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Dilemma - 12-40, 14-54II or 12-60...

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by nstelemark, May 20, 2014.

  1. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    I resisted the 12-40 for quite a while. I got lucky in the refub lotto recently and now I have a dilemma:

    P5200003.

    My thinking was that the 12-40 would be small and light enough to really make a difference compared to the 12-60. I also thought it would be faster to focus and with the smaller size I could live with less reach. So far I am not convinced.

    The 12-40 is a nice lens no question. I don't find it remarkably smaller or significantly faster to focus than the 12-60. It hunts in low light, not as much but it still does. I can't see any substantive difference in IQ. The real size difference is the diminutive lens hood, which I am not sure is a good thing. It is shallow enough that I am not sure it will do a good job of protecting the front element. It is quite heavy and it is not at its shortest at 12mm, more like 16mm. I find that irrationally annoying.

    What the heck is wrong with me :wink: ?! Given the fantastic reviews I figured the 12-40 would be a slam dunk... So far my reaction has been meh...
     
  2. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    850
    Jan 28, 2011
    USA
    If size is a concern. Try the Panasonic 12-35. I had it and the 14-54II at the same time and it was sharper, faster to focus, and significantly smaller.
     
  3. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    The 14-54II is not really part of the comparison, it is my oldest son's now and he likes it. It is definitely less sharp and slower to focus than both the 12-40 or 12-60.

    The 12-35 is pretty short on the long end. It is certainly lighter and smaller. I will admit I am quite surprised by the relative heft of the 12-40. It is 200g lighter than the 12-60 but the difference seems a lot less. The 12-40 is not blowing me away and I really thought it would.
     
  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Well, if you really prefer the 12-60, I suppose there's no reason to keep the 12-40. Sell it or return it. I'm really surprised you don't find the AF speed to be faster on the 12-40. I guess I'd say the following in favor of the newer lens:

    1. Fast AF on all m4/3 bodies, not just the E-M1.
    2. 40mm f/2.8 is fast enough for portraits for me, in a way that 40mm f/4.0 is not.
    3. No need to worry about the unreliable SWD motor.
    4. Smaller 62mm filters.

    I think if the 12-60 had a warranty and Olympus had put PDAF on more than just the E-M1, I could understand keeping it, but in its current state it's a lens without a future.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    It is faster in poor light but not dramatically, in good light it is hard to tell the difference. It is a well made solid lens and the zoom action is very nice.

    All good points. I have an E-PM1 as well, and the 12-60 is effectively useless with it. For portraits I have a 50/1.4 OM and the 50-200 2.8-3.5 so 50mm +/- at 2.8 is easy enough to achieve.

    The 50-200 is a pretty good portrait lens. I need to use it that way more often:

    P5190001.
     
  6. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    842
    Feb 20, 2013
    I sure wish the world would think so that they'd go down cheap for me to buy some of the nice ones! :(
     
  7. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    To add to the decision making process with the latest E-M1 firmware low light AF is much better with the 12-60. No hunting that I have seen yet.


    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  8. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    How low are you hoping for the 12-60 to go? I'd think $450 secondhand for a lens with an MSRP of $1000 is pretty darn low!

    That's encouraging. So no hunting at all with center-point only AF in low light on your 4/3 lenses?
     
  9. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    9 point, center and no end to end hunting at all. The 12-40 is exhibiting more hunting than the 12-60 in my testing at the moment.

    Set for S-AF.

    I haven't tried the 50-200 that will be a real test.
     
  10. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    The 12-60 is noticeably better and the 50-200 non SWD is only marginally better.
     
  11. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    In that case I would stick with either the 14-54mm MkII or the 12-60mm. Put your 50mm OM lens on an OM to 4/3 adapter, not an OM to m4/3 adapter (as you can do with practically all SLR lenses since 4/3 has the shortest SLR register), and you will now have one single mount for all your lenses that you use, and you are using a body which has the PDAF for any of the non-manual glass.

    If you decide to expand your OM collection or add other SLR mounts to your collection, then they can all use the same base 4/3 mount and make use of the same 4/3 adapters such as extension tubes and teleconverters. This will allow you to keep one mount with a huge variety of different lenses for easy swapping.

    Plus the Zuiko Digital teleconverters happen to be some of the best ever available on the market, and will blow away most of the teleconverters which come in the various legacy mounts you may wish to adapt. At $500+ apiece it is a worthy piece of glass which can be spread out in use to many different mounts and lenses in your collection if you adapt them all to 4/3. Of course that option might not interest you at all, but it's an extra piece of versatility which could be useful to you in the future. :)

    Between the 14-54mm MkII and 12-60mm, the 12-60mm has the sharpness spread out a little more evenly across the frame (the 14-54mm is just as sharp in the center), but the 14-54mm is very slightly brighter and has both PDAF and CDAF compatibility, both of which your body can make good use of. The SWD motor of the 12-60mm could wear out if you start using the lens on CDAF and not on PDAF, but it will provide a more tactile, mechanical feel to your manual focus (not that the fly-by-wire focus is bad). The 12-60mm of course does have the extra wide angle, but it also has significant barrel distortion at that wide angle since it is not dedicated to that one focal length like a wide angle prime.
     
  12. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    Hi Ned,

    I have both the EC14 and EC20. Until they have equivalent m43 products, my long lens will be 43 no question.

    The 12-60 would only get used on the E-M1 so SWD motor issues should be less of an issue.

    My current thinking is a little different than yours. The 14-54II is noticeably slower to focus than the 12-60 on the E-M1 so I am thinking I should sell the 14-54II, and keep the 12-40 and 12-60. Let my oldest use the 12-40. I am sure he won't complain. :smile:
     
  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I think that sounds like a good plan! :D