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Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph. Power O.I.S. Review

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph. Power O.I.S. Review - John Riley reviews the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 Micro Four Thirds lens, giving a 24-120mm equivalent.

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Category : Interchangeable Lenses
Product : Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH.
Price : BUY NOW£359
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Handling and Features
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Lumix 12 60mm Front Oblique View

The arsenal of Micro Four Thirds (MFT) lenses increases even more with the addition of Panasonic's Lumix 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 Aspherical Power OIS optic, a compact and potentially very versatile 35mm-equivalent of 24-120mm. This could be the lens that is ideal for travel and other general purpose photography, so time to see if it lives up to expectations.

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph. Handling and Features

Lumix 12 60mm On Panasonic Gx8 At 12mm

We have 11 elements in 9 groups, including three aspherical and one ED (extra low dispersion) elements. The diaphragm has 7 blades. A compact and light lens, weighing only 210g, the Lumix has internal focusing so only the zoom action changes the length of the lens. The front element does not rotate, so use of polarising and graduated filters is more convenient. There is a bayonet lens hood provided, not overly large but still effective. The lens has a 58mm filter thread.

Minimum focusing distance is a usefully close 0.2m (0.66 feet) at the widest angle and 0.25m (0.82 feet) at the longest. The magnifications are 0.27x and 0.54x respectively.

It is almost becoming an expectation that lenses will be weather resistant to some degree, and the Lumix is described as splash and dust proof. With a travel lens, the ability to face all weathers is not to be underestimated. Likewise, image stabilisation is more and more universal. Panasonic offer Dual IS with the GX8 body as supplied for this review, and in any event Power OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) via the lens only.

Lumix 12 60mm Top View With Lens Hood

The focusing motor is very fast and the lens locked on every time, with no evidence of hesitation or hunting. The IS systems do not seem to cause any perceptible delay to the shooting speed.

There are few controls on the lens, just the usual rings for zooming and manual focus. The latter seems rather redundant as the AF system is so crisp in its operation.

The lens is very compact and balances well on the Lumix GX8. It is substantially manufactured in high-quality plastics, which also assists in keeping the weight down. This is definitely a lens that is a pleasure to use.

 

Lumix 12 60mm Rear Oblique View

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph. Performance

The behaviour of a zoom lens is complex and there are undeniably compromises that have to be made, especially with a compact lens. In this instance, performance seems to be biased towards the centre of the frame, right across the zoom range. Flare is hardly visible at all, a very commendable result.


 

 
MTF At 12mm (2nd)
MTF At 12mm (2nd)

How to read our charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges. 

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution as LW/PH and is described in detail above. The taller the column, the better the lens performance. 

For this review, the lens was tested on a Panasonic Lumix GX8 using Imatest.

 

At 12mm, distortion measures -1.45% barrel. Barrel distortion, the bending outwards of straight lines, is to be expected in wide angle lenses and for a compact zoom this result is excellent. CA at the centre is very well controlled, less so at the edges, but still rather impressive.  


 

 
CA At 12mm (2nd)
CA At 12mm (2nd)
 

How to read our charts

Chromatic aberration is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimise the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Panasonic Lumix GX8 using Imatest.

Sharpness at 12mm is outstanding centrally, from open aperture through to f/5.6. It is excellent at f/8 and f/11 and still very good at f/16, falling to only fair at f/22. The edges are not quite the same high standard, very good from f/3.5 to f/8, good at f/11 and fair at f/16 and f/22.

MTF At 18mm (2nd)
CA At 18mm (2nd)
MTF At 18mm (2nd) CA At 18mm (2nd)


At 18mm we find +0.543% pincushion distortion, the bending inwards of straight lines, but this figure is very low and in practical terms of little significance. CA continues to be very well under control, particularly at the centre.

Central sharpness at 18mm is excellent from open aperture to f/11, very good at f/16 and fair at f/22. The edges are very good from open aperture to f/8, good at f/11 and just fair at f/16 and f/22.

MTF At 25mm (2nd) CA At 25mm (2nd)
MTF At 25mm (2nd) CA At 25mm (2nd)

 

At 25mm we see +0.444% pincushion distortion, another impressively low figure. CA likewise is still firmly under control and will not be a problem.

25mm sees excellent central sharpness from open aperture to f/8, very good at f/11 and f/16 and dropping to fair at f/22. The edges are very good at f/4 through to f/11, but only fair at f/16 and f/22.

 

MTF At 40mm (2nd) CA At 40mm (2nd)
MTF At 40mm (2nd) CA At 40mm (2nd)


At 40mm we have +0.0804% pincushion distortion, plus CA figures that are so low as to be very creditable for a compact zoom lens, indeed for any lens. This is a remarkable degree of correction.

40mm central sharpness is again very good from open aperture to f/11, good at f/16 and fair at f/22. The edges are not far behind off, being very good at f/5.6 to f/11, good at f/16 and fair at f/22.  

MTF At 60mm (2nd) Panasonic 12 60mm CA At 60mm
MTF At 60mm (2nd) CA At 60mm (2nd)

 

60mm still keeps the distortion well under control, measuring +0.0518% pincushion. CA is virtually non-existent, again as before.

60mm sharpness is very good centre and edge from f/5.6 to f/11, good at f/16 and fair at f/22. Centre and edge have become much more even as we move to the longest telephoto setting.

In summary, the lens starts off very strongly at the wider angles, slowly reducing in sharpness as we zoom. The edges never equal the centre, but become more evenly matched as we approach 60mm. At the widest angle, the central sharpness is outstanding. The low distortion and CA figures are remarkable.

The IS system seems to offer around 2-3 stops advantage, enabling the use of slower shutter speeds than would otherwise be the case. As the light fails this will mean sharper shots, something that is becoming essential for travel shooting.

The bokeh of the lens is perhaps slightly fussy, but it is not surprising with just 7 diaphragm blades. It is certainly not unpleasant and the slightly softer telephoto images will lens themselves well to giving pleasing out of focus areas. This could be where the portrait photographers will find some highly effective effects.

 

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH. Sample Photos

Value For Money

The Panasonic Lumix 12-60mm does seem to slot into a new niche for MFT photographers. At £359, that seems a very fair price.

The nearest equivalent might be the Olympus 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 Zuiko Digital ED EZ, priced at £279. However, this is not as long a telephoto, nor is the aperture as fast at the long end.

Other marques do have their own offerings, and just to put it into perspective, the Nikon 24-120mm f/4 G AF-S ED VR costs £849. All the other close alternatives that start at 24mm are not as long at the telephoto end.

So, for now at least, Panasonic seem to have the only MFT lens in its class. For more options have a look at the Top 7 Best Panasonic Lenses.

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph. Verdict

The Panasonic Lumix 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph Power OIS lens is not perfect, but it has some remarkable properties and is incredibly versatile. The low levels of distortion and CA are truly impressive and overall central sharpness is of a high standard, starting off as outstanding.  .

Lenses have different applications and this Lumix seems an ideal light, compact travel lens that will deliver the goods over a wide range of subject matter.

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph. Pros

Very low distortion
Well controlled CA
High central sharpness
Fast and accurate AF
Compact and light
Good flare resistance
Weather resistance

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph. Cons

Edges softer
Slightly busy bokeh
First sample lens supplied was below par

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

The Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 is a good quality, compact and light lens perfect for travel and general photography.

 

Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH. Specifications

ManufacturerPanasonic
General
Lens Mounts
  • Panasonic Micro Four Thirds
  • Olympus Micro Four Thirds
Lens
Focal Length12mm - 60mm
Angle of View20.44 - 84.05
Max Aperturef/3.5 - f/5.6
Min Aperturef/22
Filter Size58mm
StabilisedYes
35mm equivalent24mm - 120mm
Internal focusingNo Data
Maximum magnification0.27x
Focusing
Min Focus20cm
Construction
Blades7
Elements11
Groups9
Box Contents
Box ContentsLens cap, Lens rear cap, Lens hood, Lens storage bag
Dimensions
Weight210g
Height71mm

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Comments


srh 13 47 1 United Kingdom
4 May 2016 11:29AM
Bit disappointed with reviewed performance, particularly edge performance. Hhhmmm, not sure what to do now with my preorder:-(

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ChrisV Plus
10 1.7k 26 United Kingdom
4 May 2016 11:31AM
It may lose out slightly at the shorter end [by 2/4mm equ.] but I wonder how this lens stacks up in performance against Panasonic's own 14-140II? Considering the current price points I can't see a compelling reason to choose the 12-60 over it unless that extra bit of wide is critical, or it trounces the longer zoom by a clear margin optically - and that doesn't look to be the case.
SlowSong Plus
8 6.9k 29 England
4 May 2016 12:04PM
I think it's worth a look. Smaller and lighter than the 14-140. Could make a good kit lens and be more useful than the 14-42. Will pop into Park next week and try it.
srh 13 47 1 United Kingdom
4 May 2016 2:45PM
The more I look at the sharpness charts the less sense they make to me. Has Panasonic ever released a lens with performance (sharpness) data that low? The summary at the bottom of the review also does not match what the charts look to say in relation to sharpness. I'm struggling to understand why this lens would so poor compared to everything else that Pannasonic has released in recent times Sad
4 May 2016 6:02PM
The perceived sharpness is better than the figures would suggest because the contrast is quite high. This gives, bright, sharp looking images that will pass muster for many applications. The MTF50 figures given, and this is a measure of resolution really, not sharpness, tells us how much fine detail is present, but of course it's not the full story. I have lenses that I use that have quite low MTF50 performance, but actually look pleasantly gritty because the MTF20 results would be very high.

This lens has some exceptional performance results, but falls down on fine detail at the longer end and the edges. As a compact travel lens it would, I think, serve very well.
lemmy 10 2.7k United Kingdom
4 May 2016 7:09PM
I'm astonished to see a lens of thua quality being released by Panasonic. Something amiss here, I think.
srh 13 47 1 United Kingdom
4 May 2016 8:28PM

Quote:I'm astonished to see a lens of thua quality being released by Panasonic. Something amiss here, I think.


I agree Lemmy. The test results just look odd to me.
srh 13 47 1 United Kingdom
4 May 2016 8:32PM

Quote:The perceived sharpness is better than the figures would suggest because the contrast is quite high. This gives, bright, sharp looking images that will pass muster for many applications. The MTF50 figures given, and this is a measure of resolution really, not sharpness, tells us how much fine detail is present, but of course it's not the full story. I have lenses that I use that have quite low MTF50 performance, but actually look pleasantly gritty because the MTF20 results would be very high.

This lens has some exceptional performance results, but falls down on fine detail at the longer end and the edges. As a compact travel lens it would, I think, serve very well.



I don't know John, the test results just look very odd and completely at odds with the other lenses Panasonic has been releasing of late.
4 May 2016 10:56PM
The way it works is that several runs are done, and when the results of all the runs are pretty much saying exactly the same we have to accept the result. History is littered with examples of scientists only finding what they expect to find and ignoring unwanted results. Of course it's always possible to get a sub-standard or even a better than average sample and lens measurements are only made with one lens. This is a weakness, but the alternative would be horrendous in terms of cost and time. As it is I opted to run each marked focal length, making for quite a lot of data to process and present.
lemmy 10 2.7k United Kingdom
5 May 2016 12:00AM
No one is questioning the test or testing. If this lens is representative of the production item, it is below modern expectations and will find few buyers.

What I am baffled by is the justification of such a below par offering. To say that its poor long end performance would be useful for portrait photographers is like saying that a lens with heavy pincushion distortion would be handy for architectural photographers of medieval buildings where settlement had caused barreling of the window and door frames.

A lenses job is to provide as accurate and sharp a result as posssible. If a photographer wishes to degarde that for artistic purposes, that is for him to do, not the lens to decide.

I bow to no-one in my respect for Panasonic's optical technology. They are second to no-one. But however far backwards one bends to make this lens perfomance acceptable, it is not. I simply don't believe that this is the lens that Panasonic intended to make.

They make with their 14-140 superzoom one of the best ever lenses of its type. It is hard to believe that this comes from the same stable.
5 May 2016 12:32AM
I understand lemmy. What I was trying to express was that every lens has characteristics, and sometimes even defects can be taken advantage of. A typical example that you will be familiar with is the Pentax 18-135mm, a lens heavily criticised by many reviewers for its technical performance, and yet very popular with photographers for its gritty qualities. This is a classic example of low MTF50 scores and high MTF20 scores, not dissimilar to this Panasonic, although let's be fair to it, it's only the long end where it dips significantly. Unfortunately we don't have MTF20 for this lens, but judging from the general behaviour of it I can deduce that these figures would be quite high values. That was my rationale anyway.
themak 3 962 Scotland
5 May 2016 12:38AM
From the sample photos, the one of the Indian restaurant facade is the only one shot near wide open. By the charts the edges, and presumably more so the corners , should be a long way behind the centre. I'm not seeing that at all.
srh 13 47 1 United Kingdom
5 May 2016 7:36AM

Quote:The way it works is that several runs are done, and when the results of all the runs are pretty much saying exactly the same we have to accept the result. History is littered with examples of scientists only finding what they expect to find and ignoring unwanted results. Of course it's always possible to get a sub-standard or even a better than average sample and lens measurements are only made with one lens. This is a weakness, but the alternative would be horrendous in terms of cost and time. As it is I opted to run each marked focal length, making for quite a lot of data to process and present.


John, thank you for taking the time to explain your testing methodology. As a chemical engineer, I understand the need for rigorous testing and to listen to what the test results are telling you. I still just can't get over the fact that the performance of this lens is so far from that of other Panasonic lenses. I also do agree with Lemmy's comments about the mismatch between the test results and the summary conclusion and 'recommended' rating at the end of the review.

I have this lens of pre-order at the moment. I'll wait until I get the call to say it's come into stock before making a decision on whether to cancel or not, and hope that there's some other reviews published over the next few days so I can compare them to this one. However, on the strength of your findings, I'll have no choice but to cancel my order as it stands, which is a real shame.
5 May 2016 8:53AM
If you fancy the lens, I would also look out for more reviews. Part of the progress we hoped to make in the reviews was to actually show the figures in the graphs, thus making it possible to compare with similar reviews elsewhere. Then we can see more than one sample of the lens being tested. It's not perfect either as a principle as the figures will change depending on the camera body chosen, but also different operators may have slightly different methodologies. I think one of the useful things that does come out of it though is the opportunity to have a discourse after the review and actually explore any issues. This is not possible with a printed magazine, for example, as any response is limited to the next issue's letter page, possibly followed by a dismissive reply and then that's that.

It is of course a review, not a lab test as such, and there are many more things about any lens than the bald MTF results. I quoted the Pentax 18-135mm as an example, a very fine lens that I'd recommend without hesitation, but the MTF50 figures are not impressive. What it does have is that elusive "character" that can make a lens the one we reach for by choice. Many of the classic lenses from the past might well have very poor MTF results, or not, perhaps something that would be worth checking out.

I'd be very interested if you bought the lens after all to see what you thought about it in use, and whether it was better or worse than the sample I had here.
5 May 2016 9:03AM
Test results are really very poor for a modern lens, esp at the tele end, and the shot of the pub taken at 50mm 1/500 f/5.6 seems to confirm this. It looks quite blurry - almost like there might be a problem with the OIS. Maybe the body has a shutter shock problem?

This is a real shame - I wanted this lens - the range is ideal for me - but now there's no way I'd buy it. The 12-32, 12-35, or 12-50 are better choices.

How can they justify 360 quid for this lemon?
5 May 2016 10:58AM
I know this is a big ask - but you might try testing the lens at the long end with IS and OIS turned off, mounted on a tripod, and several shutter speeds.

I see in the photo of the lens mount that it is made in China so you might have a bad sample. Zeiss abandoned efforts to make lenses in China many years ago (Google the 16-80 they made for Sony a-mount).
dannyr 7 46 United Kingdom
5 May 2016 11:18AM
I never expected the lens to be a stella performer, as long as it out preformed the Olympus 12-50 I would have been happy. But just not sure right now.

I've always had this pointless theory as to why we don't have many of these types of lenses in the MFT catalogue.

Back in the good old four thirds days Olympus released the wonderful 14-54 f2.8-3.5, and every single person I knew who had an Olympus camera bought it and well pretty much didn't need to buy many more lenses because it was just so versatile!

I've always thought Olympus/Panasonic just didn't want to release a lens like the 14-54 again as they are worried people will just buy the one lens and wont bother buying anything else (And they make a lot of money through lens sells!).
So they crippled down the 12-50 & 12-60 to a point they are useful but not great.

Well that's my theory, and if you will excuse me I need to put my tin hat back on just in case Elvis comes down in his spaceship and try's to kidnap me again.


5 May 2016 12:38PM

Quote:I know this is a big ask - but you might try testing the lens at the long end with IS and OIS turned off, mounted on a tripod, and several shutter speeds.


That's the way it was done. Sturdy tripod, very careful alignment, several passes, refocusing accurately for every shot, all shake reduction switched off, mirror up for applicable cameras. The field shots depend on circumstances, but are more "real world" so may or may not be tripod mounted. Sometimes the weather dictates.
5 May 2016 1:43PM

Quote:
Quote:I know this is a big ask - but you might try testing the lens at the long end with IS and OIS turned off, mounted on a tripod, and several shutter speeds.
Thanks for the reply. In that case the only reasonable hope is that you got a bad sample but that seems unlikely. It's a real shame. I won't be buying it and next body I buy will be specifically for a good quality 24-120ish so that won't be m43.

That's the way it was done. Sturdy tripod, very careful alignment, several passes, refocusing accurately for every shot, all shake reduction switched off, mirror up for applicable cameras. The field shots depend on circumstances, but are more "real world" so may or may not be tripod mounted. Sometimes the weather dictates.

srh 13 47 1 United Kingdom
5 May 2016 2:39PM
Well, I've just had the Email to say my lens has come into stock. I had hoped that wouldn't happen for a few more days until other reviews had started to appear online.

I really am torn with what to do - just cancel my order, or actually take delivery and test it for myself given how far from the mark the performance as tested is from every other Panasonic lens released recently. Funds are tight, and I just can't get myself stuck with a lemon :-(, but on paper the lens is exactly what I want.
6 May 2016 3:06AM
294469_1462501225.jpg



I would wait. The test charts Panasonic provide on their website show better performance than this test - suggesting they might have a quality control problem at their China factory. I wonder if ePhotozine have contacted Panasonic about this.
joshwa Plus
6 817 United Kingdom
6 May 2016 6:00AM
Hi Tom,

We have contacted Panasonic, and they are sending another sample lens, which we will be testing ASAP.

Thanks
Josh
srh 13 47 1 United Kingdom
6 May 2016 7:00AM

Quote:Hi Tom,

We have contacted Panasonic, and they are sending another sample lens, which we will be testing ASAP.

Thanks
Josh



That's excellent news Josh. I have a few days before I have to decide one way or the other about my preorder so hopefully you can get the lens and test it quickly Smile
lemmy 10 2.7k United Kingdom
6 May 2016 11:30AM
I'd like to make it clear to John that I was not criticizing his test in any way nor suggesting the lens was a one off. I am immensely practical in my choice of lenses and sharpness is far from my only criterion but when a lens's performance has to be justified, there is something wrong.
6 May 2016 11:37AM

Quote:Hi Tom,

We have contacted Panasonic, and they are sending another sample lens, which we will be testing ASAP.

Thanks
Josh



Thanks. I honestly hope the first lens turns out to be a duff example because I would love the 12-60 to be as good as Panasonic's charts suggest.
6 May 2016 11:50AM
Hopefully I'll have delivery on Monday, but it will take a short while to run the tests.
ChrisV Plus
10 1.7k 26 United Kingdom
6 May 2016 12:10PM

Quote:
Quote:Hi Tom,

We have contacted Panasonic, and they are sending another sample lens, which we will be testing ASAP.

Thanks
Josh



That's excellent news Josh. I have a few days before I have to decide one way or the other about my preorder so hopefully you can get the lens and test it quickly Smile



Is there any reason you would much prefer this to the 14-140? I know it isn't weather-sealed and it is obviously a bit larger and loses a bit at the wide end, but it's by no means a large lens and as Lemmy says, it's an excellent performer. It's the best 'super-zoom' type lens I've ever used and the street price is only [now] very marginally more than the 12-60. Even if it was a more reasonable performer I can't see where this lens fits except as a replacement for the standard kit zoom - and the price doesn't suggest that at all.
srh 13 47 1 United Kingdom
6 May 2016 12:37PM
Weather sealing and 12mm vs 14mm. Simple as that.
lemmy 10 2.7k United Kingdom
6 May 2016 12:59PM
The weather sealing would only make sense on a weather sealed body, the GX8 or GH4 of course.

Like Chris, I personally wouldn't trade the 140mm reach of the 14-140 for the extra 2mm at the wide end but it's all tradeoffs in the end. As a travel lens, the 14-140 is unmatched, I think.
6 May 2016 1:13PM
I have used a lot of different gear over the years and I've found that what matters most is how good the images are and how often I'm switching lenses. It depends on how much gear I plan to carry, what range of perspectives I like, and what my standards are. Test every lens and if you like the images, be happy. 10x zooms are fantastic but generally lack strong biting contrast compared to a 5x so in theory I prefer 5x as they are still very convenient. 3x are usually better but also a lot less convenient. Sadly, this doesn't appear to be the case here and the lens just isn't a good option - still hoping that's not the case. However, I was hoping that this could pair with the 45-150 to give superior images to the 14-140 overall and give the wider end I need for close-in perspectives, landscapes, architecture and interiors. Two zooms is still convenient enough for me. Anyway, each to their own. If you like the 14-140 then this lens is irrelevant and the 9-18 would surely be more useful.
6 May 2016 1:31PM
Must have been a bad copy. Look at another review:
http://www.photographyblog.com/previews/panasonic_lumix_g_vario_12_60mm_f3_5_5_6_asph_power_ois_photos/
It is not a Leica quality lens, but for me perfect for travel with good enough IQ.
srh 13 47 1 United Kingdom
6 May 2016 1:44PM

Quote:The weather sealing would only make sense on a weather sealed body, the GX8 or GH4 of course.

Like Chris, I personally wouldn't trade the 140mm reach of the 14-140 for the extra 2mm at the wide end but it's all tradeoffs in the end. As a travel lens, the 14-140 is unmatched, I think.



I'm a GX8 user Smile. I had hoped / am hoping that this lens would be good enough at the wide end to use for landscape work otherwise you're right, the 14-140mm does perhaps give more flexibility.
lemmy 10 2.7k United Kingdom
6 May 2016 5:59PM

Quote:10x zooms are fantastic but generally lack strong biting contrast
Not the 14-140mm, though. That's why I always recommend it as a kit lens to friends. I normally use it wide open at all focal lengths since the sharpness and contrast are, for practical purposes the same high quality at every focal length .

Take a look at ePz's test here . I've never come across a super zoom with hardly any compromise before and like ChrisV can't see how Panansonic could make one lens so good and a simpler one so poor. In terms of IQ, at f/5.6 it matches the 35-100 f/2/8 at the same aperture.

I'm no protagonist for this or any other lens but when one is so exceptional it should be tried before being dismissed.
7 May 2016 2:40AM
Yes, it is very good, no question about that, but that's not why I prefer a 12-60 - 14 is not wide enough for me so I'll still need to carry a second zoom. With a 14-140 and say 9-18, I know I'll be changing lenses more often than a 12-60 + 45-150. I tried a 12-24 + 18-200 after a 24-135 and went back to 24-135 so I really do know my own shooting habits and preferences. As I said, each to their own. I'm happy you love the 14-140 but it doesn't mean I'd love it too. What I'd really go bonkers for is an 11-55 - so much perspective control....
Very interesting in this one but I CANNOT check the sample photos. Why? How Can I check them? Is there a hidden link or what? Please help me, thank you so much!
PLUS, I think this lenses is bit expensive right now.
7 May 2016 3:15AM

Quote:Must have been a bad copy. Look at another review:
http://www.photographyblog.com/previews/panasonic_lumix_g_vario_12_60mm_f3_5_5_6_asph_power_ois_photos/
It is not a Leica quality lens, but for me perfect for travel with good enough IQ.


There is one lens test shot of the London skyline with the Gerkin on the right - shot at 60mm 1/1300 f/5.6 that is useful. If you look at the roof tiles in the lower centre that run to the left side, you'll see how the sharpness rolls off to blur. Obviously that's MUCH better than the sample here but it's worse than the 45-150 for example.
lemmy 10 2.7k United Kingdom
7 May 2016 10:01AM

Quote:, I know I'll be changing lenses more often than a 12-60 + 45-150.
I wasn't trying to persuade you - none of my business. One of my best ever buys was a lens that I had dismissed because if what I'd read about it but a friend lent me his and I changed my view.

I team my 14-140 up with the 7-14mm f/4 if I want to cover almost everything. For more ambitious stuff, one of the miracles of Micro Four Thirds is one bag with 2 bodies, 7-14, 12-40, 40-150 and 1.4x converter. In my Nikon days I'd hardly have been able to lift that lot let alone sling it on my back and cycle 20 miles.
8 May 2016 5:10PM

Quote:Must have been a bad copy. Look at another review:
http://www.photographyblog.com/previews/panasonic_lumix_g_vario_12_60mm_f3_5_5_6_asph_power_ois_photos/
It is not a Leica quality lens, but for me perfect for travel with good enough IQ.

Had a longer look through those images. Their sample is decentered to the upper right. 2 out of 2 samples are no good. Yikes.
dannyr 7 46 United Kingdom
9 May 2016 9:45AM

Quote:Must have been a bad copy. Look at another review:
http://www.photographyblog.com/previews/panasonic_lumix_g_vario_12_60mm_f3_5_5_6_asph_power_ois_photos/
It is not a Leica quality lens, but for me perfect for travel with good enough IQ.



Lots of people complain about Photographyblogs photos as they are usually just casual street shots around London. But that's why I like them, as I take nothing but casual street shots around London Grin

But I would take the Photographyblog reviews stars with a pinch of salt. They wouldn't give bad marks to camera shaped turd Sad
lemmy 10 2.7k United Kingdom
9 May 2016 12:50PM

Quote:They wouldn't give bad marks to camera shaped turd
Without the willingness to say when something is bad, reviews have no value.
9 May 2016 10:46PM
The replacement lens has arrived, so in the morning it is first on my list of things to do. Will report back ASAP.
10 May 2016 12:30AM
Quote:The replacement lens has arrived, so in the morning it is first on my list of things to do. Will report back ASAP.

Looking forward to it. Though prepared for the worst.
10 May 2016 2:09AM
and maybe try electronic shutter for a while? just in case there might be shutter shock
srh 13 47 1 United Kingdom
10 May 2016 5:37AM

Quote:The replacement lens has arrived, so in the morning it is first on my list of things to do. Will report back ASAP.


Thanks for the update John. I'm still hanging on with my preorder, so looking forward to hearing how it performs. Simon.
10 May 2016 9:29AM

Quote:
Quote:The replacement lens has arrived, so in the morning it is first on my list of things to do. Will report back ASAP.


Thanks for the update John. I'm still hanging on with my preorder, so looking forward to hearing how it performs. Simon.



It's great you're willing to test another sample. Sadly, I doubt it is going to be any good. The samples on Photography Blog are very soft at the tele end and it is slightly de-centred too.Check out this one 294469_1462868923.jpg



I'm wondering if Panasonic will be doing a recall. I doubt it.
SlowSong Plus
8 6.9k 29 England
10 May 2016 11:14AM
Gosh, that does look poor. What a shame. Interested to see what the replacement is like, but if the above photo is from another blog then it'd be coincidence if both lenses were faulty.

Sorry, to go off topic for a moment:-
@ Lemmy. I've got the older version of the 14-140 but reading various reviews this appears to give a better IQ than the later, faster lens which you tested. Have you tried out both versions? Weight and size are my main reasons for changing version, but if they are the only advantages I don't think it's worth it. Any thoughts?
10 May 2016 1:26PM
Well, I've just uploaded all the revised technical info for the replacement lens, so hopefully it will appear soon as a revised review. In very brief summary, the lens was very much better and at the widest end the central sharpness was outstanding. It was stronger all round, basically still weaker at the edges, but all at a much higher level. In other words, the pattern is the same, but better. Let me know what you think of the revised charts when they appear?
joshwa Plus
6 817 United Kingdom
10 May 2016 1:51PM
Updated the review.
dannyr 7 46 United Kingdom
10 May 2016 2:03PM

Quote:In very brief summary, the lens was very much better and at the widest end the central sharpness was outstanding. It was stronger all round, basically still weaker at the edges, but all at a much higher level. In other words, the pattern is the same, but better.


Glad to hear the first one was just a lemon and its not really a terrible lens Smile
Hopefully its not a sign of poor manufacturing quality, but just an unlucky one off.
10 May 2016 2:16PM

Quote:Well, I've just uploaded all the revised technical info for the replacement lens, so hopefully it will appear soon as a revised review. In very brief summary, the lens was very much better and at the widest end the central sharpness was outstanding. It was stronger all round, basically still weaker at the edges, but all at a much higher level. In other words, the pattern is the same, but better. Let me know what you think of the revised charts when they appear?


Definitely much better results - thank you for testing another lens all over again - looks acceptable but perhaps not at the current price. Honestly though, I'm concerned about quality control so perhaps I'll see if I can find a good example after the price comes down.
10 May 2016 2:34PM
Here's a comparison of one sample vs another at 12mm
294469_1462887276.jpg

srh 13 47 1 United Kingdom
10 May 2016 4:14PM

Quote:Well, I've just uploaded all the revised technical info for the replacement lens, so hopefully it will appear soon as a revised review. In very brief summary, the lens was very much better and at the widest end the central sharpness was outstanding. It was stronger all round, basically still weaker at the edges, but all at a much higher level. In other words, the pattern is the same, but better. Let me know what you think of the revised charts when they appear?


Thanks for posting the new results John, they do indeed look much better. It is however, such a shame that Panasonic can not produce a lens with as consistently high performance across the zoom range as they did with the 14-140mm. As you've changed the way the MFT data is presented, I'm struggling a bit to make comparisons with other lenses, and I remain unsure about whether to take chance on this lens. I really wish it performed better at the long end and the edges weren't so far behind the centre at the long end. A real shame, even if this copy has performed way better than the first.
lemmy 10 2.7k United Kingdom
10 May 2016 6:13PM

Quote:Lemmy. I've got the older version of the 14-140 but reading various reviews this appears to give a better IQ than the later, faster lens which you tested
Yes, I said the same thing in my review. In real world use the two lenses are very much the same in terms of IQ, though the older one does seem to come out a bit better in tests. I upgraded because I review the things but unless the bit of extra weight is a real burden or the little bit of extra speed crucial, I wouldn't personally upgrade. I thought the older one felt nicer, maybe just the extra wieght, but that's personal of course.
SlowSong Plus
8 6.9k 29 England
10 May 2016 6:33PM

Quote:I said the same thing in my review


Ah, it's a while since I read your review so it slipped my mind, and I've read many lens reviews lately. The older version does feel like a substantial and quality product so I'll stick with it.
Thank you. Smile
srh 13 47 1 United Kingdom
11 May 2016 12:34PM
Well, I've cancelled my pre-order. Shame, but I just don't think the lens would now ever live up to my expectations. Simon.
16 May 2016 10:24AM
I think you made the right choice. Photography Blog have found the same softness issues in their review but rather weirdly found max mtf at f/8. http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/panasonic_lumix_g_vario_12_60mm_f3_5_5_6_asph_power_ois_review/
Tcoat3 1
16 May 2016 4:06PM
Ah, you got to hand it to the original Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm f/2.8-4 SWD Four Thirds lens. I use it on my E-P5 via adaptor.

https://www.ephotozine.com/article/olympus-zuiko-digital-ed-12-60mm-f-2-8-4-swd-interchangeable-lens-review-15640

Quote:In terms of IQ, at f/5.6 it matches the 35-100 f/2/8 at the same aperture.

My 14-140II at f5.6 produces sharpness to my 35-100/2.8 wide open. Af f5.6, the latter lens is slightly sharper.

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