Review xiaomi/yi 12-40mm f/3.5-5.6


Mu-43 Top Veteran
Dec 5, 2010
~1hr north of Portland OR
Real Name
Jim R
This is the YI M1 kit zoom, not the Oly f/2.8.
I've found this lens to be very similar in performance to the other kit lenses. It zooms Oly/Canon direction not Lumix/Nikon, and has no internal IS so a stabilized sensor is a nice option. It is a retractable design but is not nearly as compact as the 12-32 Lumix; a slider must be slid to retract the lens but it can expand without any extra actions. The lens weighs about 170g has a plastic mount; it uses 49mm filters, not a common m43 size but handy for a Pentax prime owner! ;)

I find it to be a fairer compromise than the narrow-range 12-32; going to 12mm is nice but extending to 40mm is useful in more cases. What impresses me more is that no Oly/Pana body has any corrections for this lens; that means it is inherently better designed optically to produce similarly good results for vignetting and distortion. It's become my most used wide-normal zoom, as the camera autocorrections are something I prefer to control myself. Coatings are slightly poorer than my three Lumix (12-32, 14-42ii, 12-60) especially with strong indoor lighting; outdoors I cannot really see a difference.

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I had some comparison shots but the fence in the images is out of alignment and makes the lenses look worse; I'll re-shoot and post images soon.
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