Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 X Zoom Review - Part 1


The first thing I thought when I unpacked this, screwed it onto the camera and took a few shots was WOW! If you think this is another polycarbonate light fragile m4/3 lens, then think again, its not.

This is easily the best looking, best feeling m4/3 lens I've ever used. It just feels so solid. I'm serious when I say this handles just like a Zeiss. The zoom and focusing rings are just perfect. Exactly the way they should feel. Not too stiff, not too loose. 

Its weathersealed, a first for Panasonic and it has a lovely metallic feel. Focusing on the E-PL3 is instant. And I mean instant. I have yet to detect a noticeable delay between touching the shutter and it focusing. 

Its really expensive, close to £1000, but it actually feels like it, and its like no other native m4/3 lens I've used, even the Olympus 12mm. Its just over 300g, which is just fine for me. This is after all a pro-spec f/2.8 fixed aperture zoom. Its a real delight to handle.





A few test shots indicate that its VERY sharp, as good as anything I've seen in m4/3, and  there is some decent bokeh. Not normally a strength in m4/3 lenses.

It actually reminds of a scaled down version of the Leica D 4/3 lenses, but I have to say it's even nicer than them. 

So, I think I'm in love!! I must say I never expected it the construction to be as good as it is. I was expecting a pretty good optical performance, but the build quality has exceeded my expectations by quite some distance.

If this (plus the OM-D) doesn't convince doubters about the seriousness and class of m4/3 then nothing will. And I must say my thoughts about going exclusively m4/3 have surfaced again. I can't wait for the 35-100mm f/2.8. If its as good as this then it promises to be very special.

Stay tuned. 

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