Panasonic Lumix G 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS II - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews -
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published August 2013, Klaus Schroiff
The micro-four-thirds gang is probably the most active when it comes to the introduction rate of new consumer grade zoom lenses. Along with the presentation of the new G6 camera, Panasonic also updated its standard kit lens. The Panasonic Lumix G 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS II has been completely redesigned from scratch and obviously a small size and low weight were primary design objectives this time. In this respect it sits somewhere between the Panasonic pancake zoom lens (14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ) and its predecessors or in other words - it is in the dwarfish league. The range has not been changed so its field-of-view is still equivalent to a "28-84mm" standard zoom lens on full-format (35mm) cameras.
The build quality of this little fellow is on a pretty high level thanks to a tightly assembled combination of (mostly) plastic and metal parts based on a metal mount. The zoom ring is just slightly stiff whereas the focus ring operates smoothly. The lens extends just a few millimeters towards the two extreme ends; the shortest physical length is reached around the 25mm mark. A petal-shaped hood is supplied.
The AF is blazingly fast in standard light situations. It's also no news anymore that the AF noise is basically non-existent and the accuracy is also very fine. Manual focusing works "by wire" so you actually drive the AF motor by turning the focus ring. We had no issues with this approach here. As the lens name implies, Panasonic managed to incorporate an optical image stabilizer (the "Mega" OIS variant) which is good enough for about 2-3 f-stops from a real-life perspective.
|Equiv. focal length||"28-84mm" (full format equivalent)|
|Equiv. aperture||"f/7-f/11.2" (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)|
|Optical construction||9 elements in 8 groups inc. 2x aspherical elements|
|Number of aperture blades||7 (circular)|
|min. focus distance||0.2-0.3m (max. magnification: 1:6)|
|Filter size||46mm (non-rotating)|
|Hood||supplied, petal-shaped, bayonet mount|