Review Panasonic 14-42mm PZ
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
|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. |
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.
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.
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. ||Even a 100% crop from the extreme corners doesn't show any visible chromatic aberration, as you can see in this image. |
Conclusion Panasonic 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH POWER OIS LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 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. ||WYSIWYG score: This 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". |