Your opinion on 12-35 lens

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Wasabi Bob, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I've been using the 12-35 lens since it came out, and it's quickly become my lens of choice. I was asked to do a short presentation for my local camera meet-up group on this lens and I'd like to be sure that I include all the relevant points, perhaps some that are not important to me. I'm curious what those of you who shoot this lens think about it, what you like and dislike and how you think it could be improved.

  2. Timos L

    Timos L Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011
    Athens, Greece
    Real Name:
    Timos :)
    I used to own this lens for a while. It is a sharp lens all around the frame. Its big advantage, the constant f/2.8, is a big plus in low light hand-held photography where it allows faster speeds and lower ISO values than other lenses. In addition, it provides a 12mm view which was not available so far in a m43 zoom lens, except the olympus 12-50mm.

    On the other side, f/2.8 does not provide a remarkably low DOF in m43 world.

    The big minus of the lens IMO is its very high price. Its price was not justified by its pluses for my use, therefore I sold it. I prefer my 14-42 PZ lens which is much more compact together with 45/1.8 which provides really low DOF for portraits. Now I plan to replace 14-42 PZ with the new 12-32, so I will also gain the 12mm POV which I like. 12-32 and 45 cost half the price of 12-35. I do enough night street photography using the wide angle end of the 14-42 (thus f/3.5) and never had any problem of low speeds.

    If the price of 12-35 was by far lower, it would have been more attractive IMO. For my personal use it is very expensive for what it provides.
  3. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I really appreciate your comments, and being the 1st to respond. I've been into photography for nearly 50 years and the one "given fact" that has not changed is that good glass is never inexpensive. Your points are well taken from the POV standpoint which is where some people might choose the lens from. For me is was totally about a faster lens which the 12-35 did fulfill my needs.
  4. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Real Name:
    And the Olympus 12-40 pro now.

    You can search the threads and there are reviews/comments for what you are looking for. I think I read about some minor chromatic abberations, but they are corrected in Panasonic camera bodies. Don't take my word for it though, since I never owned it. Oly users would have to fix in post. The sample images seem sharp and contrasty to me. Very nice, but the new Oly 12-40 comes in at a lower price point with equal (if not better?) sharpness/resolution.
  5. Al.

    Al. Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2010
    Hull, East Yorkshire, UK
    Real Name:
    I don't know were this panasonic 12-35 is more expensive comes from .

    Here in the UK on Camera Price Buster.... the Pano 12-35 comes in at £649 and the Olympus 12-40 at £899.00. thats £250 cheaper and has built in OIS
  6. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran


    I have the lens, and I like it very much. I'm just trying to gather some comments from others, to be able to present a broader range of topics in the short talk I've been asked to do.
    I appreciate your suggestions.
  7. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    Honestly I have no complaints about the lens overall. I've owned one since it was first released, and received one of the first copies available. I also own the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom so I'm pretty familiar with the corresponding FF lens and what to expect there.

    It's a sharp lens, weather sealed, excellent build quality, has well executed stabilization (rare for a 24-70 lens for DSLRs), and it's tiny for a constant aperture zoom lens. Oh, and it has a short minimum focus distance for allowing some nice close-ups, though the Olympus 12-40mm is supposed to improve on this even further with greater max magnification.

    For negatives, about all I can come up with is the f/2.8 aperture has been reported by video users to "step" down throughout the zoom range leading to perceptible exposure variation while zooming. I do not really shoot video at this time so I can't comment other than to say I know it's been discussed here before. The price may be considered expensive for an m4/3 lens by some, but given the price points of f/2.8 zooms for DSLRs I would have been more surprised if it was much cheaper for a high grade lens of this quality.

    It'd have been pretty neat if it had a slightly longer range to allow doing portraits at a longer focal length and shallower DoF, but: 1) the 24-70mm equivalent is pretty standard, and 2) it'd have been a lot larger for say, a 12-60mm f/2.8 lens.