The best lenses I have ever had are the so-called nifty-fifties prime lenses for both my Canon t4i and my new Panasonic G7 at f/1.4 and f/1.7 respectively. Each is an excellent lens for a hobbyist trying to get crisp photos for a reasonable amount of money.
Interestingly, for those not in the know, the 50mm lens on a crop sensor is like an 80mm. However the 25mm on a micro 4/3 camera is like a 50mm. You want a true 35mm equivalent of 50mm then you have to get a full-frame camera. I think. Hell, what do I know? I’m just winging it here.
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12- 35 and 35-100mm f/2.8 O.I.S
I was cruising through a “web deal” site and came across some dude in Canada selling the vaunted Panasonic Lumix G Vario f/2.8 O.I.S. lens in both the 12-35mm and 35-100m varieties at scorching prices. He got great ratings. Solid return policy. I decided to make the leap and purchase both.
They arrived in record time. I ordered them on Thursday and got them FedEx delivered the following Monday. They were in proper attire. Boxed neatly with a lens hood and lens cover they seemed legit.
Compared to my plastic kit lens these two 2.8 jewels were heavy. Which of course in the M4/3 world is nothing compared to DSLR cameras.
I slid each out of their plastic bags and snapped them with ease onto my G7. I tooled around the house and yard taking random shots of nothing to check out the image stabilization and zoom. They worked. The photos looked great.
I’m not certain what else to say about the lenses. Some photo tech pixel peeper will have to flesh out the details that I couldn’t give a shit about. They are the two lenses that I wanted to give me a lovely range of zoom. I considered various prime lenses because supposedly they are better, and cheaper, but I succumbed to the peer pressure of getting the standard 24-70mm (12-35) that every photographer apparently must own as well as the pleasure of owning a 70-200mm (35-100).
The form factor of each pleases me. My daughter takes fabulous sports shot indoors with a Canon L-series 70-200mm. It is a freaking tube of glass that is heavy and screams “look at me with my white colored expensive lens!” My 35-100mm equivalent is about the size of my kit lens and doesn’t scream anything yet softly infers that this amateur needs a proper photography kit.
For the price of a single Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L (Amazon) I purchased (new) a Panasonic G7 body with kit lens along with a Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 and G X Vario 35-100mm f/2.8.
I’ve been asked to take quite a number of photos and videos indoors and I’ve been chugging along with the 50mm and sneaker zoom along with using a Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 that I bought a few years ago. The 15-85 is a fine lens, just not inside as compared with the 50mm.
Low light performance and better quality is the reason I decided to get the 2.8s. Now I realize that a fast 2.8 in M4/3 world is not as fast in the full frame world. Or even in the crop sensor world. I guess. I mean that’s what people say. I’ve used a fast 50mm 1.4 indoors on my t4i particularly for video and the quality is not as good as similar video from the G7 and 25mm 1.7.
I am extremely happy with the G7 and the 12-35 snapped on compared with the t4i and 15-85mm. Optically it’s obvious but the size difference is quite noticeable.
Man, I love the M4/3 system. The convenience and form factor cannot be beat. I’m excited to have rounded out my kit with quality glass.