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Questions: M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by jumbotron, May 20, 2012.

  1. jumbotron

    jumbotron Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 9, 2011
    Vancouver, Canada
    I've got a silver and black EM5 on order and have the opportunity to pick-up the kit lens a few weeks ahead the body, so I'm probably going to grab it. Just wondering if anyone know is this lens is fully compatible with the PEN cameras like my EP1, EPL2 and EPM1?

    Also, how does the macro on this lens stack up against the Olympus Zuiko Digital 35 mm F/3.5 Lens (four thirds)?

    Thanks for any advice anyone might have!
  2. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    It's fully compatible, The 12-50 was released before the EM5. The 12-50 actually had a firmware update so it'll be more compatible with the EM5.

    This macro will only do 1:3, vs 1:1. But since the 12-50 has a longer focal length. In practice it might not make much of a difference if you need to have some sort of working distance.
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The Zuiko 35mm f/3.5 is a really sharp lens, and is capable of very close 1:1 macro right up on your subject. It's also a prime lens and a dedicated macro lens, so this is to be expected. It's not weather sealed like the 12-50mm, and doesn't have the zoom range. It is CDAF compatible but won't be as fast in Autofocus as the 12-50mm... which doesn't matter when used as a macro but the 35mm also makes a wonderful small, light, general-purpose lens as well. I'm sure you'll find the AF of the 35mm to be perfectly useful though.

    Honestly, if I could have only one of those lenses it would be the Zuiko 35mm in a heartbeat, no second guessing, no questions asked. That's just my personal preference, but these lenses are very different lenses made for different purposes and shouldn't be directly compared. Since you're comparing them though, you should know that the Zuiko 12-50mm (which is capable of 1:3 magnification) is not a true macro and in fact is only somewhat better at macro than the standard non-macro Zuiko Four-Thirds lenses (ie, like the 14-54mm or 50-200mm which can get to 1:4 - or how about the Zuiko 70-300mm which is not advertised as a macro lens yet can do 1:2 macro?). The Zuiko 35mm f/3.5 is a true 1:1 macro on its own, whereas the Zuiko 50mm f/2 requires a 25mm extension tube (Olympus EX-25) to reach 1:1 macro. The Zuiko 70-300mm (which is not even considered a macro lens) can do 1:1 only with the 2x teleconverter (Olympus EC-20). Sigma has two macro lenses for Four-Thirds, the 105mm f/2.8 and the APO 150mm f/2.8. Then there is of course the Leica 45mm f/2.8 Macro-Elmarit for Micro Four-Thirds.
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  4. jumbotron

    jumbotron Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 9, 2011
    Vancouver, Canada
    Thanks for the info! The 12-50 has been off my radar until very recently and didn't know anything about it - looks like an interesting lens! I can't wait to get my EM-5 and see what all the buzz is about.
  5. LeeOsenton

    LeeOsenton Mu-43 Button Clicker

    Jun 25, 2010
    Hayes, Virginia, U.S.A.
    Lee Osenton
    The Olympus 12-50mm is a really nice lens; but the macro is limited to a magnification factor of .36:1. I owned one for a few months and recently sold it. What it did for me was make me want a higher magnification dedicated macro lens. The 12-50mm is fixed at 42mm in macro mode, and I felt the working distance was comfortable. I replaced it with a lightly used Panasonic 45mm Elmarit and have no regrets; just a whole lot to learn. The macro abilities of the Olympus 12-50mm are excellent when you consider the other characteristics of the lens; but beware that you may end up wanting a dedicated macro.

  6. st3v4nt

    st3v4nt Mu-43 Veteran

    May 26, 2011
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Nice info about ZD 70-300 Ned, I have my eye on 2nd hand 70-300, now that my HDL-6 + OM-D in hand it would be great for outdoor shooting, if only it have faster aperture...
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