Review: Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8
I recently tested the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 “normal” zoom, which is undoubtedly one of the best zoom lenses in the Micro FourThirds category. Creating interesting novelty, this model is the first Micro Four Thirds ”normal” zoom lens that features a constant aperture throughout the zoom range.
I was curious to investigate how the lens serves users in various shooting situations, and so after a reasonably long test period I can now report my findings. This article is divided into four parts: the first deals with the general touch and feel of the lens; the second part focuses on the image stabilizer functionality; the fourth part examines the image quality and the fourth part ties everything together, along with a photo gallery.
Contents of the article
What strikes the new user immediately is that this is no ordinary zoom lens, because the finish and workmanship differs considerably from consumer priced zoom lenses, so much so that it can be considered a professional grade lens. As the ”Made In Japan” label implies, the cheapest factories have not been used when manufacturing this lens. As is typical for Panasonic lenses, this one also comes with a lens hood and a pouch. The overall quality even exceeds that of the Panasonic Leica 25 mm f/1.4 and the Olympus 12mm f/2, both of which I have used for some time now on an every day basis.
The lens feels quite heavy and large. But since the Panasonic GH2 itself is quite large, the camera and lens fits in a balanced form. With a smaller camera, however, it (the 12-35 f/2.8) certainly seems unreasonably large and a pocketable camera is of no use unless the lens is of the same caliber.
Panasonic Lumix GX Vario 12-35 f/2.8 also feels like a high quality lens when taking pictures or shooting video with it. Autofocus operates quietly and efficiently, and there are no autofocus issues under normal conditions. During the test, I ran into some problems in a dimly lit conditions with low-contrast subjects. In those situations, the autofocus would have been a challenge for any camera. Since I tested the lens for the most part with GH2, it may be that the camera body was at least partially to blame for the success. The built-in optical stabilizer (O.I.S.) helps a lot in both still photography and video shooting situations.