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Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit Aspherical MEGA O.I.S. Lens

B&H # PA145028 Mfr # L-ES014050
No Longer Available
Product Highlights
  • For Four Thirds System Cameras
  • Leica D Series Design
  • Zoom Wide Angle-Telephoto

The Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Leica D Vario-Elmarit Aspherical MEGA O.I.S. Lens is an interchangeable bright standard-zoom lens, developed by Leica exclusively for digital SLR cameras, and follows the Four Thirds Standard. This means that the lens is also interchangeable with other manufacturers that use this format.

With a bright maximum aperture of f/2.8 and the incorporated MEGA O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilizer), this lens makes it possible - without using a tripod - to capture clear, sharp images even in macro shooting or low-lit situations. This provides users with more shooting flexibility. In addition, the lens maximizes this advantage by incorporating Panasonic's Venus Engine PLUS LSI into the lens.

Aspherical Lenses
Two large-diameter aspherical lenses help the lens meet Leica's extremely high optical performance standards. They help capture images that are clear from corner to corner across the entire zoom range, with minimal distortion.
Multi-Coated
Multi-coated lens elements reduce ghosting and flare to an absolute minimum, enabling the lens to deliver an optical performance that meets Leica's lofty standards.
Aperture Ring
The included aperture ring, in addition to the zoom and focus rings, provides users with the kind of easy, pleasant, intuitive operation offered by familiar film cameras.
Circular Aperture
7-blade circular aperture diaphragm produces brilliant out-of-focus characteristics.
Four Thirds Standard Lens Mount
Use of the Four Thirds Standard means that this lens can also be used with other manufacturers that have adopted this digital camera standard.
Performance
Focal Length 14 - 50mm
Comparable Four Thirds and Micro 4/3 Focal Length: 28 - 100 mm
Aperture Maximum: f/2.8 - 3.5
Minimum: f/22
Camera Mount Type Four Thirds
Format Compatibility Four Thirds
Angle of View 75° - 24°
Minimum Focus Distance 11.42" (29 cm)
Magnification 0.32x
Maximum Reproduction Ratio 1:3
Elements/Groups 16/12
Diaphragm Blades 7
Features
Image Stabilization Yes
Autofocus Yes
Tripod Collar No
Physical
Filter Thread 72 mm
Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 3.1 x 4.6" (7.87 x 11.68 cm)
Weight 1.08 lb (490 g)
Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit Aspherical MEGA O.I.S. Lens
  • Front Lens Cap
  • Rear Lens Cap
  • Lens Hood
  • Lens Storage Bag
  • 1-Year U.S.A. Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    Panasonic14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit Aspherical MEGA O.I.S. Lens
     
    3.9

    (based on 15 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (8)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (2)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (2)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (2)

    64%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Fast / accurate auto-focus (11)
    • Consistent output (5)
    • Strong construction (5)

    Cons

    • Heavy (3)

    Best Uses

    • General purpose (4)
    • Landscape/scenery (4)
    • Portraits (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Pro photographer (3), Semi-pro photographer (3)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (5)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    It's Pricey, but It's a LEICA

    This is the kit lens with the LUMIX DMC-L1 and the reason why I bought the L1. I like fast glass and I am used to using an aperture ring on my AE-1. ...Read complete review

    This is the kit lens with the LUMIX DMC-L1 and the reason why I bought the L1. I like fast glass and I am used to using an aperture ring on my AE-1. The quality of this lens is exquisite! Its output (on the L1) is very LEICA in character. The only down-sides to this lens are its weight and practicality for Olympus users.

    I don't expect a fast lens to be light, but this lens would not balance well on a 400 series camera. Which brings me to the second point. Its image stabilization is the only appealing feature to Olympus users and then only to users of the 400 series and older Olympus cameras. The aperture ring does not function on Olympus models, which I find a shame.

    It is a wonderful lens and a perfect upgrade for L10 users, but within the Four-Thirds system, there are more practical options for Olympus owners.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Disappointed

    I purchased my Leica Digilux 3 with this Elmarit 14-50 mm zoom lens in 2007. I love this camera and lens, and have been completely satisfied with its performance, until 2 days...Read complete review

    I purchased my Leica Digilux 3 with this Elmarit 14-50 mm zoom lens in 2007. I love this camera and lens, and have been completely satisfied with its performance, until 2 days ago, when the zoom froze at approximately 22 mm. I could zoom 22-14, but not past 22 mm. It eventually unfroze, worked fine 22-50 mm and worked for a couple of minutes through the full focal length, then froze again, and again, and again. I eventually started a search for information about repair or replacement, and was shocked to find a review, dated September 2010, describing this exact problem, including the focal point at which it froze and the approximate age of the lens. More reviews turned up with the same problem. I'm heartbroken and depressed; I waited years to buy my first Leica because I loved the Leica color handling, and this camera has been perfect for me, it fits my hand, it's comfortable to use, the color management is fantastic (I acknowledge this is a personal opinion, but compared to other camera brands I have used, I find the colors much more pleasing), the sharpness, exposures, and metering are all super. One reviewer noted 3 options: repair, replace, or scrap the whole system. None of these work for me; I'm reluctant to repair and chance having the same problem down the road; to replace is $950 plus a 5 year warranty (I'd be afraid to take the 2 year warranty, since the lens worked just fine for 3+ years), and I have no idea if the problem has been fixed in production; and I don't want to scrap what is otherwise perfect for me. So, necessity being the mother of invention, I offer a 4th option: inelegant for sure and frankly rather pathetic for a [$] lens, but one that works for me – a rubber band. An ordinary grocery store produce department approximately 1/4" rubber band. With the lens extended fully, put the rubber band around the lens, and it will prevent you from hitting the 22mm "freeze" mark. Not much of an advertisement for Leica/Elmarit, it leaves one with a very expensive 23-50 mm zoom lens, but it's my only option, and since I use the 25-50 range more often than the 14-22 range, I can live with it.Disappointing for sure, I expected much more from Leica.

    Reviewed by 15 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-15

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    5.0

    Very nice

    By Bay Zero Pictures

    from NYC

    Comments about Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit Aspherical MEGA O.I.S. Lens:

    Shallow dof is stunning when paired with my GH3.

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    Superb Optics - read the instructions!

    By Woody

    from Colorado

    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

    Pros

    • Consistent Output
    • Durable
    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Nice Bokeh
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Macro Photography
    • Weddings/Events
    • Wildlife Photos

    Comments about Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit Aspherical MEGA O.I.S. Lens:

    I have had this marvelous lens for 4 years and it is superb. I have about a dozen 4/3rds lenses, Leica, high end Oly, and Sigma and this one provides the best in optics, bokeh, sharpness, speed and the mechanical aperture ring is a pleasure to use. Read the instructions. Do not mount/unmount this lens without turning off the OIS! I'm convinced that the users who had their zoom freeze did not religously regard this instruction. You cannot go wrong with this optical marvel.

    Share this review

     
    4.0

    I would buy this product again

    By Kristian Freelance Videographer

    from QLD, Australia

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Heavy

    Best Uses

      Comments about Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit Aspherical MEGA O.I.S. Lens:

      larger lens than i thought it would be but loving the speed of the lens and found it very good to use on my AF100 with adaptor for use with video.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      5.0

      Worth the money

      By Panama Jim

      from Memphis TN

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Image quality
      • Image stabilization
      • Nice Bokeh
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Slow Focus

      Best Uses

      • Landscape/Scenery
      • Walkaround

      Comments about Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit Aspherical MEGA O.I.S. Lens:

      A definate improvement over the kit lenses. A little large on the GH2 with the adaptor and all, but the quality of the images makes it worthwhile.
      A bit slow focussing but all in all worth the money and the logistics, size, weight etc. To me if you
      can see the difference then it s worth the money.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Decent lens, nothing to write home about

      By Ram on travels

      from new york

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Fast / accurate auto-focus

      Cons

      • Poor in Low Light

      Best Uses

      • Video

      Comments about Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit Aspherical MEGA O.I.S. Lens:

      Good image quality but awful noise making when using ois. Aperture was decent for this price range, but if you are shooting using camera on board mic, prepare for not somclean audio.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

      (13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      Disappointed

      By Lab lover

      from Fly Creek, NY

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Fast / accurate auto-focus
      • Good color options

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Weddings/Events
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit Aspherical MEGA O.I.S. Lens:

        I purchased my Leica Digilux 3 with this Elmarit 14-50 mm zoom lens in 2007. I love this camera and lens, and have been completely satisfied with its performance, until 2 days ago, when the zoom froze at approximately 22 mm. I could zoom 22-14, but not past 22 mm. It eventually unfroze, worked fine 22-50 mm and worked for a couple of minutes through the full focal length, then froze again, and again, and again. I eventually started a search for information about repair or replacement, and was shocked to find a review, dated September 2010, describing this exact problem, including the focal point at which it froze and the approximate age of the lens. More reviews turned up with the same problem. I'm heartbroken and depressed; I waited years to buy my first Leica because I loved the Leica color handling, and this camera has been perfect for me, it fits my hand, it's comfortable to use, the color management is fantastic (I acknowledge this is a personal opinion, but compared to other camera brands I have used, I find the colors much more pleasing), the sharpness, exposures, and metering are all super. One reviewer noted 3 options: repair, replace, or scrap the whole system. None of these work for me; I'm reluctant to repair and chance having the same problem down the road; to replace is $950 plus a 5 year warranty (I'd be afraid to take the 2 year warranty, since the lens worked just fine for 3+ years), and I have no idea if the problem has been fixed in production; and I don't want to scrap what is otherwise perfect for me. So, necessity being the mother of invention, I offer a 4th option: inelegant for sure and frankly rather pathetic for a [$] lens, but one that works for me – a rubber band. An ordinary grocery store produce department approximately 1/4" rubber band. With the lens extended fully, put the rubber band around the lens, and it will prevent you from hitting the 22mm "freeze" mark. Not much of an advertisement for Leica/Elmarit, it leaves one with a very expensive 23-50 mm zoom lens, but it's my only option, and since I use the 25-50 range more often than the 14-22 range, I can live with it.Disappointing for sure, I expected much more from Leica.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

        (9 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Great Lens, but is now broken

        By Nick

        from Ottawa Canada

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit Aspherical MEGA O.I.S. Lens:

              This lens was great for the first 3 years I owned it. The one day it decided to stop zooming in past 22. It made no sense to me as I always took great care of the lens. I thought maybe someone else had dropped it and not told me about it until I did some research online. Apparently this has happened to many other photographers using this lens.

              This was my first lens/camera and I'm not too happy that I need to pay $500 to fix the darn thing because of a defect. I was always under the impression that Leica made top quality products and was a reason I spent the extra money on this camera.

              I'm no pro, and didn't use the lens on an everyday basis so for it to break down like this for this price is a shock to me.

              Beware..great lens with the durability of a Dollar Store Item

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

              (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Terrific Lens On Micro 4/3

              By jmkays

              from Seattle, WA

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Consistent Output
              • Quick Focus
              • Sharp Focus
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Landscape/Scenery
                • Travel

                Comments about Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit Aspherical MEGA O.I.S. Lens:

                Pros: Excellent flexible lens in this price range. Leica quality optics and responsive auto-focus. Nice match for Panasonic DMC-GF1 (with adapter).

                Con: Casing's plastic components..

                Share this review

                (11 of 20 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                1.0

                Worst lens ever made

                By Travellor-Rob

                from Iowa City

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Good image stabilization

                Cons

                • Poor low light auto focus
                • Prone to internal damage

                Best Uses

                • Do not buy

                Comments about Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit Aspherical MEGA O.I.S. Lens:

                This lens is very prone to internal mechanical failure. I bought this Leica lens initially together with my Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 kit, and after 2 years the zoom mechanism jammed up unexpectedly without receiving any bumps. I replaced the lens with another new one while I awaited repair of the old lens. I have since discovered this is a very common problem of this lens when used on both its Panasonic DMC-L1 and Leica Digilux identical cameras. As this is the primary lens of an expensive camera system without an alternative primary lens, it forced me to change to a new camera system and forfeit all the accessory lenses and equipment I had purchased. I note both Leica and Panasonic have ceased to sell the DMC-L1 and Digilux cameras carrying this lens. I hope Panasonic (and Leica) will announced a camera and lens recall of this expensive camera system due to the commoness of the design-manufacture defect and the fact the defect forces one to abandon an entire canera system with accessories. They should offer exchanges for other equipment.

                Share this review

                (11 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                3.0

                Might not be up to Leica build standards

                By phrench_phried

                from France

                About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Fast
                • Quick Focus
                • Sharp Focus

                Cons

                • Heavy
                • Prone to breakdown
                • Vignetttes

                Best Uses

                • General Use
                • Landscape Photography
                • Night Photography
                • Sports/Action

                Comments about Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit Aspherical MEGA O.I.S. Lens:

                I want to love this lens. While it was working, I almost did. It's very sharp at nearly all apertures and fairly fast. I never loved the O.I.S. feature (I never really saw any improvement or reduction in camera shake), but I'm something of an old school photographer. I loved the aperture ring for the same reason. When it was working properly, my main criticisms were weight, size, and the fact that the lens vignettes with anything more than one thin filter. Later, it developed a problem where the zoom blocked solidly at about 22mm rendering the lens a 14 - 22 zoom. An Internet search reveals that it's a pretty common problem and Panasonic often wants around $500 to fix it if it's not covered under warranty. I think I'm going to get the Olympus 14-54 and remember this experience before I buy Panaleica again.

                Share this review

                (8 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                It's Pricey, but It's a LEICA

                By Jarrod

                from Lewisville, NC

                About Me Hobbyist/Enthusiast

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Image stabilization
                • Sharp Focus

                Cons

                • Cost

                Best Uses

                • General Use
                • Night Photography
                • Portraits
                • Upgrade

                Comments about Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit Aspherical MEGA O.I.S. Lens:

                This is the kit lens with the LUMIX DMC-L1 and the reason why I bought the L1. I like fast glass and I am used to using an aperture ring on my AE-1. The quality of this lens is exquisite! Its output (on the L1) is very LEICA in character. The only down-sides to this lens are its weight and practicality for Olympus users.

                I don't expect a fast lens to be light, but this lens would not balance well on a 400 series camera. Which brings me to the second point. Its image stabilization is the only appealing feature to Olympus users and then only to users of the 400 series and older Olympus cameras. The aperture ring does not function on Olympus models, which I find a shame.

                It is a wonderful lens and a perfect upgrade for L10 users, but within the Four-Thirds system, there are more practical options for Olympus owners.

                Share this review

                (13 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Perhaps the sharpest lens of this type

                By Rich

                from Harmony, PA

                About Me Professional

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Consistent Output
                • Durable
                • Rugged
                • Sharp Focus

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • General Use
                  • Portraits

                  Comments about Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit Aspherical MEGA O.I.S. Lens:

                  Very sharp, which is what you want from any lens. The Leica cache is well founded for this lens. While it is constructed of modern plastics it is very rugged and has that smooth Leica feel.
                  The Bokeh is smooth and quite lovely. The downside with the 4/3 system is the greater depth of field. While this may be an advantage for some types of photography, for portrait work it can be a pain. I use this lens wide open to soften the background as much as possable and it is still very sharp.

                  Share this review

                  (10 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Love this lens, but it is heavy

                  By Too old to care

                  from Saint Louis

                  About Me Semi-Professional

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Consistent Output
                  • Rugged
                  • Sharp Focus
                  • Strong Construction

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • General Use
                    • Portraits

                    Comments about Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit Aspherical MEGA O.I.S. Lens:

                    I love this lens. For a 4/3 system, this lens is great. Not that I am knocking 4/3, but a lens must be very sharp to give great photos with this size sensor. It is bright enough to allow focusing in low light situations, as long as it is not totally dark.

                      • Similar:
                      • Leica M6, Mamiya C330, Canon G7

                      Share this review

                      (12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Great Lens

                      By Scott E.

                      from Southwestern PA.

                      Comments about Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit Aspherical MEGA O.I.S. Lens:

                      This is a great way to get a Leica designed lens. It may have a plastic body, but the glass is Leica spec. It captures great color and detail. With built in OIS at this range you can get good low light even with the f/3.5 end. It is heavy for this size lens, but again excellent lens. Excellent bokeh and quiet focusing. The lens is worth buying if you have any 4/3 cameras.

                      Problems Encountered: None

                      Previous Equivalent Items Owned: Zeiss, Pentax, CanonL

                      Items I Recommend: Good filter to protect the front. Buy the best you can afford

                      Share this review

                      (12 of 12 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Superb Quality for the Price!

                      By Stephen John

                      from Southern Ca, US

                      Comments about Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit Aspherical MEGA O.I.S. Lens:

                      Although the lens is plastic composited, it still has a solid feel. Heavier than similar zooms in this range, but what do you expect from a lens with this much quality glass? Extremely bright TTL at F2.8., which helps correct the inherent problem of 4/3 viewfinders being a bit dark. Aperture ring takes a bit getting used to, unless you're used to shooting film. Extremely silent AF and OIS motor, although the AF is slower than some other lenses. Manual Focus is crisp and smooth, allowing for precise visual control of the bokeh. And the price of this beauty is far below that of other lenses of this caliber. A must have for any 4/3 mount owner...

                      Previous Equivalent Items Owned: Oly f2.8 50-200mm, Oly f3.5 40-150mm

                      Items I Recommend: Panasonic DMC-L1K

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