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First Impressions - Panasonic GF1 with 14-140mm and 20mm lenses
My Panasonic GF1 arrived last Friday with the kit lens - a 20mm f/1.7 "pancake" prime lens. Big Grin

Firstly, the camera itself is great! I was expecting a kind of cross between an LX3 and a DSLR, and that's exactly how the GF1 feels. It's an LX3 on steroids or a shrunk-down DSLR, whichever way you want to look at it. And that little tiny 20mm pancake lens - well, for such a tiny lens it has a big reputation. As far as I'm concerned the reputation is 100% deserved. This little lens absolutely rocks. Mating it with the GF1 as a kit was a stroke of genius by Panasonic and will convert many photographers to the joy of primes.

However, my goal with this camera is to have something compact and usable in any situation. I intend to use a number of fast primes with this camera (as well as the 20mm MFT lens, a few old Canon FD lenses I already own), but I also want just ONE zoom lens for it. The zoom lens needs to be a "swiss army knife" for normal daylight shooting.

So after careful consideration I decided on the Panasonic 14-140mm zoom lens, giving me a 10x zoom and a 35mm equivalent 28-280mm zoom.
This lens has a number of drawbacks - it's bulky, slow (f/4 - f/5.8), expensive, and image quality isn't spectacular. But... when you consider the alternative needed to cover the 28mm to 280mm focal length range (carrying 2 lenses), suddenly it isn't so big. While it is slow, it also has image stabilisation (and I have fast primes to use when I need a fast lens). And image quality is generally regarded as being better than other similar "super-zoom" lenses by other manufacturers, so it's about as good a compromise as I was going to get.
I managed to find one second hand in mint condition at a great price, so that also solved the expensiveness problem.

The 14-140mm lens arrived on Monday, but I didn't have a chance to have a quick play with it until today. There was a break in the rain at lunchtime, so I went exploring a new Athletics and Basketball centre that's been built next to my work. I needed a subject to photograph, so my Vespa stepped in to model for me. Big Grin

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You can see the 14-140mm lens adds a lot of bulk to the petite GF1, making it look more like a small DSLR. This is unfortunate but I still find it quite easy to use and carry. I'm not one of those people who gets upset when the balance changes due to a big lens being mounted on a small camera. After about 30 seconds of shooting I got used to it and it never crossed my mind after that.

Below are some sample photos with links to the full high-resolution versions for you to pixel-peep.
The shots won't win any awards but I wanted to shoot something a little more interesting than resolution charts.

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1. The 20mm pancake lens is just magic. Click here to see full-res photo

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2. The 14-140mm zoom can't compete with the 20mm pancake lens for sharpness, but still looks good. Click here to see full-res photo

[Image: 911121861_Nzxbq-S.jpg] [Image: 911121471_rDLTt-S.jpg]
3 & 4. Here we can see shots taken from the same location but at either end of the 10x zoom range of the 14-140mm zoom. Click here and here to view full-res.

[Image: 911122198_xmKPE-S.jpg] [Image: 911120634_oKd9v-S.jpg]
5 & 6. Here are two comparable shots taken with the 20mm lens (left) and 14-140mm lens (right). You can see how soft the 14-140 is at the long-end. Click here and here to view full-res.

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7 & 8. Another pair of shots taken with the 20mm lens (left) and 14-140mm lens (right), showing little distortion with either lens. Click here and here for full-res.

The 14-140mm lens seems to be pretty soft at the long-end of the zoom, but still worth using for everyday photos. It gets noticably better at lower focal lengths. The 20mm lens is just great everywhere.

Oh, and I found that a Crumpler 2-Million Dollar Home is a great size to hold this camera, both these lenses plus another one (such as an FD 50mm f/1.8), and the usual memory cards, etc.
Adrian Broughton
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"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Einstein.
Excellent! Just the type of in-depth analysis and impressions that I was hoping for...

BTW: I like the look of the Crumpler bag too - I have been looking for a good match. I assume that you are storing the GF-1 in it with the 14-140 pointing downwards and the top of the camera facing the front of the bag.

Can you measure the inside back to front dimension of the bag for me? I want to know if I can store the GF-1 in it with the 14-140 and the EVF attached. The EVF adds about an additional 7/8" (22 mm) of height to the GF-1. Can you post a photo of the GF-1 with attached 14-140 in the bag, please?

Another bag that I am looking at is the Kata H-10 - similar type of thing...

Kata H-10:

[Image: KAH10.JPG]

Crumpler 2 Million Dollar Home:

[Image: 2milliondollarhome.jpg]

Possibly unwanted advice: ditch the neck strap for the GF-1 - it is totally inappropriate for this camera. A wrist strap feels just right with the GF-1. I use a Prostrap Snapstrap and it is a *perfect* combination. It looks like this:

[Image: SnapStrap.jpeg]

...and you can get it here:
Thanks a lot Adrian, Toad for your pictures and information about this camera....

Great addition to our already precious library of cameras reviews... Wink
A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art.
Paul Cezanne
Rob, I don't have the camera and crumpler bag with me to check, but I think you'll be struggling to get a GF1 in the bag with 14-140 mounted as well as an external viewfinder. Sad I have a Manfrotto Modo Pocket tripod mounted to my GF1 adding 5-10mm to its height when folded (see photos at the top of the thread), and that's about the limit before it gets difficult to take the camera in and out of the bag. That Kata bag looks like it may fit a bit better.

Thanks for the link to the wrist strap. I haven't even unpacked the Panasonic neck-strap because I don't see the point of it, but that clip-on wrist strap looks good.

I might do a bit of a follow-up post about these lenses later on when my FD and EOS lens adapters arrives, comparing them to various Canon lenses.
Adrian Broughton
My Website:
My Blog:
You can also visit me on Facebook!
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Einstein.
Great review Adrian. So sorely tempted you evil man Tongue
Canon stuff.
One of the great things about the GF1 with 20mm lens mounted is that it will fit into a jacket pocket. Unfortunately with the 14-140mm lens mounted it becomes too big to do this. That seems to be a common complaint I hear about this lens.

BUT... that doesn't mean you need to start carrying bags around everywhere.

The 14-140mm lens by itself will fit into a jacket pocket, just not mounted to the camera. There is no reason why you can't have a "2 pocket solution" where you keep the GF1+20mm in one pocket and the 14-140mm lens in the other pocket. It's still very light and portable, and you just switch lenses when you need the zoom and switch back when you put your camera away. Big Grin

...just a thought.
Adrian Broughton
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"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Einstein.
Kombisaurus Wrote:One of the great things about the GF1 with 20mm lens mounted is that it will fit into a jacket pocket.

BUT... that doesn't mean you need to start carrying bags around everywhere.
I don't really find this is the case - the GF-1 / 20 in a jacket pocket is too big and lumpy for my tastes. I carry that combo in the Kata AP-326 with a shoulder strap. This is a low encumbrance solution that I don't find an issue to carry around even when I am not actively out to take photos - it also lives easily in my briefcase when I am not on foot.

These pictures show how it works. On the left, the shown with an Olympus EP-2, but the GF-1 fits equally well. On the right, the somewhat larger AP-325 pouch is shown in shoulder bag mode. I find the smaller AP-326 and the GF-1 with 20 mm mounted is a great street rig. I can fit the EVF in the outer zipper pocket - but it isn't a great fit (the EP-2's EVF doesn't fit at all).

[Image: 326.jpg]

You can also attach the pouch to your belt if you don't like shoulder straps. I prefer the strap.

The Modo Pocket looks interesting as an accessory - but the website claims that it is limited to 17.6 oz capacity - which is less than the GF-1 with 14-140 attached. Does it really work in that configuration when not tilted back as in your photos?.
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My FD->MFT and EOS->MFT lens adaptors arrived yesterday and I tested them out today with a bunch of lenses on my GF1.

The prime lenses I tested (in order) were:
EOS - Sigma 15mm Fisheye
MFT - Lumix G 17mm f/1.7
EOS - Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L
EOS - Arsat 35mm f/2.8 Tilt/Shift
FD - Canon FD 50mm f/1.4
EOS - Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
EOS - Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
EOS - Sigma 50mm f/1.4
EOS - Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
EOS - Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro
EOS - Canon EF 135mm f/2L USM

And the Zoom lenses:
EOS - Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6
MFT - Lumix G Vario 14-140mm f/4-5.6
EOS - Canon 17-40mm f/4L USM
EOS - Canon 17-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
EOS - Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
EOS - Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
FD - Canon FD 70-210mm f/4

Now why am I telling you about this? Well, I posted the results up to a gallery on my website so you can look for yourself and compare the differences. For this test, all lenses were shot wide-open.
I also included a few shots of various lenses mounted on the camera body to give an indication of the overall size and ergonomics. The EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS looks comical with the little camera hanging off the back of it (not even touching the table), but some of the other lenses (particularly the FD 50mm f/1.4) feel right at home.

Click Here to View the Results.

Hover your mouse over each thumbnail to see which lens is used for that photo, or click on the thumbnail and then look at the photo caption below it. You can view a photo at full resolution by hovering over the main image and then selecting "original" from the menu that flies out from the side.

The results were quite interesting. Some lenses were a bit of a surprise to me, others not so. My favourites were the FD 50mm, EF 35mm, EF 85mm, and EF 135mm. The problem with the EOS lenses is that you cannot adjust aperture, while the older FD lenses are not only smaller but also have a manual aperture setting on the lens. I've got an FD 85mm f/1.8 lens on its way to me which I can't wait for.

Later this afternoon I went to visit some friends and took the GF1 with me. Despite a moving baby, using manual-focus wasn't much of a problem.
Here are some shots of my friends with the GF1 and FD 50mm f/1.4 lens mounted. The last shot is a bit OOF but was so cute I had to include it.

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Adrian Broughton
My Website:
My Blog:
You can also visit me on Facebook!
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Einstein.
Wow!! A major tour de force. I'm liking what I see of the FD 50 F1.4 (looks like it was made for the GF-1). I'm also liking the 85mm F1.8. The Sigma 10-20 also is catching my eye...

So much information here and very inspirational. You have convinced me to get an adapter or 2 and give some of my Nikon lenses a whirl. Can't wait to see how my Tamron 90mm F2.8 performs as a 180mm F2.8. I have a sneaking suspicion that my discontinued Nikon 24-85mm F3.5-F4.5 will be a good match size and reach-wise as well.

The nice thing about using adapters is that I can also buy an old Canon lens if I see one that I like - even though I don't own a Canon.
Very cool Adrian - thanks for all that work.
Canon stuff.
Wow, that's just crazy Adrian! Crazy cool and crazy impressive... well done! Big Grin
Adapter arrived yesterday and will be trying out my legacy lenses directly. A couple of them such as my 80-200 F2.8 will be ridiculous of course - the lens will look like it has a GF-1 shaped tumor - but I am optimistic about a couple of the others.

More details soon...
Sounds good Toad... looking forward to hearing more...

I think my legacy FD 50mm f/1.4 has spent more time on my GF1 than either of my "proper" MFT lenses. I love it to bits.
Adrian Broughton
My Website:
My Blog:
You can also visit me on Facebook!
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Einstein.
Absolutely stonking and so peachily useful and practical..gosh, this really lifts the bar on what a review should be. And I can almost hear Toad salivating from here!
Yet again I find the GF1+20mm+EVF combo going increasingly cheaply over here, and yet again I so, so nearly went for it.
D'you know, IF I was starting out afresh and with no "history" of owning digital, my kit would have to be both the Nikon D700 + 14-24mmG, and the GF1+20mm+EVF..just because!
Brilliant on adapters there too Adrian..again, so utterly useful and practical.
70-200f2.8 hanging off the front of it!! Big Grin Big Grin You'd be holding it like a bazooka I reckon!
Toad, I have more than an inkling that our Tamron 90mm macro will be stonkingly good on this camera, remembering its ripping performance on 1.6(350D)...yet I wonder if there are good adapters and not so good ones.
Thanks so much for this.
PS: Am I right in thinking that one is restricted to shooting at widest(home) aperture with the EOS converter?(And, is this the case with all MTF-EOS adapters?
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You're correct in thinking that current EOS to MFT adapters don't allow for changes of aperture. The only way to set the aperture on these lenses is to mount them to an EOS camera and hold down the "DOF Preview button" while removing the lens. Not convenient at all.
But looking at my EOS adapter, it is about the size of the Lumix 20mm lens. It should be big enough to put some electronics and controls on there, so I think it will only be a matter of time before a better EOS adapter is available that allows aperture control (either through the camera or using controls on the adapter). After all, a number of companies have reverse-engineered Canon's lens-to-camera communications.

But for me, old-school FD lenses are far more suitable to the GF1 than EOS lenses. Not just because they have aperture controls on the lens, but mainly it's their small size and superb manual focus abilities. The fact they are so cheap and widely available also helps. A complete set of fast FD primes (35mm, 50mm, 85mm, and 135mm) could be bought for $200-$250.

Last week I caved in to temptation and bought an adapter for Pentax C-mount lenses (16mm cine and TV lenses). There are many small, cheap and fast lenses available for this mount, and I also bought two CCTV lenses - a 25mm f/1.4 and a 35mm f/1.7. Optically they're very flawed, but they're tiny and each have loads of character in Lomo/Holga/Diana kind of way. At about $30 each they are worth a pop..
Here's a thread with loads of sample photos from C-mount lenses on MFT cameras:
Adrian Broughton
My Website:
My Blog:
You can also visit me on Facebook!
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." - Einstein.
Its faintly comical how small and dainty the 14-140 looks on the GF-1 to me now - post Fashion Show.

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First Impressions - Panasonic GF1 with 14-140mm and 20mm lenses00