Lens Comparison: The new vs the old µ43 Panasonic 14-140mm lens

August 19, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

The µ43 system is a pioneer of all mirror less cameras. You get it from Olympus and from Panasonic. I bought my first one pretty much in the beginning, December 2009. Using a full format DSLR and a Bridge camera (Lumix FZ 28) I wanted to have a camera in between: more  in the size of the bridge camera but image quality wise nearer to the EOS 5D MkII..... So fare I succeeded. The Panasonic G Series has pretty small and light lenses but the image quality i get from these pictures is pretty much comparable to an APS-C type camera - I plan to prove this on my blog....

The LUMIX G VARIO 14-140/F4.0-5.8 was a good companion over the last years. I had it with me in India, the US, in Mountainbike trips etc. Whenever I did not want to carry large stuff or I wanted to have more privacy during shooting.

Now Panasonic offered a new Version of this lens: LUMIX G VARIO 14-140/F3.5-5.6. just a half F-Stop more? What is Panasonic claiming:

  • Less weight: 293 vs 513g incl lens hood: > 40% less weight
  • A better Optical Image Stabilisation 
  • And less price.

Ok: If you have it already: the price is not the reason... The weight is one - and the big question: will the increase in Image quality justify the investment? I decided to make some test photos and to share it with you.

The photos are typically RAW-Files from my G5. The Images are all screen shots from PhotoMechanic5 which has a nice comparison option...

I compared different situations: far away shots of Stuttgart City, both in 14mm and 140mm as well as hard backlight and focusing at the nearest. just practical stuff, no science.

This photo was taken with the G5@14mm, ISO 160@5,8 and 1/1000 sec. left you see the "old" lens, right the new one: just clearer..

 

This photo was taken with the G5@140mm, ISO 160@5,8 and 1/1000 sec. left you see the "new" lens, right the old one: similar impression....

 

I shoot at ISO 3200, f22 and 1/2000 this photo with 140mm focal length: I think you already know: the left one is the newer one...and whats about 14mm:

You see on which side is the newer lens? It´s left. The picture is clearer and the effected area from the outshining of the sun is smaller.

Wahts about the close up. The marveless makro possiblities from these lenses: This is a little bit more difficult: The accuracy controlling the sharpness in the automatic mode sets some limits...

If you look at the leaf behind the flower you can see the same result: the left one has a little bit more contrast... The same you see at 14mm focal length, but here more in the outer areas pf the photo...

 

 
Conclusio
 
Both lenses are delivering good or even excellent results. The newer lens delivers even a little bit better results. In combination with a G5 or even with a G6: I cannot imagine to have a better companion for outdoor.
 
Just to compare: to improve Image quality significantly there is only one choice on the market: The Canon 5D MarkIII with the 28-300 L Lens.... An the weight: 686g vs 2,6 kg.... 
 
Thank you Panasonic giving me this amazing piece of technology to have superb image quality without carrying too much wight!

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