First Impressions: Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 X Lens (Micro Four Thirds)

A friend of mine recently rented the Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 X lens for Micro Four Thirds. Being a fellow Micro Four Thirds user, he let me slap it onto my camera for just a bit. I spent maybe around an hour or so actually playing with it. Here are my first impressions.

Gear Used

Tech Specs

 

Performance
Focal Length 12 – 35 mm
Comparable Four Thirds and Micro 4/3 Focal Length: 24 – 70 mm
Aperture Maximum: f/2.8
Minimum: f/22
Camera Mount Type Micro Four Thirds
Format Compatibility Micro Four Thirds
Angle of View 84° – 34°
Minimum Focus Distance 9.84″ (25 cm)
Magnification 0.17 – 0.34x
Groups/Elements 9/14
Features
Image Stabilization Yes
Autofocus Yes
Tripod Collar No
Physical
Filter Thread Front: 58 mm
Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 2.66 x 2.91″ (67.6 x 73.8 mm)
Weight 10.76 oz (305 g)

Ergonomics

The lens features a lot of very basic and standard features for a Panasonic lens. The most prominent feature is the Power OIS switch, which should be turned off if Olympus’s in-body image stabilization is on.

Above this are the zoom ring and the focusing ring in front of that.

Autofocus

On the EPM1, the lens focused extremely quickly and quietly. For the market that this lens is targeted towards (high end enthusiasts and professionals) this lens will outdo the fastest lens from a DSLR by far. Part of this has to do with the hyper fast focusing from the Micro Four Thirds coalition, and I can only imagine just how much of a blazing cheetah this lens can be on an EM5.

In fact, it can be a perfect compliment to the camera due to its weather sealing.

Ease of Use

As a photographer that has rewired his brain to focus only on prime lenses, it was a bit weird using this lens. It delivered a lot of potential, but I couldn’t totally incorporate it into my personal street photography workflow and logic. But that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to. Once again, I’m trained to work very old school.

The package is overall quite small and not very noticeable; so people won’t sit there staring at the camera and lens’s aesthetics.

In the hand, the lens is also quite nice to hold.

Image Quality

These images I admit aren’t the best, but it is what I could produce within an hour or so. It is an attempt for me to personally focus more on just photographing scenes as they happen and to add a sense of mystery to my images. With that said though, I loved the color rendition that this lens delivers. The colors are super punchy and very vibrant.

Video

Panasonic 12-35mm Lens Test (Informal) from Jurek Ugarow on Vimeo.

My good friend Jurek Ugarow shot video with it using his Panasonic GH2. Here it is up above.

First Impressions

I’m positive that I didn’t do this lens justice after spending only an hour or so with it. With that said too, I once again am not really a zoom lens shooter and something like this (the equivalent of a 24-70mm f2.8) would often be used for event, wedding or portrait photography by me.

We will get our hands on a review unit sooner or later and give it a full run through for the review.

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