Hard choice: Sell or Keep the Olympus 12-40 Pro 2.8

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Moris, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. Moris

    Moris Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 2, 2016
    Sorry for my bad english.

    For my vacation I was looking for a wide angle lens, requirements were that this had to be compact and lightweight, low distortion at 9mm, using filters is possible and all round had to be deployed, so i bought the Olympus 9- 8mm.

    I am of the Olympus 9-18mm (9mm) so extremely happy that this during city trips, 60% of the time is to stay on my body.

    When you read down here to holiday use viewing the current range of lenses, then I think there is surely about it to make the Pro 12-40 2.8 of the hand. Especially since the Olympus 9-18mm performs so well and is nice and compact / light relative to the Pro 12-40.

    The least used lenses (vacation):
    25mm 1.8: Only used one time and quickly grabbed the Olympus 9-18mm.
    12-40 Pro 2.8: Not used!

    The most commonly used lenses (vacation):
    Olympus 9-18mm: on vacation 60% of the time left on my body.
    45mm 1.8: Number of times used in portrait and in some situations where I wished limited depth (remains beautiful lens).
    Pro 2.8 40-150 + Olympus MC-14: uses 30% of the time.

    The Olympus 12-40 Pro 2.8 is still a beautiful lens and my choice to do not want to quickly make this lens of the hand, I wonder if there are more people who have been the same choice and if I something over the head, see?
  2. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I have the 12-40mm, 9-18mm and 45mm... 12-40mm is now my most used lens because I have a baby and there's too much going on to necessarily change lenses, the fast wide-normal-telephoto coverage is also very important for day-to-day shooting.

    Based your statements, I assume you do not need to shoot:
    1. In low light
    2. Close up
    3. In poor conditions
    4. From moderate wide angle to short telephoto without changing lenses
    Because that's when you'd really need to use the 12-40 f/2.8 over the 9-18mm f/4-5.6 (all of the above) or 45mm (2 and 3 of the above).

    I'm surprised you find the 9-18mm low in distortion though, I notice fairly obvious barrel distortion at 9mm for architecture (even after the lens specified correction) that I then have to correct during processing. The 9-18mm is also nowhere near as sharp (especially in the corners) compared to the 12-40 in the range that they overlap.

    If, however you are happy with all of the above points, I don't see why you shouldn't sell the 12-40, given that you'd still have the 25mm for low light and middle range (between wide angle and telephoto) coverage.

    You said that all that is based on your shots during vacation - well how often do you go on vacation? Do you take photos when not on vacation? Think about those cases too.
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  3. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    I would be happy to sell it, too big, if I could find a reasonable alternative. Right now I see none so I keep waiting. I even considered selling it for the P12-32...

    So if you never use the 19 to 40 range then just sell it. You'd loose the macro and weather sealing options.

    At the same time it won't loose much value in the near future I guess so you may wait a little more time noticing why you replace it.
    You may even sell it to get the 7-14 that could be you ideal lens (except for bulk and filters maybe).
  4. RAH

    RAH Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 1, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Real Name:
    I think the Panasonic 12-35 is a reasonable alternative - smaller, lighter, and similar IQ-wise (or close enough to make it a good tradeoff, IMHO). I have both the 12-35 and the 9-18, and almost always use the 12-35, since I find 12mm usually wide enough so why have the 9-18 on the camera? Actually, I travel with a 2nd body - the Panasonic GM5 - and usually have the 9-18 mounted on that in case I need really wide (but doesn't happen all that often). Obviously it depends on where you are traveling and what you are seeing. I suppose if you are visiting a lot of interiors (cathedrals, etc), you need an ultra-wide more often than being outside. Just some thoughts.
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  5. Moris

    Moris Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 2, 2016
    For wide angle shots, I had no need at the moment for a bright lens. When I needed more detail, dof or a larger aperture, I just grab the compact and lightweighted primes 25mm f1.8 / 45mm or 60mm Macro Olympus.

    Regarding distortion, on the 12mm there is a difference between the two lenses. The 9-18mm, in my opinion, still scores slightly better than the Pro 12-40mm. In sharpness I see no difference between them.

    When I'm on vacation, city trips or departure events, I want to move as compact and as light as possible. By replacing the Pro 12-40mm by Olympus 9-18mm it was the first time I had the possibility to purchase a compact shoulder bag (Tenba Switch 10) for the range below. With the Olympus Pro 12-40 this would not be possible.

    What's in my Tenba Switch 10
    Olympus 9-18mm.
    Olympus 25mm f1.8.
    Olympus 45mm f1.8.
    Pro 2.8 40-150 + Olympus MC-14.
    Flash Meike MK320

    When I'm not on holiday or city trips, it is obviously a different story.
    For my hobby, I take my backpack with tripod / monopod and I’m on the move, but again not really need the Pro 12-40mm. I see myself at the time using the Pro 12-40mm only when I ‘m on a family outing, etc .. but here I am already very quickly inclined to take the Olympus 45mm next to the Olympus 9-18mm.

    As for the weather sealing, I do not see me taking a foto in bad weather ;-)
  6. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 25, 2014
    Real Name:
    You know, I don't think the decision is that difficult for you - you're very clear about "not really needing" the lens; there's no harm in getting rid of things one doesn't use. I personally think the 12-40mm PRO is a great lens to have and shoot, still by far the most useful zoom lens I know of, and thus it's the default lens on my E-M10 (my :mu43: body of choice for "serious" shooting). Though honestly, I don't fully get your size considerations as long as lugging around a truely big lens like the 40-150mm PRO is an option for you when travelling, but of course, that's entirely your choice and opinion. FWIW, I travel with one of the following :mu43: setups (MFT *is* my travel system):
    • Ultralight and simple: LX100, period.
      • Bag: CaseLogic Reflexion CSC Holster - if at all ...
    • Light and versatile: GX80, Olympus 25mm, 14-150mm II; for more wide-angle, the 12mm or Samyang 7.5mm are common companions.
      • Bag: LowePro SlingShot Edge 150 AW
    • Maximum performance: E-M10 (with ECG-1), 12-40mm, Sigma 60mm A, 30mm f/1.4 C; again, the Samyang 7.5mm often joins the party.
      • Bag: ThinkTank Retrospective 5
    Anyhow, I think you have made up your mind - and seeking confirmation may well backfire, as this thread shows. I for one won't tell you you're right - but since things appear to be clear, just go ahead and sell it. If it feels like a mistake over time, it's not the end of the world - the lens can always be acquired again.


    P.S. You might want to remove the double post ...
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2016
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  7. AdamK

    AdamK New to Mu-43

    Dec 3, 2012
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Real Name:
    I have to agree with MoonMind - it is pretty clear where your mind is at on this subject. So, either you sell the lens to recover funds for some other purpose, leave it on the shelf indefinitely, or make a conscious decision to wed yourself to the lens for a month or two, to see if you can find the value in having/using it.

    I, for one, didn't take to the 12-40 Pro right away - it took making it my exclusive lens on a vacation to Kauai to finally realize what a fine piece of equipment it truly is.

    The night before I left, I was loaded up with my 40-150 Pro, 45 Prime, and 25 Prime, and body cap for good measure.

    Had I not taken that plunge pull everything else out in favor of only the 12-40 Pro, I'd still be ignorant of its overall value and utility (for me, in my kit, as my go-to work horse).
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  8. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2013
    A zoom in the 12-40/12-35 f2.8 is a very useful tool - fact for the Gx8 the 12-35 was my first purchase. I would be considering a 7-14mm, but my travel kit used to consist of the 2 oly kit lens. Looking to get the 9-18mm to go along with either my 75-300II or the Pany f4-5.6 35-100mm. The 12-35mm is a great lens, but when I travel it's my EP5 and smaller lenses. I would not sell the 12-40 though, that range is just too good for a "one lens solution". As far as sitting on the shelf goes my 7.5mm or my PL100-400 often sit, but when I need there specific strengths for creative (7.5) or wildlife (PL100-400) it is such a peace of mind to know they are in my kit. I go through subject phases throughout the year, and thus most of my lenses are "forever" purchases:)
  9. obsolescence

    obsolescence Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 24, 2016
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    John Gaylord
    The 9-18mm is my fav lens. No distortion if RAW processing is done with good software, however don't expect ideal edge sharpness.
  10. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    I sold mine along with my EM1. It's hardly a huge kit but I like smaller setups like an EM5 II with a prime.
  11. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Real Name:
    If I could keep only one lens, it would be the 12-40.
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  12. StefanKruse

    StefanKruse Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2015
    Real Name:
    I actually have the opposite "dilemma" I hardly find use for my 9-18mm after I got the 12-40mm. For me 12mm is usually wide enough and I dont use the ultra wide that often - somehow the getting close to something while having background is not something my photographic eye sees. The only reason I keep the 9-18 is that is fits my dome for my underwater housing and the lens does well underwater. Otherwise I would probably have sold it for a fast prime.

    My point is if you do not use a lens get rid of it and buy something you do use especially in your case where you have some real resell value (if it was the 14-42 kit lens i would keep it as the value of selling that is just to low).
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016
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  13. Moris

    Moris Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 2, 2016
    Past few days I took the Olympus Pro 12-40 the only lens on exit. I must admit that this wonderful all-round lens put away, would be a shame :blush:

    Anyone still here thanks for the contribution ;)