This lens is one of Olympus most well-known and respected creations in their entire line up, known for its fantastic build quality, optical results and also the fact that it’s weather sealed for use with those cameras that are also designed to withstand the elements (em5, em1 etc). After buying it and being torn between this and the 17 1.8, I’ve found a place for both in my camera bag however the results from the 12-40 Pro really are fantastic and the 17 1.8 simply can’t match it although both are designed for different purposes.
It’s a larger lens than a lot of micro four thirds lenses and weighs in at 382gm, as opposed to the 100-200 gm that a lot of these other lenses weigh, however this can be immediately felt in the fantastic build quality and the snug, reassuring way that it fits into the camera’s lens mount. In my experience, all focal lengths between 12mm through to 40mm (24-80mm equivalent) produce fantastic results, and while using it on an aperture of f2.8 produces a shallower depth of field it doesn’t have any noticeable effect on the results, that is to say they’re still outstanding. This lens is amazingly sharp and after looking at shots taken with this lens as opposed to others, only then can you appreciate exactly how much better it really is and the amazing things it’s capable of.
I’ve only used it with my EM10 MK II, so can only imagine also what it would be like on the EM1 MK II with it’s superior 20mp sensor and being able to take Hi-Res shots!
After using it also in very sunny and contrasty situations I’ve found it handles this harsher lighting very well and renders colours very nicely regardless of what it has to deal with. I haven’t got any complex graphs or scientific results to show, but I do know that I’m yet to find something that gives this lens any real trouble, including being able to swiftly focus on my 5 year old using her scooter in a skate park. In this case it was able to lock on and take the shot almost instantly, meaning there was a very high percentage of keepers whereas other lenses have struggled in this situation. Focus speed and optically fantastic results are never an issue for this lens.
Pros – Excellent results optically
Solid build quality
Versatile focal length
Very fast focus speed
Consistently sharp results regardless of aperture
Cons – None, although if you’re looking for a tiny lens this probably isn’t suited to you.