Panasonic Lumix G VARIO 14-42 f3.5-5.6 II Asph. Mega OIS review - The Cheapest ‘Standard Zoom’ for Micro 4:3 and Surprisingly Good

By Ben Boswell - Thursday, April 04, 2013

Lens Review
Introduction | Panasonic Lumix G VARIO 14-42 f3.5-5.6 II Asph. Mega OIS lens performance | Panasonic Lumix G VARIO 14-42 f3.5-5.6 II Asph. Mega OIS versus competition | Conclusion
Panasonic Lumix G VARIO 14-42 f3.5-5.6 II Asph. Mega OIS review - The Cheapest ‘Standard Zoom’ for Micro 4:3 and Surprisingly Good

The Micro 4:3 market is full of technology, each new generation apparently having some new enhancement, with a new, more superlative name. Panasonic is no different, but this new Lumix G VARIO 14-42 f3.5-5.6 II Asph. Mega OIS carries neither the ‘Power Zoom’, or the ‘Power O.I.S’; there are aspheric elements but no ED glass. Without all the latest refinements is it worth having at all? Yes, it is: well priced and punches above its weight.

The Panasonic Lumix G VARIO 14-42 f3.5-5.6 II Asph. Mega OIS has a very long name, for a fairly small lens. With a Micro 4:3 mount, it will fit on cameras from both Panasonic, its Lumix G range, and Olympus, its Pen range and the OM-D.

This 14-42 is the second model covering this zoom range, both also having the same aperture range. The design of this new version consists of 9 elements arranged in 8 groups, two of the elements being aspherical. At the wide end of the zoom range the lens has an aperture of f/3.5 and closes down to f/5.6 at the telephoto end. The 3x zoom ratio covers the ‘Standard’ range, making this an ideal general purpose lens.

Optical Stabilization is incorporated in the form of Panasonics’ Mega O.I.S. Measuring 49mm long and 56mm wide and weighing in at 110g the lens is not super compact, but should be quite comfortable to hold and use. Focus is down to 0.2m giving a maximum magnification of 0.17x. The Micro 4:3 format has a focal length multiplier of 2x to get the relative full frame focal length so this lens works out to an equivalent of 28-84mm.

Panasonic Lumix G VARIO 14-42 f3.5-5.6 II Asph. Mega OIS lens performance

Panasonic Lumix G VARIO 14-42 f3.5-5.6 II Asph. Mega OIS versus competition

Conclusion