The best lenses for Olympus & Panasonic camera's

Lens advice
Starters

Starters

Lens advice
Amateurs

Amateurs

Review Panasonic 12-60 mm

0
0
0
s2smodern

Panasonic has again succeeded in making attractively priced kit lenses with good image quality for their G-series cameras. I first think about the professional Panasonic 12-35 mm f/2.8. The Panasonic 14-140 mm, with its fast and quiet AF, is also nearly indispensable for amateur photographers and videographers who do not want to change lenses, or as little as possible. And the inexpensive and super-compact Panasonic 12-32 mm is an absolute must for starters and amateurs. These zoom lenses are sold as a kit in combination with Panasonic cameras and in that case offer a great deal more value for the money. All three of these kit lenses are equipped with built-in image stabilization, and they offer high image quality for the price. “What else could you wish for in new micro-43 lenses?” you might think.
How about an inexpensive kit lens with a broader zoom range (a field of view that corresponds with 24-120 mm on full-frame) that is extra-well sealed against dust and splashwater? Such a lens was not yet available for micro-43 cameras.
The Panasonic Lumix 12-60 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH POWER OIS has it all. With that, the lens selection for micro-43 cameras is practically just as complete (although I’m still missing a tilt-shift) as the lens selection for SLR cameras.

Panasonic Lumix G 12-60 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH POWER OIS list price: 450 euros.

zoombereik
5x Zoomrange of the Panasonic 12-60 mm 

Many standard zooms on cameras with an APS-C sensor (and a crop factor of about 1.5x) have an 18 mm focal length, so that the field of view (“what you see in the picture”) corresponds with about 28 mm (full-frame equivalent). An important distinguishing characteristic of most Panasonic kit lenses is the 24 mm (full-frame equivalent) field of view, thanks to the shortest 12 mm focal length and the 2x crop factor. That difference is significant, since with these Panasonic kit lenses you get a great deal more on the photo. A 24 mm (full-frame equivalent) field of view is ideal for photographing in small spaces or for creating broad overviews.
The unique thing about the Panasonic 12-60 mm kit lens, if we don’t consider the real 14-140 mm superzooms, is the longest focal length. A focal length of 60 mm on a micro-43 camera corresponds as far as field of view is concerned with 80 mm on a camera with an APS-C sensor (and a crop of ~1.5x) or a 120 mm on a camera with a full-frame sensor. That is a great focal length for a close-up or for a portrait. There are practically no zoom lenses in this zoom range, regardless of whether it is SLR or micro-43, that also have image stabilization and are extra-well sealed against dust and splashwater.

Build and auto focus

H FS12060 image splash proof2 2
With a weight of just a bit more than 2 ounces, the Panasonic 12-60 mm falls between the Panasonic 12-32 mm (70 grams!) and the 12-35 mm (3 ounces). A length of 7 cm and a filter size of 58 mm are modest. This lens is extra-well sealed against dust and splashwater. The lens design consists of 11 elements in 9 groups, and the aperture has 7 rounded blades. For those who like to focus manually, the focus ring on the Panasonic 12-60 mm (the narrow ring at the front) is a plus relative to the 12-32 mm.
There are no buttons on the lens. You switch between AF and manual focusing or turn the image stabilization on/off on the camera. This zoom lens does not have a fixed length like the 12-35 mm f/2.8. When you zoom in, the zoom lens becomes 3 cm longer. A flower-shaped lens hood is included.
AF (tested on a Panasonic GX80) appears not only to be very quiet, but also lightning fast (from infinity to one and half meters in 50 ms is matched by no other brand) and very accurate (repeatability below 5%). Individually, those are already really top performances, but that speed, silence and accuracy are combined in one lens is really very exceptional in the price class of under 1000 euros.
Specifications
Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 12-60mm F3.5-5.6 POWER O.I.S.