Oly 12-40 vs oly 17+45 1.8

amit

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
33
Hi!
I guess the question is another primes vs zoom in the m43 world.

I have the 45 1.8 and samyang 7.5 . Yesterday I got the 12-40 in a really good deal.
The quality of the primes is perfect for me ,however switching lenses is not so cool (I usually go to short trips with my kids and use the 7.5 for vast landscapes and the 45 as mini tele to catch cool moments).

So I decided to try the 12-40 zoom,in worst case I will sell it and get my money back.
I was amazed by the quality I get with it . Perfectly sharp photos ,even in low light .
The only problem is that it feels like a full soda can connected to my em10ii :)
I will get a grip soon ,but im not so sure about it now...
So , what do you say ? Primes vs this zoom in the normal focal range .

Thank you !
 

algold

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
354
Location
Israel
Real Name
Alex
I have all 3, but 12-40 is used a lot more than either 17mm or 45mm. It's just a lot more versatile and the image quality is quite amazing.
Get an add-on grip for your em10 ii and the handling will be a lot more comfortable.
 
Joined
Apr 20, 2019
Messages
324
Location
Tasmania
I've got the 12-40 and the 17.
17 comes out when I want light, indoors, faster lens.
Otherwise its 12-40.
Mine is on an EM5 so bit bigger.
But I also have the 40-150 + MC14 so used to bigger lenses.
The 17 is so small
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2016
Messages
1,061
Location
Hampshire, UK
Real Name
Simon
Hi!
I guess the question is another primes vs zoom in the m43 world.

I have the 45 1.8 and samyang 7.5 . Yesterday I got the 12-40 in a really good deal.
The quality of the primes is perfect for me ,however switching lenses is not so cool (I usually go to short trips with my kids and use the 7.5 for vast landscapes and the 45 as mini tele to catch cool moments).

So I decided to try the 12-40 zoom,in worst case I will sell it and get my money back.
I was amazed by the quality I get with it . Perfectly sharp photos ,even in low light .
The only problem is that it feels like a full soda can connected to my em10ii :)
I will get a grip soon ,but im not so sure about it now...
So , what do you say ? Primes vs this zoom in the normal focal range .

Thank you !
You may find you get used to holding the lens instead of the camera eventually...
 

Bidkev

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Feb 5, 2018
Messages
4,496
Location
Brisbane Australia from Blackpool UK 23yrs ago
.
.
I've got all 3 also but the 12-40 is getting used more than the other two. I mount it on the e-m10mkll and have no need for a grip as the lens itself is the main point of balance and support for me. I actually prefer heavier lenses on smaller bodies. I thought about parting with the primes but with the low price used is selling for here, I've decided to keep them. I've seen the 45 got for sub Aus$200 regularly and by the time ebay gets their share that's less than 3 litres of Captain Morgan Spiced :)
 

robcee

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Messages
543
Location
New Brunswick, Canada
Real Name
Rob Campbell
The 12-40 is a fantastic lens. It's probably one of the best standard zooms for any system. It's super sharp through the whole zoom range and gives up very little wide open.

The 17mm f1.8 is a good lens, but it's nowhere near the quality of the 12-40. I think you'd need to go to the 17 f1.2 PRO to compete with the 12-40 in a prime.

The 45mm is a bit better optically, but suffers from a bit of curvature distortion. The difference between the 1.8 and the 1.2 are a lot less than the 17.

So yeah, if you got a 12-40 on a deal, you'll probably want to hang onto it. :)
 

ac12

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
1,882
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
Get the grip for your EM10. I have one on my EM10-mk2, and it makes a BIG difference, for me.
And if you have a shoot that you don't want to use the grip, just unscrew it. The best of both worlds.

As for lens option.
I think it is VERY personal.

I'm a zoomie, and a zoom is my standard lens.
So I would go with the 12-40/2.8.

The gap between the 7.5 and 45 is just too large. I would need a 17 or 20, to fill the gap.
IMHO, a 45 is too long for a GP kids lens.

So with your kids, I would go with the 12-40.
If you feel that the 12-40/2.8 is too heavy and bulky, an alternative is the Panasonic-Lumix 12-60. That is my light GP lens.
Or the Olympus 14-42. The manual zoom, not the EZ electronic zoom.
 

zanydroid

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Feb 13, 2019
Messages
126
Location
San Francisco, CA
I believe a lot of the fast M43 primes are less sharp, wide open, than all of the pro zooms. Unless we are talking about PL/Pro level primes, or the P42.5 / O45 / Sig60 / O75.

The PL 12-60 is another fine lens if you don't mind the smaller aperture. It's pretty small, I think actually about the same size as the 12-35 2.8, and has a premium build quality about half way between 12-35 2.8 and Olympus Pro. I have the 12-35 and 12-100 already, and I (semi-crazily) wonder whether I'll eventually want the 12-60 as an intermediate size choice.

Another option is the 12-35. The 12-35 and 12-40 should be about the same class optically (except maybe with the usual thing where Oly zoom is better in the corners). While the 12-35 is only 80g less, that is a lot in M43 world, basically the difference between two chassis sizes in M43, and practically the weight of a f/1.8 prime. That lens is pretty large for a M43 lens (58mm filter size), but not too much wider than the 14-150 super zooms. IMO the 12-35 and the super zooms are both pretty good matches for EM10-sized bodies, even without a grip. And I consider the 12-35 and 14-150 as zero problem for most people to carry all day while traveling.
 

Ed Diaz

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
154
I guess I'm in the minority here. If I'm on a day trip with the kids/family and photography is secondary to whatever we're doing, I much prefer carrying two small primes and a small body. The 12-40 is a great lens, but for me, probably one of my least used. I prefer primes for "normal" focal ranges, and zooms for the wide and tele ranges. The 12-40 is usually reserved for situations where I need the flexibility of a zoom (e.g., event type shooting) or if I need high quality on the wide, 12mm end.
 

amit

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
33
I guess I'm in the minority here. If I'm on a day trip with the kids/family and photography is secondary to whatever we're doing, I much prefer carrying two small primes and a small body. The 12-40 is a great lens, but for me, probably one of my least used. I prefer primes for "normal" focal ranges, and zooms for the wide and tele ranges. The 12-40 is usually reserved for situations where I need the flexibility of a zoom (e.g., event type shooting) or if I need high quality on the wide, 12mm end.
The thing is , that with my kids on a trip I need to jump from vast landscapes to small tele to regular range to mini macro every few minutes ,that is why Im trying the pro zoom.
 

ianpiper

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Messages
56
Location
United Kingdom
Real Name
Ian Piper
I am a big fan of the small Olympus primes. The 17mm and 45mm f1.8 lenses are very sharp in my experience. The 12mm f2 is also a great lens. I suspect that all three would weigh your bag down less than the 12-40. I tend to use these smaller primes on my Pen F, where the 17mm in particular is just about the perfect combination, with a feel almost like a Fuji X100T.
All that said, I use the 12-40 Pro lens on my E-M1 II almost exclusively. I agree with all of the above comments on the quality of the lens; it is unimpeachable. The extra convenience of the zoom is good too.
One thing about all of these lenses that I use a lot is the focus clutch (apart from the 45mm which doesn't have it).
 

amit

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Oct 10, 2019
Messages
33
I am a big fan of the small Olympus primes. The 17mm and 45mm f1.8 lenses are very sharp in my experience. The 12mm f2 is also a great lens. I suspect that all three would weigh your bag down less than the 12-40. I tend to use these smaller primes on my Pen F, where the 17mm in particular is just about the perfect combination, with a feel almost like a Fuji X100T.
All that said, I use the 12-40 Pro lens on my E-M1 II almost exclusively. I agree with all of the above comments on the quality of the lens; it is unimpeachable. The extra convenience of the zoom is good too.
One thing about all of these lenses that I use a lot is the focus clutch (apart from the 45mm which doesn't have it).
I made a little test today.
I took my kids to a nice forest for them to run around and play.
Used the 12-40 today , and actually made the same trip few months ago with the 45 1.8 only.

So , with the 12-40 : weight is not that bad, I got way more photos , techniclly very good captures , very convinient ,
however :

1.the f1.8 could be very helpful in the forest.
2.the amount of photos I actually want to keep is more or less the same as with the 45 , maybe a bit more.

I think Im begining to understand that there is no right answer , maybe I need both zooms + primes :)
 

PakkyT

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
2,845
Location
New England
The thing is , that with my kids on a trip I need to jump from vast landscapes to small tele to regular range to mini macro every few minutes ,that is why Im trying the pro zoom.
For vacations I tend to take both, a general purpose zoom for normal daytime shooting and then a faster prime for the evening, indoor, or other places needing a stop or two of extra light gathering. For short day trips I may pick one or the other.

I recently sold off my Panny 12-35/2.8 for the Oly 12-100 PRO. Great lens, but I also lose a stop from f2.8 to f4. Daytime this isn't an issue because I am likely shooting at f4 to f5.6 anyway. But if I know it will be low light shooting involved then I bring my Oly 17 or 25 f/1.8 lenses, either exclusively or in addition to the zoom. I do tend to gravitate towards my primes the last year or two. I find them just a little bit more fun to use.
 

ac12

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
1,882
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
I made a little test today.
I took my kids to a nice forest for them to run around and play.
Used the 12-40 today , and actually made the same trip few months ago with the 45 1.8 only.

So , with the 12-40 : weight is not that bad, I got way more photos , techniclly very good captures , very convinient ,
however :

1.the f1.8 could be very helpful in the forest.
2.the amount of photos I actually want to keep is more or less the same as with the 45 , maybe a bit more.

I think Im begining to understand that there is no right answer , maybe I need both zooms + primes :)
Your test is good.
Sometimes you just have to actually test out the gear, to see if/how it works.
No amount of reading will help, if it does not work FOR YOU.

I found that in LOW light FAST glass wins.
With slower lenses, I will raise my ISO as much as I need to. But there comes a point where the ISO is too high, and the high ISO noise is BAD.

BUT, for fast moving kids, the wide open shallow f/1.8 DoF may be too shallow to keep them in focus. A slightly smaller aperture will give you just a bit more DoF as a focus buffer.

So sometimes, there is no ONE solution. You have to look at the situation and compromise on what will be the better of the two not perfect options.

Yes you may need both zoom and prime.
When I travel, I bring 2 lenses:
#1 - the Panasonic 12-60, as my GP lens.
#2 - The Olympus 17/1.8, as my indoor low light lens. I don't use it much, but when I do, it is because my zooms are just too slow for the LOW light.
 

PakkyT

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
2,845
Location
New England
UT, for fast moving kids, the wide open shallow f/1.8 DoF may be too shallow to keep them in focus. A slightly smaller aperture will give you just a bit more DoF as a focus buffer.
With relatively wider angles (such as the 45mm mentioned or even wider primes) and for something like shooting in a forest where your camera to subject distance is likely to be relatively big (several meters+), the DoF should be good enough so long as you shoot immediately after focus (not allowing your subject time to move towards or away from you). It is either longer focal lengths or much shorter distances that DoF becomes more of a problem. A quick check with a DoF calculator and the 45 at f1.8 shot with subject 5m away, your depth of field is a very useable 2/3rds of a meter. Unless the kids are really flying away or towards you, it shouldn't be to hard to keep them in the focus range. It is the shutter speed that becomes more of an issue with motion blur rather than mis-focusing,

But I do agree that if you can close down the aperture a tiny bit more while still maintaining a reasonable shutter speed, your changes or missing focus go down a bit more.
 

ac12

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
1,882
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
With relatively wider angles (such as the 45mm mentioned or even wider primes) and for something like shooting in a forest where your camera to subject distance is likely to be relatively big (several meters+), the DoF should be good enough so long as you shoot immediately after focus (not allowing your subject time to move towards or away from you). It is either longer focal lengths or much shorter distances that DoF becomes more of a problem. A quick check with a DoF calculator and the 45 at f1.8 shot with subject 5m away, your depth of field is a very useable 2/3rds of a meter. Unless the kids are really flying away or towards you, it shouldn't be to hard to keep them in the focus range. It is the shutter speed that becomes more of an issue with motion blur rather than mis-focusing,

But I do agree that if you can close down the aperture a tiny bit more while still maintaining a reasonable shutter speed, your changes or missing focus go down a bit more.
Did you mean 17?
45 is NOT a wide lens on a m4/3 camera.
 

LilSebastian

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Feb 28, 2017
Messages
573
Location
Pasadena, CA
Real Name
John
I bought the E-M10 II with kit lens several years ago and have bought and sold several kits zoom lenses and even an adapted 4/3 Olympus 14-54 before finally investing in the 12-40 PRO. I wish I had ponied up for this lens long ago. Congrats for getting a great deal on it, don’t sell it along just yet.

I might have too much choice now with my 12-40 plus 15mm f1.7, 25mm f1.8 and 45mm f1.8. Honestly, if I was forced to sell a lens or two, the 12-40 and 25mm would not even be in consideration. Those will stay with me as long as I shoot micro four thirds. Focal length for your primes is such a personal decision, driven by your subjects and available light. I feel like the 7.5 and 45 are more speciality lengths, to be used only when planning the shot whereas a 15mm all the way up to 30mm can be general purpose when you may have a variety of framing needs. That... or just the 12-40 PRO!

Oh, and you will love the ECG grip for the camera, it is a solid accessory and never leaves my E-M10 II even when using a small prime.
 

PakkyT

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Jun 20, 2015
Messages
2,845
Location
New England
Did you mean 17?
45 is NOT a wide lens on a m4/3 camera.
No I meant the 45mm because that is what the original poster has and was comparing to the 12-40mm. He mentioned the f1.8 of the 45mm in the forest could have been useful. My response was to your speculation that at 1.8 the DoF might be too thin resulting in out of focus photos. If you run the numbers, with the 45mm lens at f1.8 when shooting several meters away, DoF shouldn't be as much of an issue as would be shutter speed to stop subject movement. I used the term "relatively wider angles", which the 45mm is by no means a wide angle lens (as you correctly point out), but is only 5mm longer than the 12-40 he was comparing it.

That's all, just a note that the 45 at 1.8 could have been useful in the forest as he mentioned to get the shutter speed up and not really giving up too much other than he would always needing to be a bit stepped back from his young subject.
 
Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2009-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom