Panasonic LUMIX G 14mm F2.5 ASPH Review
The Panasonic LUMIX G 14mm F2.5 ASPH is is a wide-angle lens for the Micro Four Thirds system. Offering a 14mm focal length that's equivalent to 28mm in 35mm terms and a bright aperture of f/2.5, the Lumix G 14mm lens is officially the world's lightest interchangeable prime lens. Comprising of six lenses in five groups including three aspherical lenses, the stepping motor and inner focus drive system enables the use of silent, high speed contrast AF. Seven blades give the aperture a rounded shape that produces an attractively smooth effect in out-of-focus areas. The Panasonic LUMIX G 14mm F2.5 ASPH lens officially retails for £357.99 / $399.95.
Ease of Use
The LUMIX G 14mm F2.5 ASPH lens attached to a Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2
The LUMIX G 14mm F2.5 ASPH is an incredibly tiny lens that easily fits in the palm of your hand, measuring just over 2cms long, and it offers a 35mm equivalent focal range of 28mm.
Front of the lens
It's also remarkably light at only 55 grams, and therefore well-suited for use on any Micro Four Thirds body.
Front of lens, isometric view
In terms of features, the lens has little to offer. There is no distance scale, no focus limiter and no image stabilisation, either. This is no big deal really as camera-shake is much less common at such a wide focal length.
Alongside the DMC-G2
The LUMIX G 14mm F2.5 ASPH lens may have a lot of plastic parts, but the lens mount is, thankfully, made of metal. Panasonic does not claim any sort of weather resistance for this lens, and indeed you cannot see a rubber seal around the mount (note that no current Micro Four Thirds camera is weather sealed anyway).
Rear of lens, isometric view
You can fit filters to the front of this lens, which accepts 46mm filters.
At 14mm the lens has a diagonal angle of view of 75°, equivalent to that of a 28mm lens in a 35mm system.
Field of view at 14mm
The LUMIX G 14mm F2.5 ASPH lens offers virtually silent focusing which is internal, so the lens never changes length. In use, we have also found the system surprisingly quick on the DMC-G2, and it should be potentially even faster on the DMC-GH2.
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 understandably slim given the overall dimensions of the lens, but is adequate for the job.
Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are not too much of a problem with this lens, as shown by the 100% crops below.
With the lens set to its maximum aperture of f/2.5, you can see some light fall-off in the corners, but nothing too excessive. You will likely only notice this when photographing a subject with large homogeneous surfaces.
This isn't a particularly great macro lens, as demonstrated by the example below. The LUMIX G 14mm F2.5 ASPH has a closest focusing distance of 18cm / 0.59ft at all focal lengths and a maximum 0.10x magnification rating.
In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following page.