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A new 35-100mm X lens video user review…


First off….there are now eight(!) refurbished E-M5 auctions on Olympusmarket eBay (Click here to see the list on Slidoo eBay). If you are going to bet on it…Good Luck! :)

Panasonic 35-100mm X: Our reader Twills got his new X lens and posted the video on top. Here is his short review text: “The lens is exceptionally sharp even wide open at F2.8. The 35-100mm has in lens image stabilization that as you can see in the video works extremely well in both stills and video modes. This lens is not that much longer and actually narrower than the 14-140mm. I have not seen in CA(Chromatic Aberrations) or other distortions with this lens. The image quality of it is unmatched by any other m4/3s I have tested. This is expected with a lens this expensive though.
The 35-100mm lens emits very faint whirring and whining noises from the continuous auto focus motors. They are faint but you can hear them if you put your ear up next to the lens. I couldn’t hear the noises in any of the videos I took.
The auto focus with the GH2 + 35-100mm is extremely accurate and it does not hunt at all. However, it can be slow to refocus in very dark situations where the focus point changes very quickly.
I have uploaded the still images from the video at the link below.

One more review: 60mm macro test at Camerastuffreview.


  • Anonymous

    “The image quality of it is unmatched by any other m4/3s I have tested.”

    Better than primes?

    • Uberzone

      Very open ended comment. How many lenses has he tested. I can think of at least three native lenses that are most likley sharper.

    • Uberzone

      On another note. Nice video, but the cuts are way too fast. I can barely focus on what I am supposed to be looking at before the scene changes.

    • fl00d

      I regularly shave with the 45mm 1.8

      • Nawaf

        You might want to try the 75mm 1.8, It’s a cleaner shave.

        • Brod1er

          LATEST RUMOR: Gillette joins m43! Expect to see adapters for the Gillette fusion proglide soon – still manual focus though!

          • JS

            Beware, it can be bloody experience ..

        • Anonymous

          Shaving with rangefinder lenses is far easier when maneuvering under your nose and between lower lip and chin. I suppose it would be easier without the GH2 hump. Thank the Gods for removable EVFs!

    • Charles

      I am an ‘expert’ of this lens considering how many reviews I’ve read haha

      This is the first positive one – all the other found too many negatives (like it’s soft as babies bums at higher focal ranges and critically at 100 – unless stopped down by 2 stops! why constant F2.8 then?)

      The words he is using are absolutely subjective/full of enthusiasm – serious reviewers said the top-notch quality is 75mm F1.8 (both incredible inside electronics/build and glass quality) or even cheaper primes like miracle (for that price) 45mm F1.8.

      This cost cca £1200 here so one would expect more for that price. I need one for gigs – and almost bought 75mm (I just can’t find a reason NOT to have one) but was in complete anger once found it’s not weather sealed.

      I wonder Olympus is building lenses for festivals/gigs (150mm focal range – forget portraiture for a bit, too long for me with screwed perspective) in smoke (food) and dust (ground), football/sport in rainy days etc and IT IS NOT weather sealed. So I really wanted this beast – but either the quality control sucks, and there are good samples as well as bad – or reviewers do not have a clue.

      Yes, and for video (that is 1080p) ANY lens is alright with good sensor…

      • Here are full resolution jpg images so you can judge sharpness yourself. There are also 14-140mm images(the ones at 99mm instead of 100mm) for comparison.

        If that isn’t enough there are also untouched RAW files and unedited jpg files from the RAW files at the link below.

        Test results are fine but they can be easily fudged especially when you don’t show the actual data gathered. Having the samples for you to judge yourself is much better.

    • What a lot of people fail to realize is that minor differences in sharpness(or more correctly put, detail) are not usually noticeable.

      Saying one lens is 50 lines sharper than another lens sounds like a big difference. However, when these lenses are resolving close to 3000 lines that difference because much less important.

      What really does matter is are there any major drawbacks(ie: very low sharpness, chromatic aberrations, small aperture that gives very noisy results).

      The 35-100mm has none of those issues and its image stabilization is outstanding and its F2.8 focal ratio is very helpful to keep the shutter speeds fast and the noise down.

      Sure there are lenses like the 75mm F1.8 that will yield a marginally sharper image with a static test shot. However, there are so many other factors that can make the image bad. Sharpness is not the only measure of what makes a good lens.

      I have tested and owned the 14mm F2.5, 14-45mm, 20mm F1.7, 25mm F1.4, 45mm F1.8, 14-140mm, 45-200mm and most of the good legacy prime lenses. I wouldn’t trade the 35-100mm for any of them or for all of them for that matter.

      The 35-100mm F2.8 is simply the most flexible lens for the m4/3s system. I shot 3 separate sporting events this weekend and my keep rate was far higher than any of the other lenses I own. The AF is fast and controlled, the sharpness is not an issue at all, the weight and balance are much better than my 14-140mm, the focal range is extremely useful, the IS is better than any of the other Panasonic lenses, and this lens simply doesn’t let you down.

      The only negative is that it is very expensive. However, a set of 35mm, 45mm, 75mm, and 100mm primes is going to cost you a lot more especially since the m4/3s 100mm F2.8 prime or better doesn’t even exist yet.

      • Anonymous

        Which body are you using? Oly or Pana?

        • Anonymous

          I used the GH2. I should get my GH3 in about 1 month though.

      • Charles

        don’t take it too offensive but aren’t you working for Panasonic?
        seen some tests where bokeh quality was more like noise pattern just cleared by bad noise ninja blurry settings then a proper creamy smooth bokeh. Even in your samples.

        You are too excited, although I will give this lens a shot. But comapre to pl25 and imo they are 2 worlds in picture rendering. Posting from mobile so excuse me.

    • mpgxsvcd

      I think that most of the issue that people have with this lens is its price. Most people simply don’t want to believe it is worth $1500 or more. Only you can judge how much a lens is really worth to you.

      However, this lens replaces the 14-140mm and 45mm lenses for me. I don’t usually need wider than 35mm so it won’t be a big issue for me that it doesn’t go wider than 35mm. For those occasions where I need wider I still have the 14mm F2.5.

      I think most people ran with the reviews that were negative because they simply don’t want a lens this expensive to be rated higher than their current lenses.

      A lot of people are WAY overstating what the lensrentals reviewer said about sharpness. He said that it was 12.4% worse at 100mm than at 35mm. However, does anyone actually know if 12.4% is actually a discernible difference?

      I am not saying that everyone should run out and buy this lens because it is very expensive. However, you are just kidding yourself if you think this lens has poor image quality.

  • Jørgen

    Admin constantly points to Olympus Market as if you would be happy with the prices. You likely won’t because you pay as much or almost as much as a new one with tthings like the 9-18 mm, tne EPM1/EPL3 and clearly also EM5. For a refurbished cam. Smart move by Oly but aa far as i can tell not by the buyers.

    • Anonymous


  • Guys, a bit OFF, but maybe somebody knows the answer:

    The newer Olympus cameras have a “new” face detection mode with eye priority which means that focusing isn’t performed just on face but on eyes.

    Although I heared many times that on Panasonic cameras (e.g. GF1) the face detection focuses anyway on eyes, when possible. (To be honest, this is the only method which does make any sense.) But I haven’t seen this explicitely in any written Panasonic documentation…

    So does anybody know how the Panasonic face detection works?


  • No CA or other distortions? No wonder, if that is corrected in Pana bodies ;-) I wonder how that will be with bodies from Olympus. And after other tests it’s a much to expensive lens for it’s quality, same as the 12-35. It’s really crazy what Pana did, for me, these 2 lenses are not worth half the price as they are sold.

    • JF

      Concerning the 12-35 mm, you can find it for 1000 euros and you can find Canon 17-55 f2.8 for 910 euros and do you know what ? the 12-35 is sharper:
      17-55 on 50D (15 MP):
      12-35 on E-M5 (16 MP):
      So ? the Canon is overpriced too ?

      • Austin

        Yes it is considering the Sony 16-50 has a wider angle, parafocal, and class leading performance while being sold at $800 new, easily found at $600 used!

    • No that is with the RAW images in a program that doesn’t automatically correct for it. The 14-140mm and 25mm F1.4 have SOOO much more CA than the 35-100mm.

      • Scott

        Why do we care where the problems in a lens are corrected. Most lens have corrective lenses built in them. Fix them in post IDK just as long as they are fixed

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