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Maybe I have a freak 12-50, but here's how mine compares to the venerable 45mm

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by LowriderS10, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    I have always been a big fan of my 12-50. It's light, sharp, fun to use, weathersealed, etc, etc.

    I see many people complaining about its quality...and I simply don't see it. I'm not saying those people are wrong...I may just be extremely lucky. But...I have a great copy of the Olympus 45mm lens, and yet, the 12-50 at 45mm comes VERY close to it. The O45 has slightly better microcontrast and is slightly sharper, but on the whole, the 12-50 is not far behind...which is a monumental thing to say, considering how excellent the 45 is, and just how versatile and cheap the 12-50 is.

    I was out shooting in November, and decided to grab a picture of a scenery that would show CA, sharpness, contrast, etc, reasonably well...both shots are SOOC JPEGs with no manipulation whatsoever applied to them. Handheld at 1/1600s.

    16163515051_12d06d5833_o. 1250vs45 by canonzenit, on Flickr
     
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  2. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    I have the 45/1.8 and quite a few other primes. I also have the 12-50. They're different tools for different jobs as far as I'm concerned. But your point is valid. Other than the 12-50 being kind of slow at the long end, I feel it's an underrated lens - at least if you have a good copy. Face it, most of us have seen some very nice images taken with it.
     
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  3. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Yep! That's exactly it! Painfully slow at the long end, but that's really my only complaint with this lens. Even as it is, if it was a little wider (I know that's asking too much, it's already wide for a kit lens), this would be my main travel lens. As it is, it's my go-to lens for those times when I'm just out and about and don't feel like carrying a handful of primes.
     
  4. TassieFig

    TassieFig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    535
    Oct 28, 2013
    Tasmania, Australia
    I wish I could love this lens. The range, weather sealing, macro, image quality, internal zoom and weight are all in it's favour. Oh, and price too. For some reason I just don't like it's handling. It's long and thin and makes the camera combo a bit off. The grinding zoom. The MF that always goes past focus and then past again. Never use MF on it anymore. Oh, and it's got an extra function button too. There really are a lot more pros than cons but I can't love it. I'm looking to get a really compact zoom instead (the 12-32 has my attention atm).
     
  5. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    It's plenty sharp in the centre, but it's the corners that bugged me. C/A shows up in the corners way worse as well, especially when there are tree branches.
     
  6. RamblinR

    RamblinR Mu-43 Top Veteran

    545
    Aug 16, 2012
    Sunshine Coast, Qld Australia
    Maria
    12-50mm doesn't do well at f1.8 ;)
     
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  7. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    All excellent points (both the pros and cons, though I've never noticed anything weird with the MF...I'll check again to see if mine does the same as yours). The grinding noise freaked me out when I got the lens, I thought it was busted haha. It still sometimes catches me off-guard, but to be honest, I kind of like the resistance, and once I realized that it's normal, I've just grown to accept it. The 12-35 does indeed look like a great lens and I was considering it, but in the end, the 12-50's pros won out (very close to the top being the weathersealing, which has made the difference between not being able to shoot, and getting one of my all-time favourite, once-in-a-lifetime shots haha). I'm certainly not disagreeing with you, this lens isn't for everyone (by the way, I actually REALLY like it ergonomically...the size, the controls, the weight, everything...)...thankfully the M4/3 family has no shortage of great options for all tastes and needs! :)



    Interesting (and valid) point...I'll do another test one of these days to see how those fare...or I'll just go back to this shot and crop different areas and get back to you! :)

    Yes, and the 45 doesn't do well at 12mm. And in the rain. And at 20mm. And at macro. And...well, you get the idea. ;) Not hating on the 45, I love mine and rarely leave home without it...but I think the 12-50 has plenty going for it...fast aperture isn't one of them, though. :D
     
  8. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Can you please check the aperture used for both shots? Anyway they looks really close.
     
  9. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    Portugal
    Jaime
    This lens is sure underrated.
    I like my copy very much. I used it very often before I start shooting mainly portraits with my latest primes.
    Its is a very decent lens for landscape and excellent for macro. I only wish it would be a bit less soft at the long end, but anyway not so bad.
     
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  10. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    I believe it was f6 for the 12-50 and f6.3 for the O45. My mistake, but it's only 1/6th of a stop, so I didn't worry about it too much.

    I forgot that sometimes the camera messes with the aperture settings when switching between lenses...the widest setting at 45mm on the 12-50 is f6, so I set it at that. Then I popped the O45 on it, forgetting that that lens does not have an f6 setting (the closest one is f6.3). The camera automatically selected f6.3, something I didn't notice until I got home and started playing with the pictures. It's a bit of a discrepancy, but I don't think it's enough to really affect the outcome much. Heck, if anything, the 12-50 would have probably benefited from being stopped down a tiny bit fro wide open.
     
  11. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    maybe you have a freak copy? I had a copy for a little while, but never really bonded with it. I'm pretty stoked with the 12-40 though, great edge-edge performance @12mm (which is where I tend to be a lot)
     
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  12. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I agree that the 12-50 is underrated. It is a super-versatile option to have in the bag for someone who wants to primarily shoot primes. For zoom enthusiasts though I suppose the 12-40 is worth the extra cash (though I've never used it).
     
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  13. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Yeah, at 50 it's not too pretty, but at 45 and 46 (macro mode) it's still holding up, so I'm okay with it. I'm going to try and post some stuff at 50. :D

    Given what I read about this lens and how well mine performs, I think there's an excellent chance that mine's a freak copy haha. The 12-40 is a great lens and I can not count how many times I've had that lens in my hands/on my camera (and how many salesmen's hopes I've dashed haha). It's an excellent lens, but I'm not a fan of how it handles on the E-M5 (without the grip), and I did some back-to-back shooting between that lens and some of my other ones (including the 12-50) and wasn't all that blown away. It's an excellent lens, I'm not putting it down, I just think the rest of the line-up is great too. For the size/weight of the 12-40, I can have my 9-18, 45 and another lens in my bag...for me, that's far more useful (I tend to go either wide or short/medium tele).

    I think you've hit the nail on the head there! I love primes...and wides...the 12-XX range does't really excite me as much (even in my FF days I never had a 24-XX lens)...so, for me, "settling" a bit in that FL range is perfectly acceptable. Given how little I use the 12-XX range, I can't justify the 2.8s, but I'm quite happy with this one. :)
     
  14. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Well, I think it's pretty clear what the solution is here. Just buy an E-M1 with the 12-40. Problem solved. :)
     
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  15. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    Canada
    Haha...don't think I haven't been tempted! I go to Japan quite regularly and prices there are incredibly good (especially for non-residents). Buuuuuuuut....I got into the M4/3 game to minimize the size of my kit without sacrificing IQ...I think the E-M5 is the perfect balance for me. I really like the size/weight/design of the E-M5, and my lenses...plus...you know...if half of the rumours about the E-M5 Mark II are true, then we're in for another awesome iteration!! :)
     
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  16. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    B
    Actually, I'm with you here. The vast majority of my micro four-thirds lenses are primes. Not just for sharpness and overall IQ but because they are small and light. I have zooms: the 9-18, 12-50, 14-42 EZ, 40-150 and even the Panasonic 100-300 (which works great on the E-M5). But they're not the premium/pro lenses for reasons of cost and size/weight. I think I'd personally buy the 12-40 (and its new telephoto counterpart) only if I bought an E-M1. And I'm not likely to do that unless and until I sell off my Pentax DSLR kit, which I am not yet ready to do. The mission of micro four thirds in my kit is to provide a smaller and lighter option while maintaining 90% of the flexibility and capability of the Pentax gear.
     
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  17. ccunningham

    ccunningham Mu-43 Veteran

    453
    Jul 23, 2010
    One of the reasons why the belief in the poor quality of 12-50 is commonly held to be a fact, is that some people have trouble distinguishing between "not as good in comparison to" and "not good." In other words, since there are some lenses that are better, the 12-50 is not good. This is why you find people acting like it's no better than using a lens made from a soda bottle, when it's actually pretty good. Same thing with the 17mm2.8. It's really not horrible, but the 20mmf1.7 was better in a lot of areas, so the 17mm was "bad."

    Now, that being said, I would rather have the 12-40, but I can't afford one, so i'll keep using my 12-50.
     
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