SLRgear tests the 12-32mm Panasonic lens. Says: “small on size, but big on quality”

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12-32mm vs 20mm size comparison. Image courtesy: ePhotozine.

SLRgear (Click here) tested the Panasonic 12-32mm lens. And their conclusions are pretty positive:

The new Panasonic 12-32mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA O.I.S. Lumix G Vario lens is a stellar companion to the tiny GM1. It produces excellent, sharp photos at all focal lengths, even wide open, and has minimal distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberration. And while the lack of a dedicated focus ring is a little disappointing, as manual focusing using the touch screen is a little slow and awkward, overall there’s not much to complain about with this lens. The Panasonic 12-32mm is the perfect match for the powerful and pocketable GM1 thanks to stellar optics and a super-lightweight, ultra-compact design.

You can buy the lens separately from the GM1 at Amazon (Click here).

GM1 kit store list:
In US at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto.
In Europe at Amazon Germany, Wex Germany, Amazon UK, Fotohanskeuzekamp, Cyberphoto Sweden and Wex UK.

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  • AndersN

    The 12-32 looks great on the GM1, but frankly it looks ridiculous on the larger cameras. For some reason it looks better on the Olympuses than on the Panasonics!

    Play around with the matching simulation http://www.four-thirds.org/en/special/matching.html and try the GH3 or the E-M1 with battery grip! 🙂

    • Mr. Reeee

      I tried one on my GX7 and it actually worked great.
      I guess I wasn’t paying enough attention to the ever so important fashion statement aspects.

      The few shots I took had good color and sharpness. It was impressive, given it’s size.
      It’s great to see a kit lens start at 12mm rather than the ho-hum 14mm.

      • In case you have a 12-60, can you draw a comparison between the two lenses at 12 mm (uncorrected RAW)?

        • Mr. Reeee

          Nope.
          The only lenses I have that hit 12mm are the 7-14mm and SLR Magic 12mm T1.6.

          • Thanks anyway!

          • lorenzaccio

            Sorry for asking: have you tried the performance of these lenses (12-32; 7-14) on olympus cameras? How are they?

            • Distortion and vignetting of Panny lenses get corrected on Oly bodies, but not chromatic aberration.

    • Reggie

      It’s much more fun to simulate the 4/3 Zuiko 300mm f/2.8 on the GM1. It loads the front view first, and you can’t even seen the camera.

      • AndersN

        Try the Sigma 300-800/5.6, it’s even larger…

  • olly…

    looks great also on gx7.. or on gf6..

  • levimax

    I have one on a epm-2 and it looks fine and makes a great combination. I am more concerned about IQ and have not been disappointed and as said before having 12 mm start opens a whole new world compared to 14mm

  • Le frog

    Well, that proves (like the Pany 20/1.7 and 14/2.5) that good engineering may trump the need for a surfeit of optical elements, confirms what we already knew – that Pany’s baby is a game changer and a tough act to follow, and I guess that it should also be enough answer to the standard moaning “oh, not another useless, crap, standard kit lens!” and I hope that 1) the promised 35-100 will be a worthy companion and 2) the new Oly 14-42 will match it in terms of optical quality, for those of us who like a longer range (personally, I tend to shoot below 40 and over 80, in terms of 35mm equiv).

  • Steve

    The 42.5mm f1.2 results were just posted as well.

    http://slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php?product=1675

    • Bob B.

      Well…it is good to know that the Nocti is quite a bit sharper than the OLYMPUS 45mm f/1.8….I guess it should be with a premium like that!!!!! LOL!

      • Anonymous

        SLRGear tested the Nocticron on a GX1, a 16 MP body, and the 45mm on EP1, a 12MP body, so the results cannot be directly compared. Lenstip tested both on the same body and the difference between the two is not much from f/1.8 down.

        • Bob B.

          Thanks for that…the two different sensors would definitely effect the results at SLR gear.

      • zumz

        I would not look only for sharpness, since 45 f1.8 is already really sharp. Where pany f1.2 shines is extra light gathered/less dof and amazing bokeh. Really smooth and creamy. That’s what people can see right away in samples probably.

    • MadManAce

      Indeed that 42.5mm lens is very nice, if it were $900, I would have considered it, but at $1600, that is Canon L territory. I have way too much money invested in my FF kit and I do not want to spend that kind of money on my second kit. My 45mm 1.8 and 75mm 1.8 give me results that make me happy. The Panasonic 12-32mm lens looks interesting.

      • digifan

        Canon’s L is 2200

        • MadManAce

          Not playing the equivalence game, the Canon 50L is often sold new for 1400-1500 and I bought a used 85L in emaculent condition for 1500 last year. So my comment of being L like prices is accurate. With the Fuji being 999, the Panasonic price is absurd.

    • AW

      Amazing results. Very impressive. Just too heavy and expensive. But very very nice optics.

  • John

    Can’t wait for the non-kit version with metal mount to be available. This would make a nice addition to my GX7 for when IQ is not paramount and compactness is. Love that it starts at 12mm . .

    • Cupid Stunt

      What are you talking about? The kit version comes with a metal mount.

    • @John…..it helps if you read a lens review before commenting on it. The decsription in the linked review mentions the metal mount.

    • Mr. Reeee

      You’re thinking of the 14-42mm II kit lens that comes with a plastic mount (I have one, so can confirm it). The separate 14-42mm II has a metal mount.
      Does it make tha much of a difference given the quality of some modern plastics?

  • Keith

    It was hyped quite a bit this lens as the sharpest kit lens yet.
    Its ok.
    Its not the best kit lens – that still goes to the Panny 14-45 – way sharper in the corners.

  • Slim

    I don’t think they make one without a metal mount, there John.

    • eumel

      was wondering about that comment too. Hasn’t the kit lens already have metal mount?

      • levimax

        yes they all have metal mounts

        • Eosphoros

          Nope they don’t, the original Pany 14-42 had a plastic mount.

          John probably read something without paying attention as sometime before the Pany 14-42 II was released, it was rumoured that it would have plastic mount for kit versions and a metal mount for boxed versions; In Europe, AFAIK, all had a metal mount.

  • Has anybody seen any European GM1 reviews? I want to know how well the new e-shutter deals with our 50Hz lights indoors.

  • Cupid Stunt

    The only drawbacks to this lens are the poor close-focusing and the minor irritation that it zooms in the opposite direction to the zooms from Olympus.

    • Mr. Reeee

      It actually zooms with minimal extension from center (shortest at around 22mm) to either end of it’s range.

      The 14-42mm II works the same. The lens is shortest at around 25mm and extends about 1/4″ (3-4mm) when zooming to the extremes of it’s range. It’s a pretty interesting design.

  • Deckard

    I’m sure the slrgear test does not exclude the factor of in body digital correction as I have seen some real life samples with Olymlus body shows many imperfection of the lens….

  • Pixnat

    Panasonic has made a very nice lens. Being that small, wide and excellent optically was a true challenge, and they did it! Kudos for that.
    It’s nice to see that the level of optical quality in the m4/3 system is very high lately, great for us!

  • There is no no manual focus ring on the panne 12-32. What are they thinking? What is a deal breaker for me. The oly 14-42 will have one but it will not start at 12mm. These companies cannot even get basic features right.

    • They do that on purpose.

    • digifan

      Well MF with this type of lenses isn’t that important I guess, certainly not for me.
      For low light situations or in circumstances I’d need to MF there’s another lens on my camera anyway.
      The 12-32mm is nice on the GM1 or E-PM2/E-PL5/6 when you want to take 1 cam and 1 lens for mostly personal use.
      It’d also be nice to have the choice between the 12-32 and the 14-42, one has options. hopefully the 14-42 is that good that the old versions can be discontinued.
      Nice to have the pancake options available.

  • I’ve been shooting with the GM1 for over a month now and I can attest to the great IQ of the kit lens. I normally disregard kit lenses, but this one has really impressed me. The colors are punchy and the images have a really nice clarity to them. Plus its tiny and eeighs next to nothing. The GM1 is also a stellar camera, better IQ than the GH3 (as expected since GH3 is older).

  • eumel

    I will probably get this lens (in black) for my birthay this weekend.
    Can’t wait to mount it on my black GX7 🙂

  • Basti

    If the lens was a bit faster and smaller and the camera had a tilting screen it could almost compete with the Sony RX100II.

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