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Andrew Reid

First review of the GH3's kit lens? Panasonic 12-35mm GX Vario F2.8

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[img]http://www.eoshd.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/panasonic-12-35mm.jpg[/img]

The weather sealed 12-35mm is Panasonic’s new top of the range Lumix zoom with a constant F2.8 aperture. It’s also the lens most likely to be offered with the (also expected to be weather sealed) GH3. Panasonic have taken a huge step with build quality on this lens and I’m expecting the GH3 to be a big improvement in this area as well.

DSLR Magazine have taken a look at the new lens, and here’s my view on it.

[url="http://www.eoshd.com/content/8125/first-review-of-the-gh3s-kit-lens-panasonic-12-35mm-gx-vario-f2-8/"]Read full article[/url]

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Definitely a solid option from panasonic, I'm happy to see them giving competition to the olympus f2, but I feel that it is just a LITTLE high of a price tag. Yes it is still 300$ cheaper than a canon 24-70, but the depth of field equivalent on a m43 system will be f5.6 (no?)

If panasonic decides to price it at 1,000 flat, I would say it would be a must have for everyone with a m43 system. But at 1200$ I'm not sure a f2.8 is worth it for everyone. Event shooters? go ahead, sure. Narrative filmmakers? I would hold off.

Thanks for the report, Andrew.  :)

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Price is quite high.  Lots of comparisons to the price of Canon/Nikon 24-70's, but the 17-5x 2.8's for APS-C are a more level playing field.  In that realm, Canon, Sony, Sigma, and Tamron undercut the Panasonic in price by a significant margin.

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[quote]12-50mm F2 would have been really attractive[/quote]

Yes, that range and speed would have been the optical equivalent of Canon's 24-105 4.0 on a FF sensor; unfortunately, with only a 3X range and only a 2.8 the panasonic still doesn't compete well enough with what you can get other formats. But I guess we'll see what the GH3 has to offer... maybe it will all be justified somehow. Just to note however, that with this lens the GH2/3 is now a 2000 euro camera system, which also puts it in a different sphere of competition

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Andrew, when you wrote that the panasonic lenses have "a continuously variable iris (again for video)" do you mean that the iris compensates as you zoom in (jumping in ca. 1/3 stop increments) or that it seamlessly compensates like on a video camera? My 14-140 has some annoying density shifts as I zoom. Is there a way to get rid of that (besides buying this 12-35 f2.8 lens)? Thanks.

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A zoom lens that features constant aperture means that it doesn't change the initial aperture setting when zooms in or out, like the Lumix 14-140 and the Tokina 11-16mm do, which in video becomes a nightmare in post during color grading.

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I'd really like to know if it's parfocal; that is, you can zoom in and focus and then the focus is maintained when you zoom out. Does anyone know? None of the reviews I've read say anything about this issue. I do a lot of event video and being able to lock focus and not worry about refocusing every time I zoom would be really nice..

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[quote author=Andrew Reid link=topic=758.msg5530#msg5530 date=1337559659]
<p><img class=\"alignnone size-full wp-image-8126\" title=\"Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8\" src=\"http://www.eoshd.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/panasonic-12-35mm.jpg
[/quote]

The idea of an f2.0 of this is not in keeping with m4/3rds.  It would be a relatively large and heavy lens and would cost about $2500-$3000.  A waste of time aiming it at the people who buy m4/3rds.  The Olympus 14-35mm f2.0 probably sold in very small numbers to hard-core enthusiasts and a handful of pros who used the E-3/E-5 DSLR.

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Hi Andrew or anyone else who can chime in, I'm wondering what do you think of this lens in terms of narrative filmmaking? I've been buying old lenses for their "look" and "feel". I'm wondering if this new lens would be too sterile or clinical for narrative work? Does it have some kind of character? What do you guys think? Thanks

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[quote name='psoetio' timestamp='1338142613' post='12330']
I'd really like to know if it's parfocal;
[/quote]
That was my first thought especially when comparing the lens to cheaper APS-C lenses like the Canon 17-55 2.8 which is NOT parfocal.
Looking at this video
[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=oc-gaNRL4ZU[/media]
I´d say the Pana is parfocal and a winner for doing ENG style work. Wouldn´t mind to pay 500$ more to make my canon parfocal, so the Pana´s price doesn´t shock me.

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