*Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens, Tested

Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 lens review Yet another kit lens has come onto the scene.  On paper, ho-hum, a little wider, a little shorter, still slow, no focus ring…  Why would this particular kit lens be a better choice than the other current options?  Yes, it’s tiny and light weight and nearly as small as the Lumix 14mm Pancake lens, but what’s this?  It’s reasonably sharp at all focal lengths and all apertures and offers us a 24mm equivalent lens as opposed to the moderate wide 28mm equivalent in most all other kit zooms… Interesting.  Hit the jump for my user review on this little optic…

lumix 12-32mm vs lumix 14mm While I’ve found this lens to be impressive initially, I feel it is because I have relatively low expectations for an inexpensive kit zoom and it wouldn’t take a whole lot to impress me.  I’ve never held onto any of the kit zooms I’ve acquired over the years, but I think this little guy will be the first that actually sticks around in my bag.  Having gone through and actually taken the time to really look at its performance, and compare it against the Lumix 14mm f/2.5 and PanaLeica Lumix 25mm f/1.4 at matching focal lengths, it gives me an idea as to how it performs against two lenses I hold in high regard for the system. What do we look for in a lens?  I tend to want something from any given lens that I don’t have in another lens.  From there, how sharp is it?  How does it handle flare, chromatic aberration, distortion?  How does it render out of focus areas?  What will I use this lens for?  Well, this user test and review is aimed at answering those questions to myself. Below, I’ll go through some basic sharpness comparisons at different focal lengths and apertures (and compare against the 14mm and 25mm lenses), and give my personal opinion based on why this may be a compelling choice over other comparably priced lenses in this range.  Because, in certain situations, the maximum aperture for the 12-32mm zoom at certain focal lengths are not in even third stops, the shot and listed apertures may be slightly off between the comparisons and I matched the 14mm and 25mm lens apertures as closely as possible. Let’s get right into it, shall we?

SHARPNESS: I mounted the 12-32mm lens to the GX7 and below you can see the way that the image was cropped into by adjusting the focal length from a fixed position, each set of frames captured at the given focal lengths at full sized, 15.8mp RAW images.  Below are the 100% crops from the center and corner at the listed aperture settings with the little 12-32 at it’s widest aperture at that given focal length, f/5.6 and f/8.  I’ve also included equal focal length comparisons to the Lumix 14mm f/2.5 pancake lens with the 12-32mm zoomed to 14mm, and the Panasonic Leica Summilux 25mm f/1.4 lens with the 12-32mm zoomed to 25mm.  Finally I racked the 12-32mm all the way out to its longest focal length of 32mm and have 100% crops at f/5.6 (wide open) and f/8. All images were captured using averaged metering and metered to 0, in RAW (.RW2) at the GX7’s base ISO of 200.  The RAW files were converted via Aperture v3.5.1 with no sharpening applied, and exported as full sized JPEGS (at 100% crops). 12-32mm focal length comparison CLICK ANY IMAGE BELOW TO SEE IT FULL SIZED. 12mm: CENTER 1232f35at12center 1232f56at12center 1232f8at12center 12mm: CORNER 1232f35at12corner 1232f56at12corner 1232f8at12corner 14mm: CENTER (comparison between the 12-32mm and 14mm f/2.5 lenses) 1232f37at14center 14f35center 1232f56at14center 14f56center 1232f8at14center 14f8center 14mm: CORNER 1232f37at14corner 14f35corner 1232f56at14corner 14f56corner 1232f8at14corner 14f8corner 25mm: CENTER (comparison between the 12-32mm and 25mm f/1.4 lenses) 1232f56at25center 25f56center 1232f8at25center 25f8center 25mm: CORNER 1232f56at25corner 25f56corner 1232f8at25corner 25f8corner 32mm: CENTER 1232f56at32center 1232f8at32center 32mm: CORNER 1232f56at32corner 1232f8at32corner So, how about that.  For my money, the 12-32mm is comparably as sharp at each focal length when compared to the 14mm and 25mm lenses, which is a feat considering that the 14mm and 25mm lenses are stopped down to their near sharpest apertures.  The 12-32mm lens gets noticeably sharper when stopped down to f/5.6 or f/8, but it does well wide open, and is decently sharp at all apertures in the corners.  I’d even say the 12-32mm lens is sharper in the corners than the 14mm lens, and even appears to be sharper than the PL25 at each tested aperture (or at least my copies) which is kind of a mind blower to me considering we’re talking about a kit lens here.  Impressive.  Granted, this is a simple setup and not a chart, but as I’ve mentioned in the past, I tend not to shoot charts very often, but rather I’m curious to see how a lens reacts in what I’d consider to be a more normal scene or shooting scenario. I stopped the comparisons at f/8 because I find that most all micro 4/3 lenses start to suffer from diffraction at around f/11 and smaller, and find f/4 – f/8 to be about as sharp as I can get any lens for the system.

UPDATE: As was inquired about in the comments, dunsun had asked if I’d noticed a softening along the right edge of the frame (while after looking at these files, I’d assume we’re talking “right” in landscape orientation) when shooting this lens at its widest focal length, 12mm.  Below are two full sized files, both at 12mm, one wide open at f/3.5 and another stopped down to f/5.6 for you to see.  I have increased the exposure in post to more clearly see the darker areas along the right edge, so they won’t perfectly match the above images exposure wise.

I will say that the edges aren’t as sharp as the center, but I wouldn’t see that as a lens specific issue, and don’t see any unique “softening” as much as I see optical distortion which may or may not pull objects at the edge out of focus depending on the depth of field, distance to a particular subject and field curvature resulting in possible softening by way of being slightly more out of focus.  The 14mm has essentially shown as much as well by looking at the corner crops too.  As I understand wide optics, this can be somewhat common and perhaps I should dive deeper into some of my other lenses for this and other systems to see if I can’t find any type of pattern or exception.  A fully corrected rectilinear wide angle lens (is there such a thing?) will certainly command a premium as is the case for various high end 24mm lenses.  I no longer have any 24-70mm zooms to test zoom to zoom, but maybe someone with a high end standard zoom can and post links to their findings in the comments and I’ll link here in the article.   I will see if I can’t do a little more research based on different focusing distances with this lens (closer and perhaps at infinity) to see if I can’t recreate the situation that dunsun has read about.  I’m not noticing a particular, uniform softening myself looking at these images, how about you guys?  Have a look:

(click to see the full sized image) 12mm @ f/3.5:

P1090822 - Version 4

and 12mm @ f/5.6:

P1090824 - Version 4

FLARE and CHROMATIC ABERRATION: I wanted to see how badly I could get this lens to flare, and I’ll admit, if I pointed this lens straight at the sun, I could get it to exhibit a bit of flare and contrast loss, but honestly, I’m impressed again in that I literally had to have the sun in the frame to really get this lens to show noticeable flare.  Stopping the lens down also helped combat the flare noticeably.  See the first example, shot at 12mm both wide open at f/3.5 and then stopped down to f/5 from the same location with the sun just in frame at the top. Wide open at f/3.5: flare12mm35   Stopped down to f/5: flare12mmf5 From this, I feel it’s done well to not only handle the flare wide open all things considered, but does a nice job at further controlling it when stopped down. Here’s another shot where I got this lens to flare as badly as I could, shooting directly into the sun at 32mm, wide open at f/5.6. flare32mmf56 A bit of magenta flare here certainly.  In this lens’ defense, I had to really move it around to get it to flare like this.  From the same location, keeping the sun near the center of the frame, it needed this particular angle to flare like this. How about Chromatic Aberration? Well, from the above shot we see the green and magenta flare, but aside from that, the CA on edges in the scene are practically non existent.  Here’s a 200% crop from the above image just above the sun and to the left a little bit. flare32mmf56200   There’s a little contrast loss from the overall effect of the flare, but CA wise, these branches look remarkably well controlled to me.  Here’s another shot in which I’d think CA would show itself.  High contrast, back lit with sharp backlit lines cutting through the overexposed background. CA29mmf55 (1)   And another 200% crop:   CA29mmf55200 (1) I’m impressed.  I will continue to see what I can do to expose any further shortcomings regarding flare and CA on this lens, and it is subject to some flaring when shooting directly into the sun, but I will say that this little guy does really well overall.

DISTORTION: Now, this may be the weak point of this lens, at least at the wider end.  Below are some shots of a simple setup.  I had the camera on a tripod, leveled and squared over center of a flat cutting mat (Martha Stewart makes everything!) because it is all that I have that has a series of straight lines on it.  I thought about shooting a brick wall or whatever, but nope.  So, this is what we have.  Even though this isn’t the perfect subject, and kind of goes against my “shoot real stuff” mantra, it gives me an idea as to what this lens can and will do, distortion wise.  All images shot on the GM1, captured in RAW at the listed focal lengths. 24mm: 12mmdist   14mm:   14mmdist   18mm: 18mmdist 25mm: 25mmdist And finally at 32mm: 32mmdist   At the longer focal lengths, the distortion looks really well controlled to my eye.  Lines are straight, no real noticeable evidence of barrel or pincushion distortion, but at 12 and 14mm… Yeah, a little bit of the ol’ barrel distortion with a hint of Vaudevillian Stache.  How does this translate to the real world?  All I can say is that I haven’t really noticed it, but I’m also not shooting commercial interiors with this lens.

How about BOKEH: These slow kit zooms on micro 4/3 sensors can’t throw a background out of focus right?  Sure they can.  Yes, it is more difficult to get focus separation between subject and background, but even at f3.5 or f/5.6 at the respective ends of this zoom range, with a close focusing distance, you can get a bit of background blur.  How smooth, or nice that blur is entirely debatable, but have a look at a couple quick shots showing those ever loved bokeh balls… 12mm wide open at f/3.5: bokeh12mm And at 32mm wide open at f/5.6: bokeh32mm

CONCLUSION: Simply put, one needs to weigh their needs, expectations and budget.  For me personally, having acquired this lens with the GM1, I find it to be a pleasure to shoot with, showing surprising quality for a kit zoom.  It offers me a true wide angle at the 24mm equivalent and is sharp wide open.  It handles flare and CA as well or better than any other lens I’ve used for the system and it’s nearly the size of the Lumix 14mm pancake lens.  It all adds up to a pretty killer little package that will go unnoticed in the bag, but will shine when shooting in good light when I need a capable walk around, documentary lens. Here are what I see as the upside and drawback to this lens… Pros:

  • This lens is all about the size.  It’s tiny, it’s light and it is a great example of why this system can and should continue to succeed.
  • This lens is sharp, contrasty and does well with color and saturation.
  • A really nice and wide 24mm equivalent wide angle through a respectable 64mm short tele focal range is great for everyday shooting.
  • It has Mega OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) which isn’t as cool as Über OIS, but will have to do.
  • Did I mention this lens is remarkably small and light?

Cons:

  • My only real gripe with this lens is it’s speed, by which I mean it’s max aperture.  Taking into consideration that it is tiny (which physically limits just how big the aperture could be) and somewhat reasonably priced against other, arguably lesser kit lenses, my gripe should essentially be ignored.  If we want a fast, wide through standard zoom, we have the option to buy the Lumix 12-35 f/2.8 or the Olympus 12-40 f/2.8, and honestly for me, using this lens most of the time at 12mm, that 2/3 of a stop isn’t going to be getting me shots that I can’t otherwise get if I’m really honest with myself.  Yes, I like speed anywhere I can get it, but f/2.8 isn’t what I consider especially “fast”.  If apertures were compared to rate of travel by foot, f/2.8 would be a slow, steady jog, a 12 minute mile as it were, while f/3.5 would be a slow, steady jog with sore legs.  For speed, our money is better served in the prime department I feel and unless you’re really in need of a constant f/2.8 I feel this lens is going to offer a great, more affordable alternative, so expect accordingly and I think you’d be pleasantly surprised by this little lens.
  • I should say also that its lack of manual focus ring is an odd omission, forcing one to manually focus on screen via a clunky slider, but let’s be real, a slow kit zoom is not a very likely candidate for manual focus, or at least is not for me.  I don’t remember wanting or needing to manually focus any kit lens I’ve used with that task mostly reserved for primes exhibiting a shallower DOF and macro lenses for me.  The hyper focal distance for this lens set to 12mm wide open is just about 9 feet, so if focused there, anything between 4.5′ away through infinity is going to be in focus requiring very little need to manually fine tune your focus.  It’s no bokeh monster, and for the casual snap shot, the deeper depth of field can really be a boon.  Still, I think every lens should have a manual focus ring because I’ve never had one without it, or the ability to manually focus a lens mechanically, and I don’t particularly like change.  Personally though, I’ve not missed the MF ring once since getting this lens, but if you’re really wanting a kit zoom with a manual focus ring, this would not be the one to choose.

I would buy this lens over any of the other 14-42 or 14-45mm kit lenses, including the new Olympus 14-42 pancake zoom.  Why?  Firstly because it gives us a 24mm equivalent versus the 28mm equivalent on the wide end.  To me, a true wide angle is more useful than a slightly longer short tele focal length for my walk around needs.  It has also provided me with a satisfaction in that I don’t lust after the Oly 12mm f/2 any more.  I now have a capable 12mm wide angle lens for the system, (and now I need an ultra wide rectilinear lens… 7mm f/4 for under $500 please!)  If you find that the extra focal range on the longer side is more useful to your style of shooting, go with the Oly, or one of the other various 14-42 or 14-45mm kit zooms.

The Lumix lens is sharp, it has nice contrast and saturation while maintaining an absolutely minuscule profile.  The only other budget friendly “kit” zoom I’d consider would be the Olympus 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 if I needed the weather sealing, and saw value in the 1:2mm handy macro feature (which I do).  This thing is the size of a red bull can though which makes for a somewhat awkward setup, physically. I hope that Panasonic starts bundling this 12-32 lens as their standard kit zoom myself.  It’s just a cool little dynamo of a lens, is optically better than the other kit zooms I’ve used, and really plays nicely to one of the system’s largest benefits in size reduction. You can see the Panasonic Lumix 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 pancake zoom lens at B&H Here. Thanks for the read!  Hit me up on Facebook, Twitter or Flickr.

Happy shooting,

Tyson P1030596_HDR P1030776 - Version 2 P1030963 - Version 2

49 thoughts on “*Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens, Tested

  1. It’s better at handling lens flare in your photos than the 35-100mm f/2.8 with the lens hood and the sun out of the frame, sadly, and I was told that my 35-100mm is perfectly fine.

    I’ve seen so many write that the 12-32mm is sharp. It’s good to see that Panasonic is doing some good work. It looks good. I’d love to see how the GM1 and 15mm f/1.7 stacks up against the FujiFilm X100s.

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  2. Thanks for the great review as usual Tyson🙂 Maybe it’s time to get myself a small lens to complement my Panasonic GM1. So far, I’ve been using lens that out-weigh and out-size the GM1 like the Panny 100-300mm (OUCH!), 14-140mm and the Voigtlander Nokton 17.5mm!!

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  3. Thanks for the review.
    As a rockclimber/mountaineer, the small package and low weight of the MFT system was what drew me to it in the first place.
    I use my GF1 all the time with the 20mm pancake, the kit 14-45mm is just too big to take up the mountain. I’m not so much interested in the tele end, but want something wider. This 12-32mm pancake seems perfect for my use (in good light).

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    • Hi Sam,

      I wish that I’d had this last summer, and look forward to getting it out this year. It will be an awesome backpacking setup, especially with a compact body. It weighs nothing, takes up no space and yet has exceeded my expectations. This with the 20 would cover most anything but the tele side, which unfortunately doesn’t do the small, compact or light side of things very well. That is where a smaller sensor super zoom compact could come into play if the longer focal lengths were needed for trekking on a weight allowance though. They’re practically giving compact p&s cams away nowadays.

      Cheers,

      t

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  4. Great review Tyson, ive been waiting for this review and see the lens as a viable option for me. The 20mm is my go to low light and I use my Canon FD for anything needing proper tele work (coupled with the LVF2, manual focus can be done in a pinch) The 12-32 would be a great addition as a walk around , reportive lens. Just having the little bit of zoom helps in most situations. Take shooting in London, which I do about 5 – 7 times a year, having the ability to tighten in on a subject a bit more really appeals to me and then the 12mm just seems like a lovely and wide option.

    This will be my next lens for sure. Thanks for taking the time to review this lens and give another great insight into this format.

    Also, the shot of your son on the Jetty is great, the red stands out so strongly against the rest of the scene.

    Cheers man,

    Chris

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    • Thanks Dude!

      Yeah, this lens not only gives me a walk around zoom, it has replaced the need to buy the Oly 12mm or similar wide angle option. Now, I’m hoping someone comes out with a 7mm prime (or 8mm in a pinch) that is rectilinearly corrected. The first one to do that might get my money as long as they’re not requiring an arm and/or a leg. 🙂

      Have a great weekend man.

      t

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  5. Pingback: Blog for mirrorless and premium compact cameras New reviews of Panasonic 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 lens - Blog for mirrorless and premium compact cameras

    • If Pana or Oly would be somewhat realistic and realize that most folks needing an ultra wide, don’t necessarily need it to be super fast, I think we could see an f/3.5 or f/4 7mm or 8mm prime come in around $400-500. The inherent DOF at that focal length is going to be deep anyway, and a stop smaller max aperture isn’t going to restrict most shooters who’d be using it for landscape or interiors (tripod probably) anyway taking into consideration that at that focal length, and with any OIS or IBIS, a handheld shot could be captured downwards of 1/10 of a second or so, so I don’t think we need to see an f/2.8 version necessarily. At f/3.5 or f/4, it could be very compact as well and would require far less glass and material to build compared to a faster aperture. If, and again, it’s a bit if, they could do it, it would also have to come in at or below around $500 I’d think because much higher than that and it would be stepping on the toes of the 7-14mm f/4 zoom which would still hold a place in the lineup and at its price point.

      Assuming they could engineer a sharp, well corrected prime lens at this focal length, I’d be very interested myself, and could actually start to see how this system worked for me when shooting my interior work…

      Just my hopeful rambling, but it is one lens I’ve been really waiting for.

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      • That would be fantastic. If you could adopt the system more in a professional sense, that would be a huge boost to the system, the wide would really allow for fantastic interior cover, having a 2x crop factor we need a 7mm max to make it work as a proper wide. I agree with you completely, an affordable semi fast lens would be doable and if they stick to an affordable price point and make it for everyone as opposed to the big spenders you’d have a fantasticly popular lens. Its what the system needs.

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  6. Hey,

    Please how would you rate the right side of your photos when shooting at 12mm ?
    Why am I asking ?
    I have read 4 reviews of this lens everyone was praising it but there was a very visible softness on every picture which was shot at 12mm (but only at right side).
    Some kind of a decentering defect but on all tested lenses.

    Regards

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    • I’ve noticed softness on right side but only when focusing at infinity (or very far subjects). On close distances (a few meters) I can’t see that problem. Only seems to happen at 12mm but I should do more tests. If you are interested this screenshot from OOC JPGs https://db.tt/Q2NkLUmB shows a) reference image at 12mm, b) 100% left side and c) 100% right side. Same position at 32mm and problem is not present https://db.tt/tri9q6ds
      I’ve didn’t any formal test , I’m just doing screenshots, but what I’m saying is consistent with more than 1000 pics I’ve took in my last trip. For example this is 12mm but focused close (one or two meters) the right side is fine, not blurry https://db.tt/l0EQlZf1 , so my guess this issue only affects on far objects, at least at 12mm. Great site!

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      • Thank you for the examples, Diemci.

        That is interesting, and I see what you’re saying, although I wonder how much of that is just down to the resolution of fine detail along the edges. Probably not nearly as apparent at closer focusing distances as you’ve shown. I have seen poor edge and corner performance from many wide and ultra wide angle lenses I have, and I have grown to accept it to a point as the optics just struggle to resolve fine detail at the extreme edges of the image circle. Most the UWA lenses I have for other systems, are also much more expensive and probably exhibit equal, or worse corner/edge sharpness in similar circumstances, I’d guess. I wish I still had my 12-32, as I’d love to test this out. Thank you for sharing, it’s certainly good to see!

        Cheers,

        Tyson

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  8. Thanks for a good, thorough user experienced based review. Seems a great little walk-about lens. The images, although sharp, are less contrasty compared with 25mm, similar to what 20mm does. Panasonic seems do not put on its top coating for the glasses of this lens.

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    • Thanks Weston,

      The 25 is a step above most every other lens, less the Oly 75 and perhaps the new Nocti 42.5 in my opinion. The newer 20mm has done really well compared to the original in regards to flare control and contrast. I did a comparison between the two 20s a little while back. Not entirely better, and actually worse in the corners, but overall I feel it’s a better lens.

      Cheers and thanks!

      Tyson

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  9. it’s a lovely little lens I keep looking at images and thinking “a kit lens? really?” I was in London today for a concert and slipped the GM1 12-32 and 20mm in my “man bag”. All you need for a street visit really.

    I took it to Seville and it got a fair bit of use. I’m not convinced that the 12-35 f2.8 is any sharper.

    BTW I’ve stuck the 45 f2.8 macro and the 7-14 on the GM1 and got decent results. I kind of wish that the LVF2 viewfinder for the GX1 fitted the GM1 but the fact that the damn thing is so small means I can easily carry two camera and cut down the lens swapping

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    • Agreed. Having the gm1 as a second body with the 12-32 makes it easy to have a faster prime on another body and the standard zoom for the all rounder, all weighing next to nothing. When absolute bulk reduction is key, having it on its own with the 12-32 and the 20 is a set up that will fit in a pocket or two.

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    • Thanks Pellicle!

      I am thinking more and more that I might be in for a pretty sizable shift in my lens catalog with this zoom and possibly the new 15/1.7 replacing the 14/2.5 and 20/1.7 which could essentially be a wash (considering I’ve already bought the GM1 kit…) I know this is a little presumptuous, but when the GM1 kit goes down in price, which will probably start happening within the next month or two (entirely a guess) it might be a better deal than the lens on its own seeing as the GM1 is a pretty killer little pocket cam in its own right. Even at the current price, if you were to part it out, the cam and the lens would both be around $350 ea which isn’t horrible.

      Thanks again,
      t

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      • Hey T, don’t dump any good lenses (even though they’re big for the GM1), I can say it’s bearable from experience and you get top notch photos.

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      • Thanks Jin,

        I’m always trading away, buying and selling lenses. While it may seem a little fickle, I do try to do so to make room for other purchases and when I do have the ability to remove a little redundancy in regard to focal length and quality, I don’t mind doing so.

        The 12-32 has shown me that it can replace the 14mm in IQ at 14mm in good enough light (f/2.5 vs f/3.7 isn’t something to be ignored, but in comes the 15/1.7 which will most certainly beat the 14 for IQ and is much faster to boot) AND offers me a good wider wide angle option to go with the addition of a zoom which all adds up to about the same size and weight.

        The 15mm, which admittedly is still entirely speculative for me at this point, could further make the 14mm redundant and between owning the 15mm and the 25mm, I feel I could certainly part with the 20mm to make room in my quiver.

        I most likely will not get rid of the PL25mm f/1.4 as it is just too good a lens, and while I really like the 20mm for the times I need to stay as compact as possible, I think the 15mm will be small enough… We shall see.

        All things said and done, the fact that we have SO MANY quality options is just awesome. None are wholly better than another as they all have their uses and upsides. Pretty unique in a system, especially a mirror less system right now.

        cheers,
        t

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      • I pretty much share your view on the GM + kit and prices. Actually I just sold my GF1 was ready to abandon the compact-alike m43 (sticking to my GH-SLR-alike format) but that this lens has come up so good has tempted me to reconsider. Well either way, unless I see a bargain of GM1+12-32 I’ll be buying lens alone and perhaps picking up another GF1 body (peanuts at KEH these days) just because it shares battery and charger with my GH and I’m too slack to juggle battery / charger combos when travelling.

        Best Wishes

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      • I still have my GF1 (after trading it away and trading back for it) because I certainly couldn’t get back what it is worth to me at this point, and I feel it will go down as one of the coolest cult cams when looking back years from now at how mirrorless changed the landscape a little. That you have the foresight to standardize your batteries between bodies shows a practicality that frankly I do not believe I’m capable of🙂

        Even on some of the other bodies that I’ve shot, this 12-32 doesn’t feel out of sync or imbalanced at all, I do wish however that the black lens would have been available, but it can live alongside my silver Oly 75.

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      • Agree T, love the lens choices for the MFT system. Now that I have 12-32 kit lens, the Pana superzooms, Voigtlander 17.5mm, I will eventually get the 25mm f1.4 and that should complete it for me🙂

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  10. Pingback: Panasonic 12-32mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA O.I.S. Lens Reviews and Tests

  11. Tyson,

    I have a GX1 and am torn between getting this lens alone, or going for the GM1 body and lens combo. My concern is: does the lens work well with the GX1? With the 14-42 PZ I’m constantly worried about the 1/60-1/250s range because of the shutter shock problem, which has ruined quite a few othewise good photos. Now, when nearing a trouble shutter speed I switch to S-mode and pick up a speed outside that range, which may lead to other problems. So, have you tried it on the GX1? If so, what’s your experience re “shutter shock” using the lens at the longer end and with the problematic speeds?

    Thanks, and keep up the good work on the blog!

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    • Hi Marcos,

      I did have a GX1, but I never ever noticed any shutter shock at any shutter speed and I probably shot (shoot) a majority of my frames in that range, so if you’re noticing an issue, it might be worth testing it out further, with different lenses, on and off a tripod, etc. That said, I didn’t have the GX1 around when I got the GM1/12-32 combo so I’ve not tried them together specifically, but I will say that the 12-32 has done well on the three bodies I do still have around in the GM1, GX7 and the trusty old GF1.

      As for the kit or lens separately, that’s a personal choice. I’d weigh the price difference with the need/desire to upgrade the camera against what I’d actually be gaining with the the GM1 over the GX1 along with any drawbacks (ergonomics, 1/50 sync vs 1/160, etc).

      If you do have any specific questions about the GM1, if be happy to try and answer them, just fire away.

      I’ll search around a bit to try and find out more about any shutter shock issues with the GX1 too.

      Cheers,

      Tyson

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  12. Maybe… I have the PZ, the 20mm and a 50mm 1.4 Takumar via adapter, and the only lens to show any signs of shutter induced problems is the PZ.

    I’m interested in the 12-32 mostly because of the wide-angle (miss that 24mm I had with the LX5…) and the smaller size. Also I think the 14-42 PZ is plain ugly! I have covered mine completely with electrical tape to mask all the writings, but that doesn’t help with the zoom and focus toggles on its side🙂 Anyway, I do prefer the 12-32 range to the 14-42, so was thinking of buying the lens for using on the GX1.

    Maybe I will go for the GM1+lens, and if I like it enough, will have the GX1 converted to IR, as I did with my GF1 in the past.

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    • I think that the 24mm equivalent is a pretty substantial boon over a 28mm equiv personally. I’ve spent very little time shooting with the various 14-42/45’s though and because of the 12mm on the wide side, it’s overall performance and the size/weight, I’ve found no reason to get rid of it. It might be a little pricy for a slower kit lens on its own on the surface, but combined with the GM1 as the price for the kit will inevitably come down a little more, I think it is a very compelling option.

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  13. You also have the 12mm prime from Oly.

    What lens would you prefer to buy if you were mostly interested in capturing wide shots of buildings or mountains? IE: more concerned about sharpness and colour than bokeh.

    Would the 12mm prime be worth spending money on? Or is the 12-32mm kit matching?

    I guess the time of day might come into it, with light levels.

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    • I don’t think anyone would argue that the Oly 12mm isn’t the better lens at that focal length. It’s a better built lens by far too. The 12-32 is a kit lens, but I feel it is a really good kit lens, and if shooting stopped down to f/5.6 or so at the wide end, you would not be able to tell much difference between it and the Oly 12mm minus the slight difference in contrast and color signatures perhaps.

      I’m waiting for the newly announced Voigtlander 10.5mm f/0.95 personally. I think that could be the wide prime for this system for me…although, it will weigh more that two of each of these other lenses 😉

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  14. Pingback: *Good bye 2014, it’s been real. | Tyson Robichaud Photo-blography

  15. Pingback: *The Mighty Might, Panasonic GM1 on super sale | Tyson Robichaud Photo-blography

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