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12mm 2.0 or 12-35?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Foster2380, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. Foster2380

    Foster2380 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 6, 2012
    I'm looking to upgrade my kit for the OMD. I have the PL 25, and the 12-50. I need a good landscape/moderate wide angle lens. I've thought about the 7-14 but its so expensive for the limited use I'd get out of it.

    I think I'm between the 12mm and the 12-35. The different strengths and weaknesses in specs are fairly obvious. My low light needs are taken care of with the PL 25 so the f stop advantage of the 12 is no huge concern. And it would be nice to have the flexibility of the 12-35 without changing lenses while hiking, dirt biking ect...

    IQ wise, is one of these lenses the clear winner? And a subjective question, is the 12-35 really worth the extra $$?
  2. MrKal_El

    MrKal_El Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 24, 2011
    To simply put...while the 45mm is still my favorite lens...the 12-35mm has been used probably 75% of the time.

    It is so versatile and amazing quality. I never reach for my now-collecting-dust 12mm. But that's my opinion.

    Sent from my Touchpad using Mu-43 App
    • Like Like x 2
  3. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    I own both, and IMO (based on shots I've taken, not test charts or MTF numbers or whatever) they're both excellent. I'm not sure I could tell them apart in a blind test, though the Oly is presumably a bit sharper than the 12-35. Ref: LensRentals.com - A Weekend with the Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8

    I would base this decision on prime vs. zoom, and size rather than IQ personally, especially if the extra stop of aperture isn't important to you.
  4. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ

    Agreed, my Oly 12mm has been used once since I got the 12-35mm - couldn't bring myself to part with it because I still really like it, but it's definitely hard to compete with the versatility of the zoom!
  5. mistermark

    mistermark Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 16, 2012
    I have both too and echo the observations that there's very little performance premium with the prime. The 12 still has a place in my system for times when I don't want to take a gadget bag - I have one prime on the body, the other in a pocket. But it's not significantly sharper than the 12-35, which is an excellent performer by zoom standards.
  6. judywisconsin

    judywisconsin Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 25, 2013
    I'm really new here. I just got the OMD last week, with the 12-50mm kit lens. Should I consider a prime 12 mm, and/or the 12-35 that you've been discussing? What advantage(s) might there be? Right now I'm an all-around shooter - macros, landscapes, birds, kids...whatever.
    Any advice will be appreciated.
  7. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    Your kit lens covers the same focal range as the two lenses you are considering. I would suggest you go and start shooting some pictures and see if you run into any limits caused by the slower aperture of the 12 - 50.
    You should then look at the focal length you prefer to shoot the zoom at and go from there.
    Most folks that choose a prime lens do so for the shallower depth of field. The image quality improvements won't really show up unless you make large prints. The 12 - 50 is a fine lens if you have enough light.
  8. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    The best is to wait, take your time understand what you are missing.
    If you need a faster lens get one of the following cheaper alternative (P - Panasonic, O - Olympus) O17, P14, P20, P25 or O45.

    All of this lenses will give you fast prime at a smaller package then the O12-50.
  9. noohoggin1

    noohoggin1 Instagram: @tomnguyenstudio

    May 21, 2012
    I went through a similar dilemma, and ended up going for the 12-35mm for its versatility and overall excellent image quality/sharpness. I don't shoot at wide angle too often, so I thought my finances would better serve me with versatility (and then have the option of wide angle when I DO need it). They say that the the prime is slightly sharper at 12mm, but honestly I've been so happy with the biting sharpness of the zoom at 12mm that I have no complaints. Plus, the close focusing distance of the zoom is awesome for semi-macro shots.

    the 12-35mm won't let you down, and is worth it IMO.
  10. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I went with the 12-35 - I find a zoom in this range is indispensable for travel and I like shooting landscapes at wide (12mm, which I don't consider 'moderate' WA, just WA) and slightly less wide (stitched) focals. I basically never shoot landscape wide open anyway, and that's what I use wider glass for most.

    I wouldn't say no to the 12, but I'd rather spend cash on the 25 and 75 in prime land..
  11. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    At one point I briefly had two copies of the 12-35/2.8 and the 12/2. I must have gotten lemon copies of the 12/2 because under careful conditions both of the 12-35/2.8s were sharper than either of the 12/2s. Hopefully YMMV but I mention this because I don't think it should be assumed that the 12/2 is going to be sharper at 12mm than the 12-35/2.8. And, of course ;)  the 12-35/2.8 is infinitely sharper than the 12/2 from 13mm onward.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. vinyl tap

    vinyl tap Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 15, 2012
    California, USA
    Pansonic 12-35mm question

    I'm stoked to find this thread. I was about to purchase the Olympus 12mm when I discovered the Panasonic 12-35 (don't know why I didnt find out earlier :p  ). And like you guys, I thought that for 1/3 more money I'll get my 12mm coverage & useful zoom. I'm also stoked to hear that owners of the venerable Oly 12mm still enjoy shooting with their Panny 12-35mm.

    Here's my question. For owners of Olympus cameras, I've read that there could be some serious CA's when shooting 12mm wide open in high contrast areas. Have any of you had experience with this? If so, is it easy to fix or do you just live with it, given that this is pretty much the only game in town for large aperture zooms at the moment.

    I have an E-PL5, Panasonic 20mm 1.7, Olympus 45mm 1.8. Thanks for your replies.

  13. Gillymaru

    Gillymaru Mu-43 Veteran

    The best thing about the 12-35 is that it is a gateway drug to the 35-100 :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 2
  14. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 25, 2012
    Yes there tends to be purple fringing or CA in high contrast areas. It can generally be fixed in post processing if you shoot RAW.
  15. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    It happened the other way round for me. I thought I was well covered in the 12-45mm FL with my prime lenses, so I went for the 35-100/2.8 first. Love that lens, so I ended up getting the 12-35 to complete my basic 2 zoom combo. Now, while my 25/1.4 still get used mostly in low light situations, the 12/2.0 and 45/1.8 are collecting dust. In the meantime, the 12-35 gets used a lot more than the 35-100...
  16. fuSi0n

    fuSi0n Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 11, 2013
    Bavaria, Germany
    What about the Oly 9-18? Its a decent lens for a valuable price. When you primarily shoot landscapes this lens is worth a look. There you have true UWA and it significantly costs less than the 12-35. Only drawback is the rather medicore aperture range of 4 to 5.6. However if you are shooting landscapes using a tripod u can neglect this point.
  17. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    With the OM-D body, I bought the Panasonic 25mm due to limited money on hand. Then came the 12-35mm, which I had my sights set on. It was a natural choice, given my affinity for Canon's 24-105 image stabilized lens; perpetually affixed to my 5DII.
  18. shizlefonizle

    shizlefonizle Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 21, 2012
    I have the 12mm and borrowed a 12-35mm from a friend. The 12-35mm is good as the 12mm unless pixel peeping with my eyes. I thought about selling the 12mm to fund the 12-35mm, but at this point Im going to see what that new rumored Olympus zoom is going to be. Hopefully a 12-60 f2.8-4.
  19. thomastaesu

    thomastaesu Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 16, 2012
    ATL, GA
    Hope you don't give up on OM-D EM5 because of your kit lens. It is quite soft compared to other lenses (even zoom ones like 14-45, 14-150!)

    It just can't bring out what your camera can do.
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