Lens review

Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH.

Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH.
16 November 2010
Arkadiusz Olech

1. Introduction

Originally posted 2010-11-15 on Optyczne.pl

I know I am repeating myself but it is impossible not to be repetitive if you write reviews of such devices as the Panasonic LUMIX G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH. Small mirrorless cameras are a very good idea but there’s one condition: this idea must be carried out well and the potential buyer must specify very clearly what he/she really expects from such a system.

You shouldn’t let a clever sales assistant palm some marketing raving off on you about the imminent death of reflex cameras and about a reflex camera’s quality hidden in smaller dimensions because these are just half-truths. A small mirrorless camera makes sense but only with a small lens attached to it. A small lens, for a change, will perform well and give you a reflex camera’s quality of images only if it has very definite, clearly outlined parameters. If we make a lens smaller by force, just to make it fit a diminutive mirrorless camera, the image quality will suffer for sure. On the other hand, if you don’t reduce the dimensions of a lens to keep the high quality of photos intact, our mirrorless device will look next to such a lens like a cap. I truly don’t see a point of such a solution; it is not ergonomic, economy of dimensions not so big and it might create further problems like these with channeling heat from such small bodies, short-lived small batteries and sometimes the lack of any viewfinder or the necessity of attaching a flash if we want to illuminate additionally the photographed scene.

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Returning to the heart of the matter – I definitely accept mirrorless cameras but only with the right selection of lenses. It is not hard to guess that I consider small “pancakes” the best choice here; you can use them as basic instruments or as a creative complement of a small “kit” lens.

Currently the owners of the Micro 4/3 system cameras are in the best situation when it comes to the lenses. There are three “pancakes” available on the market: the 2.8/17 model, presented by Olympus, and two devices launched by the Panasonic company: the 1.7/20 and the 2.5/14. The first two have already been tested by us; now the time has come for the novelty shown during this year’s Photokina so the Panasonic LUMIX G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH; the lens was provided for testing purposes by Panasonic Poland.

You are also invited to get acquainted with our test procedure, described in the article "How do we test lenses?" If you feel it’s still not enough, please go to our FAQ section where you can find some further explanation.

Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH. - Introduction

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