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12-35 2.8......should I?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by billgreen, Oct 17, 2012.

  1. billgreen

    billgreen Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 4, 2012
    Santa Ana, San Jose, Costa Rica
    Bill Green
    See my signature for lenses I currently have. I am really lusting after a 12-35. Should I get one? Stick with what I have? And if I do get a 12-35 what current lenses should I sell? (I really should sell as much as possible to help pay for the 12-35)

    Opinions welcome! What would you do?
  2. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Bill, I'm sure you'll get enthusiastic reports from owners, but the question to yourself would have to be "what do I need this lens for?"

    This is not to say that you shouldn't buy it if you have the funds and just really want it. :wink:

    Do I make any sense in pointing those are two separate cases? :smile:

    edit: just checked your flickr, nice photos btw! As it seems you do a lot of travel/photojournalism/street type of work, it would certainly make sense to opt for the 12-35 if top quality is a requirement. In that context, the 14mm and kit zoom would not provide anything over the 12-35.
  3. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Yes, sell the 14 and 14-45. The extra 1.5 (or so) stops to the 20/1.7 are significant IMHO. The only reason to keep the 14 is if the minor size difference between it and the 20 allows it to fit in a bag you couldn't use otherwise.
  4. iGonzoid

    iGonzoid Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 6, 2011
    Tasmania, Australia
    Hi, Just my 5c... since you seem to have a nice range of gear in the wide to normal and short tele ranges [zooms and primes], why change unless you must have a faster lens? I love speed [f1.4 is my favourite number] and would decide what goes by the simple process of recalling which lens you use least often. Personally I prefer primes for the optical zing. Or change direction and go macro... both fine Panasonic and Olympus 4/3 offerings are f2.8.
  5. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    I would get the lens, if selling the 14 and 14-45 got you to a budget you wanted. If you didn't use the 9-18 a lot I would teeter on ditching that one too. That being said I love having my 7-14 and really just use it on the 7mm end.

    I'm one of the bigger fans of the 12-35 out there, but I think it's worth the money. Having a lens that has near equivalent IQ to replace three primes is great for travel and walk-around use. I still love my primes especially in low-light but use the 12-35 most of the time now.
  6. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Yes, dump the kit lens and either the 14mm or the 20mm. The FOV of 20 and 14 are very close as well as the sharpness, the 20 wins on aperture and the 14 wins on wide. So it's your call on aperture vs. wide. You could dump both pancakes and still be in good shape, except it's nice to have a pancake for those "I need a pancake" times. Do you tend to shoot with one or two cameras? If one, then you can probably dump the 45mm and the 45-200 and wait for the 35-100 and while you're waiting grab a 100-300. If you shoot with two cameras, then keep the 45mm.

  7. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    If you will get use out of it and you can afford it, it's a great lens. Out of the lenses you currently own, I sold my 14-45 and basically replaced it with the 12-35 as my "standard focal length zoom". The extra 10mm on the long end is a bit of a loss but the 12mm at the wide end is great, and both have OIS so I didn't see a point to keeping the 14-45mm around.

    The 14mm you could sell if you're not going to use it for the pancake form factor. I don't use mine much at all but it's just so ridiculously tiny, sharp, and cheap I can't bring myself to sell it back off.

    I'm with danska on the 9-18mm also... depending on how much you use UWA you might be able to skate by with the 12mm wide end on the 12-35mm and live without the 9-18mm. Don't get me wrong I'm a big UWA fan and I own both the 7-14mm and 9-18mm, but the 9-18mm is one lens I just haven't bonded with. I'm trying to give it a while longer before I give up on it, but right now it's definitely in my mental "could sell this" pile where the 12-35mm is absolutely a keeper. The other thing I'll say is 7-9mm FOV seems like a *huge* difference, but 9-12mm not quite so much. I'm undecided whether the 9-18 is worth carrying (for me) on days when I'm already bringing the 12-35.
  8. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    What is the big lust driver for you, Bill?

    I picked one up recently, and enjoy it quite a bit, but I was looking for something weather-resistent on my OM-D and I didn't want to feeling like I was giving up IQ versus the primes. I have not done an exhaustive comparison, but for my landscape stuff so far, it seems like the 12-35 is as good as my Oly 12 and the Panasonic 20mm. I am excited for winter snowshoeing and cross country. :2thumbs:

    If it weren't for the weather sealing, though, I would be happy with the primes in the bag (which would probably take up less room and weight less combined).
  9. TDP

    TDP Guest

    Based off your Flickr stream you are doing a really good job with what you have so far.
  10. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    How do your current lenses let you down? What do you want to shoot that your current kit won't let you do? Will the 12-35 solve that limitation?

    If you can't clearly answer the first 2 questions, you probably don't need the 12-35. If you can, and the answer to the 3rd question is no, you probably don't need it.

    Finally, if you sell other lenses, what will you lose in capability that you use now? Will the 12-35 make up for that loss?

    For example, I personally wouldn't give up the 9-18 to get the 12-35. But that's based on my style. I don't know how much or how little you use the UWA, nor how much you need a faster lens than you have now.

    Finally, note that the 12-35 shows quite a bit of CA on Oly bodies.
  11. m43dex

    m43dex Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 5, 2011
    I dumped my 20mm to help fund my 12-35mm and have not missed it. My kit lens was almost never used... Long gone. I am one of few that am having a hard time parting with the 14mm. It's small and convenient, won't fetch much cash and sharp to boot so for now it is staying for a travel light option.

    I took a minute to look at a few of your pics. I think you will benefit from 12 mm POV. My approach to GAS is looking at images... Lots of really good ones and asking myself would I be able to accomplish that shot if I had that lens? If I know i can or convince myself I could, then the lens hits the buy list. Having said that, I think the 12-35mm is a real keeper. I am still working on bonding with my UWA 7-14mm so my logic isn't perfect.
  12. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2012
    Depends on your needs but I really find a relatively fast normal zoom very versatile for travel, hiking, etc. I'm often shooting in situations where I either don't have time to change lenses or, sometimes in environmental conditions where I don't want to change lenses. I was kind of spoiled by the 12-60 and find the 12-50 OK but not in the same class. I rented the 12-35 for a recent trip and liked it quite well. For me it becomes a weather sealed 12, 14, 17, and 25 f2.8 plus it gives a little extra zoom in the long end. I'll probably purchase. I'll probably wait a while in the hope that Oly releases a high grade variable aperture lens with somewhat longer efl. I just find I don't really use the 30-35 range much but would use something around 50 a lot more. And I'd give up a stop of speed at the long end. I think a key question is how much you want a faster aperture in the standard zoom?
  13. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    For what it's worth, my 12-35/2.8 is sharper than the two 12/2.0 lenses I've had a chance to compare it to at equivalent apertures. I think I've probably got sub-par 12/2s, but reading various posts and reviews I don't think this situation is unique.
  14. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I saw your other post... bummer to have two questionable copies of that lens!

    I have not yet done a detailed comparison, but I do think my 12/2 and 12-35 are close enough at F4 for me to not worry about it too much. Obviously, if I wasn't wanting the weather-sealing, the 12/2 is hard to beat on size and the snap focus.

    Did you see this comparison of the 12-35 and various primes at their respective FoV?

    MTF50 and Bokeh for 25mm Micro Four Thirds Lenses

    His copy didn't seem to do well @ 25mm, compared to the PL25 or Voigtlander, but did well at the other focal lengths:

    12mm: http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/25m43/12mmMTF_900.jpg

    20mm: http://www.wlcastleman.com/equip/reviews/25m43/20mmMTF_1000.jpg
  15. strang

    strang Mu-43 Veteran

    May 7, 2012
    Personally I'd sell 14-45 / 45 1.8 / 45-200 for the 35-100/2.8.

    The 14 will not net you very much at this moment, it's something you can keep and sell at a later time.

    The 20 seems to be your most used lens judging by your recent Flickr uploads. I don't see a possibility of getting rid of that one. If the 17/1.8 turns out to be a great lens, I would probably trade for that for internal and faster AF, otherwise I would keep the 20 forever and ever.

    I just don't see how 12-35 would do you better in the mid-range. It's never going to replace the 20 since it's much bigger and heavier.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA

    All your lenses are fun to own and use, even if they're not always used. Plus you have two bodies to use them on anyway.

    So buy the 12-35 if it doesn't put you in debt, and keep what you already own. What's the hit, not much more than the cost of new tires and a weekend trip in your Mini? Maybe down the road, you get rid of any lenses that have gotten dusty.

    You might consider swapping the 45-200 for a 40-150 too.
  17. billgreen

    billgreen Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 4, 2012
    Santa Ana, San Jose, Costa Rica
    Bill Green
    Thanks to all who replied. A lot of good points and questions. I have no complaints with the lenses I currently have. In fact, they are all pretty darn good. I was just thinking that a faster zoom could be nice. Now, when I need extra speed I have to change to one of the primes. Then if the focal length requirement changes I have to switch to a different prime. I was thinking that a faster zoom would be something I could keep on the camera 90% of the time. That said, I would really have a difficult time getting rid of the 20 or 14.

    I think for now I'll stick with what I have. :) 
  18. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Very interesting. I wonder if something was wrong with his copy. I find mine sharp from end to end. The 12-35mm has now become my second most used lens compared to the PL25. From looking at my data I use it a lot from 12-17, 20-21 and 35mm. Funny I use it more around those lengths than 25mm and that still remains my favorite prime. I guess I might be a good candidate for the 17 f/1.8 when it arrives.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Sounds like a good plan Bill.

    One last thing I would mention is that I shot with this lens on a recent trip and never took it off the EM-5 until I did some super dark lit stuff and portraits. I pushed the EM-5 ISO to 4000 which I found is fine for b&w and facebook photos. Had enough shutter speeds for sharp shots for all day use. The fast aperture is worth having.
  20. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Yes, I did see that - interesting. LensRental.com posted MTF numbers for the 12-35/2.8 at various FLs, too, and they do vary! At f/4, I would think you'd be right. My 12-35/2.8 and my 7-14/4 look about the same at 200% at 12mm and f/4. The 12-35/2.8 is certainly not a trivial purchase, but the overall quality (optical, mechanical) is very high. It was a near-no brainer for me when I considered how much I use my FX 24-70/2.8 and DX 17-55/2.8. :thumbup:

    • Like Like x 1
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