REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
PanasonicLumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black)
 
3.9

(based on 25 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (10)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

83%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Lightweight (21)
  • Easily interchangeable (13)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (11)
  • Consistent output (9)
  • Durable (7)

Cons

  • Poor in low light (6)

Best Uses

  • Landscape/scenery (16)
  • Video (9)
  • Travel (6)
  • Weddings (6)
  • Low light (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (13), Semi-pro photographer (7), Casual photographer (3)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (25)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

I expected a compromise in IQ ...

When playing tourist I find changing primes is awkward, and a bit risky, leading to possible introduction of dust into the camera body and even worse, dropping a lens.

After...Read complete review

When playing tourist I find changing primes is awkward, and a bit risky, leading to possible introduction of dust into the camera body and even worse, dropping a lens.

After struggling with this on a recent tourist outing, I decided to see how the 14-42 PZ zoom performs. I was amazed at how good it is. It is very sharp over a reasonable range of aperture settings, and focus is fast and precise (on an OM-D body).

On future travel adventures, this lens will be the first in my bag and will be on the camera most of the time.

I only wish it had a larger aperture...

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Sharp and compact, but IS has issues

When it works (see below), this lens is nice and sharp on my Panasonic GX1, at all focal lengths, even wide open. The lens is super tiny, amazingly small really for...Read complete review

When it works (see below), this lens is nice and sharp on my Panasonic GX1, at all focal lengths, even wide open. The lens is super tiny, amazingly small really for a standard zoom. The lens has a metal lens mount.

There is however a significant problem with this lens, that has been reported by many users, and which I also confirmed by careful testing. Even with the latest firmware (v1.1), the image stabilizer causes somewhat blurry images starting at 1/60s and continuing to at least 1/320s. In this range you might be better off turning the image stabilizer off for sharper pictures. But of course then you run the risk of camera shake.

Turning the image stabilizer on and off all the time is a hassle, plus you're not really getting what you're paying for if you have to disable the IS. I don't recommend buying this lens until this problem is fixed by Panasonic.

The lens also has quite a few other drawbacks:
* No manual zoom ring. The power zoom is not that clunky to use, but a manual zoom ring is of course much faster.
* No manual focus ring. I practically never use manual focus, but if you do, you might want to think twice before getting this lens.
* 37mm filter thread. I really don't know why Panasonic did this. 46mm would have been much more convenient for filters, since many other Panasonic lenses use this. And there is room on the lens for a wider thread. The tiny lens cap is a drag to use as well - it's simply too small. I expect to lose it.
* No lens hood. Be prepared for flare and lack of contrast in your pictures.

Reviewed by 25 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

Back to top

Previous | Next »

 
4.0

I like this little lens

By Beagleman John

from Upland, Indiana

About Me Casual Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Durable
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus
  • Lightweight

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Landscape/Scenery

    Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Silver):

    So far I have used the lens for landscaping photos on my Olympus M-10 II, plus photos of my grandchildren. It is easier to use than a manual zoom lens. I also appreciate B&H letting me know the approximate time of arrival which was accurate almost to the minute.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this reviewHelp Icon

     
    5.0

    Incredible Lens

    By Purchase Agent

    from Glendale,, CA

    About Me Pro Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easily Interchangeable
    • Lightweight

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Indoors/Low Light
      • Sports/Action
      • Video

      Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Silver):

      Popular lens with our top clients.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this reviewHelp Icon

       
      4.0

      Don't let the size fool you!

      By Neil London

      from Oregon

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output
      • Easily Interchangeable
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Poor in Low Light

      Best Uses

      • Video

      Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Silver):

      Really suprized at this lens. The fact that something so small can produce such a nice image. Again dissapointed in the hogh stop limit (3.5) but understandable in such a small lens with a servo zoom. I didn't think I was going to keep this lens but It's much better then the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm. Granted it's a diffent zoom length but at least this doesn't rattle.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this reviewHelp Icon

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Tiny but power-packed!

      By Shaunus

      from Redding, CA

      About Me Pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Consistent Output

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Video
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Silver):

        I am so impressed with this lens. Really top quality optics. Love the power zoom and focus features - I use it in on a Blackmagic Design Studio Camera, so it being active allows me to remotely control it. Brilliant and really useful.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this reviewHelp Icon

        (15 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        Good for Stills, Okay for Video

        By Jimmy V

        from NJ

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Lightweight
        • Nice Bokeh
        • Very compact

        Cons

        • Limited Bokeh
        • Limited Bokeh 35-56
        • Not Weather Sealed
        • Reaches F5 Quickly

        Best Uses

        • See Above

        Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Silver):

        I use this lens on an EM-5 body. For those that are unsure of the quality this lens is capable, research some blogs out there by Ming Thein and Lindsay Dobson. The results from this little lens are very good indeed. The primary problem with the lens was the "shutter shock" it experienced on certain camera bodies, creating blurred images. Not so with the EM-5 body. Images are very sharp (not extremely sharp) at all aperture settings, but best between F5-F7.1. Chromatic aberration exists in noticeable quantity with heavy back lighting of subject in a high contrast scene in the upper corners of the frame, but is definitely not a deal breaker. Avoid high aperture settings. Contrast is good and typical of Panasonic/Lumix glass. The lens has aspherical elements and distortion is fairly well controlled.

        Operation: The lens has power zoom and focus levers rather than rotating rings. As a DLSR shooter, I thought this adjustment would be difficult, but that has not proven to be the case. Then again, your personality comes into play here as some find change to be jarring and uncomfortable. The levers are required to make this lens SO compact. With the lens mounted on the camera, this lens fits in a coat pocket! Focusing speed is actually quite fast, especially outdoors. Point the camera and use the touch screen shutter actuation feature and the camera focuses and shoots almost instantaneously. Indoors, if the lens requires to hunt for focus in low light, your cooked. But at a recent event, I was able to shoot indoors, 3200iso 1/50th shutter speeds and the focus locked in quickly enough. The PZ 14-42 has stabilization built into the lens and in camera stabilization on the EM-5 can be turned off as , but I find it better to use both; as counter intuitive as this may seem.

        It appears that there is some quality control issues regarding the first lenses made reflected by the fact that reviewers and commenters have had very different experiences with the lens. The issue of shutter shock may contribute to these diverse findings.

        Comparison: I have owned the first generation 14-42 Olympus kit lens. It was actually a fairly sharp lens as well. The Panasonic is better: more compact, better contrast, better resolving power, much better for video (quiet focus and smooth zoom). I use Nikon primes on my EM-5 with manual focus. The Nikon's color renditions are cooler, the lenses aren't quite as sharp as the PZ until stopped down to F2.8 or so and the DOF is better with the Nikons. The resolving power of the Nikon lenses are higher. Manual focusing is a drag for many occasions, however. The PZ appears slightly sharper than the 40-150 Oly long zoom and appears equally as sharp as the Panasonic 14-150 from the 14-42 range. Visually, the contrast and color renditions are similar from these two lenses though the 14-150 does appear to render skin tones slightly pinker when compared to the 14-42, in my opinion. This could, however, require in camera adjustment as the lenses are different....

        Conclusion: if you are somewhat experienced with interchangeable lens cameras and understand the flaws inherent in less expensive glass, then the ability to work within certain limitations for this lens will yield surprisingly good results. Don't expect very professional results from this lens (professional zooms or primes will yield those type of results), but it is great for compact street photography, casual shooting, sites of interest, etc...

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this reviewHelp Icon

        (0 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        poor performer

        By leszeff

        from Montreal, qc

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Silver):

        I love the GX1 but this lens sucks and doesn't do justice to a great camera.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this reviewHelp Icon

        (2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Sweet little all-purpose lens

        By Scott

        from Kenosha, Wisconsin

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Consistent Output
        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Lightweight

        Cons

        • Poor in Low Light

        Best Uses

        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Wildlife Photos

        Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

        I use this little lens for general photography and to keep my sensor free when my GH3 is not mounted on one of the Observatory's telescopes. I like its light weight and it seems to take very nice pictures. The zoom works well as does the manual focus lever. It came with updated firmware, so it was good to go the moment it arrived from B&H. Also, I like knowing that it is one of Panasonic's X-series lenses ... just for the coolness factor.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this reviewHelp Icon

        (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        I expected a compromise in IQ ...

        By richard parker

        from Long Island NY

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
        • Lightweight
        • Nice Bokeh

        Cons

        • Poor in Low Light

        Best Uses

        • Architecture
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Travel
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

        When playing tourist I find changing primes is awkward, and a bit risky, leading to possible introduction of dust into the camera body and even worse, dropping a lens.

        After struggling with this on a recent tourist outing, I decided to see how the 14-42 PZ zoom performs. I was amazed at how good it is. It is very sharp over a reasonable range of aperture settings, and focus is fast and precise (on an OM-D body).

        On future travel adventures, this lens will be the first in my bag and will be on the camera most of the time.

        I only wish it had a larger aperture...

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this reviewHelp Icon

        (6 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

         
        2.0

        Not sure about this lens

        By shankel128

        from Champaign, Illinois

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easily Interchangeable
        • Lightweight

        Cons

        • Lacks Zoom Speed Control

        Best Uses

          Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Silver):

          I purchased this lens for my Lumix GH3. I primarily shoot video and thought the power zoom would be a nice feature. The zoom does not behave like a servo zoom on a professional level camera. It is basically zoom in and zoom out there is no ability to control the speed to any great degree. With that I am disappointed. The fact that there is not focus ring is a minus. I do not like focusing with the little servo lever.

          Otherwise the lens is adequate. It works well in autofocus. I wish it was faster ie f2.8. I like fact that it makes the camera compact.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this reviewHelp Icon

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great all-around lens

          By Edric

          from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Easily Interchangeable
          • Fast / accurate auto-focus
          • Lightweight

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Video

            Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

            I didn't see the problem some people commented about image quality (sharpness) being affected by AF system on determined shutter speeds. On the contrary, the image is fine and for me it is the most useful lens you can get to keep the camera in your jacket's pocket and have it all the time... Great product, impressive technology in such a small device.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this reviewHelp Icon

             
            4.0

            compact

            By tumbled

            from florida

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Lightweight

            Cons

            • Poor in Low Light

            Best Uses

            • Landscape/Scenery

            Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

            Compact lens and able to use the little switch near the shutter release for zooming - very handy.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this reviewHelp Icon

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            3.0

            Panasonic 14-42mm ultra compact lens

            By Reches

            from Israel

            About Me Casual Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easily Interchangeable
            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
            • Lightweight

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Landscape/Scenery

              Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

              I bought this lens for My Olympus OMD E-M5 camera.My thoughts are to keep it overall compact.I was worried about the motorized zoom but you get used to it very quickly. It is the size of a pancake lens when it is closed. When you turn your camera on it extracts and not as compact as before.I think it is great as a kit lens when size and weight are important.It is not expansive compare to kit lenses and worth the extra bucks for its compactness.I'm using it with E-M5 and did not experience doubling on the edges in slow shutter speeds.As I said this is an average performance lens that can replace ordinary kit lenses.If you like a high performer go for the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 and pay over 3 times the cost.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this reviewHelp Icon

              (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              Hmm.

              By Chaz

              from Connecticut

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Durable
              • Easily Interchangeable
              • Lightweight
              • Rugged
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

                  I really wanted to like this lens. I already owned the 14-45mm zoom, which is an amazing kit lens. Even though the PZ 14-42mm covers the same focal lengths, I was attracted to its compactness and overall design. I had read about issues with some of the earlier editions, so I waited before purchasing. I don't believe I got a bad version, but I don't feel the image quality matches the 14-45mm. Or more accurately, I seem to be hit or miss with this lens.

                  I finally realized I like the 14-45mm better and decided to return the PZ 14-42mm. I don't like to return items that I've researched and looked forward to getting, so needless to say I was disappointed. I think this lens has its uses and may very well be what other people want, but for what I do, I wanted something a little better.

                  The reason I'm not recommending this to a friend, is because I would recommend the 14-45mm that originally came with the GF1 instead.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this reviewHelp Icon

                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great travel outdoor lens

                  By Dave the hiker

                  from Seattle, WA

                  About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                  Pros

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

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Video

                    Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

                    Ok so it may not be wide aperture but for outdoor lightweight use it is amazing. Sharp without distortion. I have been using it for backpacking, cycling and general poolside use. Its great! It is as sharp as my fixed 20 1.7 at similar apertures. I will use the 20 1.7 when the lighting is low and for indoor use.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this reviewHelp Icon

                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    I love it!!

                    By Aperl

                    from Israel (Purchased in NY)

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Pros

                    • Consistent Output
                    • Durable
                    • Easily Interchangeable
                    • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                    • Lightweight

                    Cons

                    • Poor in Low Light

                    Best Uses

                    • Family
                    • Landscape/Scenery
                    • Weddings/Events

                    Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

                    After much research, I decided to get this lens since on paper it seemed perfect for me. I had heard all about the many complaints regarding this lens which are well documented in many of the online reviews. I am happy to report that I have none of those problems. The output is very consistent, and the quality of the images is significantly better than the 14-42 kit lens that I was using previously. I shoot with the GH2, and it is so much more portable with this lens, and much more fun to use for both stills and video use. I would highly recommend this lens even though it is pricey. I would however recommend buying from a dealer who has a 30 return policy since there may be bad copies of this lens, as reported online.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this reviewHelp Icon

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Good Compact Travel Lens

                    By Georgio S

                    from Port Jefferson, NY

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Compact

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Landscape/Scenery
                      • Travel
                      • Video

                      Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

                      While this lens is not as good as a fixed focal length lens from a quality standpoint, it excels in other ways; including, its size and flexibility. Image quality is fine for a zoom.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this reviewHelp Icon

                      (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Adds Power to the DX1

                      By flowerse

                      from Forest Hills, NY

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

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

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Indoors/Low Light
                        • Landscape/Scenery
                        • Night Photography

                        Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

                        This lens adds power to the DX1's strengths as a candid camera. The lens, for me, has performed beautifully, and much better than reviews that I have read. It's just small enough to get into a large pocket, so it helps you carry the camera around and take more picures than you otherwise would. You get the creative advantages of W/A and the candid/ portrait advantages of mild telephoto.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this reviewHelp Icon

                        (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Good quality lens

                        By photo Funch

                        from SF Bay Area

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Pros

                        • Consistent Output
                        • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                        • Lightweight

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Landscape/Scenery
                          • Video

                          Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

                          As many reading this may be aware, there are substantiated reports of issues with this lens producing "double blur" at certain shutter speeds. Panasonic recently claimed to have fixed the issue with newly produced lenses.

                          I can report that the copy that I just received (5/23/12) does not have any such issues and in fact, produces sharp, contrasty images with my E-M5.

                          Compact, smooth zoom (electronic) and fast focus as well.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this reviewHelp Icon

                          (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          I recommend this product

                          By JEF

                          from Montreal canada

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Durable
                          • Easily Interchangeable
                          • Lightweight

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Weddings/Events

                            Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

                            Very compact lens

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this reviewHelp Icon

                            (1 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            4.0

                            The first Video lens for af100

                            By Cristian Lupu

                            from Montreal, Canada

                            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Easily Interchangeable
                            • Fast / accurate auto-focus
                            • Lightweight
                            • Strong Construction

                            Cons

                            • Poor in Low Light

                            Best Uses

                            • Landscape/Scenery
                            • Video
                            • Weddings/Events

                            Comments about Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Power O.I.S. Lens (Black):

                            The aperture is not as big as I would like to be for the low light conditions. f/3.5 is not enough .

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this reviewHelp Icon

                            Displaying reviews 1-20

                            Back to top

                            Previous | Next »