Plenty of new Panasonic X zoom reviews!

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The best (and most expensive) Micro Four Thirds zoom is now shipping and 43rumor readers are testing the lens. Time for a short roundup of the links I got. Enjoy!

Reviews:
Admiringlight writes: “The 12-35mm f/2.8′s combination of top flight optics, fast aperture, quality build and great zoom range make it a lens for any serious shooter to consider.
Soundimagesplus posted the first, second, and third part of the X zoom review: “A few test shots indicate that its VERY sharp, as good as anything I’ve seen in m4/3, and  there is some decent bokeh. Not normally a strength in m4/3 lenses.
There are now eight User Reviews at Amazon (Click here). All 5 stars :)

43rumors Readers review:
Kevin: “I filmed a test video with my new 12-35 x lens. Thought you might like to see it at Eslkevin.blogspot.jp
Pier-Yves:Filmed today with the 12-35 and the 7-14 (here on youtube).Paris was dark today. Bonne lecture. LesFilmsDuRegard.Com
Gary Hanna: “just wanted to share a 12-35mm X video I recently completed (here on youtube).

In Stock and price check: Amazon, Olympus US store, Adorama, B&H, eBay.
For my European friends. The cheapest price i found is in UK at T-Dimension and Simplyelectronics.

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  • onlyme

    Admin, have you any idea if Sigma or Tamron will announce new lenses at Photokina?

    • admin

      Sigma yes, Tamron I don’t know yet.

      • onlyme

        Thanks Admin.

    • Incessant Troll

      i’d like to see a 90mm 2.8 for 500 like tamron has for the other mounts. their 17-50 is probably the best bargain in photography

  • HMR

    Does anyone think that this will be one of the kit lenses for the GH3?

  • Bob B.

    So many lenses, so little time!

    • That should read…

      SO little MONEY! ;-)

  • DJS

    Probably two kits for the GH3 I would imagine. If they only pair it with this lens it’s probably going to exceed their target price.

  • Incessant Troll

    how did pentax make their 16-50 cost only $900? no i don’t want to hear about sdm. a little larger but same focal range, aperture, and weather sealing.

    • Jesper

      The volume maybe, larger volume less production cost. Also important to keep in mind is that panasonic 12-35 are produced in japan, which can also raise the price a little bit. My third quess is the smaller electronics and more sophisticated construction requires higher precision of machining and manufacture proccedure, which also means higher price.

      • Chez Wimpy

        My guess is… because they can. Or at least, can until somebody else steps up with a cheaper mirrorless 24-70 equivalent at a constant f2.8. This is where they make their money: you get kit zooms for (almost) free, in return this one you have to over-pay for.

      • Incessant Troll

        from what i can google, the pentax started at 1100 so i guess that’s not too far off from the lumix. there is a big difference (at least at this point) between 900 and 1300 $

    • Here in Canada (at least at Lozeau) the difference is only $200 before taxes. $1200 vs $1000.

      Considering that Panasonic’s price has not dropped down yet, it really ain’t much of a difference.

    • JRK

      I’m sure the lens didn’t launch at a $900 price. And like the 7-14mm and the Leica 45mm, the price will eventually drop probably to straight up 1k or even 950.

    • Ojojoh

      Isn’t the 16-50mm made for them by Tokina?

  • Frode

    Are there any reviews that address usage at 12mm? I took some shots, and got quite a bit of distortion. I would have thought that this would be corrected in-camera on my GH2 through the lens interface, but no such luck.

    • Chez Wimpy

      The Admiringlight review mentioned distortion at wider angles. I haven’t the lens myself to test, but it seems a bit odd that distortion (other than rectilinear projection itself) is allowed to persist uncorrected in their flagship standard zoom.

      • Esa Tuunanen

        Actually that’s not bad news at all.
        It can mean performance is optical and image outside center isn’t softened by heavier stretching needed for sweeping fully uncorrected distortion under the rug.
        Smaller amounts of distortions are easy to correct from RAW when necessary with less softening than big streatching needed for hiding semi fisheye distortion.

  • scotjocky@ymail.com

    This is a stupid lens. Overpriced, oversised, overdistorted, overheavy and overhere.

    Take your mediocre zoom and go to a running jump.

    • Thanks for sharing..

  • Anonymous

    Amazon UK prices, Panacam-£799 + £4.59 UK del. Amazon.co.uk £929 fre post in UK. they also have one used at £825. Still to expensive.

  • pedroboe

    I am surprised at the negative comments on the 12 – 35. I have the lens, but I haven’t had time to get out and shoot, except for some night shots the day I received it from Panacam (great service and quick!) I suspect that the comments about CA and distortion are based on using it on a EM5,as my GH2 should probably correct those issues.

  • Pier-Yves Menkhoff

    Sorry, this is the new link for the 12-35 “Test”. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0II6RYkDHk
    Best Regards

    Pier-Yves

  • Dan Smith

    So according to the SoundVision article, there’s no difference between the 12-35 at f8 and f11, but at larger f stops it’s better than the 14-42 which costs about 10% as much as the 12-35?

    Well, duh, since even the 14-45, which came out before the 14-42, is known to be noticeably better than the 14-42.

    So how much improvement really *is* there over the 14-45, which is 1/5 as expensive?

    • I’ll actually be publishing a comparison article between the 12-35 and the little Oly 14-42 kit lens…so you’ll see how close they are at the slower apertures. Of course, the kit zooms are two stops slower at the long end.

      • Dan Smith

        Can you please compare the lens to the 14-45 instead?

        As I said, we all know the 14-42 is a real “kit” lens, and this is supposed to be at the opposite end of the spectrum to a kit lens.

        Ideally, a comparison against a reasonable zoom, such as the 14-45, *and* against a decent fixed lens such as the 20mm and/or 25mm, would be a perfect way to go.

        • Alas, I sold my 14-45 several months ago, and I no longer have the 12-35, as I had to return it to LensRentals. I did take some comparison shots with my little 14-42 and a few against the 12mm f/2, but not extensively.

  • Chris

    I just received the Panasonic X 12-35 mm and from the first impressions it’s slower to focus than the Olympus 12-50 mm on both Panasonic GH-2 and Olympus OM-D EM-5. Let’s hope that a firmware update will improve a bit the response.

    • fan_guo_lai_xiang_xiang

      Cannot confirm for G3. Very fast focusing (I would call it instantly), using the latest firmware on body.

      • Chris

        I am going to use the 12-35 almost daily so it will be quite easy to see in practice in the next several weeks. I am usually shooting in all lighting conditions and the today tests were made in low light where the Olympus 12-50 was definitively faster to acquire focus.

  • Blinkered

    Most of the negative comments appear to be from people who are for some reason ‘offended’ that the lens costs a lot more than the kit lenses and they don’t need one.

    Not really sure why that attitude is so prevalent, it seems particularly bad when Panasonic bring out a premium item.

    • Chris

      I don’t know for the others but I am working as news photographer and the simple fact that in the next 6 months I plan to buy the Olympus 4/3 90-250 mm f2.8 and the Panasonic m4/3 X 35-100 mm at whatever price it comes, should tell you that it’s not exactly the price I’m worried about when looking for a new lens. Why I will buy the Olympus 90-250? I frankly don’t believe neither Olympus nor Panasonic will announce and produce soon any long fast tele lens for m4/3.

      Anyway, I will have a definitive opinion about the Panasonic 12-35 mm in less than a month after some consistent real life usage.

    • Chris

      Just a little side note to understand why I need this combo. For me it’s very simple to have 3 bodies with lenses covering from 12 to 250 mm and just pick the right one from the bag as needed. The set-up I’m planning for the moment is OM-D with 12-35, GH-2 (GH-3 if shows up soon and can be cracked for better video) with the 35-100 and the E-3 (E-7?) with 90-250. Now I have OM-D with 12-35, GH-2 with 14-140 (lousy in low light) and E-3 with 50-200. (In the backpack I have some other lenses and the MMF-2 to cover the rest of my assignments). If I put the EC-20 on the 50-200, I go on the long end at f7, not really helpful for low light. As soon as I can get all the lenses on m4/3 that will cover at least from 12 to 200 mm, a 2xTC, all weather sealed, I will be able to get rid of all the 4/3 gear and hopefully reduce by half the weight I carry daily. I had a second E-3 (dead and sold for pieces) and the EP-2 with the 14-150 on m4/3 but it was a pain to work with.

      • ulli

        you have covered the focal range, i like your setup.

      • ChrisIsAMarketingTroll

        Blah blah blah if you were a pro, you would not have these problems and you would have whatever you need already. Unless you are just getting started, which makes you a non-pro for now. And you surely talk a lot of rubbish.

        • Chris

          Here is a list or my current photo gear. And I’ll let you add up the prices for each and every one (all were bought new and shortly after launch with no discount, except the OM kit). Bodies: E-3 (+4 batteries), GH-2 (+3 batteries), OM-D EM-5 + HLD-6 grip (+3 batteries), OM-10/film (+2 batteries). Lenses (all with slim high quality UV filters, plus 2 polarizing filters): FT 9-18, FT 14-54, FT 50-200, FT EC-20, mFT 14-140, mFT 12-35, mFT 12-50, OM 50, OM 28, OM 75-150, OM TC2. Adapters: MMF-2, OM-mFT. Flashes (+ 16 AA rechargeable): 2 x FL36R, 1 x FL-600, 1 OM Cobra 400. Mono and tripods Manfrotto: 190xProB + 804RC2, 290 + 494RC2, 560B-1. Microphones: Rode StereoVideo Mic Pro (+2 rechargeable 9V), Oly SEMA-1. Multiple CF and SD cards and card readers. 1 Petzl Tikka XP Headlamp for night work (+ 6 AAA rechargeable). 1 Ewa-Marine U-B. Lots of other accessories for field shoots.

          Then add to the total: Dell L501x + 120GB SSD + 8GB RAM + extended life battery + full HD 98% AdobeRGB LCD, Datacolor Spider Studio kit, Adobe CS6 Production Premium, Adobe CS5.5 Design Premium, Lightroom 4, PTGui Pro 9.1.3, Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1v GT-P7100 (the 3G version), EPSON Stylus Photo R2400, one pair of 500 GB 2.5″ portable HDDs, 4 pairs of 3.5″ external HDDs 500 GB; 1, 1.5 and 2 TB – one copy at home, one in a friends house. I’ve lost all my photos up to 2010 which were on a RAID 0+1 enclosure because one of the power company “smart” repair guys decided to connect the wrong wires and fried my desktop computer, screen, printer and RAID external back-up.

          I’m not a marketing troll, I don’t need to. I just need a more compact kit because my backpack (LowePro CompuRower AW) weights now 19.5 kg with the FT+mFT kit, all the accessories, the 190xProB tripod and my laptop. Haul that for a day and you’ll see why I need a more compact kit.

  • Pat

    I’m really on the fence with this one, I need a wide fast lens (either 2-3 primes or a zoom) for filming with the AF100 that wont break the bank (hello cinema lenses), but I also really need a shallow DoF because I often shoot where space is an issue and the background needs to be at least slightly defocused. F/2.8 at anything but 35 seems like too little DoF. Going from the Zuiko F/2 14-35 to the Lumix F/2.8 12-35 means at 14mm wide open my Dof goes from 2.4 feet with the zuiko to 3.6 feet with the Lumix. 2.4 feet is nothing to scream about but the extra foot+ would make a huge difference. On the other hand, its half the price, size and weight and wouldn’t require me breaking out my rod support system and would give me much more accurate auto focus for when I’m shooting more quickly.

    On the other hand still, I could get the Olympus F/2 12mm, The Panasonic F/1.7 20 AND the Sigma 30 mm F/2.8 to compliment my Lumix 25 and Zuiko 35-100 F/2 for about the same money.

    To be honest, I haven’t been super impressed with the Zuiko 35-100, its soft until F/2.8, difficult to focus, has breathing issues and is heavy and hard to mount. Anyone with the 14-35 F/2 have any insight to that lens to help me figure out if its any different?

    I want to like this lens and its price advantage over the zuiko, but since its a wide zoom, on a cropped system F/2.8 is just too little control for me.

  • Thanks, glad to see my link submission was included LOL.

    I rented the 12-35mm for the clip above in the post. my overall impressions is very good, but AF for video is decent, but a bit slow. I wanted to try it out on a steadicam, whereas beforehand, I used the 12mm Olympus and was curious how they would compare. 12mm Olympus is quicker and more accurate with the only hiccup being backlighting may confuse the AF but just a tad. The Panny was very good for video at 12mm, but slower and not as quick or accurate if you had a subject move in close to the lens, so if you do video, IMO, from my brief one day with the Panny, the Oly seems to handle focal changes in depth better. Panny is slower but that may be an asset for some since if you’re subject is in focus it will tend to stay longer in that area if you move around and hunt less, but for moving subjects or if you are doing video motion, IMO, I like the Olympus as a smarter lens, just be careful of backlighting, which even then, isn’t too bad on the Oly. To the Panny’s credit, if something backlit got near the subject during recording, it would be too slow to hunt for the light.

    But take that with a grain of salt as I’m sure there’s a lot of photo people here and not videographers using it for steadicams. It’s also apple and oranges comparing a prime to a zoom. But I really liked the Panasonic’s feel, small yet sturdy. It handled micro details and textures VERY WELL. But from using it, you’ll need to use that touch screen a bit to be safe focus wise. I always found the 12mm Olympus to be scary, like it reads my mind at times. But still torn on which to get.

    • Pat

      how was balancing the 12-35? Since its not internal zoom didn’t that throw you off, or did you just use it as a prime?

      • @ PAt

        Balancing was fine but yes zooming in you will need to re balance but I just left it at 12mm and when I zoomed in I just held the glidecam as a monopod and kept still.

    • Pat

      well, I’ve been using it for a year…and that’s what I’ve found…so…

  • The admiringlight review raises and answers one central question:
    Is the lens worth the price?
    The answer is no.

    For the hefty price asked, one can expect a product without major flaws.
    I do consider it a major flaw if a lens is soft at the margin with focus on infinity.

  • I’m not sure why but this weblog is loading extremely slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later on and see
    if the problem still exists.

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