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Warning - The Olympus 12mm is irresistible

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Richella, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman

    267
    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
    Having read the reviews on this site I decided I needed either a Panny 14mm or 20mm to get the most out of my new E-P3. I had reviewed the Oly 12mm too but had convinced myself it was too expensive and I could get both Panny lenses for the price of the Oly 12mm and it just didn't make sense.

    Well, unfortunately, the Panny 20mm was nowhere to be found in the mall but I did find the 14mm. What a great little lens but the asking price was almost $400 (way too expensive).

    The Oly 12mm was just sitting there on the shelf calling to me and before I could say anything the assistant said "I can offer a special deal on the 12mm". Before I knew it it was on my camera. WOW...I loved it.

    It felt so solid and the focus so smooth. I took a couple of comparison shots with the 17mm, 14mm and the 12mm. The detail and contrast were vastly superior on the 12mm. But most of all it just felt right. For me nice equipment inspires me to use it more so I knew I had to have it. sure I could buy the Panny 14mm but I just knew I would be more likely to carry that 12mm everywhere and ultimately get more use from it.

    So, I'm now the proud owner of the Oly 12mm and despite the impact on my wallet I love this lens. (Btw the price in KL was $850)

    So my advice. Be careful. If you test this lens you'll want to buy it so you better get your story well prepared for how you explain it to your wife.
     
    • Like Like x 7
  2. hanzo

    hanzo Mu-43 Veteran

    341
    Jan 22, 2010
    Chan
    Pictures ? :rolleyes:
     
  3. magicianhisoka

    magicianhisoka Mu-43 Rookie

    17
    Jul 8, 2011
    Singapore
    Reading posts like these just tempt me even more :D
     
  4. orsetto

    orsetto Mu-43 Rookie

    23
    Aug 8, 2011
    Thanks! i haven't had a chance to compare in person but this makes me want to pull the trigger! and on the Oly 45mm and 40-150mm and Voigtlander 25mm f0.95...
     
  5. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman

    267
    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
    Oh!! One thing you may like to know about the Oly 12mm.

    Using the lens with the focus ring in the"normal" position can automatically trigger the manual focus assist on the E-P3. When the focus ting is "snapped" back into the position that exposes the DOF scale the snap focus does not actually allow you to manual focus using the auto focus-assist. It does manual focus but I guess it is meant more for hyper focal focusing than for actual manual focusing.

    Hope this makes sense!!
     
  6. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    Congrats and enjoy the new 'toy' - a serious toy at that!
     
  7. orsetto

    orsetto Mu-43 Rookie

    23
    Aug 8, 2011
    Richella, does that have to do with the focusing being electronic rather than mechanical? Sorry, total noob here
     
  8. dabiddo

    dabiddo Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Jul 12, 2010
    my 12mm on my leatherette'd E-P3. :biggrin:

    6078772323_462d05b0b2.
     
  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    It doesn't snap into magnified mode automatically, but you can still hit the magnifying glass button a couple of times to get that magnified view for manual focus. And the focus action in manual "snap" focus mode on that lens just feels WONDERFUL. The first focus by wire lens I've ever actually enjoyed manually focussing on.

    I had absolutely no need for this lens. I had the range covered well, I had the 14, etc. But I checked one out and it was love pretty much at first sight. Its been living on one of my cameras pretty constantly. Ironically, as nice as the manual snap focus feature is, I haven't used it much because the auto focus on the EP3 or EPL3 is so incredibly good that it seems to nail focus even when I'm shooting from the hip. Not much need for hyperfocal or zone focus when AF is this good. And that way you don't always have to be adjusting for the light and trying to keep the aperture at f8 or f11 for max DOF. Going down to f2 this has been a great low light street lens too, going in wide open and letting the AF do its thing. Particularly with the flip screen on the EPL3 where you can actually see what its doing.

    Great lens. Awesome. M43 is really getting to what I only dreamt about a year ago. The new generation of bodies (from both Oly and Pany) and lenses like the 12 and 45 are a big part of it (and the Pany 25, but that one doesn't interest me). Amazing how fast its happening.

    -Ray
     
  10. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    I'm with you on this lens, guys. I love mine!

    Ray... a question about your technique with hip shooting (which I'm about to try out soon!!!)... what auto focusing method seems to work best for your street shooting, single point where you choose the position of the single point, multi-point where the camera chooses, or ???
     
  11. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Hi Don,

    I always leave it on center point and usually with the most basic level of face recognition on (none of this right eye, left eye stuff!). It usually doesn't find a face that quickly but sometimes it does. And generally the center of the frame is gonna be pretty close to what I'm shooting for. I have some misses this way, using AF, but surprisingly few. I was a little shocked the first time I shot that way, because I'm really trusting AF a LOT, but if my technique is good enough and my subjects are clustered, I'll usually hit something close enough to the focal plane that my primary subject is in. And then, when I'm using the EPL3 and can actually frame the shot in the flip screen, then my hit rate goes up that much higher.

    But I'd recommend when you first try this technique, you might want to do it on a pretty bright day and use the snap focus and set it up around f11 or so, with the focus at 5 feet. Or, as I think I recommended earlier, try it first with your LX5, which has more depth of field at f4 or 5.6 than you'll ever need. Then everything from about 2 feet out to infinity will be in reasonable focus and you can just worry about other things, like framing, trying to get your eye and your camera lined up. Its pretty much second nature to me now, but when I was first shooting like this, I had an incredible number of shots of the sky, the ground, the building to the side of my subject, with maybe a hand or a foot sneaking into the frame. You have to do it a lot to get a feel for it and don't be afraid to chimp - its the best way to get instant feedback on what's working and what's not...

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 4
  12. daum

    daum Mu-43 Veteran

    340
    Aug 26, 2011
    I want this lens so bad!!
     
  13. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Thanks Ray for the suggestions... I will try all of them.

    I did some night street photography tonight and had some excellent results! G3 at ISO 2000 with the 12mm f/2. Had the quick af feature enabled so the camera was continually focusing, which resulted in some images focused on the town in the background. I think with that feature off focusing will be more on the people walking into view. The lens performs spectacularly at night with the G3 at iso 2000.

    I found the articulating screen to allow some really great shooting technique. Much of the time I would face 90 degrees away from people I wanted to photograph and not looking at them but rather down at the camera... Meanwhile, I was holding the lens pointing 90 degrees toward the subjects... With the articulating screen swiveled out to the side, I had a perfect view of my subjects while I was turned away from them... They never knew what hit them. ;-). If anything, they probably thought I was checking pictures I had taken previously.

    The image quality of the G3 with the 12mm lens even at iso 2000 is so good that I was able to crop significantly and still have crisp, beautiful images. I'm amazed by the capabilities of this lens and camera.

    I do need to try out the 23-area auto focus and face detection as well to try to find the best AF settings for street photography.

    The 12 lens is a definite keeper for me!
     
  14. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman

    267
    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
    Some shots of my new EP3+12mm
     

    Attached Files:

  15. PeterB666

    PeterB666 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    780
    Jan 14, 2010
    Tura Beach, Australia
    Peter
    The Olympus 12mm is very sweet. I picked mine up yesterday. As for focussing and which is best, that will depend on your camera body. I find that the group target and all target AF options work quite well with the E-P3.
     
  16. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Sounds like a good start Don. I look forward to seeing what you're coming up with!

    Richard, where did that lens cap come from on your 12? Mine just came with a black plastic lens cap - that aluminum friction fit cap looks really nice...

    -Ray
     
  17. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman

    267
    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
    The silver metal lens cap is an accessory. LC-48 I think was the accessory code. It fits brilliantly. However it won't fit with the lens hood. I tried both and chose the lens cap.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
     
  18. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    483
    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    God the 12mm looks good... I'm half wondering whether to pass up on the 45mm for now and put my cash toward a 12mm purchase....
     
  19. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman

    267
    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
    Chris. It depends what you shoot most.

    I find that I really like the 24mm focal length for close quarters street shooting and for family travel photos. I found that I used the 24mm focal length on my DLux4 so the 12mm was my first choice, although I'll probably go for a 45mm too when it's released.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
     
  20. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    YOW, they're expensive! Not directly available in the US, but 40 GB pounds!. On ebay, they're nearly $70 US. Very nice, but at those prices, I think I'll make do with plastic!

    -Ray