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Which "Fast" Standard Zoom Would You Choose?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Amin Sabet, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Panasonic announced development of a fast 12-35mm zoom, and there are now rumors of a fast Olympus zoom, perhaps with a greater zoom range but variable aperture.

    Assume, hypothetically, that we end up with the following choice:
    • Panasonic Lumix X 12-35mm f/2.8 O.I.S. - 1000 USD
    • Olympus mZD 12-60mm f/2.8-4 - 800 USD

    Assuming further than both lenses are outstanding performers and similar in size/weight, which would you choose?

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  2. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    Neither because I want the 35-100, I have enough primes covering this zoom range =)

    But if I *had* to pick one, probably the panasonic. I don't foresee going with olympus bodies anytime soon, so the 12-60 on the long end would be a little less useful for me w/o OIS. Not to mention I'm not a fan of variable apertures.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    I'll buy the Panasonic if it ever gets near the $600 price point. Maybe it's dreaming.
  4. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Those prices were just a guess. I think the Panasonic lens could easily come in a lower price point (eg, 800 USD) and drop down to the 600 USD-range within a year or two.
  5. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    Or maybe not.
  6. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I would go for Olympus 12-60 mm but just wondering if they will retain the same quality as the original 43 version has .
  7. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Allegedly the 1300 euro price was an incorrect translation (varify?) and instead it will be price on par with the 7-14 (or there abouts) .....so perhaps it is 1300 dollars NOT Euros.

    ...and according to the rep interviewed, there appears to be a very real possibility it will be quicker than f2.8 !!!!

    Machiavellian madness :eek: 
    • Like Like x 1
  8. MrKal_El

    MrKal_El Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 24, 2011
    Yes... Hopefully we are looking at an all/mostly Metal body... But I am pretty sure that is a must buy (For an Oly body user), depending on what you already have in the bag :) 
  9. mike_hessey

    mike_hessey Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 24, 2010
    Definitely the 12-60, even though I have 14-140, 14-150 and 12mm. The old Olympus 12-60 was just so good and so versatile, but using that lens with an adapter on micro 4/3 it is bulky, and AF is a problem. I'd use it most of the time, and the 45-200 if I needed anything longer (well, on the Pen anyway, though lack of IS a problem with the GH2). Just have to wait to see if it happens, and find the money, though it has to be said that the 12 and either of the other 14-1?0 lenses are good for most of my photography. Could we have a MICRO 4/3 version of the 35mm Macro too please? - the old 4/3 version is bulky and again AF a problem (though not very important for macro). The short FL of that macro lens actually suits/suited my needs better than the more conventional 50mm, and much cheaper. I hope future Olympus lenses will have the manual focus feature of the 12mm - it is a huge improvement over the normal fly-by-wire system.
  10. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    As I mentioned in another thread, I would buy neither. I have fast primes covering pretty much the entire range of these 2 lenses, and the Zuiko 14-54mm II which is not too large or slow a lens. So, I am well covered in this range. However, if they come up with a m4/3 version of the 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 at around $1,000, I would jump at it!
  11. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    This is dreaming, but it's my reality --

    The f/stop would have to be lower than 2.8 (at least 2.0) and the price below $1000 and the build quality at least on par with the PL lenses. Then I could justify it.

    Without all those three, I'll have to stick with my primes, and given those three tend to be mutually exclusive, I voted "no, not buying those lenses."
  12. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I would go with the Panasonic because I already have the Leica D 14-50 f/2.8-3.5, so, while I like the range of the 12-60 much better, f/4 is just too slow to be worth spending more money.

    IF the Panny has reasonable close focus ability (talking flowers and museum stuff here, not bugs), I would probably remove my PL45/2.8 from "daily carry".

    While I think your poll choices are probably the reasonable expectation, they aren't the most interesting ... what if the Panny is faster than f/2.8? What if the Oly is constant f/2.8? What if the price is closer to $2000 than $1000?

    In case the penny pinchers at Panny or Oly are reading ... YES, I would spend $2000 on a m43 lens, but it needs to be faster than f/2.8, have OIS, fast AF, exceptional image quality, and be smaller than any APS-C mount alternative. A "Canon L" beater. I don't really care if it says Panasonic X, Panasonic-Leica or Zuiko on it. Performance means more than names to me.
  13. mike_hessey

    mike_hessey Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 24, 2010
    Horses for Courses AND RIDERS I think! I've already 'voted' for the 12-60, but that is largely because I love micro 4/3 primarily for the size and weight, without much compromise in IQ, and it happens to suit MY needs better. Fast lenses give more options on DOF, available light etc, but mostly vastly increase size and weight, and a lot of primes can have the same effect (plus time lost/nuisance of changing lenses, possible dirt ingress or dropping a lens). This is just a personal choice and relates to myself (including age and a back problem from 12 months ago) and my type of photography, and I would not dream of disagreeing with others who have different views about THEIR (different) needs! I love my Pen(s) and Pana(s) - oh, and the Pens include an original film version I've owned from new c 1962, and also a Pen D owned from new a couple of years later. Long may micro 4/3 live and prosper!

    PS: Is the reason that so many of the 'standard' micro four thirds lenses end at 42mm a sign of respect to the answer to Life, The Universe and Everything? Personally I much prefer an overlap in focal lengths, so 12-60 and 45-200 fits nicely FOR ME in that respect too.
  14. j.SoundLabs

    j.SoundLabs Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 6, 2011
    the OIS and constant aperture are worth the extra money to me, but I don't think I'll be getting one for a while at either of those prices. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with the pricing, but I just can't swing $800+ for a lens right now.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    On 4/3, the 12-60 is the sweet spot for performance and affordability. I got mine 2 years ago for $650. Sharpness is only marginally behind the 14-35/2, but the range is far more useful.

    If the m4/3 version can more or less match the sharpness of the 4/3 version, I'd be set.

    (Well, that and assuming decent reliability. My 12-60's SWD motor just failed for the 3rd time!).

  16. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I chose the 12-60 because I think it would better complement my primes for days that I am feeling zoomy. Both would be great for our system, though.

    At this early stage, the poll is tied!
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    The extra length from 35-60mm is nice to have. So I voted 12-60.

    But hopefully Oly can miniaturize the 12-60, and then keep the aperture at the bright end a little bit further up the zoom. The old 12-60 was only f2.8 at 12mm. It was f3 at 15mm, f3.7 at 35mm, and f4 way before 60mm.
    • Like Like x 2
  18. mike_hessey

    mike_hessey Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 24, 2010
    Oh dear, I really liked my 12mm Olympus lens, but Ctein has just absolutely rubbished it on The Online Photographer !! (BUT, I'm STILL happy, and have always known I am not a serious photographer, so should I care?).
  19. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I would get the 12-35mm/2.8 and hold onto my 50mm/1.4. ;) 

    I've always been one to prefer restricted focal lengths over restricted aperture sizes. I can make up for the focal lengths by moving my lazy feet. ;) 
  20. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Jerry Jackson Jr
    If Olympus is going to be nice enough to FINALLY make a m43 version of the 12-60mm f/2.8-4 then I would love it if they would also finally make a m4/3 version of the 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 lens!
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