Olympus 12-50 Review

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by 13thFloorPhotography, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. 13thFloorPhotography

    13thFloorPhotography Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Like everyone else, I am pretty much excited about the new pro zoom Oly is about to release. Like many who have just started with photography, I could not easily afford the pro stuff, let alone the OMD. I've seen several people dismiss the 12-50mm kit lens and say it's crap, especially on other micro four-thirds rumor sites. For those who need to ball on a budget, I think the 12-50 is a good way to start out.

    Here's my review my take on the utility of the lens:

    Thanks again for being a great community.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. sammykhalifa

    sammykhalifa Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 22, 2012
    Pittsburgh PA
    Also, I might end up with one (when/if I go EM5) as it's the only weatherproof lens I'm likely to get my hands on any time soon.
  3. 13thFloorPhotography

    13thFloorPhotography Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2013
    Los Angeles
    The extra $200 I believe they are asking for really isn't that bad. Have fun
  4. arch stanton

    arch stanton Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2012
    Enjoyed the article, thanks!
    Would love to hear more about the black background look you get in the product shots - it looks very striking.
  5. gollum14

    gollum14 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 13, 2013
    Martin Davey
    Its an OK usable kit lens to start out with, it's limitations being f3.5 and f6.3 either end of the zoom which at times I found a pain :) 
  6. 13thFloorPhotography

    13thFloorPhotography Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Gollum - my sentiments exactly...that's why i keep this bad boy on a tripod and stopped down to around f8.

    arch stanton: I use a mini studio box (can easily be had on ebay for about 40 bucks), 2 led panels and a black velvet back drop. I heavily rely on the EVF for metering. The led panels are actually set on the lowest setting and feathered to get that transition from properly exposed top half to shadows in the bottom half. Hope this helps. I will try to post a photo of the set up soon
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Fred S

    Fred S Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2012
    Fred S
    I am not a pro, so the 12-50 is MORE than good enough

    I was looking for a Macro lens for my EPL-5 and so far so good for macros
    I will be testing it out this weekend on landscape/scenery
    I am a 99% outdoor shooter so I can live with the f3.5 and f6.3

    I picked up 1 last week for $ 200.00
    the seller set it was never used
    So for $ 200.00 I can't complain :biggrin:

    just my 2 cents
  8. CarlB

    CarlB Mu-43 Veteran

    A year or so back I did a comparison of the 12-50mm to the respected primes of m43. I took near, mid-field, and far-field focus shots at a variety of apertures.

    Some folks found more contrast, etc., in the primes. But to my eye, even at 100% there just wasn't that much difference.

    I think the 12-50mm is better than most realize.

    • Like Like x 1
  9. Dduval

    Dduval Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 13, 2013
    Orlando, FL
    Good review, well done.
  10. CPWarner

    CPWarner Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 24, 2010
    Nice review. I have this lens and ended up giving it to my son, who uses it a lot. While it might not be optically quite up to the standards of the Panasonic 12-35 or primes, it's extended range and macro capability really make it a great lens for someone starting out. My son has been thrilled with it. I still borrow it now and then when I want a standard zoom that can also do macro. In my opinion, it is a real bargain at the prices one can get it in kit form. Not sure I would pay full retail, but at $200 this is a good lens for the money.

    Another place this is showing up as a useful lens in in underwater photography. There are special lens housings that allow one to activate the macro mode. Pretty useful when one wants to do a wide range of things.
  11. 13thFloorPhotography

    13thFloorPhotography Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Thanks for the feedback. I would love to see some underwater samples. Mind posting some?
  12. CPWarner

    CPWarner Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 24, 2010
    Wish I could, but I am not using my E-M5 for underwater photography. I use a XZ-2, because the camera and housing were less than a housing, port, gears needed to get a EM-5 and 12-50 underwater. I am pretty new to underwater photography and am still figuring out how to get the flashes set up right. Not an easy thing to do. There are several places one can see images on the net. scubaboard.com, for example, has an active underwater photography section where you can find many photos.
  13. andymac66

    andymac66 New to Mu-43

    Sep 23, 2013
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Thanks for the review. I'm tempted to get one myself, mainly for the macro feature.
  14. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    I've got and sold any number of lenses, but I've never even thought about getting rid of the 12-50. It's the only lens I have that goes to 12mm wide -- a nice focal length to have in a pinch, but not one I shoot at often enough to justify buying the prime. It's not a lens I use a lot, but it's very handy to have and optically pretty decent, despite the hue and cry about its limitations. Of course I'd prefer the new 12-40 f2/8, but I don't have the money. For a small E-M5 carry everywhere kit, I usually put the Panasonic 14-42 PZ on, also a nice lens. If I had to keep just one standard zoom, it would be this one for the size (I have other macro options), but I'd miss the 12-50.
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