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Your Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8 -- thoughts?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by WT21, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I am looking for feedback from folks who have had (or still have) the P12-25/2.8 for a bit.

    The excitement of a new lens can give you rose-colored glasses, but how about having it for a while?

    So, my questions are -- if you've had the 12-35 for a while, do you still have it? Still use it? Still love it? Anyone end up just selling it on or having it collect dust? Why or why not?

  2. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    I had the 12-35 for a good amount of time. It has since been sold when I received the 12-40.
    The 12-35 has a fair bit of CA in high contrast areas, this can generally be fixed in LR and probably less noticeable on panasonic cameras.
    I also shoot a fair bit at 12mm end of the zoom. I find that the 12-40 provides sharper edges and corners, and is more uniform.
    The 12-35mm feels like it may be very slightly sharper in the middle, but less noticeable than sharp edges/corners.

    I liked that the 12-35 is smaller and better balance on the em5. The 12-40 feels slightly over sized for the EM5.
    I like manual focus of the 12-40. Also has an extra button that works with olympus cameras.
    12-35 has stablisation for panasonic cameras.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Qiou87

    Qiou87 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 15, 2013
    Paris, France
    It was my second MFT lens, after the P20. I bought it new with an E-M5 because it was the only fast zoom at the time and I wanted to replace my Canon gear as closely as possible (5D MkII and 24-105L). It was in July 2013.

    Since then I have probably shot close to 10K pictures with the 12-35mm f/2.8 and it is my most used lens. I still like it's relatively compact size and excellent image quality - it's arguably the best zoom lens I've ever owned and it has served me well. I still use it when I travel, together with my E-M5. It has been gathering a little bit of dust of late, mainly because I use my E-P5 more and tend to couple it with the 20mm and the Sigma 60mm. I've also recently purchased the 9-18mm from Olympus and found it to be a compact and capable travel companion.

    My E-M5's fate has been in the balance for a few months because I just prefer the VF-4 and the E-P5's ergonomics, and I've been experimenting with primes. But will I let go of the 12-35mm if I sell my OM-D? Not a chance. A quality standard zoom is very important for me, and although I haven't been very faithful lately, there's little doubt in my mind that I'll want to pick up the 12-35mm for a long week-end away soon, and that I'll enjoy doing so immensely. It's solid, compact for its features, and gives amazing results consistently. You cannot ask for a lot more, but hey : it's not cheap so it ought to be so good.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  4. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Thanks for the comparison. For various reasons I've ruled out the 12-40 for myself, but it sounds like in general that you enjoy having a 2.8 zoom in this focal length, regardless of which one it is?
  5. Qiou87

    Qiou87 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 15, 2013
    Paris, France
    To be honest I don't usually need an f/2.8 zoom, I just want a quality all-round zoom that gives me sharp and contrasty results. I could live with a high quality 12-50mm f/4 for example, since I usually close down the 12-35mm at f/5.6 for maximum sharpness, but there's no such thing in MFT. Either quality f/2.8 pro zooms or average kit zooms with variable apertures, so I picked the former.

    I had the chance to play at length with the 12-40mm f/2.8 since my dad owned it. He sold it recently after finding it too big and heavy for his E-M5, and I tend to agree: when using it you feel the difference in weight and size with the 12-35mm. He replaced his 12-40mm with small primes.
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  6. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Got my 12-35 in 2012 and love it! This lens will be the last one for me to give up.
    It's as sharp as primes when closed to f4.0-f5.6 and still small enough for me to hike with it.
    OIS was quite handy and better than 2x IBIS in EPL3 and EPL5.
    On negative side - it's not as CA-free as I would prefer.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. danieru

    danieru Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 6, 2011
    Still have my 12-35 f2.8, although I really love primes, the 25 f1.4 for image quality and especially it's shallow depth of field and the 14 f2.5 for it's compactness and wide view, but the 12-35 is more versatile, even wider and can zoom to 35mm that coupled with f2.8 aperture, have been using it more than my primes.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    You are shooting on an Oly body with the CA? Hoping (assuming??) it'll be less an issue on my GX7
  9. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    I have it close to two years. IQ is prime-like, and is really well made. No complaints on Pana bodies, except that it's obviously heavier than the average lens. The first few months it made my Gx1 quite front heavy, but I was mostly using primes before. On the Gx7 it's much better. And if you think about how much you'd pay a 12 and a 17 prime, it's not even that expensive. It would be one of the last lenses I'd sell, and I really enjoy my primes.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Excellent lens - had it for a little over a year, got stolen during a break in, and replaced it with a 12-40 (good deal with the E-M1 I got). I prefer the handling of the 12-35 to the 12-40, and can't say that either lens is significantly better than the other.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. SirGadden

    SirGadden Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 27, 2014
    Having owned my 12-35 for just over a year now and I still love it like the day I got it, it still tops my list of most used lenses just ahead of the PL 25. Only thing I can complain about is the blue/purple:ish chameleon color that looks awful when compared to the sleek black of the recent PL lenses.

    (Only use it on Pana bodies btw)
    • Like Like x 1
  12. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I've had mine since shortly after it became available in 2012. I use mine mostly on Olympus O-MD bodies now, but also used it on a G5 with raw output in all cases. There is some CA to clean up, but nothing that is troublesome or time-consuming with LR. I've thought about converting to the 12-40/40-150 pair, but I really like the size, weight and balance of the 12-35/35-100 combination, and the FL range from 100-150 isn't one I need a lot.

    By the way, the weatherproofing on both lenses is extremely good if used on a suitable body. I've had this lens on an E-M5 and E-M1 for extended periods, unprotected in heavy downpours, with no water ingress issues.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. agoglanian

    agoglanian Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 23, 2010
    Laguna Niguel, CA
    Abram Goglanian
    I bought one for my GH4 after debating between it and the 12-40 PRO. There are merits to each but as I wanted to use it for video work I figured the OIS won out over the better build and manual focus of the 12-40mm. I think if I had an Olympus body for stills I'd probably get the 12-40, which in my case may happen if I ever decide to get an E-M1.

    Despite that I've been very happy with the image quality from the lens, the AF is extremely fast, and manual focus is at least serviceable for video (though obviously I prefer true manual focus lenses for that application). I may still look at the 12-40, but I'd want to test them side by side before I chose one way or the other.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. gravijaflare

    gravijaflare Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 28, 2014
    A planet called Gaia
    this was my first weatherproof zoom lens and really liked it for my e-m5. shot with it exclusively for months and got good results.

    until i noticed a tiny swirly spec of dust on the rear lens element. i did not make a fuss out of it, but then another one showed up on the front lens element. then i researched about it and it seems there were other copies of the 12-35mm that had this dust problem.

    so in the end, i just sold it off to get a 12-40mm. hoping this olympus zoom lens will not have the same issue. it's supposed to be dustproof right? ;) 
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  15. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    I would not hold my breath on that one.
    The Oly 12-40 expands quite a bit when zooming.
    That volume has to be filled with air somehow...
  16. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    I didn't have dust issue with my 12-35, but to my surprise I got a dust speck in Sigma 60mm - which is prime lens and doesn't expand its volume. Though the fix was very simple - quick and deep inhale through the back of the lens.
  17. Boneyard

    Boneyard Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 5, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Love it. Every time I come back to it, I'm always impressed by the color signature. Until I got the Nocticron, it held the title of "last I would sell." Which is pretty impressive (& somewhat surprising) given my lineup and love of fast primes.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  18. ahinesdesign

    ahinesdesign Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 6, 2011
    NC, USA
    The 12-35 is a great lens. I used my copy on a G5, and it performed very, very well. It can replace primes in its range, and is probably sharper than most. I didn't notice undue CA, but I'm not a pixel peeper. I loved its relatively compact size and versatility. Ultimately I sold it and my G5 for an EM5 and 12-40, which had nothing to do with the 12-35's performance. The 12-35 doesn't have the best out of focus blur, but its not awful either. I found the 12-35's OIS to work great.
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  19. pmon

    pmon Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 5, 2013
    It is the best lens I have ever used. It costs a lot but I have no regrets, it is on my e-p5 every time I go for a trip. It is perfect for landscape. I like its compact size much better than the Oly 12-40. It is very sharp and has a cool rendering on the images that I like it a lot. With it on my camera I have no excuses to look for primes in the covered range, I bought the 17mm 1.8 only for having a lighter and smaller set-up and the bcl 9mm after selling the 9-18. If you can afford it go for it
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  20. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    You need a lot of dust to make any visible difference to the final image.
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