Panasonic 12-35 still worth it?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Lettermanian, Oct 24, 2014.

  1. Lettermanian

    Lettermanian Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Oct 4, 2014
    Surrey BC, Canada
    I just ordered a GX7 with the 20mm, and am struggling over which lens to complement it. I have kids so a zoom is desired. I've kind of ruled out the 14-140, because I really want the 12mm field of view for landscapes. I'm considering the 12-32mm, the 12-50mm Olympus (yes I know there will be no IS in video mode but the focal range is great), and then there is the 12-35mm f2.8. I have the 45-200mm already. The 12-32 or the Oly are lenses I could get right now, while I'd have to wait a couple months to get the 12-35mm. However, the 12-35mm used is still demanding a $900+ price tag (CDN dollars), and is getting a bit old I think. I'd really appreciate any thoughts on these.

    And just to throw in an alternative, what about the 14-42mm ii and the Oly 9-18??
     
  2. profgregorio

    profgregorio Mu-43 Regular

    116
    May 21, 2013
    Manila, Philippines
    I have the Lumix 14-45 f3.5 - 5.6 and I have tried the Lumix 12 - 35 in a side-by-side comparison. While the 12-35 has noticeably nicer image quality as well as build quality, I find that the 14-45 lens provides value that is simply hard to beat. I think you should consider the 14-45 which is available for a fraction of the 12-35 specially if you can get a used unit of the former. The money that you save can be used on an excellent prime like the Olympus 45 f1.8.
     
  3. Theo

    Theo Mu-43 Veteran

    318
    Aug 26, 2013
    Canada
    Theo K.
    Lettermanian, 12-32, 12-50, 9-18, 12-35 are very different animals. There are the size, weight, aperture and sharpness differences. You will have to narrow your criteria first.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
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  4. Stefan_SS

    Stefan_SS Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Dec 9, 2013
    Hi!

    I started with a EM-5 and that 12-50 kit zoom. Soon I bought the 45mm f1.8 and it was in a legaue of it´s own in sharpnes compared to the zoom. However, when I upgraded from EM-5 to EM-1 I bought that with the 12-40 2.8 zoom. That combo is my prime combo and I use it for about 75-80% of all the pictures I take. I never bother bringing the small and very nice 45mm anymore. Had I owned the panasonic 12-35 f2.8 I suspect it would have been the same. The only reason to use the 45 mm for me is when I shoot portrait wide open at 1.8 and that does not happen too often. Buying the 45 mm f1.8 turned out to be a bad move for me. The 75mm f1.8 on the other hand is another story. That lens is what I use for the last 20-25% of my pictures! A true gem!

    Cheers!
     
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  5. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    I'm puzzled as to why the M.Zuiko12040F2.8 isn't on the OP's list.
    12mm is required, so why does he then mention the 14-42?
    My advice would be get the collapsible 12-32 for now, if it is properly sharp : I haven't tried one.
     
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  6. Why would the 12-35mm f2.8 be considered old? Some lenses remain in production for decades.
     
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  7. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    850
    Jan 28, 2011
    USA
    If top quality IQ and the f2.8 speed are important, get the 12-35mm. It has that little extra over the standard zooms. Is it worth the extra money, I don't know. For me, I have decided it is worth it and I am happy every time I use it.

    The lens is not old. It is as fresh as any lens in the m4/3 lineup. Size may be a concern if you are into m4/3 for the "micro" aspect. I use it on the E-P5 and it balances well for me.
     
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  8. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I have a program that looks at each photos meta data and summarizes many things about the way you shoot. It confirmed what I already knew - that 90% of my shooting was done with the 12-35. It also showed that my preferred focal lengths were from 14-20mm (28-40) I have several other lens, including the 14-140, so I have the ability to change. The 12-35 really shines when you are in low light. For me, it's the go to lens. Yes, a bit pricey, but good glass is never cheap.

    14-45 is "OK", but it will bog you down in lower light.
     
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  9. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    If you want a fast, sharp lens, get the 12-35 f2.8 it will work better fr you on the GX7 because of the in lens stabilization. If you want a tiny lens, there are lots of options. The 9-18 is completely different, you won't be happy with it unless you want a super wide angle lens... The 12-35 is not "old" and I just sold an excellent specimen for well under $800 USD.... I sold it only because I purchased the O-M1 bundled with the 12-40f2.8
     
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  10. leungw

    leungw Deal Hunter

    339
    May 26, 2011
    NJ
    Willy
    I have two kids and they never sit still. I had the 12-35mm and it's great. Fast AF and great IQ. I highly recommend it. I also sold the lens on this forum earlier this week for under $800, and only because I bought the refurb Oly 12-40mm. I am not sure about the Oly site in Canada, but the US site regularly has the refurb 12-40mm for US$640. Don't forget your GX7 already has IS. Definitely consider the refurb Oly 12-40mm if you can get it around that price in Canada.

    I had the 14-140mm also. It's good for travel when you don't want to bring multiple lenses. However, I had a difficult time catching my kids with it unless it's sunny out.
     
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  11. Lettermanian

    Lettermanian Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Oct 4, 2014
    Surrey BC, Canada
    I mentioned the 14-42 with the Oly 9-18, so the Oly would include the 12mm that I like. I would like to do a fair amount of wide landscapes, so the 14-42mm would have been my zoom for when I'm out with my kids, and the 9-18 for landscapes. The ply 12-40 would be a great choice, but I've read on other forums about "Oly lenses working best on Oly bodies and Panasonic lenses on Panasonic bodies", also that the GX7 with the Oly 12-40 might not automatically correct for CA and distortion, etc, also that there would be no IS in video mode. So while it's a great lens, it may not work optimally on the GX7?

     
  12. Lettermanian

    Lettermanian Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Oct 4, 2014
    Surrey BC, Canada
    Oops, sorry for all the italics in the last post :blush:

    The Olympus Canada site does have good prices in the refurb section, but I do want to use the camera for a fair amount of video, so I just didn't really consider the 12-40 as an optimal option on the GX7. Does anyone here use the 12-40 with video on the GX7? As I asked in another post, what about any issues with the GX7 not correcting for CA and distortion, etc? How do you get around this without a lot of time in pp?
     
  13. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    775
    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    Distortion is always corrected regardless of manufacturer.

    CA correction issue is really only for Panasonic lenses on older Olympus bodies.

    So IS in video mode is really the only thing you are missing with the 12-40 on the GX7. The 12-40 is also a bit larger/heavier than the 12-35.

    More than anything I think it is going to come down to do you need the wide aperture. At the long end 2.8 vs 5.6 is of course two stops which is quite a bit of light when you need it. When shooting kids IS is often not very helpful since it doesn't stabilize the moving kids :)

    For landscapes our outdoors stopped down there is surprisingly little difference in IQ between the compact little Pansonic 12-32/3.5-5.6 and the Oly 12-40/2.8. HOWEVER, I've seen more than one report of the 12-32/3.5-5.6 being an easy victim of shutter shock - I think on the GX7 specifically. So do your homework if you go that route.

    Finally for Olympus lenses definitely consider the refurb route if you are in US or Canada. Really good deals, just a bit annoying to have to keep checking the site for stock. But you can save a bundle on the 12-40 there and I think the refurb price for the 9-18 if you go that route is very favorable as well.
     
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  14. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    If you have a choice, I would get the Panasonic 12-32mm lens rather than the 14-42mm. I have the mark 1 version of the 14-42mm lens which is relatively sharp wide open @ 14mm, but it short of falters pass 25mm and is a bit on the soft side @ 42mm. Whereas with the 12-32, it's fairly sharp across the whole range. It is the only lens that has pretty a good resolution performance slightly lower than the 12-35mm f/2.8. Consider it a slower zoom of the 12-35mm, so you won't be dissappointed by its optical performance. While the GX-7 has its own IBIS system, I suggest you getting a lens with a built OIS (Optical Stabilization) if you plan to shoot action because your maximum frame rate will be maintained when the body IS is turned off and relying only the lens OIS (optical stabilization). Which is the reason why I chose the Panasonic 35-100 f/2.8 to shoot action with my E-P5 and I get 9fps sustained with OIS on. The Panasonic 12-32 has built-in OIS which you can control via a Panasonic body and also with the latest Oly bodies too. Having options is good!

    $900 is a LOT of money for a problem that can be easily solved by lesser means. Unless you plan to print big or shoot commercially, buying an expensive lens in my opinion is overkill for what you want to achieve.

    Hope this helps.
     
  15. Lettermanian

    Lettermanian Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Oct 4, 2014
    Surrey BC, Canada
    Very helpful :) Now leaning towards the 12-32 because it'll also be more portable and easier for my wife to use (gotta consider ALL these things!). If there is a shutter shock issue, would using electronic shutter only be best?

     
  16. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    Personally I think the 12-35 is the best portable zoom for the m43 platform. My perhaps somewhat non mainstream take on the high end zooms is here:

    Normal Zooms - a contrarian view
     
  17. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    I set both pre-shutter curtain cock as well as electronic first curtain shutter to on on my E-P5 and I get sharp images devoid of any shutter shock. If I get blur, it's my own fault not the camera nor lens.
     
  18. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    One thing about photography equipment that is true regardless of system is that good gear is good gear, regardless of the age of it. This is most true with lenses. The 12-35/2.8 is a quality optic has been since it was released and will be 10 years from now.

    Even when you upgrade the camera bodies to another, newer model, the optics will still provide top notch quality. Now, the question is this: Does the 12-35 focal length and field of view it provides satisfy your needs and is the budget you have available going to cover the cost of an f/2.8 optic?

    From that, you will have your answer.
     
  19. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    I also use a high end zoom myself. It's the Olympus 14-54 Mk 1 for both my E-1 and E-P5 using my MMF-3 weather sealed 4/3 adapter. I just find that a $900 lens is TOO MUCH money tied to a kit just to get a slighty sharper and better MTF resolution photo that won't show much unless I print big. Whereas I paid only $100 with taxes for the 14-54 Mk 1 and less than $80 the the MMF-3 adapter refurbed equals $180. You can't beat that price and while it doesn't focus as fast as my native m43 lenses, the resolution is good enough. The photos that come out of the 14-42 Mark 1 after being processed by DXO Optics pro can be really hard to distinguish unless you have an expensive 4K capable 11 stop DR screen which cost on the upwards of $5000 to $8000 for a good one. We have a few here at work. I have nothing against expensive high end zooms -- we use them here at work and we use the best Nikons money can buy. But I've shot a lot and sometimes, having better photographic skills CAN and ALWAYS will triumph the most expensive lens. At the end of the day, we take photographs to tell a story and not to compete in a beauty contest who's got the most sharpest pixels and the least amount of CA and LOCA if you know what I mean.

    Cheers...
     
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  20. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    I guess you didn't read my review :biggrin: