The Panasonic Lumix 12-35mm f2.8 Zoom Lens Review

A hands-on review and test of the new Panasonic zoom 12-35mm f2.8 Lumix ASPH “X Vario” lens
In association with ePHOTOzine –

My M4/3 Blog:


Keith Wu says:

i love your style of camera/lens reviews lol 😀

mark shirley says:

would have liked to have seen more DoF examples.

Dave's Nature Productions says:

I have this lens lens on my GH4, was the first one I bought since I wanted a general purpose short to medium zoom for wide landscape shots and liked the weather sealing and sometimes need stabalisation as I often shoot in places prone to wind which can shake the camera a little, even with a tripod. I like the lens, its sharp but it does have issues with slight distortion at wider angles like 12mm like you said, and found the edges to be a little softer than the centre which is sharp especially at f/5.6 to f/8. I did find that some videos I took had quite a bit of chromatic aberrations such as purple, green and red fringes on thin lines and as I take more videos than photos, that is an issue for me as you can’t really (or I have never found out how to) remove that in editing, except for photos.

I now use this lens and the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 II lens for general video work where I don’t need a macro or telephoto shot, and both work great together and I can use the 12-35mm when I need the wider angle shots and use the 20mm when I don’t need as wide an angle and its a bit sharper overall and has quite a bit less chromatic aberrations.

Martin Halley says:

Thanks for a really useful review. Average price now down to around £450.

Conrad Senior says:

I’ve read there are two issues with this lens when using video. First that you can’t turn off image stabilization on a tripod and it jitters. Can you confirm that? And second that it has aperture related flickers on zooming during video-. Perhaps these have been fixed in the latest software update. In any event given the Panasonic GH4 popularity for video, this might bear investigation.

mp4podcastDOTcom says:

I have the Olympus 12-40. I got it over the Panasonic 12-35 for two reasons one it goes to 40mm to use for portraits when working really fast at weddings and the clutch manual focus is better for video.

Panasonic does have better zooming the way it feels. I also have the Panasonic 35-100 and decided to go with it over the Olympus 40-150 for two reasons one its liter and it was cheaper.

Later down the road I will get the Panasonic 12-35 and the Olympus 40-150. I really do like that there are two companies making lens for Micro 4.3 because then you can pick what version of a lens you might like over another for what ever reason.

I know Canon and Nikon there are third parties making lens. But Sigma has had problems with Canon and Nikon and had to update their firmware. With Micro 4.3 Panasonic and Olympus are all on the same page making things work together.

N Dawkins says:

Since this review, have you also had a play with the Oly 12-40. and if so, how does that compare? thanks

Helmet says:

+David Thorpe Love your reviews. Especially, your style of narration… keeps one engaged with the content. However, in this review… the sickening crunch glass shatter @2:33 was a bit too loud I reckon. Someone could be high watching this video and it may spook the SH*T out that I tell you.

ANDY FX says:

Anyone else notice a clicking sound when changing aperture?

pavelp80 says:

Nice review as always (i watched several of them when deciding whether to upgrade to G80), but you missed two minor flaws – bokeh is not pleasant compared to fixed lenses (20mm/f1,7 or oly 45mm/f1,8) and it suffers from reflections and flare effects when there is light source in the picture. It’s somewhat annoying for taking city pictures when it’s dark and there are street lamps or taking photos with sun at horizon. For indoor photos is prefer 20mm/f1.7 due to time/iso restrictions.

Ben McCartney says:

Great video! I noticed that the aperture, although constant, seems to fluctuate slightly in regards to the amount of light hitting the sensor when zooming during video capture. The light has a sort of “strained” effect with the exposure darkening or lightening ever so slightly before correcting. My Canon EF 28-135 does the same thing, and it’s quite irksome. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it also seems that the zoom mechanism isn’t so silky smooth. The picture seems to jerk suddenly now and again throughout a steady continual zoom. My Canon also does this. I mention these issues because I want to retire my 5DIII and replace it with my newly acquired GH4, and am wondering if you have a recommendation for a MFT zoom lens with superior construction and performance that will eliminate the issues mentioned above? Cheers!

Kevin Saruwatari says:

So this comment is Apr-2016: did this lens (or the 12-40 Oly) motivate you to sell the 12 and 25 mm primes? If so, any follow up thoughts?

Kris Galang says:

Do you prefer Metabones + Canon lenses or M43 lenses setup?

Tim Priestley says:

Hi David, Long time watcher, Fantastic videos “always”…. Thank you.
I have one question if you dont mind, I have a Panasonic GX8 and a handful of lens (12-32mm, Panasonic, Sigma 19 mm Art and 14-140mm Panasonic)
I would like to get this 12-35mm 2.8, and sell my 12-32mm and “MAYBE” my 14-140mm (rarely do i ever shoot past 50mm), will i be disappointed if I did this? Or do you think this is a ‘smart move’?

Thanks again for you brilliant videos…

Suchet B says:

fantastic! I want to get this – Ive got the lumix 12 to 32mm lense – Im also thinking of getting the 14mm to 140mm lense – your video has helped me.

Matthew White says:

at least the prices have come down..

Linda McMullin says:

Hi, David,
Today is May 6, 2016, almost four years after this video, and I’m wondering if you still love this lens and what your thoughts are. Do you find that it stays on your camera most of the time, or are there newer lenses in this range that you use more? Thanks, David, for all your hard work trying to educate us regular folks. I appreciate it a lot.

Yoko Kurama says:

The aperture is always 2.8 and you can’t use anything smaller?

Sonny Brown says:

When did Ramsay Bolton start reviewing lenses?

DoyJimenez says:

David, what do you think about this lens and the 12-40 2.8 olympus for the g85 with the intention of using it for video predominantly..

Emily Lowrey says:

I love this lens. And I love your reviews! I managed to get a fantastic deal. I was a bit clever and sneaky if anyone wants one of these cheap. I found it bundled with an old GH3 for £399! I then sold the GH3 body for £300! Bargain of the century or what?!

Conrad Senior says:

I am surprised you would ditch the 25mm f1.4 Summilux. I love that lens. I’lll have to try one of these.

MuahMan says:

The lack of smoothness in the zooming of this lens is concerning.

John McFarland says:

Off topic, but I like your back “garden”. That tomato plant looks really healthy. At first glance I wondered if that green tarp was covering a hot tub. Ha, ha, ha.

Heis aPilot says:

good video Dave

El Malcri says:

what would it be the right metabones for this lens? NF-M43

Stefan Campbell says:

Can it go to infinity?

Mark Seath says:

Any thoughts on the new panasonic lumix 12 – 35 mm f2.8 mkII ?
I love you mk I on my GX8 .

noorur says:

Why get this when you can get the LX100 ??

Tomáš David says:

Could you please help me what to really check when I will buy this lense used second-hand? thanks!

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