The F2.8 choice, 12-40mm vs 12-35mm

Started Sep 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
David 247
David 247 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,138
The 12-40 F2.8 - the legacy it needs to live up to.

A lot of the expectation of for the 12-40 F2.8 zuiko (olympus) lens is their past "PRO" lens history.   the 12-40 is specifically labeled as a PRO lens by olympus.   If you look at their lenses for the original 4/3 cameras, they had 3 grades of lenses.  2 were considered PRO, the HG (high grade) and SHG (super high grade) lenses which are almost mythical in their sharpness and versatility.   The SHG lenses being sharp not just in the center but in the corners from wide open to F8 or 11.   The 14-35mm F2.0  was and still is a legend, with sharpness across its frame that rivaled primes, even wide open.

By labeling the 12-40 F2.8 a PRO lens, Olympus has set the expectations very high.   Since the EM1 is designed to also be able to use the older but excellent HG and SHG lenses, there will a lot of comparison.    It is known that Zuiko, the optical arm of Olympus is capable of producing superior optics and in the past was sometimes called the "Leica of the East".

The 12-40 F2.8 will need to be very, very good.  Low CA, better corner sharpness then the 12-35, sharp wide open.   They can do it, the question is did they?   We can look to the 45 F1.8 and 75 F1.8 to see where Olympus/Zuiko has been trending recently.   So can they do with the 12-40 F2.8 what they did with old 4/3 lenses?   I hope so.   If so, it will be worth every penny.

Mind you, that level of optical quality is not required by everyone, but for some, Pros and enthusiasts alike, it is the Holy Grail.

And let us not forget that the EM1 is the body that brings together the past and present of the 4/3 and m4/3 systems.   The additional PDAF focus along with their already superb CDAF focus system will allow the 4/3 pro lenses to function as well as the m4/3 system lenses on the same body.

For now though, we can only hope.  Soon reality will tell the real story.

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- David
'The most important feature of any camera is 'Will you have it with you when you need it."

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