Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 X Zoom Review - Part 2 - including some file samples (including raw)

Since I only had my Olympus E-PL3, I wanted to try the 12-35mm zoom on a 16MP Panasonic Camera. I looked around and found a very cheap deal on a G3 (including a cashback), so got that. I had a G3 before and didn't like the handling much, but at the price I got this one for, that didn't matter much, since I can always upgrade later. The G5 certainly looks interesting.

However the weight and size of the lens made it feel pretty comfortable. Its personal preference, but I like lenses to slightly heavier than the camera when I'm using small CSC's. Its one of the reasons I like the NEX stuff. For instance, I find one of these small cameras with a pancake lens very difficult to shoot with. The 12-35mm is  just fine for me however. Virtually the perfect size and allowing me to cup my left hand underneath it for added stability.

The weathers not great at the moment, nor is it set to improve much over the next few days, so when I'll get out for a decent real world test with the lens I cannot say. However I did a few test shots this morning and I've made them available on Google drive. They are straight out the camera jpgs. and some raw files converted to .dng files. I shot 4 images at 4 different apertures, all at ISO 160 on the G3. f/2.8, f/5.6, f/11 and f/22. 

Click on the images or the links below to get the zip files.

Folowing on from yesterdays initial impressions, I continue to be impressed with this lens. It is a thing of beauty. There are lots of people who will moan because its "too big" or "too heavy" but for me its pretty much the perfect size for the cameras I'll use it on. Its also worth remembering just what this is. 

24-70mm f/2.8 lenses for 35mm sized sensor cameras are BIG.
16-50mm (or thereabouts) f/2.8 lenses for APS-C sensors are BIG.

Here's the 12-35mm on the G3 next to my Nikon D800E fitted with a 24-85mm lens. Now this lens is quite slow and the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 is bigger and heavier.

Here is a size comparison between the 12-35mm and the current Panasonic 14-42mm.

As you can see its not really that much bigger, though heavier. 305g compared to 165g. However it can't really be described as being that heavy or large considering its fixed f/2.8 aperture.

So full marks, as far as I'm concerned, to Panasonic for the design and build quality of this. Not so many marks for the price, which is steep, no matter how you look at it. However, it is a lens that isn't going to be mass market and no matter how much we squeal, quality does cost more. 

I'm looking forward to working with this outdoors when I get the chance, so will report back on that when the weather imnproves. In the meantime I'll try some IS tests and possibly a comparison with the 14-42mm.

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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