Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Review

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Panasonic Lumix Vario 12-32mm-4Panasonic 12-32mm

This lens is a small (very small indeed) standard zoom lens. It comes stock with a variety of Panasonics m 4/3 (MFT) cameras or can be purchased separately. The 12-32mm provides a focal length equivalent of 24-64mm in 35mm or full sensor terms. The lens retails right now for about 180$ at amazon.

 

Build Quality

The Panasonic 12-32mm is mostly made of plastic except for the metal mount and the build quality seems reasonably solid. The use of light materials makes for an really light lens weighing in at about 70g. The lens is also collapsible which means that it folds in on itself making it a really pocketable lens. It it a mere 25mm when collapsed and almost 60mm when fully extended. It does feature image stabilisation but no external on-off switch, instead it is operation from the camera menus. The lens does not come with a lens hood but aftermarket hoods are cheap and easily found. It is available in silver or black and takes 37mm filters.

Panasonic Lumix Vario 12-32mm-2

Focus

The lens has a minimum focus distance of 20cm and no manual focus. I believe Panasonic had to sacrifice the manual focus ring to be able to make the lens as tiny and light as it is. The autofocus, which is both silent and snappy, has been overall very accurate.

Ease of UsePanasonic Lumix Vario 12-32mm-5

Well there really is not much to say since there is few features on the actual lens. The zoom ring is smooth and the entire lens collapses and extends easily with just a slight increase of pressure.

Image Quality

The images that this tiny thing produces are surprisingly sharp. In fact it is one of the sharpest kit lenses I’ve used. It does have some slight light fall-off and barrel distortion when shot at 12mm. But overall the Panasonic 12-32mm displays good image quality. For sample shoots see page 2.

Conclusion

I would recommend this lens if you’re looking for a standard zoom for m 4/3 that you can carry with you easily at an affordable price. The Panasonic 12-32mm is a nice lens for everyday use and a lens you could easily carry with you in a pocket. The lack of manual focus is not a real issue since the autofocus works really well. The only obvious drawback is the fact that the image quality suffers somewhat at the widest focal lengths. It is not a lens for lowlight photography at F3.5 as its fastest aperture but that is common for a standard zoom. In summary if small, versatile and good image quality are what you’re looking for then check it out at amazon.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 Main

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