ED 12-60 How do users rate this lens?

Started Oct 14, 2012 | Discussions
Timskis6 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,562
The fastest focusing 4/3 lense

When the 12-60 was first announced, it was immediately compared to the proven 14-54 and widely loved 11-22 combination. Many long time users afffirmed the 12-60 (as a 5x zoom) could never compare to the 12-60 + 11-22 combo, simply because the zoom was too optically complex to be excellent in any single aspect.

Olympus shocked the DSLR industry by releasing this zoom, coupled with the E-3, and offered focusing that was on par to the CaNikon pro bodies (in moderate to good light levels). This was a first for Olympus.

The 12-60 ended up getting rave reviews across the web. Excellent sharpness throughout the zoom range (a huge accomplishment for a 5x zoom), excellent focusing (except in a few rare instances), good contrast, controlled flaring (for a 5x zoom with that many elements), and excellent accuracy.

It is the fastest focusing 4/3 lense, bar none. It's also highly accurate.

In the end many 4/3 users sold their 14-54 + 11-22 combos for this highly regarded, 5x zoom single lense solution, and never looked back.

Cheers,

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--

Tim
www.developemotion.com
'I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list.'
E3/7-14/12-60/35-100/150/EC20
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Durm Regular Member • Posts: 152
Re: ED 12-60 How do users rate this lens?

archjack wrote:

Also what body would you pair it with?

I would not hesitate to use that lens on ANY Olympus 4/3 body (and I own a bunch of them).

As far as I can tell, it is the best lens you can get in its focal range to fit a 4/3 body, whether it one of the Panasonic bodies (L-1 or L-10) or anything that came between the E-1 and the E-5.

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Durm
I always know what I mean to say, but I dont always manage to say it clearly.
Owner & user of a bunch of E-series and m43 cameras.

goblin
goblin Veteran Member • Posts: 3,497
Re: ED 12-60 How do users rate this lens?

archjack wrote:

Also what body would you pair it with?

This is simply the lens which made me stay with Olympus and my E-5 when I had the chance to switch to an EOS-1Ds Mk3 with a 24-105mm.

In all the other combinations I compared (EOS+100-400mm vs E5+50-200SWD, EOS + 100mm2.8 Macro IS vs E5+50mm f2), the EOS was clearly better. In this combo, it was a tie. Gear weight and habits decided for the rest.

The 12-60mm is simply a stunning lens.

Note about the lens hood: not only is it flimsy, but the plastic it's made of gets "tighter" with time.

The hood will get tighter and tighter on the lens, till it reaches a point when removing it presents a real risk of breaking the lens. This will be way worse in cold weather.

A brand new hood seems to be the only solution, and it will stay "good" for six months. Then it's back to square one.

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Art_P
Art_P Veteran Member • Posts: 9,875
No need

to replace the lens hood every 6 months.

Bought my 12-60 when it first came out, had it until it was stolen this spring, w the original hood.

I'd periodically rub the hood mount w a soft pencil, and once or twice sanded the joint lightly w 600 grit sading film, and so it never came to a point that the hood wouldn't come off when needed

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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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Durm Regular Member • Posts: 152
Re: ED 12-60 How do users rate this lens?

goblin wrote:

archjack wrote:

Also what body would you pair it with?

This is simply the lens which made me stay with Olympus and my E-5 when I had the chance to switch to an EOS-1Ds Mk3 with a 24-105mm.

In all the other combinations I compared (EOS+100-400mm vs E5+50-200SWD, EOS + 100mm2.8 Macro IS vs E5+50mm f2), the EOS was clearly better. In this combo, it was a tie. Gear weight and habits decided for the rest.

The 12-60mm is simply a stunning lens.

Note about the lens hood: not only is it flimsy, but the plastic it's made of gets "tighter" with time.

The hood will get tighter and tighter on the lens, till it reaches a point when removing it presents a real risk of breaking the lens. This will be way worse in cold weather.

A brand new hood seems to be the only solution, and it will stay "good" for six months. Then it's back to square one.

YYou can "lubricate" the lens hood bayonet with dry graphite lube (the easiest way is to use the "lead" of a number 2 pencil (which is bonded graphite not lead) just put the "point" of the pencil in the groove and run it around a few times.

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Durm
I always know what I mean to say, but I dont always manage to say it clearly.
Owner & user of a bunch of E-series and m43 cameras.

goblin
goblin Veteran Member • Posts: 3,497
Re: ED 12-60 How do users rate this lens?

Durm wrote:

YYou can "lubricate" the lens hood bayonet with dry graphite lube (the easiest way is to use the "lead" of a number 2 pencil (which is bonded graphite not lead) just put the "point" of the pencil in the groove and run it around a few times.

Tried it. Tried teflon lubricants, and whatnot. Eventually it always ends up the same...

The plastic simply reacts to temperature variations differently compared to the lens, and worst of all - it looks like some reactions are irreversible. Or it might be the design of the little "tooth" inside the groove. Don't know which. What I know is that a brand new hood is always butter smooth (but still flimsy), and it goes only downhill from there.

On the other hand, it looks like I've had less problems with the last ones I bought, so it might be that the the latest batches of the lens hood might have been built better than the first ones.

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Skeeterbytes Forum Pro • Posts: 14,126
Re: ED 12-60 How do users rate this lens?

FWIW I've found occasionally scrubbing the hood with soap, water and a brush--and doing the same--verrrry carefully with the lens--seems to reduce the friction that builds up. I suspect fine debris builds up over time. Cheers, Rick

Durm wrote

YYou can "lubricate" the lens hood bayonet with dry graphite lube (the easiest way is to use the "lead" of a number 2 pencil (which is bonded graphite not lead) just put the "point" of the pencil in the groove and run it around a few times.

Braxton7
Braxton7 Contributing Member • Posts: 882
Re: No need

Art_P wrote:

to replace the lens hood every 6 months.

Bought my 12-60 when it first came out, had it until it was stolen this spring, w the original hood.

I'd periodically rub the hood mount w a soft pencil, and once or twice sanded the joint lightly w 600 grit sading film, and so it never came to a point that the hood wouldn't come off when needed

I just keep the hood on all the time. It's not very big. I'm really enjoying it now since the trees are spectacular in the last week or so. The 50-200 is my favorite but there are some things it can't do.

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Timskis6 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,562
Try cleaning the thread

Durm wrote:

archjack wrote:

Also what body would you pair it with?

I would not hesitate to use that lens on ANY Olympus 4/3 body (and I own a bunch of them).

As far as I can tell, it is the best lens you can get in its focal range to fit a 4/3 body, whether it one of the Panasonic bodies (L-1 or L-10) or anything that came between the E-1 and the E-5.

This happened to my 12-60mm as well.  The lense hood became tighter and tighter over time, with more and more use.  I used graphite to lubricate it, which helped to a point, until adding more graphite would no longer allow it to twist smoothly.

Turns out the lense hood thread was filled with all kind of gunk - stuff that my 14-54mm never gathered.  I used a sharp point and scraped it out (think paper clip), followed by a Q-tip like cleaning tip to finish cleaning and polishing the inner groove (both lense and hood).  After this cleaning, it was like new.  And not "much better," but literally "like new."

I would certainly try the above.

Cheers,

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Tim
www.developemotion.com
'I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list.'
E3/7-14/12-60/35-100/150/EC20
http://www.flickr.com/photos/timskis6/

Sergey Borachev Veteran Member • Posts: 4,509
Re: ED 12-60 How do users rate this lens?
1

benross wrote:

When I was shopping around for a digital camera, I fist chose the lens, then a body to attach to it! this is how I became Olympus user with ED 12-60 and an E-30 attached to it. I wasn't disappointed at all.

Great approach.  I also got interested in this lens as it seemed to be the best general purpose lens you can find anywhere at any price.  I was seriously considering buying it, except there is a serious problem.  I could not find a good enough camera for this lens, for my requirements, and more importantly I could not justify getting into what seems to be a dead-end system.

Kevin Sutton
Kevin Sutton Senior Member • Posts: 1,006
Re: ED 12-60 How do users rate this lens?

Sergey Borachev wrote:

I could not find a good enough camera for this lens, for my requirements, and more importantly I could not justify getting into what seems to be a dead-end system.

It is designed to be used with the E-5, which is still a current (and very good) camera.

Cheers

Kevin

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Sergey Borachev Veteran Member • Posts: 4,509
Re: ED 12-60 How do users rate this lens?

Kevin Sutton wrote:

Sergey Borachev wrote:

I could not find a good enough camera for this lens, for my requirements, and more importantly I could not justify getting into what seems to be a dead-end system.

It is designed to be used with the E-5, which is still a current (and very good) camera.

Cheers

Kevin

Very good indeed in terms of body build and some other features, but in terms of IQ quite ordinary even when it was first launched.  The sensor performance is not current at all if it cannot compare really well with even entry level DSLRs or cheap compacts.  That's what I mean.  Sad that there are so many brilliant lenses in 43 but nothing in the way of a camera with decent IQ to use them well on.  I think there is some hope for lens owners, when Olympus indicated that they were working on a camera that will be compatible and apparently can AF these fine lenses properly.  My guess is that it will not be a E-7, but a large-size M43 camera using PDAF.

Skeeterbytes Forum Pro • Posts: 14,126
Re: ED 12-60 How do users rate this lens?

At the risk of splitting hairs, the E-5 remains contemporary in good light--output is excellent. It's behind the APS-C competetion in dim conditions and at higher ISOs; for that matter, it's behind the E-M5 in those conditions.

But it's quite able to capitalize on the HG and SHG lenses and certainly has a leg up on the rest of the E-series in that regard.

Cheers,

Rick

goblin
goblin Veteran Member • Posts: 3,497
Re: ED 12-60 How do users rate this lens?

Sergey Borachev wrote:

Very good indeed in terms of body build and some other features, but in terms of IQ quite ordinary even when it was first launched.

I am sure that you have had several E-5's to play with to rain such wisdom...

I will still have to respectfully disagree. There is nothing ordinary to the E-5's IQ. At least when comparing with an EOS-1Ds Mk3 for example, which I also had for a time and eventually stopped using because it was of course better than the E-5 but not by that much.

PS: And no, price wasn't an issue, as I managed to get the EOS for the precisely the same price as what I paid for my E-5. Long story.

Then again, if the 1Ds Mk3's IQ is ordinary, then you're right. I've never compared it to other Canon cameras

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