Panasonic Lumix G X VARIO 35-100mm f/2.8 Power OIS - Review / Test Report
Lens Reviews -
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published October 2013
Micro-Four-Thirds (MFT) may offer the most extensive mirrorless lens system but even so it has one significant shortcoming - professional-grade MFT tele-zoom lenses are rare. Very rare. Essentially, ambitious users have the choice between ... well ... one lens - the Panasonic Lumix G X 35-100mm f/2.8 Power OIS (Note: Olympus is going to release a 40-150mm f/2.8 in 2014). Now while this simplifies your purchasing options quite a bit, it is still interesting to have a deeper look, of course. :-)
In full format terms, it offers a "70-200mm" range with a f/2.8 speed but depth-of-field capabilities equivalent to "f/5.6". A pricing of more than a grand (US$/EUR) may feel a bit steep when thinking about it.
Typical for the MFT lenses, the Panasonic lens is surprisingly compact with a constant length of merely 10cm and a weight of just 360g. The build quality is excellent thanks to a tightly assembled combination of high quality plastic and, primarily, metal parts. The broad zoom and focus control rings operate exceptionally even and smoothly - the rubberized zoom ring collects dust like hell though as you can also see in the product image below. That being said, the lens is sealed against dust and also splash-proof.
The AF of the lens is based on a fast and virtually silent linear stepper motor. Typical for a system relying on contrast-detection AF, there were no issues with AF accuracy during our field tests. Manual focusing is still "by-wire" - thus you operate the AF by turning the focus ring - but the implementation is so good in terms of focus feedback that it doesn't make any difference anymore. A focus-distance scale is missing but then you usually got one on your display/viewfinder anyway. The Panasonic lens features a "Power OIS" (Optical Image Stabilizer) which can give you an extra potential of about 3 f-stops.
|Equiv. focal length||"70-200mm" (full format equivalent)|
|Equiv. aperture||"f/5.6" (full format equivalent in terms of depth-of-field)|
|Optical construction||18 elements in 13 groups inc. 1xUED & 2xED elements|
|Number of aperture blades||7 (circular)|
|min. focus distance||0.85m (max. magnification: 1:10)|
|Dimensions (L x W)||67x100mm|
|Filter size||58mm (non-rotating)|
|Hood||barrel-shaped, bayonet mount, supplied|
|Other features||Nano-Coating, Power OIS, weather sealing|