Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)

Started Apr 3, 2013 | Discussions
Jorginho Forum Pro • Posts: 13,656
Well said. Complete agreement.

No text.

 Jorginho's gear list:Jorginho's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS +8 more
zonesey New Member • Posts: 1
Re: Hiking at night

Only on the m43 forum does everyone hike at night.

I hike during the day, I've never needed f/2.8 lenses in order to take sharp pictures.

All I do is hike at night and that's why I'm getting a GH3 with the 12-35mm f/2.8 kit lens

Najinsky Veteran Member • Posts: 5,739
Very depressing
3

The lengths some of you go to to twist and over exaggerate peoples words so you can attack them, rather than accept a small criticism is really starting to kill my enjoyment of the forums.

All I said was the drop in performance from 100/4 to 100/2.8 is a little steeper than I think it should be for a premium priced lens. Another owner has commented the same, and Roger Cicala from lens rentals expressed the same:

"There was a slightly different story at 100mm, though, where resolution dropped significantly (100mm mtf 50 is 86% of what it is at 35mm, hence the article title). This is still good, but it’s not what I was hoping for. I’ve already got a sharp f/2.8 zoom at 35mm. The difference is worth showing in chart form since it’s quite consistent with all 7 copies I tested."

If you genuinely believe it is physically impossible to improve on this without creating a $3,000 1.3KG monster, that's fine, sit tight one day your world will be rocked, in a nice way.

But deep down you probably know this lens could have been a bit better wide open, and rather than accept a small but justified criticism of the lens you instead set about exaggerating my opinion so you can then attack it.

And that, I really find it quite depressing.

-Najinsky

Marty4650 wrote:

Najinsky wrote:

Canon EF 70-200/4L USM - $700 - Check out it's optical performance. It's superb.

Canon EF 70-200/4L IS USM - $1,100 - Even better.

.

The Panasonic 35-100 is $1,500. It should be a bit better than it is. Nothing to do with being a perfectionist, just comparing it to the standards set by it competitors and one of my most used lenses. And certainly not ridiculous to expect excellent performance all round from a lens of this price.

If it were $900, I'd forgive the reduced (though still good) F/2.8 performance. But at $1,500 I'm less forgiving.

I get your point, but you are missing one important fact.

It is physically impossible for a M4/3 lens to be "as good" as full frame lens at the same or similar price. Because the sensor is 1/4th as large, you would need a much faster M4/3 lens, and then it will become much more expensive and much larger. And then you will be upset about that.

You seem to be unhappy about the cost of the Panasonic 35-100mm lens, and say "if it was cheaper" but you are asking for a more expensive lens design. This just won't happen in our lifetimes.

Do you recall how LARGE and HEAVY the 4/3 35-100mm lens is?

The Olympus 35-100mm lens costs almost twice as much and weighs three times as much. But it is a much better lens. Is this what you want?

When you selected a M4/3 system you made a compromise that everyone else who selected that system made.  You chose reasonably good performance with a smaller size and weight at a reasonable cost rather than the absolute best performance with no regard for price or weight.

If you really need the absolute best lens then the best solution for you is to stick with full frame.

If you can tolerate almost as good, then M4/3 might be for you.

Jorginho Forum Pro • Posts: 13,656
Re: Very depressing

Well, I know Marty a little and he is not defensive at all. Instead of pointing at others, reread what you wrote first and than try to understand how that comes across to others. That is what I find so many times "I don't understand it" means "that person is stupid, shortsightened, bad, evil etc". Just try to understand others, I know it is much more difficult to do than judge them.

I don't own any of those two lenses, I am not defensive towards mFTs and see its shortcoming etc but I agree with Marty that what you write is simply not very realistic for the reasons he gave. That is all.

What you want is what Marty described and it is not possible for the reasons he gave. Indeed, look at the 35-100 f2 Oly lens. Now for m43s it can be made a bit smaller, but not much. It won't sell all too well probably, because it defeats the purpose of the system for too many people, let alone the steep price. Now if there comes a 43/m43 hybrid body (rumoured) that does do PDAF exceptionally well they can use that lens and smaller lenses on hopefully a compact but ergonomically sane body, so you can pay 2400 dollar and have that fantastic lens.

 Jorginho's gear list:Jorginho's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS +8 more
Najinsky Veteran Member • Posts: 5,739
Re: Very depressing

Jorginho wrote:

Well, I know Marty a little and he is not defensive at all. Instead of pointing at others, reread what you wrote first and than try to understand how that comes across to others. That is what I find so many times "I don't understand it" means "that person is stupid, shortsightened, bad, evil etc". Just try to understand others, I know it is much more difficult to do than judge them.

I don't own any of those two lenses, I am not defensive towards mFTs and see its shortcoming etc but I agree with Marty that what you write is simply not very realistic for the reasons he gave. That is all.

What you want is what Marty described and it is not possible for the reasons he gave.

I realise you mean well, but you're guilty of not following your own advice about reading what is written. You're making wild assumptions about 'what I want" to suit your own agenda/pov.

I know what I wrote, it's there for all to see, in the subject of my first post.

"No, not quite"

And in the body:

"The 35-100 measured bit weak at 100/F2.8 (see lensrentls measurements)

The scores are by no means Bad, and by F/4 both are performing very well, so they are both excellent lenses. But for premium glass, I feel they should be performing a bit better wide open, and therefore are both a bit overpriced."

But by the time you guys get hold of it, "It's totally unrealistic, ridiculous perfectionism..." for me to want...:

"for premium glass, I feel they should be performing a bit better wide open"

  • not quite
  • a bit better wide open

That's all. No magic, no physical laws left in shreds.

You're in a public space, with your words sealed for history. I literally have no idea why you guys feel you can twist and change others opinions to suit your current motives, and think the people reading will be blind to it. Did I miss the sign at the forum entrance say "please check-in all rationality here, it will be returned when you leave".

-Najinsky

Indeed, look at the 35-100 f2 Oly lens. Now for m43s it can be made a bit smaller, but not much. It won't sell all too well probably, because it defeats the purpose of the system for too many people, let alone the steep price. Now if there comes a 43/m43 hybrid body (rumoured) that does do PDAF exceptionally well they can use that lens and smaller lenses on hopefully a compact but ergonomically sane body, so you can pay 2400 dollar and have that fantastic lens.

Dr_Jon Veteran Member • Posts: 4,730
Re: You're being ridiculously perfectionist

I'd agree with you about the f2.8, but the 35-100 is great at f4 and there isn't really any competition for a high quality m43 zoom at those focal lengths. So while it does seem somewhat overpriced (as I said before, it seems perhaps 20% to me, but that's just me) if it's what you want it's the only game in town. Plus they can charge what they like and people have to make their mind up what that means to them.

I'd say the 12-35 is in slightly weaker territory as the edges aren't so hot, possibly due to software distortion correction but I don't care how they got that way, and there's lots of prime options.

 Dr_Jon's gear list:Dr_Jon's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W3 Sony RX100 V Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Canon EOS 5DS R Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH +25 more
Daniel Lauring
Daniel Lauring Veteran Member • Posts: 9,263
Re: Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)

It depends on whether you "need" them.  They are the only straight F2.8 game in town and therefore you have to pay to play.  I am concerned a better lens will come and severely devalue them, but I wanted the speed now and the quality is very good.

If I had my druthers, I'd want a 12-42 F2.8 (the little extra reach would make it more useful for me.)  I'd also like to see a straight F2 to get me to F4 full frame DOF equivalency, but, of course, that would be a bigger lens.

CovRr Junior Member • Posts: 30
Re: Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)
4

Amazes me how some people deride lenses based simply on the fact that they don't have a use for it themselves and can't envisage that someone else does.

Even worse, use "wedding photographer" as a term of abuse to describe anyone who has the temerity to buy anything but a prime lens.

Childish guys, childish.

Jorginho Forum Pro • Posts: 13,656
Re: Very depressing

first of all: I am not perfect at all and indeed do the same thing. I said it is easier to do so (judging). When someone does not understand me, I reread my messages sometiems and sometimes Ihave the sam kneejerk reaction like most of us

The point is this phrase:

"The Panasonic 35-100 is $1,500. It should be a bit better than it is. Nothing to do with being a perfectionist, just comparing it to the standards set by it competitors and one of my most used lenses. And certainly not ridiculous to expect excellent performance all round from a lens of this price."

But there is no real competitor. We jump to another system to compare. If I am correct, the Canon/Nikon f2.8 lenses cost a lot more at the 70-200 mm focal length. I saw 2300 dollars or so.

And it is not perfect at all, even at that price. Dpreview on it:

  • Pronounced focus 'breathing', i.e. widening of the angle of view on focusing closer
  • Reduced maximum magnification compared to previous version
  • Somewhat susceptible to flare with direct light sources in or close to the frame
  • Poorly-designed lens hood - too shallow, and with curved ends
  • Slightly fiddly AF and VR switches
  • AF stop buttons removed (and replaced by occasionally-confusing cosmetic grip)

Flare. Fiddly AF. For such a lens? It is not perfect. So why do you expect a 35-100 mm f2.8 lens that costs 1/3 less to be perfect? Or much better than it is?

"If it were $900, I'd forgive the reduced (though still good) F/2.8 performance. But at $1,500 I'm less forgiving."

Which lens can compare I wonder? Not anything Oly produced, because that was f2.0 and costed alot more. I looked at the Tamron f2.8 70-200. It is only 770 dollars. It got high grades for optical performance, but still it is not great at the middle part of the zoomrange. It has no weathersealing, it has no image stablisation! and it weighs 4 times what that panny weighs. So Panny should produce this lens, with weathersealing and OIS for only 130 dollar more? TO me that is unrealistic.
The latest Sigma equivalent of the Tamron, with OIS, AF but NO weathersealing and costs 1800 dollar and it gets very good (not excellent, but almost) scores by dpreview. And it is not sharp at f2.8 and needs to stop down. At 200 mm at f2.8, only the very centre is critically sharp. In general, f4 to f8 renders the best results...How is that any better than what we hear about the 35-100 f2.8? It even has no weathersealing and it is still 300 dollars more nor does it have good f2.8 sharpness.

Another aproach: the 75 mm f1.8 Oly. Costs 900 dollars. Not weathersealed. Excellent sharpness, no image stablisation, no zoom. So a 35-100 f2.8, being slower but much more versatile and rugged than this lens can only cost the same?

So compared to real, somewhat comparable products the 35-100 f2.8 or other products that canbe had at 900 dollars it  does not seem to be too price or too poor for what it delivers, even though a direct comparison is difficult because there does not seem to be a directly comparable lens.

 Jorginho's gear list:Jorginho's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS +8 more
sigala1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,818
Canon 70-200 f4 L

Najinsky wrote:

Canon EF 70-200/4L USM - $700 - Check out it's optical performance. It's superb.

Canon EF 70-200/4L IS USM - $1,100 - Even better.

.

The Panasonic 35-100 is $1,500. It should be a bit better than it is. Nothing to do with being a perfectionist, just comparing it to the standards set by it competitors and one of my most used lenses. And certainly not ridiculous to expect excellent performance all round from a lens of this price.

If it were $900, I'd forgive the reduced (though still good) F/2.8 performance. But at $1,500 I'm less forgiving.

-Najinsky

I agree that the Canon 70-200 f4 L is a better value, if you happen to own a full-frame canon camera and don't mind that it weighs twice as much as the Panasonic.

If you want to be a wedding photographer, maybe you are better off investing in a Canon 6D.

But if you already own an E-M5 or something like that, it's cheaper to just buy the Panasonic 35-100 instead of buying a whole new system.

OP zenpmd Senior Member • Posts: 1,130
Re: Very depressing

The issue is the format. We usethe pana not just for its speed buts its shallower dof - on 4/3 you cannot afford to stop down much before it lost...

OP zenpmd Senior Member • Posts: 1,130
Re: Very depressing

So in other wordsm m43 requires more performance wide open than 43 obvioiusly does

ryan2007 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,001
Re: Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)

zenpmd wrote:

Buying them together is just such a lot of money. But imaging the possiblities of the two together is just mind blowing for the size and quality.

What is everyone elses thoughts, and who is waiting for Olympus are about to offer? As far as I know there is no plan for a zoom like the 35-100 2.8, just the shorter zoom, which is sadly not as wide as the Panasonic but might be smaller (due to the lack of IS) and hopefully won't have the CA that it suffers from on the Oly.

Yours thoughts most welcome!

Just traveled to the Caribbean (cruise) with the GH-3, 12-35, 35-100, 7-14 and 25 1.4.  The 12-35 got 98% use as a main lens. The 35-100 & 7-14 not as much and I never needed the 25 1.4.

I used my Metz 50 AF-1 98% of the time and I also have a very compact flash bracket that came in handy with the Gary Fong Collapsible light sphere.

For all beach and water related stuff I have the Olympus TG-1 with wide angle lens attachment. Depending on the evening plans I used both the TG-1 and GH-3 with the 12-35, not at the same time, just depending on plans.

I had assorted filters that I never used.

So yes, fast zoom lens are 100% better when you are in the move and with a group. No one wants to wait for a lens change, you have to get the shot/moment or just accept the lens you have and make do with what ever limitation it has. Meaning if you can not fill the frame the way you want.

I would really have liked a fast 2.8  12mm - 55 mm, the 24-120 2.8 would have been nice as a main lens.

josbiker
josbiker Contributing Member • Posts: 929
Re: Very depressing

Jorginho wrote:

first of all: I am not perfect at all and indeed do the same thing. I said it is easier to do so (judging). When someone does not understand me, I reread my messages sometiems and sometimes Ihave the sam kneejerk reaction like most of us

The point is this phrase:

"The Panasonic 35-100 is $1,500. It should be a bit better than it is. Nothing to do with being a perfectionist, just comparing it to the standards set by it competitors and one of my most used lenses. And certainly not ridiculous to expect excellent performance all round from a lens of this price."

But there is no real competitor. We jump to another system to compare. If I am correct, the Canon/Nikon f2.8 lenses cost a lot more at the 70-200 mm focal length. I saw 2300 dollars or so.

And it is not perfect at all, even at that price. Dpreview on it:

  • Pronounced focus 'breathing', i.e. widening of the angle of view on focusing closer
  • Reduced maximum magnification compared to previous version
  • Somewhat susceptible to flare with direct light sources in or close to the frame
  • Poorly-designed lens hood - too shallow, and with curved ends
  • Slightly fiddly AF and VR switches
  • AF stop buttons removed (and replaced by occasionally-confusing cosmetic grip)

Flare. Fiddly AF. For such a lens? It is not perfect. So why do you expect a 35-100 mm f2.8 lens that costs 1/3 less to be perfect? Or much better than it is?

"If it were $900, I'd forgive the reduced (though still good) F/2.8 performance. But at $1,500 I'm less forgiving."

Which lens can compare I wonder? Not anything Oly produced, because that was f2.0 and costed alot more. I looked at the Tamron f2.8 70-200. It is only 770 dollars. It got high grades for optical performance, but still it is not great at the middle part of the zoomrange. It has no weathersealing, it has no image stablisation! and it weighs 4 times what that panny weighs. So Panny should produce this lens, with weathersealing and OIS for only 130 dollar more? TO me that is unrealistic.
The latest Sigma equivalent of the Tamron, with OIS, AF but NO weathersealing and costs 1800 dollar and it gets very good (not excellent, but almost) scores by dpreview. And it is not sharp at f2.8 and needs to stop down. At 200 mm at f2.8, only the very centre is critically sharp. In general, f4 to f8 renders the best results...How is that any better than what we hear about the 35-100 f2.8? It even has no weathersealing and it is still 300 dollars more nor does it have good f2.8 sharpness.

Another aproach: the 75 mm f1.8 Oly. Costs 900 dollars. Not weathersealed. Excellent sharpness, no image stablisation, no zoom. So a 35-100 f2.8, being slower but much more versatile and rugged than this lens can only cost the same?

So compared to real, somewhat comparable products the 35-100 f2.8 or other products that canbe had at 900 dollars it  does not seem to be too price or too poor for what it delivers, even though a direct comparison is difficult because there does not seem to be a directly comparable lens.

Agree

 josbiker's gear list:josbiker's gear list
Panasonic GH5 Panasonic Lumix G Macro 30mm F2.8 Panasonic Leica 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 ASPH Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH OIS Panasonic Leica 100-400mm F4.0-6.3 ASPH +1 more
Mark B UK Senior Member • Posts: 1,456
Re: Very depressing
1

It seems to me some people are over-complicating this debate.

Many photographers find that two fast, premium-quality zooms covering the equivalent of 24-70 and 70-200 or 210 in FF satisfy a very high percentage of their picture-taking needs, so purchase such optics as their main, or only, lenses.

Currently there is only one pair of products available to meet this need for m43: the Lumix X 12-35 and 35-100 2.8. User and bench tests indicate both deliver generally very high quality, with the proviso that there can be slight corner softness at 12mm with wide apertures on the former and there's a drop-off in resolution wide open at 100mm on the latter. The lenses are also light, weather-sealed and reliable (I haven't seen a single report of a mechanical or electronic failure and hardly any of poor copies or optical misalignment).

While there are rumours that Olympus will produce a competitor to the 12-35 (probably a 12-40 2.8-4), there is no suggestion of anything in the pipeline targeting the 35-100.

Users who are happy to have two lenses from different manufacturers, with different handling and optical characteristics and possibly different filter sizes, perhaps with a slight overlap in focal lengths covered and with no OIS (relevant to Panasonic users) may benefit from waiting to see what Olympus delivers before deciding to get the rumoured Zuiko and the longer of the two Lumixes.

Anyone else who feels that the m43 equivalents of the 24-70 and 70-200 or 210 2.8 zooms that are so popular in FF would be their optimum lens choices has, in my view, nothing to gain from holding off buying the two Lumix optics.

 Mark B UK's gear list:Mark B UK's gear list
Panasonic LX100 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus 12-100mm F4.0 Olympus 25mm F1.2 Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
Steve
Steve Senior Member • Posts: 2,420
Re: Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)
1

ryan2007 wrote:

So yes, fast zoom lens are 100% better when you are in the move and with a group. No one wants to wait for a lens change,

amen !

i went to china in 2006 and was travelling with a tour group which was usually running from one location to the other (2 cruises and on top of that  about a dozen cities in 3 weeks).. thanks to my 'one lens solution' of an 18-200mm ,i was able to get this shot while doing some far away telephoto stuff).. and it made the front cover of a book !.. so i'd love to have a fast zoom(or 2) , rather than a bagful of primes...

 Steve's gear list:Steve's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus PEN-F Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm F4.0-5.6 ASPH OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:1.8
Steve
Steve Senior Member • Posts: 2,420
Re: You're being ridiculously perfectionist

Dr_Jon wrote:

I'd say the 12-35 is in slightly weaker territory as the edges aren't so hot, possibly due to software distortion correction but I don't care how they got that way, and there's lots of prime options.

This may be a stupid question, but if you basically love a lens like this, cant you shoot a bit wider and crop out the corner crappy parts ?. yes, its an extra step but if thats a deal breaker for buying it.. this might do ?

 Steve's gear list:Steve's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus PEN-F Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm F4.0-5.6 ASPH OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:1.8
lester11
lester11 Contributing Member • Posts: 541
Re: Runing the 4/3 Oly 14-54 f2.8 instead

Well, it needs a mft-4/3 adaptor (but I have one anyway), 14 isn't quite as short as 12, 54 is longer than 35 but then its at f3.5, it is a little heavier and bulkier, doesn't have stabilisation (but I'm shooting with the E-M5 so no problem there), and is almost certainly slower to focus.  Don't know about the Panny IQ, but I'd guess the Oly 14-54 is pretty similar, and it kinda ticks the right boxes at a fraction (around 17%) of the new Panny price (£840) if purchased off eBay right now.  Perfectly happy!  But I am still looking out for the 4/3 Oly 14-35 f2 -- serious glass!

-- hide signature --

Lester

 lester11's gear list:lester11's gear list
Olympus E-M5 II Olympus E-M1 II Panasonic Leica D Summilux Asph 25mm F1.4 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm 1:2.8 Macro Olympus 7-14mm F2.8 Pro +9 more
jeffharris
jeffharris Veteran Member • Posts: 8,090
Re: Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)

zenpmd wrote:

Buying them together is just such a lot of money. But imaging the possiblities of the two together is just mind blowing for the size and quality.

What is everyone elses thoughts, and who is waiting for Olympus are about to offer? As far as I know there is no plan for a zoom like the 35-100 2.8, just the shorter zoom, which is sadly not as wide as the Panasonic but might be smaller (due to the lack of IS) and hopefully won't have the CA that it suffers from on the Oly.

Yours thoughts most welcome!

I've not used the 12-35mm or 35-100mm, but I can tell you the 7-14mm constant f4.0 is worth every penny!

 jeffharris's gear list:jeffharris's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 Voigtlander Nokton 17.5mm F0.95 Aspherical Voigtlander Nokton 42.5mm F0.95 +28 more
sigala1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,818
Re: Runing the 4/3 Oly 14-54 f2.8 instead

lester11 wrote:

Well, it needs a mft-4/3 adaptor (but I have one anyway), 14 isn't quite as short as 12, 54 is longer than 35 but then its at f3.5, it is a little heavier and bulkier, doesn't have stabilisation (but I'm shooting with the E-M5 so no problem there), and is almost certainly slower to focus.  Don't know about the Panny IQ, but I'd guess the Oly 14-54 is pretty similar, and it kinda ticks the right boxes at a fraction (around 17%) of the new Panny price (£840) if purchased off eBay right now.  Perfectly happy!  But I am still looking out for the 4/3 Oly 14-35 f2 -- serious glass!

-- hide signature --

Lester

The 14-54 and 12-60 are fine lenses for landscape photography and other static subjects.
Not useful as a wedding photography lens because they lack autofocus, and they are not constant f/2.8 apertures.

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