The Panasonic Lumix 12-60 f/3.5 – 5.6 is a kit lens I got bundled with the G85. It also ships with the G95, and sometimes the G9 and GH5. When I declare that this lens has a place among the “Royals” of lenses, I’m referring to the class of Panasonic Lumix and Olympus non-pro lenses.
This lens is going for $500 on Amazon and you can find it used for around $270 on sites like KEH. If you’re looking at this lens and also need a camera, I recommend picking it up with a bundle as it’s a much better bargain.
12-32mm – Check out this comparison video.
14-42mm (and 14-45mm) – The 12-60 is wider and 18mm longer.
|Mount||The lens mount is made of metal and includes a weather-sealed rubber gasket|
|Zoom Ring||The zoom ring is wide and smooth, but it wouldn’t hurt if it was smoother|
|Focus Ring||The focus ring is smooth to turn, but ring is quite narrow. Like many M43 lenses, it’s a focus-by-wire lens which works for most consumer scenarios|
|Physical Buttons||There’s no physical buttons are present on the lens|
|Minimum Focusing Distance||Minimum focusing distance (.2m, .66 ft)|
|Weight||Weight: 3.52 ounces / 100G|
|Filter Thread||The filter thread is 58mm|
Aperture is variable from 3.5 to 5.6, again, if when you zoom from wide to telephoto, the exposure will change.
It’s a stabilized lens which I really like and I’ll speak more on this later.
This lens is weather-sealed.
Reasons to skip this lens
- If you’re looking for something sharp, there’s other sharp lenses available like 25mm f/1.4 or the Lecia 12-60 f/2.8-4.
- If you’re looking for constant aperture, you’ll want to skip this lens as this has variable aperture.
- Focus is not parfocal, so if you get focus at 12mm then zoom into 60mm, you will lose focus.
- The widest aperture is f/3.5 so this isn’t great for low-light video or photography. If you need something for low-light, you’ll want to look at low aperture lenses, like 25mm f/1.7, 15mm f/1.7 or the Panasonic 10-25mm f/1.7.
Reasons to get this lens
- Dual Image Stabilization. That’s the power of this lens. If you shoot video and control the camera movements, you can avoid using gimbals.
- The 12mm is a perfect FOV for vlogging and if you want to capture footage at a far distance from you, the 60mm comes in handy. Remember the 12-60mm on Micro Four-Thirds is equivalent to a 24-120mm on full frame. It’s also perfect for home video, travel, and non-professional photography.
- The best Panasonic (not Leica) kit lens and it’s worth upgrading from 12-32 or 14-42 for the higher focal range. Many Lumix MFT cameras have a crop in 4k so having that extra reach with 12mm, comes in handy. This is the only Lumix kit lens with weather-sealing.
Why queen? If you’ve played chess, you know the queen is the most versatile players on the board. The Panasonic Lumix 12-60 f/3.5-5.6 also has that same versatility among the Micro Four-Thirds lenses. The wide 12mm, zoom range, and dual stabilization. The G85 with the 12-60mm lens, is one of the best budget camera bundles. It makes an even more compelling case to pair this lens with the Panasonic Lumix G7 – as this camera body doesn’t have in-body image stabilization. Pair that with a rode video mic and an ND filter, and you’re set for YouTube, social media and home videos!