Andy Westlake tries out Panasonic’s mid-range weather-sealed standard zoom lens
Panasonic Lumix G Vario 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 Asph Power OIS review: Features
With an optical formula of 11 elements in nine groups, the lens uses a construction that’s more complex than basic kit zooms. It includes three aspherical elements and one made of extra-low dispersion (ED) glass, which together reduce optical aberrations such as distortion, spherical aberration and colour fringing due to chromatic aberration. As usual from Panasonic, optical image stabilisation is built in.
The lens is also designed for HD video recording, with silent autofocus and aperture mechanisms. The aperture itself is formed from seven rounded blades and features stepless adjustment, to eliminate sudden brightness jumps in movie footage. A bayonet-fitting petal-type lens hood is included in the box, and reverses snugly around the barrel for transport, while the filter thread accepts relatively petite 58mm accessories and doesn’t rotate on focusing.
One handy feature is the minimum focus distance of just 25cm at the telephoto end. This gives 0.54x equivalent magnification, meaning that the lens can fill the frame with a subject measuring 6.4×4.8cm. It can be useful for shooting close-up images of subjects such as flowers and insects.