12-35mm f/2.8: What's the verdict?

Started Sep 28, 2012 | Discussions
dotborg Veteran Member • Posts: 8,251
12-35mm f/2.8: What's the verdict?
1

So, those of you that have the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8, what do you thin of it? How is the image quality? How is the operation of it?

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Anfy
Anfy Veteran Member • Posts: 3,440
Re: 12-35mm f/2.8: What's the verdict?
1

http://www.photozone.de/m43/766_pana1235f28

Ciao!

dotborg wrote:

So, those of you that have the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8, what do you thin of it? How is the image quality? How is the operation of it?

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Robiro Veteran Member • Posts: 6,653
Re: 12-35mm f/2.8: What's the verdict?

I don't have it but my conclusion is.... (based on what I am seeing and reading)

It could never bear a Leica sign.

If it did, if would be a 2.8-3.7 lens.

Leica quality standards would never permit the output this lens produces at certain settings. Given how much money it costs.

My Leica 14-50mm f2.8-3.5 is much wider in diameter (72mm front thread) and bigger (lots of extra glass) but at 35mm only allows f3.3.

There are compromises with 12-35 and also 35-100 lens. They are of smallest possible dimensions and there is no cushion, no optical performance reserve.

That is my humble opinion. Great lens with certain compromises.

 Robiro's gear list:Robiro's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / Power O.I.S Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro Panasonic Leica 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH
OP dotborg Veteran Member • Posts: 8,251
Re: 12-35mm f/2.8: What's the verdict?

Hmm... doesn't look too stellar.

Anfy wrote:
http://www.photozone.de/m43/766_pana1235f28

Ciao!

dotborg wrote:

So, those of you that have the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8, what do you thin of it? How is the image quality? How is the operation of it?

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OP dotborg Veteran Member • Posts: 8,251
Re: 12-35mm f/2.8: What's the verdict?

Thanks Robiro. I've been waiting for this lens but I think that I might kick in a little more and get the Fujifilm X-E1 with the kit lens instead.

Robiro wrote:

I don't have it but my conclusion is.... (based on what I am seeing and reading)

It could never bear a Leica sign.

If it did, if would be a 2.8-3.7 lens.

Leica quality standards would never permit the output this lens produces at certain settings. Given how much money it costs.

My Leica 14-50mm f2.8-3.5 is much wider in diameter (72mm front thread) and bigger (lots of extra glass) but at 35mm only allows f3.3.

There are compromises with 12-35 and also 35-100 lens. They are of smallest possible dimensions and there is no cushion, no optical performance reserve.

That is my humble opinion. Great lens with certain compromises.

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Jorginho Forum Pro • Posts: 13,657
So the 14-45 mm has better optical IQ??

Unless they are correct and the 14-45 mm has better optical quality than this 12-35 mm, I find that hard to believe. But that is what their verdict says...Not that it matters to me personally, I have lost interest in this lens. The 35-100 seems nice but I am awaiting reviews and IQ samples to see how f2.8 translates in reality from 35-100 mm.

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Bass Rock Forum Member • Posts: 72
Re: 12-35mm f/2.8: What's the verdict?
1

From my perspective and my use of this lens, it is the best standard zoom m43 lens yet produced. Might other lenses from other formats be better? Very possibly. But if you buy into the m43 system and want to use native lenses, this lens seems ideal for the IQ performance, and also weight and balance (on my GH2). As for value for money, well that is a personal and subjective decision. Each to their own on that parameter.

Here are a few from my "Photo a Day" page over on PBase http://www.pbase.com/bassrock I don't claim for them to be masterpieces but I do think the clarity and sharpeness from this lens exceeds other m43 zoom lenses I have used, such as the Lumix 14-45mm which was my previous standard zooom.

bluelemmy
bluelemmy Contributing Member • Posts: 988
Re: 12-35mm f/2.8: What's the verdict?
1

I have had this lens some time now. It has become the lens I leave on the camera all the time.

I find it is a very sharp and well made lens. In my view it justifies its price, especially by comparison with the other Panasonic standard zooms available, all of which I have owned.

The 14-45 was a bit better than the 14-42 but this lens is better by far than either. I have sold my 12mm f2 simply because it performed no better than the zoom. I will probably sell my 25 f1.4 too. Though it is sharper in principle,I haven't bothered with it since buying the zoom.

As a caveat, I am not a pixel peeper or an OCD over these things. I am simply a professional photographer of 40 years standing and follow my own nose and experience in all things photographic.

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Davey1 Regular Member • Posts: 119
12-35 zoom

Pros:

It's very solid, like the 7-14 but more metal - a million miles away from the Oly or Pana kit lenses which just feel low grade (they are far cheaper of course)

Zoom and focus rings are smooth and tight.

Images are sharp and clean, it seems as good if not better than some of the primes.

Versatile - changing primes constantly isn't always possible

Fast focus

Good 'semi macro' - I'm not sure exactly what the spec's are but you can get close enough to flowers to get good shots with very nicely blown out background.

Smooth bokeh - only at the long end really

Cons:

Although a 2.8 zoom is very fast it doesn't have the DoF control you get with the best primes although it does give surprisingly good subject isolation at 35mm - this could be in the 'Pros' section actually.

It's relatively expensive although I think it will actually turn out to be good value - I got one of the 'first ten' cheap deal from Panasonic direct, it's probably still worth what I paid for it so actual cost of ownership is low. I suspect it will also drop in price when the GH3 kits come out, I would expect £650 / $900US will be a regular price in six months time. This would make it look pretty economical against other f2.8 zooms.

Personally I would prefer a little longer FL, I find myself at 35mm far more often than 12mm. I also have the 7-14 so a 14 - 50mm range would probably be more usable for me.

Adventsam Veteran Member • Posts: 4,983
Re: 12-35 zoom

12-50 or 60 and 50-150 f2.8 would of made more sense! but they are still a cool lens.

Davey1 wrote:

Pros:

It's very solid, like the 7-14 but more metal - a million miles away from the Oly or Pana kit lenses which just feel low grade (they are far cheaper of course)

Zoom and focus rings are smooth and tight.

Images are sharp and clean, it seems as good if not better than some of the primes.

Versatile - changing primes constantly isn't always possible

Fast focus

Good 'semi macro' - I'm not sure exactly what the spec's are but you can get close enough to flowers to get good shots with very nicely blown out background.

Smooth bokeh - only at the long end really

Cons:

Although a 2.8 zoom is very fast it doesn't have the DoF control you get with the best primes although it does give surprisingly good subject isolation at 35mm - this could be in the 'Pros' section actually.

It's relatively expensive although I think it will actually turn out to be good value - I got one of the 'first ten' cheap deal from Panasonic direct, it's probably still worth what I paid for it so actual cost of ownership is low. I suspect it will also drop in price when the GH3 kits come out, I would expect £650 / $900US will be a regular price in six months time. This would make it look pretty economical against other f2.8 zooms.

Personally I would prefer a little longer FL, I find myself at 35mm far more often than 12mm. I also have the 7-14 so a 14 - 50mm range would probably be more usable for me.

papillon_65
papillon_65 Forum Pro • Posts: 27,030
It's all good for me...

if you want to read a review that matches how it really performs in my experience then this is the one to read:

http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1518/cat/69

I wouldn't bother with Photozone, they have a clear bias against software corrected lenses for some reason and can't see past it.

It's a lens you can shoot at all apertures (up to diffraction) and focal lengths and get consistent results. The only caveat is that you will need to carry out some CA correction if you are shooting it on an Olympus, as I do.

It is a better lens than the 14-45mm (which I used to own and which suffers from a lot of blue CA at F3.5 on an Oly). The image stabilisation is very effective, the build quality is excellent and the constant F2.8 aperture comes in very handy on a regular basis for me.

The people with the most to say about this lens usually don't own or haven't used one. I've owned the ZD 12-60mm and 14-54mm and it is comparable to both (CA apart) though more consistent through it's more limited range. In a lot of cases you won't even notice any CA but if you do it can be effectively dealt with in LR4 (If you have it).

At the bottom of this link is another opinion from Luminous Landscape, which is worth a look.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/olympus_om_d_e_m5_review.shtml#lumix

Overall it's been a great lens for me and is the one I always start with on my camera. You can find some examples here

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tonyblatcher/tags/1235mm/

I've been shooting with it quite a bit in the last two weeks and have more stuff to upload soon but it's been excellent for me.

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Davey1 Regular Member • Posts: 119
Re: 12-35 zoom
1

A couple more observations:

It is my default lens now, probably gets more use than any other, helps justify the cost.

The OIS is really good, I noticed within a few minutes after the lens arrived taking a few random pics in my back garden.

@Sam

I think you'd probably have to give up some FL at the short end to gain some at the long end all other things being equal. I'd be happy to sacrifice the 12mm to gain some longer FL, maybe up to 45 or 50mm although I suspect it would still be a 3x zoom to get the performance.

fcna72 Regular Member • Posts: 230
Re: 12-35 zoom

Agree with all the positive comments made earlier. I'd add the following:

+excellent sharpness, better than 14/45 and miles better than 14/42x when zooming in where the double blur was an issue at the known speed... very versatile, only swapped it sometimes with the 45-175x but I don't use the 20mm anymore
+excellent OIS, up to 1/2 sec handheld at 12mm

-flare is often an issue so one needs to be careful when shooting towards the sun

-for some reason my battery life has dropped significantly compares to the 14-42x on my GX1. I have tried 3 separates OEM batteries and battery life has gone done from 500-600 photos to 400-500, ie close to a 20% drop....I have trouble explaining this since the 14-42x is powered by a motor while the 12-35 is handpowered. I am wondering if this could be due to the powerful OIS system...

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
Robiro Veteran Member • Posts: 6,653
Re: 12-35 zoom

fcna72 wrote:

I am wondering if this could be due to the powerful OIS system...

Definitely the OIS.

 Robiro's gear list:Robiro's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / Power O.I.S Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro Panasonic Leica 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH
papillon_65
papillon_65 Forum Pro • Posts: 27,030
Re: 12-35 zoom
1

fcna72 wrote:

Agree with all the positive comments made earlier. I'd add the following:

+excellent sharpness, better than 14/45 and miles better than 14/42x when zooming in where the double blur was an issue at the known speed... very versatile, only swapped it sometimes with the 45-175x but I don't use the 20mm anymore
+excellent OIS, up to 1/2 sec handheld at 12mm

-flare is often an issue so one needs to be careful when shooting towards the sun

-for some reason my battery life has dropped significantly compares to the 14-42x on my GX1. I have tried 3 separates OEM batteries and battery life has gone done from 500-600 photos to 400-500, ie close to a 20% drop....I have trouble explaining this since the 14-42x is powered by a motor while the 12-35 is handpowered. I am wondering if this could be due to the powerful OIS system...

With the lens hood on I've had no real issues with flare, in fact it seems very flare resistant to me. I'm not disputing your experience it's just that I haven't had any issues with it. My 7-14mm is far worse ( to be expected to be honest ).
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fcna72 Regular Member • Posts: 230
Re: 12-35 zoom

papillon_65 wrote:

fcna72 wrote:

Agree with all the positive comments made earlier. I'd add the following:

+excellent sharpness, better than 14/45 and miles better than 14/42x when zooming in where the double blur was an issue at the known speed... very versatile, only swapped it sometimes with the 45-175x but I don't use the 20mm anymore
+excellent OIS, up to 1/2 sec handheld at 12mm

-flare is often an issue so one needs to be careful when shooting towards the sun

-for some reason my battery life has dropped significantly compares to the 14-42x on my GX1. I have tried 3 separates OEM batteries and battery life has gone done from 500-600 photos to 400-500, ie close to a 20% drop....I have trouble explaining this since the 14-42x is powered by a motor while the 12-35 is handpowered. I am wondering if this could be due to the powerful OIS system...

With the lens hood on I've had no real issues with flare, in fact it seems very flare resistant to me. I'm not disputing your experience it's just that I haven't had any issues with it. My 7-14mm is far worse ( to be expected to be honest ).
--
Any problem on earth can be solved by a well aimed Pomegranate...
Tony
http://the-random-photographer.blogspot.com/

it is a fair point, I have never tried to use the hood to compensate for flare. Good advice, thanks

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
fcna72 Regular Member • Posts: 230
Re: 12-35 zoom

Robiro wrote:

fcna72 wrote:

I am wondering if this could be due to the powerful OIS system...

Definitely the OIS.

hummm - but why the 14-42x, which also had the same generation (yet less effective OIS) didn't get so much impacted ?

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Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7
papillon_65
papillon_65 Forum Pro • Posts: 27,030
Re: 12-35 zoom

fcna72 wrote:

papillon_65 wrote:

fcna72 wrote:

Agree with all the positive comments made earlier. I'd add the following:

+excellent sharpness, better than 14/45 and miles better than 14/42x when zooming in where the double blur was an issue at the known speed... very versatile, only swapped it sometimes with the 45-175x but I don't use the 20mm anymore
+excellent OIS, up to 1/2 sec handheld at 12mm

-flare is often an issue so one needs to be careful when shooting towards the sun

-for some reason my battery life has dropped significantly compares to the 14-42x on my GX1. I have tried 3 separates OEM batteries and battery life has gone done from 500-600 photos to 400-500, ie close to a 20% drop....I have trouble explaining this since the 14-42x is powered by a motor while the 12-35 is handpowered. I am wondering if this could be due to the powerful OIS system...

With the lens hood on I've had no real issues with flare, in fact it seems very flare resistant to me. I'm not disputing your experience it's just that I haven't had any issues with it. My 7-14mm is far worse ( to be expected to be honest ).
--
Any problem on earth can be solved by a well aimed Pomegranate...
Tony
http://the-random-photographer.blogspot.com/

it is a fair point, I have never tried to use the hood to compensate for flare. Good advice, thanks

No probs, you had me scratching my head to be honest, but if you weren't using the hood then that would probably explain it. I've only noticed flare in one shot in all the ones I've taken (which co-incidentally was yesterday) and even then it was only minimal and shooting into very bright light. I believe Panasonic use a specific coating to deal with it and it seems to work very well.
--
Any problem on earth can be solved by a well aimed Pomegranate...
Tony
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Adventsam Veteran Member • Posts: 4,983
Re:Could be the 12-35 is the best 24-70 out there?

the canon comparison makes you think?
http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/06/a-weekend-with-the-panasonic-12-35-f2-8

dotborg wrote:

So, those of you that have the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8, what do you thin of it? How is the image quality? How is the operation of it?

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schirmer Regular Member • Posts: 443
Re: 12-35 zoom

fcna72 wrote:

Robiro wrote:

fcna72 wrote:

I am wondering if this could be due to the powerful OIS system...

Definitely the OIS.

hummm - but why the 14-42x, which also had the same generation (yet less effective OIS) didn't get so much impacted ?

Faster lens thus larger lens elements to be moved requiring more power. Maybe even the general power has been increased to avoid shutter vibration issues.

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