12-35mm f/2.8: What's the verdict?

Started Sep 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
Bob Meyer Veteran Member • Posts: 5,375
Do you shoot test charts, or make photographs?

The Photozone test seems odd to me. It's out of step with both other formal tests and user reports.

That said, when shooting test charts, this lens doesn't seem to resolve quite as well as similar FOV lenses from other makers (and for other formats, of course). It's not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it's not brilliantly sharp. Resolution is not the only measure of lens quality, however. As long as it meets some minimum level of sharpness I'd argue that contrast, color, distortion and other less easily definable qualities are more important.

In the real world, almost everyone who has this lens, including me, seems very happy. It's got very good contrast, good color, and is sharp enough, especially in the center. Only if you insist on viewing edge detail at 100% magnification is the lens "disappointing" IMHO.

As with all lenses, this one embodies some compromises. I think the goal of keeping size down trades away some edge detail and adds some vignetting. Only you can decide how much this matters to you. It's expensive, but what do a 12mm, 17mm and 20 or 25mm lens cost combined (while still not covering the same range)?

It's not a perfect lens. At the moment, though, there's no other zoom that offers fast AF (brilliantly fast on the GH3, based on early reports), excellent IS, excellent build quality (and "weatherproofing"), an f 2.8 aperture, and very good image quality.

Is that enough? For me it's the perfect zoom for indoor use.

-- hide signature --

I've stopped thinking in terms of "equivalent" focal lengths on m43. 25mm is what it is, and what it might be similar to on some other format doesn't matter to me any more. We need to learn what to expect from our current equipment, not keep mapping it to the old. No one refers to their 50mm FF lens as "equivalent to 80mm on MF."

 Bob Meyer's gear list:Bob Meyer's gear list
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / Power O.I.S Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G7 +6 more
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow