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Panasonic 35-100mm X lens review at Lensrentals….


The Panasonic average resolution diagram posted by Lensrentals (please visit the website to see full test)

Roger Cicala from Lensrentals tested the Panasonic 35-100mm X lens: “At 35mm the lens is awesomely sharp; every bit as good as the 12-35 f/2.8 OIS is at 35mm. There was a slightly different story at 100mm, though, where resolution dropped significantly (100mm mtf50 is 86% of what it is at 35mm, hence the article title). This is still good, but it’s not what I was hoping for.

Sgoldswoblog also posted some new 35-100mm X lens image samples: “On the basis of today’s experience I’m willing to assert both that the 35-100 is sharp but also that it provides shooting opportunities that wouldn’t arise with primes. Clearly the price for that is a limited low light performance and (subjectively) inferior bokeh.

The Panasonic X lens is certainly a good quality lens but from these early tests it still doens’t 100% match the exceptional Oly FT zooms. In case you don’t care about the big size than you may be interested in getting a refurbished (but faster and super high quality) Olympus 35-100mm f/2.0 lens at Adorama (Click here) or here at Olymarket Europe (Click here). A full list of acutions are availebl on Slidoo eBay.

The Panasonic 35-100mm X lens is in Stock at Technikdirekt Germany, Wex UK and preorders are available at Amazon (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here), Panasonic US and eBay (here on Slidoo).


  • Frederic Hew

    And the obvious conclusion, after all the silly bickering and war mongering between 43 and m43 folks –

    Original 43rds was designed on solid design principles. Having lenses that are close to telemetric does deliver the goods i.e. sharp image from corner to corner BUT at the price of size, weight and cost.

    What (practically) killed 43rds was not sensor size but inferior Panasonic sensor technology – preventing the entire system from delivering as a whole.

    I hope to see a renaissance of 43rds in the frame of better (and smaller please) cameras having a state of the art sensor (Sony or otherwise) and hybrid cameras able to make the best of both worlds.

    • Anonymous

      Nikon can request to Sony to provide advanced sensor and Sony cannot to use it in their product within one year.

      Contract like this is common sense in business, but one question:
      Why Olympus can’t do it?

      Is it really all Pana’s fault?

      After the CEO scandal, I don’t think no responsibility of Olympus.

    • Elf

      @Frederic Hwe.
      What killed Olympus 4/3 was Olympus’s inability to deliver on it’s promise of smaller size. I always find it odd that Oly fanboys on the one hand want to blame Panasonic for all the ills of the 4/3 format yet want to give Oly all the kudos for such a wonderful system.
      BS!! Oly is a corrupt dishonest entity who has abandoned their customers several times and left them high and dry.

      Your Perfect system will be a Kludge with MASSIVE 4/3 lenses mated to a OLY pen. Yep they’re beautiful Lenses. But who can carry more than one of them around for a day without a pack mule….

      I should know I own a bunch of them and you can have them cheap. I already sold the mule. Drop on by with your truck and fork lift,.

      • Ulli

        you needed a mule? i guess you have the zd 300 2.8 and zd 90-280 2.8 lenses….lol

      • Anonymous


        I agree, with the size and price of 4/3 lenses and top cameras like the E-5, why settle for 4/3? For the same weight you can get a full frame system that will always be a lot better.

      • Esa Tuunanen

        > corrupt dishonest entity who has abandoned their customers several times and left them high and dry.
        You just described the operating principle of all big corporations which don’t have competition.

        • QBNY

          Not Really, he simply described Sony. Y’know, Beta, Clie, MiniDisk, etc…

          Hm, Olympus just teamed up with them, huh?

          Y’all Olympus fanboys better watch out.

      • Mar

        To match one shg lens you need several primes in m43 world.. that’so almost as big and more expensive and optically inferior, not to mention bothersome to keep changing lenses all the time.

        Olympus has better lenes than most ff models and with omd sensor it could easily surpass our match ff, especially with zooms. I don’t know of single person who uses ff and shots wide open regularly, while you can do it on 43 and have no disadvantage over ff, only advantages and much lower price.

    • paulioy

      @Fredrich I think that the oversized and overpriced lenses in relation to the sensor size are what killed FT combined with the poor sensor tech you mention. Their choice to provide only one camera with weather sealing was also a mistake it seems odd to have so many weather sealed lenses with only the top body having weather sealing . whatever the long term OLympus fans think Olympus were a small player in the film era with their slowness to respond to AF causing them major damage.

      • Frederic Hew

        I agree with most what you wrote except I think the main issue was not sensor size as much as sensor performance.

        The (m)43rds format is not that much smaller than APS-C to justify the performance disadvantage 43rds has had, and the obvious proof is the Sony sensors on new Olympus models (and hopefully new GH3 sensor if Panasonic has managed to close the gap).

        My post has nothing to do with Olympus vs Panasonic, I see it as an attempt to assess the strength and weaknesses of both (micro and otherwise) 43rds systems.

        m43’s smaller size is a huge advantage nevertheless when it comes to optics – especially fast tele (zoom) lenses – reflex 43rds has the upper hand and this is not going to change.

        You shouldn’t expect a better 35-100 f/2.8 having the same size and weight as the Panasonic lens on review because neither Olympus nor Panasonic can deliver one. The same applies to the 12-60 f/2.8-4 micro equivalent that we would all like to see.

        My conclusion as someone who bought 43rds lenses to use on a (Panasonic) camera when m43 lenses were few is to keep those instead of going micro all the way… I am still waiting for Olympus to come good with their promise of integrating both product lines into one system – hopefully one that really delivers the goods.

  • Frederic Hwe


    My perfect setup (as in personal preference) would consist of a 43rds setup consisting of mostly HG lenses, a high end compact, and maybe something like the Sony RX1.

  • Williams

    Not impressive as espexted. I will choose Four-third SHG glass of course. Hopefully Oly will solve the focus problem soonest.

  • Yun

    I don’t understand why till now , still no lenses from Pana that can match to 4/3 lenses ?
    The 35-100 mm is a very good lens but just being overshadow by Oly’s 75mm , hopefully the incoming 42.5mm prime lens will do a breakthrough . I expect the sharpness from this lens can match the sharpness of Nikor 85mm F1.4 .

    • Miklós

      Please, don’t forget the super good PanaLeica 25/1.4.

    • spam

      Panasonic use every trick including digital correction to get small and light lenses. That also mean that they have to sacrifice image quality to some extent. Mostly a good compromise IMO

    • QBNY

      Overshadowed HOW? Ones a Prime, ones a Zoom.

      “Overshadowed”?? HAHAHAHA!! Grasping at straws are we?

  • Anonymous

    well ,I guess there always been two kind of forces in this world ,.good VS evil/ or i rather say NOT SO GOOD in here,.when it comes to M43 world Olympus right now has always bring a good refreshment story both lens and camera, but on the other side Panasonic Lumix gives us unsatisfaction story, downfall,or negative result,..damn i get enough with this brand,.

    I was very happy when the first time panasonic announced the 24-70 &70-200 M43 version it gave me such a hyped and hope of high quality system in affordable price ,size and weight .but right now i really lose my appetite to purchase both 12-35 or 35-100 and better stick with Prime lens from Oly.

    I used to have 14-45 , 45-200 ,14-140 and 45 macro PL which i already sold and still keep the 7-14 ,100-300 . and the good 25PL DG summilux and also the very excelent 25 PL D summilux .together with Olympus prime,.12, 45, 75 and the new Olympus 60 macro to replace my 45 PL Macro.

    I’m hoping Olympus will release the other 24-7-,70-200 m43 version in the near future,.

    • Anonymous

      “when it comes to M43 world Olympus right now has always bring a good refreshment story both lens and camera, but on the other side Panasonic Lumix gives us unsatisfaction story, downfall,or negative result,..damn i get enough with this brand.”

      Sorry, you got it backwards… Panasonic doesn’t have Yakuza sitting on the Board, Stealing/hiding money and Firing their CEO when thing came out in the open.

      Trying to re-write history, or something?

  • Anonymous

    So basically there’s not enough reason to put such a high price for this X lens?
    I’m beginning to worry that both Pany and Oly milking too much from Us for their m43 lens….
    yet they both is the only company that could deliver small and compact lenses. While I can only carry one or two lenses along with my DSLR camera for travel when I begin using m4/3 I can bring all of my m4/3 lens and two m4/3 body with me in small camera back pack.

    • Anonymous

      “So basically there’s not enough reason to put such a high price for this X lens? I’m beginning to worry that both Pany and Oly milking too much from Us for their m43 lens….”

      Certainly on some lenses. Great marketing strategy by Olympus, a pocketful of expensive primes to replace one excellent zoom (i.e., mFT 12mm, 25mm, 40mm, 60mm for about $2000 vs 12-60 f2.8-4 for under $1000), and Panny is simply over the top in pricing the 35-100 given its performance at mid-full zoom.

      “yet they both is the only company that could deliver small and compact lenses. While I can only carry one or two lenses along with my DSLR camera for travel when I begin using m4/3 I can bring all of my m4/3 lens and two m4/3 body with me in small camera back pack.”

      But you only need one or two lenses with 4/3’s given they’re excellent HG and SHG zooms. I agree, mFT’s advantage is convenient size combined with some excellent lenses and, if one is selective, a price that won’t break the bank (i.e., E-PM2 + kit zoom + Panny 25 mm and Oly 60mm macro + adapter with you 4/3’s zooms).

      Frankly, the ideal for me remains both an FT and mFT body (currently using an E-620 and E-PM1) so I can get the best out of both systems. Olympus doesn’t see the opportunity of simply updating the 620 with new sensor/IBIS/other lessons learned and package it with an E-PM2. But maybe I’m the only one who would buy it :) .

      But my ideal would be both systems were Olympus to come out with a new sensored E-640 or similar.

  • Ulli

    I think it is not fair to compare the Panasonic 35-100 with the zd 35-100. I owned the zd monster and its really really good and huge at the same time. I am sure the Panasonic is great, having a constant 2.8 in a compact package.

    • Pat

      I agree, i have the 35-100 f.2 and it isn’t remotely usable on an MFT body unless its on a tripod and your subject isn’t moving a lot. I will happily take a stop in light to get back auto focus and reasonable size and weight.

  • Es

    I don’t understand why people keep on pushing gigantic 4/3 lenses. Where is the point?

    The 35-100mm is 1650 grams. The Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 is 1550 grams. The Nikon is $2399 new on amazon and the Olympus is $2398 new on amazon.

    Why pick the 4/3 lens when you can get one the same size and price, but full frame, a sensor 4 times larger??

    • Ranger 9

      Good question. The answer: “Because you are a gibbering fanboy.” Or, “Because you already have invested huge amounts of money in these lenses and don’t want to feel stupid.”

      Although it’s worth remembering that Cicala’s results represent only ONE test by ONE guy using one slightly dubious methodology (taking pictures of a flat chart at close distances, running them through computer software to produce impressive-looking numbers, and then frantically pretending that those numbers encapsulate the entire spectrum of lens performance) they do underline the point that all lens design represents a series of tradeoffs. Olympus chose to optimize for high test-chart performance at the expense of a size that few will want to carry around and a price that few can afford. Panasonic backed off on the numerical results in favor of better real-world usability and “buyability.” You pick.

      Forum arguments aside, those of us who care about photographing anything other than test charts are going to value PICTURE quality over IMAGE quality, and a lens that we didn’t bring because it’s so flippin’ heavy, or couldn’t buy at all because it costs three months’ rent, isn’t going to make very good pictures for us.

      • spam

        It’s at test by one person yes, but he tested 7 copies of the lens. IMO the lensrental tests are valuable because they often test several copies of a lens.

    • Mar

      Potential E7, 1500-1700$
      D800 – 3000$

      Add on few more lenses, especially s/h offers and olympus turns out half the price easily.

      Or OMD6 with working af for FT lenses – 1000-1500$, 2 systems in one, especially with grips, small if needed with m43 primes, or just right with superb 43 glass and grip.

      I believe that’s the way because you can’t really make those lenses any smaller and retain same quality.

      • lorenzino

        Easy to predict: the D600 will cost more or less as much as the (supposed) E6, or 7. So the price comparison for 43 is invalid.
        And as far as m43 is concerned, as I answered to Esa, there would be a huge problem of camera-lens balance, plus the fact that FF 2.8 has better subject isolation (and is better for portraits) than 43 2.0. And the stop you gain for the faster lens, you loose for the lesser sensor…
        I love m43 because it is small. Keep it small please. High quality and small, please. At the expense of one stop, yes, you cares: 2.8 is already ok. For professional portraits I would probably choose another camera, but for everything else I would pick-up the m43 zoom anytime…
        So: Pana attempted but didn’t succeed, now it is Oly’s time…

        • Mar

          D600 is nowhere close to E-x in terms of quality and worksmanship,. It’s mostly plastic and not sealed. It’s af is also very limited to center only.

          • Anonymous

            the d600 is weather sealed , stick to the facts Mar , and why post prices in dollars you are European her in the UK the E-M5 body costs £999 compared to £1400 for the D600.

            The E-5 with a pass down sensor and rehashed E-3body came out at £1500 an e7 if it was FT only mount would be for such a small market it would have to be priced like a Leica

        • Paul

          I tryed D600, and yes, is made by cheap plastic and the ergonomy is very bad. The quality in general is realy poor and have a lot of limitatins. To have the same body quality you must buy D800.

          • Es

            The build quality argument is mostly useless… Most of us buy new gear every 3 years anyway. The d600 can’t last 3 years? Doubt it.

            What matters is image quality, and in that respect the d600 takes every 4/3 camera, eats it for breakfast and shits it out for dinner. Its FULL FRAME for christ’s sake, four times larger sensor area. 4/3 may match the d600 sometime in 2016. If it lasts that long.

            • Paul

              Are you buying a camera that is not good for you? everything is the sensor? common…, for me are important all the aspects from the camera, and D800 is what I like because it have more features over E-5 and FF sensor, not less features like D600, D600 have FF sensors and a lot of limitations and bad quality. Do you buy a camera just because is got the FF? I don’t think so…because all the aspects are important in a camera, to be weather sealed, to have enough features to satisfy your photographyc exigences… etc

              • lorenzino

                Well, yes, the E series is better built (and better all-rounder) than the new Nikon FF series started with the D600.
                The problem here is that we are talking about comparing two excellent+ lenses (the oly 30-100 f2 and the Nikon 70-200 f2.8), and those two lenses have the same size and price (= very high, both).
                At this point chosing between the two is a no brainer, as the cameras supporting those lenses are either unbalanced (= too small, = m43 cameras) or have the same price of Nikon FF cameras (43, E series = same price as D600 series, or 1/3rd less than D800, which in this league is not that much less; the total would be 4500 dollars for E7 + lens, vs. 5500 dollars for D800 + lens; more or less…).
                At this point, as price and weight are not a matter of difference any more, features and absolute IQ come into play, and 1) D600 is a less capable camera, BUT with higher IQ; or 2) D800 is an equivalent or slightly more capable camera, with far higher IQ.
                Sorry, the starting point of this thread was about absolute IQ in lenses. If the situation is such, I (and many, many others) would go for the “absolute IQ” also in camera. Wether spending a bit more for buying the D800, or sacrificing some body features and taking the D600, already excludes a 43 choice.
                Otherwise, if you are willing to accept lesser than excellent+ IQ, why not go for Pana 35-100 2.8 (an OMD plus that lens should already be able to take magnificent pics…)?

    • Esa Tuunanen

      That Nikon lens is full stop slower than 35-100mm Zuiko whose speed is in class of primes.

      If you don’t get the point of that why aren’t you attacking all Canikon enthusiast users buying those faster than standard consumer lenses?

      • lorenzino

        The Nikon is one stop slower, but nevertheless has better subject isolation than the Oly (as we are talking about FF). Hence it is still better for portraits. Add to this the fact that the sensor is better in every sense, plus all other nuances about pro support etc, and it would already be enough for chosing the Nikon glass.
        But, crucially, as we are talking about m43 vs FF Nikon, the balancement of the combo (camera + high-quality tele zoon) comes into play: can you use an omd + 35-100 as easily as a D600 (or D800) + 70-200? Somehow I doubt it.
        I have only tried the latter combo, and although heavy (and although I would not carry it with me if not in photo-dedicated journeys), the combination of the camera plus lens is very good.

    • Well 35-100mm is one step faster and FF camera is one step better so the last Olympus camera, so i choice use Olympus and is happy for this :-P.

    • SteveO

      This is silly, these are two different markets with lenses designed to be optimized for each and not to compete directly.

      If you want cameras light and small enough to take anywhere with excellent optics, you go with mFT and some primes along with some pretty decent zooms (7-14mm, 12-35mm, 35-100mm) as your wallet can afford. If you want simply stellar optics in a zoom or a few primes (50mm jumps out) without caring about bulk, you go with Olympus HG and SHG’s.

      And it’s okay, we can all get along :)! Some of us even have mixed marriages, with both FT and mFT’s slung around our necks when we go off to take pictures, and with an adapter so we can easily swap FT lenses around.

      Olympus hasn’t yet come out with HG quality mFT zooms, much to many of our disappointment, quite possibly because they realize there’s only so much you can do to shrink optics and maintain quality. When they do finally unveil a mid-range 12-60mm f2.8-4 zoom to match the FT versions quality, it will be priced high but worth every penny and quite possibly finally make non-devotees (i.e., Canikon DSLR users) truly take mFT seriously.

    • Because the Zuiko SHG 35-100 beats the crap out of any other glass, and it’s twice as bright, at the same size and weight. Yes, the 4/3 sensor is smaller all right, by as of today the E-M5 sensor is way good enough (don’t even try to tell me you have needs exceeding such a performance). Thus the native 4/3 E-system is just as good as anything else. DOF needs you say? Cons and pros, sometimes you need less (advantage FF), sometimes you need more (advantage 4/3). Only difference is 4/3 provides better glass, throughout the lineup! And size wise they are by and large the same as the competition. Provided you don’t carry your “system” in small pink purse, 4/3 surely does suffice.

      • Anonymous

        the shg glass in isolation does very well damn shame you have to mount it on a camera with a tiny sensor. with regards to actual output ie lens+ camera FF always wins. There is no advantage regarding DOF FF lenses are able to stop down , and the best FF sensor is still 2stops better than the best mFT sensor. FT made many mistakes the biggest wasting time and resources on trying to compete with FF and a pro market in which they were always going to be bit players.

  • homer

    Only here can people look at results like that and say the lens is mediocre…
    He was expecting stellar results at 100mm at f2.8, and he didn’t get them. That doesn’t mean those numbers are not impressive, and if you actually read the article he says that by f4 the results are more than stellar. Click over to, there’s an article over there where they compare it to a 70-200 L II mounted on a 5d mk3, they basically do the same on resolution and the Panasonic beats it on vignetting and CA (uncorrected files). Yet I see nobody complaining about the price of the Canon…

    • QBNY


      Props for putting that out, I was about to. Plenty of Panasonic Hate in here, as usual. I’m actually looking forward to this lens, but I might have to wait a little longer, due to the price.

      FT is a lost cause and should go the way of the Betamax. Either go MFT or Full Frame. I don’t see any room after that, being Cell phones will saturate the point and shoot class.

      • Thanks for yours info :-(…………………………..LOL

      • ArKersaint

        +1 : plenty of hate against Panasonic
        That’s getting more and more boring
        Think that Admin should moderate that
        Don’t understand why he leaves this nice site spoiled by pathetic Oly and FF fanatics ?

        • jjmcr

          Sadly I am of the opinion that admin is a bit of an Olympus fanboy himself.

    • Anonymous

      The lens looks quite good despite falling a little bit short of a particular reviewer’s expectations. I wish competition were higher in m43 land though. Unlike the less expensive lenses, the prices of these two X zooms is high enough to want to avoid the opportunistic premium inherent in monopolistic exploits. I know I might sound like a skinflint but I’m always very suspicious about cumulative financial implications of vendor lock in.

      • Dugo

        Like I said, this is a good lens for $300. Maybe even for $350. But more than that — well, it just doesn’t worth. Looks like in the Panasonic-Olympus M4/3 duopoly, these 2 can charge whatever the feel like they can get away with. And away with it they get, too.

        • Oh, really? 2.8 constant lens for $350? Do you want it in carton or glued brown paper?

        • avds

          $300 sounds funny given that both these lenses are ultra-sharp bright zooms, but I would not hesitate to buy both if they were $700-900 a piece. I could still swallow their current price tags if their IQ is really worth it, but that goes beyond resolution charts and into the territory of poorly measurable qualities like color rendition and contrast. Some lenses just have a character which is worth a lot, but I’m not sure this is the case with these Panasonic lenses (neither am I sure I would be able to get a lot out of that since I’m a very casual photographer).

    • Smith


      For Canon 70-200 F4 L IS, 70-200 F2.8 L and Nikon 70-200/2.8, all of these lense perform exceptionally at 200mm. In fact they can maintain superb performanceeller from 70 to 200mm. This Panasonic version however seems to have “just-okay” optical performance at 200mm.

      However I will hold my decision until I see test results from and


    Thank you for adding a little perspective – the ONLY negative in the review is that the results at 100mm at f/2.8 are not perfect but:

    “…still pretty good, easily better than any other zoom at 100mm”.

    And by f/4 it is:

    “…just as sharp as the 35mm end”.

    I conclude that this is a great lens but not supernatural – nor is any other. Panasonic could have reduced the zoom range a bit, or allowed the 100mm end to start at f/3.5, but they gave users the option of having just-below-prime lens performance at 100mm and f/2.8. Hardly a reason to dismiss the lens, but that’s the internet attention span.

  • uth

    you sometimes have to choose between “small size” and “great quality”

    I believe that Panasonic can make a better lens than 35-100mm/2.8 but It will be larger.

    They didn’t want to make the best lenses in term of quality. They just want to make the lens that most of their customers wanna buy.

    and I thought Panny made decision in this way.

    Anyway, I’ve never care about this kind of chart test result. I prefer real images and see them by myself. If i think it’s good and suit me, I will buy it for sure.

    • Anonymous

      yep benefits of m43 is size and people using it are already sacrificing a bit of IQ instead of using cameras with bigger sensors so the Panasonic 35-100mm makes sense to me

  • The Pana 35-100 is not a bad lens … It just takes F4 at 100mm to shine;-)

    What’s so bad about that? Every Canon, Nikon, Sony … 2.8/70-200 takes F4 or even F5.6 for optimal results at 200mm, too.

    The Olympus HighGrade FT lenses are really exceptional, and that is only possible because they are big and heavy.

    • Carpandean

      Exactly. As I stated in the comments, all of the popular 70-200mm FF lenses show similar or worse drop-off from the wide end to the long end at f/2.8. Roger responded that their results for the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS USM II don’t show a drop-off, but DPReview and both show a drop of about 9-12% on that lens.

    • vertae

      The problem with that little theory is that it is wrong I use my NIkon f2.8 lenses wide open on a regular basis, and then there is the fact that on a FF camera you have far better high ISO performance making stopping down less of an issue if you desire more DOF . The nonsense sprouted by OLympus fanboys over the years about lenses is plain ole idiotic. When mounted on a FF camera a FF lens will easily out resolve even the best FT lens. Images require lens plus sensor to make an end result and when you compare that way ( any other way is pointless ) the result is always a FF advanatage. That is why the Olympus fanboys avoid the LW/ PH lens results as this shows the real life results from lens plus sensor.

  • The Pan 35-100 would likely suit my needs just fine, although I probably won’t buy it. I still like the slow 45-175. There’s something to be said about small telephotos which might sacrifice the long end…they are transportable. Buy a big phat fast and heavy telephoto and leave it at home or in the car? Doesn’t make sense to me, but to each their own.

  • Dugo

    This would be a good enough lens for $300, $350 toos. No idea why Panny is asking so much more for it though.

    • homer

      Name a 70-200 f2.8 lens for 350$

    • Agrivar

      you sir, must be dreaming. A 70-200 f2.8 eq lens for $350? Show me one in any brand, and I’ll buy 1000 from you. Gosh. Such rubbish. I guess there are some trolls who really have no intelligence.

    • Dugo

      The image circle that this Pana lens has to cover is tiny compared to a FF 135 lens’s image circle. Much smaller lens, less material used, less glass poured, etc. But I guess the smaller the image circle gets, the more the optics cost, right? Yeah, that must be,. surely…. Like, lenses covering the 1/2.33-inch sensor are gotta be the priciest ones of them all.

      BTW, the cinema guys had 10x zooms with constant T2.4 max. iris for years, this latest photo lens from Panasonic comes w. only a ridiculous 2.8x short zoom range and a so-so F2.8 max. open iris, so frankly, is not much to write home about, is it? After all, this is 2012, not 1962. Who is going to be paying the crazy money that Panny expects to get for it, I haven’t the clue.

      • WSG123

        The image circle? Really? That’s your argument?

        Come on man. It’s a high performing, weather sealed 70-200 equivalent zoom with OIS. If you think that they’re going to sell it for $300 because they had to pour less glass, you’re out of your mind.

        • avds

          Most of these manufacturers sell extremely high performing, ultra-bright zooms for much less simply because they are (1) under competetive pressure, and (2) use much less glass in those lenses. Take Panasonic’s own LX7. You could say it’s an “ultra high performing 24-112mm” lens and you would be right, bit the whole camera costs less than any of these two X lenses. So Dugo’s argument look perfectly correct to me, except that $300 looks just too unreal. Amount of optical grade glass appears to be the main driving force behind lens prices under competetive pressure, which we do not have here with m43.

      • Agrivar

        you obviously are not a photographer and probably just own a p&s and dont know what you are talking about. Go research on system cameras and find out how much a 70-200mm/f2.8 lens costs in any mount. Amout of glass doesnt matter.. if you want to argue that way, the panny lens has aspherical and UD glass that is very hard to manufacture and costs a lot.

      • homer

        Dugo your seams are showing…
        Your comment tells how absolutely little you know about what takes to make a quality, weather sealed, constant aperture zoom like this. Amount of material has very little to do with the price, if it where for that super zoom lenses would be 10,000$. The fact remains that if you go right now and search for a new 70-200 the price is gonna be upwards the 2000$. So despite how expensive you find it, it pales in comparison to its equivalent counterparts.

        • Dugo

          I just love how some people claim that this particular Panny lens here is a 70-200mm/F2.8 lens, as if it was a lens designed to cover the full-frame 135 imager’s colossal image circle (in comparison to M4/3rd’s).

          So, let’s not talk too much about FF 135 70-200mm zooms, those are different animals entirely. So, how about talking about other 35-100mm/F2.8 zooms designed specifically for, and for nothing else but the smaller M4/3 sensor? You really would not want to use one of these Panny 35-100 jobs on your Nikon D800 or Canon 5D or Sony SLT a99 bodies, would you now?

          • kendol

            @Dugo it always amuses me how the fanboys usually Olympus lol manage to figure out that you have to double the effective focal length and forget about the effect on aperture.

            Let’s pretend that the Panasonic and NIkon lenses are made to the exact same standard , one uses three times the raw material now do you not think that this may influence price . Lets simply it what costs more a 100g bar of chocolate or a 200 gram bar of chocolate ( same make lol )

            if the mad claims about an F2.8 lens equals an F2.8 lens in a different format then the Lens in the Panasonic FZ200 going all the way to 600mm @ f2.8 should cost many thousands it doesn’t now does it? Why do you think that is

            • homer

              They do have more materials, not 3 times as much like you say but yes. That’s why, if you actually go check the price, the full framers cost a lot more money. what is so difficult to understand?
              And dugo, once again you prove you don’t know what you’re talking about. The lens has an effective focal length of 70-200 and the exposure will be for f2.8, what are you supposed to compare it with? When new bodies come out you certainly don’t mind comparing the performance to aps c and full frame, but the lenses are incomparable?

          • homerf

            First, you compare a lens with a comparable lens. It will give you a 70-200 focal length, and a 2.8 exposure. So you compare it with another 70-200 2.8.
            Second, this is the first 35-100 f2.8 for mft, so what are you comparing it too?
            You really don’t know what you’re talking about do you?

  • I’m pretty interested in this lens despite the negative mood here. I hope all this animosity reduces the price :) But seriously, OIS works great and with fast auto-focus this still provides a better service than the old Oly (though I’d buy it too if I had a bag of money.) The only thing I feel negative towards is the lack of a aperture ring. I know, I know, they are mostly gone now. But I just hate using lenses that lack it, especially ones that don’t have a constant aperture. The store close buy will have a few in stock soon, so hopefully I get to play with it and find out how I feel.

  • homer

    Also, can you name a photo lens, constant aperture 10x zoom from any manufacturer?
    You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.

  • JF

    Come on…this lens looks good, only 100 mm f2.8 is a bit softer like a lot of 70-200 zooms, some are even soft on all the focal range at f2.8 ! 100 mm f4 looks tack sharp ! Just the price prevent me to buy this lens for the moment, I already have 12-35 mm f2.8 and like it a lot, great colors and contrast !

  • I tried the lens out in a store and thought it was quite nice. It impressed me more than the 12-35mm I guess because of weight. The 12-35mm is surprisingly heavy, but the 35-100mm isn’t really, it’s nice. I’m sure panasonic could have sharpened up the 100mm end but it would cost a bit more weight and quite frankly I’m willing to sacrifice a bit of IQ for weight, as that’s the whole point of m4/3 in my opinion. (Note I’m not dissing the format, I said a bit, not a lot).

    I’ll wait until the lens drops by the usual $200-300 as I don’t need it right now, and then I’ll seriously consider it.

  • shg-er

    I m glad I unloaded the junk 43 sensor system right on time, had the whole bunch of SHG glass, while those are good lenses, there s nothing you cant get cheaper on FF too, and the sensor performance / size is just worlds beyond

    now i see E5 bodys for 600 dollar, e3 bodys for 250 dollar, kind of sad…
    om-d is a flimsy plastic camera which will cost 40 percent of what it cost new, very soon

    i m done with half-ass solutions

    • @ “shg-r”:
      Well, let’s hope the sensor performance will stay on the safe side from now on, so the SHG Zuikos are better justified, and that way mostly cancel out any FF advantage or difference.

      And the OM-D is not a a flimsy plastic camera, it’s a weather-sealed magnesium alloy body. So, should someone rain on your parade, you will take the hit yourself, not the camera.

      • Anonymous

        @ Eric , I have seen some of your excellent work with the SHG lenses. I am happy to concede that they are excellent bits of kit, however they cost as much ( or indeed more) as FF lenses , weigh as much and are hugely oversized for the sensor size that they are mounted on. Which begs the question if you are prepared to carry all that weight pay that much why not simply buy FF gear with the far better sensor , and all the advantages that they bring ( DOF high iOS, better AF etc).

        The relative success of mFT has clearly demonstrated the value people put in size and weight even to the extent of accepting somewhat poorer lenses .Though this is largely compensated by the better performance of the higher end mFT bodies.

        • Mr. Reeee


          Sure some Oly 4/3 lenses are exceptional, but I honestly don’t understand the vehement defense of the very flawed 4/3 system in comparison to 135 format systems. The E5 and 4/3 lenses make zero sense when compared to 135 format systems given the sensor size differential. Especially since the size and weight of the both systems is more or less the same.

          The E5 it was an utter joke compared to either Nikon given the size/weight/price/IQ comparison.

          • lorenzino

            In fact this is what always puzzled me: why creating a smaller sensor, if the cameras and lenses wight the same and cost the same as all other cameras on the market?
            That was a huge mistake Olympus and Panasonic made while launching the 43 system.
            Now they are on the right path: small but high quality. Not best quality (that is the FF realm), but high quality indeed.
            Yes, it’s a pity the 2.8 is only a 2.8 and not an f 2. But once I saw the size and price of the Oly 35-100, I really thought “why not buying the Nikon 70-200, at his point?”
            And then came this forum…

            • Anonymous

              For the ‘best quality’ you’ll have to go somewhete else then ‘full frame’. Some medium and large formats come to mind.

              It is silly and ignorant to think that 35mm film format is somehow magically the best, it is really just a format that over a century ago was a good compromise between size and quality, and incidently readily available hence cheap, but also quite an amateur format.

              All those arguments were valid a century ago. The ‘amateur format’ one was no longer true 3 decades ago, and the other arguments for that format lost their validity decades ago as well.

              So by picking 135 format you compromise, a different compromise then when picking 4/3″ or 1″ formats. A better one? That totally depends on your needs. If IQ was the only factor you’d be wheeling around a huge technical camera with large film and digital backs. Unless you are, you are fooling yourself about getting ultimate IQ, instead you are compromising IQ and would do well looking into what is really the best compromise for you.

              • lorenzino

                Yes, sure, “best quality” as abstract does not exist, as there is always something better. And sure medium format is better than 35mm. But medium format is not in the same price range as 35 mm (= FF) nor apsc, nor 43. As, otoh, these last three formats are roughly in the same league, as far as price is considered (at least E5 and the hypothetical E7, the best apsc cameras, and many new FF cameras), I should probably rephrase “best IQ in this price range”.
                Otherwise, the overall meaning of what I wrote stands very strongly against what you wrote. The jump from FF to medium format implies a jump in price AND in weight (plus with medium format you loose a lot of the flexibility the 35mm zoom have; in fact you cannot find a real equivalent of the 70-200 2.8 zoom in medium format; if it existed, it would be a monster). On the other hand the jump from E5 plus the 35-100 f2 does not imply a jump in price, nor weight.
                So in fact: medium format is very heavy, very expensive, and not very flexible, but has stellar IQ; FF has less IQ, but is far less expensive, less heavy, and more flexible; 43 has less IQ than FF, is NOT less expensive (or at least not that much), is NOT less heavy, and it is less flexible (it has less lenses and accessories, less pro support, etc.)

                • bart

                  I’m sorry but I don’t regard $2000 body only to be anywhere in the same price range as $999 body only. Also, weight isn’t exactly in the same range either.

                  I find it very interesting how easily people just seem to think that a D600 costs anywhere near the same as for example an E-M5 considering how it really is twice the price. Could it be people still have the old rumored $1500-1600 price in mind? Get it straight, it was MUCH more expensive then that at introduction, and street prices are still much higher as well.

                  But… it will get cheaper. Sure it will, but that happens with all cameras a while after their introduction.

                  No, a realistic comparison does not at all show those to be in the same price range, not to mention, you are comparing a functionally limited entry-level model to a much less limited advanced model. If we were instead going to compare between an E-M5 and a functionally less limited camera like the D800, the price difference gets close to a factor 3!

                  An E-M5 with 3 primes (14, 20 and 45mm) very easily fits in the same bag as a D600 with a single prime, and weights less. Lets not even talk about a D800 or D4.

                  So, what you say about changing from 135 format to medium format can also be said about switching from m4/3 to 135 format. You have to pay a lot more, carry a lot more, but you do get some extra flexibility and potential quality in return.

                  • lorenzino

                    I am sorry I didn’t see this answer before. But this is the way it works in these fora: they disappear from the screen and you don’t know about them anymore.

                    I was not comparing m43 with FF. I was comparing 43 with FF. And in particular E5 (or E7) vs. D800. Difference: roughly 2000 dollars vs. 3000 dollars. Plus the lenses we are talking about: 2500 dollars each. Total: 4.500 vs. 5.500. NOT that much difference, sorry. I repeat it: NOT that much difference.

                    As for em5: do you really think that camera is balanced with the 35-100 f.2 we are talking about? I saw (and used) the camera, and I saw (and weighted) the lens. We are really near the definition of “unusable”. Or at least unusable without tripod. Which, sure, spoils the “m” (= portability) part of m43 concept.

                    • bart

                      No problem about the late reply..

                      But eh, I do not agree with what you are saying, even when it is about the E-5 (we’ll have to see about the E-7 price).

                      Introduction price for the E-5 was $1699, that is $301 short of $2000. Current price is around $1500, and actually at introduction I got a ‘special’ offer to buy one for $1400 (as an attempt to compensate for an earlier mess-up by both Olympus and a local dealer), whereas the D800 is just below $3000. That is almost a factor 2 difference in street prices, and still a $1300 difference in introduction price. Rounding prices somewhat for easier calculations is fine, but $1700 really isn’t $2000, especially not when real prices are actually below $1700.

                      Additionally, I do not buy lenses for a single camera, those rather tend to last a few generations of cameras, and the cost of lenses can consequently be distributed over at least 2 or 3 bodies. I have yet to hear a serious photographer who replaces all his lenses and camera at the same time (except for the usually rare case of changing systems).

                      So, even in your comparison, the difference would be between $4200 and $5500. which is almost 30%. When spreading out the cost of lenses over 2 or 3 generations, the difference gets much bigger.

                      And I use the E-M5 with the 50-200 quite a bit. This lens is a bit smaller and lighter then the 35-100, but is still very close. I also used the 35-100/2.0 with the E-M5 once, and it is not much different in ‘balance’.

                      Using such a combination requires proper handling technique, something I learned decades ago when using cameras like the Minolta XD with lenses like the Rokkor 135/2.0 and 200/2.8. The one issue for certain applications with lenses like the 50-200 and 35-100 is AF performance, the handling itself however is a non-issue with proper 2 handed shooting techniques. No, I don’t need the grip either for that, but it does help somewhat.

                      Would a bigger body make things nicer? Yes, but this isn’t a case of absolutes really.

                      Oh, and obviously, you are right when suggesting that an E-5 with 35-100 isn’t much lighter or smaller then a D800 with the ‘high-end’ 70-200. The 35-100 is a good lens but implemented in a strange and needlessly big way. But lets take a look at some other lenses in the SHG line.. there is this big and expensive 300/2.8. An equivalent ‘full frame’ lens would be a 600/5.6. I wish you a lot of luck finding a 600/5.6 that is of similar optical quality and is AF capable on your ‘full frame’ system of choice. Does it take a 2x teleconverter and still support AF? How about price, weight and size?

    • homer

      shg er that’s funny about the om d being flimsy and plastic.
      Also, in less than 6 months after release, the Canon 5d mk 3 is 75% of its original price, what do you make of that? Is that sad also or does Canon get a by?

  • mike

    Didn’t these guys measure the PL 25mm f1.4 lens and determine, to their own surprise, that sharpness wasn’t what they thought it would be? That’s an excellent lens, and strongly suggests that their methodology isn’t a very good way to review a lens.

    • 1986tANU

      @Mike, I was rather surprised just how poor the 25mm F1.4 is wide open at the edges and extreme edges from all the praise it gets in forum I expected more

  • Boooo!

    These comments make my head hurt…

    You there! Go buy a new mobile phone. It’s more portable than your m4/3 camera. It is also cheaper, and since you’re an extremely casual photographer, a phone is all you need. It’s time for you to admit the truth – you will never get a m4/3 camera+lens combo that is 1 cm thick so it fits in your pants pocket. Never. You might get an m4/3 camera that makes calls and sends texts, though.

    You over there! Go spend 439879€ on that FF system, shoot wide open and admire the tip of someone’s eyelash in focus, everything else blown away into bokeh. Be sure to start saving for a medium format camera and swap your Mk V cameras and lenses for Mk VI and VII until you realize that 135 just isn’t enough.

    You there! Please continue buying everything and not using it. You’re a gearhead and you know it. Come out of the closet.

    The rest of you, go join me in shooting film, sunny 16 all the way, and let’s laugh at everyone else.

    • Mr. Reeee

      + :-) + :-) + :-) + :-) +
      Brilliant! :-)

  • Tom

    Anyone have any comments to make about using the Power O.I.S in the Pana 35-100 lens vs. the in-camera IS in the Olympus OMD EM5?. I’m assuming both together is a bad plan, but haven’t tried it yet.


    • bart

      Yes, both together is a bad plan.

      I didn’t have enough time with this lens to do any serious testing with OIS and IBIS, but IBIS and OIS should never be enabled both unless Panasonic and Olympus start specifically tuning IBIS and OIS for making that combination. They both try to do the same kind of thing but in different ways, and this will result in worse, not in better results.

      From what I saw with other OIS enabled lenses that allow switching OIS on or off on the lens, the E-M5 will disable IBIS when detecting a lens that has OIS enabled.

      Didn’t compare the results much, but first impression quite confirms the general rule. OIS is a bit better at dealing with substantial shake at long focal lengths, but only works well for the center of the image. IBIS is a bit less good at dealing with substantial camera shake at longer focal lengths, but doesn’t distort off-center details or bokeh. 100mm isn’t in the ‘longer focal range’ where IBIS starts having difficulties yet, so in most cases it is very likely that IBIS will do better. If we were at 300mm or such, this might well be different, but at 100mm it would take a revolutionary new variation on OIS to change the picture.

      • Tom


        Thankyou – that was my initial instinct (keep lens OIS turned off), so I’ll stick with for the moment. I’ve not got any other non-Olympus lenses with OIS to try in comparison.


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