New Panny 12-32mm first impressions

Started Dec 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
Helen Veteran Member • Posts: 5,399
Re: New Panny 12-32mm first impressions

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.


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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