The Panasonic G9 Fails Me

After a couple of weeks and a few trips out with the Panasonic G9, I have a problem. It’s not exactly with the G9 but it’s the 12-60 lens that came with it. The right-hand side of the frame is soft. Well, to be more precise it’s out of focus.

I didn’t notice the problem at first other than to think there was some corner softness. But as I’ve shot with it in different conditions and looked more closely at the images, I can clearly see there’s an issue across perhaps 20% of the frame.

I’ve been in touch with Wex where I purchased the kit, and they are happy to swap it for another camera and lens. It’s such a shame because I was enjoying using the G9 so much that I purchased a used Panasonic 8-18 lens. I can’t wait to receive the replacement camera and put the 8-18 lens through its paces.

Whilst I wait, I’ve been out with the Fuji XT3 today. We are now in the second day of national lockdown but as there is no time limit on exercise I decided to walk out into the local hills.

It started as a sunny day and I didn’t expect to get any good light. But then shortly after lunch the mist and fog started to roll in. This created some lovely light which was changing between warm and cool. This image is a good example of the conditions and is at the point where the Oldham Way meets up with the Pennine Way footpath.

Fog and mist forming on the Pennine Way. Fuji XT3 with Fuji 18-135 lens.
Fog and mist forming on the Pennine Way. Fuji XT3 with Fuji 18-135 lens.

I shot this using the Fuji XT3 and Fuji 18-135 lens at 18mm. It’s a handheld exposure of 1/25” at ISO160 and f/10.0. I’m determined to return to this location for a sunset (hopefully with a Panasonic G9). Whilst it’s challenging to get a good composition, there is a lot of potential.

I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.

16 thoughts on “The Panasonic G9 Fails Me

  1. I’m the XT3 user who’s following your journey with both …agonising over whether or not to switch out of my XT3 into the G9 or Oly …weight being my driver

    Interesting to note what you got with the 18-135 …I’ve always shied away from it because I’m not certain that I would be happy with the quality . I’ve got the 16-55 and 55-200…would have liked the 50-140 but too heavy.

    When my GX8 broke ..bizarrely it was the sensor that broke …it cracked when I fell but the body and lens didn’t show any physical damage to speak of .

    Would be interested to know what the cause of the problem you encountered was.

    All the best

    1. The new X-S10 from Fuji might fit your bill for being small and light with the big benefit of on board IBIS. The only downside maybe the lack of weather proofing.

      1. Thank you . My issue is not the weight of the XT3 it is the weight of the lens eg the 16/55 and 50/140 . Hence why I am attracted to the lighter weight of the M43 lens but agonising over image quality versus the XT3.

        Robin is using both and I highly value is opinion on the comparison.

        If I do switch back to 4/3 then it is between Oly and Pan . The Pan probably swaying towards .

        I’m 67 which is probably why equipment weight is an issue

    2. The problem with the Fuji system is the size and weight of the lenses. Ironically the G9 is slightly larger and heavier than the XT3 body. It’s the small lenses that make the difference as well as the accessories. The 18-135 is a good lens but it’s easy to become hung up on the quality. At the wide-end it can be slightly soft in the corners but it’s still a good general purpose lens. It will never match the 16-55 but then it’s lighter and has a much longer focal range. It also has IS. I took it to New Zealand and found myself using most of the time. I had the Fuji 16-55 and the 50-140 but never used them. It’s these two lenses that I exchanged for the G9 with 12-60 lens.
      If you are interested in the pros and cons of the Fuji 18-135, here’s the review I wrote

      1. Thank you for this information. Exactly my perception of the lens and the reason I have avoided it .

        By the way mention the filters

        I recently invested in Kase Wolverine Pro round magnetic . Absolutely phenomenal !! So so so so much easier to use than filters with holders . So compact so easy to use and awesome quality . Yep no graduated but I never use grads prefer to bracket . I’ve previously had Nisi and Lee and these Kase Wolverine Pro are much much much easier to use with superb quality . Not cheap but brilliant

        All the best

  2. You didn’t mention which model of the 12-60mm lens that you had. I suspect that the problem will go away with a different camera & lens. I have the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 pro lens and it amazes me at just how good that lens is. The searched for several comparisons of the Pany 12-60 and the Oly 12-40 and they seem to be close in performance. I find my 12-40 to be sharp from corner to corner.

    Good luck with the replacement.

    1. It’s the Leica 12-60 version. The left and centre of the frame are excellent but then it went off on the right. It’s clearly a fault with the lens and not the design. I already have the Olympus 12-45 but wanted the extra reach of the 60mm. I’ve always found having a 24-120 (12-60 in M43 terms) focal range is perfect for most of my needs when walking which is what I want this kit for.

  3. Nice picture Robin! I must say that I can’t really see any difference between your images taken with the fuji or the micro 4/3; but this may be due to their size reduction for internet. I have an xe3 and a couple of olympus cameras and both produce excellent images, nor do I see the worm-like effect in the fuji raw files (developed with Affinity photo).

    1. Thanks. You won#t notice the worm effect in Affinity. It’s one of the few converters that makes a good job of the conversion. Unfortunately, it has other problems and some of the tools need an update.

      1. Yes ..I am an intermediate Photoshop user and I have recently attended an online course to learn Affinity . It feels very much in need of an update if it wants to continue to be considered as an alternative to PS . It felt outdated compared to PS .

  4. Hi Robin

    Have followed your Web page for some years now, though not signed up to your newsletter, as I am not a landscape man. I noticed your concerns about kit weight. At 80 years old, I am a Fuji user like yourself, and yes they seem to have got heavier! Can I suggest you use the following 3 lenses :- 14mm F2.8, 27mm F2.8, and finally the 60mm F2.4. They are all roughly double each other in focal length. The 60mm lens is also a good close up lens to boot, somewhat slow in focusing, but very good for the odd wild flower shots. Distortion is virtually non existent on all 3.

    I have weighed the 3 lenses for you, (complete with hood, front & back covers) they are:- 14mm – 275gm, 27mm – 95gm, 60mm – 306gm.

    These are all extremely light lenses, and the 27mm pancake lens particularly so. Sadly none of the Fuji fixed focal length lenses have image stabilisation, however they all have cracking resolution and MTF chart figures, particularly the ones listed above. They cost 14mm £799, 27mm £329, and the 60mm @ £569.

    The 27mm is sharp corner to corner at F8, and light as a feather, with no fall off, even if the focussing sounds a bit clunky, it’s accurate. They are all 4 star+ rated on Wex’s website.

    Kind Regards
    Kevin James

    1. Hi Kevin. Thanks for the suggestion of these lenses of which I already have the 14mm as well as a 12mm, 16mm, 23mm, 34mm (Zeiss) and 56mm. Some of these are heavier than your suggested alternatives but that isn’t really a large concern for me. My comments about weight was more around comparing a full frame kit with the micro 43 camera. My Fuji kit is about the limit of what I can carry in the mountains for a day with a full size tripod but I don’t always want to carry a tripod. I would much prefer a small shoulder bag with a camera and three zoom lenses for landscape work. I’ve tried to use primes for landscapes in the past and whilst the results are excellent and in some cases the lenses are enjoyable, they can be more challenging to compose with. I also frequently use longer focal lengths where a zoom is vital. I do like your choice of lenses though and this would make an ideal selection with my XA3 for city shooting. Thanks for suggesting these.

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