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Photozone reviews the Panasonic 12-35/2.8

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by dhazeghi, Sep 12, 2012.

  1. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Photozone has just posted a review of the Panasonic X 12-35/2.8.

    "[A]fter all the hype around the Panasonic Lumix G X 12-35mm f/2.8 ASPH Power OIS we are simply a bit disappointed. The lens is, undoubtedly, a good one but not stellar."

    DH
     
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  2. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    477
    Aug 16, 2012
    So... the primary, overriding factor for an f2.8 walkabout zoom is image sharpness across the whole frame? Factors such as constant fast aperture (keeps ISO low on cameras that don't have as good a sensor as FF cameras and allows a faster shutter speed in darker places), OIS that's good for 3 stops (see previous point on ISO/shutter speed) and better construction so you don't get double images as the lens oscillates when extended during average shutter speeds are not that important then?

    I bought my 12-35 to keep shutter speeds up and keep ISOs down when I'm out and about, not because it's the sharpest lens out there....
     
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  3. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    334
    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I think the lens is quite capable, as shown in the review. Great build quality and high center sharpness from wide open are big pluses. Distortion and CA aren't serious issues in light of automatic correction. Diminishing sharpness toward the borders is unexpected for a $1200 lens.

    In my view, the biggest problem here is that the price indicates that this lens should have top performance. At $1200, this lens should have few optical faults. This review shows that this lens has correctible faults (which is OK) and non-correctable faults (not as OK), which isn't a great result for the price. If this lens sold for $750 as an upper-mid-tier lens then raves reviews would be appropriate.
     
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  4. sLorenzi

    sLorenzi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    586
    Sep 15, 2010
    Brazil
    Sidinei
    I normally never compare results, but looking at their tests, I just could not find any lens that wide doing anything much better than the 12-35mm. I don't get the "simply a bit disappointed".
     
  5. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    It depends on what you're comparing, but the corner performance at 12mm for example is substantially worse than the center performance, whereas on a lens like the legacy 12-60 or the Panasonic 7-14, the gap is much smaller (12% falloff vs. 27% on the 12-35). It's unfortunate that Photozone hasn't used the same sensor for all tests, but that can't be helped at this point.

    DH
     
  6. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    To some extent, I think the issues identified are a result of the compromises inherent in making the lens so small. I would have been perfectly happy with a lens that was, perhaps, 25% larger, but the vast majority of m43 users seem to focus on size as the ultimate criteria. Just listen to the wailing when it's rumored that the GH3 will be larger than the GH2.

    But to the extent they criticize the [digitally] uncorrected performance of the lens, I think that's meaningless. Digital correction is inherent in the design and use of the lens, and evaluating performance without that is akin to disassembling a Leica lens, removing one element, and then testing it. You need to test the system, not just a part of it.
     
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  7. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    I agree. I think they did qualify their comments re: distortion. But the sharpness, vignetting and CA (on Olympus) comments are post-correction.

    DH
     
  8. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul Mu-43 Top Veteran

    729
    Aug 15, 2011
    Aberdeen Scotland
    Frankly I don't care what the tests results say, I use the lens and think it's a gem, I'm very impressed with it.
    The clarity and IQ are excellent and it's a great lens to have in my arsenal.

    Paul
     
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  9. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    At the end of the day they make it sound like they were just expecting more for the cost of the lens. That's fine I guess... everyone has their own opinions about prices, and I'm sure there are people that feel for $1200 the lens should take the pictures for them and mail them the prints while it's at it. :smile:

    I'm not a charts and numbers kind of guy but the part I don't get is they're panning it for not being as sharp at the corners, but the corner sharpness (border and extreme) numbers are higher than the 7-14mm, or the oft-touted Olympus 4/3 12-60 or Panasonic Leica 14-50mm lenses. Am I not reading this right, or are they taking points off because there's a disparity between center and edge performance, despite the fact that the 12-35mm is sharper than the other zoom lenses in 4/3 or m4/3 both at the corners and in the center?
     
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  10. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    668
    Mar 19, 2012
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Mike
    Thanks for the link. Interestingly....the 12mm f2 exhibits similar uncorrected distortion (~5%) and they kinda let it slide, highly recommending the lens.
     
  11. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    Those other lenses aren't directly comparable because they were tested on sensors with a different pixel density. The 12-35mm gets the numbers it does because it is being tested on a 16MP sensor. It would be very interesting to see how other lenses would compare on the same sensor.

    You can see how the Oly 12-60mm compares to the 12-35 at 12mm here:
    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Review

    2.8_corner.

    vignetting.
     
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  12. sLorenzi

    sLorenzi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    586
    Sep 15, 2010
    Brazil
    Sidinei
    Jloden wrote exactly what I wanted to say. The border sharpness is on pair with most lenses tested in their site. And there is several of them a lot more expensive than the 12-35.
     
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  13. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Ah I see... that makes sense. Taking that into consideration, if we compare to one of the only other lenses they've tested on a 16MP sensor, the 25mm f/1.4, then the 12-35mm gets comparable performance to an excellent and respected prime m4/3 lens... except it's a fixed aperture zoom lens with OIS that's not much bigger than the 25mm to begin with.

    Maybe it's not so much the test results as they were turned off by the high price tag?
     
  14. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    Thanks for the comparison to the 25mm. That's useful.

    Maybe. It's not an amazing price, but its not unreasonable. I'll be waiting to see whether it drops in another year or so, personally. I'm pretty happy with my primes along with the Olympus 9-18mm.
     
  15. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    375
    Apr 20, 2011
    If the price drops, then it'll make sense. ATM it's a lens that's good for convenience (as others have said, keeping the shutter speed up regardless of focal length) rather than outstanding in performance terms.
     
  16. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Making a lens that's 2 stops faster entails compromises. That said, they gave the lens 3.5 stars on optics, vs. 3-3.5 for the 12-35/2.8, so they weren't entirely impressed.

    I find their 14-42X review instructive. At the wide end, that lens actually has sharper corners. And it's not as if anybody praises it for outstanding sharpness.

    DH
     
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  17. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Essex
    John
    I think to some extent the 12-35mm suffers from pre-conceived expectations of what they thought the lens would be. Many saw "fast, constant aperture zoom" with a similar range to the legendary Olympus 14-35mm and thought that was what we were going to get, conveniently overlooking the huge difference in size and the fact that the Zuiko is simply one of the finest zoom lenses ever made.

    The Olympus 12-50mm suffered the same fate - everyone assumed it would have the premier optical quality of the 12-60mm f2.8/4 and were disappointed when it didn't.
     
  18. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Hopefully lots will read and believe the review and see that they lens they just purchased is unsatisfactory so there will be a surge of lenses on the aftermarket and I can pick one up on the cheap side!
     
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  19. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    so im reading constantly in between the lines about this P12-35 lens that if this costed somewhere in between 600-800 bucks then it would an outstanding overall lens, but since its a $1300 lens then is an "alright" lens now?. I just wonder how the lens would improve its quality being half its actual price. is there a chip included in the lens or something? :rofl:
     
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  20. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    There's a point of diminishing returns though, if it was $200 then it'd be junk :rofl:
     
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