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Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Dave in Wales, Jan 29, 2013.
The reviews are not too good, 3.5 for IQ and build quality is not up to much.
I'm a recent owner, having just got my camera before a 3-week trip to Thailand.
-I really noticed the difference between 12mm and 14mm, very nice for landscapes
-The weather sealing is really nice. Even if you don't really use it, the peace of mind is nice at times.
-6.3 on the long end is pretty rough, but pushing the ISO is possible with an OMD.
-It's significantly longer than the normal kit, problematic if you're really into the small size. (Although I do like how the front-element doesn't push out)
I thought the IQ was good, but I'm not a pixel-peeper.
I'll keep it just for the once-in-a-blue moon weather sealing and the 12mm landspace shots. Otherwise, I'd be just as happy with the normal kit. One day I would like to replace this lens with the Pany 12-35 or a future Oly lens.
It is actually a nice little one. It is quite capable of taking some phenomenal photos, within its capabilities. The only problem that I had with it were the limitations. I constantly found myself wishing I could do something it could not. Pair it with a fast prime and you should be okay.
I bought it with the E-M5 because it's weather sealed and I figured there was no point in having a weather sealed body without one weather sealed lens. The only real use it's had was the day I went out for a photo walk with a friend at a local botanical gardens when it was threatening rain. I was quite happy with the quality of the results which were quite a bit better than I had expected given some of the comments I had seen on image quality.
Having said that, it really doesn't get much use on my bodies, but then the only zoom I have which gets any real use on my bodies is the Oly 40-150 which I use at the 150mm end for photographing birds. I tend to do nearly all of my photography with my primes. I'm quite willing to use it when it suits my needs.
Handling wise I find the manual zoom action on my 12-50 rather stiff with a bit of a rough feel compared to to the 40-150 and the 14-42, both of which are quite smooth. Apart from that I really don't have a complaint about it and I wonder whether that stiff/rough feel is related to the weather sealing.
I think it's a better lens than a lot of people say and I liked the results I got with it on my one major outing with it. I'm not saying it's a brilliant lenses, it's most definitely not up there with the Olympus 12, 45, or 75 or the PL 25, all of which I have and all of which are excellent in my view, but the 12-50 is an acceptable and useful lens in my view. I'm glad I've got it because of the weather sealing and I'm happy to use it when it suits my needs though I prefer to use primes in that range.
It's a kit lens so it's not optically stellar, but I have it (its the only kit lens I've kept for any period of time) because its a nice zoom range (12 vs 14 is BIG for me), its weather sealed, it's power zoom is nice for my very occasional videos, and it's the closest thing to a macro I have in anything larger than a compact camera. I don't use it much at all (not any other zoom), but it's come in very handy a number of times. And on the rare occasion I want to walk around with a zoom in good light, I really like the 12-50 range a lot. I've made some photos I like a lot with it.
Weatherproof, very good image quality, a very nice macro mode, a bit long, not so good aperture on the long end... But it's a good lens. Like another said, mix that with a good prime like the 20mm f/1,7. I do not regret buying it at all with the OM-D. For the price of the combo, it's a steal.
It's the ideal lens for hiking for me. You can see some photos with bit here: http://blog.ericcote.net/2012/10/en-voyage-avec-le-olympus-om-d-e-m5/
Your 40-150 has smooth zoom? Mine is very rough. Was yours smooth from the beginning or did it get smooth?
Sorry for the hijack.
It has good image quality, but nothing spectacular compared to the primes or higher end zooms. The focal range makes it an ideal travel lens option when light is good, and the macro mode is actually very usable. Very good value, but not my favorite lens - apparently I'm still more of a prime shooter.
To me the 12-50 is a good lens, given it's versatility and overall capabilities, but not a great lens. I think that somehow people were expecting it to be on par with 12-60, and that disappointment has flavored lots of reviews.
If you need a capable walk-around lens and don't demand IQ that matches your primes it is a good choice.
Very good IQ (but not excellent - still, most users in most cases likely won't notice)
Slow-ish at longer FL
Possibly a little bigger than you'd expect, length-wise
Exceptionally convenient with a fabulous FL range
Nice to have the weather-"sealing"
A good value when bought as part of a kit *if* you don't envision wanting the 12-35/2.8 zoom
Edit to add: the macro function is useful; put it all together and it's a great walk-about lens, as others have said
Good kit lens with compromises
First off, understand that the first priority of the 12-50 was video capability, and the second was its near-macro. Third is its still capability. That's a completely different lens paradigm from almost anything Oly has ever done, and it's led to a lot of the grumbling that you hear.
Outside of that, everything you've read in this thread is pretty much on point. My 12-50 is very good from 12-25, stopped down 1/2 stop. From 25-40, it works stopped down 1 stop. Beyond 40, it's "f/8 and be there" and accept some loss of sharpness. Or, use the 40 - 150 kit lens, which is much faster at that range, and sharper to boot.
Full disclosure: I also use my 14-54 Mk I in MF mode, and love it. In AF, it takes 1.5 - 2 seconds but is spot on. I can MF it as fast. If you can find a Mk II, I'd buy it. Despite the similarity in range, I view the two lenses as complementary. IMHO, the 14-54 Mk II is the best m4/3s zoom available right now. (Pany 12-35 users, flame on)
Good allrounder - even though I intend to end up with primes in 14mm(P), 25mm (P) in addition to the 45mm (O) I already have I will keep it for the odd time I need the 12mm view or need a quick close focus (it's not really macro is it) if I really need macro then I will dig out the FF manual Tamron 90mm F2.4 and Benbo.
Even with just the kit plus 45mm along with my daughters 40-150mm you do most things to a quality level that is as good as the Retina display on our iPad or HD TV that most people see shots on.
Once I have the 14 and 25 then yes I may print better/larger pictures whilst saving up for the 75mm and 100-300mm. So the kit lens lets me become more familiar with the camera so whilst saving for some of the best glass for m4/3 - works for me
I have just acquired a 12-50 from the bay. Waiting delivery.
I already have three great primes 14,25,45 and simply wanted a standard zoom for when switching lenses is not practical/desirable. Most important is that it is weather sealed. I couldn't justify a fast zoom (Oly soon?) or the Panny as I still think zooms are a compromise in quality and of course speed.
I'll update when I've had a look at it.
I like it fine as an all around lens for what I shoot, as I'm primarily shooting landscapes at apertures f/8 to f/11. It's very good with macro and video work, such as time lapse, as well, because it's weather sealed and CA isn't terrible, and flare manageable, although into the sun, I still prefer the 14mm f/2.5 Pany. I have manual primes and will eventually replace with the sharp, fast native primes for events, indoor with flash, etc. I don't think I'd pay $400-500 for it stand-alone, though.
Build quality is better than most kit lenses. A very useful travel/walkabout general purpose lens
Oly 12-50 - a set on Flickr
I like it for when it is raining or I don't want to carry two (or more) lenses. Quality is fine for enthusiastic amateurs ... I can print to A4 from it without a problem. It is what it is and priced accordingly.
It's convenient. The range is right, the macro is nice and the internal zoom and weight are very very nice.
The main knock on it is that it really doesn't perform optically like a $500 list price lens. It's just not optically any better than the various 14-42 kit lenses. Doesn't mean its bad, but personally I don't think it's worth more than $200-250.
I have almost the same exact impressions as Ray. It is the only kit zoom that I kept. I find my self using it more and more for casual street shooting, and I too, like the zoom range. It is the only macro I have of any type, but it is extremely rare when I use the macro setting on it. It is reasonably sharp, not as sharp as my primes, but overall, it is not a bad performer at all.
I got the 12-50 with my OM-D. I'm keeping it for two reasons:
Macro I have no plans to buy a dedicated a macro; the 12-50 does an acceptable job for me. Not a huge insect, plant macro guy or anything but I do like shooting still life's and am trying to learn more about product photography and lighting. If you don't need the superior Bokeh or background isolation from one of the faster primes, the zoom/focal lengths are pretty versatile for this application and it's handy to be able to switch to macro as needed, without needing to change lenses.
Weather Sealing - for the odd hike etc, will be a versatile all purpose lens in any kind of inclement weather, fishing trips, near water etc.
IQ is actually pretty good as others have mentioned, but not as nice as the primes of course. Otherwise not terribly excited about handling, zoom ring, or the long size of this lens which makes it a little cumbersome for a walk around, for me.
For the kits I favor my Pan 14-45 for it's size, handling and IQ on my OM-D and the Oly 14-42 IIR(diminutive size) on my E-PL5.
I kept my 12-50mm because of the weathersealing, which has come in handy a few times so far (although I still have an aversion to using an electronic device in the rain). If not for that I think I would have sold it.