Olympus14-42mm EZ Power Zoom Review


hi there my name is Matti Sulanto
and in this video I’m gonna take a look at this
Olympus 42 42 millimeter motorized kit zoom lens this lens is pretty normal kit
lens except for the fact that it’s motorized the lens extends and retracts
with electronic motor electronic motor of course electric motor and also the
zoom action is motorized instead of the more conventional mechanical zoom action
and I’m making this video because I just found this lens this is another Olympus
lens that I pretty much had forgotten that I even all last weekend I was
organizing those middle drawers back there where I keep my gear and in the
back corner of the drawer where I keep my lenses is this box but the box was so
light I was pretty sure it’s empty and I was about to throw it in the in the
recycling bin but I decided to take a look inside just in case and lo and
behold there is this lens inside and because the weather was unusually pretty
for this time of the year I decided to take this lens for spin and here are my
impressions on using this lens on Lumix G 9 and G 90 camera bodies the first thing
that came to my mind when I mounted this lens on my lumix camera was the
compatibility I was a bit worried if I can use all the motorized functions when
this lens is mounted on a lumix camera body but it turned out I was worrying
too much pretty much all the functions at least all the most important
functions are also available when mounted on a lumix camera body the lens
will extend and retract when I use the powers widths of my camera and I can
also program the zooming action or the zooming function on the
on the function buttons of my camera but I can’t change the direction of the
focus ring because that’s not available on lumix cameras in general not even
with the Lumix bloomix lenses and i don’t know if there are some other
functions or features that are available if this lens is mounted on an Olympus
camera body but when I was using this lens I didn’t feel that I was missing
something now let’s have a look at some pictures that I shot on this lens last
week and here in sunny Helsinki Finland mechanical construction of this lens is
actually pretty decent for a kit lens the bayonet is metal and all in all this
feels like it’s pretty well put together the zoom ring is not actually a ring at
all I mean it’s a ring but it’s more like a switch that only controls the
motor that does the zooming and this lens is remarkably compact when it’s at
the retracted position but still there is also a manual focus ring so if you
prefer to focus manually it’s easy on this lens this lens weighs in at about
90 grams so it’s really lightweight and the filter thread is 37 millimeters
olympos also sells an accessory automatic accessory lens cap that opens
when you power the lens on and closes automatically when you power the lens
off it’s a really practical accessory and I wonder why it’s not included in
the price because it would be it’s just they’re so perfect with the lens like
this at this point can I please ask you to sign up for my
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Sulanto.fi and sign up thanks and now back to the topic of the day so this
is a tiny lens and therefore suitable for all Micro Four Thirds cameras big
ones and small ones when it’s mounted on one of the bigger cameras like the g9
and even on the G 90 it feels like there’s no lens at all but that’s not a
negative comment at all the user experience what comes to the usability
is quite good I think but I’m not too crazy about the power zoom function
because sometimes it’s a little bit tricky to make an exact or precise
framing because the zoom is a little bit you know edgy or how would I describe it
it’s just not as delicate as a manual manual zoom the optical construction is
eight elements in seven groups which for a zoom lens sounds pretty simple but
there are some special glass elements to make sure the image quality is decent
and the focal length is from fourteen millimeter moderate wide-angle to a 42
millimeter short telephoto and the maximum aperture is from F 3.5 – f
5.6 all those numbers are pretty normal for any consumer grade standard
zoom lens or any kit lens but there is no optical stabilizer built into this
lens and that gives this lens a small disadvantage in this and disadvantage
when it’s mounted on a lumix camera body the IBIS in the latest Lumix
cameras is really really good but the dual IS is even better but that
requires a stabilized lens however there are some lumix cameras like the GX 880
for example and some older models that don’t have in body image stabilizer and
for those cameras I can’t recommend this Olympus lens so the optical construction
is relatively simple but I have nothing to complain about the optical
performance of this little lens the pictures come out sharp and contrasty
and even the backlight is not a big problem the main
central part of the image is sharp already wide open but if you want the
really uniform sharpness across the whole frame it’s a good idea to stop
down to about f/8 which in theory is already affected by the diffraction but
in practice the pictures come out really sharp at if a at f/8 or f/11 but I
wouldn’t go beyond f11 because after that the pictures come out soft and
there are no visible vignetting chromatic aberrations or distortions
because they are corrected in camera or in some RAW developers too the autofocus
of this lens is really fast and reliable there’s nothing more to say about that
and I already mentioned the manual focus ring which makes also many of focusing
really easy if you prefer that and here’s the second set of pictures that I
shot in sunny Helsinki last week in it the prize of this land seems to vary a
lot but the cheapest price seems to be around hundred and fifty euros or US
dollars which i think is a pretty decent prize I don’t think many people buy this
kind of a lens anew but if you for some reason like these motorized features or
functions and you can get this lens for about a hundred and fifty US dollars or
euros I think you can’t go much wrong I got this lens many many years ago in a
kit but I have hardly used it and like I said at the beginning I had almost
forgotten I even have this lens I would much rather have a mechanical
traditional manual zoom lens I think it’s so much nicer to use but that’s
just my personal opinion if you like these motorized features or functions
there’s nothing wrong with this lens it’s optically decent it’s really really
tiny and it makes even this G90 almost pocketable
and there’s you know very little to complain about if you think about this
as a kit lens or standard zoom lens consumer great zoom lens the only minor
downside I can figure out for a lumix user is that this is not dual is
compatible but that’s not really a big deal because the Ibis still gives you
several stops of stabilization even without the dual eyes but like I said
earlier if you have a non stabilized camera body I don’t recommend this lens
so if you’re looking for a motorized zoom lens and you can get this for a
good price this is a good option also for a lumix user that’s it this time
thank you for watching and I’ll see you in the next one

19 Replies to “Olympus14-42mm EZ Power Zoom Review”

  1. Great walk-around lens for a small MFT body w/IBIS. Makes your MFT into a pocketable point-and-shoot w/auto-open lens cap.

  2. In total I'm happy to have it due to its amazing size (I often take it to my pocket just in case) but while optically enough in good light, in total I hate the experience of electronic zoom (especially the time it takes and sound it makes when turning on and off) so for vacations I tend to use 9-18mm switched to the 25mm prime much more. I noticed I simply stopped using it because I don't turn on the camera that often with this lens on and I miss the shots. That 14 is also a bit too narrow for my shooting sometimes so something like 12-40mm (rather than 12-32) in a compact size would be perfect for me. I'm really counting on that new 12-45 f4 lens from Olympus – if it is visibly smaller than their 2.8 lens, I'd have a perfect one.

    On the other hand, the motorized factor is a lovely gimmick if you have a gorillapod and use your smartphone to take a picture (you can zoom in and out – how convenient) 🙂

    Lens cap is great – I bought a chinese one from Aliexpress and it works perfectly – there are versions with or without included lens hoods 🙂

  3. I had the Lumix 14-42mm power zoom but found it, like the 45-175mm power zoom, annoying to zoom with so I sold it. Besides, little tiny lenses seemed suited to small M43 bodies, not a G85 or G9. Later, I bought a GX85 that I use with Lumix prime lenses 15, 20, 25 and 42.5mm – I like these combinations 🙂

  4. So since this is a zoom lens, do you have to manually set the focal length inside the Lumix camera to use IBIS? That means you would have to select (fix) a focal length, then set that focal length manually in the camera. Or does the Lumix camera detect the correct focal length the lens is at and adjusts itself without requiring any additional setting by the photographer?

  5. I am selling exact lens here in Finland, also my GH5 and 15mm Summilux Panasonic Leica and one telezoom. Only in Finland, whole package 1500€

  6. Yeah — the small size is amazing having the electronics for autofocus and motorized zoom. Nice focal-length range, a little tight on the aperture range. But the motorized zoom might be useful for video (I use my G85 for photography and videography) — I dislike trying to smoothly manual zoom with my Lumix and vintage lenses while handholding my G85 capturing video. So you were able to assign the zoom function to one of the customizable function buttons on both the G9 and G90 — I have never seen "Zoom" as an option for the customizable buttons on the G85 — do you know if that exists? And if you have it assigned to a button — how do you control zooming in vs. zooming out? Here in the US we call those metal drawers "file cabinets" — the government and businesses used them for most of the 20th century for files and documents. Now most of that is all on a hard drive somewhere, or "in the cloud." Thank you Matti!!!

  7. I found initially that the EZ was too "jerky"-it flew from one focal length to the next too quickly, abruptly so I made some adjustments: Menu> Utility K > EZ speed>Low (it had bee set on 'High'). It's now a nice smooth transition through the focal lengths.

  8. Great work. As a G9 owner, I really appreciate it, so thank you! I'm still struggling to find my perfect system… If you had to choose between this lens and the lumix 12-32mm, leaving aside OIS, which one would it be?

  9. Interesting review. I had this lens for a week or so, and used it on three occasions – I was not impressed, but maybe I was just too critical back then (or the lens was not properly adjusted). Looking back at the images I found that the overall impression is actually quite good, so I might just be spoiled by better lenses. When it comes to optimal performance, I found around f/6.3 (or a bit more, but below f/8), but yes, f/8 gives a better overall quality. This lens shines on a small body, and I found the IQ be superior to the Lumix 12-32mm – which lacks the focus ring, too! I thought about buying it again, but I'm now after the Leica D-Lux 7, also known as Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100II – it starts at 12 mm f1.7 (!) and has overall better image quality (and it is very compact).

  10. I have the EZ version of that lens in my drawer also. I use it when I put my G85 on a gimbal, or I want to "pocket" my camera for street photos. It works fine for that.

  11. On Olympus body there is zoom reset on/off option in menu , so you don't have to adjust zoom every time you turn on (or wake up) the camera .

  12. I used to have this lens, but I sold it when I bought the 12-40 pro. Not that I didn't like it, just found no need to keep 2 similar focal length zoom lenses. I admit this one has the advantage of being very pocketable, which is awesome to use on a small body. I'm not sure but, doesn't the zoom speed varies in case you turn the zoom ring faster or slower?

  13. I thank you very much for your video. I have this lens on my em10 m3. To my eyes, I’ve gotten sharp photos. I don’t zoom in and out that much, most of the time I set it at 17 mm. I have been using this lens in Combo with Oly 25 1.8 and Rich gr ii.

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