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. 

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) below.
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