Panasonic G X Vario 12-35mm F/2.8 ASPH O.I.S lens (mounted on a Olympus E-M5) review by Kurt Munger: This lens is extremely impressive wide, and very good as you zoom out, with the sides being the only issue keeping the lens from being a dream come true.

Dat Purple! This is the real dark side to the alleged micro 4/3 interoperability between lenses and cameras: Nasties such as color fringing and distortion produced by Panasonic lenses are all but eliminated when used with a Panasonic camera. Not so much when it comes to Olympus cameras, and this fact can transform an otherwise excellent lens like this one, to a mediocre one. The problem is, Olympus camera users have nowhere else to turn to, Oly has focused on prime lenses, and their only  high-end zoom ones are the old Zuiko behemoths, that don't work very well-or at all, with micro 4/3 bodies. Kurt Munger however does not appear to be excessively bothered by the less than optimal results the Vario 12-

35mm gives on his E-M5 and instead focuses on the positive things:

As I've stated several times, this lens is quite small and light-weight for a mid-range F/2.8 zoom, it's not really that much larger than a standard kit lens for an APS-C camera, and is actually smaller than a full frame kit lens!  The lens feels very solid in the hand, and is balanced reasonable well on larger micro 4/3 cameras, like the Olympus E-M5 used for this review.

Optically, the lens is best at the short end, from about 12mm to 15mm, where the centers and mid-sections are extremely sharp, even wide open, but do respond to stopping down to F/4, where the sides show increased resolution.  The rest of the zoom range is equally sharp in the centers and mid-sections, but the sides do suffer from resolution and contrast, especially as you near 35mm.

Color fringing is not problematic once you leave the wide end, and even so, it's correctable in most image editing software if you shoot in RAW.  Ghosting control is average with the usual green and magenta blobs and arcs, and seems to be about the same at all focal lengths.  Flare control is average to good, with the contrast holding up well at all focal lengths even with the sun inside the image.

Distortion is not an issue at all when shooting in jpegs, but 12mm barrel distortion is strong when saving as RAW, but again, it's a relatively easy fix in post. 
Close focus quality is very good as long as you focus correctly, and stop down to F/8 for flat copy work such as my stamp shot.

My wish list for version II would be to improve the sides of the image at longer focal lengths, the current quality is slightly disappointing.  Adding a couple of focus hold buttons would be nice too.  Also, the (early 2013) retail price is a little high for such a small lens, however, the quality at the short end is stellar, and that alone may be worth the price.

Finally, don't overlook the low-light (hand held street shooting) capabilities of the Panasonic 12-35mm F/2.8 lens for video or still work, it's almost perfect as the quality is very high at F/2.8-4 through most of the frame, and that allows you to keep the ISOs down for cleaner shots."


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