Keep the Panny 12-35 or get Olympus 12-40?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Crazy150, Aug 8, 2017.

  1. Crazy150

    Crazy150 Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 8, 2017

    Long time lurker. First post since I couldn't quite find the answer to my question.

    I'm about to pull the trigger on an em1.2 and need some advice re lenses. I currently have the GX7 with the 12-35 2.8. Love the lens. Since the em1.2 will be my defualt body, is it worth selling the panny lens and getting the oly? I can get the oly for $700 as a kit lens. I can probably sell the panny for $550ish. Is it worth the $150 "upgrade"?

    Also, what are thoughts on getting the 12-100 oly? Seems a steep price for a f4 lens. How will the IS vary from the three lenses: 12-35 panny, 12-40 oly, 12-100 oly.

    FYI, I do a lot of travel shooting so landscapes, street, portraits. I also dabble in video and will be doing more. The stabilization is one reason why I'm drawn to the em1.2.
  2. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    If you have the 12-35mm 2.8, I'd keep it. If you really need that extra reach, go spend that $150 on a used Sigma 60mm 2.8 Art! :) 

    The 12-100mm f/4 Pro is the only best in class, weather sealed, all-in-one super zoom. Nothing touches it in any format for what you get. It's spendy, so it's really up to you if it's something you need.
    • Agree Agree x 5
  3. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Ya agreed with the above. I use the Panny 12-35mm/2.5 on my E-M1 and it works great. I am not sure what I could possibly gain moving from it to a Oly 12-40 PRO. Noting I have nothing against the Oly model. I simply ended up with the Panny do to a great deal on a used one. If I had to do it over again, a great deal might put me in the Oly instead. But selling one to get the other (either way) seems like a lot of effort for very little gain.

    And I also agree with the above that the 12-100 PRO is a whole different class of lens when coupled with a compatible body like your E-M1 mII. Kind of hard to compare it directly against other lenses as it simply does things other can not.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  4. Crazy150

    Crazy150 Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 8, 2017
    Thanks for the quick replies guys. So, any extra benefit with the oly lens regarding stabilization?

    Also, what do you mean by whole different class? Other than the extra reach, you lose a stop of light so what's so great about it? A serious question. Would be great to have a good all in one.

    I had a similar super zoom with my old Nikon d7000. Despite convenience and good reviews, I found it was the old jack of all trades master of none situation.
  5. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2013
    The 12-100 is just a great lens all around. Just look at the sample gallery. Sure it's F4, but that's a trade-off. for having an all-in-one lens for versatility/ travel. It also has the dual image stabilization option, so despite F4, you can handhold shots for seconds (some claim up to 8, but even 1-2 is pretty amazing). Great bokeh, contrast, resolution, waterproof, etc. It's not just a kit super zoom. That said, it's not a must have lens if you prefer smaller lens, primes or F2.8 zooms...but you don't lose image quality by switching either. It is on par, if not better than the 12-40 in just pure IQ. It's really just in how you use and how much reach you want without changing lenses. If you're mostly shooting landscapes F4 is ideal and it can take great portraits too.

    The 12-35 is comparable to the 12-40 and slightly smaller form factor. The only thing you may lose is if you do focus stacking in camera vs the Panny. I wouldn't sell it just for the extra little reach.
  6. Drdul

    Drdul Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    May 16, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    Yes. See, wasn't that easy? ;) 

    I had the 12-35 on my E-PL5, and sold it to upgrade to the 12-40. For me it was worth it as I *love* the manual focus clutch, and I shoot primarily at the wide end where I find the image quality is better, particularly into the corners. Also because I was using it on an Olympus body I didn't need the lens IS of the 12-35. I now use the 12-40 on a E-PL7 until I can upgrade to a Mark III version of either the E-M5 or E-M10.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. alex g

    alex g Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Mar 30, 2016
    New York / Bath
    There are a few differences between the 12-40 and 12-35 when it comes to sharpness — e.g. the 12-35 is little more consistent across the zoom range and peaks at f/4, whereas the 12-40 decently outperforms the 12-35 when wide open at 12mm. You might take a look at their respective results at if optimum resolution is something that bothers you.

    I think it's fair to say that they have slightly different styles of out-of-focus rendering — the Panasonic tends to be a bit smoother and even sometimes mildly swirly compared to the Olympus which can be a bit nervous looking with busy, close backgrounds. It's a matter of personal taste.

    Re: stabilization, the 12-40 has no OIS at all, but at such short focal lengths, the IBIS in the E-M1 II is perfectly up to the task by itself.
  8. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Since you are planning on buying the E-M1 II, the image stabilization is in the body (IBIS = in body image stabilization). So all lenses are stabilized. If you buy a panasonic lens with optical image stabilization (OIS), if you mount it on the Oly you can choose to either use the lens's OIS or you can use Oly's IBIS (typically not both at the same time). So with the Oly body and Oly 12-40 PRO you would be using IBIS. With the Oly E-M1 II + Panny 12-35mm you can pick which to use. Being a wider angle lens it is arguable if one is better than the other. The E-M1 (I assume both models) has a menu setting where you can tell the camera if a lens with OIS is mounted to default to the lens OIS, otherwise use the camera IBIS. So when you mount the 12-35 with the IS switch ON the camera will default to the lens OIS. If the switch is off the camera will use its own IBIS. Or you can set the switch on the Panny lens to "off" and simply always use the Oly IBIS.

    All that said, the 12-100 PRO is a special lens in that it has OIS built into the lens that is designed to also work with the IBIS of the E-M1 II. So in that case you can use BOTH image stabilization methods at the same time. Where as IBIS or OIS will give you about 3 or 4 stops of image stabilization, the 12-100 mounted on the E-M1 II will give you a whopping 6x (according to Oly) stops of image stabilization. To give you an idea of how this might work, if you are shooting at 100mm in dim conditions, normally you would want a shutter speed of about 1/200s to avoid camera shake, but with 6x IS, you could get the same hand holding stability at something like a third (1/3) of a second. To put it another way, with the Oly 12-50 or the Panny 12-35 both f/2.8 lenses, with IBIS or OIS you might have 3 or 4 stops of IS. Moving to the 12-100 you lost a stop by going from 2.8 to 4.0, but with the dual IS feature you gain 2 or 3 stops, so a net gain of a stop or two.

    Keeping in mind this only has to do with IS abilities. An f4 lens is still an f4 lens, so things like depth of field on the 12-100mm PRO are still the same as any other f4 lens of the same focal length. So that is a question you have to answer. Is the aperture gain or loss important to you for shooting exposure (IS) or is it important for DoF? If the DoF at 2.8 is really that important to you over f4, then you probably should be looking at prime lenses with much larger apertures (f1.8, f1.2) instead.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Gregory

    Gregory Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 4, 2017
    I'm a landscape shooter and I don't need f2.8, or f5.6 for that matter. I've shot pretty much everything at f8 to maximize depth of field with my 12-40mm and other lenses. Tests have shown the 12-100 to be a bit weaker on the edges than the 12-40mm, FYI.
  10. NCV

    NCV Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2016
    • Agree Agree x 2
  11. wolfie

    wolfie Mu-43 All-Pro

    The 12-40 Pro also has a very good close up capability at 40mm end which can be very useful for insects and other small subjects.
    And the mechanical manual focus clutch is a joy to use compared to the "willy-nilly" free wheeling focus by wire operation of other manual focus rings on AF lenses.

    Here's an article comparing the two:
    Lens Throwdown: Panasonic 12-35mm vs Olympus 12-40mm

    Ultimately both are very good - it's which one has the edge for you in maybe one specific area that really decides it.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Hal Knowles

    Hal Knowles Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 3, 2015
    Hal Knowles
    Hello Crazy150, Your description of your common photo/video interests has me wondering why you would be upgrading to an E-M1.2 instead of a GH5...especially given their similar price range (and the recent on/off again posting of "open box" models of the GH5 on the Samy's Camera eBay site for $1,729)?

    Great deals from Samys Camera | eBay stores

    Since you are coming from a GX7, you are presumably very comfortable with the Panasonic form, function, and menus, correct? The GH5 has excellent IBIS (though maybe very marginally less effective than the E-M1.2 IBIS) and with the Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 you would get even better Dual Stabilization which unifies the camera IBIS and lens Power OIS. Plus, since you hope to do more video in the future, you'd benefit from the GH5 video features, which IMHO are considerably better than the E-M1.2.

    I sold my GH4 and E-M1.1 to upgrade to a GH5 and a G85 and I've never looked back. Both bodies are fantastic and I no longer miss the Olympus IBIS one bit. In fact, I have these 2 Panasonic bodies set up similarly so it makes it easier to use either and know exactly how to get to all of my preferred functions and settings. While the Olympus camera body designs are definitely sexier than Panasonic's utilitarian bodies, the GH5 and G85 simply get out of my way and just get the job done with their very user friendly menus and ergonomics.

    I recently shot a bunch of handheld 120 fps (conformed to 23.98 fps for 5x slow motion) videos of water skiing and wake boarding while on a family trip and the GH5 video quality absolutely delighted me (and the rest of the family)...and that was using an unstabilized Olympus 75mm f1.8. Generally, my Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 is glued to my GH5, while my Olympus 75mm f1.8 is glued to my G85. I'm having trouble rotating other lenses into the mix as this 2 body, 2 lens combo is just so darn good and flexible.

    If you shot more sports and moving wildlife (e.g., birds in flight), then the E-M1.2 might be preferred over the GH5. But given your situation, my recommendation is to keep your Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 and pick up a won't be disappointed! Just my 2-cents. Either way, I say keep the Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 for its smaller size and great performance.

    • Like Like x 2
  13. I love this forum. ask a simple question and you will get oodles of great information. problem is, do the answers make it easier to decide? for me, they stimulate GAS!
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  14. saladin

    saladin Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 29, 2015
    Me too, snow. Me too.
  15. saladin

    saladin Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 29, 2015
    Just on the 12-100 question re IBIS. I think its probably fair to say that an Em1ii and 12-100 combo gives you the best image stabilisation of any camera/any brand on the planet. Period. I cant think of anything that comes close to multi-second handheld exposures like some can do with this set-up.

    That said, you mention that portraits are a hobby along with landscapes. The 12-100 gives stunning IQ from what ive seen on this forum. But its still relatively slow at F/4 and depending on your style of shooting that may not serve your purpose. F/8 full frame equivalent depth of field bothers me. Even the 2.8 zooms are marginal to my thinking unless its the telephoto 40-150. But if the extra depth of field doesn't bother you, or is even a bonus, then go for it. Some beautiful shots in the sample thread to peruse.

    On the other question, with an Oly body and starting from scratch, I'd personally , absolutely buy the 12-40. But I don't think i'd be selling an existing 12-35 unless you absolutely want the close focus distance of the Oly lens - which is actually surprisingly good - or like the idea of the focus clutch (which is pretty cool). Only you can decide if the $200 changeover -or whatever it is - is worth it. I'd probably put that money towards a high-grade prime lens for portraits or one of the WA zooms.

    But hey, being in a position to buy a flagship body is bloody exciting no matter which lens(es) you opt for! Good luck and enjoy.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Crazy150

    Crazy150 Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 8, 2017
    Thanks. It is close in my mind, but a few things drew me to the oly after a lot of online research.

    1) the stabilization seems more to my liking. Panny is good I gather, but in every side by side I've seen the oly wins. Lot of footage that look like they've been shot with a gimbal or other stabilizer. Do you all agree at the usability of this for like dark interiors--churches, museums, etc? Seems like it can inpire some real creativity.

    2) the SOOC look of the images. A lot of times, I hate dealing with post. One review did repeated the same portraits with both cameras, randomized them and then asked you pick left/right for each. I chose the oly images 8/10 times.

    3) Not a huge deal, but I like the features of the oly a little better on paper. Live composite, filter bracketing, high res mode. Do you use any of the gh5 specific features? 4K photo?

    4) in what I've seen the autofocus for video is slightly more to my taste, but this is splitting hairs I'm sure.

    That said feel free to talk me into the gh5 and save me a couple hundred ;) 
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2017
  17. Crazy150

    Crazy150 Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 8, 2017
    Thanks. I've seen the comparison before and others when I bought the 12-35. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing some hidden benefit to the oly lens/body combo.

    You've answered my question and will save me the trouble. Thanks so much.
  18. Crazy150

    Crazy150 Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 8, 2017
    I'm sure this question has been answered in the forum, so apologies but while I've got your attention. Thoughts on the ultrawides? I like to keep my travel kit to three lenses max. Standard zoom, longish prime, ultra wide. Currently, my ultrawide is the rokinon 7.5mm. Wouldn't mind an upgrade to that. Thoughts on the panny vs the oly here? Worth the extra spend for the pro?
  19. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    There is no good reason to pay more for the Oly 2.8 12-40. I have them both and like the clutch on the front of the Oly to go to instant Manual. It is significantly bigger. I love the Oly 12 -100. but after lugging it around for a while I am starting to go back to the Oly12-40. At least the 12-100 Oly is not as monstrous as the Oly 40-150. Another option is the Panny f2.8 35-100. Then you would get dual autofocus with a Panny GH-5 with both lenses. The Panny lenses are lighter.If you switch from Panny you will face the learning curve on the controls. I personally prefer the Oly system,but have a Gx-8 I am fond of. I find all the minutia of camera comparisons rather unimportant in practice. What ever you get it will be great.You must adapt to which camera you get,not the other way around. You would never know this truth from visiting this web site.
  20. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
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