12-35 Panasonic or 12-40 Olympus

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by RamblinR, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. RamblinR

    RamblinR Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    Qld Australia
    I currently have the 12-35 panasonic which is a great lens.

    I am looking at purchasing the new EM1 and I'm trying to decide whether to get it with the new 12-40mm lens and sell the 12-35 or not.

    Extra 5mm (not a lot but can be handy)
    Understand focus is faster than the 12-35 which has very fast focus
    When you pull back a ring there is a distance scale
    CA's will be corrected on the EM1 (gather that is only for JPG shooting)
    I use to shoot Canon and this zooms in the same direction

    A little longer than the 12-35
    Also a little heavier
    All my accessories are 58mm (and they had to go and make it 62mm!!!)
    Would have to sell current lens

    What are others doing that currently have this lens and are moving to the EM1?

  2. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    I only wish I had the 12-35, but if I were you, I'd wait until there are some reviews out there to make sure that you really would benefit from the switch. I feel it is a win win situation.
  3. daum

    daum Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 26, 2011
    Zooms are still too bulky for me. Wish some genius could make a pancake 12-100 constant f1.8 hahahahahaahhahaah
  4. RamblinR

    RamblinR Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    Qld Australia
    There is a current Australian deal that finishes at the end of October (free grip for the camera) and buying it together with the body make the lens cheaper. So can't wait too long. Hopefully some more reviews come out soon to help with the decision.
  5. Yep, I also have 30 days to make a decision :smile:

    The Olympus 12-40mm in an E-M1 kit is "only" a $700 premium, and I think that you could compare both lenses and sell either one of them for at least the same price, probably more. Speaking for myself I don't have the Panasonic 12-35mm so am not in a position to have to sell if I ordered the E-M1 with lens. Olympus has traditionally built quite narrow-bodied lenses for Micro 4/3 which can lead to edge performace issues. This I think is the first time that they have produced a larger diameter lens than the equivalent Panasonic model and I'd hope that would mean they've gone back to the less compromising Four Thirds ethos with their zoom designs. The close focusing ability of the 12-40mm is also quite attractive.
  6. deang001

    deang001 Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 16, 2013
    Hong Kong
    Yes, this is a pretty attractive selling point for the 12-40 in relation to the 12-35.

    I have the 12-35 and am totally happy with it in every way but the 12-40 does seem to have it's measure in a few areas for sure.
  7. efoo

    efoo Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 5, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Yes, and he/she will sell it to you for $100,000 :tongue:
  8. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    I've had the same thoughts but I'm almost sure I won't get the lens. I think that I won't be able to sell my 12-35 without forking out extra for the 12-40. Plus i lost the hood for the Panny which will affect resale. the 62mm thing is a pain. I have some 62mm filters but at the moment i don't carry them. So it's not cost. i just don't need to be lugging even more stuff around.

    Unless the 12-40 comes out as a dramatically better lens I'll keep what I have.

  9. CPWarner

    CPWarner Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 24, 2010
    I have the same opinion. As I also have the Panasonic, a bunch of 58mm filters and have been very happy with it. I would only switch if there is a measurable performance difference.

  10. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    The 12-35 is my most used lens on my E-M5, but I've pre-ordered an E-M1 with the 12-40 combo from a local camera shop simply because i) of the $200 price difference if I get the lens later, and ii) they are giving away a 40-150R lens with the purchase. I figure I can sell this lens for another $100+, so that is additional discount on the purchase.

    In the end, if I like the 12-35 better, I will just sell the 12-40, but I figure I will probably sell my 12-35 instead for the following reasons:
    - slightly longer reach of the 12-40;
    - better bokeh, at least based on the tests I've seen so far;
    - the focal point on the 12-35 seems to shift when I zoom the lens, but according the reviews I've read, focal point doesn't shift when zooming with the 12-40;
    - finally, when I am carrying my E-M5 + 12-35 combo on a neck strap, the lens hood easily shifts out of position, so when I am taking quick snaps on the street or when travelling, I ended up with some shots that have shadow at two corners, with the lens hood shifting slightly out of position and shading the corners. On the other hand, the 12-40 lens hood locks in place (it has a release button)...
  11. The 12-40mm is very much an "if I get an E-M1" proposition for me. The additional cost over the body is less than any price I could get a 12-35mm for and I haven't used filters in over a year so no worries there. So...I want the lens but I don't know if I want the E-M1 enough to pay the price for both.
  12. broody

    broody Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 8, 2013
    12-40mm for me until Panasonic deems it right to re-release their lens with an all-caps "PRO" inscription on it like Olympus. :biggrin:

    Honestly, 12-40mm for stills, and 12-35mm if video is important to you. Canon users have to face the same choice between the unstabilized Canon 24-70mm and the VC Tamron lens with not-as-good optics.

    As a stills shooter, I'd pick the 12-40mm right now... Very sharp, extraordinarily close minimum focus distance, better weather sealing, and at least until Panasonic reacts, better price.
  13. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Why is the 12-40mm for stills only? :confused:

    The OP is looking at coupling the lens with the E-M1, and as far as I am aware, the 5-axis IBIS of that camera works perfectly in video mode.
  14. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 16, 2012
    Because if you're shooting video, you will likely be using a GH3 which has no IBIS....
  15. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Make me #3 on that. :thumbup:
  16. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    Since we're comparison, maybe someone can help me and others with a few picky questions:

    Are they both equal in water/dust/freeze/heat sealing?
    The 12-40 looks to have more metal parts, is this true?
    Is the part that extends out plastic on both of them?
    At what FL can they focus at their minimum of 7" or 9", 12mm?
    The Olympus has a ring that pulls back for MF. How is this better than the 12-35's focus by wire?

    and finally...

    With Oly bodies, wouldn't the 12-35s IS be better than the 12-40 relying on the 2-axis stabilization on a PM2? What if it were a 5-axis OMD?

    Do you think the 12-35 will drop in price for used ones to $600 or so?

  17. CPWarner

    CPWarner Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 24, 2010
    There are difference in the two. First, the Olympus has a focus clutch mechanism. From what I understand from MIng Thein's report, this means that the focus mechanism in manual mode on the Olympus is a physical connection. He describes it as the focus having focus proportional to absolute rotation and well damped. The difference is that you do not have the variable focusing rate depending on how fast the focus ring is turned on the Panasonic. Ming Thein also describes that if you set a focus setting in manual and go to autofocus, the instant you come back to manual, it remembers the focus distance you had it at last. He uses this to "pull focus" in video. As I do not shoot video, I am not sure what that means.

    Secondly, there are hard stops at each end of the focus travel. I am not a fan of that. The hard stops can be useful if you are into things like Astro photography and need to set the lens to infinity in the dark. I can tell you from experience that setting the Panasonic to infinity in the dark extracts a long stream of four letter words...

    So, the differences might be a small for most users. However, having used the 12mm, I can tell you that the Olympus focus clutch mechanism is the slickest system I have seen to switch back and forth from autofocus to manual. It is completely intuitive. Whether that is better for you or not, depends on the user and the value placed on these features. For me they are. I still want to see real data on comparisons between the two before spending the cast to swap and buy new filters.

  18. RamblinR

    RamblinR Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    Qld Australia
    Im still on the fence about this.
    Local camera store has a hands on for the EM1 later this month.
    Hopefully they will have the 12-40 to play with also.
    Think I will leave my decision until then.
  19. RamblinR

    RamblinR Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Aug 16, 2012
    Qld Australia
    Anyone now have both to give their review?
  20. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    Did anyone ever consider the beautiful little 'kit' lens the P14-45.

    Perhaps you may think it's going 'down-market' a bit.

    Not so, I have today, returned a P12-35 in favour of my P14-45.

    The P12-35 just does not justify it's huge price tag/IQ improvement for the sort of stuff I take.
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