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Archive 2012 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions
  
 
Jman13
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions


EDIT: My full review is up: http://admiringlight.com/blog/panasonic-lumix-12-35mm-f2-8-x-review/

Rented it from LensRentals.com so I could do a review.

http://www.jordansteele.com/2012/12-35.jpg

First impressions:

Build quality: Best build on any m4/3 lens I've handled. Feels like a pro lens (and for this price, it should). Everything is extremely solid, and there is no wobble or flex in anything. Zoom and focus rings are perfectly damped and feel great in hand. AF is very fast and silent.

Image quality: Excellent at 35mm f/2.8, good at 12mm f/2.8 and quite good at 12mm f/5.6. Not quite as good as the Oly 12, but very good for a zoom. Bokeh is busy at the wide end and pretty nice at the long end, though no one is going to mistake this for a cream machine. There's almost no lateral CA, but there is some longitudinal CA and purple fringing at high contrast edges. Overall, looks quite nice, though I need to shoot a lot more with it.

I'll be shooting with it over the next few days and I'll be writing a full review soon.

Two quick samples (just shot with it for about 15 minutes outside real quick). Both at 35mm wide open.

Statue:
http://www.jordansteele.com/2012/12-35_statue.jpg

Focuses pretty close too:
http://www.jordansteele.com/2012/12-35_bug.jpg

100% crop of the bug in the shot above:
http://www.jordansteele.com/2012/12-35_bug_crop.jpg

Edited on Aug 02, 2012 at 12:41 AM · View previous versions



Jul 26, 2012 at 05:07 PM
snapsy
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions


Sweet, thanks. Looking forward to your additional impressions.


Jul 26, 2012 at 05:10 PM
FlyPenFly
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions


Nice, some more shots of the camera would be nice with the lens on.

I wonder if Oly will convert some of their pro lenses out to MFT.



Jul 26, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions


I'll be taking plenty of pics of the lens for the review. I have 5 days with the lens before I need to send it back, and I'll be shooting with it most of the day Saturday (mostly family stuff). Hope to have the review done by the middle of next week.


Jul 26, 2012 at 05:32 PM
bobbytan
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions


Thanks for doing this and sharing your findings with us, Jordan. Appreciate if you can compare this lens to the 12-50 kit lens ... which really isn't too shabby at all.




Jul 26, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions


Send me a 12-50 and I'll be happy to compare it.


Jul 26, 2012 at 05:55 PM
bobbytan
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions


Never mind.

Jman13 wrote:
Send me a 12-50 and I'll be happy to compare it.




Jul 26, 2012 at 06:41 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions


I will probably do a little comparison shooting between this $1,300 beast and my itty bitty Oly 14-42 II that came with my OM-D. Something tells me that while the Panny will be better, it probably won't be 13x better.


Jul 26, 2012 at 06:57 PM
aleksanderpolo
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions


So which one do you prefer? 12/2 or this? And how much does it weight btw?


Jul 26, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions


I'll have to shoot a lot more with it, but in this range I've always been a prime guy. I have no plans to purchase this lens, but I wanted to review it, which is why I went the rental route. I've owned a ton of standard zooms, and I always use them for a month or so and then they sit on a shelf the rest of the time until I sell them, so I've now resolved to essentially never purchase a standard zoom for more than about $300.

That said, from what I've seen so far, it's a very nice lens. If you like shooting with a standard zoom and can stomach the cost, it's a great option.

It's large for a m4/3 lens, but it's not huge. It's about the size of the 7-14, I'd say. Really lovely build and mechanical action, though. It's plastic, but very high tolerances. Feels like the 24-105L if I am remembering how that lens felt correctly. (though much smaller)



Jul 26, 2012 at 07:48 PM
 

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aleksanderpolo
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions


thanks, I need to keep telling myself I don't need the 12/2 and this.


Jul 26, 2012 at 08:05 PM
millsart
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions


m4/3 is getting to that tricky price point, where while they are putting out some really cool offerings, those whom bought into the system as an alternative to their main DSLR rigs are going to have to really sit down and think about how much they want to invest in one or both systems.

When I first got my G1 years ago, the only options were the 14-45, 45-200 and 20mm 1.7, the most expensive of which was about $300 at the time. Nothing that requires too much thought or pain in the wallet.

These days though....man... its like do you spend $1200 on a good zoom for your m4/3 system or is that silly when you've already got a $1200 standard f2.8 zoom on your DSLR

Do you really need that type of glass for both systems ?

Do you sell your DSLR and shoot with just m4/3 ?

Do you limit your m4/3 to one or two primes, say a 14mm f2.5 and 45mm 1.8 and tell yourself "hey, this is supposed to be a lightweight, affordable travel system for when I don't want to haul out the DSLR kit"

Do you go all out and create a $4000 m4/3 kit that can do nearly everything your DSLR can (but not quite) for travel and then still keep all that FF DSLR gear for when you need it even ?

Choices are a great thing for any camera system, but darn if the likes of the 12-35, 75 1.8 and other high end/expensive glass doesn't make the position of m4/3 a bit confusing, at least in regards to how it was originally bought for.



Jul 26, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions


You bring up a very good point. Luckily for me, it's much more simplified, as I have done a complete switch. I VERY much want my 75/1.8, though....whenever B&H can ship it..... Hopefully the 12-35 will sate my appetite for the 75 for a short spell...and maybe the day I send back the 12-35 (Tuesday), I'll have my 75. Wishful thinking, I know.


Jul 26, 2012 at 08:41 PM
millsart
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions


Certainly does make life easier if you've gone totally to a given CSC.

If I didn't have all my paid work still I certainly don't think I'd own any DSLR's anymore.

Then again, if I wasn't doing any paid work, I don't know that I'd really even feel the need for a fast m4/3 zoom at $1200 either. Great looking lenses but in my own personal shooting I'm usually happier with a couple of primes and don't really have any real pressure to get the shot.



Jul 26, 2012 at 09:57 PM
itai195
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions


millsart wrote:
Do you go all out and create a $4000 m4/3 kit that can do nearly everything your DSLR can (but not quite) for travel and then still keep all that FF DSLR gear for when you need it even ?


I'm doing some variation of this. I still have the nice full frame DSLR body and a few of my favorite lenses, but I'm largely ditching the lenses that I only use occasionally and paring the system down to just what I need for my more serious landscape and portrait shooting. m43 is going to do everything else for me, and its fair share of landscapes and portraits as well. I just enjoy shooting m43 more these days.

So that means I'm probably selling my 24-70 f/2.8 and may replace it with this 12-35. I know m43 won't match the image quality, but the situations where I used the 24-70 in the past are ones in which I intend to use my m43 gear now. I'll probably buy the upcoming 35-100 f/2.8 as well, assuming the price isn't totally obscene.



Jul 26, 2012 at 10:10 PM
mirkoc
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions


To cash out a significant amount of money, these 2.8 zoom lenses should really shine wide open. Nobody is going to ask too many questions in that case. Look at the EF 70-200 2.8 IS II user reviews, almost all say they had doubts. But once they tried it, they didn't give it a second thought, it was worth it. Hopefully, these zooms (and Oly primes) are going to be somewhat more affordable after a while, but the main point is they are wonderful option. So IF you want relatively small and light but with respectable quality you can have it. I wouldn't have nothing against trying OM-D with 150/1.8 (light gathering) equivalent for classical concerts for example.


Jul 26, 2012 at 10:39 PM
carstenw
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions


I would love to move all my casual shooting to MFT, sell my big zooms and get these little zooms, but until these cameras have excellent focus tracking, it isn't in the cards. Another generation of OM-D?

Edited on Jul 27, 2012 at 09:06 AM · View previous versions



Jul 26, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Ernie Aubert
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions


And a factor I don't remember seeing anyone mention yet is radio control of multiple flashes - I have a PocketWizard MiniTT1, AC3, and three FlexTT5s that I use with my 5D II. I have a G3 and like it (and I'd probably, nay almost certainly, like the OM-D E-M5 even more), but what about external flash control?


Jul 27, 2012 at 02:15 AM
tom in mpls
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions


Jman13 wrote:
It's about the size of the 7-14, I'd say. (though much smaller)


Shorter but otherwise similar weight and dimensions:

7-14 70x83mm, 300gm

12-35 68x74mm, 305gm



Jul 27, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Jman13
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Panasonic 12-35mm first impressions


Here's a shot from this evening. Took a bunch of shots and it seems to be a pretty darn sharp lens over the range, even wide open. At 35mm, the center and most of the frame is very sharp wide open, though corners suffer, but I don't think that's a big deal.

Anyway, here's the shot...chain after the rain, barring your view of the building across the water, or something like that. 35mm, f/2.8.

http://www.jordansteele.com/2012/scioto_chain.jpg



Jul 27, 2012 at 03:04 AM
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