Very nice, but just maybe not quite worth the price

Started May 18, 2013 | User reviews thread
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al_in_philly Regular Member • Posts: 488
Very nice, but just maybe not quite worth the price

Don't get me wrong, this is a very nice lens, but it's way overpriced.  I bought it to be a good "walk around" lens which I could would work in a variety of situations, and as a rule, keep it on my camera, after trading in my my stable of 4/3 lenses and had a few thousand to reinvest in m4/3 gear--otherwise I probably wouldn't have spent about $1300 on a lens which was just "very good."

Its optics are very good, aside from some fringing towards the corners at f/2.8--it doesn't quite match the IQ I was getting from the 25mm Pan/Leica f/1.4.  But the focus speed mounted on my Olympus OM-D E-M5 is really quick, relatively close to what I was getting with the P/L 25mm.  One of the key reasons for buying this lens was that it was one of the few dust & splash sealed lenses available for m4/3 cameras and already I've had a chance to test that capacity, and it passed with flying colors.  I'll also add that I've found it very easy to hold and focus with on my OM-D, although I'm somebody who almost always uses the viewfinder and keeps one hand on the camera body and the other on the lens barrel; if you prefer to compose your shots through the rear disply, the lens might make your camera feel a tad front-heavy,

But I can't keep from comapring it to the Olympus Zuiko 12-60mm f/2.8-4 which was amongst the group of 4/3 lenses which wound up financing this purchase.  That was my previous "walk around" lens when I was shooting with 4/3 cameras.  Yes, the Panasonic lens is a constant f/2.8, but with the exception of when shooting at 12mm (where the Zuiko showed some distortion), the IQ of the Lumix lens seems always a touch behind what the Zuiko would produce.  Also, the 12-35mm zoom range is quite a bit less than 12-60mm--and that extra 25mm on the telephoto end does come in handy at times.  Perhaps this might seem like comparing apples to oranges, but both lenses were designed to be high-end, fast, water/dust sealed, general purpose zoom lenses, and are in the same general price range, although the Lumix is about $300 more expensive.

Am I sorry that I bought this lens?  No, far from it, but I (rightfully) wouldn't have done so had I not had a small pile of cash in front of me to spend on lenses.  It is a serious, well made, relatively fast, wide to medium lens for serious photographers.  It's just a shame that it doesn't retail for $898 instead of $1298

Oh, one last thing: if you question that this lens can be used in professional settings, last week a shot I took with this lens was featured in one of the local Philadelphia newspapers.

 al_in_philly's gear list:al_in_philly's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Leica Nocticron 42.5mm +2 more
Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Power OIS
Zoom lens • Micro Four Thirds • H-HS12035
Announced: May 21, 2012
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Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8
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