My favorite lens ever

Started Jan 13, 2014 | User reviews thread
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Michael Jardine
Michael Jardine Senior Member • Posts: 1,928
My favorite lens ever

This doesn't mean it's the 'best' lens ever. It's just my favorite because it provides me exactly what I want with the E-M1:  an excellent walk-around lens that allows me to take this camera into virtually ANY situation, and get GREAT pictures.  And that's why I invested in M43 in the first place.   I have other lens/camera combinations for other situations:  for unobtrusiveness, the Olympus E-PL5 with Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 is great and, in my opinion, a far better choice than the current hot camera, the Lumix GM1.  Why? Virtually the same size, better IQ, and the back screen flips up.

Anyhow - back to the 12-40.  I'm not a great fan of zooms, but this gives me the flexibility to shoot anywhere, with any kind of weather, and with small size. It's half the size of the (pro) Nikon 24-70 f/2.8, and - in my opinion - sharper across the range and also has a faster focus (in combination with the E-M1 body).

I also like the manual focus ring: instead of having to use a button or dial on the camera to switch to manual focus, you just pull the ring at the end of the barrel and it jumps into manual focus mode, which I almost ALWAYS use with still-life photography (combined with focus peaking or zoom to focus).

There has been some talk about the durability of the lens.  Well, it's small and it sticks out. What can you say?  The best way to protect a lens of this type is to drop the camera w/lens facing down, into a camera bag or waist pack. I wouldn't give it the chance to get yanked or banged by mistake so I will not often leave the camera dangling around my neck.  For me, the best camera bag for this use is the ThinkTank Turnstyle  because it carries the camera & lens effortlessly - and safely either behind you, in front of you or - if you're in an extremely hot place - on your waist (you don't want even a sling bag on your back when it's 100 degrees out).

For this camera/lens combination - the Olympus OMD EM-1 with 12-40 f/2.8 Pro - you can fit both into the "Turnstyle 5", but NOT with the lens shade extended.  For me, I like to keep my camera ready to shoot so the lens shade is always on and extended.  So I opted for the "Turnstyle 10" which is slightly larger, and also has room for a 75mm f/1.8, two flash units, AND the diminutive E-PL5 with 20mm attached, a perfect backup system.  And, the great thing about this bag, is I can also drop my D800 with 85mm f/1.8 face down, and have room for the 16-35 f/4.

I've digressed yet again. But it's all related to the 12-40, isn't it?

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 Michael Jardine's gear list:Michael Jardine's gear list
Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8 Nikon D800 Olympus E-M1 Olympus OM-D E-M10 Sony a9 +9 more
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 Pro
Zoom lens • Micro Four Thirds • V314060BU000
Announced: Sep 10, 2013
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Nikon D800 Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Olympus E-M1 Olympus PEN E-PL5
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