Please bear with me, 12-35 Panny or 12-40 Oly?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by silver92b, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    Probably a repetitive question but my question is not so much as to which lens is better, but which would be the best choice for my situation. I have the OM-D E-M5 body (which I love) and I recently pulled the trigger on a GX7... Now I am thinking of selling some of my lenses and streamlining my collection. Obviously, getting one of the new offerings from Panasonic or Olympus makes a lot of sense to replace the slower kit lens (Oly 12-50) and perhaps sell the Oly 40-150 and a few other items.

    Having too many lenses seems to be a problem... Fewer, better chosen lenses might make my shooting much more enjoyable. Now, since I have both bodies (E-M5 and GX7) the question is which would be a better choice of lens? The 12-35 has the OIS built in which would be a plus with the GX7 and the 12-40 has the extra 5mm of focal length plus arguably better performance... Which would be the best one to have for my case?

  2. wickitom

    wickitom Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 11, 2013
    Either one since both camera bodies have image stabilization, though the IS on the GX7 ain't 5-axis. Get both, test which one you like, and keep only one.
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  3. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    Probably no noticeable difference in IQ in most situations (I have the 12-35, never touched the 12-40). The stabilization difference is also probably small. So -

    12-40 = more weight and size, another 14% longer reach, $120 less

    Only you can make the trade off.
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  4. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    I have the 12-35 now, and am in the process of selling it, to payroll the 12-40. The 12-35 is a very good lens, the only reasons why I'm selling it:

    -The closer magnification of the 12-40 is more handy for me
    - I will someday upgrade to a E-M1 successor, and would like to have a matching freeze-resistant camera body, which I do plan on using in freezing temps, the 12-35 is not freeze resistant.

    Other than that- there really wouldn't be much a of a difference to me personally. 5mm is a lot in ยต4/3, but not that much for me, as I'd just pop out the tiny 45mm f1.8 if I need a little extra reach.
  5. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    The 12-40 would fit neatly with the 40-150..... I also have the PL25 f1.4 and 17 f1.8 primes. However, they might not be replaceable for low light... I've also thought about selling my PL100-300 and buying the Zuiko 50-200 plus adapter. I hear that lens is in a class of its own and so sharp that it might give better images than the 100-300...
  6. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    You might want to consider the reports of three of these lenses that have had a mount failure. Three isn't a lot, but there aren't a lot of these out there yet. The thread is in the "Back Room" forum.
  7. agile_one

    agile_one New to Mu-43

    Dec 10, 2013
    Sarasota, FL, USA
    Gene Sweeney
    Both are stellar lenses. I have the E-M1, so got the Oly 12-40. No regrets. If I had GX7 like you, would seriously consider the 12-35 Panny instead for the OIS. As others have said if you can handle both, do, then decide If not, consider the 12-35 first.
  8. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    What do you base that on? Everyone is out of stock, so I'd say that these lenses are selling faster than they can be made.
  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I wrote a comparison of them recently. Since stabilization should be about a wash for you either way I'd say you're trading off the Pany's size advantage (fairly noticeable in real life - bigger than the numbers might suggest) against the Olympus price advantage (variable depending on the deal you find on the 12-35 - you can get one from Japan for about the same price as the Oly, or less), longer reach (not all that noticeable), and macro capability (vastly better than the 12-35, which has roughly none). I sold the 60mm macro when I got the 12-40 because it's got more than close enough focus for me.

    Edit - forgot to mention the manual focus ring on the Oly (thanks Ulfric). Some love it (I do), some hate it, some don't care one way or another. But it's there and it's a real difference from the 12-35, so another thing to take into account if it matters one way or the other to you.

    You can't go wrong with either, but you might go more right with one or the other for your needs.

  10. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Yes that size difference is really noticeable as Ray says, the 12-35 looks very compact while the 12-40 looks like a more serious lens but of course neither is large.
    Personally I'd value the Olympus' manual focus slider and really close focus ability, but the price means neither will come my way.
    I already have the old Lumix 14-45 for sharpness and a 4/3rds 14-54MkI for bright zoom.

    Regarding your 40-150 ... I don't think you should be aiming to sell it.
  11. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    You plan to use them for video too? If yes, given the GX7 better video capabilties, I would think about the 12-35. I just got one and it has a very efficient stabilization. Also, try them in hand if you can. I went with the 12-35 because it's smaller and lighter, but given my experience with primes, it is still big and heavy (to me). For plain photography and no size/weight concerns, it looks the Olympus is a somewhat better option. But so is medium format.
  12. STR

    STR Mu-43 Veteran

    May 16, 2013
    That tells us nothing. It could be greater than expected demand, manufacturing problems restricting supply, or simply the result of misplaced stock (some countries being flush, others back ordered). It could even be that the lens is selling worse than expected, but supply still can't keep up.

    Either way, it's still a very new lens, and given its price bracket, there probably are NOT that many floating around at this time. Probably far fewer than the 12-35, simply because the 12-35 has been on sale for a year and a half. And given the price, the Panny 14-42 II has probably moved four times as many units as both pro zooms combined, despite being not much older than the 12-40.

    By the same token, one cannot draw any conclusions from 3 busted lenses. That's a small sample size from an unknown population and the internet has a way of hyperinflating anything remotely negative.
  13. lemmy

    lemmy Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 19, 2013
    London, England
    David Thorpe
    I woukd point out that the manual focus ring isn't particularly important on the Panasonic since with either zoom, if you set MF+AF on in the menu, when you half press the shutter release it will bring in manual focus anyway.

    I find this the handiest set up, let the lens find its best focus on the half press automatically and then continue the half press to amend it via the focus ring if necessary. If you set the focus aids, magnifier or peaking they will chime in too. If you don't turn the focus ring then autofocus continues as normal, of course.
  14. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    It's not difficult to access manual focus for critical focus tasks with either, depending on the controls on the body being used. The beauty of that focus ring, for those of us who care, is the ability to pre-set a focus distance with the hard distance scale on the barrel of the lens itself. Whether for zone focus, hyperfocal, or infinity shooting, this can be highly advantageous. Like I said, its a big plus for some, a big minus for others (how many people have posted about the broken AF on the 12-40 already because they didn't realize they had the focus ring in the wrong position???), and not a particular positive or negative to others. It is a difference, though, and one worth pointing out...

  15. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Personally, until the question mark over the "fragile mount" is resolved, I'd hold fire on the 12-40. AFAIK, there are no reports of similar problems on the 12-35 and there MUST be many more of them in circulation than the 12-40. IMHO, the minor differences in IQ, if they exit, don't warrant the risk.
  16. thedigitalcruiser

    thedigitalcruiser New to Mu-43

    May 7, 2012
    Playa del Rey, CA
    Steven Frankel
    I've owned both and I found the 12-40mm to be -- by far -- the better lens. It's faster handling, sharper, and the manual focusing feature is terrific. I used the 12-35 on my e-M-5 and sent it back in about 3 days. I've used the 12-40 for a month of hard use on my E-M1 and occasionally on my E-M5 and it does nothing wrong!
  17. I wouldn't read too much into the additional freezeproof rating on the E-M1 and 12-40mm. While speaking to an Olympus rep/sponsored photographer at an E-M1 try-and-buy event I asked about the increased weatherproofing on the E-M1 vs the E-M5 and he indicated that the E-M1 isn't really built to any higher standard than the E-M5 (and the 12-50mm lens). He said that most of what went into the freezeproof rating on Olympus' DSLRs was based around the moving components in the mirror box and condensation settling and freezing on them which no longer applies with Micro 4/3.
  18. Photodan1

    Photodan1 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 26, 2012
    Nashville, Tennessee, USA
    I have that focus ring on my 17 also and love it. Prefocus with AF then slide the ring back for a subject at a fixed distance. I would also say, however, that the IS in the Panny lens is probably more effective than the GX7 but I haven't played with them. I have used the 12-35 on my EM5 and it is a great lens too.