Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH Power O.I.S. tested with Lumix DMC-GM1

Aperture Range [f] 3.5-5.6 to 22 Closest Focus 0.3m / 11.8"
Dimensions (LxD) 75mm x 67mm / 2.95 x 2.64" Magnification Ratio 0.25x / 1:4
Weight 265g / 9.3 oz Filter Size 58mm

This is a compact 10x zoom lens designed for cameras with Micro Four Thirds sensors. It has been tested with Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 camera set on maximum resolution of 4592 x 3448 pixels and RAW quality.

Click on the "Various f-stops" thumbnail below, to see the charts made at different f stops and focal lengths. The sharpness is best at f/5.6, and at the f/8 is wery similar.

I've tested this lens on 6 focal lenghts, 14, 26, 46, 73, 97, and 140 mm. Multiply these by two to get equivalent of a full frame sensor (24 x 36 mm). To see the charts in full magnification please click on the thumbnails below. Dependence of the image quality in various parts of the four thirds sensor is shown, with the average resolution in hundreds of line widths per picture height (LW/PH; normalized to 3x2 image size ratio, 4592 x 3064 pixels), given below each chart.

f stop dependence f stop dep. f stop dep.
Various f-stops, center
Tests at low fs
Tests at f/5.6

The image quality is excellent in most of the settings. Note that resolution "30" is theoretical maximum for the sensor of this pixel count. The resolution drop at small apertures is to be expected due to laws of physics.

Distortions are minimal, which is exceptional for these type of high zoom lenses as one can judge by the size of the circles that are constant throughout the entire sensor no matter at what focal length. Chromatic aberrations are more pronounced at wide angle settings and they are small at 46 mm and larger focal lengths.

The closest lens that I've tested that resembles this lens is Tamron Zoom Lens AF 18-270mm, however that is lens designed for APS-C sensors (22.3 x 14.9 mm),  and not for micro four thirds (17.3 x 13 mm). It's hard to tell what is the maximum sharpness at f/5.6 as the sensor has not enough pixels and maximum theoretical resolution was achieved in many settings, but it seems that it is much sharper than the Tamron lens as only slightly higher resolution was achieved on 4x larger sensor. Lumix G Vario lens beats it hands down when distortions are taken into account.  Another factor that distinguishes those two lenses is the speed. While the Tamron lens is sluggish, sometimes rendering autofocus function useless, especially in low light or low contrast subjects (with EOS M body), the Panasonic lens is very responsive with Lumix DMC-GM1 body. Only this feature alone is so important it could be a decisive factor in purchasing plans.

The optical quality of this lens is extraordinary, and it is also very compact 10x zoom lens, making it the lens of choice for travellers who don't want to carry heavy full frame cameras but who want to take high quality photos.


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