Monday, June 4, 2012

For video? The 14-140mm lens is a must

The Panasonic 14-140mm lens is the very first m43 lens that has a red "HD" mark, meaning for video. However, all the lens reviews gave me a false impression: the "HD" means nothing but silence auto focus. All my lenses, the 14mm, 14-45mm and 45-200mm, already have silent AF, and the 14-140mm was way too expensive; so I never wanted one.

What a huge mistake. The 14-140mm is much more than just silent AF, many other things are optimized for video as well. In addition to silence, the AF is also optimized to suffer the least from focus hunting you often see with Olympus cameras and other Panasonic lenses. O.I.S is also optimized for video, producing very smooth and detailed image unseen with Olympus cameras and other Panasonic lenses.

The following samples were of course taken with my hacked GF2 with my own patch (see my earlier article). As you can see, AF hunting is very minimum if any at all even indoor low light and O.I.S is at work. Extremely smooth and detailed.

This one is indoor:

This one is indoor and ETC (31x zoom, 868mm equivalent!):

As for photos, this lens is no shame. The only other lens I still want to keep is the 14mm when I need something light and small. The 14mm has sharper center area, but that's pretty much the only one thing the 14-140mm loses. This lens is very good for macro too, so it is really that one lens that does all and will stay on my GF2 except DSLR-not-allowed occasions (museum etc.).


  1. For the videographer "14-42 H-PS14042E-K + 45-175 H-PS45175E-K" is the best choice I think. Both of these are optimized for video and can be carryed in pocket with ease, while the 14-42 is perfect for "DSLR-not-allowed occasions".

    1. I agree fully except:

      1)Both have reports on blur images at certain speed and focal length. Otherwise I should have bought the PZ 14-42 already. They are expensive; I cannot afford the risk.

      2)Lens swapping on site is a big NO to me. So 14-42 + 14-140 is far better than 14-42 + 45-175. If the 45-175 is bad for macro (I don't know) like the 45-200, then it sucks. I could just live with the 45-200, but it was such a hassle that every time I needed to take some close up shots, I had to swap it off.

      3)Although they both have the red "HD" mark on them, not sure if they can really perform like the 14-140. Again, I don't know, maybe they are even better for video as they are new - may deploy better techniques if any. The 14-140 is 3 years old.