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Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 preview (and more new Panasonic lens image samples)

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The japanese blog DC.watch.impress (Click here to read the google english translation) just posted a Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 minireview. There are many image samples and also one image comparison with the Panasonic 20mm lens. I don’t speak japanese and the google translation tool doesn’t do a good job here. I ask our japanese friends if they could the most important info by commenting this post.

From what I understand those are the key info:
– The lens is very sharp at f/4-f/5.6.
– Autofocus is also very fast.
– Vignetting is visible down to f/5.6.
– Some problems with with flare when shooting wide open.

UPDATE: Ringfoto-becker.de just posted new image samples taken with the new 14mm and 100-300mm Panasonic lenses.

Those are other image/video samples we already posted on 43rumors:
GH2 + 14mm f/2.5 slow motion test: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfU5JxEov4o
Quesabesde GH2 + new Panasonic lens test.
Dpreview posted a new Panasonic GH2 14mm and f/2.5 lens samples gallery

Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 preorders:
Amazon US, Adorama, BHphoto, Amazon Deutschland, Amazon Japan.

Panasonic 100-300mm preorders:
Amazon US, Adorama, BHphoto, Amazon Deutschland, Amazon UK, Amazon Japan.

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  • oluv

    the lens doesn’t look sharp at all, i think the 14-45 is sharper at 14mm, i am not sure if not even the 14-140 is similarly sharp as the new pancake. a pity they didn’t manage comparable quality to the 20mm pancake which is very good.

    • Ahem

      Oh, didn’t notice your post before posting mine. Exactly my thoughts as well. The 7-14mm is about as sharp at the same focal length and aperture.

      Very disappointing. Of course the 14mm is much smaller, lighter, cheaper, and has wider aperture. But one would expect superior IQ from a not-cheap prime lens.

  • Summary:
    The AF is much better than that of the 20mm and 17mm pancakes. Image quality is not as good as the 20mm but the lens is sharper than the 14-140mm and other zoom lenses. There is almost no distortion and little lens flare except in difficult situation, not worse than the 20mm and 14-140mm.

    All in all they sound happy and look forward to using it. :)

  • Brod1er

    Great match with a really small new gf camera. This lens is about half the size of the 20mm Combo might fit in a pocket

  • Ulli

    As long as the quality is reasonable/decent wideopen/stopped down i consider this Panasonic or the upcoming 12mm from Olympus as my next lens. My only current lens is a 50 mm manual focus, great for model/portraits but a snapshot style af lens is urgently needed too.

  • elliot

    From the samples it seems to really be an f/2.8 lens … unless you want very obvious vignetting.

    • Ahem

      Vignetting is trivial to fix in post.

  • Not entirely impressed. Thought this lens would be a little sharper (corners) and less vignetting wide open…

  • mat

    More of an issue for me than the vignetting (I tend to add some to most images anyway) is that the corners are pretty soft at 2.5 and 2.8 and even the sides themselves show a difference from the center at 2.5–don’t think it’s a deal breaker but it’s not optimum. In practice, unless your practice is shooting brick walls, it’ll be interesting to see how much it’s noticeable though.

    I pulled the 2.5 image into PS and either the camera wasn’t dead parallel to the wall or there’s some wonkiness with this particular lens as the left side of the image in the last few bricks is softer than on the right. Anyone else notice that?

    And at print size the softness is visible in the corners, but overall it looks really pretty good.

  • Akunnulator

    I found some test 3D lens with GH2 on this russian site http://www.rwpbb.ru/test/panasonicgh2.html

  • Zonkie

    I think they’ve tried too hard to make it as small as possible. I don’t see much advantage in it being quite smaller than the 20mm f/1.7. In practice when carrying the camera it won’t make a big difference. And if it’s as the cost of very big vigneting and soft borders….

    The fast auto-focus does look like an important improvement, though.

    • Miroslav

      +1
      Nobody would complain if it was a bit larger than the 20mm, but many will because of vignetting and corner softness. A mistake on behalf of Panasonic. They will obviously bundle it with the upcoming small m4/3 body, but other than that nobody will buy it unless other reviews show better results. Many lenses start at 14mm and if this one doesn’t outdo those, why buy it?

  • Not worth buying :-(

    Yes AF is faster, but IQ is low, and at f/2.5 it is much slower than the 20mm at f/1.7

    The field of view of this crap is too close to the 20mm! They should have made a 12mm (or 11mm or even better 10mm), as large and heavy as the 20mm, with better image quality (as fast as the weight/size permits, hopefully f/2.8)

  • zorg

    — Vignetting will be taken care of by the camera (Jpeg) or the processing software (Raw with Silkypix/ACR/etc.).
    — Softness in the corners: wide-open (street photo), it’s not an issue in practice, and closed-down (landscape), it disappears.
    — f/2.5 and super-compact, that’s great.

    Depending on the real price point (let’s wait for the lens to be widely available), this lens can be a real winner.

    • Ahem

      The softness is still clearly visible at f/11 – I’m not comfortable shooting at higher f-numbers with MFT.

  • Archer

    The IQ is exactly what I would expect from a lens of this size. And it is also why I’m not interested in it.

  • Ahem

    The Japanese site’s samples show that the 14mm is soft in corners and edges even when stopped down, just like the samples on DPReview. It’s not encouraging, as the 7-14mm seems to be about as sharp.

  • Catastrophile

    i downloaded one of the night shots @ dc watch and enhanced it beyond recognition, you can see it here:
    http://img196.imageshack.us/i/gh114mmf25enhanced.jpg/
    or here:
    http://yfrog.com/5ggh114mmf25enhancedj
    it is incredible how dark the OOC jpg is and how easy it is to make it brighter, i guess Panasonic intentionally wants the out put to be dark so that no one would criticize the noise (which becomes more visible in brighterly processed images.

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