First 35-100mm X lens review (and more lens tests)


Note: There was an error in the Olympus and Panaosnic lens deal linking. Here are the correct links:
$200 price drop on the 12-35mm X lens at Amazon (Click here) and Bhphoto (Click here). If you recently bought that lens you can ask the $200 back from your store!
Olympus 75mm in Stock at Amazon (Click here) and Adorama (Click here).

Panasonic 12-35mm X:
Photographyblog (Click here) posted the first full 35-100mm X lens review: “Optically the lens is a great performer. At all focal lengths, wide open at f/2.8 the center sharpness is perfectly acceptable, but for edge sharpness it’s best to stop down by two f-stops for optimum results. Chromatic aberrations are only noticeable by their almost complete absence, while distortions are automatically corrected on both Olympus and Panasonic bodies.
The lens earns an “Essential” Award and has as only real problem…the high price! $1399 at Amazon (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here).

More Lens Reviews:
Panasonic 45-150mm Lens Review at ePhotozine. Optyczne posted the Nokton 17.5mm lens test. English version of the test will be posted soon on Lenstip. Lens in Stock at Amazon (Click here). Cheapest price in EU on eBay lettland (Click here). Some 60mm amcor samples have been posted by Damian McGillicuddy on his blog and on Facebook.

Panasonic and Olympus Preorder Links with specs and price:
Special GH3 page at Amazon (Click here) and a full Olympus presentation page at Amazon (Click here).
GH3 at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here) and in Europe at Wexphotographic UK (horrible price in UK!).
35-100mm X lens at Amazon (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here).
E-PL5 at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here). In EU at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK, Amazon France,
E-PM2 at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here). In EU at Amazon Germany, Amazon UK, Amazon France,
XZ-2 at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here).
60mm macro at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here).
12mm Black prime lens at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here).
15mm cap-lens at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here).

  • The Master

    I would like to try this lens, just to see how it did for portraits.

    • MJr

      Photographyblog’s pics are horrible. :/ It’s probably the weather and camera.

      • Boooo!

        Or maybe it’s the lens? ;)

      • ArthurDayne

        Or the photographer. ;)

      • DP

        +1 — I went straight to the image samples (finally!) and was really disappointed. Come on, couldn’t even do a cat portrait? :P

        • Setting aside the sharpness issue wide open, I’m more surprised and disappointed by the vignetting. I’ve seen c-mount lenses do better wide open!
          I have been eyeing this lens, wanting to see if it could perhaps replace my 45/1.8 as a portrait lens, and double as a short telephoto for landscapes. Not a chance, can you imagine trying to get a good landscape shot from this? I’ll add the 60/2.8 macro instead.

          • MJr

            That’s indeed a much much better way to go.

  • ArthurDayne

    The review states that “distortions are automatically corrected on both Olympus and Panasonic bodies.” I thought panasonic lens distortion was only corrected in panasonic bodies.

    • Bart

      Chromatic aberrations are only corrected by Panasonic bodies, but I’m pretty sure my old E-P1 already corrects the distortions of the Lunix lenses I own.

      • Agent00soul

        Yes, it certainly does.

  • Dmitry Pashkevich

    You must have mistaken with the title before the link to photographyblog:
    Panasonic 35-100mm X:
    Panasonic 12-35mm X:

  • E-1

    At 2.8 “acceptable” center sharpness? Edge only sharp stopped down? $1399?

    • MJr

      Indeed. And it’s m43, the edge IS the center. Who’s buying this ?

      • Mark

        People who, unlike you, know a few things about optics and sensors?

        • John

          Nice one Mark!

        • Charles

          glad to see Panasonic marketing department watching blogs, any estimates to UK stock?

          and while we’re at it, why don’t you enlighten me how to make my m43 sensor bigger, you know more about it (your words) – so we don’t need to cheat on ISO values in our cameras…

          £800 will buy you here amazing APS-C NEX6 + collapsible LENS with smaller footprint than OMD/LENS, so what are we talking about here? SONY did its homework right, even on prices…

          m43 system is dying, been nice being there since GF1 and amazing (and sharp) 14-45mm for £200!!! back then, and I could laugh from expensive and big APSC crowd…

          situation swapped..

          • Mark

            Funny to see that the Sony fanboys are present. The NEX 16-50mm is not tested yet and the fanboys are already shouting how fantastic it is. Just as fantastic as the NEX 16mm probably…

            The reason why m4/3 is capable of such fine edge sharpness compared to NEX is because the lens mount is oversized. Unlike most mounts its designed for digital photography. To bad Sony engineers screwed up when they had the change. This Panasonic lens is a nice pice of engineering it would be difficult to find a alternative for major brands like Canon or Nikon at the same price range. Most lenses are not sharp wide open, even not the more expensive ones.

            This lens is actually pretty nice for this price just like the ‘expensive’ 12-35mm and 75mm are. To bad that people who know nothing about optics find everything that they can not, or will not, afford expensive and are whining about the price.

            • Boooo!

              This lens definitely isn’t better than the 50-200, for example.

            • Mark

              The E-mount does not support FF properly. See a picture of the new camcorder. Your other post already proof that you know nothing about optics and their prices. This post shows that you also don’t know a thing about economics. Trol.

        • rgrg

          The sensor on mFT is small , doesn’t use the extremes of a lens image circle due to the 4X3 ratio and F2.8 is the same DOF as a FF lens at F5.6 .There are no excuses for a lens this price to be so poor wide open. Stop with the damn excuses we are paying hard earned cash for these options .I would honestly say that the only mFT lenses that are excellent are the 75mm ,and probably the new 60mm macro.Popular models I own including the 12mm,45mm f1.8 and 25mm F1.4 are not what I hoped for wide open.

          The rest of them including the 12-35 and now the 35-100 are disappointing considering that they are using software corrections to start with

    • Ad

      I agree, I’m a little bit disappointed as well. I would have expected adequate sharpness across the frame wide-open at that price.

      • Steve

        Edge sharpness is always an issue with these fast zooms. Take a look at the results from the new Canon 24-70.

        • bousozoku

          I would expect that from a Canon lens, though.

          Being that this Panasonic lens seems to be (emotionally, at least) a replacement for the amazing Olympus Zuiko Digital 35-100mm, you’d think the characteristics would be similar.

          Unfortunately, they’ve sided with compact dimensions and light weight instead of high image quality.

          Mediocre lenses at $1399? No, thanks, really.

          • pat

            The Zuiko 35-100 is a GIANT lens (I know, I have one) and it cost nearly twice as much. It also isn’t stabilized…so $1400 (or less soon?) doesn’t seem so bad for a 1 stop loss of light, especially considering the zuiko has its own set of problems too, chief of which is that it just doesn’t work (practically….of course it physically works) on MFT bodies. It has the wrong type of Focus motor for mirrorless, plus its just too damn big and heavy to be practical.

        • that’s a wide angle zoom. The right comparison would be to one of the 70mm-200mm lenses.

        • rgrg

          To be fair Steve the FF canon lens has the same DOF as an F1.4 lens on mFT , is being tested on a sensor our times larger mFT lenses need to be at least double the resolution of a FF model just to compete

    • MikeH

      I think they have an unintentional word in the conclusion for the centre sharpness because here is what they say for each individual sharpness test.

      “Centre sharpness at 35mm is outstanding even wide-open at f/2.8, while the edges are acceptably sharp from f/5.6 to f/16.

      Centre sharpness at 50mm is outstanding even wide-open at f/2.8, while the edges are acceptably sharp from f/5.6 to f/16.

      Centre sharpness at 70mm is outstanding even wide-open at f/2.8, while the edges are acceptably sharp from f/5.6 to f/11.

      Centre sharpness at 100mm is outstanding even wide-open at f/2.8, while the edges are acceptably sharp from f/5.6 to f/16.”

  • “The lens earns an “Essential” Award and has as only real problem…the high price!”

    Compared to what? I’m comparing this lens to it’s Canon equivalent, the 70-200 f/2.8 IS II…a lens which almost double the price.

    The 70-200 is a benchmark zoom lens in my review…so lets see…

    Both are weather sealed, both have fast 2.8 constant apertures, both have very good optical IS…

    The Canon lens weighs nearly 60oz and is over 8 inches long while the Lumix is just over 12 ounces and is under 4″ long.

    The Canon is way sharper but from what I can tell the Lumix lens is close to the performance of the first generation 70-200 F/2.8 IS being softer in the corners until f/5.6. This was also an excellent lens. Few lenses ever made are sharp wide open through the full zoom range. Most need to be stopped down one or two stops for optimal performance.

    The price is good from where I’m sitting. I can’t honestly compare this lens with the consumer grade lenses being offered…it’s like comparing apples and chairs.

    There’s more to how ‘good’ a lens is than just how sharp the image is…I’ll be buying this lens when the GH3s come out…as well as the 12-35 X lens.

    • There’s no direct correlation between lens size and cost…just look at Leica lenses. They’re some of the best ever made, smallest ever made, and the most expensive. I’ve yet to hear anybody I know complain that their Summilux lens is overpriced because of how small it is.

      Good lenses always cost more regardless of size, format, zoome range or image circle…often times more than the cameras they’re used on. To me the small size is a feature I’m willing to pay MORE for as my experience is with Canon cameras with L glass and I’m in the process of trying to downsize my gear.

      I plan to be using 2 GH3 cameras and a NEX-7 for the majority of my work which is a mix of photo and video and often outdoors. These lenses aren’t being bought for their image quality but their convenient size and weather sealing respective to their cost. For top quality I have manual focus primes which I’ll adapt for use on the m4/3 ring.. I’ll be able to carry 3 cameras, 2 zoom lenses, and at least 4 prime lenses in a bag which previously could only hold my 7D and a few Canon Lenses. This may be a lot to carry around to some people but to me it’s a huge reduction in what I’ll need to carry to get the job done.

      Each of our needs are different as is our willingness to compromise…for me the price is perfectly acceptable.

      • Dugo

        Got it, Dave. I was thinking more along the lines of ONE CAMERA and ONE ZOOM LENS on it. Maybe later when I come into more money I can add additional lenses, like lot of pro shooters are doing.

        Trouble is, you don’t go far with only a single 12-35mm, nor will you go far in close quarter ranges with only a 35-100mm glass. So, you would need to get both — do I understand that would cost some $2,500 or $2,600 now for the pair? Too rich for my blood, I tell ya’.

        So, I was looking at some decent zoom at around 10x zoom rrange. Well, all I could find were two older models, one is 10x and one is 10.7x, and both pretty dim. I am particularly astonished by the limited zoom ranges of Micro 4/3 lenses in general. After all, we have super zoom in smaller sensor cameras that can cover 24x and now, even 50x.

        And looking at the larger than M4/3, e.g. APS-C “superzooms,” I could not help noticing that there are a few such zooms that have a 15x zoom range, and one from Nikon that actually goes even past this with its 18-300mm, i.e. a 16.7x zoom range.

        These compromised all-in-one lenses are not for everyone, surely, but they would be fine for my own videography needs. You do not need a $5,000 lens on a camera to record 1080p video with it, you know. I am surprised that Panasonic is exclusively concentrating on 2.5x and 3x zoom range optics at the moment, but of course they probably can demand higher prices for those.

        • If you’re going for one lens, one camera I’ve heard good things about the 14-140 lens. It’s not what I’d call pro quality but it’s supposed to be quite good for that level of zoom.

          My experience with manual focus primes on a digital camera is only with my NEX-7. Obviously the crop factor is greater with the m4/3 format but as long as you understand that limitation it’s not so serious.

          I’m a big fan of Nikkor Ai and Ai-S glass though I use Nikkor, Rokkor, Canon FD, and even some 80s era Tamron Adaptall lenses. A good fast 24mm prime would be an essential for m4/3 as it would give you the equivalent of the ‘fast 50’ that is so useful. A good 50mm lens would also be essential as 100mm on 35mm is great for portrait work. From there longer lenses are easy to find. I’m a big fan of my Nikkor Ai-S 105mm f/2.8. It’s an incredibly sharp lens, very small, and 200mm can also be a useful focal length in a prime depending on what you’re using it for. The sky is the limit after that. I have a 400mm f/5.6 Tokina Nikon mount which I found at a Pawn shop that I’m fond of. It’s a bit soft but for $60 it’s paid for itself many times over already.

          On the wide end things get tricky. In my view you can get to about 20mm before the price tags get nutty and the front element gets dinner plate-ish. Best to stick with native lenses at that point. The Lumix 14mm and 20mm pancake lenses lenses for example.

          • JF

            I had the 14-140, sharpness is good batween 14 and 50, after it becomes soft. Globally the contrast and color rendition are average and pictures don’t stand out and look a bit flat without boosting contrasts, colors, clarity, etc…in post production. Now I have the 12-35 f2.8 and I’m really happy with it, I like the contrast and colors really more !

        • is it not enough to have two choices in 10x zoom lenses in mft? And do you realize that 15x will be even dimmer? What exactly do you want in a zoomlens? max range or reasonable speed?

          • Dugo

            “Leica has no zooms.”

            I understand they don’t have much of anything for us, average normal humans. I have some East german, Russian, and Czechoslovkain optics, so I would not eb interested in any other type of German (Japanese) glass at this point.

            “Prime lenses are always better than zooms.”

            Prime lenses are superb — particularly for the lens manufacturers! Heck, they can sell you a set of 4, 6, 8, 10 “matched” primes, no problemo. It is also good for folks who are not well versed about the intricacies of operating a variofocal or zoom lens.

            But since we have zoom lenses in motion pictures since the 1930s, and in wide use since the 1950s, talking about the pros and cons of these in the year 2012 is a bit too little, too late.

            In video use, out of every 60 minutes of shooting I could probably benefit from a high-end prime lens in 2 or 3 shots. I actually like the softness of zooms, they tone down the facial imperfections in CUs.

            “is it not enough to have two choices in 10x zoom lenses in mft? And do you realize that 15x will be even dimmer?”

            Right, zoom optics are the bastard children of M4/3, it seems. I mean, this is the year 2012 already, so excuse me if I don’t fall down the floor in awe that Panasonic can actually produce a 12-35mm and a 35-100mm zoom lens. You can hardly even use those for videgoraphy — the focal range is just too darn low, see?

            APS-C 15x, 15.7x zooms are about the same “dimness” as the 14-140mm Panasonic, come to think of it. Now, back in the early 1960s companies like Angenieux were already making 10x and 12x range cine-style zooms with constant T2.2 (about F2). So, a lens with F2.9 does not exactly get me excited about how “bright” it is, you know.

            Just found out the Panny Lumix GH2 only outputs a 4:2:0 chroma subsampled video via HDMI (not the desirable 4:2:2, like what the newer Nikons do). Also, that there is no focus peaking with it. Bad news for those trying to shoot high-end video w. the GH3.

            • The nice thing about m4/3 is that if you’re using it for video you can put those old cine lenses on it. Those lenses were, and still are much more expensive than the lenses we’re talking about here…there’s always a compromise.

              The lack of peaking is the only feature I’ll long for in the GH3. When I need that over the built in focus assist, I’ll use one of my SmallHD monitors. That said, my 7D doesn’t have that either…nor does it have most of the awesome features the GH3 will.

              With a 75Mbit codec built in, I have no desire for HDMI recording from this camera. That’s already more than enough for what I do…I’m not making movies with it.

        • JimD

          I have the 14-150mm oly. I use it for taking shots of the grand children and bush walkabouts, primes and kids do not mix. City walkabouts I use the 43 9-18mm or primes.

      • gena

        You should probably know that Leica has no zooms (not counting couple in R-system and few vario-fix focus lenses which are not among the best optically). There is a reason for that, zoom is always compromise, loss of quality, sharpness… vs convenience of a zoom. Prime lenses are always better than zooms.

        • JimD


        • Es

          The original 4/3 system has zooms that are just as good as primes – the 35-100 f/2, 14-35 f/2, and also the unbeatable combo of 12-60 and 50-200.

    • Mike

      Meh. I paid $500 for my Tokina 50-135 f/2.8 and it’s sharper than that Canon, and sharper than this Panasonic.

    • Irresistable

      The DOF of f2.8 (m4/3) is very thick and actually equivalent to that of f4 or f5 (FF). You should compare to 70-200 f4 L instead.

      • This is my point exactly…we’re all different in our needs. I don’t use zooms for shallow DOF work, I use primes for that. Zooms are for event work where too shallow a DOF is not as desirable but the light gathering ability of the 2.8 aperture is.

        Even compared to the f/4 IS (which I use today for event work over the 2.8 because of it’s reduced weight), I’d say this lens is less sharp at the expense of compact size…I’ll still buy one.

    • Chez Wimpy

      >Both are weather sealed, both have fast 2.8 constant apertures, both have very good optical IS…

      and both zoom between 70-200mm… oh, right. Of course there is the constant f2.8 FZ200 (4.5-108mm no less!) for half the cost.

    • rgrg

      The 35-100 is equivalent to a FF 70-200 at F5.6 with regards to DOF and total amount of light reaching the sensor.We make ourselves look like idiots making these kind of claims . As an example do you think that Panasonic DMC-FZ200 with a 24x F2.8 lens is the “same” as a FF lens BS

      • Bart

        You know, you should do a tiny little test to see for yourself.

        Take a nice 70-200/2.8 and a full-frame camera.

        Now, shoot some picture of a fixed, static scene at 100mm and f2.8. Make a center crop of this picture that covers 1/4 of the area (so half of the height and width).

        Now, shoot a few picture of the same scene, focused at the same point, but at 200mm, at apertures of f2.8, 4.0, 5.6 and 8.

        Look at the first picture (shot at 100mm) and compare it to the 4 pictures shot at 200mm. Make sure you magnify all the pictures to the exact same ‘on-screen’ size (and yes, that indeed means you’ll need to blow up the first picture to match the size of the other pictures).

        Tell us, which of those 4 pictures matches the first picture with regards to DOF?

  • Anonymous

    How long before $200 price drop on this one?

    How long before $400 drop?

    I’m learning to wait and see what people on the street say.

    • Bart

      Keep it up, good way to save money and prevent disappointment :-)

  • Peter

    Really intellegant post Dugo. As smaller something hast to be, as more expensiv it is mostly in this world. ,-) Think about it.
    And most of the aps c lens had to be stop down 2-3 steps to get the overall sharpness of the mft optics or you have to pay more than 1000€ per lens. I used Sony Alpha and i know what you have to pay for good optics.. So troll on.

    • Peter

      Your forgetting that the price of optics is more than the used material.
      I had no problem here in germany to get what i want. And i got primes, which i dont have to stop down. If i would like to have the same quality output i had to pay double price for apsc lenses.

    • The m4/3 system is newer and will have a far less deep selection of lenses than Canon or Nikon will. Just as Nex, which is even newer, has even less selection.

      If top quality for your money is your goal, buy a m4/3 or Nex camera and invest in old manual focus prime lenses. Many of these have exceptional quality as long as you don’t require anything extremely wide and can be found very inexpensively both online and locally. I have fast, sharp primes, in focal lengths which I’d NEVER be able to afford if they were Canon EF lenses.

      • Dugo

        Availability of legacy lenses is one reason, in fact the main reason I am contemplating the M4/3 form factor, specifically the upcoming Lumix DMC-GH3. I feel the new M4/3 lenses are just too pricey for their form factor. BTW, I seriously doubt that the GH3 camera will be in stores this year. I’m shooting for February or March.

        Problem with the M4/3 imager is its size. 17.3mm x 13.0mm, how odd. Even the aspect ration does not make much sense to me — why did they pick old-school 4:3 is this thing is for newfangled digital cameras? A 4:3 imager for shooting 16:9 video clips makes even less sense in my book. Yeah, there may be some really, really old 4/3rd video lenses from the pre-CCD tube days, but I am sure they would not work too well on a GH3. Otherwise, 8mm and 16mm motion picture cine lenses would not be able to cover the considerably larger M4/3 sensor at all, and then if you start adding APS-C and FF 135 glass onto M4/3 cameras, you are getting into the focal length multiplier. Vignetting, cropping, etc. Nasty business.

        Which type of legacy zoom lens types would you be suggesting for a M4/3 camera as ideal matches?

        • Peter

          It wasn´t only the best lens for the best price.
          My Checklist was:
          Inbodystabi Check
          Waterproof Check
          Useble up to 1600 or if needed 3200 Check
          dont weight too much Check
          100% electonical Viewfinder Check
          magnifier viewfinder Check
          stabalised viewfinder Check
          DR Check
          lens that dont have to be stop down 1 or 2 steps to get the center sharp and 1-2 more steps to get the edges sharp Check
          possibility to take pictures without scaring people Check
          tiltable screen Check
          But your are right with the price of manuel lens.

      • occam

        Ditto what DaveT posted.

        I just purchased a $20 Nikkor adapter with aperture support. My old (pristine) AIS Nikkor lenses work a charm. My 85mm F/2.0 is delightful. But you need to think in m43 terms. For instance, my charming (full-frame) 105mm F/2.5 is not as charming on m43 since it’s now too long at 200mm+ (doh). (Think 85mm F/2.0 at $250 (?) v. new Olympus 75mm F/1.8 at $900.)

        I wish I had purchased this simple adapter a long time ago. I agree that purchasing old (with aperture rings) lenses can be extremely economical and delightful. All you miss are the electronic EXIF and autofocus — but the lenses on m43 can be wonderful (modulo the difference image angle).

        • Dugo

          “I just purchased a $20 Nikkor adapter with aperture support. My old (pristine) AIS Nikkor lenses work a charm… Think 85mm F/2.0 at $250 (?) v. new Olympus 75mm F/1.8 at $900.”

          Okay, occam, which particular adapter did you get, Rainbow Imaging or Fotodiox? Now, if you actually aim to have the same field of view, wouldn’t you need an app. 37.5mm focal length FF lens on your M4/3 camera to equate the perspective given to you by a 75mm native M4/3 lens? And 85mm FF lens would give you the equivalent of a 170mm telephoto (i.e. 85mm x 2x crop) on a M4/3 body, no?

          “purchasing old (with aperture rings) lenses can be extremely economical and delightful. All you miss are the electronic EXIF and autofocus.”

          I haven;t seen a modern lens/camera combination yet when the camera or the lens would know exactly what I want to keep in focus and what not. I only uses lenses with distance witness markings, and thus I can set up subject distances w/o looking through the EVF. I do use a laser distance measuring tool, that is all I need — or an old fashioned measuring tape.

        • Peter

          And for the price argument
          How much less would this lens cost for FF if they have to be really sharp in the center without stopping down and have edge sharpness which is acceptable? On APS C for Sony, i have to buy Zeiss…
          Here are some “expensiv” mft lens
          24mm 2.0 613,90€
          40mm 1.7 308,78€
          50mm 1.4 502,88€
          120mm 2.8 (macro) 538,52€
          150mm 1.8 843,50€
          14-28 4.0 945,01€
          The link for searching the price in the same market and same tax is

          Ok, 14-28 is unfair, because every comment i read from ff users who tried this lens was the same ,-)
          Also i carry my staff more than twice the time with me, than the bulky DSLR before and i can take much more shots without scaring people away. Thats unpayble for me.

          About the 4:3 ratio, i like it more because it´s better for portrait and if i take landscapes i can easely cut something from the upper or downer frame. And for your video work, i think most TV have 1920pix so you should get more than enough resolution. But im not sure, because i dont take videos. So correct me if im wrong.

          • rgrg

            Delusion reality
            24mm 2.0 613,90€ 24mm F4
            50mm 1.4 502,88€ 50mm F2.8
            120mm 2.8 (macro) 538,52€ 120mm F5.6
            150mm 1.8 843,50€ 150mm F3.6
            14-28 4.0 945,01€ 14-28mm F8.0

            That is the reality of FF half the DOF and four times more light hitting the sensor or are you another believer that thinks a Panasonic DMC-FZ200 actually has a 24x f2.8 lens .

            • Peter

              Dont blame yourself rgrg.
              A ff lens with f1.4 stays 1.4 at apsc or mft or dmc fz200. Buy a adapter, get the same ISO, same f stop and a wonder, you get the same time. Or do you really think a FF f1.4 lens will be a f0,7 mft lens because it will let more light in??? Dof is something other and hast to do with the Sensor..
              You made my day, thanks.

              • kikik

                Although his wording is rather odd “rgrg” is right a FF F1.4 lens has the exact same DOF and lets in the same amount of light as an f0.7.It is simple physics.If this was not the case { it is lol} then the P&S lens would be the same as an F2.8 FF lens {its not}.

                You really should read up on what exposure actually means in relation to digital.Think about it for just a minute and ask yourself why an exposure at the same ISO lets go for 1600 with the same F stop and shutter speed on my GH2 doesn’t look like the result if I swapped to a D4 { i really wish it did}.

                A FF lens lets in four times more light you do understand what an F stop is just in case “the F-stop is the focal length divided by the diameter of the lens “that is actual focal length. Now do the sums and you may not look so foolish correcting others

                • Bart

                  kikik, See my answer above to rgrg regarding DOF.

                  You are wrong and so is he, and you can demonstrate that to yourself with a very simple experiment as described in that answer above. The reason why you are wrong despite the ‘simple physics’ is because you use an incomplete definition of DOF. DOF has to do with what someone looking from a specified distance at a specific size presentation of an image will consider to be ‘in-focus’. You’ll have to consider the coc size in that final presentation, and then use the scaling factor between presentation and sensor size to determine the corresponding coc size on the sensor. You’ll see that ‘simple math’ will tell you that those sizes will be different for 135 format and 4/3″ format sensors.

                  With regards to total amount of light, that is totally irrelevant. For exposure, light per area is all that counts. For required gain, photosite size, fill ratio and quantum efficiency count. Medium size is not a factor at all in any of this, but it is a relevant factor for determining how many such photosites of a certain size (and corresponding quality) you can have, aka megapixels.

              • 6y6y

                Peter are you really that dumb I will make it simple

                To get the same DOF and actual exposure { IE total light} not some random numbers picked by the camera maker { another area where Olympus is a major liar } you will need a F0.7 mFT lens. That is so simple even an American could get it

                • Bart


                  Before calling people dumb, you might want to check your math and physics, because you are off on both.

                  Exposure is about brightness, aka light/area, and not about total light. If it worked the way you think, then cropping a picture would change the exposure because the remainder will be made from less total light.

                  • jOE90

                    BART You are wrong honestly read up what exposure means in digital. I cannot see how it can be made any clearer , If your method was right all cameras exposed at say 1/30th at F5.6 and 1600 ISO would look the same and obviously theY don’t . A small compact sensor will look completely different than one with a far larger sensor . 6Y6Y is being insulting which isn’t cool but he is right , you are failing to grasp what exposure is in digital.You seem to be one of those mFT users who thinks equivalence is a swearing word. A 50mm F1.4 FF lens will give four times the total light on a sensor than a 25mm F1.4 mFT lens will.

                    • Bart


                      There are a few ways in which a manufacturer can determine which ISO level is which, but the result is that within some level of tolerance, yes, every camera shooting at 1/30, f5.6 at iso 1600 will produce an image of the same brightness. That is exactly what ISO means, and how exposure works.

                      While it is totally correct that a larger sensor collects more light in total, that is totally irrelevant for exposure.

                      A smaller sensor with the same pixel count will have smaller pixels and less per-pixel light gathering, and will need more gain as a consequence. That however does not change exposure, also not ‘digital exposure’. If it did, then that would also apply when for example doubling the pixel count of a certain size sensor.

                • JimD

                  Exposure will be the same. 2.8 = 2.8 DOF will be deeper, but who wants DOF to shave with. Anyway, when you resize for web use, the DOF and COC are not being used effectively. Don’t forget the results from an APSC are not the same as a 135, and are actually closer to a M43 than 135.

                  Fix all the issues use a 135 lens on a m43 and then only the COC changes and with web use, its not relevant anyway.

            • Mark

              I see that the DoF gestapo is present.
              Keep whining about DoF it’s so funny.

              • 6y6y

                @ Mark What is funny are all the whining little sensor camera fanboys deluding themselves that mFT is anything more than a a lightweight system for when quality is not the objective. For every “pro” using mFT there will be 10000 using Nikon or Canon.I must admit if I ever become disabled or decrepit I will definitely consider mFT maybe.

      • nicwalmsley

        can you offer some suggestions?

    • TommyT

      “Really intellegant post Dugo. As smaller something hast to be, as more expensiv it is mostly in this world. ,-) Think about it”

      man, I wish that was true for diamond rings , my girls engagement ring would not have cost so much. This may apply to micro tech but not lenses they use the same materials only mFT lenses use a fraction of them.I ain’t complaining I like small and light.Though things are getting a tad hot in the pricing department I am lusting after the 75mm but I don’t like being screwed for a hood

  • 1. Both Oly and Pana really need to make profit on m43! They see enthusiasts coming to the system and are ready for HQ lenses.
    2. HQ lenses are more complex to design and manufacture as the tolerances have to be very tight.
    3. On FF most lenses are not PERFECTLY sharp in the corners. On the otherhand experienced photographers are aware of a) the large sensor and b) Most times you do not want corners to be sharp. A good composition leads the viewer into the imahe and not to make the viewer drop out from the image. A landscape photography friend nsays: The first thing in PP is to secure the corners….. Of course in architecture and for shooting test shots you need corner sharpness.
    4) A HQ lens has high contrast and microcontrast and great color rendering, not to mention bokeh. There is a lot that makes a HQ lens HQ, not just sharpness.
    5) Will be interesting to see Photozone evaluation of this lens.

    • +1

      Not to mention that what’s ‘good’ for one person might not be what’s ‘good’ for the next.

      • Peter

        Nice one. But i think most landscape are f8 or higher. Even there the ff lens will get sharp at the edges. So?
        Making a part of a picture unsharp is no problem in pp, but show me how you sharp unsharp areas.
        I have seen a lot of paintings and fotographs in museum around the world. Never noticed, that a Painter or Fotographer has unsharpend the edge. What i have seen is pinhole and vignette for fotos.

  • reggieandtfe

    I bought my Panasonic 12-35 from Amazon when it was first available in early August.

    I sent an e-mail asking for a credit, but they said no dice. I wasn’t surprised, but I figured it was worth a shot.

  • Scott

    Come on Olympus bring the 35-100 2.0 for mft

  • Paul Alexander

    The only problem I see is that the GH3 is not ready for prime time. If it is in 3 months, this and the 12-35 will be great to own :)

  • Frye

    It’s a “semi-pro” lens, hence it’s $1399 price tag.

    • JimD

      Did the ‘pro’ bit put on the 1k$ or the $399?

  • sickasaids

    Seriously if you want a mediocre super zoom just get a bridge camera and get it over with.

    And whats with all the negative comments on pricing and performance on these new lenses? Have you people never shot with other systems before?

    The Panasonic 35-100mm is about the half the price of the Canikon 70-200 f2.8 zooms so I wouldn’t expect it to have corner to corner sharpness. If it did, it would likely have to give up on speed (constant f4) and/or size. Plenty of cheap zooms for those without money :)

    • Irresistable

      This 35-100 is overpried again. You can get relatively the same DOF with the proven 70-200 f4 L.
      The DOF of f2.8 (m4/3) is very thick and actually equivalent to that of f4 or f5 (FF). You should compare to 70-200 f4 L rather than 70-200/2.8

      • bert

        your argument with the wider DOF doesn´t get better if you post it more often. Shallow DOF isn´t better or worse than more DOF, therefore it´s no argument for the quality of a lens. There are situations where smaller DOF is useful, there are situations with wider DOF is useful. If you want smaller DOF with m43, you can use a faster prime or a bigger focal length
        ( of course with more distance to the subject.. ).

        I had the Canon 4/70-200 IS for a while before changing the system, and it also, like nearly every zoom, benefits from closing aperture a half or full stop.

        The other thing what´s often not into consideration when looking at the sharpness of lenses is the variation in exact focusing with maybe all lenses, especially zooms, for cameras with PD-AF. That was often an issue with the lenses I had, whether with Canon, Nikon or Pentax systems…
        With the EM-5 and the CD-AF focus is way more correct with all lenses. Of course focus tracking isn´t as good, but for my photo style it doesn´t matter…

  • Adam

    Strange to test and review a semi pro lens(?) on a gf5

  • Adam

    Strange to review a premium lens such as this on a GF5.. LOL

    • Franky S

      It says it was reviewed on the G5?

  • Bob S.

    What a riculous overpriced lens. Agree with ones above. I would prefer 70-200 f4 L which is cheaper, not much heavy, and relatively the same DOF.

    • roger48

      What 70-200 f4 m43 lens are you talking about please? I have not seen one listed anywhere.

  • It seems Dugo is one of those…ehh never mind.

  • Chad

    Photographyblog’s reviews are always so generic.

    If you compare it to their 12-35mm’s review, especially the conclusion part, they are basically just recycling the words.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they never had either lens to test while doing these reviews and simply wrote the review out of speculation/prediction.

  • DingieM




  • agachart

    i guess pana will release 6-12mm f2.8 ^_^

  • Peter

    Dont know what dof has to do with f Stop´s of a optic.
    If i take a 45 1.8 mft and a 90 1.8 ff, both at iso 100 i get the same time and thats what counts. Easy or? The Dofdiffrence between FF and MFT is the Sensor and not the optic. Not so difficult.

  • SZRimaging

    Well, considering I would have to spend $2200 in Nikkor glass to get a lens that is similar to the 35-100mm, I would say $1400 is cheaper. This is a pro lens, it isn’t going to be cheap.

    • TommyT

      A Nikon 70-200 f5.6 would do exactly the same job [ same DOF ,same amount of light hitting the sensor, same AOV ,}if there was one , the Canon non IS 70-200mm F4 costs $670 an f5.6 would probably be $500

      • SZRimaging

        *scratches head*

        What are you talking about? F2.8 is F2.8, it doesn’t matter what format you are on. You get the same amount of light onto the sensor and use the same exposure for f2.8 on Large Format, Medium Format, etc….

        And DOF, well, that isn’t really true. Your DOF is the same for the focal length (so 35mm DOF is the same no matter the format), but your FOV is changed, which causes you to alter your position to the subject. This, in turn means you are generally standing farther back, so the DOF is greater.

        So comparing to an f5.6 lens is not at all correct, it should be compared to other f2.8 lenses.

  • Peter

    Try it, its so simple and again dof has nothing to do with the fstop of the lens.
    The time and amount of light each photocell gets is the same if i take a ff with 90 1.8 or mft 45 1.8 with the same iso, same time and same fstop. And thats no miracel. Yes the dof diffrence but this has nothing to do with the lens.
    Next time i take a picture with 45 1.8 and a ff shouter is next to me taking the same scene with his zeiss 85 1.4 with lets say f 2.8 because he needs the same dof like i used i will ask him, what he had payed for his 85 2.8 lens. Funny but absolutly nonsense like the discussion here.

  • Peter

    @Bart Thanks and i know about the dofdiffrence between the diffrent sensorsizes, but also the pro an cons.
    @6y6y why so much hate? plz inform yourself before you post…
    Also Oly is not cheating with the iso, read first what dxo is measures and try to understand it this, after that try to understand what oly does.

  • Alex

    Some reality check: Panasonic 35-100mm F2.8 IS for $1400. Canon 70-200mm F4 IS for $1350. In terms of depth of field they’re comparable. Ditto for price. Does the Panasonic lens cost as much to manufacture? Probably not and I guess the price will come down with competition. But right now there’s no alternative in M43 land. So they’re charging what the market gives. Also keep in mind that all the ‘enthusiasts’ and professionals will be more than willing to fork over a large amount of money. So they’re saturating this segment of the market first and then move down from there. This is, plain and simple, economics of supply and demand. If you don’t like the current price, just wait and it’ll come down.

  • Peter

    Alex i know what you mean. But what you are doing is not a compairsion of lenses you compare dof depending of a system. If you will use the ff 70-200 4.0 on a mft it will stay f4 and not f2.8. Every systems has its pro and cons. For my way of shooting there is only less use for ff 1.2. Im happy to have the bigger dof at the same f stop, iso and time like ff user. So everyone has to decide which system fits best and than accept the pro and cons.
    Funny as i wrote it, i had diamonds in mind. ,-)
    Search for JJR LH-J61F hood, thats the same one like oly sells but cheaper.

  • Russ

    What is the best

    GH3 + 12-35 X lens or Nikon D600 + Tamron 24-70 VC ?

  • Peter

    @ Russ
    Is this a real question? For me it sound like whats the best Car, a BMW 750 IL or a Lotus Elise? It depands on your needs.
    Ok, if you are a prophotographer than you are not so free to choose because of two simple reasons:
    1. Only Canikon have a real proservice.
    2. You have clients like my american friend here in this thread who thinks a good photographer is a pro photographer because he uses a ff Canikon. He has no clue about the diffrence of the existing systems but he had seen most pros using canikon. So you will not get the job if he see´s that you are using a Sony, Panasonic, Fuji, Olympus, Pentax, Leica or Hasselblad because than you are not a good photographer.
    If you are not a pro and with pro i mean you earn your money with taking fotos, choose the one that fits best for your need.

  • Peter

    Think about makro or streetshooting where you have to get 2 people sharp which are walking not 100 % accurately parallel to your sensor. With the bigger dof with lets say apsc or mft i will have a shorter shutterspead or the lower iso, because with ff you have to stop down to get the same needed dof.

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