12 f/2 Olympus manual focus

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by RoadTraveler, Nov 30, 2013.

  1. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    I think I know the answer to my questions but would rather be sure than assume…

    When the Olympus 12mm f/2 lens focusing ring is pulled reward into the manual focus position:

    1) Does it remain in that position securely, and not return to autofocus unless the user returns the lens to autofocus? Will it easily/accidentally return to AF mode?

    2) Does a camera body going to sleep affect the focus distance?

    Meaning, when the camera wakes-up does the focus by wire lens stay where it was focus like a manual lens (great on the streets and helpful overall), or does it return to infinity like my (Panasonic) AF lenses when asleep in manual focus mode?

    I'm really enjoying manual focus prime lenses (again) and the Oly 12 looks like the main option on the wide/prime end. I'd prefer if there was a manual focus and aperture ring w-i-d-e option. I already have the 7.5 FE, and a 17.

    Thanks in advance for your input and comments.

  2. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    1. Yes, it remains securely in that position. Its a toggle, not something you have to hold back while focusing. You simply slide it back into MF positition and it will remain there until you slide it forward. It is not easy to accidentally slide it in either direction, there is a nice, solid click when locking into either position.

    2. The focus position is remembered when you turn the camera off and on, though it may take a second to switch to the correct position when you turn the camera on. It is electronically linked, not mechanically linked, so there is a small amount of lag to it.

    Also, when you switch from MF to af, af on something and generally go about your business, and then switch back to MF, it will remember the last focus distance you had it set to. Which is useful if you want to say, set the focus to the hyperfocal distance or something and leave it there.

    I own the 17 and 12 which operate the same, with an EM1 and EM5, I'm not sure how they work on Panasonic bodies.
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  3. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    That's exactly the detail I was looking for and very helpful! :2thumbs:

    Now can someone confirm the remembers the manual focus position when a Panasonic body sleeps and later wakes up using this lens.

    In my situation the body is a GX1 but I'd hope the lens works the same on all Lumix bodies…
  4. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    The op's comment re the aperture ring didn't go unnoticed and I absolutely agree, that would make it the most perfect lens, can't have everything though.
  5. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Yes, at least for the mostly manual, creative use I'm envisioning, but the manual focus control is more important than the aperture ring.

    I have numerous AF zoom lenses that will continue to see much use, but I'm thinking of adding the Oly 12 to complement the Voigtlander 17.5 & 42.5 I'm in love with. Big apertures and picking my focus point (and seeing the results before capture) is fantastic.
  6. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    Er, yes and no. Only today, I had my 12mm out preparing for a picture inside some dense forest, trying to make sure trees in the background and foreground were just as clear. An aperture ring would have been just ideal. I mean, that's part of the purpose of having a wide angle to shoot in these conditions and not wide open, whilst leaving the 35mm equivalent to the focusing, no?

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
  7. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Agreed, part of the appeal of a manual wide angle lens is being able to set the lens in advance and use it on the fly and spontaneously. Knowing where a lens is focused instead of guessing 'if' an autofocus lens will lock on your target is a nice tool to have (I'm referring to sans viewfinder 'point shooting' here, though this isn't my only application for pre or zone focusing).

    I still have several Leica M mount lenses (Leica & Voigtlander) which work so well for this type of work. The Leicas in particular are fantastic partially because of the many aperature/focus markings on the lens. Unfortunately none of them work as 'wide' lenses any more because of the x2 crop factor of the m4/3 format.

    The aperture marks on the OLY 12 are usufull, but I wish there were more of them, at least down to f/4.

    I've also considered the Leica M mount Voitglander 12 mm. It excells at being smaller, with both manual focus and aperture rings, the negative is that it's a slow f/5.6 lens.

    My current thinking is that I'd prefer to have a very fast, wide prime, 24 mm (35mm FOV) as a minimum, but a 20 mm would be nice also. If Voitglander would/will make a companion lens to complement their 17.5 and. 42.5 Noktons I'd buy it. Another f/.095 might be nice, but also pretty huge, and maybe an f/1.4 would work well.

    If the 12 mm SLR Magic f/1.5 hyper prime focus ring didn't turn the opposite direction of all my other lenses I'd buy/try one of those for a manual wide.

  8. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    The Deal Breaker

    I'd read this review recently, but going back over it again I was reminded of this reported negative in manual focus mode. The manual operation is critical, as I have a couple AF zoom lenses that cover the 12 mm zone (including the 12-35). Seems the lens is not 'manual enough' for me, so I think I've saved myself hundreds of dollars by spending hours doing research and thinking about my application. I'll likely wait for a 'new', fast, wide prime to hit the market.


  9. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    SLR Magic 12mm T1.6 instead?

    I'd discounted the SLR Magic Hyperprime 12mm T1.6 lens because it appeared that the focus ring turned the opposite direction of the T-stop ring. Most of the early reviews clearly show this, and most/many of the press photos still used to advertise the lens seem to show that original design.

    I spent several hours yesterday researching the SLR Magic 12mm on the web and it appears that there are three versions of this lens. The initial version mentioned above with the counter rotating focus ring, a later version (that I want) with the focus ring turning the same direction as the T-stop ring—same as my new Voigtlander m4/3 primes—and a just announced, redesigned version that has geared aperture & T-stop rings for cinema use.

    It also appears that on this latest geared version SLR Magic has moved the aperture ring rearward toward the lens mount and the focus ring forward. Maybe this is the preferred standard for cinema lenses but I'd prefer they be as they were, same as my Voigtlanders. I'll be making phone calls and sending emails this morning trying to find a lens in-stock that operates as I want.

    A side benefit is that the SLR Magic 12mm is considerably less expensive that the 12mm Oly. I wanted to buy the special edition black version from Japan that was approaching $1,000! We shall see if I can both locate the SLR Magic 12mm Hyperprime lens I want, and then if I like the thing once I have it to shoot with.
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