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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 194
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The Long-Awaited Panasonic 35-100mm Arrives!
Wednesday 7 November 2012   —   Category: Equipment



Back four months ago at the be­gin­ning of July — when I first got my new Olympus OM-​D E-​M5 camera and was building a lens kit for it — there were a some lenses which had already been announced by Panasonic and Olympus, but were not yet available. One lens which I had been eagerly awaiting since then just arrived at my door yes­ter­day: the professional level Pan­a­son­ic LUMIX G X VARIO 35-​100​mm f/2.8 Aspherical zoom lens (70-​200​mm equivalent).

Estimating by the comparison pho­to to the right, this Micro Four Thirds (µ4/3) lens on a µ4/3 camera body is around one-third the size and weight of an equivalent 70-​200​mm lens on a full-frame DSLR. This is the pri­m­ry reason I switched to a µ4/3 system: it is simply much more portable and much easier to handle. In this photo, you can see the Panasonic 35-​100​mm lens mounted on a Panasonic G5 body (which I purchased re­cent­ly as a back-up camera, and is almost exactly the same size as my Olympus E-M5), compared to a full-size Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera with a Canon EF 70-200 mm f/2.8 L IS II USM lens.

The full sized Sony 70-​200​mm lens I used to own weighed 2 lbs. 15 oz. (1300g), and measured 3½ by 7¾ inches (87 x 197mm). In comparison, this new Pan­a­son­ic 35-100 lens is just over one-quarter of the weight at 12.7 oz (360g), and is 30% its size, at 2.7 x 3.9 inches (67.4 x 100mm). If only the price was as greatly reduced as the weight and bulk!

At this stage of life, I am valuing reduced size and weight over su­pe­ri­or image quality. Even if I had the best camera equipment in the world, it wouldn’t do me any good if it was too heavy and bulky to take with me on my hikes. Therefore I settled on the µ4/3 system, and now my quest is to maximize the image quality within that framework. Up­grad­ing to this high-end Panasonic 35-​100​mm lens from the low-end Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-​150​mm f/4.0-5.6 R lens — which I had purchased in July to tide me over until the Pan­a­son­ic lens became available — is a major step in that direction. The Olympus 40-​150​mm lens has already been sold on Am­a­zon.com.

To the right you can see two test photos I took yesterday, right after the lens arrived — so far so good! I’m looking forward to more extensive testing, on both my E-M5 and G5 camera bodies. After one more change in my lens kit later this week, it will be complete at last, and then I will post an updated article about its final composition.
Brian's Photo Blog — Article 194
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Brian's Photo Blog — Article 194
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