What's the big deal about the weight of the Olympus 12-40?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by isabel95, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. isabel95

    isabel95 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I've been reading various reviews and the subject of its heavy weight comes up often.

    I've been using the Panasonic 45-200 ever since the e-pl1 and have no problem with it, in fact, appreciate the length because it gives me a more secure grip of the camera, which feels decided uncomfortable with the diminutive Panasonic 20mm f/1.7.

    After working with a dslr + lens combination that approaches 5 lbs, complaints about this lens weight are laughable.

    I just weighed my Panasonic 45-200 and it's 440 gm. (By the way, it's an incredibly lens for the price.)

    The Olympus 12-40 is 440 gm.

  2. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Well Isabel ,I guess it's all relative. Whilst I used to have a 5dii kit with some really big lenses, I now find even my 12-35 is a bit big (and it's smaller than the 12-40). Whenever I see casual shooters with big DSLR gear and monsters like, say, the 24-70L f2.8 I smile and feel a bit smug that I've wised up to the fact that I can get as good a results as them in much smaller gear.

    In fact, I'm finding primes appeal to me much more these days because of their smaller size and better IQ. I might even unload my 12-35 soon.

    As regards the 45-200 - personally I hated the copy I had. As sharp as a stick of celery and really low contrast. Yeuk!! However, each to his/her own?
  3. isabel95

    isabel95 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I guess I got a good copy of the 45-200. I was very happy with this shot of an amorous anole: original.jpg
    • Like Like x 6
  4. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Yea, that really is a nice shot. What focal length did you use for it?
  5. isabel95

    isabel95 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I just checked the EXIF data on pbase and it shows 200mm.

  6. isabel95

    isabel95 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    • Like Like x 2
  7. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    Its all relative, on a GH3, EM1, or even EM5(esp with grip) the 12-40 feels right at home, on the EPM, EPL, GM1, etc, its a very heavy and unbalanced lens relative to those cameras. It really depends on what you want/need out of your system, many people want a very light and small lens as their general purpose lens, which means the 12-40mm may be a bad choice.

    I think you prove the opposite point by comparing the weight to the 45-200mm. Generally a standard zoom lens, even at 2.8, is going to be significantly smaller/lighter than a 90-400mm lens (See: Canon 24-70/4: 1.3lbs, Canon 24-70/2.8: 1.8lbs, Canon 100-400: 3lbs). The 12-40 is a large and heavy lens by M43rds standards, I don't really see how that can be argued, even the 35-100/2.8 weighs a bit less - which is rather astounding. The Pana 100-300mm is only 100g heavier than the 12-40/2.8, again compare those 24-70L's to the Tamron 150-600mm at over 4 pounds.

    I have the 12-40 and it feels great with my EM1, but my comparison point is an even bigger Sony A900 and Sigma 24-70/2.8, to me its not a particularly large lens in the grand scheme of photography, but it really depends on your perspective. For someone who wants a compact alternative to their dslr, or is upgrading from a cellphone, a point and shoot, or even a small DSLR like a rebel with the basic 18-55 kit, it may seem like a pretty heavy lens, at which point the benefits of shooting with a smaller system can easily blur to those not familiar with just how good the EM1+12-40 are.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. isabel95

    isabel95 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    There's really not much to grip on the e-pl5, (although I did buy the Olympus MCG-2 E-P3 large grip which helps a lot) so when I put a heavy, long lens on it I'm holding the camera more with the lens than its body. If the 45-200 hasn't been a problem I can't imagine that 12-40 will be.
  9. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    Yeah, on the smaller bodies you're really holding the lens more so than the body.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    It really is not a big deal for many but for me, I see it as a big deal. The only reason I bought into the m4/3 system is size and weight benefits. It is a great system on its own but lets face it, it is not cheap. How much is a full frame or aps-c 50mm f1.8 lens compared to our new 25mm f1.8 lens? If size were not an issue, I would probably not buy into the m4/3 system.

    Given that the main reason for some people (me) in owning the system is the size, these issues then become important to some people (me). In the grand scheme of things, its no big deal but if size is the reason for owning the system, then size becomes critical.

    For me, a more perfect m4/3 system would consist of many more pancake primes like the 20mm (with focus speed like the 17mm). I also fine the Panasonic 12-35 much more desirable than the Oly 12-40 based on the significant weight reduction (on a % basis) and slight size reduction.
  11. scott2hot

    scott2hot Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 27, 2012
    west yorkshire
    Hey Paul
    I'm with you on your comment about size and weight.....just purchased panny 14-140mm mkii for my E P5 and realise its too big and un-weildly....i prefer primes and was going to sell my tiny panny 14 42 x for this upgrade...just pulled it off ebay as i feel i made a bad judgement...as missus said i might have well kept my pentax k5...since it wont be pocketable or easy to stow.AND LOOKS SILLY..AS USUAL womens intuition!! she's right...will hang on for a bit to play with it ..but got a feeling 14-140 will go!

  12. Your Funny Uncle

    Your Funny Uncle Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 12, 2013
    York, UK.
    For me, MFT is all about size, but what you choose to use depends on where you're happy to draw the line in sacrificing things for decreased size/weight. I can quite see how some people would be happy to have a tiny pocketable camera with a pancake zoom, but I wanted a good viewfinder that I could put to my eye and a high quality constant f/2.8 lens.

    My E-M1 and 12-40 is large compared to other MFT cameras but tiny compared to my old Sony A77 and 16-50/2.8, and for that I was happy to sacrifice some DOF control.The good thing is that with MFT, all these options are now available so we can all choose the set-up that's right for us. :)
  13. klee

    klee Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 20, 2013
    Houston, TX
    I like the flexibility of having one body (EM5) which can transform from an almost pocketable rangefinder with the 17/1.8 to a monster with the 12-40/2.8 and grip.

    But I'd have to say the 12-40 on the EM5 without the grip makes handling tricky, not so much because of the weight, but the balance.
  14. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Only if you are shooting one-handed. Use both hands and the handling is no trickier than any other combination.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I find it isn't super light, and the combo with the E-M1 is a handful of serious camera - compared to the E-M1 or M5 with a pancake or the 45/1.8. But it's a package only a couple hundred grams heavier than my Canon 24-105/4.0 lens alone was, sharper wide open, a stop faster, handles very comfortably...what's not to love? Covering the same range with primes is impractical for travel, which is where I see myself using it most often. It does feel quite a bit 'bigger' than the 12-35 though.
  16. isabel95

    isabel95 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Even though it's larger I find the 12-40 more attractive because you can focus closer with it (20mm vs 25mm) and it's slightly more tele.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    If you want better close focus and more tele just go with the 12-50! Kidding. Mostly.
  18. isabel95

    isabel95 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I have been very impressed with the macros from the 12-50, but the rest of its functions have limitations - such as a small aperture at maximum zoom. I do a lot of low light work.
  19. Neftun

    Neftun Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 15, 2012
    Patrick Kristiansen
    I don't get the weight-issue either. Sure, 12-40 is large in m43 world, but used as intended, as in on one of the larger bodies, no sweat. Just keep a small lens handy for when one wants the camera to be pocketable:)
    I'm by no means a big guy, and don't dress baggy, but I've coats and jackets that I can fit an em1/12-40 combo. And I've used bright adapted tele's on an ep1. Weight of lens on hand that handles lens. In my world (consumer electronics retail) weight is gooood. Light is cause for worry.
  20. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Every situation has an optimum camera or two. The 12-40 Oly makes the E series Oly a direct competitor to the Canon Mk iii with a 24-70 F 2.8. Based on weight and expense the Oly is a keeper but the Canon kicks butt with big tele lenses.
    One great advantage of the 12-40 OLY is the quick clutch,so you can change from auto focus to manual with a flick of the wrist. This is really great with flower and wildlife shots.You don't get this with the Panny 12-35 but the lens is a little lighter. For party and people shots the Panny may have an edge. The Canon is such a monster in these cases.
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