Olympus M.ZUIKO 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - (Micro-)Four-Thirds

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published July 2013


The redesigned Olympus Digital M.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R is one of the kit lens options for Olympus mirrorless cameras. It is a retractable lens and thus really compact in transport mode. Unlike on e.g. the Panasonic Lumix G 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS PZ you have to manually turn the zoom ring to extend it into working mode and once activated, it isn't any smaller than conventional lenses. The provided range covers a field-of-view equivalent to "28-84mm" on full format cameras which is the common standard among today's kit zoom lenses.

The build quality has been significantly improved. The inner lens tube of the initial version of the lens suffered from a dreadful degree of wobbling but this issue has been fixed in the mk II R. The plastic quality - down to the mount - is pretty good and gives no reason for complaining. Both the zoom and focusing ring operate smoothly and without play.

The M.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R features a MSC ("Movie and Stills Compatible") AF drive offering a near-silent, fast and smooth AF. Typical for mirrorless systems the AF accuracy is very high although this is more a camera than a lens aspect.
Just like on the other MFT lenses, manual focusing is "by-wire" so you actually drive the AF motor when turning the focus ring. This works quite fine. Olympus lenses offer no image stabilizer since Olympus relies on in-body IS.

Equiv. focal length"28-84mm" (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperture"f/7-f/11.2" (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction8 elements in 7 groups inc. 3x aspherical elements
Number of aperture blades7 (circular)
min. focus distance0.25m (max. magnification: 1:5)
Filter size37mm (non-rotating)
Hoodoptional, square-shaped, bayonet mount
Other featuresMSC AF

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