Review Panasonic Lumix 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH POWER OIS
Jan Paul Mioulet,
The Panasonic Lumix 14-140 mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH POWER OIS has a whopping 10x zoom, from 14 to 140mm. With that, you can photograph almost everything, and that makes these types of lenses very popular as an all-in-one vacation zoom. The Panasonic Lumix 14-140 mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH POWER OIS is one of the lightest and smallest in its class and has excellent image quality. The new version has an even better seal against dust and moisture, and that is nice if you want to use the lens under all circumstances.
TEST RESULTS Panasonic Lumix 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH POWER OIS :
Good image quality
Dust- and moisture-resistant
Big zoom range
Solid build quality
Visible color separation at short focal lengths
Only starts at 28mm eq.
Ideal all-in-one: Panasonic Lumix 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH POWER OIS
The Panasonic Lumix 14-140 mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH POWER OIS, with its enormous 10x zoom range, belongs in the class of all-in-one or vacation zooms. It offers a range that - converted to full format - runs from 28mm wide angle to 280mm telephoto. It also offers a good macro mode. The largest magnification is 0.3x, but converted to full format that corresponds to 0.6x. And that's pretty decent. It is a lens for photographers who opt for convenience. For photographers who do not want to change lenses while on the go. And if you want such a lens, this Lumix 14-140 mm f/3.5-5.6 II is a good choice because it is one of the smallest and lightest in its class. That, of course, has to do with the dimensions of the Micro Four-Thirds sensor, which enables such a compact design. The Panasonic Lumix 14-140 mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH POWER OIS has a II in its name. But it is not actually the second, but the third 14-140mm from Panasonic. The first generation was the Lumix G Vario 14-140mm f/4-5.8. That lens was bigger and, remarkably enough, less bright than the current 14-140 mm. The Panasonic Lumix 14-140 mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH POWER OIS has that two because it is the successor to the original 14-140 mm f/3.5-5.6. The difference between the two lenses is minimal. They share the same optical design, brightness and construction. The big difference is the better seal against moisture and dust. And that is a nice innovation and one that we do not often encounter with these types of lenses, certainly in this price range. Combine this lens with, for example, the new Panasonic G90, and you have a great set that is weather-resistant and with which you can take high-quality photos and video.
BUILD AND autofocus
The Panasonic Lumix 14-140 mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH POWER OIS is light and small. With a length of 7.5 centimeters and a weight of only 265 grams, this is a very pleasant lens to walk around with for a whole day. Such low weight is of course only possible if a lot of plastic is used. There is nothing wrong with that. The lens therefore does not feel cold in cold weather, and modern plastics can take a lot. The Panasonic Lumix 14-140 mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH POWER OIS is well finished, and the new version is extra weatherproof. The lens has a complex optical design with multiple ED and aspherical elements for the highest possible image quality. The Panasonic Lumix 14-140 mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH POWER OIS has Power OIS that can be used with the Dual IS II of the new Panasonic cameras. The lens has a switch to turn off that stabilization. The focus ring and zoom ring turn nice and smoothly and with little play. The autofocus is lightning fast. This lens only needs 30 milliseconds from infinity to 1.5m, and that makes it the fastest lens that we have tested. Of course, only a little weight needs to be moved, and the fact that the new Panasonic cameras can adjust the auto focus 240 times per second helps, of course.
For a lens with such a big range and such small dimensions, the vignetting is quite low. The highest value of 1.3 stops in uncorrected RAW files at the largest wide-angle position and at full aperture would be clearly visible. But of course, you don't use this lens without the lens corrections. And with that, it is surprisingly good. A maximum of 0.7 stops at full aperture can still be seen, but it is not really eye-catching. A bit striking is that you also get the same vignetting at zoom settings above 100 mm. You can see there that for a lens with such a big zoom range, designers have to make compromises somewhere.
The distortion of the Panasonic Lumix 14-140 mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH POWER OIS is acceptable in jpeg, with a maximum of 1.5% barrel-shaped at the wide-angle position and minimal pincushion-shaped distortion from 24 mm. In uncorrected RAW files, we see distortion of no less than 6% in the 14 mm position. And that's a lot. Due to the corrections in the camera or the RAW software, this is eliminated, but theoretically you could see that reflected in the sharpness. After all, quite a lot has to be calculated for the image. You can read below whether this is really the case in practice.
A zoom with a range from wide angle to substantial telephoto rarely scores well over the entire range. Usually, the sharpness drops considerably in the telephoto settings, or there is hardly any sharpness in the corners in the wide-angle settings. That is why you are often better off with a standard zoom from wide angle to short telephoto and a simple telephoto zoom. However, that does not apply to the Panasonic Lumix 14-140 mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH POWER OIS. This lens shows excellent values over the entire zoom range, in both the center and the corners. Yes, the corners score slightly lower than the center, but that is very normal, and the sharpness gradient to the corners is fairly limited. It is, certainly in the wide-angle position, much less than we had expected due to the considerable lens correction for distortion. An extra bonus is that the sharpness is already at its highest when the aperture is fully open, and due to diffraction, it decreases when you stop down. So, you don't have to go to f/8 or f/11 to get the best out of this lens. The only downside is that with the 14-140 mm we tested, we saw slightly more chromatic aberration in the wide-angle position than with its predecessor. Because the optical design has remained the same, this may have to do with sample variation, the deviation between one lens and the next from the same production line.
Curious about the performance of the Panasonic Lumix 14-140 mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH POWER OIS in practice? Click on the button below and visit our renewed web gallery with sample images. The images can be downloaded in full resolution to be viewed at 100%.
ConclusiON Panasonic Lumix 14-140 mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH POWER OIS review @ Panasonic G9
The Panasonic Lumix 14-140 mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH POWER OIS offers just about everything you are looking for in an all-in-one lens.
The Panasonic Lumix 14-140 mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH POWER OIS offers just about everything you are looking for in an all-in-one lens. It is light and small. It has a range from fairly wide angle to quite a bit of telephoto. You usually pay a price for this in the form of image quality. But that is hardly the case with the Panasonic Lumix 14-140 mm f/3.5-5.6 II. There is little difference in quality between this zoom and other consumer zooms with a smaller range. And that makes it unique. Combine that with a very compact design, low weight and a good macro setting, and you have an almost ideal all-in-one zoom for your vacation. The only thing left to be desired is a bit more wide-angle. The Olympus 12-100 mm f/4 offers that, but it weighs almost twice as much, is a lot more expensive and offers less telephoto range. If 14mm wide angle is enough for you, then the Panasonic Lumix 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH POWER OIS is a very good choice.
Jan Paul Mioulet is zelfstandig fotograaf sinds 1994. Hij heeft zich beziggehouden met veel vormen van fotografie, van portret tot sport, van bruidsfotografie tot reclamewerk. Inmiddels is hij al bijna vijftien jaar gespecialiseerd in architectuurfotografie. Hij is een van de oprichters van DAPh, de Dutch Architectural Photographers, een collectief van een aantal van de beste Nederlandse architectuurfotografen. Van 2010 tot 2014 was hij hoofdredacteur van PF, Professionele Fotografie, het magazine voor de Nederlandse en Vlaamse vakfotograaf. Naast zijn fotografie schrijft hij voor PF en CameraStuffReview over techniek en allerlei bijzondere wetenswaardigheden rondom fotografie en camera’s.