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Lens review

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED

3 August 2011
Szymon Starczewski

11. Summary

Pros:
  • small, compact and very solid casing at the same time,
  • very good image quality in the frame centre,
  • decent or good image quality on the edge of the frame,
  • slight chromatic aberration,
  • good work against bright light,
  • efficient and accurate autofocus.

Cons:

  • a bit too high coma level,
  • high distortion,
  • significant vignetting at the maximum relative aperture,
  • modest standard accessory kit.

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED is a very solid lens. In most testing categories it fared well or very well; it had some slip-ups but, fortunately, not very serious ones. The maximum MTF values could have been a bit higher and they weren’t – it is one thing that you might regret. Lower values can be forgiven in the case of “pancakes” because we know what we get instead. Although the Olympus 2/12 is not big, it is definitely not a “pancake” lens so we expected that its performance would be closer to that of the Leica 2.8/45 than that of the Panasonic 2.5/14. The tested lens’s classic appearance and parameters remind us of devices from the Limited Pentax series. By the way you have to pay a similar amount of money for them so if Pentax is able to give with their lenses hoods and cases in the box, Olympus could have done the same. It’s a pity it doesn’t.

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So far our summary was rather harsh. To keep the balance we must emphasize the fact that it is definitely a lens worth considering. Buying it you get a really wide angle of view, fast aperture, good image quality - everything packed neatly inside a slight but very solid, metal casing which can ensure you many years of problem-free usage. If the price doesn’t deter you, you should consider purchasing it very seriously. Especially that, several months after the launch, the price might decrease and then it might happen that the Panasonic 2.5/14, a lens of lower build quality, with a narrower angle of view and slower aperture, will not be significantly cheaper any longer.


Sample shots

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED - Summary
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED - Summary
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 12 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/400 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032 x 3024 pix, 5.09 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 12 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/250 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032 x 3024 pix, 5.39 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 12 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/250 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032 x 3024 pix, 4.35 MB
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED - Summary
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED - Summary
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 12 mm, f/4.5, exp. 1/50 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032 x 3024 pix, 6.11 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 12 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/250 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032 x 3024 pix, 5.08 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 12 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/200 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032 x 3024 pix, 6.34 MB
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED - Summary
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED - Summary
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 12 mm, f/3.5, exp. 1/1600 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032 x 3024 pix, 6.08 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 12 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/500 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032 x 3024 pix, 5.63 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 12 mm, f/4.0, exp. 1/1250 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032 x 3024 pix, 6.42 MB
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED - Summary
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED - Summary
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 12 mm, f/5.0, exp. 1/1000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032 x 3024 pix, 5.95 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 12 mm, f/3.2, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032 x 3024 pix, 5.84 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 12 mm, f/2.5, exp. 1/1250 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032 x 3024 pix, 5.93 MB
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED - Summary
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED - Summary
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 12 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032 x 3024 pix, 6.28 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 12 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032 x 3024 pix, 6.24 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 12 mm, f/5.6, exp. 1/800 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032 x 3024 pix, 6.18 MB
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED - Summary
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED - Summary
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED - Summary
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 12 mm, f/2.0, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032 x 3024 pix, 6.07 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 12 mm, f/5.0, exp. 1/2000 s, ISO 100
File: JPEG, 4032 x 3024 pix, 6.27 MB
Camera: Olympus E-PL1
Parameters: 12 mm, f/2.8, exp. 1/500 s, ISO 200
File: JPEG, 4032 x 3024 pix, 5.87 MB



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