I've had a lot of comment and questions about the Panasonic Leica 14-150mm Vario-Elmar. Lots of people seem interested in these PanLeica 4/3 lenses but are somewhat put off by the price. However if you're not too bothered about the zoom range there's a much cheaper alternative.
Panasonic made two 4/3 cameras. The first was the L1 which was bundled with the LEICA D VARIO-ELMARIT 14-50mm/F2.8-3.5 which is also a great lens. Thats not cheap either, but you can pick up S/H L1's with the lens included at a reasonable price.
The second, pictured above, was the L10. This was bundled with the LEICA D VARIO-ELMAR 14-50mm F3.8-5.6, a slower and slightly lighter version of the previous lens. This lens is substantially cheaper than the other zooms new, and can be picked up S/H with the L10 for very reasonable prices, which is how I bought mine.
The L10 was the design forerunner of the G1, as you can see. It is a larger DSLR version of that camera. Panasonic shrunk the design, added an EVF and better screen to introduce m4/3 to the world. I'm not that impressed by the L10. Its OK but nothing special in terms of image quality. I had a L1 and that, even with its 7.5MP sensor produced great images. Its strange that the L10 didn't really build on that. However the lens, like all these Panasonic Leica collaborations, is a gem.
Used on a m4/3 camera it produces sharp detailed pictures. So if you're interested in a standard zoom, with OIS image stabilisation, that will certainly be an improvement on the current Lumix and Olympus kit lenses you could try and find one of these. I've seen them new in UK stores for about £375 new, which isn't cheap but nowhere near the £1000+ plus for the 14-150mm. I bought my L10 + the lens for £325. I intend to sell the L10 for whatever I can get for it, so the lens won't have cost me much. It is in mint condition.
Heres some pictures taken with it and the E-P2 yesterday.
Words - D
Images - D & A