Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 over Olympus 40-150 f2.8?

Started Dec 16, 2015 | Discussions
Robiro Veteran Member • Posts: 6,777
Re: Mine is not soft at 100mm f/2.8.

daddyo wrote:

Every lens made has a peak sharpness point, but there is no appreciable softness with my 35-100mm at full zoom, wide open. Is it sharper at f/4? Yes it is, but not to the extent that it would be noticeable at any size at a normal viewing distance.

Just one example, and I have many more:

Yes, it may be little bit soft, but perfectly usable. Here is my 93mm f2.8 sample shot:

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Martin Ocando
MOD Martin Ocando Veteran Member • Posts: 6,349
Re: Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 over Olympus 40-150 f2.8?
1

Adamant wrote:

Reach is something you don't think you'll need until you get it. Then you can't live without it. I'm surprised at how frequently I shoot at 100-150mm with the Olympus.

Agree, but the lack of reach also makes you take decisions and try to move closer to the subject, whenever possible. Although I understand sometimes is simply not possible.

I'm also considering both lenses, but I'm leaning towards the 35-100mm, simply because I'll need another camera bag for the 40-150mm, and it will simply break my back. Or I'll have to leave it at home, and take it when doing the kind of photography I need it for. So, it kind of is like when I was shooting with a Canon 60D. It was so big, that stayed at home more often than not. And more than once, I might think I wouldn't need it, and turns out I do, so at home won't do any good.

I just did a size comparison, and the 35-100 is around half an inch taller than the 12-40, so it will fit in the same compartment I have my 40-150mm 4-5.6 lens on. No need for a new bag, and still I can take it with me all day.

Besides, if I need the extra reach, I'll still have the cheap zoom, although slower.

I think there is no contest here

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Martin
"One of the biggest mistakes a photographer can make is to look at the real world and cling to the vain hope that next time his film will somehow bear a closer resemblance to it" - Galen Rowell

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jim stirling
jim stirling Veteran Member • Posts: 7,356
Re: Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 over Olympus 40-150 f2.8?
2

pxchoi wrote:

I think the Olympus 40-150 looks great on paper but after looking at the sample images, I'm not sure if I'm convinced. In my personal opinion, I feel like the out of focus areas in the Panasonic lens is far better than the Olympus. In certain situation, the out of focus blur just looks terrible.

The extra reach would be nice, but the Panasonic lens is so much smaller.

Am I crazy to think that the Panasonic is the better lens here? - if you don't need the extra range.

The Panasonic suits my needs better and it is a very good performer . I seldom shoot above 200mm { equivelent FF AOV} so the extra weight bulk and expense makes the Oly less appealing to me though it is also a great lens no doubt about it.

The 35-100mm F/2.8 is small enough to carry around in your bag and covers the range I need , the 40-150 mm F/2.8 is drifting towards the "specialist " category for me a lens I would only take if I was specifically shooting certain subjects .

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Frasier Krane Contributing Member • Posts: 510
Better bokeh...
3

pxchoi wrote:

I think the Olympus 40-150 looks great on paper but after looking at the sample images, I'm not sure if I'm convinced. In my personal opinion, I feel like the out of focus areas in the Panasonic lens is far better than the Olympus. In certain situation, the out of focus blur just looks terrible.

The 35-100 definitely has better OOF blur.

http://www.photozone.de/m43/852_panasonic35100f28?start=1

http://www.photozone.de/m43/945_olympus40150f28pro?start=1

It's not even close really. And you can actually generalize this among Panasonic vs. Olympus premium zooms. The 12-35 also has much better bokeh than the 12-40.

http://www.lenstip.com/392.7-Lens_review-Olympus_M.Zuiko_Digital_12-40_mm_f_2.8_ED_PRO_Coma__astigmatism_and_bokeh.html
http://www.lenstip.com/367.7-Lens_review-Panasonic_G_X_VARIO_12-35_mm_f_2.8_ASPH._P.O.I.S_Coma__astigmatism_and_bokeh.html

Again, I would say the Panny is much better here.

Other people have mentioned that the Panny softens a little at 100mm f/2.8. Some of the reviews have noted this. But if you look at the DxO tests, the Panny actually reaches its absolute sharpest at 100mm f/4. This is sharper than any other FL or aperture. So just stopping down a little "fixes" it and it's clear that there are no major optical issues at 100mm.

Similarly, the Oly 40-150 Pro softens at 150mm f/2.8. But I don't know how well this corrects on stopping down. I'm not saying it doesn't but DxO didn't test this lens, so it's tough to do comparisons. The 40-150 Pro may be sharper than the Panny at 100mm f/2.8 though.

It should also be noted that the 35-100 is sharper in the corners at its widest angle than the Oly lens. The Oly doesn't have good corner sharpness at 40mm, although it improves as you increase the FL.

The extra reach would be nice, but the Panasonic lens is so much smaller.

Am I crazy to think that the Panasonic is the better lens here? - if you don't need the extra range.

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larsbc Forum Pro • Posts: 15,919
Re: Sample variation?
2

Jorginho wrote:

Chippy99 wrote:

The Panasonic is a great lens, but do be aware that at the very long end and at f/2.8, it is a bit soft. It's about the only flaw the lens has, but you should be aware of it. If you are planning on using the lens under those conditions, and you are wavering between the Panasonic and Olympus glass, you'd definitely be better off with the Olympus.

I haven't noticed it but I think I have heard about it before. Is this a characteristic or sample variation?

I tried two 35-100/2.8's and they were both soft at 100mm, f/2.8, at portrait distances. Another weakness is that with some of the Panasonic cameras, when shooting video, the 35-100/2.8 OIS creates micro-jitters. But I still kept the 2nd 35-100/2.8 because a) the softness wasn't a deal-breaker...the results were still quite acceptable and b) I moved 100% into micro four thirds for the small size and light weight; the Oly 40-150/2.8 was beyond what I would consider for a lens that I would carry all day.

Several months later I have no regrets. It is a great mix of small size and performance. For video, I can use Adobe Premiere's warp stabilization too to clean up jitter or use it with my EM5 II. The f/2.8 softness I can live with. I only swapped lenses because I wanted to see if this was typical or if I had a bad lens. On our last vacation, I carried the Panasonic 12-35 and 35-100 mounted on two bodies (GX7, EM 5II) plus a couple of other lenses in my sling bag every day. No problems with my back, and that's why I love m43.

I think the reach of the Oly as some have noted does come in really handy. With the TC it is actually a whole different lens altogether.

The TC and the fact that it focuses fairly close does make the 40-150 appealing and I did give it some thought.

Also the attention Oly gave to this lens in buildquality is even better. The lenshood is done so well.

That I'm not so sure about. I read some complaints the hood failing. And I haven't noticed any posts that suggest that the 35-100 is inferior in build quality to the 40-150.

This brings up something I've noticed in this forum. A lot of people say how good Olympus' build quality is but I think what they're really admiring is the tactile quality and weight of their products. If you're talking about build quality as a measure of durability and reliability, then I don't know how you can evaluate that without looking inside the product and reviewing its history. I mention this because I've seen a number of posts talking about mechanical/software failures with Olympus cameras in this forum. I've also seen people say that a Panasonic camera feels like a toy when compared to an Olympus but I've also seen far fewer complaints about failures in Panasonics.

I don't want to turn this into an Oly vs Panny sub-thread and I do understand that lots of complaints in a forum aren't a statistically valid way of establishing the reliability of a product. But it should also be understood that you can't judge durability based on how the product feels in your hand. Roger Cicala of Lens Rentals made this point recently when he did a tear-down of Canon's latest pro 35mm lens:

"I have rolled my eyes for years when people say a lens is "Built like a tank" because it has a heavy metal shell. Then we open it up and see the insides are tiny little screws and weak nylon collars set in thin sheet metal helicoids. That kind of 'built like a tank' is probably useful if you want your lens to stop a bullet, but doesn't make the lens reliable."

He then goes on to say,

"This is my kind of built like a tank. There is a flexible polycarbonate shell over a very solid metal core with really heavy-duty rollers, screws, and bearings. That's a logical way to build things; make the core the strongest part, not the shell."

The full article is here: http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2015/12/canon-35mm-f1-4-mk-ii-teardown

The TL;DR from my rant is this: you can't judge the quality of something by feel.

(Jorginho: this reply wasn't directed at you, you just gave me a springboard that launched me off into this tangent)

woodybrown
woodybrown Regular Member • Posts: 453
Re: Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 over Olympus 40-150 f2.8?
1

The differences have been pretty well covered in the thread so far but one  was not mentioned: the 40-150 can close focus at 28" vs 34" for the 35-100.

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larsbc Forum Pro • Posts: 15,919
Re: Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 over Olympus 40-150 f2.8?
2

jim stirling wrote:

The 35-100mm F/2.8 is small enough to carry around in your bag and covers the range I need , the 40-150 mm F/2.8 is drifting towards the "specialist " category for me a lens I would only take if I was specifically shooting certain subjects .

That's a good way of describing it, a "specialist" lens.  That's what my 70-200/2.8 VR was like when I had my Nikon system.  A wonderful, beautiful lens that performed amazingly well.  But I rarely used it because I only brought it with me when I knew ahead of time that I'd need it.  And I certainly never brought it on vacation or camping.  It was just too much of a weight and bulk investment.

In comparison, my 35-100/2.8 is part of my default lens set when I bring my camera bag anywhere.  I didn't get the 40-150/2.8 because I didn't want to end up with another specialist lens when I entered the micro four thirds system.

Gary from Seattle Veteran Member • Posts: 3,572
If you hike at all it's a no brainer
2

The 35-100 is so compact for a lens of it's range it is a no brainer versus the 40-150. I often carry three lenses and on some trips, especially with opportunities for wildlife or majestic peaks I wouldn't be caught without the 35-100.

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dv312
dv312 Veteran Member • Posts: 8,637
Re: Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 over Olympus 40-150 f2.8?

pxchoi wrote:

I think the Olympus 40-150 looks great on paper but after looking at the sample images, I'm not sure if I'm convinced. In my personal opinion, I feel like the out of focus areas in the Panasonic lens is far better than the Olympus. In certain situation, the out of focus blur just looks terrible.

The extra reach would be nice, but the Panasonic lens is so much smaller.

Am I crazy to think that the Panasonic is the better lens here? - if you don't need the extra range.

The operative word here is "if you don't need the extra range"

Yes, it's small, light, and sharp

The Oly bokeh could be a bit fussy at times ( I wish for better one, like on the 75mm)

But its range + extender use makes it a more versatile lens

I ended up selling the Lumix in favor of the Oly due to this

Like you said , if the 2 were of the same range , the Lumix would do

Cheers,

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Chippy99 Senior Member • Posts: 2,124
Re: Mine is not soft at 100mm f/2.8.
1

daddyo wrote:

Every lens made has a peak sharpness point, but there is no appreciable softness with my 35-100mm at full zoom, wide open. Is it sharper at f/4? Yes it is, but not to the extent that it would be noticeable at any size at a normal viewing distance.

Just one example, and I have many more:

I don't disagree that the softness is manageable, but it is noticeable and markedly worse than at all other focal lengths and apertures.

And by the way (please don't be offended by this) what on earth is the point in trying to demonstrate sharpness by uploading a 1 megapixel 180k jpeg?

I could have taken that with an iPhone 2.

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Albert Valentino Veteran Member • Posts: 7,830
My 2 cents - third option
1

I am not a m4/3 user but am eyeing the system for down the road switch to a Oly OM1 markII.... So to that end I have been eyeing the lens selection and the decision between these two lens is tricky with pro's and con's of each. To that end I also throw a third option into the mix that seems like a viable way to go. This option comes from a person that likes to shoot landscapes and hikes and camps - which means keep the size and weight down. Yet also wants long reach for the occasional bird shot and zoo visit.

So considering the above I have a third option in the back of my mind considering the 35-100 is nice and small, and the Oly more versatile with more reach - which I know i will miss!!!! So to that end perhaps investing in two lens, the Pan 35-100 f/2.8 for carrying around due to size and weight. Plus the slower Oly 70-300 markii. The thinking is that this two lens combo offers the both the reach and the convienence for the price of the Oly Pro 40-150 + 1.4x TC. I understand that the 70-300 is very sharp up to 220mm (same range but is best used on a tripod and still subjects), and the 35-100 f/2.8 can remain in my bag with a 12-40 f/2.8.

Anyway, just my 2 cents

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Albert

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Bobby J Veteran Member • Posts: 4,878
Re: Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 over Olympus 40-150 f2.8?
2

I own both lenses and I concur with your observations.  I think the bokeh of the 40x150 leaves a lot to be desired in certain situations.  If you are close to the subject the bokeh is OK.  If you are a bit further away you can get "double lines" in the bokeh.  My 50x200 SWD 4:3 lens had the same problem.  Both are excellent lenses otherwise.

My tiny little 35x100 Panasonic is amazing.  It is every bit as sharp as my Oly 40x150, maybe even better.  Bokeh has never been a problem.  Only girpe I have on this lens is that it has poor close focus ability which is rare in this modern era of zoom lenses.  Otherwise it is supburb.

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BJM

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Bobby J Veteran Member • Posts: 4,878
Re: Al, have a look at Robin Wong's blog.

He has an excellent practical review of the 75x300.  It perfectly explains the lens, and duplicates my experience with that lens as well.  It's much better than many people realize.

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BJM

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DLBlack Forum Pro • Posts: 13,968
Re: If you hike at all it's a no brainer
1

I am a hiker and I own both the Panasonic 35-100 F2.8 and the Olympus 40-150 F2.8.  When I am out on a photo-hike I have the 40-150 F2.8 with me for its more versatility (extra reach and closer focusing).  I just never know when I will need the extra reach to isolate a subject in a landscape photo or a wild animal.  Taking the 40-150 F2.8 saves me weight since I am saved from bringing along the 75-300 lens for those extra reach times.  When I am in town out to dinner and around town and absolutely know I don't need the extra reach I will pack the 35-100 F2.8 since I do love its size.

Anyhow, it is nice to have the choice  of these two excellent lenses.  Each person has their own style and having tow companies gives one a better selection of lenses.

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NCV
NCV Veteran Member • Posts: 9,367
Re: If you hike at all it's a no brainer
2

Gary from Seattle wrote:

The 35-100 is so compact for a lens of it's range it is a no brainer versus the 40-150. I often carry three lenses and on some trips, especially with opportunities for wildlife or majestic peaks I wouldn't be caught without the 35-100.

The thought of hauling the 40 150 up a mountain makes me wince and think of the bad old days with the D300 and 3 2.8 lenses.

I too find the 35 100 great for hiking. I hate arriving at destination knackered. Ones photography suffers.

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daddyo Forum Pro • Posts: 12,670
Re: Mine is not soft at 100mm f/2.8.
1

"And by the way (please don't be offended by this) what on earth is the point in trying to demonstrate sharpness by uploading a 1 megapixel 180k jpeg?

I could have taken that with an iPhone 2."

Well, because (and don't be offended by this) if an image looks sharp on my computer at 1MP @ 180kb it sure as heck isn't going to get fuzzy and soft if I include the original missing 8 MP to the image.

The prevailing notion that web sized images do not reflect the actual sharpness of an image just because pixels have been eliminated is absurd.

But just to prove my point, here is the 100% crop from the original file (and since this is a section of a roughly 50 in. X 40 in. image, why not back off a couple inches from your computer screen to view it.)

And no, you could not have taking this with your iPhone.

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DLBlack Forum Pro • Posts: 13,968
Re: If you hike at all it's a no brainer

NCV wrote:

Gary from Seattle wrote:

The 35-100 is so compact for a lens of it's range it is a no brainer versus the 40-150. I often carry three lenses and on some trips, especially with opportunities for wildlife or majestic peaks I wouldn't be caught without the 35-100.

The thought of hauling the 40 150 up a mountain makes me wince and think of the bad old days with the D300 and 3 2.8 lenses.

I too find the 35 100 great for hiking. I hate arriving at destination knackered. Ones photography suffers.

For me if I was hiking with the Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 and would also have the 75-300 F4.?-6.7 with me and those two lenses together is even more weight than the 40-150 F2.8.  Plus I would most likely also have my 60 f2.8 macro with me.  So for me the 12-40 F2.8 and the 40-150 F2.8 along with the 1.4xTC is perfect for a hike.  It will take me from FF equivalent of 24mm to 420mm.  The 40-150 F2.8 has very close focusing ability so I will not pack my macro.  So those two lenses would cover nearly all my expected and unexpected situations and weight less than I would take if I had the 35-100 F2.8 in my normal hiking kit.  I am all into saving weight and the 40-150 f2.8 helps be save weight.

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Robiro Veteran Member • Posts: 6,777
Re: Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 over Olympus 40-150 f2.8?
1

Bobby J wrote:

Only girpe I have on this lens is that it has poor close focus ability which is rare in this modern era of zoom lenses. Otherwise it is supburb.

Any extension tube with electronic contacts easily solves this. Once you put it in between the lens and the body, the 35-100mm turns into a heck of a macro lens.

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Skeeterbytes Forum Pro • Posts: 16,335
Re: Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 over Olympus 40-150 f2.8?
2

I skipped the Lumix 35-100 and went with the ZD35-100/2, which was on par pricewise at the time. The Zuiko seems particularly better at 100mm in addition to the extra stop, and renders impeccable backgrounds. Now that the 40-150 Pro is out the Lumix price has dropped and it's a much better value. But this soccer season I swapped out the SHG for the 40-150 Pro, both for the extra reach and the much faster response on the E-M1. Those qualities get me a higher rate of keepers than anything else I've yet used.

Cheers,

Rick

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Albert Valentino Veteran Member • Posts: 7,830
Re: Al, have a look at Robin Wong's blog.

Bobby J wrote:

He has an excellent practical review of the 75x300. It perfectly explains the lens, and duplicates my experience with that lens as well. It's much better than many people realize.

I have read his blog and am often amazed at how clean and sharp his results are. Plus he often states that all he uses is the Olympic software for raw work.

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Albert

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