Oly 12-60 vs. Oly 14-54 vs. Leica 14-50? at DVinfo.net

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Old January 19th, 2012, 03:37 PM   #1
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Oly 12-60 vs. Oly 14-54 vs. Leica 14-50?

Starting to itch for a little brighter zoom vs. the 14-140, and have been looking at these 4/3 choices. MUST be f2.8 at the wide end, and MUST be at least 14mm at the wide end and go up to ~50. Not so concerned if it's a little slower on the tele end, and don't really do any mid-shot zooming. Researched a pantsload, but still vacillating.

So from those who have owned any of these, how have they performed?

I like the 12-60's range and quality
I like the 14-50's quality and manual aperture
I like the 14-54's lower price and slightly brighter tele
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Old January 20th, 2012, 12:35 PM   #2
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Re: Oly 12-60 vs. Oly 14-54 vs. Leica 14-50?

Kevin,

I looked at these three lenses and went with the 14-54 II. I think it is a good performer with a lot of detail and good geometry on the wide end. From what I read the 12-60 is not that much better. Too bad i could not test all of them which is what I would advise.

You could arrange to buy all three and return the two you do not want. I ti so important to try lenses to know for your own reasons if you like it.
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Old January 21st, 2012, 09:33 AM   #3
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Re: Oly 12-60 vs. Oly 14-54 vs. Leica 14-50?

Have you considered the Sigma 18-50 2.8 ??
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Old January 21st, 2012, 12:06 PM   #4
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Re: Oly 12-60 vs. Oly 14-54 vs. Leica 14-50?

Only so far as to discount it due to its limited range at the wide end
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Old January 21st, 2012, 01:13 PM   #5
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Re: Oly 12-60 vs. Oly 14-54 vs. Leica 14-50?

It's not that limited. It's 50mm - just as the Leica D you are considering... f2.8 doesn't intrigue you?

I'm buying a GH2 now for shooting conferences and power point presentations. Mostly it will be used as a static wide angle shot. In this kind of situations especially when there's power point it tends to be quite dark and for my purposes f2.8 is great!

For what kind of projects do you need your lens?
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Old January 21st, 2012, 06:57 PM   #6
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Re: Oly 12-60 vs. Oly 14-54 vs. Leica 14-50?

the 50mm is fine, but the 18mm is not. I backed away from a decent used Nikon 17-55 deal for exactly the same reasons... tighter than 15mm on the wide just doesn't work for my style.
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Old January 22nd, 2012, 12:39 PM   #7
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Re: Oly 12-60 vs. Oly 14-54 vs. Leica 14-50?

12-60mm is a very nice lens. If you read most the reviews at B&H and on Amazon you'd likely be convinced to try it.

I just sold mine. I had it up for sale here but couldn't sell it, went to ebay. At 12mm it's really nice. For outdoor use it is outstanding. My Sigma 18-50 just sits in my case. Sigma is a very nice lens for the money, the best buy for a fast zoom for the GH2, but it's too narrow for me most the time.
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Old March 1st, 2012, 09:39 AM   #8
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Re: Oly 12-60 vs. Oly 14-54 vs. Leica 14-50?

Sampled and sampled and sampled, and finally decided.

I chose the Leica DG 14-50 2.8-3.5, and picked one up with m43 adapter for about $600 on eBay.

Yes, I wish it had slightly more range. I've read and am slightly worried about possible future problems with its zoom mechanism. It has an aperture ring, but it's kind of a fake electronic ring that I couldn't declick if I tried - however, it's in the right place to operate naturally. Even though it isn't much, I approved of its slight speed advantage at the tele end vs. the 12-60. Focus is also by-wire, but I thought it and its zoom operation were noticeably smoother than the other two options. It breathes quite a lot... but for some reason, I like that aesthetic. Autofocus is slow and noisy on the GH2 in AFS mode, and inoperable on the AF100.

Biggest decisive feature was the OIS. I'd read on Panasonic's site that it was inoperable on both the AF100 and GH2, but it actually works just fine... not quite as well as the OIS on the 14-140, but it does steady out a handheld shot.

Not sure if it's just my mind playing tricks on me, but it seems to match in very well with the "Leicasonic" Summilux 25, and also an Elmarit-R 28 and Summicron-R 50 I have in my kit. I'm trying not to become a Leica snob, which shouldn't be hard considering my bank account.

It works well with my 16x9 EXII 0.6x wide converter, with some mild barrel distortion and softening at the edges when open wide. At this limited range, the converter is full zoom-through, effectively converting the lens to 8.4-30/2.8-3.5... which is a nice range indoors.

The lens does feel like a huge compromise, but I think it's going to serve what I was after: a slightly faster, reasonably affordable wide-to-normal zoom with good image quality for use in situations with minimal lighting and set-up times.
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Old March 1st, 2012, 09:57 AM   #9
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Re: Oly 12-60 vs. Oly 14-54 vs. Leica 14-50?

Sound like a nice lens, Kevin, I'm sure it was a good choice. The OIS sounds really nice, I"m jealous.

What is funny about this topic though, is that I really regret selling my 12-60mm this morning. I've bought and sold a number of lenses over the last year, but that was my favorite lens for outdoors. The primary reason for my regret I think is the weather here has been near 70F and I loved shooting couples at the park with the 12-60 last year, and this year I'm stuck using primes or a video camera.
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Old March 1st, 2012, 04:15 PM   #10
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Re: Oly 12-60 vs. Oly 14-54 vs. Leica 14-50?

Kevin, that wide angle adapter you mention by 16:9has very good reviews, looks nice. You really come up with some interesting things!
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Old March 1st, 2012, 04:25 PM   #11
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Re: Oly 12-60 vs. Oly 14-54 vs. Leica 14-50?

Like I said, it's not perfect, not the cheapest, but it works. The 16x9 EXII is several years old, bought for use with my HVX.
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Old March 1st, 2012, 10:37 PM   #12
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Re: Oly 12-60 vs. Oly 14-54 vs. Leica 14-50?

People on B&H compare the 16:9 brand adapters to Century adapters, which of course are pretty good. I had not heard of them before you mentioned yours.

I don't really need a WA adapter, but at their price point they have me thinking about using one on my Sigma 18-50 F/2.8 and keeping it for outdoor use. I can't seem to sell it anyway!
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 09:54 AM   #13
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Re: Oly 12-60 vs. Oly 14-54 vs. Leica 14-50?

10.8-30 at constant f2.8 sounds pretty darned nice, really. Hope it turns out sharp enough for you
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Old March 2nd, 2012, 10:18 AM   #14
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Re: Oly 12-60 vs. Oly 14-54 vs. Leica 14-50?

That would be nice. I might take a look-see at a less wide one, as I don't want the distortion too much. It may not even happen. Shoot, I have a 12mm prime, a 25mm and a 45. I can carry the lenses in my pocket or in a case and switch them out awfully quick. Still not the convenience of a zoom, though. You can't beat a good zoom, that's for sure.
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 04:35 AM   #15
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Re: Oly 12-60 vs. Oly 14-54 vs. Leica 14-50?

How do you like the Leica so far, Kevin? How tough are the focusing issues? Can you work this lens easily with manual aperture and manual focus in a run&gun situation?
Anything new you discovered since you last posted abiut this lens?
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