Why I'm returning the 12-40

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by datagov, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. datagov

    datagov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 2, 2012
    New York
    I love my E-M1 and my collection of primes. I have the Samyang 7.5, P20, O45, The Bokina, Canon fd 100 f2, and one zoom, the magical canon fd 80-200 f4 L. On a whim, I snagged the Olympus 12-40 from the refurbished page and its going back. It is as sharp as the P20 and the output is identical, during the day time. If all you want is a great lens with good range to walk around town all day and shoot in the sunshine, the Olympus 12-40 is terrific. But it is not a night time lens. Focus is very slow at night. On the E-M1 my copy hunts for focus worse than the P20 on the E-M5. Colors and contrast at night are not as good as during the day.

    For me, my primes cover the focal ranges I need. I thought the convenience of a fantastic zoom would suffice. But I work during day when I travel on business and do a lot of shooting at night. The zoom is going back.
  2. tornado

    tornado Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    Although I find it technically brilliant and sharp, the 12-40 pro on my em1 has the effect of making me a lazy photographer. When I start snapping too much, my keeper rate drops since I tend to lose my compositional skills. I want to take the lens when heading out for a day, rather than trying to decide which primes I might need.
    I have found a very good reason to be happy...its excellent sharpness hold even on my infrared converted em5. getting some incredibly clean ir shots from it.

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  3. 350duser

    350duser Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 26, 2012
    Brisbane, QLD
    I have the pana 25 with me for the evening shots.
    Find it diffcult to leave the 12-40 behind esp if expecting some rain....wishing for a weather sealed fast prime in the 12-17 mm range.
  4. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    .... an outstanding lens in all aspects ....
  5. Roast

    Roast Mu-43 Rookie

    May 21, 2014
    Like you said, it depends on your needs. If you shoot at night, primes are the best way to go:) at least now you know.

    I just picked up a 12-40 for family shooting. My wife doesn't have patience for switching lenses and a zoom will be great once the little one starts running around.
  6. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 14, 2010
    I haven't noticed any hunting in low-light and I've been really satisfied with my night shots with it. Far better than the Pana 14mm I previously used. I do have the Pana 20mm too but it's way too crappy to focus on E-M5 and I only use it on my E-PM2.
  7. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    In that case, I'll definitely stick with my 4/3 lenses. If I can physically see what I want to shoot when it's dark, the lenses will focus easily.
  8. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I've never had problems focus locking with the 12-40. Like any contrast detect system it's about focusing on something with some contrast. It's one of the fastest focussing lens/body combos I've used. The 20/1.7 on the other hand does hunt in poor light. A lot.

    Do you have the most recent firmware?
  9. datagov

    datagov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 2, 2012
    New York
    Yes, the other thing I noticed about this lens is that it is far better with jpg than with RAW. Great results depend on in camera auto correction of distortion and vignetting. Take a look at wide shots. In camera correction transforms 12mm into 14mm with jpg output compared to RAW.
    Given the weight and the cost of carrying one lens to cover what my 20 and 45 can do better with more aperture range in RAW I would rather stick with primes.
  10. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I only shoot raw and use DxO for corrections. I find the 20 is so slow that I don't use it often enough, and it's the wide end I want the 12-40 for. Horses for courses.
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