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

Started Apr 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jorginho Forum Pro • Posts: 14,268
Re: Very depressing

first of all: I am not perfect at all and indeed do the same thing. I said it is easier to do so (judging). When someone does not understand me, I reread my messages sometiems and sometimes Ihave the sam kneejerk reaction like most of us

The point is this phrase:

"The Panasonic 35-100 is $1,500. It should be a bit better than it is. Nothing to do with being a perfectionist, just comparing it to the standards set by it competitors and one of my most used lenses. And certainly not ridiculous to expect excellent performance all round from a lens of this price."

But there is no real competitor. We jump to another system to compare. If I am correct, the Canon/Nikon f2.8 lenses cost a lot more at the 70-200 mm focal length. I saw 2300 dollars or so.

And it is not perfect at all, even at that price. Dpreview on it:

  • Pronounced focus 'breathing', i.e. widening of the angle of view on focusing closer
  • Reduced maximum magnification compared to previous version
  • Somewhat susceptible to flare with direct light sources in or close to the frame
  • Poorly-designed lens hood - too shallow, and with curved ends
  • Slightly fiddly AF and VR switches
  • AF stop buttons removed (and replaced by occasionally-confusing cosmetic grip)

Flare. Fiddly AF. For such a lens? It is not perfect. So why do you expect a 35-100 mm f2.8 lens that costs 1/3 less to be perfect? Or much better than it is?

"If it were $900, I'd forgive the reduced (though still good) F/2.8 performance. But at $1,500 I'm less forgiving."

Which lens can compare I wonder? Not anything Oly produced, because that was f2.0 and costed alot more. I looked at the Tamron f2.8 70-200. It is only 770 dollars. It got high grades for optical performance, but still it is not great at the middle part of the zoomrange. It has no weathersealing, it has no image stablisation! and it weighs 4 times what that panny weighs. So Panny should produce this lens, with weathersealing and OIS for only 130 dollar more? TO me that is unrealistic.
The latest Sigma equivalent of the Tamron, with OIS, AF but NO weathersealing and costs 1800 dollar and it gets very good (not excellent, but almost) scores by dpreview. And it is not sharp at f2.8 and needs to stop down. At 200 mm at f2.8, only the very centre is critically sharp. In general, f4 to f8 renders the best results...How is that any better than what we hear about the 35-100 f2.8? It even has no weathersealing and it is still 300 dollars more nor does it have good f2.8 sharpness.

Another aproach: the 75 mm f1.8 Oly. Costs 900 dollars. Not weathersealed. Excellent sharpness, no image stablisation, no zoom. So a 35-100 f2.8, being slower but much more versatile and rugged than this lens can only cost the same?

So compared to real, somewhat comparable products the 35-100 f2.8 or other products that canbe had at 900 dollars it  does not seem to be too price or too poor for what it delivers, even though a direct comparison is difficult because there does not seem to be a directly comparable lens.

 Jorginho's gear list:Jorginho's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH +8 more
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