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Lens review

Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH.

16 November 2010
Szymon Starczewski

11. Summary

Pros:
  • solid but at the same time exceptionally compact barrel,
  • very good image quality in the frame centre,
  • chromatic aberration well-corrected,
  • decent work against bright light,
  • negligible astigmatism.

Cons:

  • monstrous distortion,
  • huge vignetting,
  • image quality on the edge of the frame could have been better.

On the one hand the tested lens is really a small, lightweight, well-turned-out device, giving us a very good image quality in the frame centre. On the other hand, though, it would be difficult to demand something less from a “prime”, especially that it doesn’t break any resolution records and still managed to have several painful slip-ups. It seems as if Panasonic wanted to construct a diminutive lens by force so to speak. The question is why. Nobody would take offence, after all, if that company produced a 2.5/14 model with the same dimensions as the 1.7/20 device or even a bit bigger. It would be still a compact lens and a “pancake”. Criticizing it for being too bulky wouldn’t even occur to anybody.

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Extending the dimensions and increasing the weight would most probably allow to eliminate or at least seriously decrease two of the most serious flaws of the tested lens: huge vignetting and the average image quality on the edge of the frame.

I do understand that behind the Micro 4/3 system lies the idea that everything else should be “micro” as well. Sometimes, though, you shouldn’t go over the top…

At the very end, the price. This lens retails at 400 $. It will be perhaps a bit cheaper on shop shelves and even cheaper than that in a set with a body. The problem is that if we buy for a good price one Panasonic “pancake” as a lens kit, we will have to pay a normal price for the second. You should have them both, though, because one is a wide-angle device and the second – a standard lens. Perhaps the company will decide to offer its customers a very interesting set, consisting of two lenses, the 14 mm and the 20 mm, and a body. It would really make sense. Otherwise I wouldn’t count on huge queues and plenty of potential buyers of the 14 mm model itself – not when you take into account the number of compromises included in its diminutive barrel.



Sample shots

Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH. - Summary
Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH. - Summary
Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH. - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 14 mm, f/2.5, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.51 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 14 mm, f/2.5, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.9 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 14 mm, f/2.5, exp. 1/320 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8.83 MB
Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH. - Summary
Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH. - Summary
Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH. - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 14 mm, f/2.5, exp. 1/320 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.99 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 14 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.59 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 14 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/200 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.27 MB
Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH. - Summary
Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH. - Summary
Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH. - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 14 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 6.59 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 14 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/1600 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 6.78 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 14 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/500 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8.43 MB
Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH. - Summary
Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH. - Summary
Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH. - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 14 mm, f/4.5, exp. 1/1250 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8.18 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 14 mm, f/4.5, exp. 1/1250 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.13 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 14 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/1000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 8.02 MB
Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH. - Summary
Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH. - Summary
Panasonic G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH. - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 14 mm, f/6.3, exp. 1/800 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.25 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 14 mm, f/6.3, exp. 1/1000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.64 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 14 mm, f/5.0, exp. 1/320 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032×3024 pix, 7.59 MB



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