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HOT: Full Olympus 12mm f/2.0 review at SLRgear!


HOT UPDATE: One single 12mm lens is in Stock now at Amazon (Click here). I bet it will be sold out within minutes!

And here is the next hot review of the (let me say) wonderful Olympus lens! You can read the full and very detailed test at SLRgear (Click here). There are almost only good news! First the sharpness test proves that the lens is already sharp wide open. Chromatic Aberration is only slightly present and only in the corner when shooting wide open. Also Vignetting is a non issue. The distortion is very low and harmonic (easy to correct in Postproduction). Conclusion: “There isn’t much to add here that the tests don’t already say for themselves – the Olympus 12mm ƒ/2 M.Zuiko offers excellent results for sharpness in a quality package. The price might be prohibitive for some, but if you can afford it, you won’t be disappointed.

No doubt, that lens is a winner! The lens should be in Stock very soon (late July) and you can already preorder it (UPDATE: I fixed the link. Sorry for the mistake. Now all links should work fine!):
In US at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), B&H (Click here), J&R (Click here), eBay (Click here)
in Europe at Amazon Deutschland (Click here) and eBay (international resellers).
in Asia at Digitalrev (Click here) and Amazon Japan (Click here).

P.S.: And I can’t wait to read the first Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens tests too! Preorder search links at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.


  • MikeS

    Glad I got my preorder in early. Can’t wait!

  • Bob

    I’d wait for the Noktor 12mm 1.6 and see how the two compare before I drop my cash on this one. A lens can never be fast enough…

    • r u sure that c-mount lens called noktor?

  • Jedd

    Would be interesting to see how it fares against 14mm f/2.5

    • david

      SLRgear has already reviewed the 14mm.

    • cL

      That review already compared the two…. 14mm is cheaper, slower, has more CA. Sharpness is about the same, but 12mm is sharper by a hair. Given 12mm is a lot more difficult to design, this is very good. It looks like this is the first Olympus lens I see whose wide open performance is not just as good as other aperture though, but that’s what other companies are doing also…. This lens should be called a f2.8 lens by old Olympus standard. But for a 12mm, f2.8 is obscenely large already.

      • Jedd

        Sharpness wise I don’t see much difference between them. Colors and contrast is another matter, but that would require some head to head shots.
        14mm is a tad slower, but much cheaper and what’s more importatnt (to me at least) when mounted can fit into the short’s pocket.

        • cL

          Sharpness between low grade and high grade are very noticeable. As you move up the scale, the differences will become smaller as your lens become exponentially more expensive. Professionals can see the difference, but usually with web photos, the incremental differences in sharpness is not worth the price, unless you’re printing very large photos or pixel peep the full 12MP photo (which usually not the size of photos we upload). If you’re doing street photography, sharpness is not even important.

          So if you don’t print large photos, you’re better off buying the cheaper option (just not the low end “kit” lenses). 12mm and 14mm are different types of lenses though. 2mm of difference is very visible. I would suggest you try them. We haven’t see the actual user photos from the new lens yet, so just hold for a bit is the wise decision.

          • tmrgrs

            The original Panny 14-45 kit zoom from the G1 & GF1 is every bit as sharp as the 14/2.5. It also comes close to matching the 45/2.8 macro in IQ as well. And it may be a little slower in bad light and not as capable in DOF control but has OIS that the 14/2.5 lacks. IMO it’s one of the best kit zooms ever offered for any system.

            The real news for me is the 45/1.8 and I hope that SLRgear and a few others can get some testing done on it soon.

            • WT21

              “The real news for me is the 45/1.8 and I hope that SLRgear and a few others can get some testing done on it soon.”


  • Shi

    At Amazon, it’s already in stock!

  • WT21

    Wow! That lens is sharp through f11, still good at f16 and sharper at f22 than some NEX and m43 lenses wide open!

  • WT21

    Just saw that tax98spin over on mu-43 posted the dig rev link. Was coming over here to post it, but Soren beat me to it!

  • Mr. Reeee

    Great review. It’s nice to see the M4/3 platform getting another excellent lens to add to the ones we already have. AND Olympus is finally contributing a lens on the higher end.

  • Alice

    AND ITS STILL NOT SOLD YET. Shows how popular this lens is =P

  • Mal

    This test was on the EP1 which gives a good comparison to older lens tests so we can compare to other lenses on the m43 platform. But the GHx, EPLx and EP3 all have lighter AA filters and/or higher resolution, so we can expect even better results when tested on the best bodies.

  • Please pardon my n00b question…

    Besides the attractive metal finish why is this lens $500 more than the Panny 20 mm f/1.7? bigger glass?

    Thanks in advance!


    • 12mm may seem like a only a few milimeters, but it is much wider. Extreme wide angles are difficult to design especially one this small and fast. The stronger build and exotic glass adds to the price as well.

  • Brod1er

    Good point made on DigitalRev- cspacitative screen on EP3 is too sensitive for touch focus+shutter. Capacitative screens don’t work with gloves either. I am starting to see the use of touchscreens, but I think the pressure sensitive Pana approach is better – unfortunately they are lower res though.

    • deniz

      i think capacitative is better. if this is the future we are heading, i would choose responsive screen over a non responsive one.

      • Henrik

        I agree. Id get used to a responsiv screen alot quicker than an unresponsiv screen.

        • jim

          yeh – you can always delete the extra pics…. but pressing hard can wobble the camera more – a feather light touch is far better!

          • I also agree, we look on screen before we shoot picture.

    • dumbo

      i dont know anything about software, but cant they write in the firmware something to de sensitize it alittle. not in real life, just in apparent response.

  • Very nice review. And more interesting: I feel results match with those from our former review:
    So procedures seems that are right by different testers. And our review was made on an E-P3. You can compare 14 mm with 12 mm and there is quite a difference.
    And the price tag is, in our opinion, due to the very special glass used, and foremost due to the manual focus system…
    A great lens… except at that crazy (for a 12 mm) f/22 aperture.
    And for those interested, a link to the review of the 14 mm f/2,5 Panny…with a sideglance to the 14-42 mm zoom at 14 mm. Some surprises there…
    Best regards

  • Marcelo

    Hey.. Can my GF1 take the full potencial of this lens?

    • Lens can take the full potecial in GF1, also GH2 if you will.

    • your gf1 has the same sensor as e-p3, just shoot raw

      • Mar

        It does?
        Hm, why do RAW files from E-PL2 and E-5 have a stop less noise and better detail than GF1? (in RAW).

        E-P3 should be even better, pretty much effectively 2 stops better or more (sharper by default requiring less sharpening means more noise + less noise by default).

        • elflord

          Where do you get that from ? dxomark has scores of 536 ISO for the PEN EP3 and 513 for the GF1.

          If recent technological advances were really worth two stops, the m43 cameras would be soundly beating the Canon 5D Mark II.

          The main advance in the newer model if the reviews are to be believed is in the AF system. The lens system is also beginning to see some welcome additions (12mm f2, 25mm f1.4, 45mm f1.8) which IMO are far more important than incremental improvements in the sensor.

          • Mar

            Actual photos for a change. Use dpreview’s studio comparison.

            • elflord

              Looking at the RAW (not jpg) comparison on dpreview, I just don’t agree with you. The GF1 looks very much like the EPL2 at the same ISO, bump the ISO on the olympus and it looks much noisier.

              I understand that’s just my subjective impression against yours, but the hard objective numbers are also on my side.

              Again, sensors for the most part haven’t changed that much — certainly not on a Moore’s law trajectory. The sensors perform more or less in direct proportion to their area (e.g. with the 5D mark II getting just shy of 4x the DXOmark score of the m43 sensors. Even the ancient 5D mark I gets a DXOmark of ~1300 ISO compared to ~500 for the m43 cameras.

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