Review panasonic 12 32

Review panasonic 12 32 DEFAULT

Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 12-32 mm f3.5-5.6 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. @ Panasonic GM1

The Panasonic 12-32 mm lens is a super light and spectacularly compact lens with a Micro Four Thirds (MFT) mount. In 35 mm-equivalent (mm @ FF) the range is 24-64 mm, so a standard zoom with true wide angle. And that is special. Wide-angle zoom lenses with this mount are still rare, and the compact dimensions make the lens extra attractive. That is why this is a welcome addition to the MFT offerings.

The brightness is comparable to the previously released 14-42 mm kit lenses from Panasonic. The largest lens aperture is f/3.5 in wide angle and f/5.6 in the telephoto position. With this lens, a mirrorless system camera almost becomes a compact camera, since this lens is so small. Can such a small lens be just as good as a standard zoom?

H FS12032k front slantPanasonicGM1zoomlens


Wide-angle zooms for Micro 4/3 are still relatively scarce. This lens fills that gap well, though the zoom range for some may be a bit limited (2.6 x). The photos above are made in the maximum wide angle and the maximum telephoto positions.

The Micro Four Thirds (MFT) standard is a development of the original Olympus design for Four Thirds mount for SLRs; the difference is in the distance between sensor and flange (“register”). That is, for the Micro version (for mirrorless bodies), much smaller than for the original Four Thirds lenses that were used on an SLR camera. Micro Four Thirds lenses don’t fit on Four Thirds bodies, but the other way around (with an adapter) works. What’s great is that the MFT system has meanwhile grown to be a real world standard. Such a thing can only be good for the consumer.

Image stabilization

The lens is equipped with the rather pretentious name “mega OIS” on the front, indicating that the Panasonic 12-32 mm comes with built-in image stabilization. Given the compact size of this lens, it’s a great achievement by Panasonic that this lens is equipped with image stabilization. We tested the image stabilization at the longest focal length. The first thing that stands out is that a picture without image stabilization at a shutter speed of 1/50 second already benefits from image stabilization. Due to the lack of a viewfinder, you hold the camera with more or less straight arms, which is a less stable situation than when you are shooting with a camera with a viewfinder, where you support your elbows on your body. A picture made at a shutter speed of 1/50 without image stabilization is as sharp as a picture made with a shutter speed of 1/6 second with image stabilization. That’s a profit of 3 stops.

On the lens itself there’s no space for a switch. With the Panasonic GM1 body that we used in this test, you can disable the image stabilisation through the menu.


Most notable are the dimensions (only 28 mm deep) and weight (70 g). The filter size is 37 mm. The Panasonic 12-32 mm is even more compact than the Panasonic 20 mm f/1.7 pancake lens.

Before use, the lens first has to be popped up. The lens is then a maximum of 48 mm long. You can only take a picture after the lens has popped up. The mount is metal; the tube of our silver version looks metallic, but is plastic. There’s nothing wrong with that. There are eleven electronic contacts for communication with the body.

The lens has just one ring, namely for the focal length; there is no aperture ring, no distance ring and no other buttons or switches. Easy.

H FS12032k front slantv2

Auto focus

The auto focus is, with thanks to the Panasonic GM-1 camera, faster than the auto focus of many SLRs. In our lab test, where we have the test camera focus from 8 m to 60 cm, the focus delay was very small, about 1/10 second, consistently very accurate and above all totally silent. You hardly even notice that you’re focusing (as it should be).

The shortest setting distance is about 10 cm in the wide angle and 20 cm in telephoto mode. In the latter case, you have a field of view of about 14 cm. A macro lens, this is certainly not.

The lens has no remote ring; on the Panasonic GM1 you can manually focus using the setup disk on the body. For the target group, users who still possess a compact camera, that’s okay. If you’re used to a larger micro-43 or an SLR camera, then this takes some getting used to.



In order to compareMTF50 results for this lens with MTF values for lenses tested oncameras with anAPS-C or full frame sensor, we set the micro-43 test camera to a 2: 3ratio. In other words: we testedthis lenswith a resolution of14megapixels (2:3 ratio) instead of16megapixels (4:3 ratio). Using the native 4:3 aspect ratio will yield slightly higher MTF values.

The sharpness (resolution) of the lens gives nothing up to the larger 14-42 mm micro-43 or 18-55 mm APS-C kit lenses that we’ve tested to date. In particular, the sharpness in the center is high at all apertures. The corners are less sharp than the center. Even so, the resolution is no less than 1000 lines per picture height and that makes even the sharpness in the corners sufficient for many photographers. On top of that the sharpness in JPEG is heightened even a bit more.

Our practice shots taken confirm the measurements. For the most critical users, the sharpness in the corners may not be good enough. For the target audience, there’s no problem, because you can definitely get good A3 prints from the pictures.

Panasonic 12-32mm review, Panasonic lens review

Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 12-32 mm f3.5-5.6 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. @ 12mm, 1600 ISO, f/3.5, 1/4 sec

The 12 mm focal length in terms of field of view is equivalent to a 24 mm wide-angle lens on a camera with a full frame sensor. That field of view is really more spectacular than the maximum wide angle of a standard kit lens.


Often we find when testing standard or wide angle zoom lenses clearly visible vignetting. But not this time. Vignetting is already corrected in the camera by Panasonic, both in jpg and RAW files. And that is reflected in the pictures taken in practice: the vignetting is minor. Only at maximum aperture in wide angle is there anything to see, with one stop down, even that’s gone.


Distortion is corrected in the camera by Panasonic, both in jpg and RAW files. You can see distortion in jpg files and RAW files that you open in Lightroom, Photoshop or Silkypix only at maximum wide angle. That’s a very good performance.

Any disturbing distortion at 24 mm you will need to correct manually, because there are no standard lens correction profiles in Lightroom or Photoshop (because distortion is corrected in the camera).


Bokeh is the ‘quality of the blur’. Ideally, point-shaped light sources outside the focus field are shown as solid, moving outwards to soft spots without angular edges. With this lens, that last part works well and the first only partly, as you can see on the right. There are some observable rings on the outer edge. In terms of bokeh this lens is as good as other kit lenses for micro-43 or APS-C cameras.


The lens is not free of flare in bright backlight. Although the conditions were perhaps a little extreme in the shot on the right, there is also with weaker light sources some signs of flare (spots, stripes and comets). Also in night shots you’ll find ghosts due to flare. A lens hood is not included.

Chromatic aberration

Also chromatic aberration is corrected by Panasonic in the camera, both in jpg and RAW files. Both in the lab and in pictures taken in practice, we can hardly measure or see chromatic aberration.{insertgrid=359}{insertgrid=360}

Conclusion Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 12-32mm / F3.5-5.6 ASPH. / MEGA O.I.S. review


  • very compact, light and yet well built
  • attractive zoom range: 24 mm focal length
  • good image quality: high center sharpness, hardly any chromatic aberration or vignetting and low distortion
  • built-in image stabilization
  • all settings on the camera body, can’t be simpler


  • resolution in the corners could be better
  • distortion in maximum telephoto mode
  • sometimes suffers from flare
  • no macro-abilities
  • not really a bargain

The Panasonic 12-32 mm shows that bigger doesn’t always have to be better when it comes to image quality. This lens offers the same picture quality as the 14-42 mm micro-43 kit lenses or the 18-55 mm kit lenses for APS-C cameras. Still, the ‘unique selling point’ of the Panasonic 12-32 mm is the compact size and low weight. If you want an even more compact set, then you might consider, for example, a ‘pancake’ (14 mm) lens, but then you obviously have no zoom capability. We tested the Panasonic 12-32 mm on the Panasonic GM1: the most compact Panasonic system camera. In that combination, you have a set that you can carry around in in a good-sized pocket. Also with the Panasonic GX7, this lens makes an attractive combination.
Obviously, this 12-32 also fits on other brands that use the MFT mount. In some aspects the lens does excellently (no CA, low distortion and vignetting), but the resolution is still in the corners, as with virtually all kit lenses, a bit behind. You can also see that in pictures taken in practice. The lens seems to us to be very suitable for users searching for a super compact and super bright zoom lens. The retail price for a 12-32 mm without camera (approx. 350 euro at major online stores) is reasonable, especially since the field of view of a 24 mm wide angle (converted to full frame) delivers a much more attractive perspective than a standard kit lens. For less than 700 euro, you can buy a Panasonic GM1, including the Panasonic 12-32 mm. That is a more attractive offer in our eyes.


Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH. Lens Review

Panasonic Lumix 12 32mm (1)

This standard zoom lens for Micro Four Thirds (MFT) system cameras may not seem like anything special when looking at the on-paper specification, but it collapses down to a minuscule 24mm long. The lens is available as a kit option with some of Panasonic's current MFT bodies, or can be purchased separately for around £300. The zoom range offers a field of view equivalent to a 24-64mm lens used on a 35mm camera. In this review we'll investigate whether this miniature lens compromises in any way.



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Panasonic Lumix G VARIO 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 Handling and Features

Panasonic Lumix GM1 with lens

The lens barrel is constructed from high quality plastics, with a glossy finish and the bayonet is metal. It weighs only 70g and only protrudes from the lens mount by 24mm when collapsed. The lens is extended ready for use by simply turning the narrow zoom ring clockwise. There is no button to lock the lens in its retracted position. The small size of this lens should make it perfect for use with even the most compact Micro Four Thirds bodies and it also feels right at home on the Panasonic Lumix G3 used for testing.

Panasonic Lumix 12 32mm (3)

As focusing is performed internally the 37mm filter thread does not rotate, which makes this lens ideal for use with graduated and polarising filters. There is no manual focus ring, which means you're out of luck if you like to focus the lens yourself. However, this may be a compromise many can live with given the compact dimensions of this optic. The minimum focus distance is 20cm between 12mm and 20mm, but raises to 30cm at longer focal lengths, which makes this lens suitable for shooting in tight spaces at short focal lengths. The difference in minimum focusing can take a little getting used to, especially if the lens is zoomed to alter the composition at close distances.

Panasonic 12 32mm Vs Olympus 14 42mm EZ Lens (3)

The optical stabiliser is activated from the in-camera menu on Panasonic cameras. With care, the stabilisation system allows sharp shots to be taken just over half the time at 1/8sec at 32mm, which is three stops slower than the usual rule of thumb would allow.

Panasonic Lumix 12 32mm (4)

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Panasonic 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA OIS LUMIX G VARIO

SLRgear Review
January 5, 2014
by William Brawley

Panasonic released the diminutive 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA O.I.S. Lumix G Vario lens as the exclusive kit lens for the equally tiny Panasonic GM1. The small size, retractable mechanism and extremely lightweight design make it a perfect pairing with the GM1, allowing the combo to be quite pocketable. It's still not "pocketable" enough for your average pants pocket, especially jeans, but it’s darn close.

While this lens really does take the "Micro" from Micro Four Thirds to heart, it still provides a very versatile 24-64mm equivalent zoom range, as well as Panasonic's MEGA O.I.S. image stabilization system. The addition of O.I.S. is indeed very handy, as the variable ƒ/3.5-5.6 aperture is not the best out there for low-light shooting.

The Panasonic 12-32mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA O.I.S. Lumix G Vario lens is currently available exclusively as the kit lens with the Panasonic GM1 for around $748. While Panasonic makes both a silver and black version, the silver model is the only color currently available in the US market. The all-black version of the camera and lens are available as well in the European and Asian markets.

The Panasonic 12-32mm shows impressive sharpness throughout the zoom range, even wide open. There is some slight corner softness, even at the smallest of apertures, but overall it's relatively minor. Diffraction limiting softness is also present to a minor extent from ƒ/16-ƒ/22, however ƒ/16 still displays reasonably sharp centers. All in all, the little Panasonic 12-32mm lens is fantastically sharp.

Chromatic Aberration
While not completely devoid of chromatic aberration, the Panasonic 12-32mm does very well at controlling it. Average CA is very low at the wider apertures at all focal lengths, and slowly increases as you stop down. However, average CA never reaches 300th of a percent of frame height, and shows even less CA at the longer focal lengths.

Shading (''Vignetting'')
Overall, the Panasonic 12-32mm does really well at minimizing vignetting. While there is some corner shading at 12mm, wide open, it's relatively minor at just shy of 0.75EV of light loss (and at ƒ/4, it's a little over 0.5EV of light loss). For the rest of the focal lengths, on average, the light falloff in the corners is very low, hovering around the 0.25EV level of light loss.

Like sharpness, distortion is another of this lens's strong points. While there is a little barrel distortion at 12mm (less than 0.5%), it is practically nonexistent from 14mm onwards.

The AF system in the Panasonic 12-32mm uses an inner focus drive system and stepping motor that's nearly silent (great for video recording) and focuses very quickly. We found that it took less than one second to focus from the minimum focus distance to infinity. The AF felt quick, accurate and locked onto subjects easily with no hunting.

The lens also supports manual focus, but it's a bit tricky, as it doesn't provide a dedicated manual focus ring. Rather, manual focus is controlled via the camera body, which is why – as of this writing – the GM1 is the only compatible camera that supports manual focus with this lens. Manual focusing is performed using the touchscreen on the GM1 (or presumably any future compatible Panasonic cameras) using an on-screen slider to electronically slide from minimum to infinity focus. All in all, it's not nearly as quick or intuitive as manual focus on your typical DSLR lens or other compact system camera lenses with a physical focus ring.

The Panasonic 12-32mm does not have a dedicated macro setting. With a close focusing distance of 0.2m/0.66ft on the wide end to 0.3m/0.98ft at tele for an effective magnification of 0.13x, it's not a stellar macro or close-up performer.

Build Quality and Handling
Like I mentioned at the beginning, the Panasonic 12-32mm lens is tiny and very lightweight; it feels like it weighs practically nothing – 70.7 grams to be exact! It's balanced extremely well with the GM1 – as it should be – and makes it very easy to shoot one-handed should you need to. The lens has a collapsible/telescoping design: when the GM1 is powered off and you want to store or transport the camera, simply rotate the zoom ring past the 12mm mark and it telescopes down inside itself to make it a very compact system. When closed, the lens only protrudes out just shy of one inch (apart from the small lens mount protrusion on the GM1 itself).

The zoom action itself is quite smooth and there's a slight stiffness to it – you can't accidentally zoom the lens if you bump or brush it against something.

The exterior design of the lens is very minimal. There are no switches, focus window or other markings aside from focal length indicators and the obvious branding. The barrel itself feels to be made of plastic, as are the two-part telescoping interior barrels, however the whole lens feels very solid without any wiggle from the interior barrels.

Inside the barrel, there are eight elements in seven groups including 3 aspherical elements and one ED lens as well, which help control chromatic aberration, as well as helping keep the lens size compact. The lens elements are multi-coated for reduced glare and ghosting, and the seven-bladed rounded aperture provides smoother background blurring.

As the name indicates, this new lens also features Panasonic's MEGA O.I.S. image stabilization system, which is controlled via the camera body (again, no external switches). The new lens uses two lens groups (the 4th and 5th lens group, in fact) for the moving optical image stabilizing system as opposed to the single element group in the older 14-42mm kit lens.


As this lens is an exclusive lens design specifically for the GM1, there aren't really any direct alternatives. Furthermore, you can't purchase the GM1 in a body-only configuration.

However, there are some possible alternatives such as the Panasonic 12-35mm ƒ/2.8 ASPH POWER OIS LUMIX G X VARIO, which provides a similar focal length range and image stabilization, but also give you a constant ƒ/2.8 aperture for improved low-light shooting and bokeh. Like the 12-32mm, this lens is also very sharp and handles CA, vignetting and distortion very well. The big downside is price, as this 12-35 ƒ/2.8 lens comes in at around $1,000. It's also quite a bit larger and heavier, which somewhat diminishes the benefits of the GM1's tiny, compact size.

And, there's also the Panasonic 14-42mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 II ASPH MEGA O.I.S. Lumix G Vario lens, which provides a similar focal length range – less wide, but longer on the tele end – while including a similar variable aperture and IS. Again, the downside is size. The 12-32mm is significantly smaller and more compact, especially when retracted. The plus is that it only costs around $200. Note: we have not tested this lens yet, so we can't comment on image quality or other optical factors at this time.

Lastly, there's another variant of the 14-42mm lens, the Panasonic 14-42mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 ASPH POWER OIS LUMIX G X VARIO PZ, which is also an ultra-compact design, similar to the 12-32mm lens. This 14-42mm lens is only 1.1 inches long when retracted. It also shares a similar design with the removal of the focus ring, though it does away with the zoom ring as well, instead opting for a "Power Zoom" toggle switch. Optically, this lens is quite sharp, but shows more vignetting and distortion compared to the 12-32mm. It's also more expensive than the other 14-42mm lens at around $300.


The new Panasonic 12-32mm ƒ/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA O.I.S. Lumix G Vario lens is a stellar companion to the tiny GM1. It produces excellent, sharp photos at all focal lengths, even wide open, and has minimal distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberration. And while the lack of a dedicated focus ring is a little disappointing, as manual focusing using the touch screen is a little slow and awkward, overall there's not much to complain about with this lens. The Panasonic 12-32mm is the perfect match for the powerful and pocketable GM1 thanks to stellar optics and a super-lightweight, ultra-compact design.

Product Photos

Sample Photos

Click here for Real-world Gallery Images on our Flickr page!

The VFA target should give you a good idea of sharpness in the center and corners, as well as some idea of the extent of barrel or pincushion distortion and chromatic aberration, while the Still Life subject may help in judging contrast and color. We shoot both images using the default JPEG settings and manual white balance of our test bodies, so the images should be quite consistent from lens to lens.

As appropriate, we shoot these with both full-frame and sub-frame bodies, at a range of focal lengths, and at both maximum aperture and ƒ/8. For the ''VFA'' target (the viewfinder accuracy target from Imaging Resource), we also provide sample crops from the center and upper-left corner of each shot, so you can quickly get a sense of relative sharpness, without having to download and inspect the full-res images. To avoid space limitations with the layout of our review pages, indexes to the test shots launch in separate windows.

Panasonic 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA OIS LUMIX G VARIO

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Panasonic 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH MEGA OIS LUMIX G VARIO User Reviews

8.7/10 average of 12 review(s) Build Quality 7.4/10 Image Quality 8.4/10

Write your own review!

  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by newborncamera (10 reviews)

    Good wide and zoom range. OIS stabilization. Tiny footprint. Very very light. No focus ring. Fast accurate AF performance. Little to no distortion/fringeing. Perfect for gimbal use with feiyutech ak4500 and gx80.

    No focus ring can be a good thing for others. Too light. Made of plastic even the mount.

    Got it as a kit lens for the panasonic GX80.
    Its very small but has good OIS stabilization. Little to no distortion/CA fringeing.
    It has accurate and fast AF performance.

    Anyone saying this lens is not sharp doesnt really know what their saying.

    It doesnt have any focus ring. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. A bad thing because you wont have a physical focus ring.

    But the good is you you dont have a ring that will disturb your focus. One can also press a button on the camera to give manual focus adjustment via slider or thru the panasonic app.
    I actually like this concept as it actually gives me accurate and precis controlled manual focus racking by just tapping lightly on the LCD manual focus slider.

    When used with the panasonic gx80 and feiyutech ak4500 gimbal, you can rack focus using the focus wheel of the gimbal via bluetooth. No need external focus system. Gx80 is fully supported with ak4500.

    The good:

    Smooth zoom ring.
    Tiny. Like the size of to oreo cookies stacked together.
    No focus ring.
    Mega OIS stabilization for this tiny of a lens is a marvel.

    The bad:

    No focus ring but can be used with LCD manual slider or thru app.
    Tiny and light. Feels like you could drop this by accident.
    Little to no barrel distortion/CA fringeing.

    Overall id give this an 8 because its not as fast aperture.

    Build quality id give a 5. Its plastic overall even the mount.

    Image quality id give an 8.

    reviewed March 24th, 2021
  • 7 out of 10 points and recommended by transiently (25 reviews)

    Super-compactness and lightness. General optical competence.

    Sample variation. They fall apart when the glue which holds the control rings on ages.

    It's sharp enough centrally at all normal apertures. The sides of the image are generally sharp; the extreme corners tend not to look sharp when viewed closely. However for general and serious use, this is normally sharp enough, as long as you get a good one. It has a good balance of general optical properties, at least on Panasonic bodies. When I tried one on an Olympus, I got quite thick purple fringing in night shots, as I expected.

    I'd say it is very nearly as good as the Lumix 12-60 standard zoom at the focal lengths they share, which are the strongest parts for that longer zoom's performance.

    One of my samples was a bit decentred, and I've seen other results on the www which suggest much sample variation.

    The plastic-mounted version doesn't seem to perform any differently optically from the original metal-mount one. I don't know whether they fall apart as easily - definitely the metal mount version is prone to the control rings coming off the main body of the lens - it happened to me in a hothouse at Kew Gardens. I re-stuck them. Strange way to make a lens. But it is brilliantly small, light, and handy.

    reviewed January 23rd, 2021
  • 7 out of 10 points and not recommended by fnordpics (1 reviews)

    -tiny when collapsed -nicer than most (personal) kit lens designs -starts at 12mm

    -cheap plastic -plastic lens mount -no manual focus -not the sharpest -prone to lens flare at night especially

    Bought this for my Pen E-PM2 to keep it as tiny and versatile as possible, specifically because to my awareness it's the tiniest 12mm lens. Sadly almost everything else about it disappoints, notably the lack of MF (on Oly body) and soft IQ in nighttime photography. If the sharpness were better I'd keep it.

    reviewed July 31st, 2018 (purchased for $160)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by patrick.borel (5 reviews)

    Size My preferred zoom range Image quality

    This is my lens for city tours. I bought a used GF3 for 130$ and with this lens I get a very capable pocketable system with everything I need except EVF. The EVF is the one thing that keeps getting in the way when pulling it out of my pocket.
    So this lens makes an average outdated body an extremely versatile photographic tool. I don't miss the manual focus for my purposes. I love the wider angle compared to regular 14-45mm kit lenses. It covers exactly the range that I use 75% of the time. Crazy to even have an OIS built in to such a small lens, compensating partially the slow f-stop. Walking around the street in a city with this lens on a M43 body you blend in with the "normal" folks and don't stick out as a photographer. On the result side, you get the shots you want in the quality you need. I'll never give away this little marvel.

    reviewed October 22nd, 2016
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by Thoppa (17 reviews)

    Good quality overall. Tiny. 12mm wide is very useful.

    Build quality, not as sharp as 14-42 II, less than 3x zoom range.

    A very compact sharp lens. Not as sharp as the 14-42 II, especially in the corners so if you don't mind a larger lens and not quite as wide angle, the 14-42 II is likely a better choice. Although it has a metal mount, it doesn't feel as well made as any other Panasonic lens I've owned. It's still a keeper because it makes m43 cameras pocketable.

    reviewed May 16th, 2016 (purchased for $120)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by Perry Rhodan (40 reviews)

    Incredibly sharp for such a tiny and inexpensive lens!

    No MF. But no problem with touch focus!

    It's very good! Sharp even wide open. Very Quick to AF on the omd em 10. Get this for a walk around on your Oly over the pancake EZ.

    reviewed March 22nd, 2016
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by spochana (6 reviews)

    Sharp Light

    A little high contrast

    I bought this lens from a guy that got it with his GM1. I think it should be a good companion for street photo since it covers 24-64 mm focal length. I feel that the images from this lens gives a little high contrast (compare to other lens I have with the same setting). But overall it is an excellent little kit lens.

    reviewed July 11th, 2015 (purchased for $200)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by _dickb (1 reviews)

    extremely light, small, real wideangle , very decent quality, pretty fast to focus

    shortest focus distance could be better, no manual focus ring (but hey, at thiz size...)

    This is an extremely small and light take-me-anywhere lens with very decent quality. If you take the size, weight and price into account, this might be one of the best and most versitile lenses around, regardless of system. Of course trade-offs are made: it's not metal, no manual focus ring, shortest focus distance could be better, no long reach with 64mm equivalent, not the fastest (f3.5), and there are sharper lenses around. But all in all a very balanced and well executed lens, I like it lot!

    And as a bonus: it fits nicely into the standard camera case :-)

    reviewed June 14th, 2015 (purchased for $170)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by pc998 (6 reviews)

    Excellent sharpness through out the entire zoom range even at wide open

    Not MIJ; F5.6 at the tele-end is a bit slow

    It's the best kit lens (in terms of IQ) ever released by Panasonic. Highly recommended!

    reviewed March 25th, 2015
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by richeso (3 reviews)

    Sharp, Light, Excellent Image Quality

    3.5 Aperture wide open

    Excellent for a Kit Lens. Sharp, Light. Goes well with the GM1's diminutive footprint . Only drawback is that it not too bright with the largest aperture being 3.5 wide open.

    reviewed March 15th, 2015 (purchased for $170)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by Nonius (1 reviews)

    See the posibilities of this lens for casual shooters:

    reviewed January 17th, 2014
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by oluv (4 reviews)

    useful range, extremly compact, extremely light, sharp, fast AF

    has softness issues (especially at the right side), prone to purple fringing

    this lens is impressive. it is very small and very light but can compete with some fixed focal lenghts sharpness-wise through its entire zoom-range. it is not the best lens if you want fast apertures, but the OIS can compensate for some camera shake due to longer shutter speed.
    the 12mm wideangle is especially nice compared to other kit-lenses so that i can live with a bit less reach.

    but there is one serious problem. i have tested several of these lenses and all of them had shown a softer right side. sometimes the softness was extreme, while with other shots it could be minimal. it was worst at f/4.5 while wide open or stopped down to f/5.6 the softness was not that obvious.

    i am not sure if this is a general problem, because many other lenses (like the one from dpreview, photographyblog and even the one tested by SLR gear) seem to have exactly the same problem.

    reviewed January 16th, 2014 (purchased for $380)

Write your own user review for this lens!

Lumix 12-32mm is a GEM

Miracles don't happen: Lumix 12-32/3.5-5.6

The Lumix 12-32/3.5-5.6 may be considered a miracle candidate. Tiny, weighs next to nothing, very cheap in the right kit deals - at the moment it is free in a kit with the GX80 in the UK, with the kit price the same as the body-only price - and reputed to have excellent optical performance. What's not to like?

My copy is not reliable in delivering that reputed optical excellence. The lens may suffer (the key word is 'may') from a lack of consistency between the left- and right-hand sides and between one of the corners and the others. This is not predictable and I have not found a way of either intentionally triggering it or avoiding it. The inconsistent corner can be any one on a kind of random basis. Each time the lens is extended from its collapsed position a decision seems to be made somewhere whether this particular run will have inconsistencies or not, and what type and degree of inconsistency it will have.

I have learned to avoid holding onto or touching the lens when taking a shot, as that seems to be one of the things that might trigger inconsistency. This is not difficult as the lens does not need to be held when shooting - just correct the SLR holding habit and you are fine.

The other problem is distortion. The lens has its distortion auto corrected in most processing software and by the JPEG engines of cameras. However, after correction, the residual distortion is still very high. Distortion is one of the major complaints against the Laowa 7.5/2 - being a mechanical lens this is not auto corrected. However my observations suggest that the 12-32 zoom at 12mm has more or less the same degree of distortion after correction as the 7.5/2 without correction. This means that if you further correct the distortion in computer for the 12-32 at 12mm, corners are going to suffer more from two rounds of digital correction.

After careful comparisons with my first generation 14-42 kit zoom - something regarded as not so good - I have to say that on a good day when inconsistency is not present, the 12-32 about equals that old lens. Nothing more than that and certainly not justifying the romanticization of one and the vilification of the other. Both are fine performers, if one of them decides not to sulk.

All of the above, of course, relate to pixel peeping. If you are not interested in detailed scrutiny, it's a fine little lens. Then again the lens on my iPhone 7 is also a fine little gem in that context.

Examples from both ends of the zoom range:


32 12 review panasonic


The new Panasonic GM1 was created with small size in mind.  To that effect, Panasonic saw fit to design a new kit lens for the tiny camera.  The result is the collapsing Panasonic 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS.  Panasonic not only managed to make a lens that is barely larger than the miniscule 14mm f/2.5 pancake, but they also created a wider lens to boot, starting at a super-wide 12mm.

Panasonic 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS

If you’re not familiar with my reviews, I review from a real world shooting perspective.  You won’t find lens charts or resolution numbers here.  There are plenty of other sites that cover those.  I review products on how they act for me as a photographic tool in real-world shooting.

Around the Lens: Build Quality and Handling

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 with the 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6, collapsed

The Panasonic 12-32mm is an interesting lens. It’s got a somewhat odd focal range, but one I find quite useful. It starts at a wider-than normal 12mm and is a little shorter at the long end than the average kit zoom.  The lens has a field of view similar to a 24-64mm lens on a full-frame camera.  The lens has a collapsing design, and when the lens is retracted, it’s less than one inch thick.  The tiny size meshes well not only with the GM1 it comes with, but with any of the small Micro 4/3 lenses.

The lens is readied for operation by simply twisting the zoom barrel to the 12mm mark.  Unlike the collapsing lenses from Olympus, there is no ‘lock’ switch to prevent accidental closing of the lens during use, but rather the lens has a firm detent at the 12mm mark. It’s firm enough to make it feel natural during use, but a quick twist past the stopping point and the lens closes.  The 12-32mm is built with a lightweight metal exterior and extending lens barrel made of high quality plastics.  It’s relatively tightly assembled, and better constructed than some of the other Micro 4/3 kit zooms, though it’s not going to rival a pro-grade lens.

Of course, with a lens this small, handling is easy.  The 12-32mm weighs next to nothing and  the zoom ring is well damped.  The one big ergonomic issue is with manual focus.  The 12-32mm doesn’t have a manual focus ring, and as such, manual focus can only be performed by using a rocker toggle on the touch screen of the GM1.  The GM1 comes out of the box with the ability to manually focus the 12-32mm, though other Panasonic cameras will require a firmware update.

The 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS, extended and ready at 12mm

Focus Performance and Image Stabilization

The 12-32mm is very quick to focus and operates silently.  I found the lens to be very accurate and quick to lock, with minimal hunting.  In lower light, focus may slow down a little, but overall, there’s nothing to complain about here.

I found the image stabilization to work very well on the Panasonic 12-32mm.  It uses what Panasonic considers its ‘mid-range’ stabilizer, called Mega OIS. I found the OIS on the 12-32mm to perform perhaps a little better than other Panasonic lenses with this stabilizer.  I was able to consistently get three stops of stabilization from this lens, which I view as a great performance, especially while using a body without a viewfinder.

Continue: Image Quality

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Panasonic Lumix 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 review

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH Review


The Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH is a tiny standard zoom lens for the Micro Four Thirds system. Providing a focal range of 24-64mm in 35mm terms, the 12-35mm lens is both compact and lightweight. It combines 8 elements in 7 groups (3 aspherical lenses, 1 ED lens), and has seven blades which give the aperture a rounded shape. The Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens is available for £329.99 / $349.95 in the UK and the US, respectively.

Ease of Use

The LUMIX G VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH is a tiny and incredibly lightweight collapsible standard zoom lens covering a fairly versatile 35mm equivalent focal range of 24-64mm. When it's collapsed it measures just 2.4cm in length. Zoomed out to the 64mm setting, it then measures 5.5cms. Weight is a mere 70g, thanks to the mostly high-grade plastic construction, but commendably there is a metal lens mount.

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPHThe Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens mounted on a Lumix G-M1

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPHThe Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens mounted on a Lumix G-M1

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPHThe Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens mounted on a Lumix G-M1

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPHThe Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens mounted on a Lumix G-M1

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPHThe Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens mounted on a Lumix G-M1

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPHThe Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens mounted on a Lumix G-M1

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPHThe Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens alongside the Lumix G-M1

In terms of features, the LUMIX G VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH has little to offer (apart from its small size, of course). There is no distance scale and no focus limiter, and there is no handy image stabilisation switch for the Power O.I.S system either. Instead O.I.S is enabled through the camera's menu system, usefully offering around 3-stops of compensation.

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPHFront of the Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPHFront of the Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens, unlocked

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPHFront of the Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPHRear of the Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPHFront of the Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPHRear of the Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens

The LUMIX G VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH doesn't come with either a lens pouch or a hood. You can fit 37mm filters to this lens and the filter thread doesn't rotate when focusing.

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPHThe Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens in-hand

Focal Range

At the 12mm end of the zoom range the lens has a diagonal angle of view of 84°, equivalent to that of a 24mm lens in a 35mm system.

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPHField of view at 12mm

At the 32mm end the angle of view is 37°, which is the same as that of a 64mm lens on a 35mm full-frame camera.

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPHField of view at 32mm


The LUMIX G VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens offers near silent focusing thanks to the inclusion of a stepping motor. In use, we found the system surprisingly quick on the DMC-GM1 that we tested the lens with. The lens also incorporates an inner focus system, good news for filter users, as it means that it doesn't rotate in use. This combination of silent and quick focusing makes the lens well suited to shooting both stills and video.

Manual focusing is simply not possible, as there is no manual focus ring on the lens, one of the neccessary compromises it seems to make the lens so small.

Chromatic Aberrations

Chromatic aberrations, typically seen as purple or blue fringes along contrasty edges, are not too much of a problem with this lens at either end of the focal range.

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

Light Fall-off

With the lens set to its maximum aperture, you can see some light fall-off in the corners at both 12mm and 32mm, but nothing too excessive. You will likely only notice this when photographing a subject with large homogeneous surfaces. There is some pretty obvious barrel distortion at 12mm though.

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPHLight fall-off at 12mm

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPHLight fall-off at 32mm


The LUMIX G VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH has a closest focusing distance of 0.20m/0.66ft from 12-20mm and 0.30m/0.98ft from 20-32mm, and a maximum 0.13x magnification rating, so it's no macro lens, although that's not surprising for a standard zoom lens.

Panasonic LUMIX G X VARIO 12-35mm F2.8 ASPHClose-up performance


Bokeh is a word used for the out-of-focus areas of a photograph, and is usually described in qualitative terms, such as smooth / creamy / harsh etc. In the LUMIX G VARIO 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH lens, Panasonic have employed an iris diaphragm with seven rounded blades, which has resulted in quite nice bokeh in our view. We do realise, however, that bokeh evaluation is subjective; so we've included several 100% crops for your perusal.


In order to show you how sharp this lens is, we are providing 100% crops on the following pages.

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Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH Mega O.I.S. - Review / Lens Test Report
Lens Reviews - (Micro-)Four-Thirds

Page 1 of 3

Review by Klaus Schroiff, published May 2014


The Micro Four-Thirds system is a bit in a vulnerable position these days. They are receiving increasing heat from Fujifilm and Sony in the high end sector and due to the smaller sensor size this is probably going to be a difficult battle in terms image quality potential. From the bottom end, smartphones are at least attracting less ambitious users. Finding new value propositions is therefore key. Panasonic and Olympus are keeping a bit of an edge in certain aspects - namely AF speed and movie capabilities. However, at least Panasonic rediscovered an old advantage - system size and weight. Now MFT was never big for sure but earlier this year they released the Panasonic GM1 - a breathtakingly small camera which is barely bigger than digicams while still providing an excellent performance. The GM1 is also offered with a new kit lens - the Panasonic Lumix G 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS. The lens is interesting in at least three aspects:
  • it is a pancake zoom lens and as such extremely small in transport mode
  • it is a bit wider than usual. In full format terms it provides a field-of-view equivalent to "24-64mm".
  • Panasonic published some rather unreal MTFs (contrast & resolution characteristic) on their website.
So it may be a devilish beast in a tiny form factor ... we'll see. The build quality of the Panasonic lens is about average and somewhat worse than its in-house cousin, the Panasonic Lumix G X 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ Power OIS. The lens body is made of plastics based on a metal mount. As already mentioned the lens is tiny in transport mode. You can switch it to shooting mode by turning the zoom ring beyond a click mark (the 12mm setting). This extends the lens significantly and only then it becomes apparent that it is a duo-cam design (two inner lens tubes). The inner-most tube wobbles slightly and, to be honest, the lens feels a bit fragile when fully extended. The zoom ring itself is fairly stiff and tight. A specialty is the focus ring ... or to be precise - the lack thereof. This is probably not an issue in this lens class but this implementation relates more to digicam- rather than system-lenses. The AF performance of the lens is pretty much excellent and essentially silent. Despite the dwarfish size Panasonic managed to include an optical image stabilizer ("Mega O.I.S."). It is good enough for about 3 f-stops depending on your addiction to coffee (yes, I am a coffee junkie ...). Here's a comparison to the Panasonic Lumix G X 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 PZ Power OIS (to the left) with both lenses in transport mode.
Equiv. focal length24-62 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/7-f/11.2 (full format equivalent in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction8 elements in 7 groups inc. 3x aspherical and 1xED elements
Number of aperture blades7 (circular)
min. focus distance0.2-0.3m (max. magnification 1:7.7)
Dimensions "on/off" (L x W)24x55mm (in transport mode)
Filter size37mm (non-rotating)
Other featuresMega OIS, retractable


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