Olympus 75mm f/1.8 compared to Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8

Two relatively new, yet critically well-received lenses for the m4/3 system. One an Olympus prime, the other a Panasonic zoom. I was interested to see how they compared at apertures that were common to both. The zoom I obviously set to 75mm.

Here are three examples of how they compared.

All images shot on a Panasonic GH3. ISO 125. Processed from Raw via Adobe Camera Raw in Photoshop CS6.

First of all I have to say how good both lenses are, Remarkably consistent throughout the apertures. The 35-100mm zoom is excellent wide open. Both lenses are sharp across the frame, as indeed they should be considering their price, and give virtually identical colour rendition.The 75mm seems very slightly sharper at wider apertures though I can't emphasise enough that this is a very small difference (which you may not even see with Google+ reproduction) and from f/8 onwards they seem identical. 

As far as I'm concerned any decision as to whether you might choose one over the other is therefore down to all the right reasons. Do you want a fast prime or do you want the versatility of the zoom? I cannot see that in either case you would be compromising on image quality. 

This is yet another example of how far ahead of other CSC's m4/3 is in terms of lens choice. When these options appear (if indeed they ever do) for Sony NEX, or the Fuji X-Trans cameras, who knows. And if some Sony 35mm sized sensor, interchangeable lens system appears, how long is the wait going to be there? The great thing is that these lenses are available now, and in the Olympus OM-D and Panasonic GH3 there are two excellent cameras to use them on.

To my mind this cancels out any percieved advantages of APS-C sensors and more pixels. Its all very well to have larger file sizes but if the lenses available are restricted then there seems little point in that. If you don't have the lens that gets the shot you want, then all the MP's in the world won't be of any help. 

Both lenses are VERY expensive, even allowing for the fact that 35mm equivalents are equally pricey, so that is obvious a consideration. But there is an definite advantage here. The cheap and cheerful telephoto zooms that Olympus and Panasonic produce are OK, but no more than that. I've tried all of them and have sold them on pretty quickly, so I guess that shows how useful I think they are for me. 

This post is the start of a review and user experience of the Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 zoom, which I'm going to run parallel to my GH3 investigations. I've got a pretty good idea of how this is going to go, but you might be interested in seeing how it performs in a variety of situations.

In the meantime, as far as I'm concerned, both of these lenses are the best you can get in the telephoto range for m4/3. Expensive I know, but they are worth it for me. As ever whether that applies to anybody else is for them to decide. 

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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