If I already own a 12-40mm 2.8 Pro lens, is there a point in getting the 12mm 2.0 prime lens?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by mootxico, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. mootxico

    mootxico Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 6, 2014
    I got myself a 12-40mm 2.8 lens for a good deal in Japan earlier this year, but as I started taking more and more selfies, it feels kinda awkward to hold the camera with one hand while the bulky 12-40mm is attached.

    I'm just curious if there's a real reason to get a 12mm 2.0 other than just for selfies? Would the images be sharper compared to 12-40mm 2.8?

    I currently own these three lenses for my E-PL7 camera:
    12-40mm 2.8, 25mm 1.8.
  2. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    The 12-40/2.8 is at least as sharp as the 12mm/f2, I'd say. Definitely a sideways move, unless you really love that focal length and want something smaller and lighter, frequently shoot in very low light, or want to get the best results out of astrophotography or something like that.

    If weight and size is the primary concern, you may find you prefer the Panasonic 12-35/2.8. It's 25% lighter and about 10% smaller in every dimension.

    ...alternatively, if it's just for selfies, depending on the lighting conditions, you might find the tiny Panasonic 12-32mm pancake is a nicer companion for selfies. There's only 1/2 stop difference between f3.5 and f2.8, and while it won't be as perfectly sharp at the pixel level, it's still a very good lens.
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  3. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    Yes, absolutely. I have both. The O12 is great for low light, museums, street, interiors, etc. Not sure about selfies though ..... :hmmm:
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    other than the size, weight and 1 stop, that's about it.

    Personally, I'd just use my phone for selfies and enjoy the 12-40mm
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I can't believe anyone would spend that sort of money just for selfies. Then again, I've never, ever taken a selfie!
    • Funny Funny x 2
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  6. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    For some people, the photo doesn't matter if they aren't in it! Nothing wrong with that, honestly.

    Probably the best selfie cam I've used is the Samsung NX Mini with the 9mm f3.5. It's very thin and it automatically goes into selfie mode when you flip the LCD up for forward facing. You can activate a 3 second timer with a wink or a wave. Quality is very good with a 1" sensor. You can pick up a NX mini + 9mm kit for about half the price of a 12mm f2 for m4/3.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. mootxico

    mootxico Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 6, 2014
    I use it to take selfies of me and my girlfriend or family members in it.

    Sometimes you just want to take a picture of people who are close to you for the memories.
  8. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    All good reasons. Presuming you have a smartphone, that would be my choice for selfies, per tkbslc. However, if you're looking for a reason to get another lens, maybe you should get something to extend your range, like the 9mm body cap lens or the 9-18 zoom? If you can get the latter reconditioned from Olympus, it's pretty reasonable.
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  9. cptobvious

    cptobvious Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 8, 2013
    When I had the 12mm, one of the things that I used it for was handheld motion blur shots in low light. I found it's possible to shoot down to about 1/2" shutter speed reliably with a 5-axis IBIS body. The extra stop of light makes a big difference in low light.
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  10. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    I would say probably not. The one stop of light isn't a big enough difference by itself for the price, IMO, but perhaps that plus the small size might make it a good alternative if you're planning on leaving the 12-40 at home. For me, once I got the 12-40, the 12 hasn't been used since. I'm planning on selling mine.

    If you want a fast wide prime, wait and see what else becomes available. I've heard too many bad comments about the 10.5 Voigty to confidently recommend it, but we will likely eventually get other faster, wider rectilinear options that distinguish themselves from the pro zoom and are still sharp. Or, consider a fisheye.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015
  11. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    By "selfies," do you mean the camera at arm's or stick length, facing back toward you? 12mm isn't the best for those distances. There would be significant distortion.

    That said, I've used that focal length for landscape shots on a tripod, using the timer so I can be in the picture, but standing much further away than the standard "selfie distance." No problem there...
  12. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I think the comments about speed/low light situations and about size/weight above are spot on. I've got both and usually I find myself using the 12/40 because it's become my "standard lens" because of the quality of what it delivers and because I don't have to change lenses when I've got it on the camera but there are times when I don't want the zoom and I either want a smaller combination or I want the extra speed and out comes the 12mm.

    I think if you're asking the question then the answer is definitely that yes, there is a point to having the 12mm f/2.0. The real question in that case is whether the point, i.e. the use you'd make of the lens if you got it, is worth the price or whether you'd be better off putting that money to some other purpose such as the 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO which I only mention because the original question is a GAS question. Don't take the 7-14mm part of the last sentence seriously but do take the bit about whether the 12mm prime would be worth the price to you or whether there's something else that would be of more value to you that should be considered first seriously. The 12mm is a fair bit of money for some small advantages if you have the 12-40.

    I went the other way. I've had the 12mm for a couple of years and the 12-40, though more expensive than the 12, also offered some bigger advantages for me so that's why I ended up with both. I'm not sure I'd buy the 12mm if I already had the 12-40. probably not, but I am certainly happy that I do have both. It's a tough call and it all depends on why you're asking the question because the fact that you're asking it indicates that you think there may be some advantage to you in having both.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    If you want something small and light (and cheap) for selfies, have you considered the Panasonic 14mm f2.5. Not as wide as the 12mm obviously, but not as hard on the wallet either :) 
    • Agree Agree x 3
  14. faithblinded

    faithblinded Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 25, 2014
    Cleveland, OH
    I think you would have more fun with a rokinon 7.5mm for selfies. It would also add something new to your kit, while still meeting the "more compact and selfie friendly" requirement.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL

    My wife gives me grief all the time about not taking pictures with us in them, or other family.
  16. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Hehehe... that's not my problem. I have them in plenty of photos, but I am very seldom in the photos. :) 

    And, I'm OK with that. I'll join them for an occasional group photo, but otherwise, I don't feel like I need to be in front of the camera. Then again, the traditional way of asking a stranger to take your expensive camera and take your photo is a bit riskier nowadays. Less risk to do selfies.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus loser Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2010
    Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 would be the best bang for your buck lens. It's small, light, cheap, FASTER and wide! Just don't pay the full retail price for it. Another FUN option is Olympus 9mm body cap lens. Now that's a fun selfie lens!

    9mm BCL
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  18. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 5, 2013
    It's the distance from the camera lens, not the focal length that causes perspective distortion.
  19. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    If you want cheap and fun, one of the Olympus BCL lenses either the 15mm f/8 or 9mm f/8 (I have this one) will do as well.
  20. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

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