Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 – Best Lens for the OM-D E-M5 (Updated)

Best In Class

10 Build Quality
8 Image Quality
9 Handling
7 Value

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm/F2.8

There are good lenses and there are great lenses, this is a great lens.  If you are the proud owner of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 then the first thing you’re going to want to do is buy a lens that can utilize every ounce of image quality the OMD (or any micro four thirds camera) is capable of.  The Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm/F2.8 is one of those lenses that you’ll have room to grow into, it’s a pro lens for the Micro Four Thirds line.  There are flickr groups dedicated to this lens and plenty of images to review from all over the world.




In a Nut Shell

The Panasonic 12-35mm/F2.8 has built-in image stabilization (called O.I.S.) for those of you with Panasonic bodies, for OMD owners you’ll be happy to know there is an easy on/off switch on the side of the lens to turn off O.I.S. and utilize the OMDs five axis images stabilization.  It’s got a nano coating to help reduce flares, ghosting, and glares.  Those of you with Nikon bodies will recognize the nano coating that Nikon puts on its most expensive professional glass.  The lens has 14 elements in 9 groups which gives you crystal clear photos.  To top it all of, the lens has a constant aperture of 2.8 which crushes any of the Olympus zoom lenses available.  Olympus has the market on prime lenses while Panasonic has the market on the zoom lenses for the Micro Four Thirds format.

Note:  Because of Olympus and Panasonic’s desire to grow the 4/3s format they have teamed up on updates for their lenses on each others cameras.  You can plug your OMD into the updater program and update the Panasonic lens without a hassle.  The latest update (1.1) has increased the auto focus speed with the Panasonic lens on the OMD body.

Replace these Lenses

The biggest complaint owners of any Micro Four Thirds camera has is the lack of quality zoom lenses, there are a handful of pro primes that anyone would be lucky to own but Olympus Micro Four Thirds zoom lenses are mediocre at best.  Panasonic has finally given us a viable option for a zoom lens that can give professional quality images.  You can get rid of your 12-50mm Olympus lens, your Olympus 12mm prime, and the 14-42mm as well.  The Panasonic 12-35mm/F2.8 is an all in one solution to save you money and time.  The 12-50mm is $400, the 12mm is $700, and the 14-42mm is about $150 (total of $1,250)… the 12-35mm Pana is $1,142.  The quality of this lens surpasses all the other lenses you needed before, it’s a no brainer.

Best Lenses to Compliment this Lens

Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8
Olympus 45mm f/1.8
Olympus MSC ED M. 60mm f/2.8 Lens (Macro)
Olympus 75-300mm f/4.8

Sample Shots


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One reply on “Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8 – Best Lens for the OM-D E-M5 (Updated)”
  1. says: Don Pope

    Thanks for the review. I just wanted to correct a typo: It’s “Complement” not “Compliment”

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