Having given the lens a good write up but its combination with the E-M5 less of a blessing, I decided to renew my acquaintance with the lens plus E-M5 in some half decent light.
To the handling. It still isn’t great, but you may be fine. Looking at the way I hold the E-M5, the grip doesn’t allow me to get my fingers fully around it in the way the G5 grip does.
So I think my handling issues are essentially related to the fact i cannot get a firm grip of the E-M5 with the 35-100mm on which leads me to notice the weight more. I suspect this is exaggerated by the optical design of the lens and its weight distribution (see earlier posts). All in all, you may be fine if you have smaller hands!
To the sharpness, no, it isn’t as good as the 75. It is very good though. If you are satisfied with the 12-35 you will not be disappointed with this lens. The difference is only really pronounced when pixel peeping.
I’m beginning to wonder if there are some slight focus issues with the lens in low light though. It was fine today while the sun was out but I started getting an inaccurate focus as soon as the sun went in (to be clear, this wasn’t motion blur, more like front focus). Perhaps this is why there is a firmware update about to be released addressing autofocus issues.
I didn’t really observe flare, despite the conditions, so again I ditched the hood. I would recommend this as when you do the camera and lens become anonymous again.
Again, I cannot praise the colour you obtain with this lens enough (despite my personal penchant for B&W).
To complete this review I think I would observe that this lens is really very good indeed. The only weaknesses I can detect are some busy bokeh over vegetation and other difficult backgrounds, some issues of balance that only really apply on the E-M5 plus grip and some slight odd misfocusing issues in low light. It’s expensive, but I expect it to fall in price over time, so it may well be even more affordable in 3-6 months.
All taken with the Olympus E-M5 and 35-100mm lens
First impressions with the E-M5: http://wp.me/p2wMAg-g9
Further images with the E-M5: http://wp.me/p2wMAg-ge
Panasonic G5, 12-35mm and 35-100mm in Whitecross Street Market: http://wp.me/p2wMAg-gl