12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens

Started Jan 23, 2013 | Discussions
Shirozina
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12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens
Jan 23, 2013

With it's high price tag I was expecting much from this lens on my GH3 but the edge resolution is disappointing under 25mm where my 14-45 is better at a fraction of the price.  I shoot mainly at F8 and would expect any wide open edge losses to be resolved when stopped down but doing this on the 12-35 does very little. I was about to buy a 35-100 as well but was stopped when I started to read reports and see tests showing a similar so-so edge performance so this may simply be the design compromise of these lenses. On the plus side it has fast AF, weather sealed, fast aperture, a good solid feel and not bad edge resolution at 35mm. Think I'll sell it unless it's simply a bad copy.

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rpm40
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Re: 12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens
In reply to Shirozina, Jan 23, 2013

If you already own the 14-45 and shoot it at f8, I don't see much reason to bother buying the 12-35 (unless you really want weather sealing).

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RobbieV
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Re: 12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens
In reply to Shirozina, Jan 23, 2013

I really like the 12-35 for landscape and find the sharpness perfectly acceptable edge to edge.  I find 14mm is a bit limiting for much of my landscape photos and don't think I could live without at least 12mm now.

I have heard the 14-45 is a fantastic performer, though I have never used it personally.  If it were wider I would have given it a chance.  I also do a lot of Urban Exploration photography in dark location and find the f/2.8 indispensable.

Here is a shot I took with the 12-35 and a 100% crop of the right edge.

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ryan2007
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Re: 12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens
In reply to Shirozina, Jan 23, 2013

Shirozina wrote:

With it's high price tag I was expecting much from this lens on my GH3 but the edge resolution is disappointing under 25mm where my 14-45 is better at a fraction of the price. I shoot mainly at F8 and would expect any wide open edge losses to be resolved when stopped down but doing this on the 12-35 does very little. I was about to buy a 35-100 as well but was stopped when I started to read reports and see tests showing a similar so-so edge performance so this may simply be the design compromise of these lenses. On the plus side it has fast AF, weather sealed, fast aperture, a good solid feel and not bad edge resolution at 35mm. Think I'll sell it unless it's simply a bad copy.

Its a good a lens. Are you talking about what it looks like on your computer screen or did you actually make a print? If you made a print what printer and what paper did you use? How large of print did you make.

If you have not the best eye sight as discussed with the GH-3 I have read complaints about the viewfinder and the GH-3 viewfinder is fine. So vision could be a factor.

If you monitor is not calibrated and or too old their is a good chance that is a contributing factor.

If you plan on doing any quality video with the GH-3 you need a constant f-stop lens especially for a zoom lens for best results.

I had the 14-45 and sold it for me it was worth it to get the 12-35.

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Shirozina
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Re: 12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens
In reply to ryan2007, Jan 23, 2013

ryan2007 wrote:

Shirozina wrote:

With it's high price tag I was expecting much from this lens on my GH3 but the edge resolution is disappointing under 25mm where my 14-45 is better at a fraction of the price. I shoot mainly at F8 and would expect any wide open edge losses to be resolved when stopped down but doing this on the 12-35 does very little. I was about to buy a 35-100 as well but was stopped when I started to read reports and see tests showing a similar so-so edge performance so this may simply be the design compromise of these lenses. On the plus side it has fast AF, weather sealed, fast aperture, a good solid feel and not bad edge resolution at 35mm. Think I'll sell it unless it's simply a bad copy.

Its a good a lens. Are you talking about what it looks like on your computer screen or did you actually make a print? If you made a print what printer and what paper did you use? How large of print did you make.

If you have not the best eye sight as discussed with the GH-3 I have read complaints about the viewfinder and the GH-3 viewfinder is fine. So vision could be a factor.

If you monitor is not calibrated and or too old their is a good chance that is a contributing factor.

If you plan on doing any quality video with the GH-3 you need a constant f-stop lens especially for a zoom lens for best results.

I had the 14-45 and sold it for me it was worth it to get the 12-35.

side by side 100% screen viewing in Lightroom X Y comparison . Shot a lot of the same views with 12-35 and 14-45 using same settings and carefully selected focus areas in each. I'm a pro btw and I know how to test lenses and have bought the GH3 for my non commercial work. The GH3 is fantastic BTW in every respect but I expected more from a top flight lens. BTW - the 14-45 is a constant aperture lens if you set it to 5.6 or above.

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ohmydentist
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Re: 12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens
In reply to Shirozina, Jan 23, 2013

I think 12-35 is optimized to shoot wide open at f/2.8, and when you shoot wide open with shallow DOF, corner performance is not that important.

I have both 12-35 and 35-100 and I simply love them.  I mainly photograph people, almost never stop down past f/4.  I understand you and I have different needs.

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OMaster Dee
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Re: 12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens
In reply to Shirozina, Jan 23, 2013

Refraction begins way earlier for micro four thirds lenses. According to the SLRGear-test the 12-35 seems to have its best resolution at f4. Look at the charts: http://slrgear.com/reviews/zproducts/panasonic12-35f28x/tloader.htm

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bluelemmy
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Re: 12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens
In reply to OMaster Dee, Jan 23, 2013

View side by side 100% screen viewing? Why would you do that? I have the 12-35 and have no problems with edge sharpness or with the 35-100.

I do think that people cause themselves a lot of angst with this OCD sharpness thing and pixel peeping.

If I rev my diesel cat to 5000rpm, the engine is noisy. But I have no reason to rev it to 5000 so I don't. Ditto viewing at 100%. Just makes people unhappy to no practical purpose whatsoever.

As the Sting song says, to look here for heaven is to live here in hell 

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jkrumm
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Re: 12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens
In reply to Shirozina, Jan 23, 2013

This article over at Lensrentals is interesting an pertains to lenses like the 12-35, which have to correct a fair amount via software...

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/01/you-can-correct-it-in-post-but

If you are willing to put up with weight and poor auto-focus, the Oly 12-60 is very nice for landscapes. I've always found it better than my 14-45 (nice micro-contrast, I think).

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sean000
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Re: 12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens
In reply to Shirozina, Jan 23, 2013

Shirozina wrote:

With it's high price tag I was expecting much from this lens on my GH3 but the edge resolution is disappointing under 25mm where my 14-45 is better at a fraction of the price. I shoot mainly at F8 and would expect any wide open edge losses to be resolved when stopped down but doing this on the 12-35 does very little. I was about to buy a 35-100 as well but was stopped when I started to read reports and see tests showing a similar so-so edge performance so this may simply be the design compromise of these lenses. On the plus side it has fast AF, weather sealed, fast aperture, a good solid feel and not bad edge resolution at 35mm. Think I'll sell it unless it's simply a bad copy.

I'm not surprised given my 14-45mm is a better landscape lens than my Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8. I suppose the 17-55 and 12-35 are designed for event photography and photo journalism. This hasn't stopped me from getting landscapes out of the 17-55 that look great at 13x19. I just know my 12-24 and Panny 14-45 are a bit better. My Oly 12-50mm really softens up at the corners, and isn't as sharp at the center either... Which is why I haven't sold the 14-45mm. Now I have seen landscapes from the 12-35mm that look amazing on the Web, but Ipeeping pixel peeping or looking at large prints.

I did buy a used 9-18mm, which so far seems excellent. If it compares well to my 14-45, I might sell the latter and use the 9-18 as my main landscape lens.

Sean

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Bob Tullis
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Re: 12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens
In reply to Shirozina, Jan 23, 2013

Shirozina wrote:

With it's high price tag I was expecting much from this lens on my GH3 but the edge resolution is disappointing under 25mm where my 14-45 is better at a fraction of the price. I shoot mainly at F8 and would expect any wide open edge losses to be resolved when stopped down but doing this on the 12-35 does very little. I was about to buy a 35-100 as well but was stopped when I started to read reports and see tests showing a similar so-so edge performance so this may simply be the design compromise of these lenses. On the plus side it has fast AF, weather sealed, fast aperture, a good solid feel and not bad edge resolution at 35mm. Think I'll sell it unless it's simply a bad copy.

With a great deal of these body/lens combinations one MUST begin by insuring LaCA and LoCA are resolved for the finest resolution.   But expecting premium DSLR glass results, especially at like apertures, is a little much (and even they can disappoint).

However, if one wants to eke a little more out of an exposure, especially with regard to peeping the corners, a trial of DXO Optics is worth checking out (check their site for your body/lens combinations first).   I use it like a plug-in in a well established workflow (that is, you don't have to re-invent your workflow with it unless you want to).

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Shirozina
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Re: 12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens
In reply to Bob Tullis, Jan 23, 2013

Bob Tullis wrote:

Shirozina wrote:

With it's high price tag I was expecting much from this lens on my GH3 but the edge resolution is disappointing under 25mm where my 14-45 is better at a fraction of the price. I shoot mainly at F8 and would expect any wide open edge losses to be resolved when stopped down but doing this on the 12-35 does very little. I was about to buy a 35-100 as well but was stopped when I started to read reports and see tests showing a similar so-so edge performance so this may simply be the design compromise of these lenses. On the plus side it has fast AF, weather sealed, fast aperture, a good solid feel and not bad edge resolution at 35mm. Think I'll sell it unless it's simply a bad copy.

With a great deal of these body/lens combinations one MUST begin by insuring LaCA and LoCA are resolved for the finest resolution. But expecting premium DSLR glass results, especially at like apertures, is a little much (and even they can disappoint).

However, if one wants to eke a little more out of an exposure, especially with regard to peeping the corners, a trial of DXO Optics is worth checking out (check their site for your body/lens combinations first). I use it like a plug-in in a well established workflow (that is, you don't have to re-invent your workflow with it unless you want to).

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...Bob, NYC
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DXO don't support the GH3 yet nor does Capture 1 (fully). LR does but you can't turn off the embedded distortion and CA correction. Part of the edge resolution problem is that the automatic correction stretches and resamples the edges to achieve geometric accuracy at the expense of resolution.

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Shirozina
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Re: 12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens
In reply to bluelemmy, Jan 23, 2013

bluelemmy wrote:

View side by side 100% screen viewing? Why would you do that? I have the 12-35 and have no problems with edge sharpness or with the 35-100.

I do think that people cause themselves a lot of angst with this OCD sharpness thing and pixel peeping.

If I rev my diesel cat to 5000rpm, the engine is noisy. But I have no reason to rev it to 5000 so I don't. Ditto viewing at 100%. Just makes people unhappy to no practical purpose whatsoever.

As the Sting song says, to look here for heaven is to live here in hell

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David
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Yes - why would I want to compare the relative performances of 2 lenses in the only way that excludes all other variables?

Glad you don't have any edge sharpness problems - but how do you know as I presume you have not tested them.

I have reason ( as many others do) to print images at a 1:1 ratio of the sensor pixels with the printers native resolution and thus viewing at 100% on a monitor ( 1:1 ratio of sensor and screen pixels) is actually both useful and relevant.

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Timbukto
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Re: 12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens
In reply to Shirozina, Jan 23, 2013

I felt the same things from looking at sample shots.  Not the greatest for towards infinity shots as there is definitely a disparity between center sharpness vs edge.

And with the limited focal range of 12-35 or 24-70, you *want* it to be good at wide angle IMO because its not like 70 is particularly a great portrait focal length.

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Skeeterbytes
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Re: 12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens
In reply to jkrumm, Jan 23, 2013

jkrumm wrote:

This article over at Lensrentals is interesting an pertains to lenses like the 12-35, which have to correct a fair amount via software...

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/01/you-can-correct-it-in-post-but

If you are willing to put up with weight and poor auto-focus, the Oly 12-60 is very nice for landscapes. I've always found it better than my 14-45 (nice micro-contrast, I think).

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John Krumm
Juneau, AK

Think I'll wait and see whether Oly commits to a µ4/3 edition of the 12-60, which could really enhance the system (despite the existence of the 12-50). In practice it's a fine landscape lens and offers near-macro performance to boot. Very sharp, very contrasty. But big on a µ4/3 body and twitchy autofocus.

Has there been any evidence of 12-35 sample variation? I see some very sharp output, some not so sharp.

Cheers,

Rick

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Shirozina
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Re: 12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens
In reply to Timbukto, Jan 23, 2013

Timbukto wrote:

I felt the same things from looking at sample shots. Not the greatest for towards infinity shots as there is definitely a disparity between center sharpness vs edge.

And with the limited focal range of 12-35 or 24-70, you *want* it to be good at wide angle IMO because its not like 70 is particularly a great portrait focal length.

Yes and it's very good at 35 with no observable drop in resolution at the edges. I'm not crazy in thinking or expecting a lens of this spec and price should be a more consistent performer throughout the range am I?

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Bob Tullis
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Re: 12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens
In reply to Shirozina, Jan 23, 2013

Shirozina wrote:

Bob Tullis wrote:

Shirozina wrote:

With it's high price tag I was expecting much from this lens on my GH3 but the edge resolution is disappointing under 25mm where my 14-45 is better at a fraction of the price. I shoot mainly at F8 and would expect any wide open edge losses to be resolved when stopped down but doing this on the 12-35 does very little. I was about to buy a 35-100 as well but was stopped when I started to read reports and see tests showing a similar so-so edge performance so this may simply be the design compromise of these lenses. On the plus side it has fast AF, weather sealed, fast aperture, a good solid feel and not bad edge resolution at 35mm. Think I'll sell it unless it's simply a bad copy.

With a great deal of these body/lens combinations one MUST begin by insuring LaCA and LoCA are resolved for the finest resolution. But expecting premium DSLR glass results, especially at like apertures, is a little much (and even they can disappoint).

However, if one wants to eke a little more out of an exposure, especially with regard to peeping the corners, a trial of DXO Optics is worth checking out (check their site for your body/lens combinations first). I use it like a plug-in in a well established workflow (that is, you don't have to re-invent your workflow with it unless you want to).

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DXO don't support the GH3 yet nor does Capture 1 (fully). LR does but you can't turn off the embedded distortion and CA correction. Part of the edge resolution problem is that the automatic correction stretches and resamples the edges to achieve geometric accuracy at the expense of resolution.

I find the lens to be a relief to have, missing that  zoom range from DSLR days.  The DXO support provides an edge up (on the OM-D).  But I'll turn to a prime if possible for the finer objective.  Yet I'm not expecting to compare/compete with large DSLR presentations (otherwise I'd be using the DSLR still).

Maybe µ4/3 is not ready for your expectations/requirements just yet?

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OniMirage
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Re: 12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens
In reply to Skeeterbytes, Jan 23, 2013

Skeeterbytes wrote:

jkrumm wrote:

This article over at Lensrentals is interesting an pertains to lenses like the 12-35, which have to correct a fair amount via software...

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/01/you-can-correct-it-in-post-but

If you are willing to put up with weight and poor auto-focus, the Oly 12-60 is very nice for landscapes. I've always found it better than my 14-45 (nice micro-contrast, I think).

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John Krumm
Juneau, AK

Think I'll wait and see whether Oly commits to a µ4/3 edition of the 12-60, which could really enhance the system (despite the existence of the 12-50). In practice it's a fine landscape lens and offers near-macro performance to boot. Very sharp, very contrasty. But big on a µ4/3 body and twitchy autofocus.

Has there been any evidence of 12-35 sample variation? I see some very sharp output, some not so sharp.

Cheers,

Rick

I have not seen anyone speak of variance at all. But I have seen many owners simply roll over and accept the quality it puts out which even in reviews has been mentioned as not good enough for the price. I doubt the 12-60 will get a m4/3 version especially if Olympus is working on a fix for the phase detect lenses.

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Shirozina
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Re: 12-35 unimpressive as a landscape lens
In reply to Bob Tullis, Jan 23, 2013

Bob Tullis wrote:

Shirozina wrote:

Bob Tullis wrote:

Shirozina wrote:

With it's high price tag I was expecting much from this lens on my GH3 but the edge resolution is disappointing under 25mm where my 14-45 is better at a fraction of the price. I shoot mainly at F8 and would expect any wide open edge losses to be resolved when stopped down but doing this on the 12-35 does very little. I was about to buy a 35-100 as well but was stopped when I started to read reports and see tests showing a similar so-so edge performance so this may simply be the design compromise of these lenses. On the plus side it has fast AF, weather sealed, fast aperture, a good solid feel and not bad edge resolution at 35mm. Think I'll sell it unless it's simply a bad copy.

With a great deal of these body/lens combinations one MUST begin by insuring LaCA and LoCA are resolved for the finest resolution. But expecting premium DSLR glass results, especially at like apertures, is a little much (and even they can disappoint).

However, if one wants to eke a little more out of an exposure, especially with regard to peeping the corners, a trial of DXO Optics is worth checking out (check their site for your body/lens combinations first). I use it like a plug-in in a well established workflow (that is, you don't have to re-invent your workflow with it unless you want to).

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...Bob, NYC
http://www.bobtullis.com
"Well, sometimes the magic works. . . Sometimes, it doesn't." - Little Big Man
.

DXO don't support the GH3 yet nor does Capture 1 (fully). LR does but you can't turn off the embedded distortion and CA correction. Part of the edge resolution problem is that the automatic correction stretches and resamples the edges to achieve geometric accuracy at the expense of resolution.

I find the lens to be a relief to have, missing that zoom range from DSLR days. The DXO support provides an edge up (on the OM-D). But I'll turn to a prime if possible for the finer objective. Yet I'm not expecting to compare/compete with large DSLR presentations (otherwise I'd be using the DSLR still).

Maybe µ4/3 is not ready for your expectations/requirements just yet?

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...Bob, NYC
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"Well, sometimes the magic works. . . Sometimes, it doesn't." - Little Big Man
.

I though the GH3 was exactly what I wanted - good still and video performance in one easy to carry package. I got the UK 30% cashback deal so went for the 12-35 as well but without the cashback I would have just got the body. The body is IMO worth the £1200 so I got the lens for in reality £200. For video it's more than good enough and I'll have to look for alternatives in stills lenses.

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Francis Carver
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In reply to ryan2007, Jan 23, 2013

ryan2007 wrote:

I have read complaints about the viewfinder and the GH-3 viewfinder is fine.

Since you hard read the GH3 viewfinder related complaints here and there, by now you should probably know that the GH3's viewfinder is anything but "fine" for a whole lot of honest people.

If you monitor is not calibrated and or too old their is a good chance that is a contributing factor.

Lens is not sharp -- because the monitor is not calibrated? Now, that a good one. Never heard that one yet, I must say. Must be straight out of the Panasonic CS manual.

If you plan on doing any quality video with the GH-3 you need a constant f-stop lens especially for a zoom lens for best results.

Good luck finding those high performance constant aperture Micro 4/3 zoom lenses, folks.

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