Replacement for 12-32mm on GX9

davidzvi

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1. See the attached image with all the sizes on the different lenses being discussed (except the 12-100).

I got this dirt cheap 3D printed grip for my GX9 and it's awesome. Made carrying the GX9 around with the 100-300 on much nicer :)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/114221913168

2. Grips like these can help a lot, I used a half case for my GX85. It doesn't add as much as the grips do, but I felt it improved things with the P14-140 I had so I'd probably at least add the half case. With the PL12-60 I might (and with a 12-100 I would) add a grip to the GX9.

3. If you're comfortable holding the GX9 and PL12-60, that's fine. It doesn't mean that everyone wants to or that they need to hit the gym / change hobby's just because they don't. And it's one of Krox's specific requirements. I find I just like how my PL8-18 feels better on my E-M1.2 than it does on my Pen F. Weight is not the issue, it's how it feels to you. And shooting holding the lens is one thing, but many like to carry their camera with their hand on the grip so the motion to raise the camera and shoot is smoother and faster. It's how I carry my E-M1.2 with the Oly 70-300 or 12-100. In fact it's also how I comfortably carried my D800 and 70-200 f/2.8.

4. Don't "replace" your 12-32. Add something to your collection. If you replace it than you have to consider "do I always want to carry something like the PL12-60 or Oly 12-100?". If you keep it you still have that small / light option when you want it.

5. Close focus? The Oly 12-45 or 12-100 are your best options.

6. Manual focus? The PL12-60 has the on lens switch (as does the P14-140 and P12-35), the O12-100 has the A/F clutch (as does the O12-40). With the return of the A/F switch on the GX9 I'm not really sure this matters though.

7. Image quality and bokeh? I think the PanLeica and Oly Pros are probably going win here with bokeh, micro contrast, etc.

8. Focal length? Is changing lenses annoying to you? When hiking are you looking for landscapes or that animal that's running away. If it's the animal than you probably have 45-140 mount and the extra 15mm probably doesn't matter that often when hiking. General travel it might, for me it doesn't.
 

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John King

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1. See the attached image with all the sizes on the different lenses being discussed (except the 12-100).



2. Grips like these can help a lot, I used a half case for my GX85. It doesn't add as much as the grips do, but I felt it improved things with the P14-140 I had so I'd probably at least add the half case. With the PL12-60 I might (and with a 12-100 I would) add a grip to the GX9.

3. If you're comfortable holding the GX9 and PL12-60, that's fine. It doesn't mean that everyone wants to or that they need to hit the gym / change hobby's just because they don't. And it's one of Krox's specific requirements. I find I just like how my PL8-18 feels better on my E-M1.2 than it does on my Pen F. Weight is not the issue, it's how it feels to you. And shooting holding the lens is one thing, but many like to carry their camera with their hand on the grip so the motion to raise the camera and shoot is smoother and faster. It's how I carry my E-M1.2 with the Oly 70-300 or 12-100. In fact it's also how I comfortably carried my D800 and 70-200 f/2.8.

4. Don't "replace" your 12-32. Add something to your collection. If you replace it than you have to consider "do I always want to carry something like the PL12-60 or Oly 12-100?". If you keep it you still have that small / light option when you want it.

5. Close focus? The Oly 12-45 or 12-100 are your best options.

6. Manual focus? The PL12-60 has the on lens switch (as does the P14-140 and P12-35), the O12-100 has the A/F clutch (as does the O12-40). With the return of the A/F switch on the GX9 I'm not really sure this matters though.

7. Image quality and bokeh? I think the PanLeica and Oly Pros are probably going win here with bokeh, micro contrast, etc.

8. Focal length? Is changing lenses annoying to you? When hiking are you looking for landscapes or that animal that's running away. If it's the animal than you probably have 45-140 mount and the extra 15mm probably doesn't matter that often when hiking. General travel it might, for me it doesn't.
David, I think that the only thing you missed out is that it is surprising to the point of amazing just how very good most of the "crappy kit lenses" are.
 

BDR-529

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David, I think that the only thing you missed out is that it is surprising to the point of amazing just how very good most of the "crappy kit lenses" are.

What every "real camera" owner seems to intentionally miss is how annoyingly good these crappy smartphone pictures are nowadays. I bet that I'm pretty much the only one here who has tried shooting with manual settings and RAW to see what smartphones really can deliver even though that should be a breeze for any photographer.

GX9 with 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 kit-lens (I assume it's the same that came with ours) will still weight half a kilo and if I really need to travel light, I must be able to justify why should I haul that amount of extra weight with me. Not to mention the trouble of handling backpack with extra care because it now contains fragile electronics.

If this was the only lens available, I would not even consider taking GX9 onboard because smartphone pictures would look just as good - or "good enough" whichever you prefer. With this lens camera would not provide any additional focal length, speed or even visible IQ improvement over my Samsung.

It would, however, be easy to justify the extra 830g caused by GX9 + PL12-60 because now there's a visible IQ improvement over the whole focal range and substantial improvement in reach. Smartphones are getting better and better in telephoto as well but IQ is not yet there in the long end. Smartphone would of course deliver superior macro IQ in this case as well.
 
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RAH

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@BDR-529 , your Samsung must be hugely superior to the one we own, and my other dual lens smartphone ...

Surprisingly good in excellent conditions, but useless otherwise.

The ergonomics are far worse than even my E-PM2.
Robin Wong has a video on this issue. I know he may have an agenda, but he seems to think that smartphone image results look like plastic-city. I don't know since I don't take images with my low-end phone, but he surprised me, since I have been hearing that they are good. It is here:
 

davidzvi

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What every "real camera" owner seems to intentionally miss is how annoyingly good these crappy smartphone pictures are nowadays. I bet that I'm pretty much the only one here who has tried shooting with manual settings and RAW to see what smartphones really can deliver even though that should be a breeze for any photographer......
I don't think that's a bet you should put much money on. I have on occasion used my phone. But only when I need to and it's just not that enjoyable, which is why I have a "real camera" in the first place.
 

threeOh

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My experience, GX9, prime shooter, zooms are for travel.

P12-32: My favorite zoom, have gone through 2 of them, both excellent. Small, light, sharp, render. Pretty much my default zoom on the GX9 and GM1 unless I need more reach. With stabilization fast enough.

P12-35: For me, does everything right. No worts. Heavier than I’d like but it gets a lot of use when I need FL flexibility.

PL12-60: Heaviest here and front loaded. Poor choice for a GX9 without a grip. Sharp, nice render, f2.8 jumps very quickly after 12 mm, may have been immediately, forget. Returned

P12-60: Must have been a poor sample. One of the softest lenses I’ve ever owned (Nikon, Fuji, Panasonic). Flat render due to lack of contrast. Light, carries well. Sold after one trip with it.

P14-140 v2: Excellent all rounder. Larger and heavier than I’d like but lighter than the PL above and balances much better on a GX9. Render consistent with the 12-32 and 12-35 which helps in post. A pleasant surprise.

Assuming you get a good sample of the P12-60, these are all good lenses. Pick what you can live with for a carry and the range you want. Maybe consider how often you'd mount it given the super light P12-32 you'll have in the same drawer. My use case is P12-32 as a daily walk about, P12-35 indoors and urban settings, P14-140 USA west.
 

RAH

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P12-35: For me, does everything right. No worts. Heavier than I’d like but it gets a lot of use when I need FL flexibility.

PL12-60: Heaviest here and front loaded. Poor choice for a GX9 without a grip. Sharp, nice render, f2.8 jumps very quickly after 12 mm, may have been immediately, forget. Returned
OK, I'll fess up here. Even though I've been pushing the PL12-60, and it has pretty much replaced my P12-35 (especially for travel), I do think that the 12-35 is better balanced on an E-M10.2 (with or without added grip) even though they weigh very close to each other. If I don't think I am going to need the extra reach, I'll use the 12-35 instead. However, since I already have the 12-35, that's easy to say. If I were coming in new without either, I'd get the PL12-60.

Concerning the 2.8 on the 12-60, it closes down immediately if you even breathe on the zoom ring! ;) It's still nice to have 2.8 for 12mm, however.
Edit: clarification - it doesn't close down to f4 immediately - it closes down to intermediate apertures as you zoom in - f3, 3.2, etc.
 
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krox

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Thank you all for your recommendations 🙏, very much appreciated !

To sum it up, the two most sensible options are Panasonic 12-60mm and Panasonic Leica 12-60mm. While Leica is a lens with better quality, it also adds a bit more bulk, which might not be considered as well balanced for a smaller body such as GX9.

Today I went for a little walk with my camera and must say that 12-32mm is a real gem. Sometimes, it is difficult to appreciate things we get "almost for free". Regardless of the final decision, I will keep this lens 🙂.

Some of you suggested 14-140mm II, which seems to be also a solid performer. During longer trips, it sometimes happens that extra reach would be useful and often by the time I change the lens, the little creature is already gone.

The Olympus 12-45mm was ruled out quite soon. What are the top arguments to not look at it? I am also careful and so far know about lack of IS, only CAF, opposite zoom ring direction and lack of some lens corrections for RAW?

P.s. I think the grip would be a good solution in any case as right now it feels a bit too shallow and my pinky finger always curves under the camera.
 

Macroramphosis

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Some of you suggested 14-140mm II, which seems to be also a solid performer. During longer trips, it sometimes happens that extra reach would be useful and often by the time I change the lens, the little creature is already gone.
For what it's worth, I always put the long lens on my cameras if I'm out for a walkabout, just for this reason. In my case it's the diminutive P45-175. The P12-32 is in my pocket, and I usually have time to change lenses if I want to use it as usage is generally for slower, more measured scenes.

When I'm grown-up I'll have a G9 and a P100-400 for the same purpose :D
 
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For the times when you are OK with carrying a bit more bulk, the 14-140 and that extra grip I linked is just super. I could add that the 14-140 has a really low minimum focusing distance and super fast autofocus so it's really a beast of a lens on the GX9.
 

krox

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I've been hesitating for a bit, but now my local store surprised me with Panasonic-wide discount -15% on everything. Now the prices are following:
  • Panasonic Leica 12-60mm 605 Eur
  • Panasonic 12-60mm 295 Eur
  • Panasonic 14-140mm 575 Eur (unfortunately this is not discounted at all, as they increased the price before the promotion by about 140Eur)
But then there are some tempting kit combinations 🙈
  • Panasonic G90/G85 with 14-140mm 795 Eur (so, the G90 would cost "only" 220Eur)
  • Panasonic G9 with Panasonic Leica 12-60mm 1200 Eur
Especially the Panasonic G9 kit looks very interesting. Of course, I would end up with having two bodies, which might not be a huge problem as I can still pass it to my father or just keep it as a small body/backup. While very capable, it's an aging camera released at the end of 2017, so not sure if it would make sense to buy it in the mid of 2021 🤔.

For sure I will get one of these primes:
  • Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 130 Eur
  • Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 200 Eur
From what I read, 20mm seems to be a tad sharper. Also, 20mm seems a better FOV than a tighter 25mm for me. The only downside is a higher price and slower AF, but as I shoot mostly landscape and still subjects, I think it shouldn't be a huge issue.

One extra question: Are the lenses sold in a set with body equal quality to ones sold separately?
 
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I've been hesitating for a bit, but now my local store surprised me with Panasonic-wide discount -15% on everything. Now the prices are following:
  • Panasonic Leica 12-60mm 605 Eur
  • Panasonic 12-60mm 295 Eur
  • Panasonic 14-140mm 575 Eur (unfortunately this is not discounted at all, as they increased the price before the promotion by about 140Eur)
But then there are some tempting kit combinations 🙈
  • Panasonic G90/G85 with 14-140mm 795 Eur (so, the G90 would cost "only" 220Eur)
  • Panasonic G9 with Panasonic Leica 12-60mm 1200 Eur
Especially the Panasonic G9 kit looks very interesting. Of course, I would end up with having two bodies, which might not be a huge problem as I can still pass it to my father or just keep it as a small body/backup. While very capable, it's an aging camera released at the end of 2017, so not sure if it would make sense to buy it in the mid of 2021 🤔.

For sure I will get one of these primes:
  • Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 130 Eur
  • Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 200 Eur
From what I read, 20mm seems to be a tad sharper. Also, 20mm seems a better FOV than a tighter 25mm for me. The only downside is a higher price and slower AF, but as I shoot mostly landscape and still subjects, I think it shouldn't be a huge issue.

One extra question: Are the lenses sold in a set with body equal quality to ones sold separately?
Where do you live? If Europe then mpb may give you a good trade in price on an untouched G90 (ie more than 220 euro).
 

krox

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Where do you live? If Europe then mpb may give you a good trade in price on an untouched G90 (ie more than 220 euro).
Mostly Germany, so not sure if there wouldn't be a problem with customers after the Brexit 🤔 .

Any thoughts on https://www.opticallimits.com/ reviews? I know that Germans love to complain and be very critique, but still the ratings for optical quality are not particularly high.
12-32mm 2.5* https://www.opticallimits.com/m43/873_pana1232f3556?start=2
12-60mm 2.5* - 3.0* https://www.opticallimits.com/m43/983_pana1260f3556?start=2
12-60mm PanaLeica 3.5* https://www.opticallimits.com/m43/1007_leica1260f284?start=2
14-140mm (I. gen) 2.5* https://www.opticallimits.com/olympus--four-thirds-lens-tests/682-pana14140?start=2

for a comparison 12-100mm Olympus got lower raiting than Leica 3.0-3.5* https://www.opticallimits.com/m43/1006_olympus12100f4pro?start=2 but still managed to get highly recommended badge. This is strange as most reviews saying that 12-60mm is optically better than PanaLeica.
 

ex machina

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Panasonic 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 Great range, not sure about the IQ. 14mm wouldn't limit me that much. Can buy it for less than 700E with GX80 (Are the lenses sold with bodies equal quality as when bought separately?) Would make my 45-150mm obsolete.
I found my p45-150 a little sharper on the long end than my p14-140 II, fwiw, so it might not be entirely obsolete.
 

ralf-11

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The Panasonic Leica 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 is a special lens. On some subjects it has "Leicaness" esp. with clouds in the sky. On other subjects it is merely excellent. You will find it is significantly better on some subjects than the ordinary Lumix lenses. I have quite a few of them (2 of the 12-32) and rarely use them. Put the 12-32 on a small body, GM-x.

You owe it to yourself to buy one and use it. If you find the rendering it has is not worth it for you, then you can easily resell it.

For handling, put your hand under the lens. Act like you are using the lens, not the body, as the "camera"
 
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