Personal View site logo
14-50mm/F2.8-3.5 Leica D VARIO-ELMARIT
  • Anyone used this ? Any feedback about manual focusing with that lens ? Is it as bad (or maybe even worse) as with modern m4/3 lenses ?
    I know it has focus breathing and very slow AF, but some shots can live without, and I may have one for cheap (and will use it for stills too)
  • 25 Replies sorted by
  • Takes a strong turn of focus ring and a short delay to activate focus assist. Slow autofocus with lots of hunting. Very sharp.
  • Thanks Jspatz, do you use it ? Would you recommend it ?
  • I only use it when I need the speed or extra sharpness and when slow focus is not a problem. It is really frustrating in changing and moving situations.
  • ok, thanks.
  • I use the Leicasonic 14-50mm for pre-focused handheld shots, where it delivers superb image quality and rock-steady image stabilization. Focusing is its weak point and I never attempt to refocus or zoom during a shot. This lens is the fastest and finest OIS zoom available for GH1/2 and it's unique in having a manual aperture ring, which I find very handy. If those features are more important to you than its focusing limitations, I think you'll find it highly useful.
  • I ordered a used Leica 14-50 2.8-3.5 from BH Photo. I tried using it with my GH1 and GH2 with Olympus MMF-2 with litlle or no success.

    GH1 + MMF-2. The lens did not work at all. Screen was black and if I managed to get the lens to boot then as soon as I touched the focus ring the image went black and I had an error message. Check lens attachment. O.I.S kept making weird sounds.

    GH2 + MMF-2. I was able to use the lens for short times at the time. After attaching the lens it never started to function right away. After some trial and error I found out that if I pressed the littlle release button on the side of MMF-2 the lens booted and started to work. However it could just as suddenly cease to function and O.I.S would start to make weird noises.

    So could someone please confirm if it is at all possible to use the combination:

    GH1 + MMF-2 + Leica Vario Elmarit14-50

    I returned the lens to BH Photo and they claim it is working normally and that the malfuntion is due to the incompability of the lens with my cams (GH1 and GH2).

    The MMF-2 I have is brand new and works fine with Olympus ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 that I borrowed from my friend.
  • I have the same setup and it works well. I have had issues with Olympus lenses on the adapter, caused by incorrect lens firmware.
  • @Jasketti
    There must have been a malfunction with your copy of the Panasonic 14-50mm lens and/or the Olympus MFT adapter. I have used this lens dozens of times on GH1 and GH2 cameras via the Panasonic MFT adapter, and have never had the kind of problems you described.
  • Does anyone know how this compares with the 14-50mm f/3.8-5.6, aperture differences asside, especially in regard to good OIS? I'm considering upgrading from the Lumix 14-42.
  • Thanks guys.

    I personally thougth that there was something wrong with the lens too since the adapter worked fine with Olympus ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5.

    The guy at BH Photo is telling me that their tehcnicians have thoroughly investigated the lens and found nothing wrong with it... this is slowly getting the worst deal I have ever made... I have already lost 350 EUR+ on shippings, taxes, custom fees etc...

    I would have liked the lens however. They have new ones at BH too and since you guys tell me it should work maybe I'll just tell them to send me a brand new one instead.
  • The lens works with the adapter from panasonic for me on the gh2. I like the span of the zoom. It is perfect for observational style shooting. It has quiet a bit of distortion on the edges. The breathing is high, so you really notice it when pulling the focus. What really drives me nuts is the stuttering of the focus. The physical ring runs smoothly. But there appears to be an electronic translation to the glass. And that translation is not smooth. It jumps. And sometimes it jumps too far, so you have a hard time fine-tuning the focus.

    I had my first lens turned in to b&h and replace. But the second one has the same problem.
  • @Jspatz

    Could you tell me what firmware version your lens has? Though as far as I know there is only one version...

    I dont know how I should proceed with BH photo to solve this but they still try to claim the lens works fine for them... and I am sure as hell it did not.


    I also noticed that the focus by wire was not that accurate at all. Whole build quality was kind of plasticky and flimsy but I liked the the optics and also the fact that the zoom expansion was quite small.
  • Have to agree with the other comments, the image quality is nice and it's the only stabilized fast standard zoom you can put on the GH cameras (Panasonic really needs an updated version). The biggest downside is that the AF is just incredibly slow, 3 seconds is not unusual. The first one I had could not focus on the GH2 but was ok with an old 4/3 camera, the second one worked however. The OIS works well enough but it makes an unusual muffled noise, not too loud but it can get picked up by a mic in a quiet environment.
  • @Jasketti
    It says lens firmware 1.0 although I suspect this may be a default readout when it does not know. Perhaps someone who knows can comment. The firmware issue with me applied to the adapter use on a lumix body with an Olympus lens. I had to mount the lens on an Olympus, update the lens software, and then it worked. Never had a problem with Panasonic lenses.
  • 14-50... noisy and slow AF on m43 body. MF is noisy, too. Heavy lens breathing. Nuff said...

  • Hey guys, I need some help.

    I picked up this lens today (L-ES014050) Panasonic 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 Vario-Elmarit Aspherical MEGA O.I.S.... I also have the DMW-MA1 Four Thirds to Micro Four Thirds adapter. I am using the lens on the Panasonic GH3. Both camera and lens have firmware version 1.0. Autofocus will not work. I am under the impression the lens needs a firmware update. However, I can not find where the update is located on the internet. Help?

  • Please excuse my last post. Seems Panasonic never updated the firmware of the aforementioned 14-50mm lens. I will look in to my problem further as a potential issue with the Panasonic GH3.

  • @ivan

    Did u solve the problem? I was looking at this kena for my gh3 as well?

    Can u possibly comment on MF being noisy? I wonder if it is noisy enough to be picked up by on-camera mounted shotgun?

  • @IvanUskokovic How is this lens and manual focusing? I see all the problems with auto.

  • Hi,

    just bought one of these lenses used. Looks really good. Autofocus + GH3 works (I am using the Panasonic MA1 adapter), albeit slow.

    However I am experiencing a continuous sound from the image stabilization motor, if IS is turned on. Have a look here:

    It is that continuous rattling sound, not the auto focus sound. Anybody else experiencing this. Is this normal?


  • OIS noise from the 14-50 2.8 is normal.

  • Thanks a million for the quick info.

    Can't get manual focussing to work. Any idea how to do this? :-)

  • I also have this lens and a GH2 and it will autofocus(slowly) but cannot get it to manual focus. Any suggestions? I use the DMW-MA1 adaptor.

  • Hi, if you set focus to manual with your GH2 and the manaul-focus ring does not work, this could mean your lens has a problem. I had the same problem and returned the lens to the seller.

  • Hi guys. I need some help. I have the lens and it's fantastic!

    I gave someone this lens and he accidentally turned the adapter opposite the normal rotation, resulting breaking the last contact little metal plate on the mount (electronic contact). Unfortunateley this contact is responsible for giving power to the lens. So now when I connect the lens to the GH2 it goes black with the message "check the lens". On the GH1 it shows the image through the lens but I don't have any manual control.

    My question is if it's possible to replace the contacts plate with another 4/3 lens (like the cheap olympus 14-42mm). I opened the back mount of the lens and it is very difficult to solder the connection (the plastic will melt).

    I love that lens and I always use it manually (focus, aperure) but without power this can't be done. I am very dissapointed because it is a very good and expansive lens and in my country there is no repair service for panasonic (Greece). Do you have any ideas to help me?

    From now on . . . only spend money on mechanical lens!