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

Joris

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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.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Bodies: GX1, GX8, G85, G3, GF1
Native Lenses: P12-60 f3.5-5.6, P45-200, O45, P14-42, P20, P12-32, P35-100 f4.0-5.6, O9-18, O15 body cap, Sigma 60mm
Adapted Lenses: Bunch of random stuff...
I am not unhappy with my current photos ! So, do you own all that gear because you remained unhappy with each subsequent new acquisition, or just to list it here ? :p
 

RichDesmond

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I am not unhappy with my current photos ! So, do you own all that gear because you remained unhappy with each subsequent new acquisition, or just to list it here ? :p
I have the gear because I enjoy it for it's own sake. I'm a bit of a geek. :)
I'm not thrilled with most of my photos, they generally don't completely convey what I wanted. Equipment isn't the limitation though, it's generally a lack of vision and/or compositional issues that cause the problem.
The good photos though, those work even if some of them have technical flaws.

Bottom line is that megapixels and lines of resolution have very little to do with the quality of a image. Unless you define "quality" in those terms, which seems to me the antithesis of art.
 
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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 !
Living in a very flat country I would recommend looking into a good telephoto lens for your landscapes beside the 12-32 mm. My approach to landscapes is:

  • Super interesting foreground subject and (hardly) no distractions in the rest of the frame (but beautiful clouds, for instance = (ultra) wide lens / pano (think 7 to 12 mm)
  • No interesting foreground subject but beautiful wide composition possible = regular FoV (think 12-40mm)
  • No interesting foreground subject but also clutter in the rest of the frame = tele (in the range of 40-120 mm).

Investing in a good telephoto lens was the best decision for my landscape photography I ever made. It helps to isolate a subject and provides a way to work around those "unwelcome clutter". And I shoot 70% of my landscapes with tele, 20% regular and 10% ultra wide*

It could also help to upgrade the 12-32 mm if you are really unhappy with the IQ, but based on your comment a telelens would be my first addition to the arsenal and keep the 12-32mm for now.

* I'm still have not found the right ultrawide lens (for my needs) so it's 12mm or panorama in my case. And to be honest, 90% of my landscapes an ultra wide FoV would be the most difficult to use due to the clutter and/or unimpressive stuff in the frame.
 
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Another thing to keep in mind is also that your photography (rural architecture and landscape) it's a game of patience and perseverance... most landscape photographers I hold in very high regard go on multi-day photo-trips to spectacular places, try compositions for hours and shoot thousands of images but maybe come back with 3-5 images they think are superb (they do have a high standard).
A new lens won't help you in this area, it's just how our genre of photography works ;)
 

RichDesmond

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Another thing to keep in mind is also that your photography (rural architecture and landscape) it's a game of patience and perseverance... most landscape photographers I hold in very high regard go on multi-day photo-trips to spectacular places, try compositions for hours and shoot thousands of images but maybe come back with 3-5 images they think are superb (they do have a high standard).
A new lens won't help you in this area, it's just how our genre of photography works ;)
That exactly how I work. The most "successful' work I've done ("success" being images I'm really happy with) was the result of a 5 day trip to Ghost Ranch, NM. Actually got 20-25 that met the standard, out of a 1000 or so taken. Most of the time my percentage is a lot lower. :(

I used my first DSLR on that trip, an 8MP Canon Rebel with the kit 18-55mm lens. ;)
 
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Living in a very flat country I would recommend looking into a good telephoto lens for your landscapes beside the 12-32 mm.
I think he already has it (35-100 f/2.8, a lens that tempted me for long, but which is a little too big to my taste).

Investing in a good telephoto lens was the best decision for my landscape photography I ever made. It helps to isolate a subject and provides a way to work around those "unwelcome clutter". And I shoot 70% of my landscapes with tele, 20% regular and 10% ultra wide*
I was surprised in my last photo trip (landscape photos), that a high percentage of my final keepers were taken with my tele lens (Panasonic 45-150).
Less than 70% :) but that was my most represented lens in my "keepers" collection.
I always liked using a telephoto for landscapes, but probably don't use it often enough.
 

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 II
Living in a very flat country I would recommend looking into a good telephoto lens for your landscapes beside the 12-32 mm....
... It could also help to upgrade the 12-32 mm if you are really unhappy with the IQ, but based on your comment a telelens would be my first addition to the arsenal.
* I'm still have not found the right ultrawide lens (for my needs) so it's 12mm or panorama in my case. And to be honest, 90% of my landscapes an ultra wide FoV would be the most difficult to use due to the clutter and/or unimpressive stuff in the frame.
Dank je wel Roel, as you can see, getting the Lumix 35-100 mm f/2.8 II was the first thing I did. I never find "super interesting foreground subjects" over here that I find complementary, adding to my chosen main subject. It is one of the reasons I refrain from the typical super wide angle landscape shots some do so well. Once I didn't resist to getting me the 7.5 mm f/2.0 Laowa. That taught me that lesson :) By the way that lens's corners I really find hardly acceptable. I use it rarely. For good clouds, sometimes I find using it in the portrait format is fun. Still, a tight frame is more my thing.
 

LucDeSchepper

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Hi Joris, I've looked at your 500px stream of images really nice. I also own the 12-32mm and have used it a lot. I bought the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 as a step up to that lens. The Olympus is the best zoom lens I've ever used and will be a significant upgrade to the 12-32mm and well suited to your style and subjects.
 

Joris

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Hi Joris, I've looked at your 500px stream of images really nice. I also own the 12-32mm and have used it a lot. I bought the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 as a step up to that lens. The Olympus is the best zoom lens I've ever used and will be a significant upgrade to the 12-32mm and well suited to your style and subjects.
Thanks Luc, glad you did. Do you use the 12-40mm on a Panasonic body ? It seems I do not have the firmest os stances, making me fear the dual OIS will help. Setting up my tripod facing some local's house is not very well seen here. So am a bit shy about that, often taking quickies, only to regret that later, feeling my framing might have been marginally better. I am in the lucky position I only have to take my car for 20 minutes or so to do it again, maybe with better light/skies.

A recent remake on the bottom. New light, decided I wanted to see all of the chimney on the left, but now feel it was better more to the left...

Quicky:
GX 80 + PL12-32mm 15mm-f/5.6-1/125s-ISO100
P1070903_DxO.jpg
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Tripod :
GX80 +PL12-32mm 15mm-f/7.1-1/50s-ISO100
P1110593_DxO.jpg
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Joined
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I always liked using a telephoto for landscapes, but probably don't use it often enough.
I still have the urge to start shooting wide but am getting better in following my guideline to start tele and only go wider if the frame really needs it.

Once I didn't resist to getting me the 7.5 mm f/2.0 Laowa. That taught me that lesson :) By the way that lens's corners I really find hardly acceptable
I see your point, there have been many times I almost bought a super-wide lens. But being honest I don't have enough opportunity to shoot super wide and all lenses have quite some downsides. Laowa doesn't have weather sealing, Oly 7-14mm awkward lens hood which makes using filters difficult and expensive. The Panasonic 8-18mm would be good (albeit I would like 7mm) but is quite an investment for a lens I will probably use very infrequent.

The Olympus is the best zoom lens I've ever used and will be a significant upgrade to the 12-32mm and well suited to your style and subjects.
The Olympus is very good indeed and the price (certainly second hand) is very good. I do not have any experience on Panasonic body but if you need more stability a monopod could be a good solution.
 
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Once I didn't resist to getting me the 7.5 mm f/2.0 Laowa. That taught me that lesson :) By the way that lens's corners I really find hardly acceptable. I use it rarely. For good clouds, sometimes I find using it in the portrait format is fun. Still, a tight frame is more my thing.
It's not the easiest lens to use, but when you can find the right compositions it's a wonderful lens.
If the corners are bad on the Laowa, then something's wrong with the lens... I'm really impressed by its sharpness, corners included, I'm not sure an ultra wide angle can be much better.
There's probably a bit of sample variation though (I tend to think I always get the bad samples... but this time I got a good one :) )
 

mumu

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If you don't need the constant f/2.8 max aperture then the PL12-60/2.8-4 would be more convenient.
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 !
I just looked at your 500px gallery. WOW. It's either a beautiful place or you're amazing at making a dump look gorgeous. I'm sure it's a bit of both but, boy, if you ever want to see a flat and unimpressive place you should come to my country and I can show you some areas. :)
 

Bidkev

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Even though it has an inherent problem I continue to do work with my 12-32 because I like how it marries to my tiny epl2. Take a look at the rail track. These are SOOC RAW just converted to jpg and reduced in size to facilitate quick upload. I've had this lens a good while and only just noticed the distortion due I guess to not shooting many straight lines before?
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mfturner

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Joris, regarding metal vs composite construction and durability, I think you will really like the technical articles in the lensrentals blog. Roger agrees with you and he has data on a much larger inventory than any of us have.

And regarding your lens question, I agree that the small pancake lenses often have soft corners, likely made worse by the distortion correction previously mentioned. Aperture and corner evenness are where your money goes. With a Panasonic body, I wouldn't hesitate on either the 12-35 f2.8 or the 12-60 f2.8-4.0. But the lightweight, tiny pancakes have their place.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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I have the PL12-60, and I agree with above comments about it being a sizeable lens. It’s quite a bit bigger than the P12-60 kit (which is also pretty good). I still love much about it, though, but I see it more as a great general purpose lens. I can cover indoor work, portraits, macro, and can also be taken outside in the weather with great results. Other lenses can probably do each of these better, but then you are likely swapping lenses more. Based on how you are going about your work, it might actually be the ticket for you, if you can get over the size and weight. I shoot a G9, so I already conceded weight and size to other bodies and lenses. In my mind, I feel the G9 + PL12-60 is a great match.
 

billca

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It seems I do not have the firmest os stances, making me fear the dual OIS will help. Setting up my tripod facing some local's house is not very well seen here. So am a bit shy about that, often taking quickies, only to regret that later, feeling my framing might have been marginally better. I am in the lucky position I only have to take my car for 20 minutes or so to do it again, maybe with better light/skies.
I went for the 12-40 f2.8 myself and it's excellent. I use Olympus cameras.
I researched the 4 pro lenses and didn't want the size of the 12- 100 oly, and read too many complaints with sample variation with the P Leica 12-60, which left the choice between the 12-40 Oly and Pany 12-35 f2.8.
Considering your need for good IS ( no tripod) and a little stealth with the neighbors the smaller 12-35 F2.8 Pany sounds like a good choice.
 

Joris

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... my 12-32 .... I've had this lens a good while and only just noticed the distortion ...
Thanks ! Such distortion doesn't bother me much really. I can't say I havent noticed it before either, maybe because i is so well corrected in DxO Photolab ? In that photo it is more that the rails and the platform are almost but not quite parallel to the frame, due to your stand point a bit to the left, jumping in my eye.

Still that reminds me that I should also take the distortion profiles of these lenses into account if ever I decide to empty that purse. And the chromatic aberration that I hardly ever notice myself, being colorblind...

By the way my eyesight isn't what is has been, so I am in constant fear of not seeing flaws that others do, like @archaeopteryx noticing DoF problems. Certainly that too is a reason for my pondering on upgrading to a better lens. I rely on autofocus. Can't even see the focus peaking ! Ha ha ha, that is not true :D
 
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