12-100 vs pro zooms

Mack

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Not to get too off topic, but the 45 f/1.2 is supposedly the sharpest MFT lens ever tested

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 45 mm f/1.2 PRO review - Image resolution - LensTip.com
Thanks for the link! :thumbup:

I never read anything on that site about lenses. It does seem the Olympus 45mm f/1.2 PRO is the sharpest in their lineup and it does beat the 75mm which I thought I too saw with mine. I started wondering if I got a bad copy of the 75mm, but might be the 45mm is just that much better. My 75m isn't bad, but the 45mm pulls stuff off the sensor I thought only a high-megapixel camera could do. They have some head-shots on the link at the end of the article and the detail in the hair is amazing for a m43 camera. Pretty much what I saw in a 3/4 body shot and saw the individual eyebrow hairs when zoomed in, I was thinking "No way can this be happening!" After that, the Nikons, lenses, and the 40 pound roller bag got shoved into the back of the closet.

More interesting is the 12-100mm is sharper than their 300mm f/4 too given it is a zoom. Olympus did win some Japanese Engineering Award for the 12-100mm I saw elsewhere. Broke the mold with it, so to speak.
 

Saledolce

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Is part of the issue that you would need to sell both your pro lenses in order to buy the 12-100 PRO which means you would have to make the decision THEN see if the 12-100 PRO is up to the task? Or could you afford to get the 12-100mm and see how it goes before selling off your two other PRO lenses (or the 12-100 if you decided it isn't for you)?
I have budget to (eventually) buy the 12-100 and see how it goes. To keep the cost reasonable I'd look for a nicely used one, plus would probably trade in the 14-150.
 

Jay_M

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Thanks for the link! :thumbup:

I never read anything on that site about lenses. It does seem the Olympus 45mm f/1.2 PRO is the sharpest in their lineup and it does beat the 75mm which I thought I too saw with mine. I started wondering if I got a bad copy of the 75mm, but might be the 45mm is just that much better. My 75m isn't bad, but the 45mm pulls stuff off the sensor I thought only a high-megapixel camera could do. They have some head-shots on the link at the end of the article and the detail in the hair is amazing for a m43 camera. Pretty much what I saw in a 3/4 body shot and saw the individual eyebrow hairs when zoomed in, I was thinking "No way can this be happening!" After that, the Nikons, lenses, and the 40 pound roller bag got shoved into the back of the closet.

More interesting is the 12-100mm is sharper than their 300mm f/4 too given it is a zoom. Olympus did win some Japanese Engineering Award for the 12-100mm I saw elsewhere. Broke the mold with it, so to speak.
It is impressive how well the 12-100 Pro performs at f/4. Based on those results, stopping it down from wide open should be the last option to get correct exposure.
 

Jeffcs

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I have the 2.8 Pro zooms but for every day “walk-around” I use the 12-100 F4 it’s a great lens I look at it this way I’m not changing lenses for that reach while just out and about.
 
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the near far nord, eh!
I have budget to (eventually) buy the 12-100 and see how it goes. To keep the cost reasonable I'd look for a nicely used one, plus would probably trade in the 14-150.
The only one of the three I don’t have is the 12-40. It is however similar to the 24-85 FF Nikor I used in Europe in 2014 on my D700 (before the switch to mu43). While I loved that lens, there were many times I yearned for more reach. I have not had that yearning since moving to the 12-100 on either my em5.2 in 2017 or em1.2 in 2018.
Personally I wouldn’t get rid of either of your two current lens as I feel they serve a different purpose. I bought the 12-100 specifically for travel purposes. In your case if you had the TC1.4 it would be worth keeping the 40-150 as it would allow you to double the reach of the 12-100 once you get it. As noted previously I probably won’t consider taking the 40-150 on out next trip (lesson learned from this trip) but I will definitely be keeping it in the herd.
 

nstelemark

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I have the 12-35f2.8 and the 12-100f4, and they are very different. The 12-35 is very compact and light, and the 12-100 is super versatile.

There is so much choice in this range it is tough. I never really liked the 12-40, but the PL12-60 looks like a really decent option as well.

It all boils down to size weight and reach.

12-35 ≈300g
12-40 ≈400g
PL12-60 ≈300g
12-100 ≈550g

If I had not purchased the 12-100 I would have likely bought the 12-60, because I always liked the 4/3 12-60SWD which is about 600g.
 

Saledolce

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I decided to focus my self-analysis of my trip to Bilbao/Basque Country last summer, to see what I really used and how a 12-100 would have helped me.
- I shot 835 photos.
- 70% where shot on EM1 (20% on my RX100v, 10% on mobile).
- Out of 574 shots with Em1, I took 60% with my 12-40 and only 10% with 14-150. The rest with 17mm f1.8 (25%) and the remaining 5% with Samyang FE.
- Only 1% of that was > 100mm.
- 50% of my shots with 12-40 were at 40mm

So, I clearly brought two overlapping lenses, but ended using the higher quality one. I spent at lot of time at the upper limit, so I confirm the feeling that the 12-40 somehow made me feel constrained. But not enough to swap to the lower quality lens....

45% of the shots, I was at or below f4 aperture, so I could have done with 12-100. Only 10% of the shots were below 1/60 of a second. Out of this "slow" shots, about half are in focal lengths I could cover with my “normal” primes.

A lot of numbers, but long story short: a 12-100 would very likely have done a great job for me in that specific trip (July 2018). I want to repeat the analysis on my August 2018 vacations, and see if the different context changes those numbers signficantly....
 

pdk42

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I was sceptical about the 12-100 but I got the chance to do a swap for my 12-35 and 35-100 pair. Overall I think it was a good choice (but the two Panasonic lenses are pretty convincing too). Optically it's fantastic even wide open. The IS is amazing (I've shot 8s handheld with the E-M1ii) and the range obviously makes this a hugely versatile lens.

Unlike some here, my shooting tends to wide rather than long so my default bag is the 12-100 with the 8-18 and the 8mm FE. It's a great landscape kit. I don't feel meaningfully disadvantaged compared to any FF kit (and I ran an A7Rii + 16-35 for a little while).
 
D

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I was sceptical about the 12-100 but I got the chance to do a swap for my 12-35 and 35-100 pair. Overall I think it was a good choice (but the two Panasonic lenses are pretty convincing too). Optically it's fantastic even wide open. The IS is amazing (I've shot 8s handheld with the E-M1ii) and the range obviously makes this a hugely versatile lens.

Unlike some here, my shooting tends to wide rather than long so my default bag is the 12-100 with the 8-18 and the 8mm FE. It's a great landscape kit. I don't feel meaningfully disadvantaged compared to any FF kit (and I ran an A7Rii + 16-35 for a little while).
Have you used the O12-100 on the PEN-F much? I'm wondering how the balance feels with that. I see by specs that it is only marginally longer than the P35-100/2.8
 

wonglp

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Have you used the O12-100 on the PEN-F much? I'm wondering how the balance feels with that. I see by specs that it is only marginally longer than the P35-100/2.8
I bought a cheap L bracket which comes with a grip, balances well. If that helps.
 

Turbofrog

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As suggested above, I did some statistics on my usage of the pro zooms.

1) when I use the 12-40, 50% of my shots are at 40mm, this probably means I'd use more focal lenght.
2) when I use the 40-150 I'm above 100mm 50% of my shots. So I seem to like "long FL", same for my 14-150 where I'm above 100mm 40% of my shots.
3) when I use 12-40 or 40-150, more that 50% of my shots are below f4. So I seem to like the additional aperture.

I'm confused....
It sounds like you could use a 12-150mm/f2.8.
 
D

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Well, it certainly fits! Balance is ok, if only because you hold the weight mostly by the lens barrel. It's not ideal, but quite usable.
I bought a cheap L bracket which comes with a grip, balances well. If that helps.
Thanks for the replies. I'm thinking of dropping down to one m43 body, which would be the PEN-F and selling the Panasonic 12-35 and 35-100 f/2.8 lenses I have and going with just the one O12-100 as a smaller walk around combo.

I already have all the options I'd need as far as low light is a concern(primes). Seems like it might make a ton of better sense right now for me, especially with how well the Nikon Z6 is working out so far.
 
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Holoholo55

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I recently purchased a 12-100 recond. It's working out great so far and I'm getting used to the weight and size. For background, I bought the 12-40 with the EM1 several years ago. Loved that 12-40 and took it with me on several trips, where it probably took 90% of the shots. However, as @Saledolce said, I found a lot of them were at 40 mm and I sometimes wished for more. In a halfway step, I bought the ZD 12-60. While I really like that lens and the way it renders, with the MMF adapter, it's a little bigger and heavier than the 12-100. I got slightly more reach, but I was basically exercising for a 12-100. :)

(I started in M43 with a 12-50 - it had a nice range (still felt short sometimes), but was too slow aperture wise. The 12-40 blew it away in IQ and there was no going back.)

As others have said, the 2 mm at the wide end makes a big difference over other standard zooms that start at 14. I like the 12mm starting point and the IQ of the Pro zooms. Why not the PL 12-60? I tried a friend's lens and it's about the same size as the 12-40 while giving an extra 20 mm in reach at the loss of one stop at the end. In essence, it's like having a f4 straight through. It would be a good choice, but very little difference in cost if the Oly is reconditioned.

So, I bought the 12-100, sold the 12-40, and am trying to sell the 12-60. I don't regret the latter two lenses for an instant, but I'm happy with the 12-100. In the past, my travel kit would be the 12-40, 40-150 R, 17 f1.8, and 9-18. The 12-100 takes care of the 12-150 range (foregoing the last 50), so that saves carrying one extra lens and the associated lens changes. The only other two lenses I'd take would be the 15 f1.7 and the 9-18. Pretty much covers everything.
 

Saledolce

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More or less 1 year after this thread (and purchasing the 12-100) I'm considering selling my 12-40. My kit is a mess, too many overlaps are not helping me to have clear ideas on what gets used when.

I love my EM10.ii body, with the premium primes. It's a light kit with an unbelievable quality level, at some point my Sony kit (once I pick the 85mm f1.8) will challenge it seriously, but today that's not going. The only rationalization that I may evaluate on that kit is the 75mm f1.8, that's a niche lens and of course doesn't get a lot of use, but I love it sooo much (sharp, sharp, sharp) it will be hard for me to let it go. I recently picked the 40-150R and last summer it was very useful to have a very compact 1 prime (25mm) one zoom kit.

My EM1.ii is the body that I shoot more frequently, mainly with 12-100 and 40-150 pro. Don't use the premium primes much on this body, because it feels too big for the tiny lens, but sometimes I also carry the 25mm f1.8 when I use it. Hence the idea to keep just two of those zooms.

Then, last but not least, my Sony A7ii kit. I may upgrade to A7iii around black friday/xmas. I have 35mm f2.8 and 50mm f1.8, and plan to add the 85mm f1.8 at some point. I also have a 24-105 f4 which is an unbelievable piece of glass but weights as much as the 12-100 with an FL again very close to the 12-40.

I feel like the 12-40 is overlapping:
a) with the m43 premium primes
b) with the 12-100
c) with the primes and the zoom in the Sony kit

The other area where I see "too many options" is the 75mm, but which would overlap less perfectly but still conflict a bit with:
a) the 12-100
b) the 24-105, also considering the extra crop allowed by FF
c) eventually the future FF portrait lens I might be adding

Any thoughts to help me rationalize my kit?
 

ac12

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@Saledolce
I use both the 12-40 and 12-100.
To me each has it's place and use. So despite the overlap, to me, they are not interchangeable.
The 12-40 is smaller/lighter and faster than the 12-100.
The 12-100 has a longer reach and wider zoom range.
So if you can afford them, I would keep and use both lenses.

While I use primes for the wide aperture, sometimes it is just a PiA to be switching lenses. Half the time I have the wrong lens on the camera, and that is where the zoom wins. On my Nikon, I have been thinking about replacing my 35 and 50 f/1.8 primes with a 17-50/2.8.

As for the 75/1.8.
None of the zooms comes near it for speed. They are both TWO stops slower. In low light, FAST glass wins.
That is why I shoot primes in the gym.
That is why I have a 17/1.8 in my travel kit, to be the indoor low light lens.

I will make thing more complicated.
I shoot BOTH pro and consumer lenses, and the overlap gets even worse.
Which lens I grab depends on the specifics of the shoot.
Example1, for travel I want the lighter Pana-12-60 vs. the Olympus 12-40/2.8 or 12-100/4.​
Example2, for going out, I may want the compact 14-42EZ paired with my EM10. Because it is so much smaller and lighter, compared to an EM1 + 12-40/2.8.​
Example3, for shooting field sports, I use the 12-100. It is the only m4/3 lens that has the focal range that I want.​

As for the Sony, well that is a different call.
m4/3 and FF, compliment each other.
If you want a larger sensor, grab the Sony.
If you want reach grab the m4/3.
I drew a line in the sand, I don't use a lens longer than 300mm on a DX/FX camera. Too big/heavy.​
The Olympus 75-300 has the same magnification as the much bigger and heavier Tamron 150-600.​

I shoot both m4/3 and Nikon DX. As much as I've tried, the OVF on the dSLR wins for shooting certain sports. It is just easier to use. The EM1X might match an OVF, but I can't afford it.
 
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