Anyone else disappointed with the 12/2?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by brandonsarkis, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. brandonsarkis

    brandonsarkis Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 29, 2012
    I have an E-M5 and I've had it with the PL25/1.4 for over a year and it is by far my favorite lens (not my favorite FL, but that s a different story...). I love everything about the images it helps me produce. I finally caved and bought a 12/2 after hearing for the last 18 or so months how great it is and...I'm not too impressed so far. Is it me or does it not have any of the character of my 45/75 lenses? I felt the same about the 17/1.8 I tried. It's sharp but its just kinda...blah. Technically it's great but its just missing ...something. I shoot RAW and process in LR5. I'm gonna keep shooting it and hopefully it'll come around...
  2. Mijo

    Mijo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 23, 2012
    San Francisco, CA
    I don't have the Oly 45 but I do have the 75 and IMO the 12 does have the same sort of character as the 75. I would aggree with you that the 17 / 1.8 doesn't have the same sharpness or character as the 12 or the 75. My opinion might differ from yours b/c of my experience with these lenses, I had the 12 first and used for more than a year before I purchased the 75.

    I really like the 12 a lot, it's very different in terms of character than the PL 25 but that's also one of the reason I like it some much.
  3. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    You are not alone in thinking this.... maybe its just that wide angles by their nature have less 'character' ?

  4. hunyuan7

    hunyuan7 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 31, 2011
    Like you, I have been craving an ultra wide angle prime lens in m4/3 as well. I've got an eye on the SLR Magic 12/1.6 for its supposed cinematic character and dripping bokeh (probably due to its 12 aperture blades). The fact that it is manual focus does not bother me, probably why it is $200.00 cheaper than the Oly.
  5. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Real Name:
    Doug Green
    The bottom line is that a 12mm f2 in this format is not really an extreme wide angle, it's just a wide angle. And F2 isn't really any sort of a design challenge at this focal length and sensor size. Just because the price is exotic doesn't mean that the lens is. I would normally have seriously contemplated buying this lens, but not for triple the price of the 14mm f2.5, which is just slightly less wide, and slightly less fast.

    I suspect that most folks think that when they are using a lens that sells for over $600, it should be a pretty special lens, not just a pedestrian one.
  6. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Real Name:
    Richard Elliott
    I think you hit the nail on the head - it is a very good lens but priced at a premium. Maybe we are spoiled by seeing what very good lenses are available around $500 and less (14, 20, 25, 45 and 60 macro).

    The 75 escapes this by being a premium performer at a premium price - if the 12 was as good I doubt anybody would be complaining.

    Also I rarely need to shoot wide-angle wide open so slower wide angles (such as my 14 and 9-18) serve me quite well.
  7. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I like my 12mm. I find it to be a good, sharp, all around solid performer with an excellant build quality. At 12mm f/2, the Oly lens isn't terribly wide nor, is it terribly fast. Is it hundreds of dollars better than the P14mm f/2.5 ... probably not. But that doesn't make it a bad lens ... but it does hurt the 12mm in the value department. Unfortunately, the native wide angle lenses for µ4/3 are solely lacking and the O12mm is still the widest native prime wide angle available.

  8. Dalton

    Dalton Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2010
    Portland, Oregon USA
    Real Name:
    Dan Ferrall
    Love my 12mm Oly

    I had some reservations about how good the 12mm might be but I am quite thrilled with the IQ it produces. Maybe there are variations from sample to sample?

    I'm keeping mine. I can also understand that users styles vary a lot. Some people just don't connect well with a lens that is wider than a perspective beyond what we experience in a lens wider than say 28mm FF? The 12mm is not just an adequate performer in my opinion. It is an exceptional lens.

    I do believe that the 14mm f 2.5 Panasonic is a tremendous value for what it does. It is not in quite same "league" as the 12mm Oly but it is no slouch either. For around $160.00-$180.00 used it is a steal.
    Portland, Oregon
  9. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    I am digging my copy as well. It might be because I haven't felt the cost after having sold off gear to get the lenses that I have. It might also be the sharpness and color I am obtaining from it. It feels nice on the camera and it feels great to look at and operate; and it might especially be that its Canon counterpart's size, weight and price is three times that of the Olympus.

    Forgot to add that it is image stabilized on Olympus body compared to Canon. Put me on dimly-lit narrow streets or inside a museum with this lens anyday. :)
  10. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    I like my 12/2 as well, though for me it is more of a specialty lens - for street, using zone focusing.

    The ability to pull back the lens sleeve and manually set a hyperfocal distance for street shooting is a special feature of this lens that sets it apart from most other m4/3 lenses. That is one of the reasons it is priced as it is.

    Grenerally, I cover the 12mm focal length with the 12-35 or the 9-18, but for street shooting and dark interiors, the little 12/2 is a great choice.
  11. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    "Character" ?? I understand things like sharpness, contrast, etc. but character? Can you amplify?

    My 12/2 was also bought as a specialist lens, specifically for low light situations where the 9-18 is not bright enough. Churches, caves, etc. I like it a lot for this. Since I shoot mostly tourist pictures, I don't like to change lenses, so where I have the light I prefer the flexibility of the 9-18.

    Re the difference between 12 and 14, 24 and 28mm equivalent, I consider it to be huge! In film days, my Nikkor 24mm f2.8 stayed on the camera. The 28mm stayed in the bag. For interiors I get a sense of space with 24 that is just not there with 28, though I agree that for other WA shooting the difference might not be a big deal.

    Expensive, yeah, as an investment number. But if/when I tire of it the marvelous liquidity that the internet provides means that I'll be able to sell it for near enough to the $550 I paid including the hood. So the cost to own it will not have been much.
  12. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 12, 2012
    Real Name:
    both the 25, 45 and 75 gives more of subject isolation due to its FL
    The 12/2 doesn´t give that much bokeh, (if u are not getting close to subject)
    Maybe this can be the thing that you "miss"...
    Just a thought....
  13. darosk

    darosk Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 17, 2013
    Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
    Real Name:
    ^ I was thinking similar thing. Wideangles don't usually give that isolation. On FF camera I shoot with a 24/1.4 - can get some good shallow DOF with the right positioning and distance, but it's far easier to get that "visual pop" with teles and short teles.

    12/2 seems plenty good IQ for the price. Pullpush MF ring is intriguing as well, but not enough for me to shell out for it right now. My eyes are on acquiring a PL25 for a good price :D
  14. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    I was thinking the same thing. I have a number of favorite shots from the 12mm but none of them rely on bokeh or shallow depth of field. It's just a wide, sharp lens and at f/2 you're going to get a pretty decent amount in focus even wide open. Additionally, while 12mm is appreciably wider than 14mm, it still falls short of being wide enough to impart a uniquely engaging perspective like say, the 7-14mm.

    Putting the two things together there's not a whole lot of lens "character" to be expected other than sharpness and contrast, both of which are just fine on the 12mm. It's just not a "dramatic" lens like what you'd expect from the 75 or 45.
  15. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    This is not the first "complaint" of sorts about this lens on this website. Ctein (a very accomplished photographer and printer) started a string on the subject last year:

    He also posted this review on The Online Photographer:

    The Online Photographer: Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f/2 Lens: Review

    I don't believe the Olympus 12mm f/2.0 is a bad lens. But, for the price, I think people expect a great lens. It is probably a good lens.
  16. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    I don't really see any disappointment in the lens aside from it being priced as it is. I think we all agree that the lens is somewhat overpriced. But it is what it is and it delivers exactly what it is intended to deliver.

    If you want what it offers in features (f/2 aperture, very good sharpness, good build quality, great ease in manually setting hyperfocal distance) and the 12mm focal length, you simply pay the money and get it - or don't. We can grouse that they're probably asking too much for it, but it is what it is and that's that. If it was priced $100 to $150 less would people still be "disappointed" in it?
  17. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    When you compare to the new 17mm & what the 12/2 black (no longer available) used to cost, you can see some pricing errors here from Olympus :redface:
  18. brandonsarkis

    brandonsarkis Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 29, 2012
    perhaps im touching on the cost/performance ratio. my 75 is "worth it" to me because it imparts a certain razor sharp look to the images from it. as does my 45. the pl25 may not be as sharp but you cannot deny being able to ID a photo from it, especially in low light- it has a "look" to it. and to be honest, after all that has been written about this lens, maybe i was just expecting too much. i went through some landscapes i shot yesterday and they look amazing, just not "amazing" amazing.

    just my .02
  19. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    You're getting as good as can be had, at present, with a 12mm prime. And I doubt you'll ever find another fast-ish native 12mm prime for m4/3 that will match it, much less beat it. So I'd say enjoy it or swap it out for something else that covers 12mm.

    If you just want that focal length, but don't have to have f/2, and don't want to invest that much in a lens dedicated to that focal length, you can obtain much more versatility from the 12-35, the 9-18, the 7-14, and... if you don't mind the downgrade in sheer IQ performance, the 12-50 is a very versatile lens.
  20. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Real Name:
    My 12/2 and I got along extremely well and it was my go to archi lens since I chose it over the 7-14 for the size and bling factor. It has character but takes a while to see and capture subjects in tune with the FOV of the lens.