Size Matters

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by trwtrw, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. trwtrw

    trwtrw Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 16, 2013
    Does anyone have the 12-40 lens paired with the E-M5? Is it too big. I'm ready to pull the trigger on the camera and other than the 12-40 I'm not really satisfied with the available Olympus lenses; it just seems like it'll be too big. I'm thinking I should just go with the 12-50 kit and hope for the best with future options. I'm an old OM-1 and OM-2 owner and really love the look of the E-M5.
  2. G1Reflector_949

    G1Reflector_949 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 25, 2013
    Sacramento, CA
    I use to have a E-M5, but recently upgraded to the E-M1 and got the 12-40mm f2.8. I also use to have the 12-50mm with my e-m5.

    Length-wise, the 12-40 isn't that much longer.. maybe even about the same, but it is fatter in diameter.. plus, it's all metal vs. plastic not the 12-50.. it is hefty, but nothing I found too big or unweilding. Too tell you the truth, I might be going the opposite direction of most others in that I kind of want my lenses to have a good size, with metal build and feel substantial. I think when you use it enough, you'll simply get use to it and it won't seem that big really. It's kind of like with new smart phones.. they are getting bigger now, use to think they were too big, but kind of like the size when I had the option to upgrade, and after using it, the now larger size smart phones don't seem large at all.. I wonder how i got by with the smaller phones and screen sizes.. but, i digress...

    Going back to the size, the E-M1 is not that much bigger than the E-M5 (with the vertical grip).. I'd definitely recommend the optional grip for the E-M5 if you are going to get the 12-40.. helps balance the camera out and the handling will be better... even with a smaller prime, I think you would want a grip.. I found the E-M5 without grip a bit too flat and small to hold and would be easy to slip out of hand and drop.

    Would you consider the Panansonic 12-35mm f2.8? It cost less than the Oly 12-40, I think mid $800's now new if you look around (amazon?), still water & dust resistant (to some degree), Leica specs (if I'm not mistaken), and it is supposedly just a bit sharper.. since not metal, more plastic, it'll be lighter too.. and it is a bit smaller or shorter than the Oly equivalent.

    The 12-50 is "alright" imho.. in good light, it works well, indoors or low light, not so good. I just wasn't happy with it in the end and didn't mind selling it to fund a better lens.. having that constant fast f2.8 aperture throughout the zoom range (both the Pany 12-35 & Oly 12-40) works really well so you don't have to be discouraged from using the lens at the long end in low light, especially.. no worries on adjusting and making some bit of compromise with exposure options.. and you will get pretty good bokeh throughout the range where as the 12-50 doesn't really have it except when you set and position yourself to subject and background just right.. and that's in fairly few instances.

    good luck in your choice.
  3. G1Reflector_949

    G1Reflector_949 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 25, 2013
    Sacramento, CA
    Also, have you tried this website? Cool virtual camera to lens matching system for MFT cameras & lenses (& FT lenses),

    Will give you a good idea of how whatever MFT lens will look like on whatever MFT Camera. Give it a try. Maybe it will help you visualize what your idea camera setup may look and feel like.
  4. trwtrw

    trwtrw Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 16, 2013
    On the Panasonic lenses will the Olympus automatically override the lens image stabilization.
  5. gr8Shot

    gr8Shot Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 13, 2013
    Actually, the 12-40 2.8 is all plastic with aluminum cladding. Not necessarily bad, just nothing like "all metal".
  6. Jeff1:1

    Jeff1:1 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 2, 2013
    Decide if you use the F2.8 a lot or only sometimes need larger aperture. Would a 14-42mm II zoom & F4-5.6 be ok. Then get a 17 or 25 or 45 mm F1.4ish prime for occasional use.
  7. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Yes, and they handle fine together, or at least it does if you use a left hand palm up, cradle the lens grip. Granted I prefer using it on the E-M1, but there's no problem with the E-M5. The 12-40 is optically significantly better than the 12-50. How noticeable the difference is depends on what you do with images.
  8. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    you could always add one of the grips for the em5 and make it basically the same as using that lens on the em1
  9. Ulysses

    Ulysses Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 21, 2013
  10. chonbhoy

    chonbhoy Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 23, 2013
    Scottish Highlands
    The 12-40 is really nice to hold under the barrel with your left hand and with a grip on the EM5 it would be fine, you wouldn't have to grip it tightly with your left hand supporting the weight of everything so your hand depending on if you have big hands shouldn't cramp up like it would if you had a tiny lens attached and no grip.
  11. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    I have the M5 and the 12-40: very good combination. But I have the JB grip on: it makes it very easy to hold, everything feels 'Goldilocks', just right.
  12. letsgofishing

    letsgofishing Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 21, 2012
    South Africa
    Mike Kaplan
    I've had my EM5 and 12-40 for just over a month now and with the $60 beautifully made Chines grip I bought on Ebay, I am very happy with the weight/size/handling of the combo...
    View attachment 27851
  13. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Given that the combination is smaller than the OM3 and Tamron SP90mm I used for 20 years I don't think its an issue - on an EPL-3/5 then maybe. Yes if you are used to an OM1 you will feel at home with the EM-5.

    Worst case you might like to add one or both halves of the HDL6 - or absolute worst case sell the lens if you don't like as you would probably not lose much value.

    However if you are after the best handing option then I would be remiss in not pointing out that:-
    1. the Pana 12-35 is slightly smaller than the Oly and
    2. for less the the cost of the 12-40 (based on UK prices) you could have the Panasonic 14mm F2.5 and 25mm F1.4 AND the Oly 45 F1.8 (or another option in a few weeks could be Oly 12mm F2 + 25mm F1.8 + 45mm F1.8 for the same cost). This would also avoid you having to purchase a 17/20/25 at some point in the future for indoor low light use in addition to the zoom.
    3. The 12-50 is better than you might be are aware because of the pounding it gets in comparison to primes (it's better than the standard Canikon kit zooms by some margin and better than the 14-42). It's not excellent in any category but the "macro" is surprisingly good but the handing is a bit odd because of it's long length compared to it's diameter. If you can get it with the body for almost nothing then the macro performance might be worth it.

    We are soooo lucky to be spoilt for good/excellent lens choices.
  14. dogs100

    dogs100 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2011
    N Devon UK
    I have an e-m5 and the 12-40. I use it with both grips and love it, tack sharp, very quick to focus manually and very well balanced. The only idiosyncrasy I have found is that when you use the snap ring on the lens to manually focus the exif data shows it as whatever the body was set to ... or is that just my copy?
  15. trwtrw

    trwtrw Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 16, 2013
    When you say you use it with both grips, what do you mean? With and without, or do you have two different grips? I like the classic look of the Silver E-M5 and if I put a grip on it will look more like an E-M1, which comes only in black.
  16. gr8Shot

    gr8Shot Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 13, 2013
    Some excellent things to consider. When I have bought "m43 zoom equivalents" to match my former FF camera, I have been only partially satisfied. The 12-40 f2.8 provides good low light zoom or high SS performance - very nice to have. I occasionally find myself reaching for a 12-40 f1.4, which of course we don't have! The solution has been to buy some faster primes to augment my 'fast zooms'. The 12-40 is still used often. The primes are employed in specific situations - sort like the 60mm f2.8 macro lens or 7.5mm fisheye. I have more lenses than I originally expected.

    My m43 kit bag is still half the size of my FF bag. The difference is less than it used to be.
  17. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    There's always the tiny Panasonic 12-35 f2.8........

  18. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Well, I wouldn't call it "tiny" - although it is noticeably smaller than the 12-40.
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