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Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F2.8 Power OIS Preview

September 2012 | By Andy Westlake
Buy on GearShop

Preview based on a pre-production Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F2.8 OIS (H-HS35100)

In May this year Panasonic announced the first premium, constant maximum aperture zoom for a mirrorless system, the Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm ASPH Power OIS. Now, after months of teasing and showing of prototype models at trade shows and press events, it's come out with a telephoto companion, the Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F2.8 OIS. Clearly both lenses are designed to complement the company's new flagship camera, the Lumix DMC-GH3, and feature a matching dust- and splash-proof design.

The 35-100mm is impressively compact in size, and significantly lighter and more compact than notionally-similar 50-150mm F2.8 lenses for APS-C SLRs, let alone 70-200mm F2.8s for full frame. However this comes with a trade-off in terms of its ability to isolate subjects by blurring the background - in this respect it'll give similar results to an F3.5 lens on APS-C, or an F5.6 lens on full frame.

Naturally the lens is designed with movie shooting in mind, with a linear stepper motor for near-silent autofocus, and Panasonic's video-optimised 'Power OIS' stabilization system. The complex 18 element / 13 group optical system features elements crafted from Ultra Extra-Low Dispersion (UED) and Extra-Low Dispersion (ED) glass, and uses Panasonic's Nano Surface Coating to minimize internal reflections and flare. The diaphragm uses 7 rounded blades to give a circular aperture for attractive rendition of out-of-focus backgrounds. On paper this all adds up to a tempting specification.

Being a Micro Four Thirds lens, the 35-100mm will work on Olympus cameras just as well as Panasonic's Lumix G models, and it looks like particularly interesting match to the Olympus OM-D E-M5 - one of our favourite cameras of the past year. Of course it's also likely to appeal to users of Panasonic's enthusiast bodies, such as the DMC-G5 and GX1.

Headline features

  • 70-200mm-equivalent focal length; constant F2.8 maximum aperture
  • 'Power OIS' optical image stabilization
  • Dust- and splash-proof design
  • Nano surface coating for suppression of flare and ghosting
  • 'HD' designation - near silent operation during video shooting
  • Micro Four Thirds mount for Panasonic and Olympus cameras

Angle of view

The pictures below illustrate the focal length range from wide to telephoto (taken from our standard shooting position).

35mm (70mm equivalent) 100mm (200mm equivalent)

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F2.8 Power OIS specifications

 Product Code  H-HS35100
 Maximum format size  Four Thirds
 Focal length  35-100mm
 35mm equivalent focal length  70-200mm
 Diagonal angle of view  34° - 12°
 Maximum aperture  F2.8
 Minimum aperture  F22
 Lens Construction  • 18 elements in 13 groups
 • 1 UED glass element
 • 2 ED glass elements
 Number of diaphragm blades  7, rounded
 Minimum focus  • 0.85m / 2.8ft
 Maximum magnification  • Approx. 0.1x (0.2x 35mm-equivalent)
 AF motor type  • Linear Stepper Motor
 Focus method  Internal
 Zoom method  Internal
 Image stabilization  • Power OIS
 Filter thread  • 58mm
 • Does not rotate on focus
 Supplied accessories*  • Front and rear caps
 • H-HS35100 Lens hood
 • Lens storage bag
 Weight  360g (12.7 oz)
 Dimensions  67.4mm diameter x 99.9mm length
 (2.7 x 3.9 in)
 Lens Mount  Micro Four Thirds

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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This article is Copyright 2012 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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96
I want it
29
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 96
davidp158

I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but here are some examples of the bad O.I.S. jitter issue:

http://youtu.be/xML3AFgu8BM
https://vimeo.com/76176641
http://youtu.be/DfqqmDwV9nU
https://vimeo.com/77619384

I could seriously use this lens for shooting indoor events if only the O.I.S. worked as advertised.

Panasonic marketing excerpt:

"…The lens incorporates Panasonic’s Power O.I.S. optical image stabiliser, which makes it easy to shoot extremely clear photos even in low-light situations - especially at high zoom - by suppressing the blur caused by handshake.…"

0 upvotes
davidp158

I tried to like the 35-100mm lens, but the OIS jitters ruin this lens for hand held video work. The dealer took it back for a refund, as they didn't have another one for me to test. Others have posted similar frustrations about this on other forums, so I don't know if trying another copy will prove to be successful.

I am hoping Panasonic can fix this with a firmware update, like they did with the 12-35mm jitters, or come up with an improved version of the lens. The image quality is quite nice, the speed is decent and the focal range would be great for shots the 12-35mm won't reach.

0 upvotes
davidp158

I bought the 35-100mm and the O.I.S. produces a lot of micro-jitters, making it unusable for hand held video work. My 12-35mm and 14-140mm lenses are MUCH more stable.

I have read that some people went through a few of these to find a good version. Is this a common issue with this lens? I will take it back for a refund, but wonder if I got a lemon or if this is the best the 35-100 can do.

Any thoughts?

0 upvotes
IVEST

Charging almost $1,500.00 for a "Made in China" lens is way over the top.

The 12-35 f/2.8 is a "Made in Japan" product, why not this one?

0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar

what real difference does it make?

0 upvotes
AshburtonOnline

A few possible reasons .... nothing to do with racism so don't go there.

1. The Japanese have been doing this for far longer so their labour force is currently more skilled.
2. If two identical lenses were on sale I'd suspect the Made in Japan version would both sell quicker and command a higher premium.
3. Japan is a democracy ! I personally like the idea of people voting for their leaders.

That said, my OM-D stuff is made in China and it works fine.

0 upvotes
fras23

what a geat little lens, this and the 12-35 will really tempt some people over from canon/nikon. It probably is a little over priced, it costs the same as the canon 70-200 F4L IS which has much more glass, but I think it's one of those lenses that you're either willing to buy or not. An extra £200 isn't going to stop you.

M43 is such a great system to own with both panasonic and olympus pumping out great lenses simultaneously. As a once die hard Canon owner i'm loving it.

0 upvotes
yabokkie

this lens is greatly over priced which can do the work as 70-200/5.6, no more, no less.

2 upvotes
Dbdecker

It's a 2.8 with dof 5.6 against a 135... Perhaps not "greatly overpriced" but pricey depending on your goals.
For me it's a matter of physical size vs dof so the 70-200/5.6 argument is somewhat irrelevant.
I have a 135 kit and am looking at a 2nd far smaller kit (possibly a m4/3). This is one of the few options to date that is small enough to suit my goals.

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar

from work you if you only mean Dof ? and f/5.6 is perfect aperture for this equivalent focal length!! Atleast you can use it wide open!!

exposure wise its same bright as any sensor format lens at f/2.8!

2 upvotes
Sad Joe

Panasonic's 4 3 format continues to grow, boy Nikon owners tempted in and now stuck with that terrible 1 system must be feeling a bit sick by now...

0 upvotes
yabokkie

Nikon 1 does have some potential advantages (that 4/3" also has over APS-C and 35mm formats) that it's relatively easier to make super zooms (say 15-100x). the problem is that no-one is actually making any. so no real advantage, Nikon 1 or 4/3".

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Alan Ernst

Looking at the specs, this could be a great lens and long overdue! If optical quality match that of major manufacturer's comparable f2.8 zooms, then the price indicated could be justified.
I do hope they get quality control / consistency right this time round (a big issue with the 12-35mm X). For this kind of price, I want to see corner to corner sharpness throughout the zoom range, no vignetting, and minimal distortion / CA.
What I like about the specs:
- size/ weight comparable to the dust sucking, slow 45-200mm, but the 1-2 extra f-stops will reduce need to resort to high ISO's, which is an issue with m43.
- love the environmental sealing and non-rotating / non-expanding barrel
- happy to see the same filter size as the 12-35mm f2.8, which means you can use the same filters on both lenses.
Hope they will offer a matching tele-converterAND come up with a fixed, top quality 10mm f2.8 wideangle lens w. filter thread a.s.a.p. to round out their range of quality lenses.

0 upvotes
yabokkie

> If optical quality match that of major manufacturer's comparable f2.8 zooms,

that's physically impossible. this lens can take no photos that any 35mm format lens can do with a larger than f/5.6 aperture.

1 upvote
PC Wheeler

Plus it won't fit on a full frame body. Tsk: Poor planning by Panasonic ;-)

That aside, this lens (and the 12-35) work very well on my GH3 and give up very little to the L glass I use on my Canon DSLR. Kudos to Panasonic.

Now for a 100-300 f/2.8 to replace the current model.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
hammerheadfistpunch

Considering the hassle of the Zuiko F/2 35-100 FT lens as used for video, I would gladly loose a stop of light for the convenience and cost savings. (not havint to use a rail system and support system would be nice) Frankly, I usually stop down to 2.8 anyway just to make sure I have enough DoF to keep a moving subject in focus and having OIS is icing on the cake. This would make a killer video lens for the af100 or GH2. I might consider selling the zuiko and getting the 12-35/35-100 for the same price.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
yabokkie

why ZD 35-100/2?
why not 70-200/4 which can do the same work (w/ faster AF)?

1 upvote
Dbdecker

Because the f/4 would be another stop lost

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Sam Bennett

I would actually argue that while lens can't produce the same amount of "background blur" as an equivalent FF lens/body combo, it actually can provide as much or similar "subject isolation".

Subject isolation for me isn't just about DoF - it's also about the focal length you're using, how it influences your distance to your subject and hence the perspective of the shot and how much background "clutter" is present. With the same amount of DoF present in two photos shot with different focal lengths (and different distances to maintain a consistent subject size) the wider focal length will result in less subject isolation and more background clutter.

In my experience, focal length is actually the more important factor in terms of isolation - that's why in practice the 45-200mm actually provides a good amount of isolation at long focal lengths, despite it's relatively slow aperture.

4 upvotes
tkbslc

Your arguments actually support the statement you are trying to disagree with. The primary reason you get more subject isolation with the 70-200 f2.8 is that it is double the focal length. 200mm f2.8 has an aperture that is 2x the diameter of 100mm f2.8.

1 upvote
Andy Westlake

The fundamental problem with this argument is that all the stuff you're talking about will look almost exactly the same shooting at 200mm F5.6 on full frame as at 100mm F2.8 on Four Thirds (or 135mm F3.5 on APS-C). So if you're carrying a full frame camera with a 70-200mm F2.8 (or even F4) and a Micro Four Thirds camera with the Panasonic 35-100mm F2.8, the only situation you can possibly construct where the MFT camera has any advantage in terms of subject isolation is if the subject is too close for the FF camera to focus.

4 upvotes
Shelly Glaser

For a given object distance, DoF is determined by the focal length divided by the f# - a 200 mm f/4 lens will have, to a close approximation, the same DoF as a 100 mm f/2. When you compare different formats you mus, however, remember that the 4/3 sensor image needs to be magnified (for same size print or screen) twice as much as full frame, so the out-of-focus blur becomes larger.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
rfsIII

Why does this argument come up every time someone mentions depth of field equivalents? Maybe the guys should leave the issue out of their reviews if it's such a hot-button.
And anyway, shallow DOF is so over. We're on the eve of a new deep focus era. Then everyone can fight about how much MORE depth of field they can achieve with 1/2.3" sensor camera over a full frame.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
1 upvote
yabokkie

> shallow DOF is so over

a problem is that if you don't get shallow DOF (like it or not is another issue) you won't be able to get good image quality because the small lens openning won't allow enough light in door / at fast shutter speed.

a physical problem/reality we have to face.

1 upvote
Dbdecker

>you won't be able to get good image quality because the small lens openning won't allow enough light in door / at fast shutter speed.

---
Do you realise you don't multiply the aperture for light but only dof and focal for equivalents?

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
snow14

they should made it F2.0 instead of F2.8 yes that will make the lens little larger but it will be much more useful .

3 upvotes
W Sanders

It's expensive enough as is without adding another zero to the price!

0 upvotes
hammerheadfistpunch

The Olympus zuiko F/2 35-100 is a significantly bigger and heavier (as in WAY bigger and heavier) not to mention pricier lens that doesn't include OIS. To me, 1 stop in light just isn't worth the trade offs.

1 upvote
yabokkie

Oly's ZD 35-100/2 is a very strange lens when you think it can do only the work of a 70-200/4. I don't think it had to, even take into consideration the relatively long flange-back of the original 4/3" (38.7 mm, not an issue for MTF).

1 upvote
Gunnlaugur Gudmundsson

As most people will be buying the 35-100 as an event lens it would be useful to see some samples of people shots, e.g. from a conference, a speaker on a podium, kids playing soccer/football/basketball, a singer in a bar, people moving about at a wedding... etc, the 31 samples given are nearly all of static subjects in daylight...

anyway, nice that you are doing this preview and great to see that you are planning a lens review section.... thanks!

0 upvotes
Martin_E

This lens is excellent news. I bought the Camera for my girlfriend who loves the small size, this lens will be perfect for our Safari next year in Kenya.

0 upvotes
cocute

i think 100mm is short to safari

2 upvotes
Paul JM

its effective focal length is 200mm, not 100mm

0 upvotes
tt321

Exactly. The 200mm FoV is short, very short, for safari. Now if they could come up with a decent 2x teleconverter the game could be changed.

1 upvote
snow14

yeah that what they say at first, love the small size till they see the IQ of the big size .

0 upvotes
tkbslc

m4/3 is actually a great safari kit, but not with a 100mm lens. Get a 300mm zoom and you'll have supertelephoto reach in a small lightweight combo.

1 upvote
AVe

Having a GX1 + 100-300 zoom I fully agree with tkbslc.
The 200mm equiv. has lesser use for safari. The speed is OK but the focallength mostly isn't. In the analog time I had a 35-200mm zoom and still were lacking the reach I was longing for.
So please check what you need before buying this nice but very expensive lens.

0 upvotes
TheEye

At that price, this lens should be one stop faster.

4 upvotes
iudex

Can you name ONE telezoom lens with constant f2?

0 upvotes
Higuel

YES! Olympus has it for a LOOOONG time!:)
35-100 F2!!!
And EVERY SINGLE person who tryied it says it is up there with the best(even leica R ones!!!).

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
iudex

Never heard of it. Is it still being sold?
Edit: you are right, it´s for 4/3 DSLRs´.

0 upvotes
tt321

It exists, it's also very large, heavy and more expensive.

2 upvotes
tkbslc

It's about the same size and price as a newer FF 70-200 f2.8 with IS.

0 upvotes
TheEye

iudex, my point was in regard to PRICE. I have two 35-105 f/2.8 Tamron 35 mm lenses, which cost a more reasonable $600 about 17 years ago.

And yes, there is a 35-100 f/2.0 Zuiko. :-)

0 upvotes
carpandean

While still less, $600 17 years ago is equivalent to roughly $900 now (after adjusting for inflation.) You're also talking about a third-party lens vs. an OEM one. Plus, the 35-100mm f/2.8 is brand new and, thus, selling at list price. Was the Tamron? This lens will be $200-$300 cheaper before next Summer (12-35mm is already $200 cheaper.)

0 upvotes
Boky

double the size and double the price compared to Panasonic f2.8 version. But, it is f2...

0 upvotes
WhiteBeard

About pricing... A long time ago, lenses were made with a lot of metal and glass - not polycarbonate - and 70-200mm zooms (35mm eq.) were the most popular and mostly least expensive zooms available. Now, Panasonic wants to make us believe that putting an O-ring, less glass (polished by much more precise and efficient automated means than before) and putting back some aluminum instead of the usual polycarbonate is sufficient to warrant a 1500$ price tag... Anybody out there familiar about Marketing Theory and the expression "Whatever the Market can bear"?

5 upvotes
Noirist

Do you seriously think that a metal construction justifies a high price? The expensive part of a premium zoom lens is the lenses and their coatings.

6 upvotes
flipmac

A long time ago, TVs/CRT monitors had a lot of glass, were big and heavy. Then a few years ago, LCD TVs/monitors came out, which were a lot slimmer/smaller while being more expensive (at first)...

So what if this lens has less metal/glass than old lenses. It has AF, OIS, better coatings, better sharpness/contrast, and exotic elements (ED and ultra ED).

Anyways, MSRP are always high and the street price would be lower especially after a few months, just like the 12-35/2.8.

5 upvotes
WhiteBeard

To Noirist:

I don't debate that fact; indeed, it's pretty much what I was saying: all lenses were once made out of metal as a matter of fact. Now, the simple adding of a metal barrel and focusing ring brings an aura of PERCEIVED pro-quality that helps to make buyers swallow their higher price. As for the real cost behind the "pro" lenses, a lot has to do with the more intricate design cycle to make everything right and yes, to the higher cost of the machinery needed (although that cost is amortized over thousands of lenses) and material but the market price is half cost and half (3/4?) perception. Ask Leica and Hasselblad...

0 upvotes
hlwick59

To WhiteBeard:
I agree with what you've stated: "Whatever the Market can bear". Today, most people don't realize the consumer and so-called prosumer lenses are crappy in terms of build quality compared to lenses made back in the 1970s. I remember fondly the Vivitar Series 1 zooms, e.g., 35-85 f/2.8 and 70-210 f/3.5 zooms. These were solidly built precision quality craftsmanship with constant aperture throughout the zoom range and semi-macro (1:4 and 1:2.2 respectively) focus. And they gave the Canon/Nikon/Olympus zoom lenses a run for their money.

On the other hand, even back in the 1970s, a zoom with a constant f/2.8 aperture commanded a premium price compared to zoom lens with a somehwat slower f/3.5 or f/4 aperture that were the norm back then. But even those "common" zooms had constant apertures throughout the zoom range.

0 upvotes
W Sanders

The price for modern autofocus, image stabilized lenses is high because all of the autofocus and image stabilization machinery is usually in the lens.

Feel free to switch to a full frame format like Canon EF where non-AF lenses are available; the "IS" capable lenses are still 1.5X to twice as expensive as their non-IS counterparts.

I can't imaging using a non-AF tele on a m4/3 camera for regular work, the viewfinder on my GF-2s is not up to the task. I occasionally use my old full frame Canon teles with them, and manual focusing is nearly impossible. AF overcomes this limitation.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
WhiteBeard

Yes, most - not all - Panasonic lenses come with OIS which increases cost but bear in mind that their optical design is sloppy in terms of distorsiom and CA since both are controlled by the camera. This brings cost down compared to older lens/camera systems. For example, the excellent PL 25mm F1.4 has ludicrously high amounts of barrel distorsion on its own.

0 upvotes
iae aa eia

This lens is surely a nice addition, but it could cost less. Even being brighter, I would rather go with the Canon 70-200 mm ƒ/4. It is the other side of the coin; very small and compact but still high quality in general. Well, m4/3 users have no choice, actually. Or spend that much or no deal. It is a different world.

There is the Olympus 35-100 mm ƒ/2.0, that for me makes much more sense in terms of how bright a pro grade lens for a much smaller sensor should be, but even this one is tagged the same as the Canon 70-200 mm ƒ/2.8.

Again, two extremely different universes. In my opinion, I would consider myself a poor guy if I had already been running in the m4/3 system, because I had never expected it would be something more towards niche than popular.

4 upvotes
Pixel Judge

Nice fast lens & range.
I wish Fuji can make one like this for my upcoming X-E1. That will be really sweet!

1 upvote
RStyga

The price is not right. Full stop. I'll stick to my Panasonic 45-200mm purchased brand new for $180 and I'll live with the 'hardships' of isolating a subject while my wallet is thicker by $1300. Thanks.

7 upvotes
thx1138

Newsflash: This just in, "35-100 f/2.8" for m4/3 is lighter and smaller than a "70-200 f/2.8" for FF

Well colour me surprised. Who da' thunk.

1 upvote
igorek7

I had a chance to compare various micro four thirds lenses during the Photokina, (http://www.flickr.com/photos/igor29768/sets/72157631558216542/)
and the Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 was among my favorites for its high imaging qualities and excellent handling.
In fact, I was waiting for a long time for a high quality bright zoom lens in this focal length range, and I would be very happy to retire my frequently used Canon EOS 35-80mm f/4-5.6, which I loved but struggled to use with the EOS-to-MFT lens adapter.

1 upvote
radissimo

well its already £800 at ParkCameras....not bad!

1 upvote
HDF2

Must have been a misquote. It is now showing at £1,045 and is not actually available - just listed as out of stock. In reality it should read "never had in stock, but hope to get some in the coming weeks when Panasonic starts distribution".

0 upvotes
liukaitc

do not worry. the price will drop
just look at 12-35 f2.8. already $200 price deduction. now it is $1100 from 1300 at begining.
company know the price is a bit high.

2 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar

nothing to do with company .. street price always got lower after a little while, due to market competition!

4 upvotes
thx1138

Competition from what exactly? Not many other choices for a 35-100 for m4/3 last I checked. Unless Tamron or Sigmaa join in and release zooms prices won't drop too much.

0 upvotes
carpandean

It's not competitors; it's the saturation of the relatively small high willingness to pay, early adopter market. Once those who either really need the lens or have disposable income and like to be first to have the new toys purchase the lens, the price drops to the next level of purchasers' price point.

I've early adopted far too much in m4/3, so now I'm waiting before buying. I said from the start that I'd consider the 12-35mm (replacing several other lenses) once it dropped below $1000. It's getting close.

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Valentinian

Would have loved to pre-order this lens today... However, considering that the panasonic 45-175 market price was 1/5 of the 35-100, had to settle for it for the time being and ordered it... (maybe in the future... )

1 upvote
Naveed Akhtar

45-175 is an excellent and very light powered zoom lens and is incredible at that price and if you specially after its long reach! have a look on my flicker set on 45-175 if you like: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hakeem-na/sets/72157628747110625/

however if you are after some creative play, portraits photos, some fast action, then you need atleast this f2.8 or primes!

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
mrschmo

Glad to see this pro lens.

0 upvotes
Aaron MC

To everyone defending Panasonic's pricing, the reason why this is a legitimate complaint is because everything on the smaller sensor is cheaper. Panasonic cannot claim manufacturing cost as a reason for the price.

Moreover, the markup on Nikon, Canon, and Zeiss lenses is very large, because they have gigantic extant systems with millions of fans. Essentially, they can afford to extract some profit from the value of their brand. Panasonic has no such freedom.

1 upvote
blohum

Try reading about the economy of scale...

3 upvotes
micahmedia

Let them attempt to charge what they want. They're shooting high. If they aren't selling, they'll drop the price accordingly. I expect this is exactly how it will go too. And they'll certainly have no problem with price with the pros--people using these for pro video production won't balk at the price at all.

BTW, where is everybody seeing the price? I don't see it listed anywhere on DPR at all. EDIT: Found it! Actually much lower than I expected it to list for.

And remember, NOBODY pays list price. Unless they have supply issues, this will probably sell for a couple hundred less than list by the end of the year. Under a grand by next summer.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
ptox

"everything on the smaller sensor is cheaper"

That's a hand-waver if I've ever read one.

Prove yourself. Are you a lens designer?

2 upvotes
Aaron MC

Blohum: That's certainly true. But complex lens assemblies can only go so far in this regard. A company can only grow crystal so quickly, for example.

Micahmedia: Actually, about video, the 12-35mm lens has a non-constant aperture that's causing many pros to abandon the lens. They're willing to pay, but they demand things. And while people rarely pay list for many things, the list price affects the market. That was stupid of Panasonic.

Ptox: No, but that's common knowledge. The larger the sensor, the harder and more expensive it is to design lenses for it. Thus, the reverse is true.

Comment edited 42 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Naveed Akhtar

forget it man .. every size has its own challenges and merits!

0 upvotes
revio

To give same sharpness as a "FullFormat" this lens must be double as sharp per millimeter "on sensor", so already that fact makes it expensive enough to design and manufacture...things with small mechanical/optical dimensions ARE expensive to make. And I can assure you that in the retail part of the business, markups are VERY low, percentage wise, for most every brand we may talk about. Especially the larger brands w high number of units made/sold do sell at very tight margins, in the end of the chain at least; how much distributors mark up I know nothing about.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
digifan

@Aaron MC, you couldn't be further from the truth. The smaller the lenses the more difficult it is for lens designers. Every flaw will be seen.
Why does 35mmFF still can use old lens designs favorably is due to the fact they won't show flaws that easily!!!!!

0 upvotes
Higuel

@ digifan, sorry to intrude, let me know ANY old wide angle that can andle well FF! or any brigth OLD lens that will not have amazing problens in FF with vignetting , color fringes, "colored bokeh" etc etc! Even Canon 85mm f1.2 has it!!!(and VERY nasty!!!)

And to end ALL this argument about size and prices, just compare 6x6 lenses or even 6x4,5 lenses prices with 35mm FF... and i'm not even talking after digital arrived!!!

NOTHING personal! :)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Aaron MC

@Naveed: Yes, every size has some unique challenges, but some challenges are more easily (and cheaply) overcome than others.

@Revio: Yes, but the mere act of moving the optical design closer to the sensor achieves much of this. Moreover, it has as much to do with the density of the sensor as its size.

Also, I know very well that the markup on the retail end is low. Camera resellers get kinda' screwed in this regard. The high mark-up comes from the companies themselves.

@Digifan: At a certain point. But that situation only applies on VERY small lenses. Also, old 35mm lens designs are frequently awful. They have character, certainly, but technically they are very poor. I own a whole fleet of old Olympus lenses (go-go-gadget Ebay!), and even on the small 4/3 sensor, I get some vignetting on a couple.

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd

No portrait shots and only 1 shot with a person in it? The photographs look great but I really would like to see how this lens functions as a portrait lens.

I already bought my copy of this lens. As soon as it was announced I knew it was going to be the lens to get for both stills and video.

2 upvotes
ptox

Optimized for video? Not unless Panasonic fixes the non-linear behavior of the aperture while zooming. At least in the 12-35, the "constant" f2.8 aperture adjusts in several small but noticeable discrete steps, with a concomitant jump in exposure.

Discussion and video demonstration here:
http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/3283/12-35mm-f2.8-panasonic-lens-topic/p8

3 upvotes
BJN

Assuming top notch optical performance, the price isn't a big hurdle. This lens will be compared to 70-200 2.8 pro zooms for full frame cameras, but this lens can't fully fill that role because f/2.8 on Four Thirds delivers more depth of field at the same working distances for the same crop. That's fine if you just need the fast aperture but isn't as attractive if you're looking for subject isolation.

The shiny mauve-colored anodized rings seem out of place since they're alien to any other Panasonic body or lens material and color.

2 upvotes
revio

*SIGH* ...please understand that people contemplating this lens (mostly) already ARE IN THE m4/3 SYSTEM, thus such reasoning like what you put forward here only in order to talk down this lens, is close to nothing else than BS. Sorry, but I just couldn´t help myself, no intention to be rude.

Critizise the lens for its QUALITY or a possible lack thereof, or for its features/lack of such, etc...but this is not the place to try and "educate" people about equivalence. We KNOW about that, and when discussing this lens vs other lenses for OUR m4/3 CAMERAS the equivalence factor is quite frankly a "zero" factor!

If anything, this lens is the best of available tele zooms in the m4/3 system for subject isolation, so no reason at all to put that in question, or is there?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
12 upvotes
Noirist

Any f2.8 lens on a m43rds sensor is equivalent to an f5.6 lens on a full frame sensor. That's a problem with the sensor size, not the lens. The lens is still f2.8.

1 upvote
mvtd96

There is no problem with the sensor. F2.8, the brightness is the same on both formats, FF and 4/3. DOF is going to be F5.6 for a F2.8 lens on a 4/3 sensor. It is perfect to have a small lens, with a fast speed and beacuse of the the size of the 4/3 sensor, it will double the zoom and the DOF. This is the reason why big brands like Olympus, Panasonic, Leica , Sigma etc. makes their way in 4/3 format. These big names see a lot of potential in their research about 4/3 format. You think they will spend their money for nothing? Think about it!

0 upvotes
kayone

Agreed, complaints about the price is ridiculous as a similarly equipped dSLR version of a 70-200 f2.8 costs well over $2K new. Also given the 12-35mm f2.8 runs about $1200-1300, this is not unexpected

3 upvotes
Noirist

What's ridiculous about the pricing? Fast high quality zoom lenses are expensive to make. The full frame Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 is $2400 and the 43rds Olympus 35mm-100mm f2.0 is $2500. If you don't want to buy it at that price, then don't. But let the rest of us be glad that Panasonic has made two excellent fast zoom lenses available to anyone who wants one for their micro43rds camera.

3 upvotes
bradleyg5

Imagine if Panasonic made a 200mm F/2.8 and then charged as much as a Canon 400mm F/2.8

5 upvotes
revio

@bradleyg5:

But they didn´t charge even close to the same high price for this lens as CaNikon (or Sony) do for their "same angle of view" counterparts, did they?

3 upvotes
Chez Wimpy

I don't know, $1500 is about how much I paid for my 70-200/2.8IS new. The mk2 is more expensive, and the exchange rate in the interim has... changed... but the damage to the wallet is still "equivalent" even if the optics aren't.

3 upvotes
Higuel

@ Bradleyg5

Man, that was by far the smartest&fastest argument i read here!!!
Good work!!! :)

0 upvotes
Dbdecker

Considering its 360grams vs 2.5kgs it suits a market.
I've seen the price at around $1200 already.

0 upvotes
bradleyg5

Seems like a pretty nice lens until you mentioned the price! 1500 dollars! Wow. You're telling me a Canon 70-200mm L F4 IS is worth less than that? Then people wonder why us trolls are bitter at Panasonic and Olympus.

7 upvotes
Noirist

The Canon 70-200mm f4 is worth less than the Panasonic 35-100mm f2.8 to a m43rds user. It's bigger, slower, lower quality, doesn't have IS, and won't autofocus on a m43rds body. I wouldn't pay $100 for that Canon lens on my GH1.

7 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar

canon 70-200 f4 L IS is stabilised and does AF perfectly on all Canon FF and APSC and even on Canon M with the adaptor. They are not for m43, so dont aspect AF on GH1, for us 35-100 f2.8 (f5.6 FF equivalent) is extremely expensive. I would consider buying it if it matches atleast Canon 70-200 L f4 IS with FF size glasses. Even Canon 70-200 L F2.8 previous generation cost less than 1000£ in uk.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
qwertyasdf

Canon 70-200 f/4 IS is lower quality?!
In what way? Build? Optics?
It's one of the sharpest zooms in the universe.

2 upvotes
Jorginho

Well, officially per 4/12 the Canon costs 1450 (according to Ken Rockwells site..It has gone up). And it weighs 760 grams. m43s to me and I think most has never been about cheaper systems. If so, I would never have bought the G1 GH2 and all those lenses. To me it is about weight and size and I think to most. And 360 grams instead of 760 grams makes quite a difference, exaclty where i DO mind.

So the price of the Panny to me does not seem to high, it depends a bit on what it is going to cost on the street I guess and we'll see that in a few months. Based on official prices, again, it seems okey. Similar price, very good optics. very good build Q and small and light. And excellent for video too...

1 upvote
WhiteBeard

Thanks for the informative preview; shame about the ridiculou$ pricing though... BTW, kudos for the sample gallery; you manage to take great pictures even when they are meant primarily just to evaluate a lens!

2 upvotes
Total comments: 96