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

Started Mar 27, 2013 | Questions
texinwien
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Hold it right there, pardner
In reply to G1Houston, Mar 27, 2013

G1Houston wrote:

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.

You're leaving out the SLR Magic HyperPrime Cine 12mm t/1.6. As long as the OP doesn't need AF at this short focal length, this lens is faster and cheaper than the Oly. It's also gotten some good reviews, and I believe it's also made out of metal.

Add that as another cheaper choice if AF isn't required.

tex

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zkz5
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Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
In reply to kenw, Mar 28, 2013

kenw wrote:

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!

Thanks. Yeah, I am a bit reckless with camera stuff sometimes... especially so when I see a shot I want.

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zkz5
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Thanks
In reply to zkz5, Mar 28, 2013

Thanks for all the comments kenw, Chuck Eklund, dpalugyay, Bob Tullis !

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PC Wheeler
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Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
In reply to Randell Tober, Mar 28, 2013

Not for me, but I have the Panny 12-35 f/2.8.

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Coby
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Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
In reply to sigala1, Mar 28, 2013

sigala1 wrote:

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.

Actually the cheapest way is to get the 14mm Pany off EBay for $160-ish, plus the matching Pany .8 wideangle adapter for around $100.   Although that will give you an 11mm f2.5, so not quite the same ...

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Corkcampbell
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So was John Ford - ever see the lightning scene in...
In reply to zkz5, Mar 28, 2013

..."She Wore a Yellow Ribbon?" Some of his crew was nervous about being hit by lightning because of all of the metal they were carting around. It was considered an unnecessary risk also because they were losing light - they thought it might be too dark. However, it is one of the best cinematic shots ever and was the principal reason (so it's been said) for an Oscar.

Let those who don't understand take photos of their cats...

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tjdean01
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Seconded... (comparison pics)
In reply to sigala1, Mar 28, 2013

Before dropping $800 on a lens, money that many of us don't have, consider P&S options.  If you're shooting in bright light I would say the Panasonic 7-14mm is a sharper lens at the same price, though bigger and heavier.  I would also say many P&S cameras would come very close to the 12/2 sharpness at the 24mm equivalent and from a lot of shots I've seen online, P&S are sharper that m4/3s because of more in-camera processing.  The Nikon P330 has really gotten my interest recently.  Also the Olympus XZ-2 is a solid performer.  Get the Canon s110 and volume-wise it's not much bigger than the 12/2 lens; and it's only around US$300!

If you're doing low light another poster already mentioned, the P&S options are still very good.  For example, the LX7 lens at f1.8 is not only a full-stop faster, but it's stabilized so that would give you another 2-3 stops.  My Nikon P330, Oly XZ-2, etc., will all be similar.  And granted, your m4/3s sensor will have better high ISO performance, but with the 12/2 on a Panasonic body you'll be shooting ISO3200 and the LX7 will be at ISO400.

I'm not telling you this is the way to go, because in all honesty I'd rather have the $800 12/2 than most P&S cameras, but I will tell you I'm seriously considering the P330 as my full-time wide option...until I buy the fisheye, that is!

And the 14/2.5 is only 25% of the price and smaller.  Give me one for free obviously I take the 12.  Put a gun to my head today and force me to buy one I buy the 14 (and thank god that I still have the extra US$600 in the bank).  Compare the photos.  The 12 is better , but is it $600 better than the 14mm?  And here's a sample (different photo) from the P330 .

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PChoi
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Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
In reply to sigala1, Mar 28, 2013

It is a very good lense.  I have it and love to use it for many occasions. Of course, it depends on your style.

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PC Wheeler
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Re: Seconded... (comparison pics)
In reply to tjdean01, Mar 28, 2013

tjdean01 wrote:

Before dropping $800 on a lens, money that many of us don't have, consider P&S options.

Good point. My Canon G15 does not go so wide (28-140 eff) but has a fast f/1.8-2.8 lens which I find to be excellent. Panasonic (and others) have P&S models which do go to 24mm effective.

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pinnacle
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For me yes...for you?
In reply to Randell Tober, Mar 28, 2013

I also use a Panasonic G5. I made the move from the DSLR world last year and decided to go mostly with fixed focal length lenses (primes). The 12mm is fast, has excellent optical output and gives you a nice perspective when you really want a wide angle of view and the best IQ available in this focal length for M43.

It's an expensive lens and we all need to prioritize how we allocate where we can best invest in our photographic endeavors. Think hard about the kinds of photography that you are passionate about. If you have a strong affinity for the wide angle perspective, then perhaps this lens will expand your horizons and deliver high IQ. It sure taxes your skills in composition.

Dan

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Skeeterbytes
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Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
In reply to Chuck Eklund, Mar 28, 2013

+1  Well seen--a fine set and testimonial for the lens' capabilities in the right hands.

Back in my film days, my favorite slr WA lens was a 25/2.8 so I suspect I'd be pleased to have the little 12. One of these days they'll have a rebate deal I won't be able to ignore.

Cheers,

Rick

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Randell Tober
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Re: For me yes...for you?
In reply to pinnacle, Mar 28, 2013

Really love the info put forth on this thread. I've learned a lot.

You bring up a good point. I'm hoping for a trip to Glacier this year. Last time I went I was disappointed with the pic's- not a wide enough lens. I believe I was using a 24x70 2.8 (Canon 10D) Just not enough. I think the 12 would shine in the same circumstance. I have a 14x45, 45x150 and will grab something in the 300mm range along with one or two primes. I prefer to stay in the 1.4-2.5 range with 2.8 being the max. I guess I'm leaning towards the 9x35 or the 12. Then on to a good portait lens- maybe a 60?

Thanks all... Very interesting comments and info. I'm going to read back over them all a couple more times. Take care, Randy

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sigala1
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Re: For me yes...for you?
In reply to Randell Tober, Mar 28, 2013

Randell Tober wrote:

Really love the info put forth on this thread. I've learned a lot.

You bring up a good point. I'm hoping for a trip to Glacier this year. Last time I went I was disappointed with the pic's- not a wide enough lens. I believe I was using a 24x70 2.8 (Canon 10D) Just not enough. I think the 12 would shine in the same circumstance. I have a 14x45, 45x150 and will grab something in the 300mm range along with one or two primes. I prefer to stay in the 1.4-2.5 range with 2.8 being the max. I guess I'm leaning towards the 9x35 or the 12. Then on to a good portait lens- maybe a 60?

Thanks all... Very interesting comments and info. I'm going to read back over them all a couple more times. Take care, Randy

For taking daytime photos in a national park, you don't need an f/2 lens, but you might want other focal lengths besides only 12mm, so the 7-14 is a more logical choice for you than the 12mm f/2.

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G1Houston
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Re: Hold it right there, pardner
In reply to texinwien, Mar 28, 2013

texinwien wrote:

You're leaving out the SLR Magic HyperPrime Cine 12mm t/1.6. As long as the OP doesn't need AF at this short focal length, this lens is faster and cheaper than the Oly. It's also gotten some good reviews, and I believe it's also made out of metal.

Add that as another cheaper choice if AF isn't required.

tex

Yeah, but considering that the SLR lens is >$500, it is a lot of money for a MF only lens.  It is a truly special purpose lens.

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gamarala
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Have you considered Oly 12-50mm
In reply to Randell Tober, Mar 28, 2013

About $250 for new de-kit.

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KwhyChang
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Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
In reply to Randell Tober, Mar 28, 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're worried about cost, I'd go with the 12-50, or the 14mm Panasonic, which is pretty close in focal length..

Personally, I love all the primes for µ4/3 as they are sharp wide open, small, and light and all are worth saving for. But again this is just a personal opinion.

The 12mm is my favorite lens, used mostly for street, landscape, and restaurant.

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Dave

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Randell Tober
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Re: For me yes...for you?
In reply to sigala1, Mar 28, 2013

Thanks... I can agree with that... However what if it's dawn- dusk or just overcast? Where I currently live we get about 3 hours of sunshine at the most per day. That's where I miss my 2.8 lens. Even the F4 did a so so job in comparison. :o

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Corkcampbell
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It's not what the OP wants - different category. But it's a heck of a deal.
In reply to gamarala, Mar 28, 2013

I have the 12-50 because it came in a kit and, at the time, they were going for about $400 on ebay. I didn't sell it because I thought it just worthwhile enough (good colors, video, weathersealed, etc.) to keep. Now, it's worth so much less...I think, for $250, it's a good purchase for many people.

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Randell Tober
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Re: Olympus 12 mm - F/2 ... Is it worth the $$ ?
In reply to KwhyChang, Mar 29, 2013

Of course... especially in my case money isn't exactly flowing out... plentiful, yet I'm willing to sacrifice for good glass if it will bring my days of happiness The two kit zooms I have are great for go to, but will lack in the special pic moment- or planned shoot scenes etc... I guess that's why I asked the initial question... wanted to see if the other lens close in performance were close enough for the $$ savings or? In life I frequently buy a notch or maybe two down as long as I don't have to compromise too much on quality.

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sigala1
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Re: For me yes...for you?
In reply to Randell Tober, Mar 29, 2013

Randell Tober wrote:

Thanks... I can agree with that... However what if it's dawn- dusk or just overcast? Where I currently live we get about 3 hours of sunshine at the most per day. That's where I miss my 2.8 lens. Even the F4 did a so so job in comparison. :o

The mountains aren't moving anywhere. With 5-axis IBIS and wide angle, you can shoot at very slow shutter speeds, even if you don't have a tripod.

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