Olympus versus Panasonic f/2.8 standard zoom observations

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Michael Meissner
Michael Meissner Forum Pro • Posts: 26,653
Re: Olympus versus Panasonic f/2.8 standard zoom observations

Samuel Dilworth wrote:

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 …

I dunno, maybe Olympus lenses are more desirable and people are more likely to steal them.

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?

This is standard behavior. All Panasonic lenses zoom in one direction, all Olympus lenses zoom in the other.

While it is slightly annoying, it isn't the end of the world. It just takes a second or two, to realize which way the lens zooms, and to switch.

I own several Olympus zooms (12-40mm f/2.8, 14-150mm mark II f/4-5.6, 9-18mm f/4-5.6, etc.) and Panasonic zooms (35-100mm f/2.8 mark II, 100-300mm f/4-5.6 mark II, etc.). You get used to it after awhile.

As you have found out, the Panasonic lenses are smaller than the Olympus lenses, but their focal length is also smaller (Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 vs. Panasonic 12-35mm mark II f/2.8 and Olympus 40-150mm f/2.8 vs. 35-100mm mark II f/2.8).

If you own a recent Panasonic body, the Panasonic zooms with work with the body for DFD (depth from defocus, that is claimed to speed up continuous auto focusing), and combining lens based stablization and sensor shift stablization.

If you own a recent Olympus body, with the few Olympus lenses that offer stabilization (12-100mm f/4, 300mm f/4) the body will combine lens based stabilization and sensor shift stabilization. Otherwise, with Olympus bodies, you choose whether to use lens based stabilization (if it exists) or just sensor shift stabilization. If you choose lens based stabilization and then lens does not offer stabilization, Olympus bodies will switch over to using sensor shift stabilization automatically. As I recall, Panasonic only offers the option to do stabilization or not. It doesn't have the option to choose one method or the other. I typically just turn on using lens stabilization in my Olympus bodies.

After one bad experience with the 100-300mm f/4-5.6 mark II (a splash of an ocean wave rendered inoperative for a bit, while the Olympus 14-150mm mark II had no problems), I don't trust Panasonic lenses are splash proof. I've been using Olympus splash proof lenses since 2004, with nary of a problem (you do need to do basic cleaning and drying out of the lens after being subjected to harsh conditions). I've even used the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 and Olympus 14-150mm f/4-5.6 mark II on my G85 and it has survived various wet conditions, including being on the boat ride at Niagara Falls for 10 minutes under the drenching water from the falls.

Many Olympus lenses have a focus clutch ring that you switch instantly into manual focus mode. However, many of us have engaged the focus clutch by accident and wondered why the lens wouldn't focus. The new 10-25mm f/1.7 lens from Panasonic also features a focus clutch ring, and I recall Jordan/Chris (dpreview TV) having the same experience. Olympus does offer an option to turn off the focus clutch ring, but at least until recently Panasonic did not (I don't have a G9/GH5, so I haven't seen the latest firmware, and the G85 doesn't get many new features that the G9/GH5 get).

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