Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH Review

4.5
April 18, 2014 | Mark Goldstein |

Introduction

The Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH is a 10x zoom lens for the Micro Four Thirds system of interchangeable lens cameras. Offering an effective focal range of 28-280mm in 35mm terms, the Panasonic 14-140mm lens is ideally suited for life as an all-in-one walk-around lens. Read our Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH review now...

The Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH is a 10x zoom lens for the Micro Four Thirds system. Providing a focal range of 28-280mm in 35mm terms, the 14-140mm lens is both compact and lightweight for a telephoto optic. It combines 14 elements in 12 groups, including 3 aspherical lenses and 2 ED lenses, features the POWER O.I.S. optical image stabiliser, and has seven blades which give the aperture a rounded shape. The Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens is available for £599 / $699 in the UK and the US, respectively.

Ease of Use

The LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH is a relatively small and lightweight collapsible telephoto zoom lens covering a very versatile 35mm equivalent focal range of 28-280mm. When it's set to 14mm wide-angle it measures just over 7cm in length. Zoomed out to the 280mm setting, it then measures 11.5cms. Weight is only 265g, thanks to the mostly high-grade plastic construction, but commendably there is a metal lens mount.

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH The Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens mounted on a Lumix GX7

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH The Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens mounted on a Lumix GX7

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH The Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens mounted on a Lumix GX7

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH The Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens mounted on a Lumix GX7

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH The Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens mounted on a Lumix GX7

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH The Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens mounted on a Lumix GX7

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH The Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens alongside the Lumix GX7

In terms of features, the LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH has quite a lot to offer in addition to its 10x zoom range. There is no distance scale and no focus limiter, but there is a handy On/Off switch for the Power O.I.S image stabilisation system, which usefully offers around 3-stops of compensation.

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Front of the Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Front of the Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens, zoomed to 140mm

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Front of the Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Rear of the Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Front of the Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Rear of the Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens

The LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH comes with both a lens pouch and a petal shaped hood included in the box. You can fit 58mm filters to this lens and the filter thread doesn't rotate when focusing.

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH The Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens in-hand

Focal Range

At the 14mm end of the zoom range the lens has a diagonal angle of view of 75°, equivalent to that of a 28mm lens in a 35mm system.

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Field of view at 14mm

At the 140mm end the angle of view is 8.8°, which is the same as that of a 280mm lens on a 35mm full-frame camera.

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Field of view at 140mm

Focusing

The LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens offers near silent focusing thanks to the inclusion of a stepping motor. In use, we found the system surprisingly quick and accurate on the DMC-GX7 that we tested the lens with, although it is a little slower to lock-on at full telephoto. The lens also incorporates an inner focus system, good news for filter users, as it means that it doesn't rotate in use. This combination of silent and quick focusing makes the lens well suited to shooting both stills and video.

Manual focusing is possible in a focus-by-wire fashion. This should not put you off using it as it feels pretty natural in use, and actually enables the camera to display a magnified view of the subject automatically, i.e. without your having to press a dedicated button or enter the menu. The focus ring is quite slim but adequate for the job.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are not too much of a problem with this lens at either end of the focal range.

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH

Light Fall-off

With the lens set to its maximum aperture, you can see some light fall-off in the corners at both 14mm and 140mm, but nothing too excessive. You will likely only notice this when photographing a subject with large homogeneous surfaces. There is some pretty obvious barrel distortion at 14m though.

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Light fall-off at 14mm

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Light fall-off at 140mm

Macro

The LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH has a closest focusing distance of 0.30m/0.98ft from 14-21mm and 0.50m/1.64ft from 22-140mm and a maximum 0.25x magnification rating, so although it's no macro lens, you can fill the frame quite well by zooming to 140mm, as shown below.

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Close-up performance

Bokeh

Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. In the LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens, Panasonic have employed an iris diaphragm with seven rounded blades, which has resulted in fairly nice bokeh in our view. We do realise, however, that bokeh evaluation is subjective; so we've included several 100% crops for your perusal.

Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN
   
Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN

Sharpness

In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following pages.

Entry Tags

review, samples, test, compact system camera, jpeg, sample images, super-zoom, jpegs, micro four thirds, lumix, panasonic, super zoom, 10x zoom, telephoto, superzoom, 10x, panasonic 14-140mm, 14-140mm, Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH

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