Olympus 12mm f/2 - Review and user experience - Part 10 - Conclusion


Olympus E-P3 12mm f/2

This has been a very long (10 parts!) series of posts about one lens. The reason is that its probably the most useful lens I've bought in a long time.

The only negatives I've seen are that its very expensive and following on from this, for a lens that costs this much, there's some Chromatic Aberration (though not much) throughout the aperture range.

Apart from those there's much for me to like here. 

It is I believe the sharpest m4/3 lens I've used. There are other lenses I use on m4/3 that are sharper, but none of them are AF lenses and none of them are wide-angles. I thought the 20mm f/1.7 was very impressive, particularly wide-open, and while I still believe that to be true, I think the 12mm f/2 is sharper.

The Olympus 12mm f/2 is sharp across the frame, even at f/2. The only apertures I'd be reluctant to use it with are f/16 and f/22 which are somewhat soft.

Wide open I think its superb. I've read some criticisms of its performance at f/2, but when I look at the situations I'm going to use that in, they are irrelevant to me. I would be perfectly happy to use it indoors in low light, set at its widest aperture, confident that it would deliver the goods and produce excellent image quality.

I also like the bokeh.

The aperture ring and the ability to set the hyperfocal distance and use 100% accurate zone focusing is, I believe, a master stroke. This produces images with stunning depth of field, which is just what I want for my landscape and location work. The fact that it does this so well, so precisely and so easily are huge plus points in its favour. This isn't a gimmick, or something added to "beef up" the spec. This is a really useful photographic option, and one that users of digital lenses have been missing for some time. The fact that its a 12mm obviously makes this possible and useable, and its not something that would work with every lens. However in this case, Olympus have made a very job of it indeed. My only (small) criticism is that they could have included f/8 and f/16 markings on the barrel.

It seems well made, but only time will tell how robust it is. 

It looks great and working with it is a pleasure.

Its a lens I'm going to be using A LOT, indeed I haven't been able to get it off the camera since I bought it. I see it as a very welcome addition to m4/3. Now lets see the 25mm f/1.4 and 45mm f/1.8!!

Olympus E-P3 12mm f/2