Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm f/2.8 ASPH POWER OIS - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews - (Micro-)Four-Thirds

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published September 2012

Introduction

Micro-Four-Thirds (MFT) is undoubtedly the mirrorless system with the biggest footprint in the market today. However, so far the system focused primarily on consumer- and prosumer-grade products and ignored the professional arena but during the recent months we are seeing indications that this is going to change. Olympus released the popular OM-D camera and a high grade 75mm f/1.8 lens and Panasonic is also placing some bets into the higher end of the market.

In this review we'll have a look at the Panasonic Lumix X 12-35mm f/2.8 ASPH Power OIS - the first fast standard zoom lens of the MFT system. In full format terms the field-of-view is equivalent to 24-70mm. While it is, of course, a f/2.8 lens regarding its speed potential, the depth-of-field capabilities are actually not quite as impressive. In MFT land you are "losing" about 2 f-stops here which obviously reduces the creative potential of the lens quite a bit.

The Panasonic lens is comparatively big within the MFT world but it's still dwarfish compared to similar speed lenses from APS-C or full format systems. Size-wise it felt just right to me for sure. The build quality of the lens is also excellent. Panasonic used high quality materials and while the lens extends upon zooming towards the long end there's no wobbling whatsoever. The lens is also dust-resistant and splash-proof. The two control rings operate smoothly. So we can positively confirm that it fulfills its professional-grade scope here.

The AF of the lens relies on a very fast and near-silent linear stepper motor. We had no issues with AF accuracy during our field tests with the lens. We believe that manual focusing is still by-wire but it doesn't make any difference anymore in terms of feedback: we experienced no delay in the focus feedback. A good ol' focus distance scale on the lens is missing though. The Panasonic lens features a "Power OIS" (Optical Image Stabilizer) which is good enough for an equivalent gain of about 3 f-stops.

Specifications
Equiv. focal length24-70 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/5.6 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction14 elements in 9 groups inc. 4x aspherical, 2x UED, 1x UHR elements
Number of aperture blades7 (circular)
min. focus distance0.25 m
Dimensions (L x W)68 x 74 mm
Weight305 g
Filter size58 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodpetal-shaped, bayonet mount, supplied
Other featuresNano-Coating, Power OIS, weather sealing




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