Jordan Steele, who runs the blog Admiring Light, has posted his initial thoughts on the two new lenses on my mind - the Lumix 12-35mm f2.8 zoom and the Olympus 75mm f1.8 telephoto.
(Click Here) to read Jordan's piece on Admiring Light.
First, on the Lumix zoom, Jordan remarks on the common complaints from prospective users: price and lack of shallow depth of field. Keep in mind, none (or nearly none) of these people has had the opportuntiyt to try or even see the lens. Price is what it is. I think $1300 is a lot for a normal range zoom, even at f2.8. However, it's lower than the equivalent from Nikon. Of course, the Nikon lens is designed to cover a full 35mm frame, so there's more glass in the Nikon. Anyway, most people don't get into photography to save money. Second, depth of field. The issue is that with the smaller sensor (compared to 35mm) used in the Micro 4/3 cameras, shallow depth of field requires a wider aperture at any given focal length. In layman's terms, it's harder to get out of focus backgrounds, which is desirable for portraits and other images where you want to focus attention to the foreground subject. Yes, it's true. The Physics don't lie. You can't get the same shallow depth of field at f2.8 that you get on a full-frame lens. However, with the zoom at 35mm focal length (the longest setting), which is what you'll use for portraits much of the time, the depth of field will be plenty shallow in my opinion. In fact, I see an awful lot of portraits where the photographers take shallow depth of field too far - the subject's eyes are in focus, but their nose is not. Too far. Anyway, I understand that it's always good to be able to get shallower depth of field. I'll make that trade for the smaller form factor of Micro 4/3 cameras.
Next, the Olympus 75mm f1.8. There will be no problem with shallow depth of field here. At f1.8, it should be very shallow. This is one lens I can't wait to try. I sure wish I could have one this weekend for the music festival I'm planning to attend.
These reviews, including mine, from people who have yet to touch the lens, are of very limited value. We can discuss what we can surmise from the specifications (which is actually quite a lot), but we cannot see the more subjective features that are part of loving or hating any lens or camera.
I'm still on the fence about the 12-35mm, but fully expect to be able to give a hands-on review and samples from the 75mm f1.8 very soon. As soon as it's available for purchase, that is.