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Olympus 12mm review and 45mm first look.


The video on top is made by Steve Huff. This is really one of the must have lens (like the 20mm f/1.7 lens). It’s relatively cheap but with imrpessive performance. As Steve says: “I will have a review soon but I can already tell you that I love it and feel it is well worth the $399 investment.” You can check price and availability of the lens by clicking those links: Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.

There is a new Olympus 12mm lens test at Photoreview (Click here): “Imatest testing showed the review lens to be a good, though not stellar, performer on the basis of JPEG files from the PEN E-PL3. Best performance was at f/2.5. There was a gradual decline in resolution from f/5.6 on as apertures were reduced“.
The lens is in Stock at Amazon, B&H, Adorama, Olympus US store, FocusCamera, eBay.

For US readers: The Panasonic 20mm pancake got another $10 price drop It is in Stock for $339 at Amazon (Click here).

  • I guess he likes it…

    Get mine tomorrow. :)

  • gl

    Sigh – if only the 12mm wasn’t so expensive.

  • Mr. Reeee

    I’ll stick with my 50mm f1.4 Pentax SMC Takumar.
    Not a piece of plastic to be found anywhere near it! ;-)

    I still haven’t seen or tried either lens. I wish the 45mm had the same auto-manual focus ring as the 12mm. That should be standard!

    • It’s on eBay for £249. You can’t have everything.

      I can’t for the life of me imagine using manual focus except for video. The Auto is SO fast and SO accurate, I don’t really get the point. And I don’t give a damn WHAT the thing is made of. It feels more expensive than it is, which is a rarity. Wish the same could have been said of my ex-wife…


      • Mr. Reeee

        You should try manual focus for more than video. It’s great having and using real aperture rings, too!

        Sure, if I’m in a social situation or documenting a project, auto-focus is a great convenience, but many times it doesn’t focus exactly where I want. Fiddling around adjusting the size of AF focus points, etc. is a pain. It’s so much quicker and more direct to look through the EVF and turn the focus ring. Really.

        Still, I look forward to trying the 45mm. It’s a good focal length and pretty compact.

        • I seldom leave the thing to its own devices. Just select centre point, focus, recompose. When the focus part takes .1 of a second there’s no way you can beat the time it (doesn’t) take manually. Of course if you enjoy the twiddling fair enough, and the focus ring on the 45 is very smooth.

          Having said that, the 12 does feel gorgeous. But so it bloody ought to. It costs as much as an E-P3.

      • gl

        > It’s on eBay for £249. You can’t have everything.

        The 12mm? Where? ; )

    • Voldenuit

      I have a 50/1.4 SMC Takumar, the Leicasonic 45/2.8 Macro, and I’m *still* considering getting the Oly 45 :P.

      I love using the SMC Takumar, but it’s soft wide open (nicely sharp at f/2 and smaller though), has polygonal highlights when stopped down, and MF can get mentally exhausting after long shoots. It also has a warm color cast that can be nice, but not always what I’m after (fortunately, easily correctable in LR).

      I have taken some of my favorite shots with it, as with the ME45/2.8 – they’re both great lenses. So why am I still wanting the 45/1.8? Hopefully not because I’m just a gearhead :P.

  • Fish

    I am loving mine so far.
    +1 to all of his comments

  • Renato M.

    Oly should consider sell this lens as a kit.

    and with Sony NEX-7 and Panasonic GX1, Olympus should consider a built-in EVF for the next PEN camera. because from what I read about reviews, there are virtually no differences between the E-P3 and E-PL3.

    • Miroslav

      “Olympus should consider a built-in EVF for the next PEN”

      And a bigger grip.

  • ange7

    Ordered mine 3 days ago. I usually manual focus at night,in low light with old lenses. On my ep-2 I’ve got a horrible feeling I’ll still be manual focusing with this lens too. :(
    Where’s my focus peaking firmware update olympus.

    • Miroslav

      “Where’s my focus peaking firmware update olympus.”

      Badly needed for m4/3 with some nice native MF lenses and many adapted lenses available.

  • dj

    Photoreview didnt do a good test on 12f2….

    Rating (out of 10):
    Build: 9.0
    Handling: 8.5
    Image quality: 8.5
    Versatility: 8.0
    OVERALL: 7.5

    how does all those nines and eight and halfs equal 7.5 overall…shouldnt it be 8.5 averaged??

    besides they score it 8.5 for IQ….id say 9.5!

    • Duarte Bruno

      Value for money, probably!

    • Miroslav

      Maybe they didn’t like the silver finish :) ? I hope the black version will be available soon.

    • Anonymous

      Not to mention this paragraph:

      “We detected a small amount of cyan fringing in shots taken with the 9mm focal length setting but none at other focal lengths. Barrel distortion was also apparent at this focal length, as you would expect, although the inherent distortion produced by such a wide angle-of-view is somewhat more visible.”

      Which seems to be a copy/paste job straight from their M. Zuiko 9-18mm Review :

  • gf1man

    black 45mm pleeeease, oly!!! :)

    • JF

      +10 silver lens on a black GH1 is UGLY !

      • Chez Wimpy

        Plastic “silver” lens on my red-rubber G1 is much, much worse!

  • tim

    Ordered the 45mm and just got an e-mail beeing delivered tomorrow!! Have the 12mm and it’s the only reason i got the e-p3 gorgeous lens great IQ and manual focus is awesome although the auto focus is hard to beat!! Tack sharp at 4 and very nice at 2. Let’s see what the postman brings in tomorrow!!

  • Scott

    why do they not sell the ep3 without a lens? I only want the 25 and 45 not the crap in the kit

  • MJr

    Hahaha that ring is so disgustingly awful ^^

  • Taomeister

    I wonder how well the bokeh is with this one, most samples I’ve seen were sufficiently creamy but I wonder how well it does with busy backgrounds. I’m using a Contax 45/2 Planar and it’s a bit harsh (but tack sharp).

  • etica

    I use the old zuiko 50mm 1.4 manual lens and the bokey is great. 50 euro used. A bargain!

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