Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro M Zuiko Review – Long Term Review

It’s been just over a year now since I first got this lens in the hope of finding something that could suit most of my everyday photography needs while still being small and compact enough to be easily manageable without getting a sore neck and back along the way. One year on and many various scenarios later, as well as much testing and traveling with the lens, I have to say that the 12-40mm f2.8 has been nothing short of superb in basically every way. I’m still rocking the EM10 MK II, and with this mounted on it, although on occasions it can feel ever so slightly unbalanced, this has never been an issue and after the initial adjustment of going from the EZ pancake lens to this, in terms of size it’s still smaller than a lot of my old aps-c lenses and the weight involved only makes it feel more reassuring in your hand.
One aspect of this lens I actually hadn’t read much about but have since grown to absolutely love is its macro performance. Being able to focus on things 9cm from the lens at the widest length means you get the 35mm equivalent magnification of 0.6x which makes this quite a respectable performer for close up photography. Just last week I was outside taking some photos of wildflowers following some spring time rain and it was able to get close enough to capture the water droplets with no worries whatsoever. And after all this time I continue to be blown away by the amazing optical performance of the 12-40 2.8 and in particular the way its able to capture extremely fine details that my other lenses simply can’t resolve. Portraits shot with this lens look absolutely fantastic, and by combining the near instant focus of this lens with the touch focus pad, I’ve been able to capture shots of my two young kids with ease, and when shot at f2.8 the background has a really nice, smooth bokeh to it that draws attention to the main focus in a very nice way.
In terms of problems with this lens or any criticism, on occasion I’ve knocked the manual focus ring but that’s simply been a matter to push it back into place to return to auto focus and has never been a problem. I’d also say for shooting for long continuous periods of time this lens could begin to feel a bit top heavy and unbalanced on a camera such as the EM10 MK II, however only if you’re doing an extended session with no rest whatsoever.
There’s really not a lot more to say except that it’s been a fantastic all round lens with optical results that really could not be any better. The sharpness from corner to corner is simply outstanding regardless of the aperture it’s used at and it’s been very good to know that even wide open at 2.8 its going to be pin sharp which has been very handy when framing subjects far off center. It also has to be said that this lens, for its price, is amazing value especially considering the amount of technology and sheer quality of construction present. If you’re currently wondering if it’s worth getting this lens, it definitely is!


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