Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Questions
Randell Tober
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Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
Mar 27, 2013

I know it's an awesome lens, but can I do as well with a comparable- close second for the cost? Using it with a Pany G5. Thanks to all in advance. Have a great day- or night depending where you're at

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kenw
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Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
In reply to Randell Tober, Mar 27, 2013

If you don't need to go as wide the 14/2.5 can be found for much cheaper (<$200) on E-bay split from body kits.  People complain it isn't very different than a kit zoom, which is true in some ways (IQ stopped down) but less so in others (one stop faster, much smaller and lighter).  So if you carry a kit-zoom the 14/2.5 isn't exciting.  If you carry primes instead then it is a very good value in price, weight and size to get wide angle.

Watch for refurbished 12/2s to save about $150 (Cameta is a good place to watch but they show up in the Olympus store and on Adorama from time to time as well).

Worth the $$ is an impossible question to answer as it depends a lot on the person.

Oh, and if you do get a 12/2 be sure to test it within the return period - more than one person has had bad luck with getting multiple defective copies.

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slimandy
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Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
In reply to Randell Tober, Mar 27, 2013

For me it was the best choice, so 'yes' it was worth it.

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Extract0r
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Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
In reply to slimandy, Mar 27, 2013

I found 12mm FOV to be too wide for general purposes.  You need to get uncomfortably close to a subject in order to fill the frame.  Also, it tends to distort faces away from the center of the frame.

I ended up selling it and getting the 17mm F/1.8 instead.

I think Panasonic 12-35mm F/2.8 is a better value if you are willing to spend $700+ for a lens.  You only lose 1 stop yet a much more versatile lens for any given situation.

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zkz5
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Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
In reply to Randell Tober, Mar 27, 2013

I got one for $550. I used the ebay "make an offer" feature as a shot in the dark and didn't honestly expect the seller (a liquidating camera store) to accept it, but they did.

At first I was planning to immediately resell the lens for a profit but then I started using it and fell in love. I don't use my 14/2.5 or 9-18 much anymore and am pondering selling those.

Would I buy it again for the full $800? I don't know. Maybe. Tough call. But I have a lot of fun with it...

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mb65
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Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
In reply to Extract0r, Mar 27, 2013

I myself have a slightly different take, but I am still interested in the question.

I have an Oly OMD with kit zoom and a Pana 20/1.7 (very nice lens). The much dispised kit zoom 12-50 is actually a versatile lens, albeit quite slow. A high quality 12 mm at 2.0 is very tempting but the kit covers this focal lenght already.

If price were no object, how does the 12/2.0 compared with the kit zoom at 12 mm?

Thank you very much and happy Pasqua,

Mattia

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kenw
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Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
In reply to zkz5, Mar 27, 2013

Nice set of pics!

This one scares me - I can't imagine holding that expensive a lens as close to the water as you must have to get the shot!

zkz5 wrote:

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slimandy
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Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
In reply to Extract0r, Mar 27, 2013

Extract0r wrote:

I found 12mm FOV to be too wide for general purposes.  You need to get uncomfortably close to a subject in order to fill the frame.  Also, it tends to distort faces away from the center of the frame.

I would agree - but that's not what I use it for! I use it for wide angle. I use the 17 for general use and the 45 for portrait.

I ended up selling it and getting the 17mm F/1.8 instead.

I think Panasonic 12-35mm F/2.8 is a better value if you are willing to spend $700+ for a lens.  You only lose 1 stop yet a much more versatile lens for any given situation.

Ok, but that's 1 stop I'd rather have and it's much smaller than the 12~35.

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rpm40
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Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
In reply to Randell Tober, Mar 27, 2013

Randell Tober wrote:

I know it's an awesome lens, but can I do as well with a comparable- close second for the cost? Using it with a Pany G5. Thanks to all in advance. Have a great day- or night depending where you're at

I think it mainly comes down to whether you need the fast-ish f2 aperature. If not, plenty of lenses can substitute and give similar IQ stopped down, like the 9-18, and save some money. If you need fast, your choices are limited.

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Chuck Eklund
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Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
In reply to zkz5, Mar 27, 2013

A very nice set. I really like the second. Beautiful and intriguing.

zkz5 wrote:

I got one for $550. I used the ebay "make an offer" feature as a shot in the dark and didn't honestly expect the seller (a liquidating camera store) to accept it, but they did.

At first I was planning to immediately resell the lens for a profit but then I started using it and fell in love. I don't use my 14/2.5 or 9-18 much anymore and am pondering selling those.

Would I buy it again for the full $800? I don't know. Maybe. Tough call. But I have a lot of fun with it...

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zenpmd
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Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
In reply to Chuck Eklund, Mar 27, 2013

I'd only use it for landscapes, I can't see much other point, other than people in landscapes type shots. They Oly lenses are so cute they are tempting to collect just because they're beautiful!

Its not too expensive really when you consider how much wide angles lenses cost in general

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markymark101
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Yes and no
In reply to Randell Tober, Mar 27, 2013

I have it - 12mm for me is perfect for landscapes, and it works great when you want something wide and fast - like in old churches or museaums.  When I'm traveling it's on my camera 95% of the time.  I agree with you that the extremely small size and f2.0 is a big plus compared to using a heavier zoom like the 12-35, but the 12-35 is probably as good or better in the sharpness category.  Depending on what Oly comes out with for a zoom next month, I could be tempted to make a switch.

I do think it's over-priced - IMO it should be priced more in the range of the 17mm f1.8.  But hey, I bought it, and I like it.  If you want a wide, high quality, prime lens - it's really the only option, and it is a very good lens.

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dpalugyay
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If you need f2
In reply to markymark101, Mar 27, 2013

Then yes.  Otherwise, get the 9-18 or the 7-14.  I find myself rarely using this wide open for landscapes, so it's kind of pointless unless you are shooting handheld in lower light.

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dpalugyay
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Great examples!
In reply to zkz5, Mar 27, 2013

Nice shots!  This is what this lens is made for.

If you need a wide DOF landscape lens, there are much cheaper and just as good options.

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Alumna Gorp
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Re: Great examples!
In reply to dpalugyay, Mar 27, 2013

dpalugyay wrote:

Nice shots!  This is what this lens is made for.

If you need a wide DOF landscape lens, there are much cheaper and just as good options.

Unless you really need the extra 4mm get the Pany 14mm, there is a good comparison review here.

http://www.thephoblographer.com/2011/10/04/micro-four-thirds-lens-comparison-olympus-12mm-f2-vs-panasonic-14mm-f2-5/

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sigala1
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Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
In reply to Randell Tober, Mar 27, 2013

Randell Tober wrote:

I know it's an awesome lens, but can I do as well with a comparable- close second for the cost? Using it with a Pany G5. Thanks to all in advance. Have a great day- or night depending where you're at

Well as you know, you could get the 7-14 for about the same price, although it's a much bigger and heavier lens, and maybe more proned to lens flare, but a lot more versatile.
The least expensive way to get a fast and also sharp 12mm equivalent is to buy a Panasonic LX7, which is f/1.4 at the wide end and has the same field of view as the 12mm, and that lens is a great buy considering that for only $299 it includes a camera.

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Bob Tullis
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Very dynamic work here ZKZ [NT]
In reply to zkz5, Mar 27, 2013

zkz5 wrote:

I got one for $550. I used the ebay "make an offer" feature as a shot in the dark and didn't honestly expect the seller (a liquidating camera store) to accept it, but they did.

At first I was planning to immediately resell the lens for a profit but then I started using it and fell in love. I don't use my 14/2.5 or 9-18 much anymore and am pondering selling those.

Would I buy it again for the full $800? I don't know. Maybe. Tough call. But I have a lot of fun with it...

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webservants
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It's a nice lens
In reply to Randell Tober, Mar 27, 2013

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blessings,
Steven

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texinwien
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In reply to Randell Tober, Mar 27, 2013

Randell Tober wrote:

I know it's an awesome lens, but can I do as well with a comparable- close second for the cost? Using it with a Pany G5. Thanks to all in advance. Have a great day- or night depending where you're at

If you don't mind a slightly larger lens that is manual focus only, you may want to have a look at the SLR Magic 12mm t/1.6 Hyperprime. Fast lens with a good review from photozone.de. This lens is cheaper than the Olympus 12mm f/2. It's manual focus only, but that shouldn't be too big of a problem at such a short focal length.

I don't own SLR Magic lens, but I am strongly considering buying it, rather than the Olympus (which I also don't have).

tex

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G1Houston
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It all depends on what you want to shoot.
In reply to Randell Tober, Mar 27, 2013

Randell Tober wrote:

I know it's an awesome lens, but can I do as well with a comparable- close second for the cost?

Like many have already said, it all depends on what you plan to shoot.  Do you need 12mm?  Do you need f2?  Do you need the build quality in this lens that is more designed for the pro?  These three things cost you extra.

If you need 12mm and do not care about f2, then the only cheaper choice is the 9-18.  If you want 12mm and f2, there is really no other choice.  The 14/2.5 is wide enough and fast enough and much cheaper.

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