f4 is too slow

drd1135

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I like primes for wide through normal and telezooms on the long end. I use the 75 if I can or even the lumix 35-100 3.5-5.6. To be fair, I don’t do a lot of nature stuff so I usually get the 3.5 -6.3 versions of the telezooms for vacations where there may be animals as subjects. I could waste a lot of money looking for the perfect tele so i’ve just learned to ignore bokeh.
 
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Pluttis

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There are a large number of 12-100 f4 die-hards here and they all make beautiful photographs with this lens and are all accomplished photographers. Unfortunately, for me, I just don't like about 1/2 the images I see taken with it. I find the bokeh on this lens to be quite bad, and especially so for out-of-focus foliage. A large body of images fall into a category of shot style that could have just as easily been taken with any other lens but probably been better on a prime. But that's my personal editorial tastes speaking, nothing scientific. The heft and cost are commensurate with the technical superiority of this device and from what I read there's probably not a better in-lens IS in any of the m43 lenses.

Having said that ... the Panasonic 14-140 f3.5-5.6 looks to have roughly the same IQ, same crappy super-zoom bokeh, is less than half the price, smaller, lighter, and the 40mm extra on the tele end is more useful than 2mm at the wide end as a travel lens. The new version coming out is also weather resistant and it's still half the price of the Olympus. If you want a zoom for travel and vacation photos, don't be fooled: I think the Panny is the one to get.

View attachment 759368
Personally i think the 12-100 produces pleasing bokeh and renders the background quite well for being a super-zoom.

The 14-140 f3.5-5.6 dont hold f3.5 for long, it reaches f4 around 20-25mm.

I would say the 12-100 f4 have noticable better IQ

Personally i think 12mm is more usefull, 2mm on the wide end is quite big diffrence. You could always crop in little in post if you need more "reach".
 

frank28

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For sure - it's a really small package for such a useful range. The feature page for the Lumix 12-60 could use some lovin' - I can't believe there's only 7 pages or so in there given that most reviews I've read put the Lumix version on par with the PL 12-60 f2.8 in terms of sharpness. It seems like the best kit lenses available for m43.
I compared side by side Lumix 12-60 and PL 12-60 on my GX85, and after seeing the output images by these 2 lenses, I just decided to pick PL version. I'm quite surprised that all reviews of these two lenses talked only about the sharpness, and while it's true that for the same aperture settings, the sharpness are quite the same, however, just compare the OOC jpeg, one could easily notice the difference. Lumix 12-60's color rendering is just a little too flat IMO, and PL 12-60 always gives a more pleasant result.
 

Brownie

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I compared side by side Lumix 12-60 and PL 12-60 on my GX85, and after seeing the output images by these 2 lenses, I just decided to pick PL version. I'm quite surprised that all reviews of these two lenses talked only about the sharpness, and while it's true that for the same aperture settings, the sharpness are quite the same, however, just compare the OOC jpeg, one could easily notice the difference. Lumix 12-60's color rendering is just a little too flat IMO, and PL 12-60 always gives a more pleasant result.
Agreed. No one is saying that the P and PL are on par. There are differences as well as similarities. The real question is if the PL is worth the extra size, weight, and cost. My open box version of the P 12-60 cost $175. Is it worth spending 4X that for a used PL? Or 6X for a new one? Nope. I can adjust color for free on the computer. The only reason I'd have to purchase the PL is speed, and we're talking 2/3rds of a stop.

I had the same argument placed before me when I spent the $ for a PL 50-200, but there was a vast difference between it and the 100-300 first version I had been using. IQ, speed, weather sealed, Dual IS, etc. That was worth it to me, this is not. That doesn't mean I won't change my mind sometime in the future when I have $1k burning a hole in my pocket, but for now, the P version works well for me.
 

frank28

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Agreed. No one is saying that the P and PL are on par. There are differences as well as similarities. The real question is if the PL is worth the extra size, weight, and cost. My open box version of the P 12-60 cost $175. Is it worth spending 4X that for a used PL? Or 6X for a new one? Nope. I can adjust color for free on the computer. The only reason I'd have to purchase the PL is speed, and we're talking 2/3rds of a stop.

I had the same argument placed before me when I spent the $ for a PL 50-200, but there was a vast difference between it and the 100-300 first version I had been using. IQ, speed, weather sealed, Dual IS, etc. That was worth it to me, this is not. That doesn't mean I won't change my mind sometime in the future when I have $1k burning a hole in my pocket, but for now, the P version works well for me.
Everyone has his own standard to measure if it's worth the money spent. Good for you that you find Lumix 12-60 fits your need enough. For me, I just could not ignore the differences between the two.

I once carried Lumix 1260 and PL15 for a trip to Japan, I shot mainly with 1260 during the daylight, and with PL15 indoor and at night. When I imported my photos into iPad, even my wife could easily tell which photo was shot by which lens. No surprise that we all prefer the output from PL15, and Lumix 1260 only won for its reach, but its output color was just disappointing, flat and lack of character. It was by comparing that showed out the difference. And during a trip, I don't spend too much time for PP. That was the main reason I decided to try PL1260 as I really like the FL, and wanted to see if I could find the same character that I like in PL15. Lucky for me, PL1260 really pleased me. And for the price, I don't expect 4x performance by paying 4x the cost, instead, I see the price difference equals one round trip ticket for Japan from where I live, so why not pay one more ticket to make my next trip happier?

Regarding size and weight, I did worry a lot before the switch, especially the size. I finally convinced myself by comparing PL1260 to O1240 or O12100, and found advantages over those two for size and weight. Besides that, I handled the lens by myself, I can feel the difference but I must say it's not that big, and I could afford it and that's deal for me. Now PL1260 is on my GX9 and in my PD 5L bag which I carry every day.
 

Wisertime

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The 12-100 is superb for all the reasons already mentioned. Unlikely to disappoint.

Get that and a 12 mm F2 or one of the other small/wide primes for when you need a larger aperture and seems like all you'll need pretty much.
 

tkbslc

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I'm planning ahead to next year, when the 150-400 is released. It wont fit in my camera bag unless I take other lenses out, so I'm already looking at the best blend of lenses to carry.

On a recent 88 day trip I kept just 1 photo taken with the 35-100, so that's gone. I kept 751 photos taken with the 12-40, 296 of which were at 12mm. I don't want to go wider than that, but it seems that's a sensible wide angle to retain.

Another 215 were at 40mm. It's unlikely that this was my preferred focal length for most of those, suggesting that I just didn't have time (or was too lazy) to switch to the 35-100.
Seems like if you only had ONE keeper from the 35-100mm (was it even at 100mm?), that you don't really need 100mm. So why the interest in a 12-100?

I guess if you want to see how often you need more than 40mm, see how many 40mm shots you had to crop more than are comfortable with.

Also, you might see how many of your f2.8, or even f3.x, shots were at the wide angle. If you are mostly needed fast aperture at the wide end, then something like a 12-60 f2.8-4 could work. I know for me, typically when I need a lot of fast aperture while traveling, it is for museums, churches, etc, and those are all going to be wide. If you are more shooting performances, concerts, etc, then you'd not want to give up f2.8 at the longer end. So it always just comes down to how you use it.

But it always comes down to some kind of compromise until we get that razor sharp 12-200mm f2.0 Pancake zoom. :)
 

Cederic

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Seems like if you only had ONE keeper from the 35-100mm (was it even at 100mm?), that you don't really need 100mm. So why the interest in a 12-100?

I guess if you want to see how often you need more than 40mm, see how many 40mm shots you had to crop more than are comfortable with.

Also, you might see how many of your f2.8, or even f3.x, shots were at the wide angle. If you are mostly needed fast aperture at the wide end, then something like a 12-60 f2.8-4 could work. I know for me, typically when I need a lot of fast aperture while traveling, it is for museums, churches, etc, and those are all going to be wide. If you are more shooting performances, concerts, etc, then you'd not want to give up f2.8 at the longer end. So it always just comes down to how you use it.

But it always comes down to some kind of compromise until we get that razor sharp 12-200mm f2.0 Pancake zoom. :)
I did do that analysis, which is why I knew I would benefit from the longer lens, but (if you read my responses) I would lose out from the speed too. There are no right answers, but fortunately also no wrong ones. It's interesting to consider the options.

However I do feel that buying a slower 12-60 feels a poor option, given I don't already own it.
 

fader

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When I imported my photos into iPad, even my wife could easily tell which photo was shot by which lens
No doubt - if you're running and gunning and shooting JPEG, the better lens is going to generate more keepers w/o processing. The big difference here is just down to personal preferences. I like to process from RAW and I try to shoot very deliberately as if I were still using film. If I shoot more than a couple hundred images they can stay unloved on the card for months!

I did do that analysis, which is why I knew I would benefit from the longer lens, but (if you read my responses) I would lose out from the speed too. There are no right answers, but fortunately also no wrong ones. It's interesting to consider the options.

However I do feel that buying a slower 12-60 feels a poor option, given I don't already own it.
It sounds to me like the 12-40 f2.8 is serving you well and none of the superzooms on the wide end warrant giving up the speed, for any price point.

From what you've said here, I think keeping the 12-40 and adding a PL 50-200 would make a lot more sense and would be a strong medium-to-long telephoto to have until the 150-400 becomes available. At least that gives you a good reason to change lenses if you want the range. It's also quite a bit smaller than the Oly 40-150 2.8 and reasonably fast for it's range.
 
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I have given up trying to guess at the ideal focal length/aperture I need based on photos using lenses which aren't what I think I need/want. In the end I have risked buying using my gut instinct and have been pleasantly surprised.
 

ooheadsoo

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I'm planning ahead to next year, when the 150-400 is released. It wont fit in my camera bag unless I take other lenses out, so I'm already looking at the best blend of lenses to carry.

On a recent 88 day trip I kept just 1 photo taken with the 35-100, so that's gone. I kept 751 photos taken with the 12-40, 296 of which were at 12mm. I don't want to go wider than that, but it seems that's a sensible wide angle to retain.

Another 215 were at 40mm. It's unlikely that this was my preferred focal length for most of those, suggesting that I just didn't have time (or was too lazy) to switch to the 35-100.

So the 12-100 would be a sensible option instead. Except.. 125 of those 751 photographs were taken at f2.8 and another 56 at f3.2 or f3.5. Almost none of those were intentionally trying to achieve shallow depth of field, the light levels meant that this was a sensible aperture. (Almost all of the sub-f4 shots have 1/100 or slower shutter speed).

In the UK (where it's generally less sunny than the places I visited on that 88 day trip) approximately half of my photographs with the 12-40 are at f2.8.

So I can ditch the 35-100 but I really would like that extra flexibility, yet it just doesn't seem to make sense to buy a lens as slow as f4.

I'm not sure how I'm hoping people will respond, just wanted to share a personal source of frustration, uncertainty and indecisiveness.
I generally share your frustration, having had the 12-40 & 35-100 2.8 combo and having just recently traded them both in for the 12-100. One thing I find hard to distinguish from looking at one's catalog is to describe the number of opportunities one gives up entirely due to lack of reach. Difficult to catalog the absence of something. For me, one thing I really did love about the 12-40 was the shorter dof offered at 40mm@2.8 and that was a personal drawback in the decision to switch to the 12-100.

At the end of the day, my personal determination was that for most trip photography, more dof was generally beneficial, and for those shots of smaller things where shorter dof was desired, zooming in + the short mfd would suffice. For people, I would have to settle for half body shots above 55mm. For a serious street or portrait session, I'd switch lenses, but those are not spur of the moment events, so there should be ample time.

And the last key (that I can think of for now): For my general photography, freezing action is not the most important to me. I am ok with strangers on the street having motion blur in the dark. If you can live with that, f/4 just might maybe be tenable.

Caveat, I haven't taken the 12-100 on vacation yet, so time will tell.
 

ac12

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This thread makes me think about my dream: An ~100mm ~f2.8 prime.

:biggrin:
What is funny is the 105/135 f/2.8 was a common prime lens back in the film days. And today, neither Canon nor Nikon has it.
I have both a Nikon 105/2.5 and an Olympus 135/2.8. My brother had the Vivitar 135/2.8, which I think went to my neice.
So if you are open to adapting old lenses, lots of them out there.
 
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What is funny is the 105/135 f/2.8 was a common prime lens back in the film days. And today, neither Canon nor Nikon has it.
I have both a Nikon 105/2.5 and an Olympus 135/2.8. My brother had the Vivitar 135/2.8, which I think went to my neice.
So if you are open to adapting old lenses, lots of them out there.
If you look at my signature you will see I have a copy of a Super Takumar 105, Two versions of the unusual Leica R Macro-Elmar 100 and a exceedingly rare Agfa Color Telinear 130. I like the ~100 FL. :p
 

travelbug

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Ive used the 12-100 a couple of times and I found the f/4 quite limiting on an mft sensor. For me its an outdoors lens and that's it. If you want to shoot on cloudy days or indoors and there some little semblance of movement, then it just isnt useful. People like to point out that its only a one stop difference from the 12-40/2.8 but that is a big difference when youre talking about shooting at iso3200vs6400 or even iso1600vs3200 on an mft body, like my em5ii. So for me, the 12-100 can never be a single lens solution whereas the 12-40 has.

To me, the biggest equalizing factor for our system are lenses that are bright and yet fairly compact. I dont want to get a standard zoom that is less bright than a kit lens no matter how good its IS is; that just seems counter-intuitive for me. Its, just plain physics, the brighter lenses of our system help our sensors and an f/4 standard zoom has minimal use for me.

Again, I know there are many diehard 12-100 users here. Dont really want to start a debate. But these are my personal reasons why I dont favor the 12-100 which I wanted to share with the OP.
 
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