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(UPDATED) 75mm review by Robin Wong. 12-35mm X lens test at Lensrentals.


Robin Wong posted the full Olympus 75mm review: “looking at the 100% crops, seriously the sharpness was outstanding, and beyond my expectations. I think this lens will set a whole new level of benchmark for resolution and sharpness tests.

Dpreview posted new full size image samples taken with the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 lens. Same thing has been done by Imaging Resource.

Lens Rentals tested the 12-35mm X lens and proved that the lens resolution is second to the Olympus 12mm prime lens. They also compared the results with the Full Frame Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 lens: “I think there’s clearly a difference in favor of the Panasonic / Olympus combination here. Now, before any Fanboys have a  stroke and spit their beer, the Canon lens used was optically tested 3 days ago. It’s perfectly fine and has no problems.” The only real complain from Lens Rentals is about the high price. But essentially you get an excellent lens for what you pay for.

Panasonic 12-35mm X lens preorders at Amazon, BHphoto, Adorama, Amazon Germany, Amazon UK, Fotohanskeuzekamp, Amazon Japan and Digitalrev.
Olympus 75mm preorder and price check at Amazon, Adorama, BHphoto, Amazon Germany and Amazon UK.

  • Chad


  • cloudwindhk

    the 12-35 is actually third. panaleica 25mm is second in that test

  • > Dpreview posted new full size image samples taken with the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 lens.

    Prospective readers are advised to follow the top-rated comment on DPReview and check-out the Robin Wong’s samples instead:

    • Bimbo

      Thanks for that! Amazing image samples.

  • About the 12-35: The results are great and combined with EM-5 or upcoming GH3 a very strong low-weight combination. But also expensive and not pocketable at all. The Oly 12-50 is more convienient with longer range but average/good IQ. A Oly 12-60 m43 with great IQ would suit me better.
    If you f.i. have a FF Nikon DSLR, a D3200 at 500g and 24 mpix is a strong lighter weight alternative.
    For true portability there are the 1″ sensor compacts coming.
    That would be three levels of gear depending on what photography you are aiming at – and how lazy you feel :-)

  • MikeS

    Since the image quality of the 12-35mm rivals that of the Canon 24-70mm, people are officially not allowed to complain about the price.

  • roger48

    Looking at the Lens Rental picture of the lens, I think there is a hint of purple around the filter mount, which suggests it may be a pre-production sample. Could be the lighting of course.

    Mine arrives from Panasonic this week!

  • SteveO

    Thanks, Admin, for the link to the LensRentals review, a very helpful comparison between the Pan 12-35 f2.8 and Canon’s 24-70 f2.8. Some other quotes additional to yours help summarize the author’s take:

    “For the vast majority of shooting, especially at closer distances, the Canon often resolved more detail, and of course demonstrated its much narrower depth-of-field. In general, I found the Canon gave a bit more resolution in the center, especially at closer shooting distances. The edges, particularly at longer shooting distances, seemed to slightly favor the Panasonic. My point, though, wasn’t to say one was better than the other, but rather to see if they were roughly the same. My conclusion was that they were.”

    “The Canon lens is an older design, being replaced as we speak, and was never known for it’s sharp edges and corners. Plus it’s covering a much larger full- frame sensor.”

    “I didn’t think a comparison with a D800E with Nikon 24-70 was really reasonable; I’m pretty sure I know the answer on that one without testing.”

    “At the end of the day (and looking at another 50 or so shots) I would not say one lens is clearly better than the other.”

    “If you’re a “glass half full” person, you probably think the $1299 price tag is reasonable when compared to $1800 for a Nikon 24-70 and $2200 for the upcoming Canon 24-70 f/2.8.”

    “But those of you with more patience than me might wait a bit, to see if perhaps the price drops. If this lens cost the same as the excellent Panasonic 7-14 f/4 zoom ($900), for example, I’d consider it a good buy. At $1299, I consider it a ‘buy if you really need it’.”

    Sorry for the long quotes, and all should read the full article and examine the comparative images, but I think he nicely frames discussion on price. Seems at $1300 it’s a good deal compared to its FF bretheren, but given the much smaller size of precision optics, I would have expected it to be less. If Olympus can produce a broader focal range lens of the caliber of the 12-60 (albeit at f2.8-4) for $1000 (and as low as $800 on periodic sales), my sense is this lens should be selling at a similar price, and hopefully eventually will. All it needs is some competition (Olympus mFT 12-60 please!).

    • mooboy

      Thanks for those extra quotes… They made me go read the full article which I might not have done otherwise.

      • Bob B.

        Roger did a great review….it was really interesting how he qualified the lens wide open against stopped-down kit zooms and other relevant lenses. Very meaningful,
        He also nailed my feelings about the lens, too. It is a lens I want…but don’t have to have…so unlike Roger…I will wait for the price to drop…considerably.
        …also…I plan on buying the Canon 24-70mm II for my 5 D Mark III…which I think he may have misquoted the price on…My understanding is that the lens will be hitting our shores here sometime this month for the price of $2399.00…….gulp!
        According to what I have read ….the new Canon zoom will be considerably sharper than the Pany 12-35 f/2.8…be I guess we wii just have to wait and see….

  • Camaman

    Great lenses… Money nowhere to be found…:-(

  • ljmac

    It always annoys me how lens reviewers make excuses for the poor edge performance of so many FF lenses: the 12-35 isn’t just slightly better than the Canon at the edges – it blows the 24-70 away. The difference in the centre is far less obvious – indeed, I’m not convinced the Canon actually does have an advantage here. Certainly it isn’t significant, but the edges of the Canon are totally unacceptable, while the 12-35 is quite good here.

  • MP Burke

    I agree with the comments on LensRentals that the performance of the 12-35mm lens is no more than expected at its price. The lowest (pre-order) price I have seen in the UK is £879 at Mathers of Lancashire. I would be looking for special offers or cashbacks before I considered a purchase.

    • E-1

      Working as expected is a bad thing?

      Working as expected nowadays is not good enough anymore?

  • Mar

    They should’ve tested 14-35mm along just for fun :D

  • JP

    Wow, the 75 mm lens is better than I thought. Robin Wong really did a good job proving that.

  • Starred
  • awaler

    The Robert Wong street test pics are simply great.

    • pelex

      Quite embarrassing actually.

  • ulli

    finally a review where you read that the FL range for portraits can go way beyond the regular standard…….

  • Gabi

    I was definitely tempted by the 12-35mm, however, since I own the Olympus 4/3 14-54mm II and I very rarely need a fast autofocus, I think I can skip that lens. Maybe I will buy the Oly 75/1.8 instead. This lens looks really good (if it only were available in black!)!

  • Sqweezy

    Anyone care to guess the future price of the upcoming GH3 with 12-35 f/2.8 kit?

  • On Robin Wong’s review, bokeh looks good on the shots posted, but he’s shooting at f/1.8 almost the whole time, so we can’t see how OOF highlights look stopped down. He seems to use “bokeh” to mean “shallow depth of field”.

    He attributes the “smooth” bokeh to the 9 blade aperture, but if the shots are wide open, the aperture blades don’t really enter into it.

  • Brad H.

    When it’s agreed that the 75mm is the sharpest m4/3 lens so far, how does it stack up with HG and SHG 4/3 glass? Are those examples still in another category of quality?

  • Pasukun

    But the problem is..
    Mr. Wong make every lens look good. :)

  • Nikku

    Wow, the photos of Robin with the OMD and 75/1.8 at the end of his initial review show just how small that lens is really. Most pics I’ve seen of the EM5 with the 75/1.8 attached make it look like a big lens, but it’s not at all. It looks just a little bigger than the OM Zuiko 85/2, and probably smaller when you take into account the OM Zuiko to m4/3rds adapter.

    Man, this sucks, now I want the Pana 12-35/2.8 AND the Zuiko 75/1.8, but I definitely don’t need them!

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