Choosing the Right Lens: Lumix 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6

Today’s Post by Mark Toal

As I write these posts about my favorite Micro Four-thirds lenses it’s temping to focus on the exotic, expensive lenses but I don’t want to overlook the great inexpensive lenses.

12-60 Henna tattoo

A fairly new lens from Panasonic is the Lumix 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 with built in image stabilization. The lens produces the equivalent of a 24-120mm full frame lens except it’s a lot smaller and lighter. Nikon’s AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/4G lens weighs 1.56 lbs, the Lumix is 7.41 oz .

12-60 model by window

This is what a lot of people refer to as a “kit lens” since it’s frequently bundled with a camera like the Lumix GX8. When people say “kit lens” they often mean that it’s not up to the standards of the other lenses in a camera system. Years ago this used to be true but not anymore. Lenses like the Lumix 12-60mm are as sharp as some of the best lenses available. What tends to make them less expensive—it’s $497.99—is that they don’t have a fast, constant aperture like some f/2.8 or f/1.4 lenses do.

If you do a lot of low light photography you may want a faster aperture lens but when you combine this lens, which is image stabilized, with an image stabilized camera body like the Lumix GX85 or GX8 you can still shoot at pretty low shutter speeds. You can see in the photo of the model by the open window how well this lens performs in low light.

If you’re on a limited budget or just want a small, light lens the 12-60mm is a great choice.