Panasonic 14-42mm X lens reviewed at ePhotozine and Popco.


The new Panasonic 14-42mm X pancake zoom has been reviewed at ePhotozine (Click here): “If you value compactness above all but must have a zoom standard lens or you want ultra-smooth zooming movies from your CSC, you have (literally) no other choice than this one and I would therefore have to recommend it“. ePhotozine also said the optical performance is not better than the standard 14-42mm lens. But considering the increidble tiny size of the X lens this is sounds like a very good news.

Also the korean website Popco (Click here) tested the same lens. But there is no google english translation available. You can still look at their charts and image samples.

Check the 14-42mm X lens price and availability at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.

  • infinity jr.

    Hey admin? what happened to that secret, special 10th anniversary Lumix? I would love a 4/3 sensor super LX7 with the 14-42 as a fixed lens, collapsing even further into the body.

  • DonTom

    Great to have this as an option, but personally: I would only buy it as a kit lens. With luck, it will become the standard Panny kit zoom, with little extra cost. 12 months time? Definitely helps the “smaller and just as capable as a DSLR” argument.

  • Yun

    I have exprienced previous 12-42mm from GF2 & unimpressed with the Image quality . Won’t get it even as kit lens , prefer 12mm F2.5 if come to compactness .Rather save $$$ for constant aperature 35-100mm F ?? .

  • Agrivar

    Funny these sites dont pick up the double image problem that has widely been reported on dpr forums.. i.e at shutter speeds around 1/160, shooting at an object 6m away at full FL (i.e. 42mm). This hasnt been solved totally with the v1.1 FW update. I’d be cautious about buying this lens

    • Mr. Reeee

      You can bet that Panasonic tests the lenses they send out for reviews.

    • Bob B.

      You can bet that they do!

    • Bob B.

      Agrivar: Interesting. I have noticed this same double-image phenomenon on my 45-175 in that shutter-speed area (1/60) and to either side of it…(1/100 sec-1/300 sec).. It isn’t exactly blurred…the image appears to be kind of like a stutter. ( I tested my lens at the max zoom of 175mm, only) I was guessing that it was an IS problem. I was thinking (with all of the discussion) that visually to me “something” was not operating correctly while trying to correct the was a problem with the power O.I.S.
      I was not thinking it was an optical problem. (I guess it could be..this is a radical design for a lens).
      I did download the firmware and install it on my 45-175mm, (I do not own the 14-42mm)…but have not had a moment to reshoot some test images that I shot before loading in the new firmware. So I do not personally know if the firmware update has resolved this problem. (Is there meaningful feedback on the web?).
      I will have a chance to retest mine lens today.
      Perhaps the 14-42 X lens is suffering from O.I.S. problems, too…but there was no fix for that issue in its firmware update?
      This is all pretty interesting…
      Me personally…I would not would not own the 14-42mm. (I just sold my 14-45mm..sharper zoom than either of the 14-42’ help pay for some primes).. I use the 20mm or the new 25mm.
      Not a fan of zooms in general..but there are no auto focus prime tele’s for MFT and the 45-175mm is so compact …I had to give it a spin. I will know more later today.
      BTW…the lens also shoots some great, sharp images…we are all focusing on a limited problem here…just for the isn’t ALL BAD. :-)

      • Mr. Reeee

        If the image problems are related to the OIS, shut it off.

        It is odd that Panasonic released a new line of lenses and both are reported to have problems, which points to wondering why they didn’t fully test them. Now users, at least knowledgeable ones, will be wary of buying them. It’s tough to change negative opinions later. Iwould certainly hesitate. Bad move Panasonic.

        • JF

          “why they didn’t fully test them”
          Maybe it is the problem of nowadays: things are developing faster and faster, firms ask there employees to develop faster and faster, you need 1 year ? do it in 6 months ! For me, we see here the result of such a philosophy…

        • Bob B.

          Mr. Reee…duh..I am memory is terrible…when I did the initial test…I did a control with the tripod and they were all sharp. (compared them in Lightroom) ..So it must be an O.I.S. issue.
          I am waiting for the light to become the same…I will report back here and let you guys know if I think the firmware update for the lens fixed it. (If so…it sounds like the 14-42mm is having an O.I.S. issue as well). I am really curious to see if it is fixed!!!

          • Bob B.

            OK…I completed my comparison. The new firmware fixes the O.I.S. problem with the lens!!!!!!!!! (45-175mm lens)
            There appears to be no optical problem.
            Find my test samples here…click on second image to see comparison.

            Maybe the 14-42mm needs an O.I.S. fix as well??????

  • Terrible IQ. :(
    Is this the new X standard?

    • safaridon

      Before trying to convince others this is a terrible lens without proof how about at least looking at the actual test results from the Popco review? When it comes to resolution at 14mm the Xlens clearly is light years ahead of the Oly zoom and the std Pany zoom. At 42mm the difference is less but again the Xlens is better. The ePhotozone provided no tests to back up their opinion that the Xlens was no better than the others but at the same time commenting that given its extreme compactness, small size, smooth zooming, and convenient handling the Xlens was definitely the lens to get for those valuing these features.

      • Pana told that the X will compete with pro lens families like Canon L.
        As I see these new lenses are nothing more than standard kit lenses with very medicore IQ. And I was polite.

        • Brod1er

          There certainly is no logic to the new X lens branding but did you really think a £300 lens would compete on IQ with £1000+ L zooms whilst at the same time being the worlds smallest kit lens?

        • Conrad

          I only recall that Panasonic called the X line ‘premium’. I do not recall any reference to Canon L. Do you have a link to actual Panasonic officials claiming this?

        • carpandean

          While the “L” designation means only high image quality, Panasonic’s “X” designation simply means special in one or another. For this lens, it’s size (no other kit lens comes close and the performance is about the same as most of them); for the GX1, it’s about build quality and manual inputs in a compact body; and for the upcoming constant aperture zooms, it will likely mean both the constant aperture and better image quality. The latter would be (and better be) the most direct competitor with the “L” lenses, but we don’t have one yet to compare.

  • The “X” was introduced as better quality but obvioisly is just marketing. As I have a malfunctioning collapsable Olympus kit-zoom here, I say that solution is fragile. When I want a smaller gear, I just pick the 20mm lens. Not a zoom, but I am still able to walk!

  • EASY

    I would rather get prime/primes instead of this one.
    Quite bad IQ for asked price.
    14/25/45 mm – look great, but cost more.
    I am not gonna get it even with kit.
    What is next?

  • Brod1er

    Good review. Shame the lens IQ is like the 14-42 rather than 14-45. However it is the best MFT general purpose lens given its size, FL, video zoom, close focus, anti flare, good build quality and fast AF. Ie you should be able to take good photos in most conditions and are likely to have the camera with you. Maybe we hope for too much in what is an inherently compromised product? I agree with Don Tom that it is worth buying as a kit but probably wont buy as a stand alone.

    • ypocaramel

      I use a standard prime almost all of the time but I like having a kit zoom in the bag for focal lengths I don’t use enough to justify the expense or space (wide angle usually). For that usage the X len’s small size is rather handy, keep it in the bag as a backup.

      • If you are planning to use it mostly on the wide end, buy a 14/2.5. Smaller, lighter, brighter, cheaper, and in the IQ department… night and day.

  • This review doesn’t sounds really scientific for me – rather superficial.
    On the other hands the official Panasonic MFT charts show clear superiority over both 14–42 and 14–45.
    So either Panasonic lies or there is something wrong with this review.

    • P4INKiller

      So what? People have different opinions.
      There shouldn’t be anything scientific about why you like a lens.

      Is that how you view photography, from a scientific viewpoint?

      You require all reviewers to take photos of test charts, and then ponder about which lens is superior without even considering what is required for your work?

      Pehaps you’re in the wrong line of work.

      • Negative.

        The optical performance is a more or less measurable thing. This not necessarily means that an optically better lens really performs better in field conditions, but can give a serious hint about the expected behaviour.

        So if a review speaks about optical performance it should be based on measurements. Obviously what we are really interested for is whether the lens can give good pictures in everyday, real-life work or not, but this is rather a subjective impression.

        • ypocaramel

          Indeed, there are some subjective judgments I trust more than others but measurements or at least controlled testing is more reliable. It’ll come soon and we will see whether they collaborate Panasonic’s chart. Before then I wouldn’t really jump to conclusions.

  • Yun

    Ya , I recalled that news , 10 years anniversary from Lumix , mysterious camera . That is GX1 , got other product ?
    LX 7 ?

    • admin

      It is the GX1.

      • admin

        LX7 is coming in January!

        • Interesting. Any particular rumors about the LX7?

          In the Canon S100 reviews, oldie LX5 looked pretty good.

        • Miroslav

          LX7 in January? What FT? Good news!

  • Barry

    The IQ of the 14-42x at 42 are utter guff. I would avoid this lens.

  • carpandean

    I’ll probably grab one of these in a kit for the next Panny body that I purchase (GX1?), so as to get the discount. As part of travel kit with one of the smaller mu-4/3 bodies, it can’t be beat, but there are definitely better options when you are less concerned with compactness (e.g., around the house, for photo shoots, or when going to an event/location specifically to take photos.)

    The key advantage of mu-4/3 over most other systems (Nikon 1 and Pentax Q aside) is size (even for the two exceptions, it’s better IQ for similar size), which this lens epitomizes, much like the 14mm. That doesn’t mean that it’s the only thing that mu-4/3 can do, but it does provide that advantage when needed. The older Panny 3x (kit) zooms do not really provide that much of an advantage, but this lens does. It certainly doesn’t sound like it’s any worse than most DSLR 3x (18-55mm) kit lenses, which is what this lens needs to do. For $250 (over body-only cameras), it’s a good deal; for $400+ alone, it would depend on how much compactness means to you.

    In short, the “X” here is similar performance in a much more compact body, while (presumably) the “X” in the upcoming lenses will be constant aperture and optical performance.

  • Will

    I am disappointed on how Panny handles this problematic X lens. They should either recall them or do a firmware update that will actually resolve this issue.

    Surely I will not buy these X lens until they finally find a way to fix it. For now, I’ll stick with my 20mm.

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