Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ASPH Power OIS (Panasonic) - Review / Lens Test - Samples & Verdict
Lens Reviews - (Micro-)Four-Thirds

Sample Images & Verdict

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Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 12.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/15s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 60.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/80s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 60.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/4000s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 44.0mm
Aperture: f/3.9
Exposure 1/1000s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/1250s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/1600s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 60.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/3200s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 60.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/1250s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/20s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 640
Focal Length 12.0mm
Aperture: f/2.8
Exposure 1/30s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 640
Focal Length 42.0mm
Aperture: f/3.9
Exposure 1/40s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 60.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/1000s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 60.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/640s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 400
Focal Length 12.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/1250s

Competition

The most obvious competitor of the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ASPH Power OIS (to the left below) is its in-house cousin - the Panasonic Lumix G 12-60mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH Power OIS (reviewed HERE) - shown in the right below. The Panasonic lens has obvious a smaller max. aperture and, consequently, a lower price tag but it's actually a pretty good lens unless you need a fast aperture. Another competitor is the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO (center). It's real world performance is similar but it's a quite massive lens in comparison (review HERE). A better alternative is the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO (reviewed HERE) but its range is already substantially smaller and it doesn't feature an image stabilizer.

Visual comparison courtesy of camerasize.com.

Verdict

The Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ASPH Power OIS delivers a very good job without being brilliant - which is hardly surprising given its 5x zoom ratio. The resolution is perfectly fine (tack sharp) in the image center. However, like many MFT standard zoom lenses it suffers from aggressive distortion auto-correction at the wide end of the range which is limiting the border quality to max. good to very good results at 12mm. Due to field curvature you should also stop down a little here although this doesn't increase the technical performance anymore other than reducing corner noise (due to less vignetting compensation). The quality is great in the middle range and still impressive at 60mm. Lateral CAs are low and generally no issue. Vignetting and distortions are handled via image auto-correction so you don't need to worry about these two aspects in real life. The quality of the bokeh is a bit on the rough side.

The build quality is very high - the used materials are top-notch and everything is tightly assembled. The weather-sealing and a freeze-proof designs are reassuring. It's also very compact lens relative to it's zoom range and speed. The AF is very fast and absolutely noiseless. Panasonic Power OIS (optical image stabilizer) wasn't overly convincing unfortunately. It's hard to tell whether I'm a shaker or whether I have simply a different definition of critically sharp results but during the field session it gave me 2-3 f-stops max.

Coming to a final conclusion is difficult - less so because of the Leica lens itself but because there are so many MFT standard zoom lenses. It tries to find the "right" balance between range, quality and size and it certainly succeeds here in our opinion. Whether this specific balance is right for you is a different question.

Optical Quality:
Mechanical Quality:
Price/Performance:
      
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