IQ on the 12-60 kit vs 12-35 ii?

Started 1 week ago | Discussions thread
larsbc Forum Pro • Posts: 15,865
Re: IQ on the 12-60 kit vs 12-35 ii?

thetrystero wrote:

I have the Lumix 12-60 3.5-5.6 (not the faster Leica) that came with my G85 and am wondering how much of an improvement in IQ I will see if I upgrade to the 12-35 f2.8?

If it's an image quality improvement you're concerned about AND you mean in real world results as opposed to carefully testing your lenses for differences, I wouldn't bother upgrading the 12-60 to ANY of the other pro grade f/2.8 lenses.

I have the 12-35/2.8 and 12-60/3.5-5.6 and while I haven't compared them side-by-side, I also haven't noticed any deficiencies in the image quality of the latter.

I've scoured around and there seem to be a lot of suggestions that there isn't much in it, with only one person here on the dpreview forums saying that the 12-35 is "much better".

Someone else on this thread made the point that the quality control might be better on the 12-35/2.8, meaning that the 12-60 could suffer from a higher variability in performance.  Sounds reasonable to me.  In those cases, the differences between the 12-35 and 12-60 might be more noticeable.

I will be using the lens mainly for family travel and in good light. For low light I will switch to my 15mm f1.7 or 42.5 f1.7. I will print max A4 sized photos at home on a Pixma Pro 100 and make some 4k videos to be viewed on YouTube.

My system is primarily used for traveling.  My first big test of the 12-60 (I got it a few mos. ago when I bought a GX9) was in the Caribbean so its use was mostly in bright light and it worked just fine.  For the first time on a trip, I left my 35-100/2.8 at home.  I wanted to see if 60mm was long enough for general travel photography and, IMO, it is.

I have the option now to add either the 8-18 or to add the 12-35 (selling the 12-60 won't get me much in my locale). Since I don't have a wide angle I think I would appreciate that for travel, but I've also read that the 12-35 seems to be the go to lens which is why i'm vacillating a bit, although some of those might have been before the 12-60 kit came out. The constant f2.8 could prove useful. I don't zoom mid-shot but I still have to adjust my variable ND currently to maintain shutter 180 if I re-compose between clips. It's mildly annoying but if the IQ isn't much better for my use case, I would rather live with the mild inconvenience than spend extra for essentially a shorter reach.

What annoys me about the 12-60 is the the f/5.6 max aperture at 60mm.  I also have the 15/1.7 which is my default evening/indoors lens but it's nice to have a normal zoom that can also be used in low-ish light or when I need a shallow DoF.  For the Caribbean, the 12-60 was fine but for my next trip (Japan) which will consist of a lot of urban photography (narrow streets that are in shadow, photos of people where I want to blur some of the distracting, busy background, and where I probably won't need the longer FoV very often), I think the 12-35/2.8 will be the better choice.  I also know that I'll be using the 8-18 a lot, too.

So, if I were in your situation, and given that the 12-60 isn't worth much to sell used, I'd hold onto it and make the 8-18 your next purchase.  I still think the 12-35/2.8 is worth buying even if you own the 12-60/3.5-5.6 but I think the 8-18 will be more useful at this point, especially since you have the 15 and 42.5 lenses for low light / shallow DoF.

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