Can the Oly 12-50 take the place of my PL45?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by BAXTING, May 15, 2013.


    BAXTING Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 5, 2012
    Los Angeles SFV, CA

    I currently own the following native lenses in conjunction with my G5.


    I have been really looking into getting something wider than the PL25. The Oly 12-50 is starting to intrigue me with its macro function. I only ever use the PL45 for product photos shot in my simple studio and its fantastic in that regard. I do need the macro capabilities when I am shooting smaller items or I need to highlight any particular area of a product.

    It would be swell if the Oly 12-50 could be used for product photos as well as be my wide. Maybe thats asking a bit much, my PL45 always delivers quality images.

    Not too much love for the 12-50 here, but some nice images in the sample thread. Anyone have good experience with lens when used in a studio?
  2. szanda

    szanda Mu-43 Regular

    I've sold mine few months ago, and bought much smaller P14, for wide shooting, and for streets. But in studio with good lighting, it will be nice performing lens, macro is not that good, but certainly better than 45, which has, on the other hand, better IQ, sharpness and it's much faster. Question is, will you miss the 45? Personally I would like to have both.
  3. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2012
    The Oly 45 is not a close focusing lens. Baxting is asking about the PL45 which is a macro lens. My thought is that for the kind of work you're doing with the PL45 the answer is no. As a kit lens the macro function on the 12-50 is a nice feature and unique feature. But I think you'll be disappointed in comparison to the PL45.

    BAXTING Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 5, 2012
    Los Angeles SFV, CA
    I believe your right. Macro lenses seem to be among some of the sharpest lenses around. I was looking for an excuse to try out a 12-50 as the sample images from this lens seem very nice and I'm surprised there are not more. I may still eventually give it a shot.
  5. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Aside from the technical specs (f/2.8 vs f/6.3, 1:1 vs 3:1, size, weight, working distance), the rendering, colors, and otherwise subjective image quality of the PL45 wins in a landslide.

    I wish the 12-35 had the close focus/macro mode - it would then be an even more ideal travel lens for me - but the PL45 is not too big/heavy to carry anyways.
  6. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    The PL45 is a wonderful lens. But, if your macro is only studio work and controlled ( lighting, tripod ) why not buy a good legacy 50mm macro for $100 and use the extra $350-400 from selling your PL and buy something wider. Maybe a 14-45, which is a fantastic kit lens, or save and get the 12-35 or 12 f/2. Having the 45 for product shots only doesn't seem worth it.
  7. The close focus function on the 12-50 is useful for someone like me who rarely does anything approaching macro, and already had the 45mm focal length prime covered with the cheaper Oly 45/1.8.
  8. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    Id say that the 12 - 50mm would be fine for product shots
    As others have said the image quality compared to the PL45 will be a considerable downgrade and the Macro is only up to half life size 1:2 on the 12 -50 compared to lifesize 1:1 on the PL but for general product work I think that the added zoom capability would be a bonus
    I do a lot of ebaying and use the 12 - 50 as my main lens (with a Panasonic G1) for this as it is very useful for zooming in on fine detail etc without having to swap lenses
    The lack of built in image stability may or may not be an issue to consider if you use a Panasonic body. Not an issue if using flash perhaps
    The other issue is that of limited light gathering compared to the PL which might be an issue unless using flash
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