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Olympus Zuiko 14-35mm f/2.0 VS Panasonic lumix g x vario 12-35mm f2.8

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by striiderz, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. striiderz

    striiderz New to Mu-43

    Sep 16, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Hi All,

    I've got a Panasonic Ag AF 102 series camera. Looking at a new fast aperture lense with zoom for filming.

    I'm tossing up between the Olympus Zuiko 14-35 f2 and the new Panasonic x12-35 f2.8.

    I know for a fact the Olympus is way more pricey than the Panasonic.
    I've personally handled the Olympus 14-35, and found it an excellent lense, but I've also heard some negative feedback for the Olympus.

    I have no idea what to expect with the Panasonic 12-35 f2.8 lense.

    Would anyone consider this over the Olympus? Is it as good value as it seems?

    What are your thoughts? All suggestions are appreciated.

    I currently own a Lumix 14-140 and a voigtlander 25mm prime.

    The Panasonic 14-140 is personally crap in low light, and the voigtlander is absolutely stunning for video, but its only a prime, and would prefer a good zoom for low light.

    Any suggestions?

  2. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I have heard, and LensRentals says, that the AF100 can have problems with Oly 4/3 lenses in video. I am not clear as to the nature of those problems, but it probably merits some research before laying out that much money.
  3. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    The 14-35/2 has three primary advantages over the 12-35/2.8. It's a stop faster, it's a true constant-aperture lens (the 12-35/2.8 doesn't have the same physical aperture size across the range), and it's a decent amount sharper. But the last point is sort of irrelevant as even at 1080p the difference in sharpness will be essentially invisible. On the flip side, the 12-35 is a lot smaller and easier to handle, and it gives a much wider view at the wide end.

    I'd say if you really expect to shoot in low light, or want to minimize depth of field, the 14-35/2 might make sense, but otherwise the 12-35/2.8 is a substantially more practical choice.

  5. Karbon14

    Karbon14 New to Mu-43

    Sep 25, 2012

    Everyone will have a different use for and experience with these combinations of lenses. We use an AG AF 102 for our commercial production work and have both the Zuiko Digital F2 lenses and the AG AF proprietary Lumix lenses. From only the perspective of our needs (and staying above the technical discussions that most on this forum can probably add to) - disclaimer said:

    As you already know with your Voigt and Pana the lens design and build quality between the Zuiko and AG AF Lumix lenses are chalk and cheese. The AG AF was specifically designed to reach into the pro-sumer and DSL vid market with its 'closer-to-35mm' sensor and interchangeable lenses. If the AG AF camera was the strategy, the proprietary AF Lumix lenses were tactically built (held back from saying developed) to quickly fill the gap of compatible, semi-auto functioning, point and shoot 4/3 lenses, which from this perspective they do reasonably well.

    On the other side of the coin, the Zuiko lenses were originally developed for D35mm and were at the time very high production cost lenses. They've also been a consistent seller since '05... and there's good reason for this... They're fast, high-quality designed and constructed, efficient and robust lenses. With production costs written down over this time they're still amongst the highest value lenses on this market. And they are popular, having been tweaked along the way to fit the needs of the modern, broad-requirement user.

    So it's a function vs form discussion. Our business has quality compliance requirements to Nat Geo and HD TV so here we forego some of the Lumix/Pana convenience to take on higher image quality of the Zuiko Digitals. And we especially love the Zuiko D35 - 100 f2 for this reason (and because it has lived up to the absolute pounding we give it).

    But in a world of compromise the argument doesn't end there, so before you go and spend a few more hard-earned dollars for the quality of Zuiko D you may want to consider some other things:

    a) The Zuiko D lenses are a heavily engineered design to allow f2 through full zoom range and are therefore relatively big and heavy, particularly the 35 - 100. Great for the "looks cool" factor until you have to carry it around Angkor Wat for a 3 day shoot. Add to this the 14 inch rig you'll need to bolt under it to keep the lens from twisting the mount around in the plastic AG AF frame.

    b) If point and shoot is your thing don't bother reading further. While the Zuiko's have some auto function iris and focus, if you think you can get away without follow-focus think again. These are very much manual lenses on the AG AF. And because they were not specifically designed for the AG AF have some inherent "personalities":

    c) Because of the smaller sensor on the AG AF your focus will not linearly follow zoom, so for those impact enhancing zoom-in shots, you'll need both hands on the lens (or remote) to counter-dial zoom and focus.

    d) For field-depth action shots you'll also need to hire a focus puller to change the range settings on the lens' focal range dial while you turn the focus ring through 270 degrees to re-establish focus.

    e) Get your Grip to carry the mic at least a metre away because unless you're filming a Megadeath concert you'll pick up the incessant focus/iris servo clicking.

    f) If you want have some fun with your post prod colourist, just leave auto iris on during those wide pans through gradient light. Correcting the broad-increment auto iris stops will keep him/her amused for days!!

    g) With auto features turned on two chargers rotating 5 batteries should get you through a days filming.

    h) Join a gym, because between the camera, rig, lens, shade, battery pack and PIX240 / Gemini to hold that image uncompressed (in 8 bit - Grrr) you're looking at nearly 9kg.... and looking cool is a must.

    But don't get me wrong, our Lumix don't see daylight. Like the quirks of an old Ferrari you grow to appreciate, once you learn to film "Zuiko-manually" you'll just fall in love with the dynamics, quality and brilliant low light crisp output of the Zuiko Digital F2 lenses. Our Zuiko Digitals have bounced halfway around the world, been dropped, washed, squashed and generally mistreated, but (aside of several neutral density filters) have never let us down, turning great image after great image.

    So cynicism and embellishment aside, with these two lenses on the AG AF it's a matter of compromise for purpose. Think through your purpose and if your AG AF still fits the scene .... then go get a Zuiko. lol:) 
    • Like Like x 1
  6. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    Not to nitpick, but if the 14-35/2 maintains a maximum f/2.0 across its range, then it doesn't have the same physical aperture size across its range either. f-stop is the ratio of focal length to aperture size (diagonal opening.) So, if it goes from 14-35mm in focal length, then the maximum aperture must increase proportionally over that range, too, to maintain f/2.0. In other words, it will be 2.5x larger at the long end than at the wide end.

    The problem with the 12-35mm seems to be that instead of increasing seamlessly through the range, it has more of a saw-tooth or step pattern to it. For example, if it had four discrete maximum openings: 4.29, 5.71, 7.50 and 9.64 mm diameters for 12-16, 16-21, 21-27 and 27-35mm focal lengths, then as you zoomed out, it would rise from f/2.8 to f/3.5, then click open to drop back to f/2.8 at the wide end of each new sub-range. I haven't handled it to know if it's that extreme or not - I really hope not - but it definitely could be an issue for video.
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