Wide lens of choice?

Started Feb 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
James Pilcher Veteran Member • Posts: 8,946
A vote for the Zuiko 12mm f/2, but...

Dylthedog wrote:

I've got an E-PL5 with a Panny 20mm, Oly 45mm and the kit lens (plus some longer Oly and Panny options) but I'd quite like higher quality wide option. The Panny 20mm is pretty much welded to the camera and right now I use the kit if I want wider, but clearly that's not going to deliver the best quality.

I looked on Photozone and while the Oly 12mm review is good the actual samples left me quite underwhelmed; they didn't seem that much better than the Oly 9-18mm. I've ruled out the Panny 14mm as it's small (which is good) but no better than the kit lens as far as I can see. Compact is important to me so that is a shame TBH. The Panny 7-14mm is a bit more than I want to pay right now, though I hear it's very good.

So my question to DPR people is how have you found the 12mm f2? Are the Photozone samples representative or not? Anyone got the and the 9-18mm - if so, what's your view?


I have the Zuiko 12mm f/2. I got one of the first ones available in 2011. I love it. I think it is a better lens than many say. I sometimes wonder how many of the folks who pan the 12mm as "average" or "OK" have actually used it for any amount of time. Having f/2 with autofocus is really nice. The lens sharpens up nicely at f/2.8 and I find f/4.5 to be the optimum aperture when I am shooting for best image quality, all other considerations aside. It is a very good wide angle lens. Ask Louis Dobson (although he likes the 7-14mm very much too). I highly recommend the Zuiko 12mm f/2.

BUT...the Zuiko 12mm price is a killer for some. Your m4/3 kit appears to be a secondary system to your FF, so other considerations may come into play. If ultimate image quality is not your m4/3 goal, but, rather, very good quality, consider the 9-18mm for flexibility or the 14mm for small size and speed. The 14mm is a very good lens (I'm surprised that you think it's no better than a kit zoom) and a perfect complement to the 20mm.

An aside: I have the Lumix 8mm FE, Zuiko 12mm, Leica 25mm, and Zuiko 45mm. My next purchase to fill in the wide-to-normal gap will be the Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 or the rumored Zuiko fast f/2.8 zoom that I'm hoping will start at 11mm or 12mm and go past normal.

Happy shooting.

Jim Pilcher
Summit County, Colorado, USA

 James Pilcher's gear list:James Pilcher's gear list
Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm F1.8 Fujifilm X70 Olympus PEN-F +8 more
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