All this talk about the 12-40mm, I just bought a used 12-50mm for $235

Started Nov 4, 2013 | Discussions
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Ben Herrmann
Ben Herrmann Forum Pro • Posts: 17,255
Yes, it's a lens that I've come to both hate and love...

Awhile back I started a thread in which I proclaimed that Arrrgggghhhh, this 12-50 is a lens that I both loved and hated - the proverbial "approach/avoidance" conflict.

There are times (with this lens on an E-M5), where I'm cursing out loud because the images were not sharp (grundge alont the edges) at all and I'm ready to smash it against a wall, and then other times I'm shaking my head in disbelief (depending on scene) as to how nice the images look.

Granted, the 12-50 is a very comfortable (and light) lens to shoot with. At times it will surprise and then by the same token, at other times you will be ready to be done with it. I've never experienced this scenario with any other lens that I own.

But I won't get rid of the 2 that I currently have. I purchased the both of them new for only $225 and $250 each respectively (from folks who purchased the E-M5 kit but didn't want the lens). So I figured that I made out. But the emotions that this lens model can install is very unusual.

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Have a great one....
Bernd (Ben) W. Herrmann
North Carolina, USA
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Moti
Moti Veteran Member • Posts: 6,752
Re: All this talk about the 12-40mm, I just bought a used 12-50mm for $235

tgutgu wrote:

Well, that lens is certainly not worth than the price you paid for it. Among my zoom lenses in the focal length area it covers, it is by far the worst performer.

That is not my experience with that lens. For me it is one of the best kit lenses ever created in terms of versatility and IQ and it is worth every penny paid for it.  The only drawback is speed. Here is an example of what it does. Look at the full size.

If yours doesn't perform like this, you mat have a bad copy.

That there is so much talk about the 12-40mm and far less (favorable) about the 12-50mm is justified. All this writing about that the 12-50mm is a "decent" lens, is a polite statement saying that it is not really good.

I don't care what other people say, I have my own experience. People who think it is a bad lens either have a bad copy or should learn how to use it. Blaming the tool is always an easy solution.

To me, paying $ 235 for it is money that could and should have saved to buy something else.

Moti

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FrankParis
FrankParis Senior Member • Posts: 1,042
I've just given up on the 12-50.

The 10mm on the tele end just isn't enough to lust for. I have the Olympus 60mm f/2.8 macro, so I don't need the 12-50mm for macro. The 12-50 was just a stop gap measure for me, until something better came along. Well, the 12-40mm is incomparably better, and has the equivalent 12-50 macro capability at all focal lengths. Of course you pay dearly for the amazing 12-40mm IQ and luscious build quality, but I've lived for photography for too many years to spend the waning years of my life without a completely satisfying normal zoom.

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Frank Paris

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SaltLakeGuy
SaltLakeGuy Forum Pro • Posts: 11,137
Re: I've just given up on the 12-50.

I'm with you. I fully enjoyed the 12-50 on the EM5 I recently sold. I served me well. But since I've been shooting with the EM1 paired with the 12-40 they are truly in a different zip code together. I don't care much for compromise either. I'm no spring chicken at this point either

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Zensu11
Zensu11 Senior Member • Posts: 1,473
Re: I've just given up on the 12-50.

FrankParis wrote:

The 10mm on the tele end just isn't enough to lust for.

I'll just use my surprisingly sharp Oly 40-150 M.Zuiko (the first version) for longer reach. I don't use telephoto zooms indoors anyway so the smaller aperture is fine with me.

I have the Olympus 60mm f/2.8 macro, so I don't need the 12-50mm for macro.

Same here, the 60 macro is superb!

The 12-50 was just a stop gap measure for me, until something better came along. Well, the 12-40mm is incomparably better, and has the equivalent 12-50 macro capability at all focal lengths. Of course you pay dearly for the amazing 12-40mm IQ and luscious build quality, but I've lived for photography for too many years to spend the waning years of my life without a completely satisfying normal zoom.

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Frank Paris

I agree totally Frank. I've put up with a lot in my life and in my "golden" years feel I deserve some rewards like a super great 12-40 zoom, and who knows I may be lucky enough to upgrade to all the PRO Olympus MFT lenses (40-150 F2.8, etc.) coming in the next few years.

Bobby

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Taj123
Taj123 Regular Member • Posts: 123
Re: I've just given up on the 12-50.

Have used my Oly 12 -50 for 6 months now as it came with my E-M5 at all focal lengths and for macro and have got some very good photos out of it IMHO. With the weather sealing it makes a good all round lens and I for one am very happy with it and will certainly keep it.

taj123

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MatsP
MatsP Senior Member • Posts: 1,494
Re: I've just given up on the 12-50.

Have used my Oly 12 -50 for 6 months now as it came with my E-M5 at all focal lengths and for macro and have got some very good photos out of it IMHO. With the weather sealing it makes a good all round lens and I for one am very happy with it and will certainly keep it.

taj123

It's s good thing that you and others like it. If many does, there will be a market for it when I sell mine....:-)

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DonSC
DonSC Senior Member • Posts: 1,031
Definitely splash proof

Used it at Victoria Falls. As you can see from the shot below, not exactly like taking it into the shower but pretty close! LOL

Held up without any issues. At some point -- we were out there for a long time -- I couldn't see through the E--M5 VF because of condensation. But the lens didn't have any issues.

It's a versatile lens.

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Geekapoo
Geekapoo Contributing Member • Posts: 906
12-50 = fantastic lens

Own the Panny 25 and Oly 45, have owned the Panny 14-42 and 14-45....the Oly 12-50 is a FANTASTIC LENS IMHO....maybe I have a good copy, maybe I'm not an anal retentive pixel peeper....but it is a great lens. Do wish it was faster but have no complaints about it's image quality.

Geekapoo

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Current cameras: OM-D, GF3, G3, RX100, HX200V and ZS3
Lenses: Oly 12-50, 45, 9-18, Panny 25, 45-200 and Rokinin 7.5

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FrankParis
FrankParis Senior Member • Posts: 1,042
Ditto on that.

MatsP wrote:

Have used my Oly 12 -50 for 6 months now as it came with my E-M5 at all focal lengths and for macro and have got some very good photos out of it IMHO. With the weather sealing it makes a good all round lens and I for one am very happy with it and will certainly keep it.

taj123

It's s good thing that you and others like it. If many does, there will be a market for it when I sell mine....:-)

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Frank Paris

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FrankParis
FrankParis Senior Member • Posts: 1,042
Re: I've just given up on the 12-50.

Zensu11 wrote:

FrankParis wrote:

The 10mm on the tele end just isn't enough to lust for.

I'll just use my surprisingly sharp Oly 40-150 M.Zuiko (the first version) for longer reach. I don't use telephoto zooms indoors anyway so the smaller aperture is fine with me.

I agree with this entirely. I love the Oly 40-150 and I only paid $99 for it directly from Olympus. That sale lasted only a few days and I was lucky enough to catch it. The steal of the century! I also love the plastic mount, believe it or not. It's the smoothest mouth I've ever experienced. I never break any of my photo equipment so I'm not worried about the plastic mount.

I agree totally Frank. I've put up with a lot in my life and in my "golden" years feel I deserve some rewards like a super great 12-40 zoom, and who knows I may be lucky enough to upgrade to all the PRO Olympus MFT lenses (40-150 F2.8, etc.) coming in the next few years.

I'm afraid I would be putting myself at risk investing in anymore photo equipment, although I have so much redundant M4/3 gear I could sell off enough for something else. I don't know if my aching bones are up to lugging the 40-150mm f/2.8 around, although I've lost a lot of weight lately (better diet!) and it's a lot easier for me to get around now than it was a year ago, so who knows? I'll have to wait until the reports come out. If it measures up to the sharpness of the 12-40, I'll be tempted to get off my duff and sell my redundant gear.

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Frank Paris

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FrankParis
FrankParis Senior Member • Posts: 1,042
Re: Definitely splash proof

Yes, I had no complaint about its resistance to water. That's one of the reason I bought it. But the 12-40 f/2.8 is nothing if not even better, so I just don't need the 12-50 anymore, especially in conjunction with the Oly 40-150 tiny thing.

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Frank Paris

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bedhead
bedhead Regular Member • Posts: 363
Re: All this talk about the 12-40mm, I just bought a used 12-50mm for $235
1

I bought on over a year ago, as the only affordable way (for me) to get to 12mm.

I have beaten the lens within an inch of its life.  And it still has life!

Yesterday in Rain/Sleet/Snow.  It still does the job... kinda.    Just as a Trail lens should.

But seriously, I have exposed this lens to inclement weather.  The biggest problem i've had is keeping the water off the lens..

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The Photo Ninja
The Photo Ninja OP Senior Member • Posts: 2,158
Re: Definitely splash proof

Was the condensation inside the camera or just on the outside?  Was your camera and EVF oK too?

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Roger Bloemers
Roger Bloemers Contributing Member • Posts: 798
Re: All this talk about the 12-40mm, I just bought a used 12-50mm for $235

I have found my 12-50 to be a excellent lens!!   It's as good as any lens I own.   I have over 20 lenes including a couple of Canon L lens.   I don't understand the negative talk about the 12-50.

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sbszine
sbszine Regular Member • Posts: 477
12-50 has its moments

My copy takes reasonably sharp pictures in the 12-35 range, but at the wide end gets pretty soft. The macro setting, sealing, and Lfn button are all great, and the power zoom is better than manual zoom I think. As a kit lens it's a winner, and $235 sounds like a good price.

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KwhyChang
KwhyChang Veteran Member • Posts: 3,525
Re: All this talk about the 12-40mm, I just bought a used 12-50mm for $235

I hope you enjoy using yours. I don't use mine much anymore. I use the 14-150 instead and have the 12mm prime mounted on my second cam.

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Dave

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RealPancho
RealPancho Senior Member • Posts: 1,286
Yeah, Ben….

….when you consider what this lens does for its price, it's hard not to admire. On the hand, that "jack of all trades" status can't overcome the fact that it's a master of none. I don't use it much, but I can't let go of it.

Grrrrrrrrr indeed!

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Frank

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Art_P
Art_P Veteran Member • Posts: 9,864
Re: All this talk about the 12-40mm, I just bought a used 12-50mm for $235

The Photo Ninja wrote:

Granted, I know the apertures aren't even comparable, but I already have a 17mm f/1.8 that I love. I bought the 12-50m to have a weatherproof system with the E-M1.

Have the 17 and 12-40 on my want list, but I might just keep the 12-50 anyway.  It's smaller than the 12-40 weather sealed unlike the 17 or 45.  And sometimes you just don't want to take your best lens into a hostile environment. (be it a muddy climb or a shady neighborhood)

How weatherproof is the 12-50mm?

Haven't dunked it, but it held up just fine during all day rain in Scotland

BTW, I bought the olympus lens hood for it too.

Wound up using a ring w aperture markings on it from an old lens as a lens hood.  May not give the flare protection of the factory hood, but it's saved the front element a couple times already.

My thoughts on the lens:  Would be nice if it were sharper, or brighter, or smaller, or less expensive (the $500 list is a bit steep I think) But it was the only weather sealed kit lens for the E-M5.

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Art P
"I am a creature of contrast,
of light and shadow.
I live where the two play together,
I thrive on the conflict"

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DonSC
DonSC Senior Member • Posts: 1,031
Waiting (impatiently) for the 12-40

Ha ha. Yeah, I hear you. Despite its versatility and nice small footprint, the 12-50 leaves quite a bit to be desired on the IQ front. The 12-40 will be super. I have no doubt about that.

To some extent I think we obsess too much about lens IQ. The 12-50 may not be the greatest lens but it's certainly usable. To me subject matter trumps the lens any day of the week. Would these have been better with the 12-40? Maybe. Maybe not. But I want the 12-40!

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