A few months back (in January I think) I purchased a new lens for my Panasonic GM1. For those of you who are not familiar with the GM1, it’s a very small Micro 43 camera. Actually to say that it’s very small is an understatement. The body of this camera is smaller than many compact cameras and Panasonic has managed to fit a 16Mpixel Micro 43 sensor into this somehow.
The camera comes with a 12-32mm lens which is equally small but other than that you need to use standard micro 43 lenses. The Panasonic released the 35-100mm lens engineered specifically for the GM1. This gives an effective focal range of 70mm to 200mm. Best of all this lens is very compact and balances perfectly with the GM1’s tiny body.
Well, this past weekend I managed to take this lens for its first real outing and I’m very impressed with the following:
- The image quality from the lens is very good. The images appear sharp and very well focussed. The contrast levels are good and the image colour is excellent.
- The lens performs well across the entire frame and is sharp into the corners. I didn’t notice any problems with fringing but haven’t done any formal tests and neither have I checked for Barrel or Pincushion distortion.
- The lens is very light and compact. It’s also designed to collapse when not in use this makes it even smaller. In fact the lens was so small when not in use that the camera with lens attached could fit in my jacket pocket.
- Despite being so small the lens has image stabilisation built in. I wasn’t expecting too much but it actually seems to work quite well. I don’t think I had any images that were suffering from camera shake despite some of the shutter speeds being quite slow in relation to the focal length of the lens.
Overall the only problem I found (and it’s not really much of a problem) was that the focus speed seemed a little slow at times. If you have a GM1 and want a longer lens than the standard 12-32, I would strongly recommend taking a look at the 35-100mm.