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Panasonic 12-32 first impressions

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by yehuda, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. yehuda

    yehuda Mu-43 Veteran

    200
    Mar 14, 2013
    Hi.

    Just received the miniature 12-32 lens in black.

    My other lenses: pana 12-35 f2.8, pana 14-42 pz (soon to be sold) and rokinon 7.5mm fisheye.

    Over the last 2 years I had and sold: pana 20 f1.7, pana 25 f1.4, oly 45 f1.8, pana 14-45 original kit zoom, oly 12-50 and the oly 14-42 kit zoom.

    In short - I found the 12-35 f2.8 best suited for my needs and disliked the primes for my style of shooting.
    If the kit zooms the 14-45 was best and the 14-42 pz a close second.

    Now to the new 12-32.
    In anything but extreme upper right corner it is a serious threat to the 12-35 in the same apertures 4-5.6
    at 12mm.
    going to 32mm the difference between the two is very apparent in 100% pixel view all over the frame.
    Still, the 12-32 resolves better than the 14-42.
    As to distortions: the 12-35 slightly better.
    But here's a funny thing I noticed - if the camera is static and I just switch between the 12-32 and 12-35 with both set to 12mm, the 12-32 gets a broader view angle (probably because it is physically shorter).
    This might seem like nothing but if you ever get to those 'lean all thr way back to the wall to try squeeze it in the frame' you'll see this as a definite advantage.

    The zoom ring is smooth, having to turn the zoom to open it up for use is annoying, but a lot smoother than the original oly 14-42 was.

    In my opinion this lens comes closer to the 12-35 in terms of IQ than any other zoom kit lens (and I had quite a few if then and shot a lot of photos with all of them).

    The size difference compared to the 14-42 pz is small but noticeable (almost as if not mounting a lens at all).

    I only tested it with the G5 and all 3 (12-35 12-32 & 14-42pz) were compared by shooting on a tripod with 2 second delay and in manual mode. and processed identically in my automatic lightroom workflow.

    What I miss compared to the 14-42 pz is... the pz (makes shooting videos one handed with the g5 smoothe as I use the lever on the g5 to zoom).

    Other than that - excellent lens!
     
    • Like Like x 19
  2. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Nice! Thanks for sharing. :)

    Would you mind posting some samples (and perhaps some 100% crops?)
     
  3. yehuda

    yehuda Mu-43 Veteran

    200
    Mar 14, 2013
    Perhaps later on.
    Do you have anything in mind?
     
  4. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    Thanks. I'm really interested in this lens, but I'm waiting on more reports like this and hopefully some rigorous testing from slrgear before making the plunge. That I'm hoping to see the price fall as they get separated from their cameras and sold separately.

    Your comment about 32mm is a little worrying . . . can you compare the 12-32mm at 32mm with the 14-45mm at the same FL?
     
  5. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    and how's the CA and distortion corrected?
     
  6. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Nothing specific...maybe some buildings and landscapes as that's what I shoot mostly...they should also give people a decent idea about distortions, contrast and resolution. :)
     
  7. yehuda

    yehuda Mu-43 Veteran

    200
    Mar 14, 2013
    Crops 12-32 vs. 12-35

    OK.

    Here's a batch I took comparing the 12-35 F2.8 to the 12-32.
    All on a tripod, 2 second timer, Aperture priority,
    @ equivalent apertures and *almost* the same focal lengths (12mm vs. 12mm but 32mm vs. 35mm).
    Taken outdoors on a cloudy day.

    The angle of view is just a bit wider on the 12-32. Indoors it seemed more of an issue...

    Anyway - 6 images contain crops.
    All crops are 100% pixel view. All processed from RAW with the exact same settings.

    The crops are arranged in a 3x3 matrix:

    [ upper_left corner , upper_center, upper_right_corner
    middle_left_corner , middle_center, middle_right_corner
    bottom_left corner , bottom_center, bottom_right_corner ]

    The 9 left crops are the 12-32, the 9 crops on the right are the 12-35.

    I included 2 small versions of the original images just so you see where the corners come from.

    Hope this helps because I wasted a lot of time organizing this (but automated the whole process; next time will be much quicker!)...
     

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 16
  8. yehuda

    yehuda Mu-43 Veteran

    200
    Mar 14, 2013
    Oh... either download the images or hover above them to see the file name (named by focal lengths and aperture values).

    I think it's best to download them anyway to really see what it looks like.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  9. wushumr2

    wushumr2 Mu-43 Regular

    137
    May 20, 2013
    Thanks man! It looks like the 12-35 is just a tiny bit sharper on the whole than the 12-32...but considering how few elements are in the 12-32, and the price range, the little pancake acquits itself quite nicely.
     
  10. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    Wow, thanks for doing this; it is very useful.

    At 12mm the differences are negligible to my eyes. Quite a performance from the 12-32mm!

    At 32/35mm the differences are large, with a big edge to the 12-35mm. The corners of the 12-32mm look pretty crappy. A bit of a bummer, but I guess nothing's free.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    贾一川
    is anyone here like me to think the 12-32 does very well at 32mm even in corners wide open?
     
  12. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    LOL no, though I wish I did. To my eyes the 12-32mm corners look very mushy, especially compared to the 12-35mm.
     
  13. yehuda

    yehuda Mu-43 Veteran

    200
    Mar 14, 2013
    I was too lazy to add the 14-42pz to the test, but conducted another test indoors with all 3 and the 12-32 was closer to 12-35 corners than to the 14-42 pz's.
    The photos indoors are more private (my house) so you'll excuse me for not sharing them.

    At the time I had the 14-42pz, 12-35 & 14-45 'original kit lens' and did some serious comparisons.
    I remember the 14-45 wasn't really much better than the 14-42pz in the corners and definiyely not in the center and decided to sell the 14-45.
    So while I don't have the 14-45 to compare with the new 12-32 I am pretty sure the 12-32 fares better than the 14-45 in most everything IQ wise.
    And that's saying a lot!
     
    • Like Like x 6
  14. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    842
    Feb 20, 2013
    Thanks for doing this. As soon as I saw your comparison samples I thought, "hmm, 12-32 not so great." But now that I see that you already tested with the highly-acclaimed 14-45, I don't have many questions anymore :)

    So, in order of goodness

    -14-42 PZ
    -14-45
    -12-32
    -12-35

    And I'm sure the Oly 14-42 would be down there with the PZ 14-42 and the 12-40 would be right there with the 12-35.
     
  15. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Yes it does very well, though a touch softer. The foliage bottom right is the give-away, though even there it's better wide open than at f8.

    Remember folks we are PIXEL PEEPING. Calling it very mushy is rather exaggerated IMHO. At normal viewing scale the little lens will look very nice.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  16. ajamils

    ajamils Mu-43 Veteran

    211
    Nov 20, 2012
    Richmond, Texas
    Isn't your order upside down? Or are you saying that 14-42 pz is better than 12-35?

    Scribbled on Galaxy Note 3.
     
  17. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Wicked comparison, thank you!!!

    The 12-35 seems to have superior edge sharpness, but in the centre it's pretty much even...and...given the size, weight and cost advantages of the 12-32, it looks like a very, very respectable lens!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  18. yehuda

    yehuda Mu-43 Veteran

    200
    Mar 14, 2013
    I think it fares very well and find it to be an incredibly good lens after using it a few more times.

    I did find one minor annoyance: if you move very quickly from 32mm to 12mm you might accidentally go over the 12mm mark and actually start collapsing the lens while in shooting mode
    I got used to it but this could've been done better. I don't remember this happening with the original olympus 14-42 collapsible lens. I do remember the oly was a pathetic lens in most respects, btw.
     
    • Like Like x 4
  19. zensu

    zensu An Old Fool

    Aug 8, 2012
    Southeastern USA
    Bobby
    What LowriderS10 said +1.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. yehuda

    yehuda Mu-43 Veteran

    200
    Mar 14, 2013
    An update now that I've been using the 12-32 for a while...

    Switched back to the 12-35 2.8 today.
    Zoom motion MUCH smoother, focuses faster in dim light, all in all feels like a better lens.

    My verdict: mist of the time I'll prefer the 12-32 due to the small size. But fir real important stuff the 12-35 will be my choice.

    Still - the small 12-32 is an amazing little gem of a lens!
     
    • Like Like x 4