Olympus versus Panasonic f/2.8 standard zoom observations

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Samuel Dilworth
Samuel Dilworth Regular Member • Posts: 434
Olympus versus Panasonic f/2.8 standard zoom observations

I visited the Salon de la Photo camera show the other day and got my hands on a few Micro Four Thirds lenses.

I immediately learned things I hadn’t picked up from reviews and YouTube videos.

Now, sadly the Olympus lens had a security tether while the Panasonic was loose. That may have affected my impressions because it interfered with holding the lens (why do companies hamper themselves like this at shows?). All the same …

Comparing the Panasonic 12–35 mm with the Olympus 12–40 mm:

The Olympus zooms in the wrong direction when turned! Yikes. (Or the Panasonic is wrong if you’re coming from Canon.) That might rule out mixing brands of zoom lenses although not primes. This throws a wrench in my planning.

Do any of you mix zooms despite this?

The Olympus felt better in the hand … until zoomed. The Panasonic zoom ring moved with perfect resistance and smoothness. I was impressed by the mechanics. The Olympus zoom ring was heavier – a touch too heavy for my taste – and slightly less smooth. Still good. A bit more play in the fully extended barrel too.

Additionally, the Olympus barrel extension reverses near the wide end and slightly extends at 12 mm. Mildly annoying for packing.

On the other hand, the Olympus focal lengths are better spaced, allowing easier precise adjustment near the wide end.

I’m still vague about how these lenses compare optically – I know the Olympus focuses much closer – but I left favouring the Panasonic. Which wasn’t what I expected going in.

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