Opinions: 12-35 vs 14-45 vs 12-50

Started Sep 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
cmpatti
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Re: Opinions: 12-35 vs 14-45 vs 12-50
In reply to sansbury, Oct 21, 2012

sansbury wrote:

2. Stick with the 14-42 and be happy, spend the money on other focal lengths.

This would be my choice.  I have the same three lenses you do (plus the Pany 7-14mm, 14mm and Oly 40-150mm).  When the 12-35 first came out, I thought I wanted it, but after reading reviews, comparing testing data, and analyzing the cost/benefit ratio, I decided it didn't make sense for the following reasons:

1. The Olympus 12-42II is optically an extremely capable lens.  I think it doesn't get much credit because its build quality is toy-like and Olympus practically gives it away, but the images it makes print quite sharp up to my largest size (17x22).  Like you, I see little difference between it and the 20mm, and it generally beats the Pany 14mm prime.  I'm not convinced that, within their overlapping aperture and focal length ranges, the 12-35mm is going to provide an optical improvement that will be visible in my prints.

2. Without a meaningful IQ benefit, the marginal advantage of the 12-35 comes down to the convenience of not having to change lenses when I need to shoot between 12 and 14mm and at apertures between 2.8 and 3.5-5.6 (depending on focal length).  For me, that convenience simply isn't worth the cost and bulk of the 12-35.

If I had your lens collection, I would be even less inclined to buy the 12-35.  I would put much more value in adding new focal lengths (UWA and long tele) than the convenience benefit of the 12-35, and that's where I'd put my limited funds.

 cmpatti's gear list:cmpatti's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 III Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 Olympus 12-40mm F2.8
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