RSS Twitter YouTube

M.Zuiko 14-42mm F/3.5-5.6 II MSC - Olympus Micro Four-Thirds Lens Roundup

M.Zuiko 14-42mm F/3.5-5.6 II MSC

M.Zuiko 14-42mm F/3.5-5.6
Buy from these sellers: Buy From Amazon.com

This is actually the second edition Micro Four-Thirds lens covering the 14-42mm range. This one is MSC which means it focuses much more quietly than normal lenses. The range covered by this lens is akin to most DSLR kit-lenses with a 3X optical zoom starting at a wide-angle 28mm-equivalent and reaching 84mm.

The 28-84mm focal-range is quite suitable for general photography from landscapes and typical interiors to close ups and social snapshots. Note the narrow aperture at the telephoto end makes it not ideal for portraits as it may show more depth-of-field than is desirable and needs slower shutter-speeds or higher-ISO sensitivities.

The compact carrying size of this lens is achieved via a clever collapsible design. It needs to be extended by about 3cm to become usable and reach its widest focal-length. The M.Zuiko 14-42mm feels light and is mostly composed of plastics, other than the glass optics of course. Both the zoom and focus mechanism are very smooth and steady. This lens accepts 37mm filters which are not very common and do not come in much variety. A 37-to-58mm step-up ring exists to use more filter types.

Sharpness is good in the center at wide-angle and barely soft at the corners. Stopping down a ½ stop makes the corners nearly as sharp as the center. The diffraction limit at 12 megapixels is reached at F/13 which shows a slight amount of softness. Stopping down further blurs everything. At telephoto, center sharpness is excellent starting at the brightest aperture of F/5.6. Corners at 42mm show noticeably more softness than at 14mm. Stopping down helps, reaching maximum sharpness at F/9.5 and F/11. Still, the corners become acceptable but never reach the same sharpness as the center.

There is slightly visible barrel distortion at 14mm. It diminishes towards telephoto becoming minimal at 42mm. Vignetting is moderate wide-open to F/3.5 at wide-angle but improves by F/5.6 without ever disappearing. At the telephoto end, vignetting is slightly noticeable at F/5.6 and becomes inconsequential by F/11.

Overall, this lens should be considered a relatively good performer since sharpness starts high wide-open and remains steady until the diffraction limit. Vignetting is only disturbing for the first 2 stops at wide-angle.

What is shown below are 5 crops taken from a photograph, repeatedly captured for each combination of focal-length and aperture. The smaller pieces are cropped from the extreme corners of the image, while the middle wide crop comes from the center of the image. Select an aperture in a row for a desired focal-length to see the crops from the corresponding image. When judging quality, keep in mind that these crops come from a 12 MP image which is normally used to print an image up to 16x12". On a computer display, these may appear much larger which magnifies image defects.

M.Zuiko 14-42mm F/3.5-5.6 II MSC Sharpness


Upper Left
Upper Right
Center
Lower Left
Lower Right
By on 2018-03-08

Neocamera Blog is a medium for expressing ideas related to digital cameras and photography. Read about digital cameras in the context of technology, media, art and the world. Latest posts links:

Camera Bag

Clear

Your camera bag is empty. To add a camera or lens click on the star next to its name.

Your camera bag is empty.

Add cameras or lenses by clicking on the star next to their name.

Updates

    2020.09.08

  • 2020.09.08

    Fujifilm X-T4 Review

    Fujifilm X-T4 Review

    Fujifilm APS-C flasghip mirrorless with 5-axis builtin stabilization mechanism using the same high-speed 26 MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor as the X-T3. New 15 FPS mechanical shutter and builtin HDR. Professional mirrorless with mechanical controls, dual control-dials, dual memory-card lots, a built EVF with Eye-Start Sensor and a huge feature set.

  • 2020.08.04

  • 2020.08.04

    Canon RF-Lens Info

    Canon RF-Lens Info

    Info on all Canon native RF-mount lenses added to the Canon EOS R5 preview.

  • 2020.08.03

  • 2020.08.03

    Canon EOS R5 Preview

    Canon EOS R5 Preview

    Preview of the Canon EOS R5 flagship Full-Frame Mirrorless with 45 MP sensor on a 5-axis stabilization system effective to 8-stops. First 8K video capable digital camera. 20 FPS electronic and 12 FPS mechanical drive.

  • 2020.07.22

  • 2020.07.22

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Review

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Review

    Third-Generation OM-D that packs a 20 MP Four-Thirds CMOS on a 5-Axis Stabilization System. Fast 121-Point Phase-Detect AF, 30 FPS Continuous Drive, Cinema 4K Video and more in a weatherproof and freezeproof body. Features dual control-dials and a builtin 2.4 MP EVF with Eye-Start Sensor with 0.69X magnification and 100% coverage.

  • 2020.07.07

  • 2020.07.07

    Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III Review

    Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III Review

    20 MP Micro Four-Thirds Mirrorless with 7-Stop 5-Axis Image-Stabilization, 121-Point Phase-Detect AF 30 FPS Continuous Drive and Cinema 4K capability in a weatherproof and freezeproof body with dual control-dials and dual SDXC memory card slots.

  • 2020.07.03

  • 2020.07.03

    M.Zuiko 12-45mm F/4 PRO Review

    M.Zuiko 12-45mm F/4 PRO Review

    A review of the M.Zuiko 12-45mm F/4 PRO added to the Olympus Premium Lens Roundup.

  • 2020.05.05

  • 2020.05.05

    Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

    Peak Design Travel Tripod Review

    Review of the unique Peak Design Travel Tripod with its own ballhead and the universal ballhead adapter.

  • 2020.04.15

  • 2020.04.15

    Nikon Z-Mount DX Lens Roundup

    Nikon Z-Mount DX Lens Roundup

    Review of Nikon Z-Mount lenses for APS-C mirrorless digital cameras. Covers all current Z-mount DX lenses available.

  • 2020.03.25

  • 2020.03.25

    Nikon Z50 Review

    Nikon Z50 Review

    The first Nikon APS-C mirrorless is built around a 20 MP BSI-CMOS sensor with ISO 100-204800, 209-Point Phase-Detect AF, 11 FPS Drive and 4K Video capability. Compact body with dual control-dials and 2.4 MP 0.39" EVF with 0.68X magnification, 100% coverage and an Eye-Start Sensor.

  • 2020.02.08

  • 2020.02.08

    Mirrorless Digital Camera Buying Guide 2020

    Mirrorless Digital Camera Buying Guide 2020

    The Mirrorless Digital Camera Buying Guide was fully rewritten for 2020, including all new systems from Nikon, Canon and Leica joined by Panasonic and Sigma. This new extensive 2020 Edition shows in 5 simple steps how to choose a mirrorless camera.