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Dennis Hissink : July 16th 2010 - 14:50 CET

Panasonic lens review


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PanasonicPanasonic 7-14mm lens review : At the start of 2009, Panasonic introduced a wide angle zoom lens for its Micro Four Thirds System: the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm / F4.0 ASPH. Photographers immediately recognized the potential that this Panasonic zoom lens has: it is very compact, clearly lighter weight while maintaining a constant maximum aperture of f/4. The advantage of a so-called short flange back is included in the design of the Panasonic lens, resulting in a very compact ultra wide angle zoom lens. Because the Panasonic 7-14 mm lens has a very wide angle of view (114˚), it is easier to capture subjects when space is limited. We used the new Panasonic Lumix G2 in order to test the lens thoroughly.
Panasonic lens review

Panasonic lens review
The Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm lens’ design is comparable with that of other Lumix lenses. It has high-quality finishing and material, which immediately give the user the feeling of high quality. The bulbous front of the lens is typical for an ultra wide angle zoom lens, and the built-in hood serves as protection for the quality glass at the same time. A small disadvantage of these external characteristics is that it is not possible to fix a filter in front of the lens.

Panasonic Lumix Vario

Panasonic Lumix Vario 7-14mm lens
The compact format of the Panasonic Lumix 7-14mm lens is made possible by combining 16 lenses into 12 groups. These include 2 spherical and 4 ED lenses. The f/4.0 brightness over the entire zoom range of this lens is very handy in practice. Seven diaphragm blades give the aperture its rounded shape, so that an attractively smooth effect in out-of-focus areas can be created in the image when the user selects a large aperture setting.

Panasonic 7-14mm lens review

Panasonic 7-14mm lens review
The Panasonic Lumix Vario 7-14mm lens is a fine lens, especially for the photographer. Unfortunately, it is also an expensive lens. In comparison with the Olympus M Zuiko Digital 9-18mm f/4-5.6, for example, the Panasonic is about 75% more expensive (this may vary per region). Of course it's not just a matter of comparing prices, especially if two unequal lenses are being compared. The differences in technical terms are in any case a wider angle and a constant maximum aperture of f/4 over the entire zoom range.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2
In combination with the Panasonic Lumix G2, the Panasonic Lumix 7-14mm lens works well. The camera set lies comfortably in the hand and has a nice weight balance. I can imagine that this lens can be ideally combined with the Panasonic GF1 camera. The zoom ring and the focus ring run nice, which works pleasantly in practice. The AF works quickly, noiselessly and accurately, which is a feature that makes Panasonic look good. The manual focus will not be used much in practice, in my opinion.

Panasonic 7-14mm review

Panasonic 7-14mm review
The Panasonic 7-14mm zoom lens was thoroughly tested on technical aspects in our DIWA Lab that is run by Kai Thon, test manager of the DIWA Awards. The tests performed for sharpness show that the centre sharpness of the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm/F4.0 ASPH is excellent, not unexpected, and there is a bit of light corner blurriness. The best aperture range is from f/4 up to f/8, where the general result is optimal. The lens’ distortion is effectively corrected by Panasonic’s camera software. In practice, we hardly see any distortion come up. A software correction is also applied to the effect of chromatic aberration. Such a correction works effectively only in combination with a Panasonic camera, because when the lens is used on an Olympus camera, this correction will not be performed!

Lens test

Panasonic wide angle zoom lens test
The Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm/F4.0 ASPH is a fine wide angle zoom lens with fantastic image quality. The built quality is very good and feels solid. You notice that you really have a piece of quality in your hands. The compact format is ideal to ensure that this lens will also be taken along, and not, as is usually the case, left on the shelf because of the inconvenience of a large, heavy lens. Focusing is quiet and especially fast. The image quality is excellent and the way in which Panasonic performs effective corrections on chromatic aberration and distortion, deserves praise. Consideration must be made for the fact that this will only be corrected in combination with a Panasonic camera.

Panasonic lens reviews

Panasonic lens review
The Panasonic 7-14 mm ultra wide angle zoom lens surprised us. It surprised us with its features in practice and its technical quality in the lab. The combination of compact dimensions and the light weight push up the status of the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm on the wish list of the Micro Four Thirds photographer. Although Olympus offers stiff competition with its M Zuiko Digital 9-18mm f/4-5.6, this Panasonic 7-14mm will be preferred by the Panasonic Micro Four Thirds system camera user. Excellent, but it comes with a steep price tag.

Panasonic Lumix lens photo

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Panasonic Lumix lens picture

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Panasonic lens photo

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Panasonic lens picture

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Panasonic lens review photo

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Panasonic lens review picture

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Lens review photo

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Lens review picture

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