(No) Love for the 35 - 100 Panasonic?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by NWright, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. NWright

    NWright Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 13, 2014
    For the long story short:

    Why does it seem like the 35 - 100mm Panasonic is under - represented in the :43: World? - For my needs (weather - sealed, outdoor/wildlife walk-around shooting) it seems like a great fit. Some potential drawbacks I can think of are that it is very costly, is a little bulky in our miniature world and might have a somewhat awkward focal length for some (slightly short for some wildlife applications, and not really wide enough to cram a ton of the scene in either).

    Is there something that I am missing with this lens that has kept it down in the :43: World and missing from your bag?

    For the unabridged version:

    I currently have the 14mm f2.5, 45mm f1.8 and the Oly 40 - 150 R. I am a very active individual and live in a place that is prone to serious weather. I tend towards landscape and portrait shooting and I have actually been enjoying the 40 - 150R for my outdoors shooting much more than the 14mm. The 40 - 150 allows me to pick something out of an open scene and easily compose it to taste while also being able to open up on the scene a decent bit if needed.

    I am working my way up to the point where I am ready to buy one of the more "premium" lenses for the m 4/3 system and my affection for the 40 -150 has lead me to consider the 75mm f1.8 and the 35 - 100mm Panasonic. Both of these lenses would be a significant upgrade in light gathering abilities, focus speed and overall IQ over my current zoom.

    I would LOVE to own the 75 (I have read numerous posts in this forum from people saying that is their go - to landscape lens) BUT the 35 - 100 seems to allow for much more flexibility if I am on the go (I always am) and it is weather sealed to boot! (I have the EM5 and have already been in some sketchy situations in weather with non - weather sealed lenses)

    Some drawbacks I can think of are:
    1: The cost
    2: The size (too heavy for a long hike around my neck?)
    3: Not really long enough for some wildlife shooting (serious birding/etc) nor really wide enough to get some full scenes in.

    The 35 - 100 seems to be a great step up for me, but before I invest into one of the most expensive pieces of glass for the system I'd like to know, is there something that I am missing that is keeping it out of your bag?
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Jay86

    Jay86 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2012
    I think its a pretty darn popular lens thats just been overshadowed by chatter of other lenses that have come out around the same time and since it. I think if you look around enough you will see mostly everyone agree's its a fantastic lens and really if it fits your needs there is no reason not to buy it (aside from considerations for your own finances, lol). Another reason why some people may not have bought this lens is that there holding out waiting for the Olympus 40-150mm F/2.8 lens which is slated for release in the next little while. The extra 50mm on the long end at F/2.8 is a serious advantage especially for someone like yourself based on your original post. It will however be an even larger lens with a higher price tag (I assume) and have no IS built in (if you were to ever shoot a Panasonic body this would obviously be a big deal). Personally I think the smaller size/weight of Panasonic 35-100 (in comparison to the future Oly 40-150 2.8 lens that is) and built in image stabilization should you ever shoot both brands camera's at once makes it quite a flexible and possibly even better lens choice. It all comes down to that fact wether you really need the extra 50mm on the long end at F/2.8. This is of course all talk based on assumed facts about the upcoming lens so it is just that - talk.

    I personally think based on your needs if you want to buy a lens right now I would get the Panasonic 35-100 without hesitation. The Oly 75 is a great choice of course but if you can only have one (again) given your needs in your post I would take the P35-100 lens instead (the weather sealing is huge I should think for yourself especially with a weather sealed body like the E-M5).

    Good luck deciding!
    • Like Like x 1
  3. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    OK, I don't understand the question/title of the topic. There is nothing wrong with the PL35-100. That is why it's in my bag :wink: Sure, it is not a long zoom, but there again, it was not meant to be. It is a 70-200 equivalent in 35mm and it neatly complements the PL12-35 (also in my bag). The price is not prohibitive if you consider that you are getting an extremely versatile, high quality lens and it's fast as well. Oh yeah, it's weather sealed as well.

    I decided that I could sacrifice some great quality primes and good quality zooms in order to purchase the 2 Panasonic offerings. My guess is that there are a good number of people who like it well enough to own a copy. BTW, I also think it's very handy to have a second MFT body so both lenses can be mounted and ready to use. I just had an opportunity to used both lenses at a party and took some really nice shots which I would have either missed of would have had to crop if I did not have the PL35-100 and the PL12-35. Take a look if you like..

    If you are considering the purchase of it, I'd say go ahead. Or at least go ahead and rent one to see if you like it enough to make the plunge.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Alberta Dave

    Alberta Dave Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 3, 2014
    Central Alberta, Canada
    Hi there,
    First post on here, just signed up.
    So the PL35-100…. I picked one up a few days ago and I'm really impressed with it so far. I was considering the impending OL 40-150 2.8 but I was worried more about the portability rather than the lack of reach. I have spent money on the micro43 system to use a travel setup and the size of the PL35-100 meant that it fit in the bag nicely. I have been shooting many years with a Canon system with it's large and heavy lenses and this is like a breath of fresh air to me.
    If you can spring the cash to buy it, go ahead, it's out there being used and people love.

    • Like Like x 1
  5. riverr02

    riverr02 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    New York
    I'll be a bit provocative here. Don't know if it's true that the 35-100 is underrepresented in the MFT world, but let's assume for argument-sake it is. FWIW, I own it and the 12-35 and am very happy with both. In fact, I own both Olympus and Panasonic primes and zooms, as well as camera bodies as part of my photography hobby. But when I look at the volume of posts on Olympus products as compared to Panasonic products in the context of this post, I wonder to myself how much more popular the P35-100 would be if it had an Olympus name on it. : )
    • Like Like x 4
  6. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    1. It's certainly not a cheap lens, but if you need f/2.8 in a m43 telephoto zoom, it's the only option. I bought one recently to take photos of indoor concerts and plays, and it's perfect for that and more. I needed the speed to achieve this shot:


    2. Weight is relative. Like others, I also come from years of lugging about a FF Canon DSLR with large L telephoto lenses. The size and weight of this lens is really insignificant compared to a 70-200 f/2.8 IS or a 100-400 lens. Again, if you need the range and speed, there are currently no alternatives.

    3. It is indeed too short for birding or most other types of wildlife, but so is the 40-150, and even more so the 75. For that, you minimally need the 100-300 lens. What the 35-100 will give you is nice isolation and high IQ for general nature photography. If you need anything wider, the weather proof 12-50 or 12-40 lens would seem like the better choice.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Based on this forum, I'd say more folks have the 35-100 than have the Olympus 75-300.....
  8. MrKal_El

    MrKal_El Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 24, 2011
    I recently went away and my walkaround set up was my E-M1 with 12-40mm (used about 75%) and the 35-100mm. I had my new 25mm and 45mm...but actually didn't use them at all... too cumbersome to keep changing out...

    Long story short..I use my 35-100mm quite alot, esp for full body portraits outside...great bokeh.
    • Like Like x 2
  9. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I think it's a matter of taste - it is a little surprising to me that it's not as 'lauded', particularly given the popularity of 70-200 lenses for DSLRs. I do think some of that popularity is based on the fact 70-200 on a crop is a lot more telephoto than it is on FF, where I find the 70-200 range to be great for people shooting, but otherwise the lens was annoyingly large and didn't give me as much joy as simply shooting a prime in the middle of the range (135/2.0 for me) - I suspect the 75/1.8 would be a better 'fit' for me because of that, particulary with stabilisation.

    But if I shot weddings and wanted to use MFT, no question, I'd buy one in a heartbeat. For me, personally, it's a focal range I rarely find myself using. With my 5D mark II it was in part the weight, but on the other hand, my 100-400 got taken out to play relatively frequently, so it wasn't just that. I always loved the results when I did use it, though.
  10. chrisada

    chrisada Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 4, 2014
    I have the Olympus 75, and I still think of buying the Panasonic 35-100 quite often.

    If I have time to consider, move around, compose, etc. the result I got from the 75 is excellent.

    But for impromptu pictures, I have a feeling the 35-100 will be get me more shots.
  11. MrKal_El

    MrKal_El Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 24, 2011
    This is why I have yet to get the 75mm...
  12. Serhan

    Serhan Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 7, 2011
    I think the initial pricing and Olympus 75mm 1.8 are 2 reasons for slow sales. The price has been reduced some since its first release. I like it as a walk around lens, but I felt sometimes short as I used to the 14-150mm/45-200mm range. DOF is nice at the zoom end, but at 45mm, it doesn't give much blur so cheaper 75mm 1.8 for portraits make more sense. Therefore these limit its market. Size is small for 70-200mm lens esp considering it has internal zooming w/ IS and seeing the new Oly m43 lens sizes:
  13. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    This gets insinuated all the time (that the forum is driven by Olympus lovers who shun Panasonic) but I just don't buy it. The little GM1 has received WAAAAAY more attention than any of the tiny PENs from Olympus. The Panasonic Noctitron already has several threads about it, and is drawing rave reviews despite its "Panasonic" label. When Oly released the 25mm f/1.8 the comparisons immediately came up against the Panny 25mm f/1.4, and the result has been almost universal praise for the Panny (as well as the Oly). Sometimes it seems as if users of Panasonic gear are a little defensive about their choice, and I don't know why.

    In the case of the 35-100mm, I think it's simply the odd focal length, in combination with the cost, that's kept it from being more popular. Many people will shell out big bucks for a walkaround prime or kit zoom (spanning the normal range), but fewer are willing to spend that kind of money on a specialty lens. For me, and I suspect for many people, the 70-200mm FFE range is a specialty range. If I were more interested in those focal lengths I'm sure it would be near the top of my wish list, because by all indications it's a great lens.
  14. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    The 35-100 is a pretty common FL from the FoV perspective. The 70-200 was a very common lens in FF. I've always heard this is the zoom most popular with wedding guys. What has blunted the discussion is (IMHO) that many on this list prefer primes lens and are more likely to spend the big bucks on lenses like the 75 1.8. It's also a pretty expensive lens,and that cuts the pool down quite a bit. Of course, the OLy 40-150 2.8 will get a lot of attention but that will be the only real 300 2.8 possibility.

    I agree that there is an Olympus bias here. I don't think it's mean spirited but folks tend to have brand loyalties and they buy what they like. I don't hear anyone really dissing the 35-100, they are just not actively talking about it.
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    A long prime like 75 is good for subjects that are trapped in a small area like musicians or actors on stage . Do you do a lot of that?
  16. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    I loved my Nikon equivalent (the 70-200mm f/2.8 VR). It was heavy, expensive, and extremely capable. It was my 'go to' lens when shooting most sporting events.

    However after moving to :43: I've stopped (for the most part) shooting sporting events. Not that the Olympus can't do it, it's just not something I want to do anymore.

    I've returned to shooting (mostly) primes - which requires time to change lenses upon occasion and slows my shooting down to a leisurely pursuit.

    Had I unlimited funds I would replicate the Nikon "holy trinity" (12-24mm f/2.8, 24-70mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8) in micro four thirds lenses just to have them available when desired. Since my funds are extremely limited I prefer these days to purchase primes.

    It's an ongoing internal battle - too many years of shooting Nikon gear has made an impact. I'm constantly tempted to whip out the credit card and order in the zooms (including the 35-70mm) but they wouldn't really improve my photography.

    It's a very nice lens from all reports but doesn't fall into my shooting style these days. If I were ten years younger and still photographing the guy trying to steal home base on a suicide squeeze play it would, like the E-M1, be in my bag.

    If it fits your shooting style (current or desired) then I think it would be a fine addition to your kit.


  17. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    I have the 35-100mm and use it every week, nothing wrong with it at all. It's an excellent lens and I have no complaints.

    As to why it doesn't seem to get quite as much attention, I think there are a couple main factors:

    1) Price. It's an expensive lens, and lots of people on this forum can't or won't buy lenses at high price points.
    2) Olympus 75mm f/1.8 sits right in the center of the focal length and is exceptionally sharp, cheaper, and faster.

    The 75mm almost prevented me from buying the 35-100mm and in many cases, it's a perfectly reasonable substitute. If you don't need the ability to zoom or the extra 25mm of reach, the 75mm offers some of the best optics around, and over a stop of shallow DoF or light gathering capabilities.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    I have the 75, so the 35-100 is on the back burner. And with the 40-150/2.8 coming, I can wait and see. Though, not having OIS might be the breaking point because I share with my brother who has a heavier video load (so running with the GH line). I've always felt a zoom in this range was more useful than a prime, but I ended up w/ the prime first anyway, ha.
  19. jonlong

    jonlong Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 25, 2013
    I'm not really adding anything of value here, but I also plan on adding the 12-35 and 35-100 to my kit soon. And a 100-300 within the next week or so. They will be replacing my 14-42ii and 45-150. I think both of the lumix 2.8 zooms are very expensive given the amount of glass they require, but they're priced accordingly to competitive lenses in other systems.

    The size is a non-issue for me. I'm not pocketing the camera and I just like to be able to carry a wide range of focal lengths in a small backpack (or not take up a lot of room in larger backpack). Even the 100-300 easily fits in a water bottle pocket (which is how I carry the spare lenses on my backpack), so it's small enough to not get in the way.

    I'm just hoping we see a weather sealed and faster variant of the 100-300. A 300 prime would leave the 100-299 focal length empty in the pro series lineup for panasonic.

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