Olympus 12mm f2.0

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by bigboysdad, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    As the owner of a Panasonic 14mm/2.5, I can’t decide whether to buy the 12 and need the community’s assistance in deciding. Apologies for the number of questions. Put simply, is there a compelling reason to upgrade from the 14 to 12? Yeah, I’m obviously aware of the technical aspects of the slightly faster aperture and focus ring of the Olympus but beyond that in terms of real world use and picture output, has anyone actually upgraded and concluded that the 12 THAT much better? If so why (ie colours/sharpness/ vignetting/ barrel distortion)? Does the focus ring genuinely change the way one shoots using the 12? I have the Olympus 17/1.8 and would like to know if the focus ring experience is exactly the same as with the 12. I have this impression that the ring with the 12 is somehow more relevant in practical use as compared to the 17 (I could be wrong). And apart from the obvious issue of price, is there anything else I should be considering here? Would be genuinely interested to hear the views of the community. Thanks.
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Well, it's also wider and that 2mm is fairly noticeable. It's sharper too. But the 14 isn't bad and as good as m43 sensors are getting now, you can do a lot with f2.5 in low light. If you're happy with the 14 I doubt you'd be blown away by the 12 unless you pixel peep things like corner sharpness. Or print really large where some of those problems start to show up.

    I have the 12 and love it, but the focus ring and the ability to zone focus with a physical distance scale was BIG for me - huge actually. And it's not for most people. I also like the wider view. I'm not a corner sharpness maniac and was more than satisfied with the technical aspects of the 14 when I had it. But the combination of the wider view, the focus ring, and to a lesser extent, the faster aperture makes the 12mm probably my favorite and most used m43 lens of all time... But that's just me - I don't think the difference is that huge to recommend it for everyone...

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  3. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    For shooting building interiors I have always felt that the longest lens that still gave a sense of space was 24mm (35mm equivalent). When shooting film Nikons, my 24 was on a body almost constantly and my 28 slept in the bag.

    Technical differences among lenses that show up only at the pixel-peeping level are not of much interest to me, so I can't comment on those. I think it more boils down to what focal length suits kind of photos you like to take.
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  4. szanda

    szanda Mu-43 Regular

    Keep 14 and get 7,5 fish-eye to enjoy some cheap super-sharp fishy and software-linear (which is surprisingly good) UWA fun :smile: that FY lens delivers greats images and its fun to work with, focuses really close as well and it's completely new FOV to work with.

    If I buy 12 to replace my 14, I would be like ok, I spent 400€ more than on my 14, I can now pixel-peep 15% more effectively... :-(
  5. broody

    broody Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 8, 2013
    To be fair it's very hard to make the 14mm pancake look bad. It's one of the highest value primes out there, and while the Zuiko overcomes it in lab metrics, most of the time the only relevant difference is the extra width. Furthermore, if you want the 12mm focal length, there are other high quality options - the 12-40mm Pro lens, the Panny 7-14mm and the soon-to-be-released 12-32mm pancake zoom.

    It's not that the more expensive alternative isn't worth it, but the value lens is entirely satisfactory and hard to invalidate. I suspect when the Leica Nocticron is released, it will face a similar situation - sure it will be better than the 45mm Zuiko, but when the Oly is so good and cheap, most people will be content to use it!
  6. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    Some excellent advices here, as expected and thank you everyone. At the moment I'm stuck between considering a) getting something different a la fisheye lens which would produce warped images I'd end up straightening out in Lightroom and b) considering that extra 2mm which I note from people's responses does seem to make a bit of a difference. And for the record, I think the 14 is a great lens. Still no closer to deciding but I sure am better informed.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
  7. tsunarpg

    tsunarpg New to Mu-43

    Nov 12, 2013
    I love the 12mm f2.0 The only thing that bugs me is the barrel distortion. I'm trying out DXO right now but it doesn't have any automatic settings for the time being. Does anyone have some tips for the settings to manually correct it for now. Auto DXO fixes are supposed to come out December '13
  8. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    In selecting which lenses to have for my camera I've ruled out that the price vs features of the 12 vs the 14 results in the 14 winning every time if you can get it for $150. The 12 is what, $700? Enough said. The 14 is a great lens. With another $100 you can buy the 11mm converter, which to me seems too wide.

    Another reason to stick with the 14 and not get the 12 is that there's an Oly 12-50, Oly 12-40, Pan 12-32, and Pan 12-35 that give you that focal length of 12. If you have any of those lenses the 12's benefits seem even fewer.
  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    The 12 usually pops up used around here for about $500. The premium zooms are a good argument if you like shooting zooms and having larger lenses. If you prefer shooting primes, the tiny little 12 has a lot going for it. But nobody's arguing its a better value than the 14.

  10. krixoff

    krixoff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 11, 2013
    The 12mm is so sharp even at f/2. Before I got the 14mm, I sold it because my 14-45 does same results at 14mm. The 12mm is very small and love the ring is so smooth. When you stop at f/4 the lens make so sharps pictures for landscapes.

    Sent from my CINK PEAX using Mu-43 mobile app
  11. mfj197

    mfj197 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 20, 2012
    Guildford, UK
    For me, yes. I used to have the 14 and did like its size but it wasn't really wide enough for me. It didn't have any "wow" factor plus I did find the corners to be disappointingly soft. I now have the 12mm and it is quite a different wee beast. The field of view is just wide enough to provide the expansive skies that I like, and a pleasant surprise was the lens microcontrast - it just has a lot more zap about its images. Pictures look dynamic and contrasty. It's also much sharper in the corners, even from wide open. The 12 does vignette wide open but from memory so did the 14.
    I had the 12-50 and the 12mm end wasn't bad in terms of sharpness and of course field of view. However the images were a bit flat and lifeless compared to the little 12mm, and I really didn't like its size. The same criticism could be labelled at the 7-14 that I've also had - it was too big and I didn't take it out with me. I've also had the Samyang 7.5mm fisheye, sharp indeed but I could never really get on with it that well. Also it doesn't have the microcontrast of the 12mm - the other lens I have with the same dynamicism is the PL25.

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