Lumix 12-35mm or adapter Panasonic Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-50mm?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by crashwins, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. crashwins

    crashwins Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    Northampton, MA
    How do you think these stack up against each other, image quality being the most important factor? Finally thinking about picking up a zoom and I could probably grab the latter for $300, but the former is looking like a grand or so. Thanks
  2. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    How important are the 2mm at the wide end , to you? I tried out a 14-50 2.8 on the weekend...seller wanted $250 and I passed on it, as I didn't think it was worth it once you factor in adapter cost, plus AF was pretty slow. I could mount a manual lense and start to focus by the time it locked on...I may exaggerate a little but it was definitely not impressive.
  3. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    Well, for one thing the 12-35mm will focus faster and doesn't need a 4/3 to micro 4/3 adapter to function, lol. If you don't have one, figure that into your price.

    Here's a page from with the Panny/Leica measurements:

    Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-50mm f/3.8-5.6 Asph. OIS - Review / Test Report - Analysis

    And for the 12-35mm:

    Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm f/2.8 ASPH POWER OIS - Review / Test Report - Analysis

    Way sharper is the 12-35mm. However, it's a case of "you get what you pay for". The 12-35mm is a 6 years newer design for a different flange-back distance and also for a higher res sensor than the Panasonic L1 had.

    That's all I've got. I have a 12-35mm but I've never shot the 14-50mm.
  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    But the review you're linking to is for the low-end 14-50/3.8-5.6, which accompanied the L10, not the 14-50/2.8-3.5 which came with the L1. Either way, photozone reviews aren't comparable across different systems, 4/3 and m4/3 included.

    The 14-50/3.8-5.6 wasn't anything special. The 14-50/2.8-3.5 was quite good though - comparable to the Olympus 14-54/2.8-3.5 and I suspect on par with the 12-35/2.8. AF speed on m4/3 is very slow though, and it is a much larger lens.
  5. SteveG

    SteveG Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 9, 2013
    I have the Olympus 14-54 mkii which is a comparable FT lens. The 12-35 is probably sharper, certainly smaller, and absolutely more expensive. The oly is only f/3.2 at 35mm which is not even half a stop difference and close enough for my needs. The extra 20mm reach has come in handy on many occasions.
    I don't know about the AF on the Pany FT lens, but my understanding is they're not CDAF compatible so they're sloooow.
  6. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    Ha ha! Well, I'm displaying my "4/3" ignorance I think, lol. I was in the middle of something else and clearly not paying enough attention when I looked at that review.

    My apologies.
  7. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    I agree with all the commentators. The two lenses are apples vs watermelons. The reason I got into micro four thirds is because I had an old L10 and sure it adapts fine with all the caveats noted. I now have a Panny 12-35 f2.8. This is definitely my go to lens. I also have an adapted Oly 50-200 F 2,8-3.5. This is a monster but takes truly remarkable pictures. It too suffers from slow but accurate focus. If you want to adapt lenses,adapt this one.
  8. crashwins

    crashwins Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    Northampton, MA
    Thanks folks. Really appreciate the insight here. I had this Leica Lumix before on my L1, but never thought to adapt it. Now I think I'll just pass on bothering with that, especially with what I'm hearing about video.
  9. McBob

    McBob Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 22, 2012
    I own both. Had the 14-50/2.8-3.5 first, intended the 12-35 to replace it, but... well, you all know how that goes.

    In practical use the 14-50 is an all-manual lens with OIS; as I work primarily video, that's never been a problem. The 12-35 is a delightful lens on auto. Image quality between the two is close enough as no difference... if anything, the 14-50 seems a little "smoother" but by no means less sharp. If I was forced to sell one, it'd likely be the 12-35 simply because it was worth more, not for any qualities of the lens.
  10. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I owned the 14-50/2.8-3.5 and now have the 12-35/2.8.

    Glacial does not begin to describe the AF speed. It is practically unusable on anything that moves period.

    I was not overwhelmed with the IQ of the Leica. There is absolutely nothing to complain about, for sure, but I never really had a "wow" moment either.

    The Leica is HUGE and pretty heavy. I had to change my grip, and primarily hold the camera with my left hand around the lens. By comparison, the 12-35 is tiny and light.

    IMHO, the 12-35 is worth every penny by comparison.
  11. I found the 14-50mm a great lens to use on a 4/3 system DSLR (E-510 in my case), but it never really translated to Micro 4/3. Mine was a very sharp copy and I would put it right up there with any other higher end, fast aperture zoom lens that I have used. The issue with the lens on a Micro 4/3 camera is really the autofocus speed (awful) and the balance (too big and heavy). Overall a very nice lens but only when used in the system that it was designed for.
  12. Hektor

    Hektor subscribing member

    May 15, 2014
    This is an old thread but new to me. I bought the Vario Elmarit 14-50 and with the Panasonic adapter, and it works well with the GX1 body in most situations and I consider the lens to be quite sharp. I also use the Panasonic 12-32 and for me, it is the perfect street lens. I am not all that excited about infinity shots with the Vario Elmarit, but close ups are very good. I bought the Vario Elmarit used for a reasonable price and it was like new. Oddly, it mounts and works with the Lumix L10, but lacks some of the features that the slower f3.5-5.6 Vario Elmar enjoys.
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