Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 7-14mm F4.0 ASPH Review

December 31, 2010 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star


The LUMIX G VARIO 7-14mm F4.0 ASPH offers the widest focal length of any Micro Four Thirds lens in a relatively tiny package, backed-up by excellent image quality throughout the focal range, a constant aperture of F/4.0 and impressively fast autofocusing. It is bigger, heavier and a lot more expensive, though, than the Olympus equivalent (the Olympus M ZD 9-18mm F4-5.6).

This lens is very small and quite lightweight considering the zoom range on offer, being comparable in size to some of the standard Micro Four Thirds zoom lenses. Build quality is also very good, with only the inability to fit filters detracting from an otherwise excellent design. It's extremely fast to focus on the new DMC-GH2 camera and also virtually silent too, making it well-suited to candid stills and video work.

Optically the lens is an excellent performer. At most focal lengths, you can safely use it wide open or for optimum results stopped down by one f-stop. Chromatic aberrations are only noticeable by their almost complete absence, while distortions are automatically corrected on both Olympus and Panasonic bodies.

The only real drawback of the LUMIX G VARIO 7-14mm F4.0 ASPH lens it its price, and what an eye-watering drawback it is. £1000 / $1000 is an awful lot to ask for any lens, especially when it's main competitor is over 50% cheaper. If money is no object, we'd opt for the Panasonic due to the wider angle of view and faster constant aperture, but otherwise the Olympus M ZD 9-18mm F4-5.6 is a more sensible alternative.

4 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4.5
Ease-of-use 4.5
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 2.5