Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 MkII Lens review at photodo

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 MkII Lens review at photodo

"The incredibly small size and weight of this lens suit the compact dimensions of the Micro Four Thirds system perfectly and it balances perfectly on the Olympus E-PL1 used for testing. The lens barrel is constructed from plastics, as is the lens mount which contributes to the light weight of only 110g.

When the lens is not being used, it can be collapsed down to almost half its length when in use, which is

perfect for stowing the camera and lens away in a small bag or case. To collapse the lens, a switch located on the zoom ring needs to be pressed forward and the zoom turned past 14mm, which is fairly easy to perform.

Focusing is performed internally and is pretty swift and virtually silent in operation. When compared to the MkI lens, focusing is noticeably faster, with lens hunting around for a lock. The zoom and focus rings are both very smooth in operation and there appear to be no issues with zoom creep. As the front filter thread does not rotate during focus or zooming actions the lens is perfect for use with graduated and polarising filters via the 37mm filter thread, which is a common size for camcorders, and is well supported as a result. The minimum focus distance of 25cm allows you to get quite close to your subject, which is great for shooting in tight spaces, or for frame filling close-ups.

At 14mm and f/3.5, the sharpness in the centre of the frame is already outstanding, and the sharpness towards the edges is fairly good. Stopping down the aperture improves sharpness towards the edges, exceeding good levels by f/4. Peak quality across the frame is achieved between f/4 and f/5.6 for this focal length.

Zooming further into the range, sharpness levels follow a similar pattern to 14mm, with centre sharpness being very high from maximum aperture and the clarity towards the edges catching up as the lens is stopped down. The best compromise for sharpness across the frame is achieved between f/5.6 and f/8, where the clarity in the centre is excellent and good towards the edges."

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