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

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Questions
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Randell Tober
Randell Tober Regular Member • Posts: 248
Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?

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
kenw Veteran Member • Posts: 4,963
Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
3

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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Ken W
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slimandy Forum Pro • Posts: 16,395
Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
1

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

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Extract0r Forum Member • Posts: 91
Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
1

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.

zkz5
zkz5 Contributing Member • Posts: 665
Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
7

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...

mb65 Regular Member • Posts: 173
Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?

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

kenw
kenw Veteran Member • Posts: 4,963
Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
1

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 Forum Pro • Posts: 16,395
Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?

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 Senior Member • Posts: 2,178
Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?

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.

Chuck Eklund Contributing Member • Posts: 578
Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
1

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 Senior Member • Posts: 1,129
Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
1

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

markymark101 Senior Member • Posts: 1,167
Yes and no
3

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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(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 1,178
If you need f2

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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(unknown member) Senior Member • Posts: 1,178
Great examples!
1

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 Senior Member • Posts: 1,531
Re: Great examples!

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 Senior Member • Posts: 3,634
Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
1

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.

Bob Tullis
Bob Tullis Forum Pro • Posts: 31,280
Very dynamic work here ZKZ [NT]
1

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
webservants Contributing Member • Posts: 827
It's a nice lens
1

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blessings,
Steven

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texinwien Senior Member • Posts: 3,320
Other Options
1

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 Senior Member • Posts: 2,575
It all depends on what you want to shoot.

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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