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Panasonic LUMIX G / GF / GH / GX Series
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Old July 6th, 2012, 06:16 PM   #1
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X Vario 12-35 + GH2: first impressions

Got a wee package from Hong Kong today (courtesy of DigitalRev). I'm evaluating it as a (partial) replacement for my current short gen purpose zoom, the Leica D 14-50/2.8-3.5

- This thing is TINY for a 3:1 f2.8 zoom. About the same size as the Lumix 7-14, or slightly larger overall than your averge legacy 50+adapter. Guess that's what m4/3 gets you.
- very nice build quality, as good if not better than the 14-50; my sample arrived crystal clean, no detectable dust anywhere.
- similarly smooth zoom and focus rings. No "fidgety focus" characteristics like the 14-50 sometimes exhibits. No noticeable breathing.
- AF is fast n silent, but I've never figured out how to get continuous AF to work properly.
- extends with zoom
- Parfocal (or close enough to parfocal that its varifocality isn't noticeable)
- Iris stays constant through the zoom range (no visible adjusting/stepping). Audibly clicks while zooming on my GH2, but is utterly silent on my AF100.
- image looks right nice. Very sharp, good color, good contrast.
- The lens cap is too flashy. You're a lens cap. Control yourself, please.

If I had any letdowns, they'd be:
- price (ooch). But I paid it anyway.
- size. It looks a smidge out of place and is a touch fiddly to handle on a shoulder-and-monitored-up AF. Splendid fit for the GH2, though.
- the tulip lens cap is too tulipy... there are no straight front edges to set the lens down upon

Happy so far, and appetite fully whetted for the forthcoming 35-100/2.8 (which is what I really want & need)

May have a chance to shoot some stuff soon, but I'm not going outside tomorrow if I can help it. I'll post what I can when I can.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 06:26 PM   #2
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Re: X Vario 12-35 + GH2: first impressions

Looking forward to the report and yeah....it's HOT!
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Old July 6th, 2012, 09:01 PM   #3
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Re: X Vario 12-35 + GH2: first impressions

Much appreciate the mini review Kevin. Thank you for pioneering these lenses for us. I'm looking forward to more news on this one.

Stay cool...
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Old July 6th, 2012, 10:04 PM   #4
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Re: X Vario 12-35 + GH2: first impressions

Kevin, could you please post some samples (video and stills)?

D
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Old July 7th, 2012, 02:42 PM   #5
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Re: X Vario 12-35 + GH2: first impressions

I ordered one yesterday =) As far as the 35-100, have you considered using the 12-35 in ETC mode, which would give you a similar range? Personally I don't like ETC because it loses sharpness, but it seems others don't have a problem with it.
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Old July 10th, 2012, 10:54 PM   #6
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Re: X Vario 12-35 + GH2: first impressions

Kevin

Does this lens have power zoom? if so, how well did it perform? Smooth starts & stops? Reasonably good range of speeds?

Thnx
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Old July 11th, 2012, 01:50 AM   #7
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Re: X Vario 12-35 + GH2: first impressions

This one does not have the power zoom.
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Old July 18th, 2012, 05:06 PM   #8
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Re: X Vario 12-35 + GH2: first impressions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin McRoberts View Post
Happy so far, and appetite fully whetted for the forthcoming 35-100/2.8 (which is what I really want & need)
.
Does anyone have any info on the 35-100? I really need that as well! I need a faster tele! I want to get the 70mm Olympus, but a zoom would be much better for run and gun event work.

Angelo
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Old August 15th, 2012, 01:05 AM   #9
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Re: X Vario 12-35 + GH2: first impressions

I have just bought the Panasonic Lumix X Vario 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH Power O.I.S. Yes, there is nirvana. I have been very excited about two new lenses from Panasonic. One of them has been introduced and it is just now becoming available in the US. It has not been left off of the camera. I have to say this is one of the best lenses for video there is for any platform.

Being a video guy who likes to take stills, this lens fills a big gap for me. I have wanted a F2.8, O.I.S. wide lens for shooting video. O.I.S. really combats the shakes and helps eliminate rolling shutter. Being a zoom is a plus, or should I say variable prime. I wanted that on my Canon but never really found it. I liked the EFS 17-55 F2.8 IS but it was large, heavy, not ruggedized or weather sealed. My search is over.

I have to say it has ben worth the wait. This lens will get a lot of use by me. Panasonic pulled out all the stops one this one. It is as good as we thought it might be. What more could you ask for? Some are saying the price is to high, but this is a “luxury” lens like the one from the other guys. Their’s is much bigger, heavier and expensive. What we got for that expense is a lens that bring MicroFourThirds into the big leagues with it professionalism.

I have done a video review of the lens.
No Need To Resist – The Panasonic Lumix X Vario 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH. » FrugalFilmmakers.com
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Old August 15th, 2012, 08:30 PM   #10
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Re: X Vario 12-35 + GH2: first impressions

Getting 12-35 from rental tomorrow for heavy weekend gig.
Very excited to work with this glass.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 02:35 PM   #11
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Re: X Vario 12-35 + GH2: first impressions

Tried one out at a camera store the other day. I liked what I saw.

Cheaper bought locally in Canada than from HK ... not what I expected!

Last edited by Dave Mercer; August 16th, 2012 at 02:48 PM. Reason: Info added
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Old August 17th, 2012, 08:33 PM   #12
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Re: X Vario 12-35 + GH2: first impressions

For those who've used the lens for a few shoots, how's the AF (say compared to the 14-140mm). From my brief tests both the OIS and the AF seems slightly superior, but I'd be curious what those who've had more experience would say ...

Thanks!
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Old August 19th, 2012, 01:39 PM   #13
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Re: X Vario 12-35 + GH2: first impressions

Anyone??????
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Old August 24th, 2012, 11:44 PM   #14
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Re: X Vario 12-35 + GH2: first impressions

I've had the lens for 3 full days of work and tried autofocus only during last day outdoor shoot.
It wasn't bad for the guy who's spoiled by Sony's autofocus. A bit noisy, but that could be considered as it's charm.
I was happy with the lens and cannot believe that I'm not going to use it on my next shoot!
OIS is definitely great.
Check out the video with right side mid/closup/low angle camera for X Vario 12-35 + GH2 performance
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Old August 25th, 2012, 12:01 AM   #15
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Re: X Vario 12-35 + GH2: first impressions

Here is the Clallam County Fair shot with the 12-35mm.

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