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Keywords: Olympus Zuiko Wide Mid Tele Zoom Four-Thirds Tested


MichaelShea

Registered: April 2014
Posts: 3
Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 Zuiko Digital review by MichaelShea
Review Date: 4/27/2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $331.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Edge to edge sharpness in middle of zoom range, great build, lovely colour rendition
Cons: No real advantages over cheaper offerings at wide end, some chromatic aberrations visible

This will be a short review aimed predominantly at potential second-hand buyers for the micro four thirds system. Let me straight away state that I can thoroughly recommend the lens for stills photography of static subjects. I'm not qualified to comment on results that you might expect from video, sports etc.


No doubt the mark 2 version of the lens represents an improvement in terms of auto-focusing speed. But as far as accuracy is concerned, this lens is very good indeed and far better incidentally than most of the digital Pentax K-mount lenses I've used. If you have an object showing clear vertical markings, that should guarantee complete accuracy. Otherwise, you might want to consider manual focus adjust. Many of my early pictures have featured golden sand containing very little obvious contrast and yet my failure rate has been minimal.


Now that's out of the way, let's concentrate on the image quality. This is simply first rate. At anything between around 18-40mm, the results are at least as good as any prime lens I've used on my various MFT cameras. Peak results are probably between 20-30mm, where edge to edge sharpness is outstanding from f4-8. At all zoom settings and apertures, colour is stunning and up with the very best traditions of Olympus digital lenses. Olympus four thirds lenses make Panasonic cameras colour and contrast output look interesting and that is no mean feat.


An unknown feature for me until I took delivery of my lens copy was its close-focusing abilities, which are bordering on macro standard. I'm not saying you should forget about any dedicated macro lenses you already own, but if you are considering a macro and not committed to a particular preferred focal length, this is worth considering in its own right.


The build quality is of semi-professional standard. It repels dust and grime and feels as tough as old boots. It balances quite well on my Panasonic Lumix G5 camera (S-AF) and even better on my G1 (manual focus only). If you have become accustomed to small size and light weight, you should probably look elsewhere. But if you are like me, the universal zoom range is sufficient to make this the only lens you are likely to need for most of your photography.


Because this lens has been superseded by a newer model, it is easy to obtain second-hand copies at bargain prices. If the middle of the zoom range is roughly your typical focal length of choice, or if you are procrastinating about a zoom for (micro) four thirds that is a cut above the flimsy plastic kit offerings, look no further. This is an excellent choice.
logbi77

Registered: March 2009
Posts: 3
Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 Zuiko Digital review by logbi77
Review Date: 3/7/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $300.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Fast Focus, Build, Weather-Sealed, Relatively Cheap
Cons: Not Constant 2.8

This lens is a great lens. I bought this lens used, and it is quite good in terms of image quality, sharp across the frame. It is also relatively cheap and better in comparison to the other manufacturer's offerings in relation to focal length (28-108mm FF equivalent). The only lens I think that is being offered by others are the nikon 18-70mm 3.5-4.5 and the sigma 17-70mm 2.8-4.5. But then, these offering from other manufacturer's are a bit slower and don't have stabilization, as opposed to the e-520 which has its stabilization on the body. Overall, a great walk-around lens, and for the price, few lenses could match it.
lextalionis

Registered: October 2007
Posts: 82
Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 Zuiko Digital review by lextalionis
Review Date: 11/27/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great all-around lens.
Cons: To nit-pick, the lens is a bit soft at the edges wide-open.

This is a versitle lens...macro, landscape, portrait, the works! Sharp, good color and contrast.


Sample Hi-Res shots taken with an E-3


-Lex
kubler

Registered: November 2008
Posts: 1
Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 Zuiko Digital review by kubler
Review Date: 11/14/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $400.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Well built, sharp & good contrast
Cons: none

Excellent walk-around lens, sits on my E-510 most of the time. The f2.8 is satisfactory most of the time, focusing even at low light levels has not been a problem like the 14-42 kit lens. Overall, a vast improvement.
MartinM

Registered: November 2008
Posts: 29
Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 Zuiko Digital review by MartinM
Review Date: 11/12/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $310.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, fast AF, good focal length
Cons: a bit heavy, old lens cap

Noting to complain at all. This lens first perfect on my e520. Although it does not support contrast AF, the way i use it, OVF, does not matter.


Its really sharp and the IQ is outstanding.


Compared to the 12-60 it is very affordable adn offers almost the same focal length


The weight and the lens cap is something that i don't like.
swintonphoto

Registered: October 2008
Posts: 4
Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 Zuiko Digital review by swintonphoto
Review Date: 10/28/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $420.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Excellent max aperture, excellent build quality, excellent image quality
Cons: None.

I have been using this lens for a year and a half and I couldn't be happier. It brings incredibly sharp results and has a great max aperture. Considering the wide max aperture, the lens is surprisingly small. While it is much larger than the kit lenses, it is small compared to similar lenses by other manufacturers. It is very well built, with weather sealing. Just holding the lens you can feel the quality of the build. It also auto-focuses very quickly.
My images vastly improved in quality when I purchased this sharp lens. It also has virtually no distortion at either end.
I have used this with my E-500 and my E-510 and have had fantastic results. It stays on my camera 80% of the time.
If I had to buy a normal-range zoom again, I would buy this one in a heartbeat. A must for any serious photographer.
Magnus

Registered: January 2008
Posts: 1
Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 Zuiko Digital review by Magnus
Review Date: 1/9/2008 Would you recommend the product? No | Total Spent: $600.00| Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Build Quality
Cons: Softness Wide open, slow AF

Lens delivers good results at 5,6 - 11 and this at f4.0 .... well so did my Oly kit lens. I bought this for the speed but 2.8 changes to 3.5 rather quickly and shooting 14mm or 54mm at highest aperature doesn't produce any crispness. Certainly not compared to the price difference of the kit and this.
Another con, is the autofocussing, trying to autofocus wide-angle outdoor shots is almost impossible.
I am very disapointed with this lens which is the least performing part of my 7-14 14-54 and 50-200 set. I use it however sinve there is no alternative whatsoever, but I would of expected an overall higher quality lens.
I obviously found this out upon purchase but thought it had something to do with camera setting perhaps.... this is not the case, it's clearly the lens.


The lens is good, but certainly not worth the money.
ailame

Registered: December 2007
Posts: 4
Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 Zuiko Digital review by ailame
Review Date: 12/22/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: this Oly kit lens is much much better than kit lenses provided with other manufactures
Cons: bit soft when open at its max

Universal and reliable lens I carry with me all the time. At wide open side (f2.8-3.5) it delivers less then crispy-sharp results. However, starting f4-5 the output becomes to be comparable to fix focus 50mm f2.0. So if light conditions allows it I always close it a bit.


There is huge difference in AF performance when used with E-1 versus E-3. It is relatively slow with E-1 in general but in low light conditions it very difficult to use... cost me a lot of patience and lost shot opportunities. However, the very same lenses mounted on E-3 truly excels. Lightning fast, precise... even in almost no light. Though this changes come more as attribute of camera then lenses still, this proves that lenses are capable of professional performance.
kmyren

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 1
Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 Zuiko Digital review by kmyren
Review Date: 1/31/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $499.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Better glass then the kit lens. Almost everything about this lens is prefect and how it interacts with the E-500
Cons: Nothing so far - taking a lot od pictures using different setting

I purchased the E-500 after a lot of research and testing. Being relatively new to DSLR I still have lots of questions. I have learned to carry a small note pad to take notes and it really helps me get better. Now you add Photoshop in the mix and set up some projects and you can create great looking pictures. But I have to say that out of the box this lens is really worth the extrs $$$$
pflugshaupt

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 2
Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 Zuiko Digital review by pflugshaupt
Review Date: 1/5/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $600.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: image quality, build quality
Cons: shades the pop-up flash on the E-400 at widest angles or up close

Having bought the lens with a E-400 body, I'm very happy with it. Image quality is excellent and I really like the feel and handling of the lens.


One small problem is that the E-400's pop-up flash gets shaded by the lens at wide angles (less than 18mm) and/or close up. This is due to the greater bulk of it compared to the E-400's kit lens, for which the pop-up flash is obviously made. I can live with that since I hardly use flash, and I can still use the pop-up flash as a fill-in in most conditions.
KenH

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 4
Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 Zuiko Digital review by KenH
Review Date: 1/2/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $499.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Good walk about lens
Cons: None

This is a good walkabout lens with decent image qualities


This is a good lens to add to your Zuiko collection.
llbeanie1

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 17
Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 Zuiko Digital review by llbeanie1
Review Date: 1/1/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
Pros:
Cons:

great lens and build quality
cra3y

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 3
Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 Zuiko Digital review by cra3y
Review Date: 11/24/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $500.00| Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Build quality, weather seals, compact size compared to FF lenses
Cons: Slow AF, soft wide open at full aperture

This is mainstream lens that should be used for everyday photos. Compact size and lightweight are the major advantages.


Build quality is very and weather seals are main advantages, but AF performance is still poor compared to others (Canon/Nikon)


This lens is perform well, but it won't resolve 1200 lw/ph with E300 (imatest resolution target shot at raw processed byc dcraw and lightroom with no sharpening at all). This lens satisfied E1 sensor resolution but do not exceed E300/E500/E330 sensors.
thePrince

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 1
Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 Zuiko Digital review by thePrince
Review Date: 11/24/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $800.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Build quality, sharpness
Cons: Rather expensive (in Greece, at least)

Bought it 6 months ago, brand new, to replace the 14-45 on my E-300. This lens pushes this camera to its limits. Almost zero barrel / pincushion distortion / vignetting, great sharpness and fast. Can also focus at 0.22mm. A very good walkaround lens.
ExCibular

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 2
Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 Zuiko Digital review by ExCibular
Review Date: 12/9/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $500.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fast, build & optical quality, ideal focal range
Cons: none

Very well build lens that is very good in terms of sharpness. AF is fast and allows you to focus in darker circumstances. Moreover, the focal range is very good, a little wide and some short tele, very good walkaround lens.
mfs

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 2
Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 Zuiko Digital review by mfs
Review Date: 10/23/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $500.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: light weight, sharpness, fast
Cons: none

This is a good all around performer which has good to excellent sharpness. It is again limited by the E-1's relatively low resolution, and noisy sensor.


Hopefully, the E-1's sucessor will better demonstrate this lens's performance.
Jay

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 4
Olympus 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 Zuiko Digital review by Jay
Review Date: 10/23/2005 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Moderate size, F2.8 at wide end, good sharpness and contrast
Cons:

This is the standard lens with the E-1 and fulfills that function very nicely -- good wide angle range and moderate telephoto.


This lens delivers the shot, every time, and with its splash proof construction you can keep shooting even when it starts to rain!


 






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