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Lens review

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO

3 June 2020
Maciej Lata││o

3. Build quality

The following chartápresents a comparison between basic parameters of different standard zoom Micro 4/3 lenses. The Olympus 12-45 mm sticks out with its low weight and small physical dimensions – only the slower Olympus 12-50 mm and the Panasonic 12-60 mm are slightly lighter. Still the Panasonic is physically bigger and the Olympus – a bit longer than the tested lens. The M.Zuiko Digital ED 12–45ámm f/4.0áPRO is also characterized by the shortest minimum focusing distance.

In the photo below the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12–45ámm f/4.0áPRO is positioned between the Voigtlander Nokton 25ámm f/0.95 and the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12–40ámm f/2.8 EDáPRO.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO - Build quality

The tested lens starts with a metal mount surrounding contacts and a black part of the casing with an inscription „Made in Vietnam”. A rear element is 23 mm in diameter; it is situated almost on the same level as the mount. It doesn't move, guaranteeing that the lens remains properly sealed. Lens parts visible behind the rear element are dark and matted so from this side everything looks fine.

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Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO - Build quality

A black, metal ring which doesn't move is the first part of the proper Olympus 12-45 mm barrel. It features a red dot, making an alignment with a camera easier, the name and parameters of the lens and, on the other side, its serial number, the Micro 4/3 logo and information about the minimum focusing distance (0.12 m/0.39 ft) and splash proof qualities.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO - Build quality

The next part is a focus ring, as wide as 25 mm and covered by ribs. It moves smoothly and is well damped, featuring focal markings at 12, 14, 18, 25, 35, and 45 mm.

Further on you see a ribbed manual focus ring, 18 mm wide, without any distance or depth of field scale. It's a focus-by-wire construction which moves smoothly and is properly damped. Its range depends on the speed of your turning – if you move the ring slowly you can reach a value of about 270 degrees. Such a distance range is important because the lens is able to focus already from 12 cm at the 12 mm focal length and from 23 cm at 45 mm. The focus throw we find very sensible, providing a substitute of the macro functionality.

You can also add that, contrary to other PRO series lenses the focusing ring works only in electronic mode – you can't retract it, revealing a distance scale, and switch to manual focus and mechanical mode.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO - Build quality

Behind the focus ring you can also find a narrow stripe with the name and parameters of the lens along with a blue and gray ring.

The front element is 40 mm in diameter, surrounded by a dark part of the barrel, a non-rotating filter thread, 58 mm in diameter, and a hood mount. The whole front element system extends with the increase of the focal length on a homogeneous tube made of plastics so the lens might become longer by 21 mm.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO - Build quality

When it comes to optical construction you deal here with 12 elements positioned in 9 groups. Two of them are aspherical, three are made of high refraction index glass and two others are made of low dispersion ED glass. Inside you can also find an aperture with seven diaphragm blades which can be closed down to a value of f/22.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO - Build quality

Buyers get in the box with the lens: two caps, a petal-type hood and a soft pouch.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO - Build quality