Neato pancake lens: Olympus 14-42 EZ

Discussion in 'Micro Four Thirds Forum' started by Jock Elliott, Aug 30, 2017.

  1. Jock Elliott

    Jock Elliott SC All-Pro

    Jan 3, 2012
    Troy, NY
    My photographic style is "opportunistic." I like to carry a camera with me everywhere and see what happens. It seems to be an inevitable rule of life that if I don't have a camera with me, there is always something really striking that I could have taken a picture of.

    Right now, I have several cameras: a Fuji XP90 rugged camera, the Sony HX400V superzoom, an OMD EM5 and an OMD EM5 II. For the interchangeable lens cameras I have the 12-50 weather resistant zoom, the 14-150 weather resistant zoom, and the 17mm f/1.8. IMHO, all of these cameras and camera/lens combos have limitations for "every day carry" cameras. The XP90 has lots of limitations except for bright sunny days. The superzoom, while it delivers a whole lot of reach in a relatively small package, is still too bulky for carrying unobtrusively. Ditto the OMDs with either zoom lens. Even either OMD with the 17mm was still bigger than I would like.

    So I had resorted to carrying my old Canon G12, which I had given to my son. It's relatively thin and deploys very quickly when you press the POWER button. But I like to take lots of cloud photos, and the G12 frequently has issues locking focus on clouds. There are work-arounds, but still . . .

    I began investigating pancake lenses that with a M3/4 mount, and there are three. But I wanted to have an option for manual focus, and that reduced the field to one: the Olympus 14-42 EZ.

    Here it is, mounted on the OMD EM5:

    Pancake lens Daisy 003.JPG
    Turn the camera on, and the lens automatically extends itself in about the same time it takes for the Canon G12 to ready itself for action (about a second):

    Pancake lens Daisy 004.JPG
    If you look at the lens, you will see a thin silver band around it, with two knurled rings on either side. The ring closest to the camera body operates the electronic zoom (hence the EZ designation); the thin ring on the other side of the silver band is for manual focus.

    The camera/lens combo is a thicker than the G12, but noticeably thinner than the OMD/17mm combo. I carry it with no lens cap and a protective filter, so all that is needed is to switch the camera on, and it's good to go. Since there is a 2X crop factor, the effective focal length is 28-84 mm e, and if you punch up the 2X digital zoom, the greatest reach is 168mm e, making this tiny lens pretty versatile in my book. So far, I've found that it focuses quickly on everything, including clouds, so I am pleased so far.

    Below are a few quick snaps taken with the 12-42 EZ.

    Pancake lens 002.JPG

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    Pancake lens 011.JPG

    Cheers, Jock
     
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