The Lens Difference: 14mm prime($270), 12-50mm ($500) and 12-35mm ($700)

I always wondered is it worth upgrading a lens. I know an expensive lens has an advantage in low light or taking action photos. What about photos taken in good light at each lens’ best aperture.  Used the same white balance,same aperture almost no variation in lighting.

  1. Corner Sharpness & Chromo

    In terms of sharpness both the the prime and 12-35mm lens are almost identical. There is little high chromo noise in 14mm pancake lens.

14mm at f:8.png14mm f:8 -2.png2. Center Sharpness

Here the different is quite obvious, with this distance and zoom, with the prime and 12-35mm lens all the human faces in the picture are very recognizable and clear. But with 12-50mm the faces is hard recognizable and

14mm center.png

14mm , 12-35mm and 12-50mm


Screen Shot 2017-02-11 at 8.07.04 AM.png

14mm f/2.5, 12-35mm f/2.8, 12-50mm f/3.5 – 6.3 all at f/8

3. When resized to a 30″ x 40″ print at 360 dpi

Here the difference is very obvious , the details in the roof is totally lost in 12-50mm lens. The chromo is everywhere in 14mm prime.

Screen Shot 2017-02-11 at 8.31.51 AM.pngScreen Shot 2017-02-11 at 8.56.43 AM.png



The difference when seeing buildings is easy for comparison, the main difference comes when shooting a person far off like in a stage or near the building. Though I haven’t zoomed in the faces under “The Bean”, they  are very clear in 12-35 lens, and hardly identifiable with the kit lens.

  1. For Sharpness, 12-35mm lens holds a very light advantage over 14mm, noticeable only when enlarged to really huge size. But the both are much better than 12-50mm lens.
  2. For Chromo, though I tried to correct 14mm it is not easily correctable, tried ACR, Capture One both couldn’t fix it. If I try to correct magenta then the green shows up other places. Both the 12-35 and 12-50mm lens is totally chromo free.
  3. Overall , 12-35mm lens is way much better than than the 12-50mm and slightly better than the 14mm prime. Panasonic has produced one gem of zoom lens in a small size.


2 thoughts on “The Lens Difference: 14mm prime($270), 12-50mm ($500) and 12-35mm ($700)

  1. nice job, reinforces my personal experiences with the lenses I have and have used. I’ve got the 14f2.5 and use it a bit, but not because its so super amazingly good, but because its so compact on a compact body. I feel it brings something to the usage of the camera (like I can fit it into a coat pocket) which is worth its ownership for me. However for absolute sharpness the original kit 14-45 zoom that I got when I first bought at G1 in 2009 is actually that bit sharper and has less “chromatic ab”

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