New Panny 12-32mm first impressions

Started 9 months ago | Discussions
Mais78
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New Panny 12-32mm first impressions
9 months ago

Bought a GM1 last week, sold the body and kept this little lens for my E-M5 (compact companion for the 20mm f1.7). It is tiny and light! Smaller than the 20mm, but it feels like a toy in your hand, cheap plastic, not a lens that retails at £300 in the UK. Took a few pictures, optically does not seem bad, but I don't have the 14-42mm so cannot compare the two. I don't think this lens will make it to kit lens for the GX7 vs the 14-42, feels too cheap for a high end camera. Curious to know if it is better like Panasonic claims.

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Hen3ry
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Re: New Panny 12-32mm first impressions
In reply to Mais78, 9 months ago

Mais78 wrote:

Curious to know if it is better like Panasonic claims.

Good lord, Mais. You have it in your hand -- just test it!

Cheers, geoff

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Mais78
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Re: New Panny 12-32mm first impressions
In reply to Hen3ry, 9 months ago

SHen3ry wrote:

Mais78 wrote:

Curious to know if it is better like Panasonic claims.

Good lord, Mais. You have it in your hand -- just test it!

Cheers, geoff

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Geoffrey Heard
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Like i said i did. But i dont have the 14-42 to compare

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mring1
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This is a kit I've been wondering about...
In reply to Mais78, 9 months ago

I have an E-M5, and if the 12-32 works well with that camera, it could be a viable jacket pocket-sized carry along.  That is, IF it works well with the camera (and Pany lenses/Oly cameras and vice versa don't always do that), and more important, if the sharpness is what a kit lens should be.

One caveat, kit zooms will NEVER be as sharp as equivalent focal length primes.  They need to be stopped down at least a half stop, and somewhere in the range, they usually lose contrast and sharpness.  I'd be very happy if it worked well from 12-25.  So...you'll interest a fair number of folks if/when you give us some feedback on how this set-up works.

Looking forward to hearing more from you....

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jeffharris
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Re: This is a kit I've been wondering about...
In reply to mring1, 9 months ago

mring1 wrote:

I have an E-M5, and if the 12-32 works well with that camera, it could be a viable jacket pocket-sized carry along. That is, IF it works well with the camera (and Pany lenses/Oly cameras and vice versa don't always do that), and more important, if the sharpness is what a kit lens should be.

One caveat, kit zooms will NEVER be as sharp as equivalent focal length primes. They need to be stopped down at least a half stop, and somewhere in the range, they usually lose contrast and sharpness. I'd be very happy if it worked well from 12-25. So...you'll interest a fair number of folks if/when you give us some feedback on how this set-up works.

I went to B&H last week to see if there was a GM1 to handle. Sure enough, they had one, but the battery was dead. Luckily I was carrying my GX7, so I popped the 12-32mm onto it and took a few shots. The shots look pretty damn good, even considering I forgot to change the exposure (it was in M mode) and ISO was 1250.

The lens has excellent color and sharpness. It does feel a bit cheesy, though. I seems that Panasonic put all the build quality into the GM1 and forgot about the lens.

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zkz5
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manual focus?
In reply to Mais78, 9 months ago

Is it possible to manually focus this lens on the E-M5 (since it has no focus ring)?

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jeffharris
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Re: manual focus?
In reply to zkz5, 9 months ago

zkz5 wrote:

Is it possible to manually focus this lens on the E-M5 (since it has no focus ring)?

No, unless Olympus sees fit, in their infinite generosity… cough… $100 lens hoods… cough… to include support for the 12-32mm in a future firmware update.

In other words, don't count on it, or hold your breath.

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MikeInRomsey
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comparison to 14-42 would be very interesting
In reply to jeffharris, 9 months ago

I am also looking for a compact zoom for my GX7 and would be very interested in a comparison of IQ between the 12-32 and the 14-42 II lens. I am not sure that I need the 12mm end of the range so had planned to go with the new 14-42 which seems to be well appreciated so far. If the 12-32 is a good lens though I might change my mind.

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Harold66
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Re: This is a kit I've been wondering about...
In reply to jeffharris, 9 months ago

Hello

does anyone know the us price of this Panasonic zoom lens only  ( even if it is not in stock yet ?)

Thanks for your feedback

Harold

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Joel Stern
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Re: This is a kit I've been wondering about...
In reply to Harold66, 9 months ago

Harold66 wrote:

Hello

does anyone know the us price of this Panasonic zoom lens only ( even if it is not in stock yet ?)

Thanks for your feedback

Harold

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Harold, seems to be a tightly kept secret..... No info yet but I did see picks of it in silver and black so I am assuming it will be available in the near future.

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If i am typing on my iPad, please excuse any typos.

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jeffharris
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Re: This is a kit I've been wondering about...
In reply to Joel Stern, 9 months ago

Joel Stern wrote:

Harold66 wrote:

does anyone know the us price of this Panasonic zoom lens only ( even if it is not in stock yet ?)

Harold, seems to be a tightly kept secret..... No info yet but I did see picks of it in silver and black so I am assuming it will be available in the near future.

It shows up on Panasonic's worldwide LUMIX site, but not on the US site.

http://panasonic.net/avc/lumix/systemcamera/gms/lens/g_vario_12_32.html

You can order one on eBay for $400! OUCH

http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/141125970493?lpid=82

The 14-42mm II still doesn't appear on the US site, either! I bought mine from Amazon, via a third-party reseller in Virginia, back in August. Very strange!

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TonyinJapan
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Re: New Panny 12-32mm first impressions
In reply to Mais78, 9 months ago

Mais78 wrote:

Bought a GM1 last week, sold the body and kept this little lens for my E-M5 (compact companion for the 20mm f1.7). It is tiny and light! Smaller than the 20mm, but it feels like a toy in your hand, cheap plastic, not a lens that retails at £300 in the UK. Took a few pictures, optically does not seem bad, but I don't have the 14-42mm so cannot compare the two. I don't think this lens will make it to kit lens for the GX7 vs the 14-42, feels too cheap for a high end camera. Curious to know if it is better like Panasonic claims.

Why did you not keep the GM1 body a little longer to do comparisons with using the 12-32mm lens with both bodies?

I have the E-M5, and tried the 12-32mm on it, but images that came out with that combination did not seem as sharp as using the lens with the GM1 (which I guess the kit lens is fine-tuned for). Shots seem sharper on the GM1 with less CA is high-contrast shots (which the E-M5 does not correct in-body).

Hence, I have decided only to use the kit lens on the GM1 if I want the best images.

In fact, it has made me seriously think of only using Olympus lenses on Olympus bodies and vice-versa, for optimal image quality.

About the build-quality, I don’t think it is bad at all for a kit lens. Actually, I think the build-quality is better than my 20mm f1.7 (version 1) and 25mm f1.4.

Regards,
Tony
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snack
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Re: New Panny 12-32mm first impressions
In reply to Mais78, 9 months ago

I have one that I'm using on my GX7. Works great. Images are great, The lens feels fine and operates fine. You would be hard pressed to find any zoom lens these days that isn't made from plastic.

I'm using the Oly 45 on the GM1.

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berni29
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Re: New Panny 12-32mm first impressions
In reply to snack, 9 months ago

Hi

I am doing the opposite. I am using the Oly 45mm on a EM5 and the 12-32 on the GM1. Maybe I should try switching.

I like a sharp lens and the 12-32 seems fine to me. It has a metal outer zoom ring I thought, and seems well made. Also the 12mm end is far more useful to me than a bit more reach. I have the 45mm for that anyways.

By the way, to test the sharpness you do not need another lens, just magnify the images you have taken with it and see if they are acceptable to you.

Berni

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tjuster1
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Re: New Panny 12-32mm first impressions
In reply to Mais78, 9 months ago

Mais78 wrote:

Bought a GM1 last week, sold the body and kept this little lens for my E-M5 (compact companion for the 20mm f1.7). It is tiny and light! Smaller than the 20mm, but it feels like a toy in your hand, cheap plastic, not a lens that retails at £300 in the UK. Took a few pictures, optically does not seem bad, but I don't have the 14-42mm so cannot compare the two. I don't think this lens will make it to kit lens for the GX7 vs the 14-42, feels too cheap for a high end camera. Curious to know if it is better like Panasonic claims.

"Feels too cheap"? I really don't care, as long as it takes good pictures. Reviews I've seen so far show it to be optically better than the 14-42mm, so who cares what it looks like?!

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Helen
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Re: New Panny 12-32mm first impressions
In reply to TonyinJapan, 9 months ago

TonyinJapan wrote:

Mais78 wrote:

Bought a GM1 last week, sold the body and kept this little lens for my E-M5 (compact companion for the 20mm f1.7). It is tiny and light! Smaller than the 20mm, but it feels like a toy in your hand, cheap plastic, not a lens that retails at £300 in the UK. Took a few pictures, optically does not seem bad, but I don't have the 14-42mm so cannot compare the two. I don't think this lens will make it to kit lens for the GX7 vs the 14-42, feels too cheap for a high end camera. Curious to know if it is better like Panasonic claims.

Why did you not keep the GM1 body a little longer to do comparisons with using the 12-32mm lens with both bodies?

I have the E-M5, and tried the 12-32mm on it, but images that came out with that combination did not seem as sharp as using the lens with the GM1 (which I guess the kit lens is fine-tuned for). Shots seem sharper on the GM1 with less CA is high-contrast shots (which the E-M5 does not correct in-body).

Hence, I have decided only to use the kit lens on the GM1 if I want the best images.

In fact, it has made me seriously think of only using Olympus lenses on Olympus bodies and vice-versa, for optimal image quality.

About the build-quality, I don’t think it is bad at all for a kit lens. Actually, I think the build-quality is better than my 20mm f1.7 (version 1) and 25mm f1.4.

Regards,
Tony

I agree with you about the build quality.  It's actually better than people are assuming, I think, because the matte finish on it makes people think it's all-plastic but it isn't.  The extending barrels are of course plastic (as they are in all kit lenses) but the zoom ring appears to be matte aluminium (it might actually be solid as I can't see any joins on this part) and the rear ring (that carries the white mounting dot) is definitely clad in a sheet of aluminium too (the 14-42 II, of which I am a fan, also has metal sheet cladding, which its finely machined finish makes more obvious, especially on the silver version).  The 12-32's mount is metal, which is unexpected, given that the kit version of the 14-42 II has a plastic mount, even when supplied with the GX7.

I've yet to have the opportunity to properly compare performance but the 12-32 certainly seems as good as the 14-42 II - I think Panasonic are putting a bit more emphasis on optical performance of their kit zooms than they had been doing once they ceased to supply the 14-45 as a kit lens.

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Mais78
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Test Shots
In reply to Mais78, 9 months ago

Mais78 wrote:

Bought a GM1 last week, sold the body and kept this little lens for my E-M5 (compact companion for the 20mm f1.7). It is tiny and light! Smaller than the 20mm, but it feels like a toy in your hand, cheap plastic, not a lens that retails at £300 in the UK. Took a few pictures, optically does not seem bad, but I don't have the 14-42mm so cannot compare the two. I don't think this lens will make it to kit lens for the GX7 vs the 14-42, feels too cheap for a high end camera. Curious to know if it is better like Panasonic claims.

Some non scientific (exposure has changed) comparison with 20mm

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Mais78
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Guess what is what
In reply to Mais78, 9 months ago

Some non scientific (exposure has changed) comparison with 20mm

didn't manage to write what is what and they are all shot at 20mm so you guess...

PS these are all RAW files exported to jpg in LR without any change

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thxbb12
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Re: Guess what is what
In reply to Mais78, 9 months ago

The first of each set is the 20mm...

I'd be very interested to know how it fares at 12mm, since I'm considering this lens as tiny 12mm landscape option.

It would be great if you could post some landscape shots showing great details (to assess the IQ). Preferably at base ISO and at f/3.5, f/5.6 and f/8.

Thanks a lot in advance

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Mais78
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Re: Guess what is what
In reply to thxbb12, 9 months ago

thxbb12 wrote:

The first of each set is the 20mm...

I'd be very interested to know how it fares at 12mm, since I'm considering this lens as tiny 12mm landscape option.

It would be great if you could post some landscape shots showing great details (to assess the IQ). Preferably at base ISO and at f/3.5, f/5.6 and f/8.

Thanks a lot in advance

Correct. In the case of the kitchen shots, the 12-32mm is sharper than the 20mm, but must be a one off bad shot of the 20mm. I don't have any landscape shots but let me see what I got at 12mm

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