Has the black Olympus 12mm lens gone for good?

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Tom Caldwell
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Re: The old prime vs zoom arguments
In reply to Olydude, 2 months ago

Olydude wrote:

It depends, 12mm at F/2 means you can go out and shoot in available light and not have to worry about a fill flash, or boosting your ISO, or anything like that. I don't have a specifically great example, however this will suffice for the purposes of this discussion, where you want to capture the natural effect of lighting in the sky as well as the ambient lighting coming from the shops. The 12 F/2 can do this at a reasonable ISO without having to worry about camera shake, or shutter interference hand held.

The lack of edge sharpness then also becomes a non-issue as you're shooting specifically in a situation that due to the shadow you don't see the edges of the lens anyway. The fish and chips/coffee sign, the Thai flags and the mufti-coloured lighting as well as the orange glow and the natural blue in the sky you get from shooting at that time of day then become your primary focus.

How much weight do you put in using available light? I see plenty of togs that use the wrong exposure values, ISO settings or whatever, and miss the opportunity for a shot like this one. I've been directed on this site by one person or another over the years to overexpose as if to take a shot as if it is was daylight.

I digress... You want a use for a bright lens? You have one.

I have to agree.  I have been a fast lens Junkie for years and have a selection of f1.2 lenses including the new great (expensive)  Nocticron. I suppose the even more expnsive Nocticron tends to take the edge off my full appreciation of the 12/2.0 which is nevertheless a great lens but works in a different focal length category. Really fast wides are fairly rare let alone those that have AF capability and can "talk" to the camera.  Consider the Voigtlander 12/5.6 (if my memory of the specification is right).  Undoubtably a good lens but still quite an investment and relatively slow with it.   Therefore it seems that you can have a well corrected wide that is on the slow side but it is harder to get a fast one that is also excellent.  So I am not unhappy with my Olympus 12/2.0  even if it was not as perfect as my imagination made it after it got used to the entry price.

Being used to using available light with lenses that can almost shoot in the dark I have never been one to use flash much at all.  Even when using slower lenses I prefer not to use flash - this of course is a tactical error which I will have to re-train myself on - fill flash is very useful.  But then again I hardly need any more than a blink and the on-board flash unit should always be good enough for this.  No lighting up the stadium attempts from me

The ability to use a little variable angle bounce flash with the GM1 is something I have to use more often.

A point well worth discussing is just how people use their wide angle lenses - I suspect that they are mostly used in fairly good light conditions and available light shots with fast wides are less common.  Certainly wide angle shots at any distance using flash seems a sort of oxymoron.

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Tom Caldwell

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