Olympus versus Panasonic f/2.8 standard zoom observations

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
RedDog Steve
RedDog Steve Senior Member • Posts: 1,819
Re: Olympus versus Panasonic f/2.8 standard zoom observations

Samuel Dilworth wrote:

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?).

Probably insurance requirements.
As long as they have some reasonable security practices in place the insurance company is happy.

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?

No, I started with a Lumix body, the GX1.
When I started adding lenses I stayed with Panny or PanLeica.
This continued as I moved to Oly bodies with the E-P5, and E-M10s.
Only in cases where Panny did not have a comparable lens did I choose M.Z primes (75, 12). I also got the kit 17/1.8 for the E-P5.
Nothing (yet) in an Oly zoom, but that may change if I find a good price on a 7-14/2.8.

I'm pleased with the performance and operation of my 12-35/2.8 and other Panny zooms on the E-M10 II.
I compared specs, reviews and forum chatter very closely for the P12-35 and O12-40 and chose the 12-35 based on size/weight and stabilization.

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.

Every report I saw seemed to indicate that the 12-35 and 12-40 are both very good optically and that any differences are basically splitting hairs.
At the time I chose the 12-35, there were no Lumix bodies with IBIS.
I wanted OIS in case I switched back to a Lumix body, obviously a lesser concern now that Panny has adopted IBIS.

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I'm not a perfectionist, I'm a precisionist.

 RedDog Steve's gear list:RedDog Steve's gear list
Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH OIS Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Leica Nocticron 42.5mm Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G Leica DG Summilux 12mm F1.4 ASPH +17 more
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