Oly 12-50 vs 12-40 - expecting too much?

Started Feb 15, 2014 | Discussions thread
Chrisada Regular Member • Posts: 210
Re: Oly 12-50 vs 12-40 - expecting too much?

tamras29 wrote:

I do really like my 12-50 despite it's faults, so at an Olympus open day this morning, I was looking forward to taking the 12-40 f2.8 out for a spin on my EM5 with the offer of £100 off usual price this weekend only.

Just been going through the results, and apart from F2.8 all the way through which of course is a great advantage when necessary, and lovely pumpy manual focus ring, I really was it's expecting it's IQ to blow the 12-50 out of the water, which it just did not. Yes it was a tad sharper up the 40mm end, and a tad sharper at the edges wide open, but for at considerably more money, and I really don't thnik it can justify the cost. Better to put the money into a primes I think.

Anyone else had the same thoughts? Thanks.

I have not used the 12-50, but have used both versions of the Oly 14-42mm as well as the Panny 14-45 and their original 14-42mm.  The 14-45mm comes the closest to the 12-40mm, but the color rendition never pleased me, and it was not fast at the long end.  The rest of the bunch will give you absolutely fine image quality in good light with lots of subject contrast, but in more difficult situations, I always found their images overall to be a little bit flat.  Sure, I could punch it up in PP, but it was just not the same kind of results I was getting from my primes.

When I got the 12-40mm, all of the punch, contrast, color, sharpness, and microcontrast just were so much better than the rest of the zooms that I was just amazed.  It wasn't a subtle difference.  This zoom had qualities of my favorite primes.  I even ended up selling my much loved 14-140mm lens after getting this since its output just looked so much better than even that lens, which I used a LOT.

Now, you may have a particularly good copy of the 12-50mm and a particularly bad copy of the 12-40mm, which would narrow the gap a bit.  Or you may be taking shots in less demanding lighting situations where the differences are less obvious.  Either way, my suggestion to you is to do a little more testing of both lenses....you may indeed have a less than stellar 12-40mm.  If it is still not particularly different than the 12-50mm you have, and you don't really need the constant f2.8, then I'd return it and keep using the 12-50mm.  On the other hand, you may want to exchange it for a second copy, as there really have been posters here who have had significant sample variation and were delighted with their second copies after having an iffy first one.


Can I ask which 14-140 is it that you sold?

 Chrisada's gear list:Chrisada's gear list
Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 Fujifilm XF 16mm F1.4 R WR Fujifilm XF 35mm F2 R WR
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