Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)

Started Apr 3, 2013 | Discussions
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zenpmd Senior Member • Posts: 1,129
Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)
1

Buying them together is just such a lot of money. But imaging the possiblities of the two together is just mind blowing for the size and quality.

What is everyone elses thoughts, and who is waiting for Olympus are about to offer? As far as I know there is no plan for a zoom like the 35-100 2.8, just the shorter zoom, which is sadly not as wide as the Panasonic but might be smaller (due to the lack of IS) and hopefully won't have the CA that it suffers from on the Oly.

Yours thoughts most welcome!

jungoo Junior Member • Posts: 35
Re: Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)
1

they are worth it.

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Chatokun
Chatokun Regular Member • Posts: 447
Re: Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)
1

It seems the zooms are ideal if you use little to no primes. I've heard some recommend still keeping the 45mm 1.8 and/or the 25mm 1.4, then only use the 12-35 and 35-100 for all other focal lengths. Seems like a good plan if that's what you like, and I believe it's generally cheaper than getting all the primes in those ranges too.

Let's do a quick comparison(all prices approximate via Amazon in USD, new):

12-35mm - Currently as low as $985 new. Let's just say ~$1000.
12-35mm + 25mm = ~$1500~1600

Now Prime version:
12mm: $800
14mm: $200~300
17mm: $500
25mm: $500
total: ~$2000, plus or minus a hundred or so if you choose 20mm instead or go for brand new vs used. Also Sigmas change the game.

35-100mm - $1300 lowest(same company) and ~$1400 Average.
35-100mm + 45mm ~$1800

Primes:
45mm: $400
75mm: $900

Or:
PanLeica 45mm: ~$500-700
75mm $900

I left the 60mm out as it's Macro specific, and the 35-100mm covers that. I don't think anyone who has the 75 would buy the 60 only for the focal length, but I could be wrong. Another issue here is that the FL range of 35-100 covers more than the primes we have available in that range, so it's a less fair comparison.

So, as you see, the Zoom ranges can be cheaper, but the primes offer faster speeds and generally better quality, though the zooms are fast and good quality too. However, for the zooms to be cheaper, you need to pretty much forgo Primes. Having both is good for convenience and flexibility, but definitely costly.

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DLBlack Forum Pro • Posts: 11,851
Re: Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)

zenpmd wrote:

Buying them together is just such a lot of money. But imaging the possiblities of the two together is just mind blowing for the size and quality.

What is everyone elses thoughts, and who is waiting for Olympus are about to offer? As far as I know there is no plan for a zoom like the 35-100 2.8, just the shorter zoom, which is sadly not as wide as the Panasonic but might be smaller (due to the lack of IS) and hopefully won't have the CA that it suffers from on the Oly.

Yours thoughts most welcome!

Yes for me a constant f2.8 is worth it.  I am waiting to see what Olympus is going to come up with.  The patent has at least a 12-40 f2.8 and a 12-40 f2.8-4.0 versions of what might be the upcoming lens.

Anyhow, for me lkast year was the year for primes.  I got all the fast primes (12/2.0, 17/1.8, 25/1.4, 45/1.8, 60/2.8 and the 75/1.8) and spent way over my annual photo gear budget.  This year I have budgeted for the 12-35/2.8 and the 35-100/2.8.  Since it is now kind of near if the rumor is true for for the wide-normal fast zoom, plus I am enjoying the fast primes I am waiting to see what Olympus is going to announce.  I really expect a companion lens to the rumor lens.  So my guess is a 12-40 like the patent is for and wilkl be released in May or June.  Then a companion lens that might be a 40-125/150 to be released in the fall.  There was a runor for such a lens back in December so it just might come to be, but it will be a while. Both hopefully being straight f2.8.

Dave

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Pixnat2
Pixnat2 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,870
I depends on which camera you use.
2

You shoot with a Panansonic camera

In this case, they are definitely worth it, no contest. Those zooms are very sharp, high quality, stabilized and their weaknesses (CA and distortion) are well corrected by the camera software.

You shoot with an Olympus camera

In this case, the answer is more complex. It depends mainly on your CA tolerence and if you shoot RAW or JPEG.

If you shoot mainly RAW and use softwares like LR, you can correct CA and distortion fairly easily. In this case, those zooms may worth it, if you're willing to spend this money knowing the lenses weaknesses, of course.

If you shoot JPEGS, that's more problematic. In this case, spending 1000$ for a zoom that shows a fairly large amount of CA can be considered as a bit too expensive, but of course, it's a personal opinion, YMMV.

Personally, I shoot RAW+JPEGS, but I'm not CA tolerant, and as I shoot mainly with the EM-5, I'll wait for the Olympus 12-40.

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PC Wheeler
PC Wheeler Forum Pro • Posts: 15,926
Re: Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)

I'm very pleased with those two Panasonic zooms. The fit nicely with my PL 100-300 (though I wish it was of equal quality, but 100-300 f/2.8 would be big and expensive.

My only prime is the 20 f/1.7 (and the PL 8 fisheye is a prime of sorts!). Also have the Oly 9-18 -- and a PL 14-140 left over from my GH2 kit (nice for wandering around with one lens for casual shooting).

One thing: I use a GH3, so long unstabilized Oly lenses would be a poorer choice.

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Phil

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PC Wheeler
PC Wheeler Forum Pro • Posts: 15,926
Re: I depends on which camera you use.

Pixnat2 wrote:

I'm not CA tolerant, and as I shoot mainly with the EM-5, I'll wait for the Olympus 12-40.

CA bugs me, too -- one factor in my preference for Panasonic bodies and lenses.

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Phil

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zenpmd OP Senior Member • Posts: 1,129
Re: I depends on which camera you use.

So it is 90 percent certain that the Olympus will be 12-40? If so, that is a huge advantage for me, since 40, by being a 35mm equivilent of 80 is just about ok for faces, whereas 70mm on the Panasonic is inadequate.

I agree the zooms aren't bad value when you consider the cost of primes - but to me, thats more an indicator of how expensive the primes are rather than how cheap the zoom is (though I appreciate that is an academic distinction.

But is crazy how, say, Nikon and Canon have both 35mm and 50mm dslr options which are both great and cheap.

My personal complication is that I will continue to use a GH2 alongside by Oly for video - but only really for indoor shooting where the Oly gives me flickers in Europe - and therefore most likely using a tripod so stabilisation is less of an issue.

Rol Lei Nut Senior Member • Posts: 1,494
Re: Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)
1

Right now, when I need a quality zoom and size, weight & focusing speed aren't vital, I'm quite happy using my Oly 4/3 12-60.

I'm not considering the Panny 2.8 zooms because:

1) the 35 of the 12-35 I find too short - I would still have to change lens often to get those missing Millimetres.

2) I don't really have a use for a 35-100 f/2.8

3) The Panny lenses are probably bigger (OIS) and have more CA than possible Oly ones.

I'd be interested in an Oly 12-xx 2.8 (or 2.8-4.0) zoom, *if* it comes close to the 12-60 quality (and is far batter than the 12-50) and is considerably lighter than the 12-60.

12-40 would be the absolute minimum range. 12-45 or 12-50 would be better.

Chatokun
Chatokun Regular Member • Posts: 447
Re: I depends on which camera you use.

Had to run out for lunch so didn't fully complete my post earlier. Personally, I have an EM-5 and the 12-50 as my main 12mm. I tested both the SLR Magic 12mm and the Olympus 12mm (great lens) but I can't justify the cost at the moment. I'm personally more of a primes guy, but I'm not sure I want all the primes in that range.

I have the 25mm and the 14mm, which I'll keep either way. I use LR for most photos(though the EM-5 have very nice OOC jpegs). I have been seriously considering the 12-35mm, as it offers several FLs I don't have a strong fast lens for (the 12-50 is nice in strong light or with a flash, but the 12-35 would obviously be superior). With the rumors of the 12-40mm, I've been waiting to see what they release before I make a decision.

zenpmd wrote:

I agree the zooms aren't bad value when you consider the cost of primes - but to me, thats more an indicator of how expensive the primes are rather than how cheap the zoom is (though I appreciate that is an academic distinction.

But is crazy how, say, Nikon and Canon have both 35mm and 50mm dslr options which are both great and cheap.

I've seen it mentioned that Canikon have had lenses out for years, and much of the new lenses are smaller upgrades, while PanOly are making new lens and need to recoup R&D for them. I don't know how lens factories work, but I do know that in technology factories need to be rebuilt to accommodate smaller chip sizes fairly often(though the miniaturization war seems to be slowing down). If such necessities are involved with lenses as well, then they may have to recoup those too. Though, Oly and Pan have both been in 4/3 size for a while, so maybe not. Sigma has made lenses for both, so I'm not sure if it requires different factories or not.

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bowportes Senior Member • Posts: 2,607
Re: Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)

Chatokun wrote:

It seems the zooms are ideal if you use little to no primes. I've heard some recommend still keeping the 45mm 1.8 and/or the 25mm 1.4, then only use the 12-35 and 35-100 for all other focal lengths. Seems like a good plan if that's what you like, and I believe it's generally cheaper than getting all the primes in those ranges too.

Let's do a quick comparison(all prices approximate via Amazon in USD, new):

12-35mm - Currently as low as $985 new. Let's just say ~$1000.
12-35mm + 25mm = ~$1500~1600

Now Prime version:
12mm: $800
14mm: $200~300
17mm: $500
25mm: $500
total: ~$2000, plus or minus a hundred or so if you choose 20mm instead or go for brand new vs used. Also Sigmas change the game.

35-100mm - $1300 lowest(same company) and ~$1400 Average.
35-100mm + 45mm ~$1800

Primes:
45mm: $400
75mm: $900

Or:
PanLeica 45mm: ~$500-700
75mm $900

I left the 60mm out as it's Macro specific, and the 35-100mm covers that. I don't think anyone who has the 75 would buy the 60 only for the focal length, but I could be wrong. Another issue here is that the FL range of 35-100 covers more than the primes we have available in that range, so it's a less fair comparison.

Odd that you left the 60mm out, since it's no more "macro specific" than the panLeica 45, which you include. Given the choice between the 60mm focal length and the 75mm one, I'd pick the former any time. So I guess you are wrong there.  Interesting exercise in comparative costs.

So, as you see, the Zoom ranges can be cheaper, but the primes offer faster speeds and generally better quality, though the zooms are fast and good quality too. However, for the zooms to be cheaper, you need to pretty much forgo Primes. Having both is good for convenience and flexibility, but definitely costly.

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sigala1 Senior Member • Posts: 3,634
Worth it if you're a wedding photographer
2

zenpmd wrote:

Buying them together is just such a lot of money. But imaging the possiblities of the two together is just mind blowing for the size and quality.

What is everyone elses thoughts, and who is waiting for Olympus are about to offer? As far as I know there is no plan for a zoom like the 35-100 2.8, just the shorter zoom, which is sadly not as wide as the Panasonic but might be smaller (due to the lack of IS) and hopefully won't have the CA that it suffers from on the Oly.

Yours thoughts most welcome!

Worth it if you're a wedding photographer and need a fast zoom to ensure you capture critical moments that can only be photographed once.
Not worth it if you just take pictures of flowers and trees and your kids.

Savas Kyprianides Veteran Member • Posts: 3,614
Re: Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)

They are expensive and I am waiting for Olympus.

bowportes Senior Member • Posts: 2,607
Re: I depends on which camera you use.
2

zenpmd wrote:

So it is 90 percent certain that the Olympus will be 12-40? If so, that is a huge advantage for me, since 40, by being a 35mm equivilent of 80 is just about ok for faces, whereas 70mm on the Panasonic is inadequate.

I must be missing something here. How is it that a 70mm  FL (35mm equivalence) is "inadequate for faces" but adding another 10mm makes it "just about ok"?

The 12-35mm lens is an outstanding lens for people period, whether talking about just head-and-shoulders portraits or depicting people in contexts.  The last time I perused some of my 35mm people shots, the faces all looked fine.

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tedolf
tedolf Forum Pro • Posts: 22,050
Not unless you are a wedding photographer.....
2

zenpmd wrote:

Buying them together is just such a lot of money. But imaging the possiblities of the two together is just mind blowing for the size and quality.

What is everyone elses thoughts, and who is waiting for Olympus are about to offer? As far as I know there is no plan for a zoom like the 35-100 2.8, just the shorter zoom, which is sadly not as wide as the Panasonic but might be smaller (due to the lack of IS) and hopefully won't have the CA that it suffers from on the Oly.

Yours thoughts most welcome!

the marginal cost/marginal benefit analysis doesn't pan out compared to prime lenses.

As long as you can change lenses, you are better off with primes: better IQ, smaller and lighter, more features (e.g. snap focus), lower cost and faster.

Tedolph

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NCV
NCV Senior Member • Posts: 3,331
Re: Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)
1

Yes, (with a good RAW converter to get rid of CA) for what I use a 2.8 zoom for.

Not having to change lenses all the time is a big positive when I am out hiking in the mountains.

The 2.8 makes a lens far more useful in low light .

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syncopation New Member • Posts: 21
Re: Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)

What about the forthcoming Tamron 14-150mm? Any interest in that?

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Alumna Gorp Senior Member • Posts: 1,531
Re: Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)

Savas Kyprianides wrote:

They are expensive and I am waiting for Olympus.

What makes you think those from Olympus are going to be cheaper.

I`m waiting to see what Olympus come up with, for the simple point there lens offering could be smaller.

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Alumna Gorp Senior Member • Posts: 1,531
Re: Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)

bowportes wrote:

Chatokun wrote:

It seems the zooms are ideal if you use little to no primes. I've heard some recommend still keeping the 45mm 1.8 and/or the 25mm 1.4, then only use the 12-35 and 35-100 for all other focal lengths. Seems like a good plan if that's what you like, and I believe it's generally cheaper than getting all the primes in those ranges too.

Let's do a quick comparison(all prices approximate via Amazon in USD, new):

12-35mm - Currently as low as $985 new. Let's just say ~$1000.
12-35mm + 25mm = ~$1500~1600

Now Prime version:
12mm: $800
14mm: $200~300
17mm: $500
25mm: $500
total: ~$2000, plus or minus a hundred or so if you choose 20mm instead or go for brand new vs used. Also Sigmas change the game.

35-100mm - $1300 lowest(same company) and ~$1400 Average.
35-100mm + 45mm ~$1800

Primes:
45mm: $400
75mm: $900

Or:
PanLeica 45mm: ~$500-700
75mm $900

I left the 60mm out as it's Macro specific, and the 35-100mm covers that. I don't think anyone who has the 75 would buy the 60 only for the focal length, but I could be wrong. Another issue here is that the FL range of 35-100 covers more than the primes we have available in that range, so it's a less fair comparison.

Odd that you left the 60mm out, since it's no more "macro specific" than the panLeica 45, which you include. Given the choice between the 60mm focal length and the 75mm one, I'd pick the former any time. So I guess you are wrong there.  Interesting exercise in comparative costs.

So, as you see, the Zoom ranges can be cheaper, but the primes offer faster speeds and generally better quality, though the zooms are fast and good quality too. However, for the zooms to be cheaper, you need to pretty much forgo Primes. Having both is good for convenience and flexibility, but definitely costly.

Best also add the new Sigma 60mm f2.8, I`ve read that it will sell for around £180, ideal if you don`t need macro.

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bowportes Senior Member • Posts: 2,607
Re: Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)
3

Alumna Gorp wrote:

Savas Kyprianides wrote:

They are expensive and I am waiting for Olympus.

What makes you think those from Olympus are going to be cheaper.

I`m waiting to see what Olympus come up with, for the simple point there lens offering could be smaller.

Could be cheaper, but maybe not.

Could be smaller, but maybe not.

Could be better quality, but could be poorer quality.

Could appear this year, or the next, or the next.

In the meantime, for those of us who are thoroughly enjoying using the 12-35mm on a daily basis, it's definitely worth it.. And it didn't cost much either once I factored in the money made from lenses I no longer used regularly that were sold.

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