Got to play with the miniature Panasonic 35-100...first impressions...

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by LowriderS10, Oct 13, 2014.

  1. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    I was in Tokyo over the weekend and popped into a camera store where they had a bunch of new stuff, including the mini Panasonic 35-100 (complements the 12-32 the GM1 comes bundled with).


    Amazing. Incredible. Wow. Super. Seriously...a 70-200 equiv in a package that small? Nothing but praise for it. It's also very's a traveler's dream.


    Felt nice and solid, no barrel play, etc. I've been reading that it's made of metal, but I don't know...if it is, it's rather cheap metal. It certainly doesn't feel like the O75, for example (I know, not the same price category either, but when people think metal, they think O75, Leica, Voigtlander,'s not like that). The silver actually looked rather cheap and plasticky. It definitely wasn't a visually impressive lens. The black is much, much better looking, in my opinion. Otherwise, the lens felt fine, but the zoom ring on both was a little clunky/sticky. It didn't zoom nearly as smoothly as I expect my lenses to.


    This is a very, very, VERY unscientific test. I shot a few frames in a store and that's it. I handheld it in less than optimal lighting, so there's certainly room for error...on the other hand, it was a very real-world test, if you shoot at night, indoors, etc. I also had my O45 to compare it to. At 45mm the 35-100 is incredible. It's juuuust about up there with the O45. It's sharp and contrasty, with great colours. CA seemed to be completely absent. No complaints, would use it in a heartbeat in just about any situation.

    At 100mm, however, it was a different story. For one, at 100mm, you're down to f5.6, which is starting to be painfully slow. Even with stabilization (which the lens has), indoors at 5.6 you're going to be cranking up the ISOs at 200mm equivalent. There also seemed to be a dramatic and immediately noticeable (even on my LCD) drop in sharpness and especially contrast. Black letters on white signs turned to grey, sharp outlines turned mushy. I was blown away by the performance at 45mm, but left wanting more at 100mm.


    Here's the big one. I love this system, and lately I've been suffering from a severe attack of G.A.S. Its unimpressive (to me) performance at 100mm notwithstanding, I was ready to buy it. I figured this with the 9-18 would make for a killer super light/super small package. I also thought that the performance at 100mm would likely be much better outdoors with more/better light. was going to be around 42,000 yen ($420, give or take). Or...about 20% less than the Panasonic 100-300 (sitting next to it on the shelf, I know that prices in other places vary), or as much as a pristine used Panasonic 100-300. And THAT was my big stumbling block. Yes...the 100-300 is massive by comparison, but it gives you significantly more reach (12x effective magnification vs. 4x), it's a stop faster at 100mm and is a proven good performer.

    As much as I wanted a small, light lens to add to my kit, I just couldn't justify the price. Perhaps when it becomes available as part of a GM1/5 kit, it'll be a much better bang for the buck. At that time, I'll likely be on the lookout for it and buy one separated from a kit. Until then, I think the extra size/weight of the 100-300 (which is tiny by supertelephoto standards) is worth it for the extra stop and reach.

    Again...disclaimer...this is not a scientific test, just hoping to help out those of you who may not have access to this lens yet. :)
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  2. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Thanks for that Lowrider, but no pictures! :(

    How big/small does it seem next to Lumix 45-150 or the unextended Olympus 40-150?

    Was it bundled in with any kit and how much was the extra cost then?
    • Like Like x 1
  3. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    I'm sorry I can't be of much more help, I didn't have much time at the store. I'm not sure on the kit pricing, and I didn't get a chance to compare it to any of the lenses you mentioned. It didn't seem much bigger (collapsed) than my 9-18. Bigger, for sure...but not by much. (Hope this helps you in a very unscientific way).

    I do have some shots, but I hesitate to post them, as it was a VERY quick and dirty comparison at slow shutter speeds, handheld. I'll see what I can do in the next few days! :)
  4. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Might that drop in sharpness be a bit of motion blur? For me the question is to get this or just continue with my Olympus 40-150. The Panny is smaller, but the IQ would have to be better to make it worth the purchase.
  5. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    I don't think so. I just went back and checked and it was shot at 1/100s, which is plenty fast (especially considering both the body and the lens are stabilized). It doesn't look like motion blur. (I'll try to post it later today).

    However...the fact that I had to bump the ISO to 1600 may have contributed (again, though...since that move is forced by the lens's 5.6 aperture, the lens is part of that equation).

    More so than losing sharpness, I think it loses quite a bit of contrast...and, since contrast adds to the feeling of sharpness, that's why the final product looks less impressive.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Serhan

    Serhan Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 7, 2011
    Thanks for the review. I think best bang for the GM1/5 is Pana 45-150mm, esp given the price/range difference... The size is small enough to use on both. 100-300 might be a too big with small cameras...
    • Like Like x 2
  7. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    You're welcome, I'm glad people are liking it. I wish it could be more in-depth, but I didn't have much time and I was in a very small/crowded store where setting up a tripod wasn't an option.

    Yeah, I'm going to get the 100-300 eventually, but it's too big even with the bigger cameras. I put it on my E-M5, and it didn't feel right, I'd definitely need the grip for my camera for better results.

    Hmmm...that Pana 45-150 is very cheap in Korea (about $160 new!) and it's only 23mm longer (when both are collapsed) than the mini 35-100. Iiiiiinteresting.... :)
  8. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    40-150 is garbage at 100mm too....because it suffers from "IBIS shock," "shutter shock," motion blur, etc. Set it at 150mm on a tripod it's golden. Every time.

    Thus, I'm guessing this might be the same? Hopefully! :)
  9. Serhan

    Serhan Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 7, 2011
    Price fluctuates here in US, but that is what I paid for a new one from Adorama. There was another 35-100mm review yesterday saying raw images has some distortion with it vs 45-150mm has near zero as you can check the photozone review... Here is the 35-100mm review:

    • Like Like x 1
  10. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Decent review Serhan, if totally unreadable text, but they don't show a single photo of the lens on the camera ... which is odd.
  11. poopstick

    poopstick Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2013
    Burlington Ontario
    This is also odd. I don't think I'll be putting much stock in that site's reviews.

    "In order to compare MTF50 results for this lens with MTF values for lenses tested on cameras with an APS-C or full frame sensor, we set the micro-43 test camera to a 2: 3 ratio. In other words: we tested this lens with a resolution of 14 megapixels (2:3 ratio) instead of 16 megapixels (4:3 ratio). Using the native 4:3 aspect ratio will yield slightly higher MTF values."
  12. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    Yeah so they are one of the worst "garbage-in garbage-out" testers out there. They obviously haven't a clue what they are doing with MTF testing. MTF testing already has a lot of limitations and flaws when done right, but these guys are just throwing files willy-nilly at Imatest without even a rudimentary understanding of how it works or how to use it. I'd say it is safe to ignore every sharpness test on their site.
    • Like Like x 1
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