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GX85 12-40 or 12-35?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by jmaher, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. jmaher

    jmaher Mu-43 Regular

    51
    Jun 7, 2012
    Sarasota, FL
    Jim
    I am thinking about purchasing one of these and they both have their merits. When I used to have an an Olympus camera one of my most used lenses was the 12-40. The image quality was excellent as was stabilization on the E-M1. I sold that and moved on Sony systems. I am keeping the Sony FF system but missed the light weight and lens choices in m4/3 for travel and more casual shooting. I recently purchased a GX85 with the 12-32 and like it. However the slow lens doesn't work well in some circumstances.

    With the GX85 body would you go for the 12-35 2.8 that works with the dual IS on the GX85 or for the slightly longer range and (maybe) better image quality of the 12-40 2.8? Would not having the dual IS be a deal breaker for a stills shooter?
     
  2. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
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  3. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    If the goal is a lighter and smaller system than the Pan 12-35 makes more sense and smaller on the rangefinder body will also probably balance better as well. Between the two I don't think the extra 5mm makes that much of a difference. Dual IS with the 12-35 or closer focus with the 12-40 are probably more important factors.
     
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  4. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Why not wait for the new Leica DG 12-60 f/2.8-4? It's due by the end of this year.
     
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  5. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    I wish we had more information about the size of these 3 announced lenses.
     
  6. jmaher

    jmaher Mu-43 Regular

    51
    Jun 7, 2012
    Sarasota, FL
    Jim
    Both look like good choices as does the 12-60 but it's not here yet and I don't think we have yet seen what the dimensions are.
     
  7. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    You could go a different way. For my GX85 I have the 7-14, 14-140, and 12-32 zooms plus the 17, 25, 42.5 (f/1.7 & 1.8s) when I need something faster.
     
  8. jmaher

    jmaher Mu-43 Regular

    51
    Jun 7, 2012
    Sarasota, FL
    Jim
    Thanks - I have already ordered a 25 1.4 and a 60 2.8. I do need a 42.5 or 45 for sure. The zoom just makes life easier sometimes. I was thinking about a 9-18 instead of the 17-14 based on size.
     
  9. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    627
    Oct 25, 2014
    Switzerland
    Matt
    I own the GX80 and the 12-40mm and they actually make a nice, workable combo thanks to the very good grip on the GX80 - plus the 12-40mm is a great lens (and still my most used zoom lens by some margin - even though I own two fantastic Sigma zooms for my other systems). That said, I much prefer small primes on the GX80, and since the 12-35mm also offers Dual I.S., I'd actually go for that lens if I didn't already own the 12-40mm. It remains to be seen what the newly announced lenses will offer, but as far as I can see, both the 12-60mm f/2.8-4 and (obviously) the 12-100mm f/4 are larger than the existing lenses. I'll know for sure after this weekend.

    M.
     
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  10. mjw

    mjw Mu-43 Veteran

    214
    Sep 23, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    Matt
    If you don't mind me asking, how is the C-AF with the GX80 + 12-40? I currently have an E-M5 mk1 and my major complaints are its C-AF/tracking-AF and some ergonomic issues selecting AF points. I've been mulling replacing it with a either a GX-80 or E-M1 mk1. I assume the E-M1 will do better with C-AF, but I don't need great C-AF performance, just a little closer to the right side of worthless.
     
  11. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    627
    Oct 25, 2014
    Switzerland
    Matt
    I honestly haven't tried seriously yet - I use S-AF most of the time. But I should get around to trying next week...

    M.
     
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  12. astrostl

    astrostl Mu-43 Veteran

    358
    Oct 4, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Justin Honold
  13. bogdanvalentin

    bogdanvalentin Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Aug 19, 2016
    Bogdan
    Any issues with the auto focusing on gx85 with Olympus lenses? I was watching this review and at 7:40->8:05 I think the GX80/85 does some defocusing..
     
  14. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    I haven't noticed any issues, but I don't have the 12-40 and don't shoot any video to speak of. I have the Oly 17 and 25 f/1.8s.
     
  15. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    627
    Oct 25, 2014
    Switzerland
    Matt
    I usually don't use tracking, but I wanted to try it out and compare between the E-M10 (which has the same AF system as the PEN-F) and GX80 for a while now; I just did this and found the tracking with the 12-40mm on the GX80 to be noticeably more jittery than on the E-M10, but also quicker to acquire focus again if lost. Truth be told (and that's nothing new), neither camera does a really convincing job here, but if you look back at the video, you'll see that he moves somewhat faster when using the GX80, so it was a more difficult task for the camera to hold focus; and actually, you see just as much "pumping" with the 12-32mm (and the movement isn't large). So I think it's just the characteristic of the GX80 showing up here - fast tracking isn't for either of those cameras, but depending on your goals, YMMV - the GX80 is faster, the PEN-F is smoother, and that's what I found here as well.

    I personally don't shoot video, but from this short experience, I would say that you have to choose between the more stately, quite accurate performance of the Olympus bodies or the quicker and even more precise, yet sometimes more nervous action of the Panasonics ... I would have to use them quite a bit more to determine my favourite behaviour, but for now I would lean towards the Olympus. But again, that's from someone who has a hard time seeing the benefits ... I use single-point S-AF with enough success to stick with it for most of my shooting.

    As it is, I can see myself using tracking with face detection when doing people centered photo shoots (I may try it out on the street sometime soon) on both cameras; I have a feeling that the GX80 might beat the E-M10 at that due to its speed.

    Obviously, the camera to watch will be the E-M1 II ... but for that, you'll have to wait a couple of months. At the moment, only the Sony A6300 (and, by extension, the upcoming A6500) outclass the other mirrorless offerings when it comes to tracking, Panasonic and Olympus being quite good by comparison. The only real competition for Sony came from Samsung in this respect - but sadly, they have given up on camera production and development.

    M.
     
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  16. Benzy

    Benzy Mu-43 Regular

    156
    Mar 18, 2014
    If your set on this setup I owned them both and the optical differences are trivial.

    I had the 12-35 on a GX7 and with that grip it was pretty balanced. I'd imaging the smaller grip on the gx85 would be a bit of an issue. On my E-M5ii the 12-40 was a more interesting lens optically and tactically.

    That being said, an f/2.8 is mostly an outdoor/well lit interior lens on M43. And if your experience is like mine, the bulk for a utility lens where a slow kit lens would suffice and a prime would be better will make you second guess the purchase.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2016
  17. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    688
    Nov 18, 2013
    I use my 12-35mm a lot on my Gx8. Great for video and a fine stills lens. Dual IS and weather proofing in a smaller lens makes it my choice (especially if you want hand held 4K video).
     
  18. tamas970

    tamas970 Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Jun 18, 2013
    I saw in several tests, that dual I.S. doesn't really make a difference at shorter focal lengths. However, tracking might be better with the panny 12-35, but I am afraid tracking during 4k video will stay crappy anyway.