The best lenses for Olympus & Panasonic camera's

Lens advice
Starters

Starters

Lens advice
Amateurs

Amateurs

Review Panasonic 14-42mm PZ

0
0
0
s2smodern

Panasonic 14-42 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH POWER OIS LUMIX G X VARIO PZ & Panasonic Lumix GX1

Size and weight make the Panasonic 14-42 mm X zoom lens, introduced at the end of 2011, an unique interchangeable zoom lens with a viewing angle which equals a 28-84 mm zoom lens on a full frame camera. The Panasonic 14-42 mm X powerzoom is, combined with the Panasonic GX1 just as compact as a high-end compact camera like Powershot G; it easily fits in a large  pocket. But is the Panasonic 14-42 mm X better than its cheaper and larger predecessor, the Panasonic 14-42 mm?
Results in this review are based on standard in-camera jpg files. De image ratio of the camera has been set to 2:3, which enables comparing the measurement results with our measurements of lenses on a camera with an APS-C or full frame sensor. For further information on the test method, see the FAQ.

Panasonic 14 42mm-X-review

Panasonic 14-42 mm X review

Panasonic 14-42 mm review


The 3x zoom range of the Panasonic 14-42 mm X equals a viewing angle of a 28-84 mm zoom lens on a camera with a full frame sensor. 

Construction and autofocus

The Panasonic 14-42 mm PZ X zoom lens is well built. The advantage of smaller lenses for micro-43 camera's with respect  to APS-C or full frame cameras is very large here. During transport the  Panasonic 14-42 mm X is even smaller.

Focusing and zooming takes place through levers on the lens. Those who are used to using a compact or video camera might find this familiar. When you're used to a SLR type camera, you will need some time to get accustomed.

The autofocus is fast, silent and accurate. Micro-43 camera's gfocus using the sensor signal, and therefore don't have any front focus or back focus.

This lens has built-in image stabilization which has to be operated from the camera menu in stead of a switch on the lens itself. We haven't tested the Image stabilization.

Specifications
Panasonic 14-42 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH POWER OIS LUMIX G X VARIO PZ
Image Stabilization:+
lenses/ groups:9/8
length x diameter:27 / 61
filter size:37
Weight:95
Lens hood:+

Image stabilization

Vignetting Panasonic 14-42mm Powerzoom

Starting at a focal length of 17 mm, vignetting is acceptable even at fully opened aperture. When stopped down two stops, there is no more visible vignetting left at a focal length of 14 mm. Vignetting is easily corrected by software, so it surprised us that Panasonic didn't correct for vignetting in-camera.

Panasonic-14-42-X-vignet

Distortion Panasonic 14-42 mm X

For a zoom lens distortion is very well corrected for in the design of the Panasonic 14-42 mm PZ. Barrel shaped distortion is visible at focal length of 14 mm and 42 mm, but at other focal lengths absent. Distortion can be corrected afterwards by photo editing software.

Panasonic-14-42-X-distortion

Bokeh

 

Bokeh is not too well with this lens, as expected, since this lens doesn't have a wide aperture and micro-43 sensors are small compared to full frame sensors.

Move your mouse over the image to see a 100% crop where you see the red rectangle now.

Panasonic14 42mm-X-review-bokeh2

Flare

 
The Panasonic 14-42 mm PZ X has a special multi-coating in order to minimize flare and ghosting. Nevertheless you can experience flare when there's a light source just outside the image. Panasonic-14-42-X-praktijkvignet

Resolution Panasonic 14-42mm Powerzoom

 

The resolution of Panasonic 14-42 mm X jpg files is high over the entire zoom range. Sharpness in the extreme corners lags behind at all apertures, as can be seen from Imatest measurements.

Panasonic1442X1review-resolutie
Panasonic 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH POWER OIS LUMIX G X VARIO PZ @ 19 mm f/5.6

The resolution of the Panasonic 14-42 mm X equals or outperforms the resolution of the regular Panasonic 14-42 mm. At a focal length of  35 mm the overall optical quality of the Panasonic 14-42 mm X is almost equal to the performance of the famous Panasonic 20 mm lens. See our overview of tested micro-43 lenses to compare this lens with other micro-43 lenses.

Panasonic-14-42-X-resolution3

Chromatic aberration Panasonic 14-42 X

 
Panasonic corrects in-camera for chromatic aberration. This delivers jpg files where there's no visible chromatic aberration. Here the Panasonic 14-42 mm X outperforms the old Panasonic 14-42 mm. Panasonic-14-42-X-CA3
Even a 100% crop from the extreme corners doesn't show any  visible chromatic aberration, as you can see in this image.

Panasonic14 42mm-X-review no CA

 

Conclusion Panasonic 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH POWER OIS LUMIX G X VARIO PZ review

Panasonic14 42mm-X-review

Look in our list of reviewed lenses or in our list of reviewed micro-43 lenses to compare the performance of this lens with that of other lenses.
ECWYSIWYG scoreThis table shows the performance of this lens when you save the files in the camera as jpg, including all in-camera lens corrections (distortion, chromatic aberration). This score gives you for this lens/test camera combination: "What you see is what you get".
14
28
6.4
6.1
8.2
7.0
6.3
18
35
6.8
6.1
8.6
8.8
8.2
25
50
6.8
6.1
8.7
8.7
7.7
42
84
6.4
6.0
8.9
7.9
6.3
Overall
Overall
6.3
5.8
8.6
8.1
6.9

Pros

  • Good optical performance, especially for resolution at focal lengths beneath 25 mm
  • Very compact
  • Built in Image Stabilization
  • Powerzoom (especially for video)

Cons

  • Relatively high price
  • Focusing and zooming using levers needs practice
  • Visible vignetting at 14 mm up to aperture 5.6
The Panasonic 14-42 mm X powerzoom is, given its size and weight, an unique interchangeable zoom lens. Focusing and zooming takes place through levers on the lens. Those who are used to using a compact or video camera might find this familiar. When you're used to a SLR type camera, you will need some time to get accustomed. When you compare the performance of the Panasonic 14-42 mm X  with the cheaper Panasonic 14-42 mm, the Panasonic 14-42 mm X scores a little bit higher. This is mainly because of the low chromatic aberration of the Panasonic 14-42 mm . When you add the optical performance to the compact size and the powerzoom, you will forget the higher price completely  within a few weeks. 
Ivo Freriks
Author: Ivo Freriks
With Camera Review Stuff I hope to make a modest contribution to the pleasure that you get from photography. By testing cameras and lenses in the same way, evluating the results and weighing up the pros and cons, I hope to help you find the right camera or lens.

0
0
0
s2smodern

Leave your comments

Posting comment as a guest.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location