich
Jerrich Senior Member • Posts: 2,709
Re: LF1 Award, and some new info

Yes, I meant the XZ2, thanks.  Looking at Cainn's shots, the Oly looks almost 3D compared to the others.  I might sacrifice a little in ergonomics for that quality shots.  Hmm.

JR

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Panny FZ200

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