Anyone else experience this with the 12mm 2.0?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by tanngrisnir3, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    I'm currently considering using a year-end sick pay check for either the 7-14 Panny or the 12mm oly. I'm used to using a prime 18mm 35mm equivalent, and know how to shoot WA, and although the Panny has great range, I was thinking that the usual prime quality factor over a zoom would make this a great choice.

    Then I came across this guy's review, and it runs contrary to almost every single other review I've read of it: sub-par IQ.

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

    Anyone else experience what he's talking about?
  2. RSilva

    RSilva Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 24, 2011
    The lens is not that bad. Comparing it with the 45mm is unfair because wides are very difficult to build and never have been as sharp as short teles. Also, I guess wide angle lens are the most problematic to design for mu4/3 since they have to be so extreme.
  3. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Theres some discussion over here (including input from Ctein)

    I've never used the lens - I'd love one for the snap focus capability if I could afford it. The wide end of the 7-14 is also pretty appealing. I guess it depends what and how you want to shoot.

    The threads for the 7-14 and 12 show how forum users put both of these lenses to work -
  4. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    There's a thread here about Ctein's review, and he posted some responses in it (he's a member here).

    Ctein is a printmaker who prints relatively large and wants his lenses to be able to hold up to his standard print size. The 12 has some chromatic aberration at the edges which mean that it doesn't do that for him, in other words he managed to find out that the limit for the lens' performance was lower than the standard he was chasing. Most others using the lens either don't print, or don't print as large, and they tend not to report the same problem.

    Bottom line: the lens does not do what Ctein wants it to do and he called it as he saw it. That's fine. The other reviews around aren't based on prints the size that Ctein does, and they called it how they saw it. It's like two examiners grading exam papers on a pass/fail basis with one setting a pass mark of 50% and the other a pass mark of 60%—they'll each report a different pass rate, and some results will be a pass from one examiner and a fail from the other. If you want to do prints as large as the size used by Ctein for his review and have corner to corner sharpness, rely on his review. If you aren't going to be printing as large, rely on the other reviews.

    I'm grateful we have Ctein's review to 'mark a limit' for what the lens can deliver. I own one and am really happy with it, but I don't print and the largest I view my shots is on a 54" plasma screen which means I'm viewing at 1920 x 1080 resolution and losing a lot of resolution as a result. The lens does beautifully at what I want but if I pixel peep at 100% resolution on the computer screen, I can see what Ctein describes. Since I can't view the whole image at full resolution on a screen, that isn't a problem for me and it won't be until someone brings out a 3840 x 2160 or higher resolution screen.
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  5. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    The 7-14 at 12mm/F4 is also 2 stops slower compared to the 12mm/F2 so its a toss up about having extra available FOV but in a larger package that is 2x as large (length 83mm vs 43mm) and at a loss 2x the light gathering.

    From pictures I've seen, the 12mm prime also has IMO better bokeh.
  6. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Real Name:
    i got the 7-14 for the sole reason that it goes to 7mm... but one thing i observed, the lens is very susceptible to flare when directed to light sources. i presume the 12mm will perform better in controlling flare.
  7. PeterB666

    PeterB666 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 14, 2010
    Tura Beach, Australia
    Real Name:
    Well I have been using the 12mm f/2 for some time now on my Olympus E-P3 (and sometimes on my Olympus E-P1) and while an expensive lens is a good performer.

    Resistance to flare is outstanding for a fast lens of 24mm equivalence. The new coatings do the job well. The manual focus arrangement is the best I have encountered on only AF lens. Overall impage quality seems good to me for a lens of that focal length. Focus speed is excellent and accurate on either the E-P3 or E-P1 (the latter really surprised me).

    The lenses that I can compare it to are the Olympus 9-18mm zoom and Nikon 24mm f/2.8. If all you need is a fixed focal length lens, it does everything I need and does it well.

    If you are a landscape photographer, you would probably be stopping the lens down so issues such as edge performance have never been a problem. CAs are lower than the Olympus 9-18mm lens and resistance to flare even better (btw, the Nikon 24mm is a bit of a dog which is why isn't getting much of a mention). The brightness of the LCD a big plus in poor light and a joy to use on the E-P3 (and a big advantage over the 9-18mm on the E-P1).

    I am happy with the lens and it is the one I use most often with my MFT cameras.
  8. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    Thanks, everyone. I'm going to test out the 12mm from borrowlenses and see what the IQ in RAW is like over a three day period.
  9. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Well, it's certainly not as sharp as the older 4/3 12-60 or the micro 4/3 7-14/4 at 12mm. Whether it's good enough for you, and whether it's worth the $750 price-tag only you can decide. I've given it a miss. If the price were to drop below $500, I might reconsider.