Hands-on with the ultra-compact Panasonic 35-100mm f/4-5.6 telephoto zoom lens


posted Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 5:33 AM EDT


We continue with hands-on testing of the latest gear to come out of this year's photokina trade show, and here we have a first-look at the new Panasonic 35-100mm f/4-5.6 Mega O.I.S. Lumix G X Vario compact telephoto lens.

Designed especially to match the compact and lightweight handling of the GM1 and Panasonic's new GM5 Micro Four Thirds cameras, this compact telephoto lens is, indeed, extremely lightweight despite packing a 70-200mm-equivalent focal length range.

The GM1 + 12-32mm lens on the left with the GM5 + new 35-100 on the right.

We had an opportunity for some hands-on shooting time with the new lens, mounted on a Panasonic GX7, and we took it around the show center for some gallery shooting. Like other hands-on session we've had with products announced here at photokina, the 35-100mm f/4-5.6 lens was technically a pre-production model, so the normal caveats apply: image quality and/or focusing performance could change when the final version is released.

That being said, the lens felt great in the hand, though to keep the weight down, the lens is constructed mostly out of polycarbonate (though the lens mount is metal). The combination of a versatile mid-to-telephoto focal length range, the super compact size and really good AF performance, makes this little tele-zoom an excellent street shooting lens. With an all-black GM1, GM5, or GX7, you'll have a nice stealthy street-shooting setup that won't weigh you down. We can't wait to get our hands on a final-production model and run it through the gamut in our testing lab!

Below you'll see a few selections of sample photos, and for full-resolution images, head over to our Flickr page for more photos!