Panasonic Leica vs Olympus Pro Zooms

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Photoderm Junior Member • Posts: 30
Panasonic Leica vs Olympus Pro Zooms

Why is panasonic releasing variable aperture lenses for their presumably "pro" leica line?  I find this to be a huge disadvantage over the Olympus Pro line.  Is it purely to maintain a smaller profile (they do seem to be a touch smaller/lighter than the olympus pro lenses)?

Does anyone find this to be a disadvantage of these lenses?  I don't shoot the volume that many do on these forums so I am curious about your experiences.

bobn2
bobn2 Forum Pro • Posts: 58,096
Re: Panasonic Leica vs Olympus Pro Zooms
7

Photoderm wrote:

Why is panasonic releasing variable aperture lenses for their presumably "pro" leica line? I find this to be a huge disadvantage over the Olympus Pro line. Is it purely to maintain a smaller profile (they do seem to be a touch smaller/lighter than the olympus pro lenses)?

Does anyone find this to be a disadvantage of these lenses? I don't shoot the volume that many do on these forums so I am curious about your experiences.

Why is it a disadvantage in this day and age? Fixed f-number zooms (of course, the aperture has to change as they zoom to keep the f-number the same) were a convenience in the days when the aperture was controlled mechanically on the lens. Having the f-number change as you zoom meant that you had to change exposure settings as you zoom. These days the f-number is controlled by the camera, and even on a variable f-number zoom, it keeps exposure the same as you zoom, so no problem. The advantage of allowing a smaller f-number at the wide end (where the aperture is small for that f-number) is that you can get a lens which is smaller, lighter and cheaper and gives you more light at the wide end if you want it.

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Tinkety tonk old fruit, & down with the Nazis!
Bob

RobbieBear Senior Member • Posts: 1,514
Re: Panasonic Leica vs Olympus Pro Zooms
3

Photoderm wrote:

Why is panasonic releasing variable aperture lenses for their presumably "pro" leica line? I find this to be a huge disadvantage over the Olympus Pro line. Is it purely to maintain a smaller profile (they do seem to be a touch smaller/lighter than the olympus pro lenses)?

Does anyone find this to be a disadvantage of these lenses? I don't shoot the volume that many do on these forums so I am curious about your experiences.

I have the Oly 12-40 and toyed with the idea of swapping to the PL 12-60 f2.8-4 to gain at the long end.

However,  I discovered that this lens is only really f2.8 at the wide end. As soon as you start to zoom, you lose the f2.8.

I will stick with the Oly and change lenses if I want to go longer.

 RobbieBear's gear list:RobbieBear's gear list
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Astrotripper Veteran Member • Posts: 6,180
Re: Panasonic Leica vs Olympus Pro Zooms
3

Photoderm wrote:

Why is panasonic releasing variable aperture lenses for their presumably "pro" leica line?

Coz they already have a pro line with constant f/2.8 zooms. Which are also smaller and lighter that Olympus ones.

I find this to be a huge disadvantage over the Olympus Pro line.

That's why they also offer you those constant f/2.8 alternatives.

Is it purely to maintain a smaller profile (they do seem to be a touch smaller/lighter than the olympus pro lenses)?

In case of 12-60, you get 50% more on the long end, without a noticeable increase in size or weight over the Olympus 12-40. In fact, it still weighs less.

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RobbieBear Senior Member • Posts: 1,514
Re: Panasonic Leica vs Olympus Pro Zooms

Astrotripper wrote:

Photoderm wrote:

Why is panasonic releasing variable aperture lenses for their presumably "pro" leica line?

Coz they already have a pro line with constant f/2.8 zooms. Which are also smaller and lighter that Olympus ones.

I find this to be a huge disadvantage over the Olympus Pro line.

That's why they also offer you those constant f/2.8 alternatives.

Is it purely to maintain a smaller profile (they do seem to be a touch smaller/lighter than the olympus pro lenses)?

In case of 12-60, you get 50% more on the long end, without a noticeable increase in size or weight over the Olympus 12-40. In fact, it still weighs less.

All of the FL gain though is at f4. Ok for some, but not for others.

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JimSocks Regular Member • Posts: 240
Re: Panasonic Leica vs Olympus Pro Zooms

i do some video stuff too, i really wanted the leica, but i'll stick with the 2 pro zooms.

if there was a 12-60 2.8, i could leave the 35-100 behind, so it would actually be lighter for me since i would only be carrying one lens instead of 2.

d3xmeister Veteran Member • Posts: 3,380
Re: Panasonic Leica vs Olympus Pro Zooms
7

Photoderm wrote:

Why is panasonic releasing variable aperture lenses for their presumably "pro" leica line? I find this to be a huge disadvantage over the Olympus Pro line. Is it purely to maintain a smaller profile (they do seem to be a touch smaller/lighter than the olympus pro lenses)?

Does anyone find this to be a disadvantage of these lenses? I don't shoot the volume that many do on these forums so I am curious about your experiences.

1. Panasonic already have f2.8 zooms. So does Olympus, and they work perfectly on Panasonic bodies

2. People were asking for these longer variable aperture zooms for years, loudly.

NowHearThis
NowHearThis Veteran Member • Posts: 3,696
My differing POV to answe your question.

Photoderm wrote:

Why is panasonic releasing variable aperture lenses for their [trim] leica line? I find this to be a huge disadvantage over the Olympus Pro line. Is it purely to maintain a smaller profile (they do seem to be a touch smaller/lighter than the olympus pro lenses)?

Does anyone find this to be a disadvantage of these lenses? I don't shoot the volume that many do on these forums so I am curious about your experiences.

  1. First, choice is good regardless of anyone’s opinion on the matter.
  2. Second, not everyone has the same needs.

I personally find lenses like the 12-40/2.8 and the 12-35/2.8 completely pointless and worthless.  The lack of a useful range frustrates me - any zoom that stops before 85mm (equivalent) drives me nuts because it’s right at the point I need a bit reach at times but now have to change lenses to get it, which I really hate to do for most things and especially when I’m shooting outdoors.  Lenses like the PL12-60/2.8-4 and O12-100/4 are better suited for me - they offer top notch IQ and a range that’s actually useful - this is an advantage not a disadvantage.

I also find the f/2.8 zooms not fast enough.  Last night the Boy Scout troop held an Eagle Scout Court of Honor for two scouts.  My 2 F/1.7 primes did great, giving me a fast shutter, but I still shot most things at F/1.7.  An F2.8 zoom would not have done as well - I would have had to shoot at an ISO I didn’t want to use or suffer with a slower shutter speed.  Neither was a good option.

My shooting style calls for a great all purpose zoom (something equivalent to 24-105mm or 24-120mm) then supplement with a couple of primes for specific things (Portraits, indoor shooting, etc)

Now Just because I don’t and won’t use a wide angle F2.8 zoom doesn’t mean I don’t think they should have been made or that I think people are dumb if they choose them, because I understand fully the 2 things I mentioned up above.  I know that there are people that vastly prefer a fixed zoom lens and/or that the 24-70mm range is their ‘Goldilocks’ zone for lenses of that type and/or that they use multiple cameras with different lenses on them and/or.... do you get the point I’m making.

There is no disadvantage if it’s what you need.  I need a 12-60/2.8-4, I don’t need (or want) a 12-35/2.8 or 12-40/2.8.

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NHT

 NowHearThis's gear list:NowHearThis's gear list
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Astrotripper Veteran Member • Posts: 6,180
So many great choices :-)
4

NowHearThis wrote:

I personally find lenses like the 12-40/2.8 and the 12-35/2.8 completely pointless and worthless. The lack of a useful range frustrates me - any zoom that stops before 85mm (equivalent) drives me nuts because it’s right at the point I need a bit reach at times but now have to change lenses to get it, which I really hate to do for most things and especially when I’m shooting outdoors. Lenses like the PL12-60/2.8-4 and O12-100/4 are better suited for me - they offer top notch IQ and a range that’s actually useful - this is an advantage not a disadvantage.

I felt very much the same. Never really got on board the f/2.8 zooms bandwagon. Too big, too heavy and too expensive for what they offered. Always wanted a modern take on the 12-60mm f/2.8-4. And when it finally came, Olympus released their ultimate zoom, the 12-100mm. That's the zoom I was really waiting for and never even hoped of getting. The combination of amazing range and excellent image quality made it my immediate pick for a standard zoom for my E-M1 Mark II. That is simply an amazing travel combo.

Anyways, I think we have very comfortable situation when it comes to standard zooms in Micro 4/3. 12-35, 12-40, 12-60, 12-100. All excellent quality, all at slightly different points of the size/weight/range/speed equation. Users of many other systems can only dream of having such choices.

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slartz
slartz Senior Member • Posts: 2,098
Because Panasonic Understands...
3

That people who move to m43 do it for the size....

Photoderm wrote:

Why is panasonic releasing variable aperture lenses for their presumably "pro" leica line? I find this to be a huge disadvantage over the Olympus Pro line. Is it purely to maintain a smaller profile (they do seem to be a touch smaller/lighter than the olympus pro lenses)?

Cause lenses like the 40-150/2.8 and the 12-100/4 and the 7-14/2.8 are just too large for their own taste...

Does anyone find this to be a disadvantage of these lenses? I don't shoot the volume that many do on these forums so I am curious about your experiences.

I used to own the Olympus 7-14/2.8 and now replaced it with the PL 8-18/2.8. It's a far better lens in my eyes (not optically - optically its similar). I use it mostly for landscapes and in landscapes you don't usually need a wide aperture (but you DO need a PRO grade lens), unless you shoot astrophotography, which, happens to be what you do at the widest setting. So I get F/2.8 @ 8mm for astrophotography and then it slows down as you zoom. But you get a much more comfortable zoom range in a smaller lighter lens.

I'm still contemplating about replacing my 12-40/2.8 with the 12-60/2.8-4. again - a balance between range and size. Olympus offers 12-100/4 but that is F/4 all the way AND is so much bigger and heavier...

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northlondon43 Senior Member • Posts: 1,297
Re: My differing POV to answe your question.
1

NowHearThis wrote:

Photoderm wrote:

Why is panasonic releasing variable aperture lenses for their [trim] leica line? I find this to be a huge disadvantage over the Olympus Pro line. Is it purely to maintain a smaller profile (they do seem to be a touch smaller/lighter than the olympus pro lenses)?

Does anyone find this to be a disadvantage of these lenses? I don't shoot the volume that many do on these forums so I am curious about your experiences.

  1. First, choice is good regardless of anyone’s opinion on the matter.
  2. Second, not everyone has the same needs.

I personally find lenses like the 12-40/2.8 and the 12-35/2.8 completely pointless and worthless. The lack of a useful range frustrates me - any zoom that stops before 85mm (equivalent) drives me nuts because it’s right at the point I need a bit reach at times but now have to change lenses to get it, which I really hate to do for most things and especially when I’m shooting outdoors. Lenses like the PL12-60/2.8-4 and O12-100/4 are better suited for me - they offer top notch IQ and a range that’s actually useful - this is an advantage not a disadvantage.

I also find the f/2.8 zooms not fast enough. Last night the Boy Scout troop held an Eagle Scout Court of Honor for two scouts. My 2 F/1.7 primes did great, giving me a fast shutter, but I still shot most things at F/1.7. An F2.8 zoom would not have done as well - I would have had to shoot at an ISO I didn’t want to use or suffer with a slower shutter speed. Neither was a good option.

My shooting style calls for a great all purpose zoom (something equivalent to 24-105mm or 24-120mm) then supplement with a couple of primes for specific things (Portraits, indoor shooting, etc)

Now Just because I don’t and won’t use a wide angle F2.8 zoom doesn’t mean I don’t think they should have been made or that I think people are dumb if they choose them, because I understand fully the 2 things I mentioned up above. I know that there are people that vastly prefer a fixed zoom lens and/or that the 24-70mm range is their ‘Goldilocks’ zone for lenses of that type and/or that they use multiple cameras with different lenses on them and/or.... do you get the point I’m making.

There is no disadvantage if it’s what you need. I need a 12-60/2.8-4, I don’t need (or want) a 12-35/2.8 or 12-40/2.8.

I find these debates about apertures and zoom things ridiculous. My bottom has a variable aperture (fart 1.4 to 35} and, on a good day, can be zoomed into a person's face (usually on a surprise basis, which ends up with me being arrested). Yes, I hear you say, I'm zooming with my feet (or in my case my bottom) but I challenge you to see the difference between that and a magnified  bum when an on a coffee table from underneath.

I rest my case (also known as my bum)

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Adrian
An amateur, atheist, alliterationist

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john isaacs Senior Member • Posts: 2,928
Re: Panasonic Leica vs Olympus Pro Zooms

Photoderm wrote:

Why is panasonic releasing variable aperture lenses for their presumably "pro" leica line? I find this to be a huge disadvantage over the Olympus Pro line. Is it purely to maintain a smaller profile (they do seem to be a touch smaller/lighter than the olympus pro lenses)?

Does anyone find this to be a disadvantage of these lenses? I don't shoot the volume that many do on these forums so I am curious about your experiences.

If I’m shooting manual in the studio, I need a constant aperture. So a variable aperture lens is effectively fixed at the smallest aperture.  But f4 or smaller is often too much DOF.   I like shooting at f2.8 to get separation from the background.

What I would like is a real f2.8 portrait zoom, say 17-60. Currently, I use a Nikon 17-55 f2.8 DX lens. I can go from full body to head shot with that one lens.

I expect demand for such a lens would be small, but it wold help target the studio audience.

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Roger Engelken
Roger Engelken Veteran Member • Posts: 5,310
Re: Panasonic Leica vs Olympus Pro Zooms

Photoderm wrote:

Why is panasonic releasing variable aperture lenses for their presumably "pro" leica line? I find this to be a huge disadvantage over the Olympus Pro line. Is it purely to maintain a smaller profile (they do seem to be a touch smaller/lighter than the olympus pro lenses)?

Does anyone find this to be a disadvantage of these lenses? I don't shoot the volume that many do on these forums so I am curious about your experiences.

I use my Olympus PRO lenses on my Olympus OMD cameras, and my Panasonic Leica lenses on my Panasonic cameras, so it works out well. I have also used the Panasonic Leica lenses on my OMD cameras. While native on native works best, the others work more than well enough, so I have no complaints.

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BostonC Contributing Member • Posts: 541
Re: Panasonic Leica vs Olympus Pro Zooms

IMO Panasonic 35-100mm F2.8 is the ideal pro quality lens for the M43 system, with the best balance on weight, size and quality.

greg57 Contributing Member • Posts: 629
Re: My differing POV to answe your question.

northlondon43 wrote:

NowHearThis wrote:

Photoderm wrote:

Why is panasonic releasing variable aperture lenses for their [trim] leica line? I find this to be a huge disadvantage over the Olympus Pro line. Is it purely to maintain a smaller profile (they do seem to be a touch smaller/lighter than the olympus pro lenses)?

Does anyone find this to be a disadvantage of these lenses? I don't shoot the volume that many do on these forums so I am curious about your experiences.

  1. First, choice is good regardless of anyone’s opinion on the matter.
  2. Second, not everyone has the same needs.

I personally find lenses like the 12-40/2.8 and the 12-35/2.8 completely pointless and worthless. The lack of a useful range frustrates me - any zoom that stops before 85mm (equivalent) drives me nuts because it’s right at the point I need a bit reach at times but now have to change lenses to get it, which I really hate to do for most things and especially when I’m shooting outdoors. Lenses like the PL12-60/2.8-4 and O12-100/4 are better suited for me - they offer top notch IQ and a range that’s actually useful - this is an advantage not a disadvantage.

I also find the f/2.8 zooms not fast enough. Last night the Boy Scout troop held an Eagle Scout Court of Honor for two scouts. My 2 F/1.7 primes did great, giving me a fast shutter, but I still shot most things at F/1.7. An F2.8 zoom would not have done as well - I would have had to shoot at an ISO I didn’t want to use or suffer with a slower shutter speed. Neither was a good option.

My shooting style calls for a great all purpose zoom (something equivalent to 24-105mm or 24-120mm) then supplement with a couple of primes for specific things (Portraits, indoor shooting, etc)

Now Just because I don’t and won’t use a wide angle F2.8 zoom doesn’t mean I don’t think they should have been made or that I think people are dumb if they choose them, because I understand fully the 2 things I mentioned up above. I know that there are people that vastly prefer a fixed zoom lens and/or that the 24-70mm range is their ‘Goldilocks’ zone for lenses of that type and/or that they use multiple cameras with different lenses on them and/or.... do you get the point I’m making.

There is no disadvantage if it’s what you need. I need a 12-60/2.8-4, I don’t need (or want) a 12-35/2.8 or 12-40/2.8.

I find these debates about apertures and zoom things ridiculous. My bottom has a variable aperture (fart 1.4 to 35} and, on a good day, can be zoomed into a person's face (usually on a surprise basis, which ends up with me being arrested). Yes, I hear you say, I'm zooming with my feet (or in my case my bottom) but I challenge you to see the difference between that and a magnified bum when an on a coffee table from underneath.

I rest my case (also known as my bum)

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Gregory Dziedzic
gregorydziedzic.com

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Steve Monks
Steve Monks Regular Member • Posts: 364
Re: Panasonic Leica vs Olympus Pro Zooms
1

Photoderm wrote:

Why is panasonic releasing variable aperture lenses for their presumably "pro" leica line? I find this to be a huge disadvantage over the Olympus Pro line. Is it purely to maintain a smaller profile (they do seem to be a touch smaller/lighter than the olympus pro lenses)?

Does anyone find this to be a disadvantage of these lenses? I don't shoot the volume that many do on these forums so I am curious about your experiences.

Having shot with the PL12-60 on an E-M1 MKII for most of last year, I never once found the variable aperture to be an issue for what I do (landscapes). For most of the time I'm working at f/5.6, to get a decent DOF without incurring diffraction, so variation between f/2.8-f/4.0 is irrelevant to me, but the extra reach over the 12-35/12-40 f/2.8 zooms is very useful and doesn't incur a significant size / weight penalty over those lenses.

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glassoholic
glassoholic Senior Member • Posts: 3,009
Re: Panasonic Leica vs Olympus Pro Zooms

It is a marketing philiosophy. Oly has stated that to qualify as a Pro zoom the aperture must be fixed. I think they might break their own rule as they attempt to create a Pro 100-400 or 150-500 type offering. F5.6 is realistic for filter size and overall lens size for such a design but who would want a fixed f5.6 for this type lens when it could start at f4 with no penalty for size or quality?

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Gary from Seattle Senior Member • Posts: 2,628
Re: Panasonic Leica vs Olympus Pro Zooms
1

If you look at Photozone for numerical lens tests, the 12-40 and 12-35 are significantly sharper than the 12-60 and the 12-100. Probably the differences could be seen as they are on the order of 10-20%.

Since I do my photography of landscapes and nature/macros while hiking, I find zoom lenses to be extremely valuable. I have the 12-40 and find it's range to be ideal for 85% of my shooting in the mountains and deserts of North America. I also have the excellent 35-100 and carry it when I expect there to be good opportunities at those FL. But I don't shoot that often above 40mm so I don't find a zoom that has additional range to be that valuable for my style of landscape shooting. So, on more than half of my trips I carry just the 12-40 which is a superb lens.

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