Lens advice ... 12-40 f2.8 alternative

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by delkhouri, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. delkhouri

    delkhouri Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 1, 2016
    So I have a Olympus EM10II and I am in the market to upgrade from my kit lens. As I have done a lot of research, I had pretty much settled on the 12-40 2.8. Well today I went to my local shop and they had a used one for sale at a decent price ($600) but when I put it on my camera it was just too heavy and unbalanced. I don't have a grip on my camera and I was hoping to avoid that route. So what is an alternative.

    Is the panasonic 12-35 that much smaller/lighter that I would notice a big difference? I was hoping to try one of those out too but they didn't have any in stock.

    I know the Olympus 14-150II isn't smaller but it is quite a bit lighter. Also it isn't quite as sharp/fast but it is more versatile. Would I notice much of an iq boost with this lens over the kit 14-42rII?

    Currently I have the pana 14 2.5, the sigma 30 2.8 the olympus 14-42rII and the olympus 40-150 4.0-5.6. My plan was to Sell all of those but the 40-150, get a 12-40 and get a small fast prime for indoor/low light (17mm maybe) But now after feeling the weight and how lopsided my camera was with the 12-40, I just dont know.
  2. greenboy

    greenboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    first good shot and you'd be used to it.
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  3. Giiba

    Giiba Something to someone somewhere

    Aug 19, 2016
    New Westminster, BC
    The panasonic 12-35 is something like 60gr lighter. Can't see that making a difference.
  4. delkhouri

    delkhouri Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 1, 2016
    Olympus 12-40 382g - Panasonic 12-35 305g
  5. Giiba

    Giiba Something to someone somewhere

    Aug 19, 2016
    New Westminster, BC
    Hmmm, that is 20% lighter. The 12-40 really was meant for the e-m1 where it balances wonderfully.
  6. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    Yep, for all of those reasons it works for me.
  7. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Lighter zoom options, but not as fast as the 12-40, that might improve your image quality are the Panasonic 14-45 the latest Panasonic 14-42 and the Panasonic 12-32 (which does not offer MF).

    • Like Like x 1
  8. Tywais

    Tywais Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 23, 2014
    Chiang Mai, Thailand
  9. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    There are accessory grips available for the EM10 II like the Olympus ECG-3 and similar 3rd party ones. The 12-40 Pro is a superb lens and an accessory grip would help using it on your EM10 II. The accessory grip would help with using any large lens.
  10. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I got the 12-35 for the same reason. It feels smaller. If you want to wait and maybe check out the new 12-60/2.8-4? Its bigger though.
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  11. sunnygps

    sunnygps Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 26, 2013
    DFW, TX
    I sold my O12-40 for the P12-35 when I got the Panasonic GX85.

    The O12-40 pro on my E-M5 II felt heavy to walk around with. It is just about perfect on the E-M1.
  12. AllanG

    AllanG Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 26, 2014
    Brisbane, Australia
    Go and try a Panasonic 14-140mm lens II. You will be surprised.
  13. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I've got the 12-35 and had it before the 12-40 was launched. I've tried the 12-40 several times but it feels notably bigger and heavier on the E-M1 than the 12-35. Given your reaction to the 12-40, I suspect that you'll find the 12-35 fits your needs better. Optically it's a wash between them, although the 12-40 does focus a little closer. The 12-35 has OIS too - useful if one day you buy a Panasonic body - either the older ones with no IBIS, or the newer ones which use body IBIS and OIS together to deliver amazing stability.
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  14. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I've got a 12-40 and have tried the 12-35 in the shop. The 12-35 definitely feels better balanced on a smaller body - it doesn't extend as far as the 12-40 and its center of mass is further back.

    If I was still shooting an E-M5 or RF style body with no grip I'd prefer the handling of the 12-35, but seeing as I have an E-M1 I get good use out of the close focusing capability and for decent portrait use at 40mm.

    One thing that bothers me about the 12-35 is the silicone zoom ring - it attracts dust like crazy and might eventually get a bit slack - I've seen that happen with the ring on the PL25.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
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  15. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    I would say yes. I haven't seen any issues with the zoom ring personally. The 12-35 is better balanced on the smaller bodies.
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  16. Julia

    Julia Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    Dresden, Germany
    My local store didn't have both the Pana and Oly (they only had the Oly) so I had to try the Pana at a different location (therefore no side by side comparision). Still: the Panasonic might not look like a big difference on paper, but it is noticeable smaller and lighter when you handle it. I personally did not like the feel of the lens, though: it felt less sturdy, the zoom and focus rings turned a little too easily for my taste (too easy to accidentally turn them) whereas the Oly rings feel much better, and I couldn't find a way to comfortably hold the lens (as I always hold my camera and lens, using both hands, when the lens is bigger than a pancake).

    So, even though I always like to go for smaller and lighter, I bought the Oly 12-40.

    I don't own any of the other lenses you mentioned, so I can't offer any advise in regard to that, sorry!
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    The 12-35mm is smaller and lighter of course. Look at the percentage differences. It is significant.

    I have used the 12-35mm on the E-P5 and now the EM5-2.

    It still may be too large on the camera for you but it is definitely a noticeable improvement (especially weight wise) compared to the Oly 12-40.

    Oly vs Pan
    382 vs 305 g. 25% heavier is significant

    The oly is 3% wider and 13% longer (not a huge deal here)
  18. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    The weight is not the major issue. The 12-40 has heavier front elements. It is more balance than weight. It feels almost the same mounted as the 12-60SWD which really surprised me.
  19. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    I don't understand the balance issue. If you support the lens with your left hand it should always be in "balance" shouldn't it?
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  20. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I never really understood that either.
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