Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8
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Jman13
Registered: May 02, 2005
Total Posts: 10769
Country: United States

I've been waiting for a 70-200 f/2.8 equivalent for m4/3 for a long time. (yes, I know it doesn't have the same DOF...I'm over it). When I heard about the Panasonic release, I was very excited. Mine arrived today!













I'll shoot with it more a little later today, but some first impressions:
Sharp. Sharp at f2.8 throughout the range. It's not going to challenge the Oly 75/1.8, but it's VERY good for a zoom...about on par with my old Canon magic drainpipe in the sharpness department, but not QUITE up to the level of the 70-200/2.8L IS II (but not that far behind either)...at least as a first impression. I'll do more evaluation after I've shot more than 20 frames.

Here's a 100% crop at 100mm, f/2.8, 1/30s handheld.






Build: extremely high quality build. It's a weathersealed lens, and I have to say: it feels like a 70-200/2.8. Not in weight, of course (it's 1/4 the weight of the Canon 70-200/2.8 and half the length), but in feel. It's a mostly metal construction, very tight tolerances, internal zoom, and the zoom ring feels just like the zoom ring on the Canon 70-200 Ls I've owned. Smooth, precise, with just a hint of weight behind it. The OIS on the lens is near silent. At first blush it isn't QUITE as effective as the in-body IS of the E-M5, but it's close.

It's bigger than other m4/3 telephotos, but very compact for a 70-200 equivalent. Here it is with the very compact Panasonic 45-175:






And for a size comparison, here's them with the Canon 70-100mm f/4L, um, mug. The 70-200/2.8 is of course larger, but the mug is the same size as the real 70-200/4L.






alundeb
Registered: Nov 06, 2005
Total Posts: 4509
Country: Norway

Congratulations with your new 70-200 F/5.6 equivalent lens

It looks good and small!

I wish there were good and small F/5.6 zoom lenses for FF cameras.



Jman13
Registered: May 02, 2005
Total Posts: 10769
Country: United States

alundeb wrote:
Congratulations with your new 70-200 F/5.6 equivalent lens

It looks good and small!

I wish there were good and small F/5.6 zoom lenses for FF cameras.


Ugh....any talk of equivalent aperture here will be met with derision. It gathers light at f/2.8. It's f/2.8. It just a shorter focal length. Why must it be compared to full frame in every aspect? If I wanted a lens large enough to give me that separation, I'd still be shooting a full frame DSLR. I don't...I want small. And fast.



alundeb
Registered: Nov 06, 2005
Total Posts: 4509
Country: Norway

Hey, I was just teasing you
We know each others view, and I won't argue about it.

Still I wish for small and light zoom lenses for use with sensors with higher resolution and higher Full Well Capacity.
It is a sort of envy.

Enjoy your new lens



Jman13
Registered: May 02, 2005
Total Posts: 10769
Country: United States

I know...I just wanted to shut it down before others started jumping on. It would be nice if more manufacturers made smaller high quality lenses for DSLRs as well. The fact that the highest quality mostly meant huge, heavy beasts is the main reason I dropped my DSLR system in the first place.



rsolti13
Registered: Aug 31, 2009
Total Posts: 3587
Country: United States

Up until about 3 months ago I was dreaming of this zoom....after using the 45 f/1.8 and 75 f/1.8 extensively no more. Not to mention, the excellent 60mm macro. For those that don't want to swap though this looks to be an excellent choice. This combined with the 12-35, doesn't get much better in such a small package



FlyPenFly
Registered: Feb 14, 2011
Total Posts: 6455
Country: United States

Looks nice. Congrats on the lens. Roger indicated it starts stronger and ends weaker in the long end? Same impression?



httivals
Registered: May 08, 2004
Total Posts: 984
Country: United States

Jordan, I'd especially appreciate your comments about how the lens does for resolution/sharpness/microcontrast at infinity focus, across the frame, at both the shortest and longest focal lengths. . . . Lensrentals tests and all "MTF" testing that I'm aware of tests closer to medium range resolution. I'm not aware of any "numbers" tests that measure infinity resolution. For me, I'd often use the lens at infinity focus, as well as for closeups. Thanks!



Jman13
Registered: May 02, 2005
Total Posts: 10769
Country: United States

Well, I've had a chance to shoot a little bit more with it. I need to shoot quite a bit more with it, but there are some odd inconsistencies I haven't had before. I went out for a while, using the OIS instead of the IBIS for a while, and at very high shutter speeds (1/4000s, 1/3200s), the IS can occasionally interfere with the image and cause a little softening. I went out again later, using IBIS, though it was in dimmer light. I have noticed that at 100mm and f/2.8, sometimes it seems to miss focus at longer distances. It's something I haven't experienced on Micro 4/3 before, though it's also possible there was some other stuff, so much more testing and shooting is needed. Shooting indoors with flash in dim light, the AF was dead on accurate, and the lens was very sharp, so I need to figure out if it was just my unfamiliarity with the lens, or if it was just occasional silly things with the OM-D. Overall, most shots at f/2.8 were plenty sharp (though not razor sharp), and f/4 tended to be extremely sharp. Overall, image quality appears to be quite high. It's sharper at the wider end, and a little softer at the long end. I had no apparent focus issues at the 35-50mm range.

Some samples:

Ivy at 100mm, f/4 - about 5-8 feet focus distance:






100% center crop:






100% upper right crop:






At infinity (or close enough), and f/2.8, 100mm:






100% center crop:






100% edge crop:






Same framing, but at f/4:
100% center crop:






100% edge crop:






Then I took a few sample shots at 100mm f/2.8 indoors with flash:

At about 5 feet:






Another:






100% crop of above:






And closer:






100% crop of above:






Jman13
Registered: May 02, 2005
Total Posts: 10769
Country: United States

Well, I just did some more controlled testing, and I can't find any focus issues. I'll shoot with it some more and see if things crop up again. It's possible it was just the way I was handling the lens on those certain images... Anyway, I'll keep you posted of anything odd.

I do have to say that I shouldn't use this lens and look for critical sharpness after having just received the Oly 75/1.8 and 60/2.8 Macro. It kind of sets the bar a little high. I keep expecting it to have the same sharpness as the 75/1.8 when both are at f/2.8, and that's not exactly realistic, though at f/4 in the center, thery're not too far apart. Even f/2.8 vs f/1.8 isn't that far apart, but it's enough to notice.



Jman13
Registered: May 02, 2005
Total Posts: 10769
Country: United States

Ok...just did even more testing, with flash, changing distances, etc...very sharp in all shots, and even at 1/40s without flash at about 20ft. Had one misfocus, due to the OM-D's AF point...it snagged further back on a 3D object than what I wanted....so I'll need to be careful to use the small focus box when shooting complex subjects, but that's not a lens issue.



jonrock
Registered: Jan 03, 2012
Total Posts: 445
Country: United States

Jman13 wrote:
Well, I've had a chance to shoot a little bit more with it. I need to shoot quite a bit more with it, but there are some odd inconsistencies I haven't had before. I went out for a while, using the OIS instead of the IBIS for a while, and at very high shutter speeds (1/4000s, 1/3200s), the IS can occasionally interfere with the image and cause a little softening.


I have a theory but I don't know if it's true since I haven't even confirmed this on my Nikon bodies. I read Thom's Hogan's article before on explaining VR (Nikon's IS). It's possible that if the shutter speed is faster the sampling frequency the IS is correcting for something that's not synchronized with the shutter speed.

http://www.bythom.com/nikon-vr.htm

Please look underneath rule #2 under Thom Hogan's explanation. I'm not too sure if that's applicable to the OM-D and 35-100mm f2.8 lens.



you2
Registered: Nov 06, 2005
Total Posts: 746
Country: United States

I'm kind of hoping the rumoured olympus 45-150f2.8 appears early next year. Of course the panasonic includes the hood so that is something to consider



cputeq
Registered: Jun 25, 2008
Total Posts: 4723
Country: United States

Looks to be a nice multi-purpose lens for weather-sealed bodies - I'll have to at least give it a rental eventually, just to see how it acts as a portrait lens around the 180mm FOV mark.



Jman13
Registered: May 02, 2005
Total Posts: 10769
Country: United States

you2 wrote:
I'm kind of hoping the rumoured olympus 45-150f2.8 appears early next year. Of course the panasonic includes the hood so that is something to consider


Yeah, that has my interest as well, and I thought about holding off for that, but I figure I can always sell this if the Oly is better. One thing that also is in my mind is the size. The 35-100 is big for a m4/3 lens, but it's quite compact considering the range and aperture. A 40-150 is going to be significantly larger, so you have to weigh size/weight vs the extra 50mm. Now, if it's better optically, not much bigger, and the same price or cheaper, I'll probably switch.



cputeq
Registered: Jun 25, 2008
Total Posts: 4723
Country: United States

Oh wow, I didn't know there was a 45-150 rumor - I think I would use that focal range more than 35-100 (my usages on that type of lens starts at around 100mm FOV).

Hmmm, now I think I'll wait Knowing Olympus, though, the lens is going to cost a mint and the hood alone, if you can find it, will be $100+



Jman13
Registered: May 02, 2005
Total Posts: 10769
Country: United States

cputeq wrote:
Oh wow, I didn't know there was a 45-150 rumor - I think I would use that focal range more than 35-100 (my usages on that type of lens starts at around 100mm FOV).

Hmmm, now I think I'll wait Knowing Olympus, though, the lens is going to cost a mint and the hood alone, if you can find it, will be $100+


Yeah, I expect it to be relatively large, probably $1700 + $125 for the hood. Should be good though.

Maybe they'll surprise us and make it small, $1300 and the hood'll be $50. I'd hope for the hood to be included, but well, at this point I have no hope of that.

I think the lower end on size is probably around the size of the original Sigma 50-150/2.8 for APS-C. (the current OS version is similar in size to a 70-200/2.8). That lens was 5.3" long, 3" in diameter and weighed 1.7 lbs. The 35-100/2.8 is 3.9" long, 2.7" in diameter and weighs 0.8 lbs.

So, if that holds for the Olympus, we'd have a lens 1.4" longer, 0.3" wider and over double the weight. Things to consider.



CalW
Registered: Mar 26, 2005
Total Posts: 2063
Country: United States

I am delighted with my Pany 12-35, but for whatever reason my Canon 70-200 was my least used lens, so I can't get very excited about this 35-100. On the other hand I really badly miss my Canon 300 f/4 - it was one of my favorites. So I continue to hope that eventually we will see a 150mm or 200mm M43 prime. Given the reasonable size and weight of my MF Pentax 200mm f/4, it seems it should be possible to put together a very nice M43 AF equivalent.



Jman13
Registered: May 02, 2005
Total Posts: 10769
Country: United States

CalW wrote:
I am delighted with my Pany 12-35, but for whatever reason my Canon 70-200 was my least used lens, so I can't get very excited about this 35-100. On the other hand I really badly miss my Canon 300 f/4 - it was one of my favorites. So I continue to hope that eventually we will see a 150mm or 200mm M43 prime. Given the reasonable size and weight of my MF Pentax 200mm f/4, it seems it should be possible to put together a very nice M43 AF equivalent.


Hehe...I'm the opposite. I always get big use out of a 70-200, but standard zooms like a 24-70 just sit on my shelf.

Panasonic has announced a 150mm f/2.8 prime lens that will be released sometime next year, so it's coming!



CalW
Registered: Mar 26, 2005
Total Posts: 2063
Country: United States

Yes, I'll be watching for that Pany 150mm - and saving the $1500 the 35-100 would have cost in order to buy one!



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