Panasonic 7-14mm f/4 for Micro 4/3rds cameras review

The Panasonic 7-14mm f/4 lens provides Micro 4/3rds users with the equivalent of 14-28mm in a compact lightweight package.

The lens is nice and light and very compact compared to any full-frame equivalent lens though considerably larger than its closest competitor the Olympus 9-18.

The lens has a very smooth zooming action and a bulbous front element protected by a built in hood – no filters can be mounted on the lens.

In use, Autofocus is quick and quiet and optical performance excellent.

At full aperture f/4, images are sharp right across the frame at 7mm with a very slight drop off at the edges at 14mm. Stopping down one stop to f/5.6 produces a uniformly sharp image across the frame at all focal lengths as does f/8. Beyond f/8 and detail is softened progressively as diffraction effects take hold. So the only reason to stop down is for depth of field control.

In use, the 7-14 allows spectacular wide-angle effects and the built in electronic level in many Micro 4/3rds cameras becomes very useful! Hold the camera straight and level and the 7-14 draws a very straight image with hardly any distortion to speak of which is really excellent performance.

Flare is very well controlled and in fact it is very hard to get the lens to produce any flare at all!

The 7-14 is currently the widest rectilinear lens available for Micro 4/3rds and as such it is highly recommended if you need to go beyond the 12mm or 14mm wide end of the standard zoom.

Compared to the Olympus 12mm f/2, the Panasonic is at least as sharp and has a touch less distortion when set to 12mm – excellent performance considering it is a zoom.
Panasonic supply a push fit cap for the front end, standard rear cap and a pouch case and while the 7-14 is a considerable investment it is one I am sure you will not regret.

Check out the Park Cameras website page for the Panasonic 7-14 here.

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