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Digital Camera Review of 12-40 Pro

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by mcasan, May 24, 2014.

  1. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Olympus invited a bunch of folks to New Orleans on a free press junket. Steve Huff pointed this out right up front.
     
  2. MNm43

    MNm43 Mu-43 Regular

    105
    Mar 19, 2014
    Don't bite the hand? Kudos to Steve Huff. I've never been to New Orleans but I too find the 12-40 a remarkable lens. No regrets on that hit to my credit card . . .
     
  3. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    The only thing that disappoints me about the 12-40mm is that it's not an internal zoom lens. You hardly ever see photos of it at max zoom and then I saw it one day and thought 'why?'; this is a design feature that I'd expect from a variable f stop zoom, not a constant f stop, pro, zoom. But then, maybe this is the only way to keep the size down on these lenses, something has to give. I do need to caveat this with the fact that with the 14-35mm f2, the front does move in and out slightly, but not like the 12-40mm, which reminds me of the 14-54mm f2.8-3.5.
     
  4. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 Veteran

    406
    Aug 31, 2013
    2470lenses.
    Tamron-24-70mm-vs-Nikon-24-70mm-fully-extended.

    Ray I think you're just a little too spoiled by the nice lenses you own. All those constant aperture 24-70 f/2.8s will trombone out too and they're just as heavy as my Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8A (Which fortunately doesn't)
     
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  5. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I guess I am a bit spoiled. I suppose that's why the 4/3 lenses are so expensive compared to the likes of equivalent Canon/Nikon lenses, it must take a lot more effort and expense to build fast lenses that don't telescope.
     
  6. Fri13

    Fri13 Mu-43 Veteran

    353
    Jan 30, 2014
    I expected internal zooming as well but only because worried about dust getting in because air bumping. But with weather sealed design it isn't a problem and so on don't worry with Pro lens but when using 40-150mm it just screams at me for protection. Mayby that was one reason I didn't get the 75-300mm because don't want to see dust inside...

    I believe the price difference comes from two factors only. 1) Canon and Nikon has manufactured and designed for decades for same format and all they need is to retro fit bajonet and add some electronics.
    2) They are famous brands and common one so their sale rates are way higher.

    Even today m4/3 can be cheap to design and easy, but manufacturing is just costly if even thinking every body owner bought two lenses, it makes less than those two.
     
  7. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    I'm not sure which 4/3 lenses you're talking about - the only fast internal 4/3 zoom was the 35-100/2.0, and that's just what every fast 70-200-equivalent lens is these days. I'd rather have a lens that was short most of the time and telescopes, than one that has to be 50% longer to accommodate the internal zoom mechanism.
     
  8. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    The 35-100mm and 90-250mm are fully internal zoom lenses, the 7-14mm and 14-35mm move 'in and out' (out at the wide end, then inwards and then out again at the long end) a very small amount (the 7-14mm has to be viewed inside the lens hood for the mm of movement). What I meant was that I was surprised that the 12-40mm moved out so much, I was expecting it to be of a similar style to the 4/3 SHG lenses, but it's more akin to the 4/3 HG lenses, which have a similar telescoping effect (the 50-200mm one with the most extension, exacerbated by the very large lens hood). The lens is 'splash and dust proof', but the longer the extension, the more prone it can be to collecting dust etc and abrading the lens barrel/seal, so it requires more attention/cleaning in adverse conditions.
     
  9. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Well, it's a 3.3x constant-aperture zoom that goes from ultra-wide to moderate telephoto - something 4/3 never had. No doubt they could have made it an internal zoom at the expense of making it much bulkier and heavier - but I think most people prefer the current arrangement.
     
  10. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    One reason I've always preferred low multiplication factor zooms ie under 3x, is because they tend to be a lot better optically across the entire zoom range. You do pay for it with a size penalty, but that's something I'm happy to live with.
     
  11. gcogger

    gcogger Mu-43 Veteran

    342
    May 25, 2010
    UK
    Graeme
    I must admit that I've never understood the desire for internal zoom lenses. Given a choice between a lens that goes from 'small' to 'big' or one that's always 'big', I'd choose the former. I've not owned a lens yet where internal dust has affected the image.
     
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  12. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Internal zooms are less prone to 'potential' dust and water ingress from wear in the barrel/seals. It all depends on the type of conditions where you photograph. The other issue is zoom creep. My first 50-200mm, was always subject to zoom creep when carrying it around and it got progressively worse with age, and may have contributed to its demise. I was a lot more careful carrying my second one. My 18-180mm has a zoom lock to prevent zoom creep, which is a bit of a pain when carrying it around and then wanting to use it. Everything tends to be a compromise and comes with a price.
     
  13. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    It's certainly easier to make a good 2.7x zoom than a good 3.3x or 4x or whatnot, but it really comes down to the specific design. I actually did a comparison of the Olympus 12-60/2.8-4.0 (5x) and the Olympus 14-35/2.0 (2.5x) a few years back and was shocked at just how small the difference was. Granted, it was on a 12MP body with a fairly strong AA filter, but I certainly wasn't blown away by the 'better' lens.

    I see the 12-40 range as a well-chosen compromise, since it is a true ultrawide at the wide end (vs. 14 which is not), while being nearly long enough on the long end for portraits (45 would be perfect, whereas 35 is way too short).

    Fortunately for people who want smaller or faster and don't mind losing range, we've got other choices too.
     
  14. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Many of the 4/3 HG lenses were excellent in their own right, but there has been comment by a number of photographers etc who have suggested that the SHG lenses were designed for much higher resolution sensors than were available with 4/3s. I suspect that much of that speculation was true. Ideally, I would have preferred the 14-35mm to be wider, say12-35mm, and I believe that Olympus considered this, but that the lens would have become so large that it would have drawn adverse criticism.
     
  15. tuxxdk

    tuxxdk Mu-43 Regular

    74
    May 29, 2014
    Denmark
    Martin
    I've never owned a zoom lens that didn't increase/decrease in size depending on setting. It's just normal in my world.

    I'm amazed to find out that such ones actually exists. Hence, giving the 12-40 gets bigger, doesn't bother me at all.
     
  16. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Uhh... I think the size of the 14-35/2.0 already did attract a lot of criticism. That thing was bigger than my Nikon 24-70/2.8!

    It'd be really nice if photozone or lenstip were to do a review of some of the SHG lenses on a modern m4/3 body so that we could reasonably compare with the 12-40/2.8 and other new high-end m4/3 lenses. I suspect the results would surprise a lot of people.
     
  17. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    But Imagine what it would have been like as a 12-35mm f2! On the other hand, I don't find it overly large at all, it's extremely comfortable to use and I could carry it around all day without generating a sweat.

    It would be interesting to see how these 'old' lenses do perform on today's sensors. But remember, all these old 4/3 lenses were made to be tele-centric in design; whereas, the new m4/3 lenses are not (whether that means anything in outright performance, I have no idea), but that may have contributed to design complexity and overall cost.
     
  18. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Not true. Both standards are telecentric. The specification of telecentricity is different, as appropriate to the sensor technology of the day. Modern MOS sensors need less telecentricity of incident light than the old CCD sensors did.
     
  19. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Careful what you wish for

    I find this constant comparing of µ4/3 lenses with Four Thirds lenses to be quite inappropriate and frankly indicative of someone who doesn’t understand µ4/3 at all.

    Four Thirds is a failed standard. Why? Because the bodies and lenses are too big and heavy for the small sensor size. They got it wrong. Fail. Out. (Sorry, but true.)

    The number of customers who would buy µ4/3 lenses that are as oversized and overweight as the Four Thirds lenses, is about the same number as bought Four Thirds lenses, minus the number who bought Four Thirds lenses and regretted it. That leaves a very small number. If you really want to see µ4/3 crash and burn, keep pushing for this.

    Why is µ4/3 a relative success? Directly because of its size and weight advantages. Very smart decisions were made, it seems.

    • Match the speed of the equivalent FF lens, while being smaller and lighter? Yes.
    • Try to be a stop faster than FF equivalents, making the lens just as big as FF? No.
    • Make the zooms telescope so they are compact? Yes.
    • Make the pro zooms also telescope, while being weather sealed and durable? Yes.
    • Make the pro zooms fixed-length (at maximum length, e.g. the 12-40mm fully extended), with a small further edge in durability? No.
    This looks to be the recipe for success. Just keep going, guys.
     
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