So, you want a 12-40 f/2.8, but...

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by F/Stop, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. F/Stop

    F/Stop Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    West Virginia
    Real Name:
    Brian Y.
    Theoretical question:

    If you had the prime lenses such as the 12, 17, 25, the lens tests and sample images get released and the lens produces great sharpness and overall IQ. Will you ditch the primes for the zoom? Would you mind losing about 1.1 stops on average?

    I personally would lose the 12/2 and the 17 1.8, but keep the 25 1.4 for my Nifty Fifty as I overall love and use the lens too much to give up.

    but of course what me and most others are wishing for is a wide angle prime or zoom from olympus so i could get my dream setup of 7-14 , 25 & 75

    now lets hear your opinions..
  2. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    At the wide end of the focal length scale I prefer zooms. At the long end of the focal length scale I prefer zooms. It is in the middle from 20-45mm that I see primes having a significant advantage in lens speed as well as being flexible enough to want to leave on the camera for a time.
  3. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    These sorts of questions always strike me as being backwards, because they are gear centric rather than subject centric. I wonder if the person starting the thread collects gear or takes pictures.

    I shot receptions/parties for 10 years and found a 17-55/2.8 zoom (DX format) worked best for me for that purpose. People also shoot the same thing with primes. Typically two, on two bodies. I still have my DX setup for shooting those things, but use primarily primes for ยต4/3, because I like them and they suit my subjects.
  4. owczi

    owczi nareteV 34-uM

    You're almost guaranteed to get a different answer from every user - and that's what lens systems are for.

    Out of F/Stop's list I own the 25mm only (I have Oly's first 17mm and Lumix 14mm though). I know for a fact that once mounted I'd probably hardly ever take off the 12-40. The 12mm end may not be on par with Oly's 12mm (but then who knows), the 17mm I would skip, but I would never get rid of the 25mm, because I like the character of the pictures it produces and I think it's the ultimate (AF) low light lens for mu43 right now (yes, I know, the 42.5 is coming but is also longer).

    I love using primes when I have time to take pictures - or at least time to think about what I'm doing, also I find it that primes help you put more "heart" into your photography. The particular primes listed are all very small - that's a big argument for keeping them, although neither the 12-35 nor the 12-40 will be massive. However, I also find it that whenever you're doing "work" type photography such as events of any type, there's no way to replace the flexibility that zoom gives you - BUT to me, you more often need this flexibility on the telephoto end rather than on wide end i.e. I would have less issues with primes instead of a 12-40 than I would without the 35-100.

    So finally, in my case - there's no "but": I'm getting the 12-40 and it is very likely to be of better quality than the WA lenses I own, so it has chances to become the most often used lens for me; I will still use the 14mm for candid / street and the 25mm for low light though, but even less often than before.
  5. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2011
    Ellicott City, MD
    Real Name:
    I don't do wides too often and typically not in low light. For this reason I sold the 12mm when I picked up the Panasonic 12-35. For me, wide angle is a specialty lens that I occassionally need but then need to put more pixels on a subject (i.e. zoom in) for subsequent shots. I really liked the size and quality of the 12 but due to finitie resources, I find the 12-35 to be more versatile and I have really liked some of the shots I have obtained with it.

    To answer the question, a good quality zoom that covers 12mm has caused me to sell the 12mm prime.

    For compactness, I kept the 20mm. There are times I just don't want to carry the 12-35. It looks bulky on the camera and I bought into m4/3 for the size factor. If I did not care about size, I would be carrying a FF for sure. With the 20mm I almost have a big point and shoot look and I love the shots I can get. Great for a dinner party, etc.
  6. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    I do a lot of indoor shooting and I prefer to avoid using a flash. Therefore, I prefer very fast primes to a slower zoom. Most of the time I shoot with two bodies and zoom with my feet. In the end, it comes down to personal preference, style and use. :cool:
  7. huai

    huai Mu-43 Regular

    May 24, 2013
    I think it will all depend on your shooting style. I for one hate the normal view that 17 & 25 give you. I skipped those focal lengths entirely, and use 12 & 45 extensively, and a long zoom on occasion. If I got the 12-40, I would consider selling the 12 to fund the purchase. I use the 12 almost exclusively in the day time, and very seldom need shallow DOF. On the other hand I use the 45 wide open for portraits at night, and I don't think the 12-40 would be able to replace it.
  8. rnagoda

    rnagoda Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 12, 2012
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Real Name:
    For me the value of a zoom is that you only need to have one lens mounted for a variety of situations. If you know where you are headed, what you will be taking pictures of, and how, I think a prime is always preferred. If you're going to have to guess and make fast changes on the fly in an unfamiliar environment, then obviously the zoom can make a better choice. So, for me, I'd want both the primes and the zoom so I'm ready for shooting ideal cases with my primes and random cases with my zoom.
  9. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    I'd even accept a 12-40 F4 at a great price as long as it was sharp, but 2.8 would be great. There is a huge hole between kit lenses and the 12-35.
  10. Viktor

    Viktor Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 27, 2012
    I love the 25mm and use it most. But with the zoom I will prob. get a pancake instead (20mm?) for the pocket/street/quick action.
  11. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Real Name:
    I got rid of all my primes that fell in the 12-35's range, the 12mm + 17mm. I did lose the 1+ stop of light, but the sharpness is pretty outstanding. Really though- it's the sensor quality that makes up for the loss of light with the E-M5, and I had one of the old 12mp bodies, I probably wouldn't have been so keen on the zoom over the primes- but that sensor really has caught up to my performance expectations. Also, I've never been much of a zoom sort of guy in the past at all. Heh- I wish I had held out for the 12-40 from Olympus, luckily I got a used 12-35 for a decent price.

    I did keep the 25mm Nokton, but it's a totally different lens for a different purpose for me.
  12. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 2, 2010
    If you don't need the extra stop of light you will lose with the zoom, either for light gathering or subject isolation (minimal with wide angle at any rate) then either the Panasonic or Olympus would be advantageous for most users. Plus you have the advantage of weather sealing which is lacking on all but the kit 12-50 in this focal length.

    I had the Pentax 16-50 2.8 and 50-135 2.8 with my K5II and although great, I came back to Olympus partly because I wanted that extra stop of light back that I gained with the 17 1.8 and 45 1.8. There were other factors as well, but Oly's fast lenses were one of the primary reasons.
  13. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 14, 2010
    Real Name:
    I've noticed I tend to crop my pictures quite a lot in PP so I'm sure I will benefit from the new Oly zoom. Especially since the 14mm is my favorite lens and this zoom is only 0.3 slower.

    The strange thing is that I still can't sell the beloved 14mm even though it might not get used anymore...
  14. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    I read somewhere that pros like to have a zoom at the wide end, a fast normal, and a zoom at the long end. That seems efficient, and if there were a zoom faster than the Oly 9-18 or less expensive than the Panny 12-35 I'd do that too.
  15. Swandy

    Swandy Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 15, 2009
    I have the 14mm and the new 17mm. (I got the 17mm when I intended to keep the EM5 and had sold my 14mm and 20mm to finance it. Ended up selling the EM5 and got the EP5, so I ended up re-buying the 14mm at about the price I sold mine to make a smaller package.)
    I also have the 14-42IIR and the 12-50.
    When I get the 12-40 (almost a definite purchase) the 12-50 and probably the 14-42 are history. Will definitely keep the 14mm for when I want something small to carry around. Up in the air about the 17mm. Yes it is a bit faster than the 12-40, but the ISO on the EP5 is so good I don't think that 1 1/3 stop will make a big difference. A lot will depend on the actual size/weight of the 12-40. But realistically, I can't see myself reaching for the 17mm lens. I understand the love for primes - heck I have those two and two Olympus Zuiko primes - but they were to serve a purpose. The 14mm to make the camera package small and the 17mm because it was faster and better IQ than the 12-50. I don't think either will be important when comparing to the 12-40.
  16. cmpatti

    cmpatti Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    A tough one. I currently own the P7-14, O14-42II, P14, P20, O45, O40-150. If I pick up the O12-40, the p14 and O14-42 are easily expendible. I'll probably want to keep one small, fast prime and the P20 makes sense here since it's clearly the most versatile. The hard thing will be selling the O45. Not sure I'll be able to bring myself to do it, and if I don't, it may be hard to justify the O12-40.
  17. beanedsprout

    beanedsprout Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 13, 2013
    north central Ohio
    Two bodies, two primes. I've got no time for slow zooms. Although I could easily see picking one up while using a flash, but sometimes I'm not afforded that opportunity. Obviously I shoot in the dark with my lens cap on.:cool:
  18. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Real Name:
    You got a very solid set of primes. If you really want to add flexibility, the zoom 12-40 (or 12-35) would be nice, but like you, I would keep the 25 1.4.

    I can see a 12-35, 25 and 75 kit as one solid kit, imho.
  19. F/Stop

    F/Stop Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    West Virginia
    Real Name:
    Brian Y.
    I used to only have kit zooms back in my e500 days, and ever since shooting with primes and the quality that they deliver, I have a really hard time even considering a zoom, let alone the primes make you "work" for the shot and not to mention are uber sexy on a silver omd.

    So the 12-40 has really got to be a home run for me to trade my 12/2 and 17 towards the purchase.
  20. ntblowz

    ntblowz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 13, 2011
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I sold my 25mm 1.4 when I got 12-35mm, though I still have the 17mm (came with e-p5) and 14mm (pair with ECU1 for UW) since I use heavy lens on my GH3 and light lens on my E-P5