Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ Lens Review: A light, compact ‘kit lens’ alternative


posted Friday, August 29, 2014 at 4:37 PM EDT


We've just taken the wraps off our latest lens review over on SLRgear, the Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ. It seems Olympus has been in a continual development cycle for the kit lens of its cameras: the Olympus 14-42mmEZ lens is no less than the seventh lens they have designed in this category since they started designing for digital, and the third in the M.Zuiko series in particular.

Olympus has continued to refine the design of this lens, making it even smaller and more automated than previously. The lens in particular saves space by retracting its elements internally when not in use, and extends automatically when the camera is powered on: a pancake zoom lens. In addition to the retractable pancake design, the lens gets Olympus's "EZ" designation with its integrated power zoom feature.

Performance-wise, the Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 ED EZ is decently sharp, and vignetting and distortion are well-controlled (though Micro Four Thirds cameras correct for distortion in-camera). Chromatic aberration, however, is a bit of an issue with this lens, especially in the corners at 14mm, but we don't think it's a deal-breaker for this lens.

Head on over to SLRgear to read the full Olympus 14-42 mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ review, complete with our in-depth report, final conclusion as well as our full range of test results and sample images.

The Olympus 14-42 mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ is currently available now for around $349, or as part of the OM-D E-M10 Premium Kit* options. The lens can be purchased at one of our trusted affiliates: Amazon (black, silver), Adorama (black, silver) and B&H (black, silver). Purchasing this lens, or any other item, at one of these retailers helps support this site and keeps the reviews coming! (*Note: the E-M10 Premium Kits are only available direct from Olympus.)

In the meantime, check out some sample photos shot by our senior lens technician Rob Murray using the Panasonic GX1. You can view more sample photos, plus download the full-resolution files, over at our Flickr page.

GX1: 14mm, f/5, 1/1600, ISO 160
GX1: 42mm, f/5.6, 1/1600, ISO 160
GX1: 31mm, f/10, 1/400, ISO 160