Sunday, April 08, 2012

LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm m4/3 Superzoom Lens

Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm F4-5.8 ASPH. Mega O.I.S. is the superzoom lens that comes with the micro four-thirds (m4/3) mount, adopted by Olympus and Panasonic mirrorless interchangeable lenses cameras. These superzoom lenses are ideal for photographers who want to travel light without the hassle of carrying and changing between wide-angle and telephoto lenses, hence they are sometime call walkabout lens. I strongly recommend everyone to have one in their arsenal as these are really very useful for most purposes. I happen to have a very good superzoom for my Nikon DSLR, Tamron AF 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD Aspherical (IF) MACRO which is the first superzoom lens with a whopping 15x zoom range. However, do not expect stellar performances but do not worry about shabby image quality either. These superzoom lenses are built to perform and impress as well.
The Olympus counterpart to the LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm will have to be the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-150mm F4.0-5.6. The Olympus version does not come with in-lens stabilization, since Olympus PEN series have in-camera sensor-shift image stabilization. Of course, the Panasonic version comes with a bigger price tag at around S$1260 market price while the Olympus is around S$820. You pay more for the Mega O.I.S. (which PEN users will not need), around twice the weight, a thicker barrel, tad shorter reach (10mm difference on telephoto), lens hood and case. I decide to get the Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm F4-5.8 ASPH. Mega O.I.S. for my rugged Olympus PEN E-P1.

Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm F4-5.8 ASPH. Mega O.I.S.
Model: H-VS014140
f=14mm to 140mm (35mm camera equivalent: 28mm to 280mm)
10x optical zoom
Closest distance= 0.5m
Filter size= φ62mm
Weight= 460g
Length= 84mm

  • MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer) - Panasonic's advanced hand-shake correction technology
  • 4 Aspherical lenses and 2 ED lenses for superb optical performance
  • An inner focus direct-drive linear motor for focusing, which enables smooth, silent operation of its fast and accurate Contrast AF system
  • Continuous AF/AE function that supports for both photos and videos
  • Circular aperture diaphragm
  • Multi-coated lens elements minimize ghosts and flare
  • Durable metal mount

  • LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm 
    with petal lens hood

    LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm 
    with Olympus PEN E-P1 and 17mm F2.8 pancake
    The lens barrel is rather thick.
    When attached to the PEN E-P1, the camera is slightly tilted.

    In the Hands
    LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm is not exactly a small lens, but fits nicely in the hand.
    The weight of the lens is well-balanced with the EP-1 body.

    The Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm F4-5.8 ASPH. Mega O.I.S. is definitely one superzoom lens to write about and travel with. I traded in the first generation M.ZUKIO DIGITAL 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 ED kit lens. With just 3x zoom, the kit lens is limited. Although the packaged is small when the lens is 'collapsed' or stowed, but when in operation, the length is around the same as the 14-140mm retracted. The lack lustre of the otherwise decent kit lens is the slow focusing and constant need to refocus back-and-forth each time the AF is triggered. With the LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm, focusing is now way much faster and gives more reach as well as versatility. There is really no need for the first-generation kit lens. I ought to get rid of that kit lens while there are still takers, since the kit lens has been revised twice already. 
    How does this lens fare in terms of real life performance?
    Stay tuned to my blog to find out!

    Let's go!

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    Photography and Editing by William Tan
    ©William Tan 2012

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