Olympus 12mm f/2 - Review and user experience - Part 2 - On Location

Olympus E-P3 12mm f/2

How good is this? Not the image I hasten to say because its a fairly run of the mill canal shot. Whats remarkable is how it was created. Its a multi shot stitched image created by photomerge in Photoshop from these three originals.


This produced a file of 87MB, which is the equivalent of a 30MP sensor. The image was taken hand-held at 1/15th. sec. with the Image Stabilisation on.


It was also taken at f/11 using the hyperfocal distance scale, which is revealed when you move the focusing ring downwards on the 12mm lens.


The file is very sharp, with no evidence of camera shake on any of the original three shots, there is also enormous depth of field. As you can see from the scale on the lens, at the f/11 hyperfocal distance everything from just under 2 ft. > infinity is "in focus". Strictly speaking only one plane is in sharp focus, in this case at 5 ft. but the image gives the impression of being in focus throughout.

This technique is used by landscape photographers. Indeed when I was shooting film virtually all my landscape images were created this way. Its also commonly used by street photographers, as a way of shooting quickly without having to re-focus all the time. It was (and is) used a lot by photographers who use Leicas. It obviously works best with wide-angle lenses and thats the most common application of it. This is often referred to as zone focus.

Its really nice to see a m4/3 lens providing this option. There's lots of talk about the Fuji X100 being a "street camera" and as I constantly say I'm no "street photographer" but it strikes me that this makes the Olympus + 12mm lens even more useful for this. True, there's no silent shutter, nor anywhere near the same high ISO performance, but working on the noisy streets of a city I would imagine this camera / lens combination would give great freedom and the ability to get in close.

Anyway for my landscape work its incredibly useful.

Here are some other shots I took yesterday using this technique.

Olympus E-P3 12mm f/2

Olympus E-P3 12mm f/2

Olympus E-P3 12mm f/2

Olympus E-P3 12mm f/2