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PANASONIC LUMIX G VARIO LENS, 7-14MM, F4.0 ASPH., MIRRORLESS MICRO FOUR THIRDS, H-F007014 (USA BLACK)
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- 7-14mm focal length
- 14-28mm equivalent focal length on Micro Four Thirds cameras
- F4.0 constant maximum aperture; F22 minimum
- Image stabilization, via camera body where available
- 0.25m/9.84" minimum focus
- Micro Four Thirds mount for Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens cameras
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7-14mm focal length 14-28mm equivalent focal length on Micro Four Thirds cameras F4.0 constant maximum aperture; F22 minimum Image stabilization, via camera body where available 0.25m/9.84 minimum focus Micro Four Thirds mount for Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens cameras
From the Manufacturer
Taking advantage of its wide, 114-degree angle of view, users can easily fit subjects into the frame even when shooting indoors where the distance is limited. The world looks extraordinary when viewed through the new lens, allowing photos and movies to be recorded with a uniquely rich perspective.
This high-performance lens system achieves outstanding compactness by combining 16 lens elements in 12 groups, including two aspherical lenses and four ED lenses. Image resolution is high from corner-to-corner even at the wide-angle setting. It also features F4.0 brightness over the entire zoom range thanks to its large-diameter glass molded lens elements.
When mounted on the DMC-GH1 Lumix G Micro System Camera, the new lens allows use of the advanced contrast AF system, which includes a Face Recognition function, for more convenient, more enjoyable shooting. Seven blades give the aperture a rounded shape that produces an attractively smooth effect in out-of-focus areas when shooting at larger aperture settings.
The Lumix G Vario 7-14mm/F4.0 ASPH. lens also features a highly reliable metal mount, and uses multi-coated lens elements that minimize ghosts and flare to further enhance its optical performance. The optimally designed lens hood enables use even under strong sunlight.
- Lens Construction 16 elements in 12 groups (2 Aspherical lenses, 4 ED lenses)
- Mount Micro Four Thirds mount
- Optical Image Stabilizer NO
- Focal Length f=7 mm to 14 mm (35 mm camera equivalent 14 mm to 28 mm)
- Aperture Type 7 diaphragm blades / Circular aperture diaphragm
- Aperture F4.0
- Minimum Aperture F22
- Closest Focusing Distance 0.25 m / 0.8 ft at all focal lengths
- Maximum magnification Apporox. 0.08x / 0.15x (35 mm camera equivalent)
- Diagonal Angle of View 114° (W) - 75° (T)
- Filter Size -
- Max. Diameter f70 mm / 2.76 in
- Overall Length Approx. 83.1 mm / 3.27 in (from top of the lens hood to the base side of the lens mount)
- Weight Approx. 300 g / 10.58 oz
- Standard Accessory Lens Cap, Lens Rear Cap, Lens Storage Bag
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Best of all is the Olympus 7-14/2.8 but if you're in the market for one of those, you're not reading this and the size, weight and cost of the Olympus is not a concern. The Panasonic does have some purple fringing which Olympus users may need to remove in processing (I assume Panasonic cameras do this automatically.) Flare and lack of bokeh (out of focus circles)? True enough, but ultra-wide lenses are not ideal for shooting into the sun or shallow depth of field effects. Any other type of lens will do a better job at these things than an ultra-wide.
So there are 3 choices here. The Olympus 9-18 which is perfect for an m43 outfit in terms of size and weight but a but unsharp in the corners. The Panasonic 7-14 which is still quite small, yet wider and sharper than the Olympus 9-18, and the Olympus 7-14/2.8 which is stellar but too large and heavy to take advantage of how truly small and light a m43 outfit can be. Of course, compared to the Nikon 12-24 or Canon's 11-24, all these lenses are tiny, and cheap, too.
As for the price, consider that as of this writing, Olympus wants $700 for the 12mm prime whereas any of these lenses covers the whole range from ultra-wide to wide replacing at least two, if not three lenses. And no, the 12mm isn't appreciably better than either the Panasonic or Olympus 7-14 lenses, but it's even smaller, faster and lighter, so it's the best choice if you're absolutely sure you want exactly a 12mm focal length.
I am a casual photographer, shameful gear luster, and former photojournalist. A couple of years ago I realized that I had a bunch of great DSLR equipment I never used unless I was feeling particularly guilty about not using it, so I got rid of it and reassessed my needs.
A camera is only as useful as how often you actually take it out with you, so I knew I was going to have to go smaller than the 1D. And while I occasionally found myself cropping tighter than my 1.3x or 1.6x plus 70-200 could reach, I realized that I much more frequently wished I could go wider. Seeing how ultra wide would never be wide enough I made my decision to buy into a new system based on one criteria: who had the best ultra-wide lens in a package smaller than an SLR?
My research (in 2010) lead me to this lens: the Panasonic 7-14mm and its associated micro four thirds system. A GF1 with 20mm pancake lens was almost pocket-small, and the effective 14-28mm field of view with this well-reviewed zoom seemed like just the ticket so I took the (May '10) plunge of a combined $1700-1800. I'm happy to say I haven't regretted it for a second.
The 7-14mm is a manageable size and weight, creates quite sharp, contrasty images, and has good flare control given its FOV. The build quality is what I would expect at the price point: the slight heft of quality, though I wouldn't use it to pound tent stakes in a hurricane like I might with some pro gear. I've used many third-brand ultra wides that were worthless indoors or when pointed within 180 degrees of the sun because of their flaring and ghosting. I've also used many of Canon's L series which I imagine is where most of the 'prosumer' segment marks the bench. For my casual, candid, or travel purposes, this lens runs with the best of them. The field of view at 7mm (14 equiv.) is monstrously wide. So wide that I have no problems taking pictures of people who are ordinarily camera shy, because they see me pointed far enough off to the side that they assume they are no longer in the shot. This is a pretty valuable quality when you're trying to be all docu-style in close proximity to people. The latitude you get with this thing makes shooting from the hip very possible, and the quick AF and wide DOF work well enough together to keep it in focus.
It's not all peaches and gravy, of course. Shooting in large indoor spaces your FOV will always capture some of those 1000 watt light bulbs on the ceiling and their flare. When you get this wide distortion around the edges becomes a reality, though it can often be used to your advantage. Although it will focus very close, a 7mm focal length at F4 on a 2X crop sensor will never give you a super out of focus background unless the distance between the subject and the background is remarkable.
All in all, if your needs warrant it, this lens is worth every penny. It has made photography interesting and fun for me again, and I would probably have paid a lot more for that.