Economical everyday kit lens with a few twists

Started Aug 31, 2015 | User reviews
Johnny The Greek Regular Member • Posts: 251
Economical everyday kit lens with a few twists
2

Having read all the fair-to-middling reviews for this lens, I gave it a wide berth originally, as I felt that so many less than stellar reviews did not bode well for it, regardless of the build quality or brand name.

But recently I found a copy for $150 and thought at worst that if I hated it, I could sell it off at the same price.  Turns out I don't hate it!

The biggest problem most people have with this lens is the aperture, and I get that.  This isn't aimed at people doing night photography, and indeed, I can attest that it's poor in low light.  What are it's strengths?

For one thing, the electronic zoom works a treat--manual zoom works fine but as many will note, there is a "grinding" feel to it as though you're tightening up a sink pipe.  At 12mm and f3.5, the corners are indeed soft, but the results are acceptable.  At full zoom, it's hardly worth using, but the real treat with this lens is the macro function.  As a macro lens it works very well indeed, and autofocus during said function works great.  I got fed up with extension tubes and thought I could make do with this lens and it turns out I can.

It's waterproof, focuses silently, and I believe the electronic zoom can be activated via remote, which is great for video.  At something like 192g, it's much lighter than I thought it would be.

I think the main problem with this lens is not the quality of the pictures, but the price point--brand new, it's still going for $400-500, and it's overpriced by far.  If you can get it for a song, it's definitely worth picking up.

 Johnny The Greek's gear list:Johnny The Greek's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PM2 Olympus OM-D E-M10 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 +10 more
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ
Zoom lens • Micro Four Thirds • V314040BU000
Announced: Dec 14, 2011
Johnny The Greek's score
4.0
Average community score
4.2
maggiemole Senior Member • Posts: 1,612
Re: Economical everyday kit lens with a few twists

Johnny The Greek wrote:

Having read all the fair-to-middling reviews for this lens, I gave it a wide berth originally, as I felt that so many less than stellar reviews did not bode well for it, regardless of the build quality or brand name.

But recently I found a copy for $150 and thought at worst that if I hated it, I could sell it off at the same price. Turns out I don't hate it!

The biggest problem most people have with this lens is the aperture, and I get that. This isn't aimed at people doing night photography, and indeed, I can attest that it's poor in low light. What are it's strengths?

For one thing, the electronic zoom works a treat--manual zoom works fine but as many will note, there is a "grinding" feel to it as though you're tightening up a sink pipe. At 12mm and f3.5, the corners are indeed soft, but the results are acceptable. At full zoom, it's hardly worth using, but the real treat with this lens is the macro function. As a macro lens it works very well indeed, and autofocus during said function works great. I got fed up with extension tubes and thought I could make do with this lens and it turns out I can.

It's waterproof, focuses silently, and I believe the electronic zoom can be activated via remote, which is great for video. At something like 192g, it's much lighter than I thought it would be.

I think the main problem with this lens is not the quality of the pictures, but the price point--brand new, it's still going for $400-500, and it's overpriced by far. If you can get it for a song, it's definitely worth picking up.

Agreed completely. I picked mine up (including some superficial damage) for £35. Even adding the missing lens cap made it still the cheapest lens I've ever bought, and it is certainly the most versatile. I'm still getting used to all it has to offer but I am well satisfied. I did think at one point I could pass it on to my brother who is on the verge of joining the M43 club, but the more I use it the more I'm inclined to keep it.

I'm currently trying to evaluate the IQ (in conditions where flare is not an issue, because it is a bit susceptible) in comparison to the 14-45mm, and any comments about this are welcome. Because it keeps raining here in the UK, and there's no light.

Maggie

OP Johnny The Greek Regular Member • Posts: 251
Re: Economical everyday kit lens with a few twists

I think in terms of just flare, the 14-42mm RII and the 12-50mm are about neck and neck.  In terms of IQ, I think that version of the kit lens is markedly better than the 12-50mm.  I have not checked out the EZ version.  But just for the wide angle and the macro aspect, it's worth it to me.

 Johnny The Greek's gear list:Johnny The Greek's gear list
Olympus PEN E-PM2 Olympus OM-D E-M10 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 +10 more
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