Panasonic US production problems reloaded. Also the 20mm out of Stock :(

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Yesterday I had to share the bad news that Amazon US deleted your 12-35mm X lens preorders “Due to a lack of availability“. Now 43rumors readers made me notice that even the 20mm f/1.7 lens is out of Stock in any major store like Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, Samys, J&R and so on…
Three years I do write on 43rumors….three years I see Panasonic having constant US supply problems on almost all most requested products. P.S.: Olympus also had some delay with the E-M5 shipment but preorders are now shipping at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto.

P.S: Updated Panasonic lens/camera rebates list:
1) The 3D lens is in Stock for $49 only at BHphoto and for $67 at Amazon.
2) Panasonic GF3 with 14mm lens for $379 at Amazon.
3) Panasonic 14-140mm for $499 at Amazon and BHphoto.
4) The Panasonic 45-175mm X lens is now in Stock for $299 at BHphoto. For $282 at Samys.
5) The 14-42mm normal lens (not X!) is in Stock for $99 at Amazon and BHphoto.
6) The 14-42mm X lens is in Stock for $328 at Amazon.

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  • I said this yesterday and will say it again today. What delay? The press release at launch said this item would be available in August. It is June 4th.

    The Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm/F2.8 ASPH./POWER O.I.S. (H-HS12035) lens will be available in August 2012.

    http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/05/21/Panasonic-12-35mm-F2-8-fast-standard-zoom-for-micro-four-thirds

    • I agreed with Terry yesterday and will agree with him today.

      It’s not Panasonic’s fault that Amazon jumped the gun on pre-orders. They can’t control what Amazon does.

      • Jesper

        Agree and agree, look here FOLKS! before posting anymore comments

  • andy

    A bit of scarcity can help build an appetite for a new product, but when it happens again and again and again it’s a sign of inattention. I imagine they lost a lot of old heads a few waves of firings ago who could have told them so, too.

  • JP

    I’ve been using the 20 mm for a while now, and love it – BUT – the focusing during video is horrendous. It has ruined one too many of my videos.

    I’ve heard the Leica 25 mm is way better for video – specifically in regards to focusing, can anyone confirm or deny this???

    With that said, it appears the 25 mm is out of stock at the big camera stores – WTF is wrong with Panasonic…?

    • Uberzone

      I would recommend learning to focus manually during video. Once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature.

      • HMR

        I agree about focusing manually for video but it’s more difficult with “focus by wire” lenses than with traditional manual focus lenses.

        • pdc

          @JP
          If you are into videography don’t waste your money on AF lenses, especially zooms. I heartily recommend the Voigtlander Nokton’s. I have both the 25mm and the 17.5mm, and they are wonderful lenses throughout the aperture range. The clickless aperture ring setting for the 17.5mm is especially useful in video, and the close-focusing gives these lenses considerable versatility. If you can’t spring for one of these, then pick up a quality FF legacy wideangle in the range of 20mm to 28mm, and you will be set.

      • RAS

        It has nothing to do with manual vs AF.

        I only use MF on the 20mm and it’s a major PITA. Makes me miss my t3i + 50mm f/1.8.

        It’s a shame, since the lens is so gorgeous.

    • mpgxsvcd

      The 25mm lens is one of the best AFC lenses for video with the version 1.1 firmware.

  • JP

    How about the 12 mm f/2.0 – is that a better option for shooting video on a E-M5 with tripod?

    I shoot mini interviews sitting across from somebody in a small meeting room usually….

    • mooboy

      If you’re just shooting in that relatively static environment, as pdc says, use manual focus. Make sure you’ve set an aperture to allow enough DOF for small movements of the person being interviewed, and you should be set.

      But to further agree with PDC, I just got the Nokton 25mm yesterday. I was using it on an EM-5 for stills instead of video, but, what a revelation. I’m in love this lens.

  • ginsbu

    Panasonic should thank Olympus for selling so many of their lenses to go with the E-M5!

    • JP

      Yes, if only Olympus could remember how to make good lenses. At least, Olympus makes the E-M5, a truly phenomenal camera!

      • mooboy

        You’ve never used the excellent Oly 45mm? And just above you’re asking about the 12mm f/2.0…

        • JP

          I’m sure the 45 mm Oly is nice, but the focal length is too long for using in small rooms. I do have a 50 mm f/2.0 for close-up work…

    • bilgy_no1

      Exactly, this is not a production problem on the part of Panasonic. It’s just all the new E-M5 owners buying the highly rated 20mm pancake.

      Shows that Olympus is leaving a lot of money on the table with their current line up. The 17mm f/2.8 is not attractive enough compared to the 20mm f/1.7

  • twoomy

    I do agree with the comment above that the 12-35mm wasn’t supposed to ship until August, so we have two months of waiting before we can officially complain about supply problems.

    What does seem crazy though is that EVERY camera manufacturer is having supply and delivery issues. Forget Panasonic for one second. Olympus can’t make the EM-5 fast enough, especially the silver. Nikon can’t deliver the D800 or D4; Canon can’t deliver the 5d mark III. So what’s with everybody announcing these high-end products with arbitrary release dates and then getting all surprised at how many people want to buy them? Are they all clueless about demand for their product or are they all having quality control issues? And don’t get me started about availability of spare batteries!

    When Sony announces their high-end A99 and Panasonic announces their GH3, let’s see if they follow the trend of inability to deliver. *sigh*

  • Paco

    You can still buy the Sigma 19mm or 30mm, at least in Europe. I bought the 19mm for my G3 which is a great value for money. As for supply, also Sony had this problem with the NEX7.

    Maybe they do it like Apple and keep their stock limited to generate a hype like iPhone and iPad. But probably not.

    • BLI

      Modern manufacturing is all about just-in-time production and minimal stock. With uncertainties in demand prognosis (e.g because the same person orders goods from many outlets with the intent on cancelling every order except the one delivered first), production must be more cautious/slower in order to minimize the stock.

  • Zo

    Going forward, lack of availability will hurt Panasonic and Olympus and m4/3 in general. What good is having a hot product and having no way for people to buy it. Oly has also screwed its dealer network in the past and Panasonic has had availability issues going all the way back to with the 25mm for 4/3 was released and the L1.

    While they cannot ramp up production like an iPhone, they need a better distribution network. I wonder if Pany/Oly have the same issue with other things they sell or if the issue is only in the camera divisions.

  • Who really cares that an outdated lens isn’t available anymore on a probably not profitable market (rebate battles, preorder and return customer habits)?

    Panasonic should replace the 20 mm pancake with a 1.8/17mm (35mm equiv.) pancake that has a fast, silent AF.

  • Bob B.

    Maybe Panasonic is redesigning the 20mm…to bring the focusing up to the silence and speed of all of the newer lenses…?

    • LisergicSyn

      It would be really appreciated, and also coherent, to have the prime lenses weather-sealed. Since both om-d and gh3 (as far as we know) are/will be tropicalized it’s a shame that only 2 lenses are weather resistant.

    • Lily

      I have lived in Japan for 3 years, and I have never seen the 20mm in a store, ever. That said, I really, really, really hope they’re redesigning it. Not for a different focal length, just for quieter, quicker focusing. …I feel like this is the only comment I ever post, lol. I really want it that much.

    • Mr. Reeee

      Or maybe not…. ;-)

      Face it, the 20mm is THE LENS that almost EVERY M4/3 user buys after the kit lens.

      • I think that’s more of a reason to improve on it?

        20mm II would be good, and I’d buy it!

      • Bob B.

        Oh I agree…Keep the optics….just give it a silent AutoFocus motor and get it up to speed with the newer lenses.

  • doug nash

    I think there are two components at play.

    One, it’s going to take a while to fully asses the true damage from the floods which wrecked havoc on Thailand, and the supply/manufacturing arms of almost EVERY conceivable high-tech company.

    Two, don’t overestimate the popularity of m4/3 here in America. That standard may be popular over in Japan, but it still has a ways to go here, before it can claw its way into the mainstream, where DSLR systems still dominate.

    Therefore, there isn’t as much reason for smart retailers to overstock on products which, to this point, aren’t guaranteed to sell as well as other products.

  • わからない

    I almost bought a 20 f/1.7 at the Shinjuku Yodabashi Camera a few weeks ago, for about the equivalent of about $360 after excise tax refunds. I skipped it because I thought I could always buy it for not much more from B&H when the time comes (since I’m in the US and just pigged out on an EM-5+14-42+40-150+12f/2).

    I kind of regret not getting it then. But not really, since I don’t often use 35-40-50mm 35mm equivalent, since I’m more interested in the 25 f/0.95, and since, if B&H is having shortages while Yodabashi is (massively for the Japanese market) discounting………. then maybe a replacement *is* in the works……….

    • mooboy

      Are the shortages something new? I know when I bought mine it was always going in and out of stock at B&H. Isn’t this a bit like the boy who cried wolf after we just went through this with the 7-14 @B&H?

  • AG

    m4/3 seems to suffer from availability and then price mark ups.

  • A typical 43rumors.com headline, trying to make news where no news are. Absolutely nothing indicates “production problems”!

    • In about 5 minutes I found the 20mm in stock at three very reputable stores that I’ve bought items from in the past.

      • That’s what I’m talking about. :)

  • WT21

    m43 lenses have become harder to find, even used. So, I just bought one of each one I could want. No more constant buy and sell for me! Too hard to get a hold of them, because there’s too much demand, and too few supply!

  • JP

    I wish it was easy to manual focus the 20 mm, but it is very hard to do because of the size and because of its firm rotation.

    I wonder if the 12 mm Zuiko or 25 mm Leica is the better option?

    • mooboy

      I don’t have the 12mm Zuiko or 25 PL… but I just received the 25mm Nokton yesterday. If you don’t mind manual focus – it’s a total gem. I really hated the focus by wire of m43, and missed the focus rings from my Nikon auto focus lenses. But, the feel of the Nokton makes my Nikon lenses feel like crap.

      I originally planned to get the 25mm PL, but I’m so glad I went with the Nokton now.

      I’d guess the 12mm Zuiko would be better for manual focus because the Olympus boys went to some effort for it : but they’re pretty different focal lengths. Maybe you should split the difference and get the 17.5 Nokton :) If you don’t want to spent the cash though, don’t try a Nokton in a store – you’ll never forget that silky smooth feel of the manual focus.

      • JP

        I do like the Noktons and will consider.

  • Pedro del Río

    In Switzerland too, many Internet sellers mark the Pana 20mm as not in stock. However, ten days ago I ordered one and received it three days later in spite of the “not in stock” notice on the Internet site. I guess availability goes up and down.

  • Dee

    Random question about the 20m 1.7. I’m getting really bad banding with it on low light high iso shots using it on the omd. Has anyone found a fix for this yet?

    • Deez

      Yes, use a proper camera. What do you expect from these toys really?

      • RAS

        NIce try, Canon PR team.

        • Deez

          Suit yourself. Or maybe Nikon? Or PhaseOne? Naaah, this is the future.

  • わからない

    For what it’s worth…. I’m thinking of getting this lens, but as mentioned it’s unavailable in the US. But as of now it’s available at the Shinkjuku, Tokyo Yodabashi camera store (the flagship of Japan’s largest camera/electronics chain equivalent to B&H/Adorama in the US). At least until Monday (GRRRRrrrrrr… I should have got one when I was there….)

    http://www.yodobashi.com/%E3%83%91%E3%83%8A%E3%82%BD%E3%83%8B%E3%83%83%E3%82%AF-H-H020-LUMIX-G-20mm-F1-7-ASPH-%E3%83%AB%E3%83%9F%E3%83%83%E3%82%AF%E3%82%B9-G-20mm-F1-7-%E3%83%9E%E3%82%A4%E3%82%AF%E3%83%AD%E3%83%95%E3%82%A9%E3%83%BC%E3%82%B5%E3%83%BC%E3%82%BA/pd/100000001001149045/

    And, for what it’s worth, the Voightlander 25mm lens is also in stock there, IIRC for less than costs at B&H. >:|

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