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12mm f/2.0 Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED Lens
  • I just came across this lens today and was wondering how it stacks up to the Panasonic 14mm f2.5. It seems the build quality is much better but then again the price is a tad up there. I also don't understand why there are no lenses that are "fast" with image stabilization and by fast I mean f2.0 and below.

    Available at:

    * http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-Zuiko-Digital-Thirds-Cameras/dp/B0058PL9R0/
    * http://www.ebay.com/sch/Lenses-/3323/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=12mm+olympus
  • 30 Replies sorted by
  • I found this video on Vimeo with this lens and the 65mbps 3GOP settings. The point is the lens though, settings aside... so take a look at this footage.


  • Some really nice shots in there. He needs a better handheld rig though :) Will be getting this lens soon, can't wait!!
  • Yes, that's my video.

    @No_SuRReNDeR I don't own the Panasonic 14mm F2.5 so I cannot offer a comparison. I've only had the Olympus lens for a couple of days, but I am impressed with it. The image is very crisp even at F2 (the above video is all F2). Build quality is all-metal, yet very lightweight and small. There seems to be some vignetting at F2 (which I like) and disappears at F2.8. Bokeh is also very pleasant at F2.

    I tend to use manual focus almost exclusively. The focus ring is buttery smooth with nice resistance and engages the Focus Assist when the lens is in automatic focus mode/focus by wire mode (ring pushed forward) and the GH2 is set to manual focus. Focus Assist remains on when you pull the ring back to engage manual focus on the lens and to reveal the distance scale. However, Focus Assist will not engage when the lens is in the manual focus position to start with.

    Also, I have tried to rack focus using the distance scale in the manual mode on the lens. In this mode, focus changes are stepped, i.e., not continuous, making it useless for rack focusing while shooting video, which is a shame. Again, when the lens is pushed forward, you can focus by wire with nice continuous focus movement.

    Overall, my initial impressions are positive. I have been looking for a decent wide angle for my GH2 especially for video production. The 24mm wide angle equivalent is about as wide as I wish to go for 16:9 format video.

    @EOSHD Ya, it is a very cheap handheld rig called "My Hands":) I am curious to see how well the 65 Mbps settings held up without a lot of stabilization. I'll be posting some tripod shots later.
  • @Kount_Michula Thank you for the video it was nice to see the lens with the GH2. I only have the 20mm pancake and 14-42 so if i want to go wide...I'm slow. The build quality does seem a step up from the other lenses in the M 4/3rds Line up-sans the Nokton of course.
  • @No_SuRReNDeR I have the 20mm as well. The focus by wire ring feels a bit more fluid and smooth on the Olympus than on the Panasonic 20mm. Also, the all-metal finish feels more solid, as one might expect. Still, it doesn't feel as solid and weighty as the Nokton, which is in a class all its own!
  • Did GH2 make the images out of the lens rectilinear for photo and video?
  • @stonebat The image appears rectilinear with no perceptible barrel distortion I can detect, at least from my initial testing.
  • wide angle. compact. fast AF. f2. metal finish. better focus-by-wire. cool.

    $799... not cool.
  • Txs for the review

    >I have tried to rack focus using the distance scale in the manual mode on the lens. In this mode, focus changes are stepped, i.e., not continuous, making it useless for rack focusing while shooting video, which is a shame

    I'm sorry to hear that, I was considering this lens hoping that this "hybrid" focus mode will feel more like old manual lenses... Does the focus-by-wire mode is better than the panasonic lens one ? Does it take forever to go from min distance to infinity ?

  • Plain and simple, it's not a lot of lens for the money. You can get a 14 2.5 and a 20 1.7 BOTH for this price.
  • @lenuisible Focus-by-wire is speed sensitive, but with a quick motion the lens focuses from minimum to infinity in about a quarter-turn. Slower motion draws it out to a half-turn or more.
  • @Kount_Michula Yes, but it's almost impossible to do smooth and precise rack focusing like that
  • @Shield
    >Plain and simple, it's not a lot of lens for the money. You can get a 14 2.5 and a 20 1.7 BOTH for this price.

    Yes, that's what I decided to do. A local camera shop has the Oly 12mm and it was very nice looking, but I opted for the 14mm and 20mm lenses. I also sprung for Trudeau Twist Jar Opener to help with manual focus. It works great and at $6, a real bargain! :-)

    Here's a youtube video showing the Trudeau in action:


  • I just wanted to share Kai's review on the lens.

  • Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12mm f/2.0 Lens Limited Edition (Black)

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  • Olympus... black lens... meh...

    Silver version looks a lot better.

  • Personally I like the look of the black better, but for $300 more they need to include more than just a lens hood and filter. Like maybe a camera =)

    I came across the image on one of the two largest camera shops site here in Japan. It's available for pre-order on B&H, but there is no image.

  • Does any of the owner of this lens use a vari-ND on it ? What size ? Wondering if i can use a 62mm vari nd (with a 46-62 step up ring) without vignetting...

  • Anyone done a side-by-side of the Oly 12mm vs Lumix 14mm?

  • image

    The first thing that's immediately noticeable about the sharpness of this lens is the high, very even sharpness. Actually, the sharpness in the center is equal to the sharpness in the corners. And that's starting at full aperture.

    http://www.camerastuffreview.com/olympus-lens-review/test-olympus-12mm-f-2-0-special-edition

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