Which lens to replace my PL 12-32 f/3.5-5.6 on a Panasonic body ?

Joris

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I am planning to upgrade my GX80 + PL 12-32 f/3.5-5.6 + PL 35-100mm f/4.0-5.6 kit. Starting with the glass, I already got myself the PL 35-100mm f/2.8.

Now musing on replacing the PL 12-32 f/3.5-5.6 with either the Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 II ASPH Power OIS, or the Panasonic Leica DG 12-60mm F2.8-4 ASPH Power OIS. I cannot find reliable reviews of both of these on either Lenstip, ePhotozine. Imaging resource, Opticallimits, DPRreview or DxOmark, still I would like to make a educated choice. The Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 seems good but does not offer Dual OIS...

I only do rural architecture and landscape, usually stopping to 5.6, therefore a constant 2.8 aperture is not indispensable. sharpness (so OIS), and resistance to flare seem to be my main criteria.

Anybody aware of any reliable tests of the 12-60 P Leica, or comparisons of the two Panasonic lenses ? Should I prefer the Olympus 12-40 Pro, even on a Lumix body ? I only found this table below, relating to optical sharpness. Hoping your insight might help :)

54f8b4bd35304741a4471640dea4c06e.png
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e_kjellgren

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I got the PL 12-60 thinking I would sell the 12-35 II. I ended up selling the 12-60 instead due to the compactness of the 12-35. The 12-60 was more bulky and front heavier om my G9. Also I didn't miss the 35-60 area, so it was an easy decision.
 

threeOh

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With your shooting, I suspect the only benefit you will realize replacing the 12-32 is a different render - assuming you prefer the different render. Re the P12-35 vs the PL12-60: on my GX85 the 12-35 is a much more balanced carry. For me it’s prime-like in both IQ and carry. The PL12-60 I initially wanted went through several rejections before I bought the 12-35. Suggest using both if possible. The weight difference is more pronounced on our GX80/85 body than the specs suggest. My 12-32 gets far more use than the 12-35. It’s just easy and a really fine little lens.

Re the 12-60’s: https://mirrorlesscomparison.com/mi...-f3-5-5-6-the-complete-comparison/#Conclusion
 

oldracer

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With respect, the OP's question seems to come more from GAS than from photography. "Rural architecture and landscape " really does not need dual IS and unless the OP is enlarging and printing very large images, like 24"/600mm on a side, any of the M43 lenses has IMO entirely adequate sharpness. For example, I was in a printing class and one of the other students had a large and beautiful print. I was so nice I asked him which lens he had used. Oly 14-42mm -- the kit lens! Further, even for large prints viewed from a normal distance I doubt that ultimate lens sharpness would be detectable.

For new toys to improve rural architecture and landscape phoography, I would suggest a shift lens and/or a pano head.
 

ac12

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I would go with the Panasonic 12-35/2.8.

For what you shoot, unless you are shooting late evening/night or inside, you are not shooting in low light, so don't need dual IS.
But if you do, then go with the Panasonic lens.

As a General Purpose lens, I use the Panasonic-Lumix 12-60. Relatively small and light, with enough zoom range that I don't need to carry a 2nd lens.
 

Joris

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With respect, the OP's question seems to come more from GAS than from photography. "Rural architecture and landscape " really does not need dual IS and unless the OP is enlarging and printing very large images, like 24"/600mm on a side, any of the M43 lenses has IMO entirely adequate sharpness. For example, I was in a printing class and one of the other students had a large and beautiful print. I was so nice I asked him which lens he had used. Oly 14-42mm -- the kit lens! Further, even for large prints viewed from a normal distance I doubt that ultimate lens sharpness would be detectable.
For new toys to improve rural architecture and landscape phoography, I would suggest a shift lens and/or a pano head.
I suppose this person has the experience, from owning these lenses, to be able to determine that my wish to upgrade my kit gear, for my modest use, is nothing but vain. Since he suggests such lenses are unnecessary, even to make large prints, I ask with equal respect : if not for photography, what good use does he personally put them to ?
 
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archaeopteryx

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Anybody aware of any reliable tests of the 12-60 P Leica, or comparisons of the two Panasonic lenses?
It may be helpful to define reliable. The current best practice in lens testing is Roger Ciclala/Olaf Optical Testing/Lens Rental's procedure of testing 10 copies and publishing the observed variance. However, the limited m43 data Roger's published uses smaller values of n in some cases because there's not enough m43 demand to stock 10 copies (Cicala 2018a, 2018b). Even if the data did exist you'd still be sampling the distribution with however many copies of a lens you're willing to purchase, evaluate, return, repurchase, re-evaluate, and so on. Realistically, zooms have enough variability obtaining optimum results would likely involving selecting among a number of copies of the lens depending on the focal length needed and composition desired (Cicala 2017a, 2017b, 2017c, 2014, 2019a).

Resolving power in many landscape compositions---and I think also quite a few your rural architecture images I'm aware of---is depth of field, rather than MTF limited (archaeopteryx 2018). Unless focus stacking is employed to address this, improvement from lens upgrades is therefore restricted to the most in focus portion of the image. Regardless of the lens used, the effectiveness of focus stacking is limited by the amount of subject motion which occurs during collection of the focus bracket and the tradeoff between mechanical shutter shock during a burst and electronic shutter readout speeds. Stopping down a bit to reduce the number of frames needed in the bracket to limit subject motion tends to erase much of the differences between lenses (Cicala 019b). If you need the wider apertures of the more expensive lenses due to light limitations that means more frames in the bracket, more subject motion potential, and some departure from maximum resolving power in most lenses. It's also my experience handheld brackets with OIS are never quite as sharp as tripod based ones without OIS (look at the leaves on the right of Figure 7, for example, and that's at itty bitty forum resolution). I'm therefore skeptical there'll be much advantage of Power OIS based dual IS on the GX80 compared to the Mega OIS dual IS you've already.

It's my experience the most effective mitigation for flare is often shading a lens with your hand, or hat, or something like that. Really doesn't matter what as many hoods aren't that great. I think that leaves light sources in frame as the main reason for an upgrade, in which case the upper end lenses you're considering may be overkill compared to the Panasonic 12-60 f/3.5-5.6. This is, however, an area where I'm not aware of much comparison data and I have only the 12-60 myself.

I'd also like to point out I've made 1 meter prints from images with apertures from f/22-45. They're soft up close but there's no visible difference between them and other 1 m prints (sometimes from the same lens) at f/5.6 at normal viewing distance. And that's with 6/6 vision and knowing exactly what to look for from pixel peeping the ROES at 200%. If you want to critically examine such prints at 30 cm there may be some small benefit to pursuing lens sharpness but, unless you know some pretty OCD people, the odds are excellent that no one else will notice or care.
 
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RichDesmond

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I am planning to upgrade my GX80 + PL 12-32 f/3.5-5.6 + PL 35-100mm f/4.0-5.6 kit. Starting with the glass, I already got myself the PL 35-100mm f/2.8.

Now musing on replacing the PL 12-32 f/3.5-5.6 with either the Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 II ASPH Power OIS, or the Panasonic Leica DG 12-60mm F2.8-4 ASPH Power OIS. I cannot find reliable reviews of both of these on either Lenstip, ePhotozine. Imaging resource, Opticallimits, DPRreview or DxOmark, still I would like to make a educated choice. The Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 seems good but does not offer Dual OIS...

I only do rural architecture and landscape, usually stopping to 5.6, therefore a constant 2.8 aperture is not indispensable. sharpness (so OIS), and resistance to flare seem to be my main criteria.

Anybody aware of any reliable tests of the 12-60 P Leica, or comparisons of the two Panasonic lenses ? Should I prefer the Olympus 12-40 Pro, even on a Lumix body ? I only found this table below, relating to optical sharpness. Hoping your insight might help :)

View attachment 798030
At the end of the day, none of this stuff matters. Good photos are not taken by analyzing resolution numbers, or spending hours diving into the gory details of lens reviews. The are taken by photographers with an artistic vision and sensibility, and an ability to use that talent to show what things are, rather than just what they look like.
Modern equipment, virtually all of it, is very good. A kit lens on a GF1 is more than up to the task. If you are unhappy with your current photos a new lens is not going to help.
 

ADemuth

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That wide kit is a fantastic piece of kit. If I was in the lens market, that's what I'd get, and I've got primes that run most of its gamut.

If you're wanting to buy gear, a good tripod is the perfect place to drop some cash for a landscape dude. I've got an ok-ish tripod, and shots from it are sharper than IBIS. Already gotta tripod? Upgrade your head. Gotta great head? Pick up a cheap prime to play around with. Not interested in a prime? How about airfare?
 

ooheadsoo

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Agreeing with some others, from your preferred style of photography, it's not the lenses holding you back. You have the luxury of being able to take your favorite photos with the smallest lenses. Enjoy the portability of those kit lenses. I would only upgrade if you wanted the wider apertures for some reason.
 

oldracer

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... I suppose this person has the experience, from owning these lenses, to be able to determine that my wish to upgrade my kit gear, for my modest use, is nothing but vain. Since he suggests such lenses are unnecessary, even to make large prints, I ask with equal respect : if not for photography, what good use does he personally put them to ?
Well, I didn't use the word "vain." Possibly that is a mistranslation to/from French. I had no intent to offend. As far as experience, I was first paid as a photographer approximately 50 years ago. I have owned and shot Rollei, Nikon, Hasselblad, Koni-Omega, and many others. Prime and zoom lenses from 9mm to 500mm plus a really fun 3.5" Questar telescope. Now it is Panasonic and zooms. What I have learned is exactly what @RichDesmond states:
At the end of the day, none of this stuff matters. Good photos are not taken by analyzing resolution numbers, or spending hours diving into the gory details of lens reviews. The are taken by photographers with an artistic vision and sensibility, and an ability to use that talent to show what things are, rather than just what they look like. Modern equipment, virtually all of it, is very good. A kit lens on a GF1 is more than up to the task. If you are unhappy with your current photos a new lens is not going to help.
That is not to say that I think there is anything wrong with GAS or pixel-peeping. Both can be very interesting hobbies but neither is IMO really about taking good pictures, again as @RichDesmond also points out.

Owning toys is great fun, though. Probably the most fun toy I ever owned is the one pictured in my avatar.
 

Joris

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Thank you, Archaeopteryx, for your serious, well informed and helpful answer : lots of food for thought, as always !

Resolving power in many landscape compositions---and I think also quite a few your rural architecture images I'm aware of---is depth of field, rather than MTF limited.
I agree the 12-32 mm kit lens is really quite good, but the unsharpness I see in my images, to me seems to be in the corners mainly, rather than (just) a matter of DOF : one of my reasons for looking in the direction of a better lens.
I'd be quite happy for you to point out some of the DOF problems you detected in "quite a few" of my images.

Thanks also for the link to Roger Cicala's Lensrentals.com. I didn't know that site. It seems he fancies the Panasonic Lumix 12-35 f/2.8 ;)

NB : when I write PL, I mean Panasonic Lumix. I am well aware that the 12-60mm f/2.8-4 is the only Leica branded in the lenses I mentioned :)
 
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The corners of the 12-32 are indeed not so good.
It's partly due to the embedded distorsion correction that degrades the corner more than the rest of the picture.
Wether if it's really something that needs to be improved is up to you.

The 12-32 has a lot of qualities... I wondered several times if I should upgrade or not, and I still have it.
(I own my second copy, the first one broke and was replaced by the warranty).
The main issues for me is not the corner IQ, but the lack of focus ring, the plastic/fragile feeling, and the fact you need to extend it to use it (and the somewhat short range).

But it's so tiny and makes great pictures... so it's not easy to replace.
 

Joris

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The main issues for me is not the corner IQ, but the lack of focus ring, the plastic/fragile feeling, and the fact you need to extend it to use it (and the somewhat short range).
I am always a bit puzzled about judging build quality on feeling and or "plastic". Polymers, well chosen might be superior to "metal", not all metals will be good. Metal might dent on impact, I suppose usually plastic will better absorb a shock and then retake its old shape. A light lens will have less impact when it falls. Anyway, I have had the luck of never breaking a lens.
I see the need to extend the 12-32 mm more as a bonus option of being able to collapse it. I usually carry it extended, on my GX 80 in my case.
 

oldracer

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... the unsharpness I see in my images, to me seems to be in the corners mainly ...
Try some stitched panorama landscapes. The nature of those is that the corners of any single image get cropped off. I have a pano of the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain that is printed 36"/90 cm. wide only because that was the limit of the printer. The image quality and detail is stunning and it could easily be printed another 50% wider except for the cost. I don't remember how many pixels were in the final stiched image but it was a lot.

You can do landscape panos without any special equipment, just don't have any close objects in the foreground. If you like doing panos, for close foreground images you can buy one of the many available "nodal point" fixtures. IIRC they begin at about $50 on eBay and from there the prices rise to near infinity.
 

Joris

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Try some stitched panorama landscapes.
Where I live the landscape is relatively flat and unimpressive, and peppered with unwelcome clutter. In my stuff I need to isolate my subjects from all the mess scattered around : parked cars, traffic signs etc, getting close or zooming in. I like the slightly flattened look of the latter, limiting keystoning, enhancing the size of welcome objects in the background (towers, trees...).
I present an unrealistic, idealized impression of the beauty of my region, showing the old and beautiful only. No panoramas !
 
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Thanks also for the link to Roger Cicala's Lensrentals.com. I didn't know that site.
Yup! Lens rentals IMO is the best and unbiased resource of reviews and articles on optics in general. It's a shame they don't test m43 as much as others due to the reasons mentioned by @archaeopteryx. All of Roger's posts are exceedingly well written and informative. His 25mm m43 lens shoot out is a gem too. Oh and you might already know but sometimes Thom Hogan of sansmirror also posts very good reads. All the best on your quest to find the right lens!
 
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I am always a bit puzzled about judging build quality on feeling and or "plastic". Polymers, well chosen might be superior to "metal", not all metals will be good. Metal might dent on impact, I suppose usually plastic will better absorb a shock and then retake its old shape. A light lens will have less impact when it falls. Anyway, I have had the luck of never breaking a lens.
It's mostly about feeling :)
Take the 17 f/1.8, the construction of the lens make it very enjoyable to use.
As photography is a hobby for me, the pleasure taken by using the gear is very important.

However, in case of the 12-32, it's really fragile.
My first copy fell apart, because some of the plastic assembly is not robust enough. It mostly use glue... and you don't have any "non movable part" to use when you want to put the lens on/off your body.
There are mutliple cases of failure.

I see the need to extend the 12-32 mm more as a bonus option of being able to collapse it. I usually carry it extended, on my GX 80 in my case.
I always collapse it when not used.
That's both a bonus and a drawback. It's a great that it's so tiny when collapsed, but I prefer lenses than I can use right away.
 

Joris

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However, in case of the 12-32, it's really fragile.
My first copy fell apart, because some of the plastic assembly is not robust enough. It mostly use glue... and you don't have any "non movable part" to use when you want to put the lens on/off your body.
There are mutliple cases of failure.
Sorry, I wasn't clear. I wasn't addressing you personally, or commenting on the 12-32 specifically there, but rather on that sentiment often expressed wherever people review a lens, then reveling in how light it is to carry around. About the 12-32 mm, for almost any photo I screw on my Haida 75 filterholder, giving it a quick twist. I know that one day I will twist the inner tube out of the barrel. Maybe, if I say that, it will be accepted as a valid argument here for me to look into a better lens ;)
 
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