Yea with the right lens i have seen that the brokeh is lovely on this. So i have decided im definitely upgrading asap. If i was to go for this which i probably will, can anyone recommend if the 14-140 kit lens is good. I also decided to treat myself to one nice fast lens also. Something along the lines of the voigtlander 25mm 0.95. Is that about as good as i could get for that sort of price or is there anything else i should consider?
I checked three 14-140s, three 100-300s and one each 20 f1.7, 45-200, and 14-42mm lens, as well as the Voigtlander 25mm f0.95 and several Leica M lenses. I used a variety of subjects, and the same lighting. I tried to find something around the house that would eliminate differences due to focus variability, and something where I could look at 100 percent at small detail to see where one lens had more resolution than another. I have 12 pages of notes, which I have tried to condense below. I did recheck (reshoot) when there was any question, and I also used AF and focused manually.
The 14-140s, all of them, generally had noticeably poorer image quality than the other lenses. The 100-300 lenses were the best, as far as image quality goes. There is some variability between the 14-140 lenses. One is better than the other from 14-100mm, but less good at 140mm. The 14-140s focused quickly and were smooth to zoom. All of the 100-300 lenses had areas where they bind, especially coming from 300mm back to 100mm, making a smooth zoom in video almost impossible.
The difference between the image quality of the 100-300 and 14-140, at least in the three samples I checked, is striking. At 140mm, at f5.0, the 100-300 is better than the best 14-140 at f8.0, its best aperture. The 100-300 image quality does improve a bit as you stop down, but is so good (at least relatively) that I would usually choose the wider aperture to get a higher shutter speed.
no. 3507 100-300, 136mm f4.4 is so much better than the best 14-140 at 140mm (at f8.0 which is the best aperture showing the most detail in the 140mm lenses) that it is just amazing (this was true using two different GH2 bodies). Here are a couple of examples that are representative - the image size of the 100-300 at 136mm is larger than that of the 14-140 at 140mm, despite the fact they were on the same camera body, on the same tripod. (In the Tifs, these differences are a lot easier to see than in small web jpegs):
100-300, 136mm, f4.4http://gallery.me.com/billh96007/100323/New-GH2%2C3507%2C136mm%2Cf4.4-53_1/web.jpg?ver=12940992730001
14-140, 140mm, f8.0http://gallery.me.com/billh96007/100323/New-GH2%2C1690%2C140mm%2Cf8.0-051_1/web.jpg?ver=12940992680001
14-42 compared to 14-140: 14-42 at 25mm, f4.6 and 14-140, 25mm at f4.7 look about the same. At f5.0 the 14-42 is clearly better than the 14-140. At f5.6, the 14-42 is a LOT better than the 14-140. and the same at f6.3, but perhaps the difference is not quite as great as the faster apertures. AT f7.1 the difference is so great it is crazy (the 14-42 is FAR better).
25mm Voigtlander, at f1.4 is is pretty close to the 14-42 at f4.6 and the 14-140 at f4.7. At f2.0 the Voigtlander is better than both of the zooms at f4.6 and f4.7. At f2.0 the Voigtlander 25mm lens is better than the 14-140 at f5.0, and maybe just a tad better than the 14-42 at f5.0. At f2.8 it is better than both of them at f5.0. At f2.8 it is equal to the 14-42 at f5.6, and a lot better than the 14-140 at f5.6. At f6.3 the 14-42 may be a touch better. At f6.3 the 14-42 is very close to the Voigtlander at f2.0 and f2.8.
14-140, 41mm at f5.3 - fairly close to the 14-42 at 42mm, f5.6, although you can see the difference (the 14-42 is better, just not glaringly so). Af f5.6 they are also really close - no reason to choose one over the other here. I think at f6.3, the 14-42 is a little better than the 14-140 at f6.3, but not a huge difference. At 41mm, f7.1, the 14-42 is better than the 14-140.
My understanding, from reading various web sites, is the older 14-45 mm lens is better than the 14-42mm lens. The 14-140 is such a handy focal length range, albeit too darn slow, and it focuses quickly and zooms smoothly. I hope someone steps in and offers a better, faster lens in this range with image quality more in line with the 100-300 zoom that works in AFC on the GH2.