Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH. Mega O.I.S.

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By Jim Fisher

For some time, the one strategy to get the Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH. Mega O.I.S. ($ 249.99) was to purchase it bundled with a new Micro 4 Thirds camera. Now Panasonic is promoting it on its personal, albeit at a premium compared with the price of shopping for it together with a physique. It is considered one of quite a few starter lenses out there for the system, and a advantageous selection for anybody beginning out with a mirrorless camera—however you should not pay full retail price for it.

Despite the fact that it isn’t a collapsible lens just like the competing Olympus M.Zuiko 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II R zoom, the Lumix G Vario is pretty compact at 1.9 by 2.2 inches (HD), and there is no want to increase it by way of a latch mechanism prior to make use of as there’s with the Olympus zoom. Panasonic additionally features a reversible lens hood, which Olympus makes you purchase individually. And, since Panasonic cameras (for probably the most half) do not embrace the in-physique stabilization that Olympus makes use of in its Micro 4 Thirds line, the Lumix G Vario has stabilization inbuilt.

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH. Mega O.I.S. : Sample Image

However it’s not all variations. The G Vario has a plastic barrel and mount, identical to the M.Zuiko. And each cowl the identical zoom vary. Zoom is managed by way of a big ring that occupies a lot of the barrel. It is exhausting plastic, with a ridged texture and markings at 14mm, 18mm, 25mm, 35mm, and 42mm. A slim guide focus ring sits simply forward of the zoom management. That is one cause for photographers who typically flip off autofocus to take a look at this lens as an alternative of the smaller Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH..

The lens focuses as shut as 7.9 inches when zoomed all the best way out. That matches the premium Olympus M.Zuiko ED 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ and the Panasonic 12-32mm. It is also nearer than the 9.8 inches that the usual Olympus 14-42mm can handle.

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH. Mega O.I.S. : Sample Image

Picture High quality
I used Imatest to examine the sharpness of the 14-42mm when paired with the 16-megapixel Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7. It isn’t the strongest performer when set to its widest subject of view. At 14mm f/3.5 it scores 1,817 strains per picture height on a middle-weighted sharpness check. That is simply higher than the 1,800 strains we need to see in a photo at a minimal, however efficiency isn’t even throughout the body. The middle third is crisp, however the center third is a bit of tender at simply 1,670 strains, and the outer third of the body is blurred, displaying a mere 1,325 strains.

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Stopping right down to f/5.6 improves the outcomes to acceptable ranges all through a lot of the body, with all however the edges topping 2,000 strains and the middle-weighted common crossing the 2,100-line mark. The outer third of the body continues to be a bit mushy (1,635). Stopping right down to f/8 does not do a lot to vary issues by means of a lot of the body, however it does enhance the sides to 1,721 strains.

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH. Mega O.I.S. : Sample Image

The utmost aperture has narrowed to f/5.3 by the point you zoom to the 25mm setting. Whereas the lens does not seize that a lot mild right here, it does do properly when it comes to sharpness. It scores 2,one hundred seventy five strains on a middle-weighted sharpness check, with wonderful efficiency via a lot of the body and edges that hover round 1,835 strains. There is a very slight bump in general constancy at f/8 (2,194 strains), and edges are crisp at 1,965 strains.

At 42mm f/5.6 the lens is slightly weaker general, however nonetheless fairly good at 1,977 strains. The middle tops 2,100 strains, with the remainder of the body falling simply shy of a 1,900-line common. There is a noticeable uptick in high quality at f/8; the typical rating improves to 2,246 strains, with efficiency that’s pretty even, proper as much as the sides.

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH. Mega O.I.S. : Sample Image

Distortion is not a problem. Micro 4 Thirds cameras mechanically right for it, even when capturing in Uncooked, so it isn’t one thing you are going to discover in your photographs. Fall-off, which darkens corners, is a matter when capturing vast. At 14mm f/3.5, the Imatest Uniformity device exhibits that corners have a -1.7EV drop in illumination when capturing by means of an ExpoDisc. That drops to -1.4EV at f/4, and a barely noticeable -0.8EV at f/5.6. Illumination is even when zoomed in, even on the most aperture.

The Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH. Mega O.I.S. is not a lens that you’re going to be chomping on the bit to personal, however it’s a high-quality starter zoom for photographers getting into the Micro 4 Thirds system. When bought together with a camera it is a strong worth, however in the event you’ve already received a suitable camera and are in search of a new zoom, you might need to place extra emphasis on measurement. The G Vario is small in its personal proper, however collapsible power zooms just like the EZ version of the Olympus M.Zuiko 14-42mm and the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH. mechanically collapse for storage, and canopy the identical area of view. Vast angle followers also needs to check out the compact Panasonic 12-32mm—it does not zoom fairly so far as others, however makes up for it with a wider subject of view when zoomed out.

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