Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS
  • REVIEWS
  • INSPIRATION
  • COMMUNITY
  • COMPETITIONS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here


PRIZES GALORE! Enter The ePHOTOzine Exclusive Christmas Prize Draw; Over £10,000 Worth of Prizes! Plus A Gift For Everybody On Christmas Day!

Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 Mega OIS Review

Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 Mega OIS Review - Gary Wolstenholme reviews the Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 Asph Mega OIS lens for Micro Four Thirds cameras from Panasonic and Olympus.

 Add Comment

Category : Interchangeable Lenses
Product : Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 ASPH
Price : £450
Rating :
Share :

Handling and features
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 ASPH

This 10x zoom lens for Micro Four Thirds system cameras, provides a zoom range equivalent to a 28-280mm lens on a 35mm camera. It also sports optical image stabilisation, a silent focusing motor and a lightweight, compact design. The maximum aperture drops from f/4 to f/5.8 as the lens is zoomed towards the telephoto end.

Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 Handling and features

Despite being quite lightweight and compact, this lens feels very solidly built, being constructed from high quality plastics with a metal lens mount. Even though the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 used for testing is one of the more compact Micro Four Thirds bodies, the lens balances well on it, making handling the lens and camera combination a pleasure.

Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 ASPH

The zoom doubles the length of the lens as it it is moved to the telephoto end of the range and the action is smooth, not tightening up at any point in the zoom range. Zoom creep isn't an issue as the zoom mechanism has just enough resistance to prevent the lens travelling of its own accord when pointed downwards.

Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 ASPH

Focusing is performed internally, so the 62mm filter thread does not rotate, making this lens ideal for use with graduated and polarising filters. Autofocus is swift and accurate in all but the darkest conditions and the manual focus ring is well damped, making fine adjustments easy to apply.

The optical image stabiliser allows sharp hand held images to be taken at shutters speeds as low as 1/40sec at 140mm, which is roughly three stops slower than the usual rule of thumb would allow otherwise.

Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 Performance

Sharpness in the centre of the image area at 14mm is already outstanding at maximum aperture, with the clarity towards the edges just about reaching good levels. Stopping down improves the sharpness towards the edges, although not by much with peak quality across the frame being achieved between f/5.6 and f/8.

With the lens zoomed to 35mm, overall sharpness is reduced, but remains very good in the centre of the image area at maximum aperture. Towards the edges clarity is good between f/5 and f/8, with diffraction taking a bite out of resolution at smaller apertures.

Finally, at 140mm sharpness in the centre remains very good at maximum aperture, but the clarity towards the edges of the frames is reduced to fairly good levels. Stopping the lens down doesn't improve the quality towards the edges by much and sharpness in the centre remains good until f/11.

Resolution at 14mm
Resolution at 14mm
  Resolution at 35mm
Resolution at 35mm
Resolution at 140mm
Resolution at 140mm
 

How to read our charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. Averaging them out gives the red weighted column.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. Simple.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 using Imatest.

For a high ratio zoom lens like this, chromatic aberrations are very well controlled throughout the zoom range. Fringing is at its most prominent at 14mm, but does increase to noticeable levels towards the edges of the frame unless the lens is stopped down beyond f/16.

Chromatic aberration 18mm
Chromatic aberration 18mm
  Chromatic aberration 35mm
Chromatic aberration 35mm
Chromatic aberration 140mm
Chromatic aberration 140mm
 

How to read our charts

Chromatic aberration is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF3 using Imatest.

Falloff of illumination towards the edges of the frame is well controlled throughout the zoom range. At 14mm the corners are 1.19 stops darker than the image centre at f/4 and visually uniform illumination is achieved by f/5.6. At 140mm the corners of the frame are only 1.05 stops darker than the image centre and visual uniformity is attained by f/8.

Distortion is also very well controlled for such a high ratio zoom. At 14mm 1.21% barrel distortion is present, and at 140mm this is replaced with 0.229% pincushion distortion. The distortion pattern remains constant across the frame throughout the zoom range, which should make corrections in image editing software afterwards relatively easy to apply.

No issues with flare were encountered during testing and only a slight loss of contrast can be seen when shooting into the light at 140mm. A petal shaped hood is supplied as standard with the lens, which does an excellent job of shielding the front element from extraneous light.

Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 ASPH Sample Photos


Value for Money

Being priced at £580, this lens may seem a tad expensive, especially as the Olympus 14-150mm f/4-5.6 sports a slightly brighter maximum aperture at 150mm and costs around £90 less at £490. However, the Olympus lens doesn't include optical image stabilisation as the Panasonic lens does. This may not be an issue if you own an Olympus Micro Four Thirds camera body, as stabilisation is built into the camera body.

Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 Verdict

Although this lens may carry a relatively high price tag, it delivers decent quality for a 10x superzoom lens. This, coupled with the low distortion, falloff and excellent build quality may be just enough to sway many in the direction of this lens over the competition.

If you own a Panasonic Micro Four Thirds camera body, which does not include in-body stabilisation, the addition of optical stabilisation will also be an asset, especially when using the lens at telephoto focal lengths.
 
  The Panasonic Lumix 14-140mm lens gives decent optical performance with excellent build quality.

Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 Pros

Good build
Decent optical performance for a 10x zoom
Low distortion, falloff and CA
Optical stabiiliser is effective

Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 Cons

Maybe a bit pricey when compared with the Olympus equivalent
Focusing can hunt a little in low light

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
OVERALL  

Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm f/4.0-5.8 ASPH Specifications

ManufacturerPanasonic
General
Lens Mounts
  • Panasonic Micro Four Thirds
  • Olympus Micro Four Thirds
Lens
Focal Length14mm - 140mm
Angle of View9 - 75
Max Aperturef/4 - f/5.8
Min Aperturef/22
Filter Size62mm
35mm equivalent28mm - 280mm
Internal focusingYes
Focusing
Min Focus50cm
StabilisedYes
Construction
Blades7
Elements17
Groups13
Box Contents
Box ContentsInstructions, Lens Hood, Lens Case, Lens
Dimensions
Weight460g
Height84mm

View Full Product Details

Explore More

Join ePHOTOzine and remove these ads.

There are no comments here! Be the first!


Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.