Sunday, 18 December 2016

Lumix G 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 review

Some have questioned why Panasonic have churned out so many different kit zoom lenses in the M4/3 format so far. However, one lens which is not going to be questioned in the same way, I think, is the new Lumix G 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6.

It is shown below, in the fully zoomed position at 60mm, on the Lumix G85 camera it comes in a kit with:


It is not just a new kit zoom lens, it also has some good features:

  • A proper wide angle end, starting at 24mm equivalent. This is not only good news in itself, it is also good for 4k video use. All Lumix cameras so far record 4k video using a crop factor only, meaning that a 14mm lens becomes around 18mm in 4k mode. Hence, starting at a focal length of 12mm is good news.

    Not many Lumix zoom lenses start at 12mm so far, making this a lens to look for. There is the Lumix G 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6, which I think is great, but is has a somewhat short reach, see my review.
  • More reach in the long end, at 120mm equivalent.
  • Weather protected: It is the least expensive Panasonic lens so far with weather protection, meaning that you can use it even when there is a risk for some rain and splashes. There is no guarantee against water damage, so you should still be careful, but hopefully, the lens will be more safe to use in wet or dusty environments.

But how does the lens perform? That is what I'll look into here.

Specifications


The lens is sized as you can expect, between the Lumix G 14-42mm II and the Lumix G 14-140mm II:

From left to right Lumix G 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6, Lumix G 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II, Lumix G 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 and Lumix G 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 II

Looking into the specifications, you'll see that here as well, it is placed between them:

LensLumix G 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6Lumix G 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 IILumix G 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6Lumix G 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 II
AnnouncedOct 17th, 2013Jan 29th, 2013Feb 24th, 2016Apr 24th, 2013
Lens elements/groups8/79/811/914/12
Minimum focus0.2m0.2m0.2m0.3m
Weight70g110g210g265g
Diameter56mm56mm66mm67mm
Length24mm49mm71mm75mm
Filter thread37mm46mm58mm58mm
Weather protectedNoNoYesNo
Hood suppliedNoYesYesYes

You can note that the 10x superzoom Lumix G 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 II is only slightly larger and heavier. So in terms of bulk, there is not that much reason to choose the 12-60mm lens. The 14-140mm is also one of my favorite lenses, see my review here. So it remains to be seen if the 12-60mm lens can compete.