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Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40 mm F2.8 PRO Lens, Universal Zoom, Suitable for All MFT Cameras (Olympus OM-D & PEN Models, Panasonic G-Series), Black

£9.9£99Clearance
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About this deal

As with most m4/3 lenses these days, the assumption is that you're going to be shooting JPEGs and using in-camera correction, or using a raw convertor that has lens corrections. So "performance" is getting a little tougher to define these days. Let's start with the "corrected" parameters of the lens: It doesn't do 1:1 macro, but it does have better close focusing capability than your typical standard zoom. Unfortunately for smaller sensors, easy-to-get lens resolution in lp/mm is largely independent of lens format. My 28-200mm (which is surprisingly sharp, although it has other optical issues) is delivering about 20MP of scene resolution on FF, which means about 8.5MP on APS-C. However, A FF sensor is nearly 4X the area of an MFT sensor, so my 28-200mm would only project about 5MP of resolution on an MFT sensor. Excellent MFT lenses tend to come in at around 6-7MP; only one that DxO tested reached 16MP (on a 20MP sensor).

This lens isn’t specifically built for macro, with a maximum magnification ratio of 0.3x / 1:3.3 (0.6x / 1:1.7 in 35mm eq.) and a minimum close-focusing distance of around 20cm (7.87 in.). Still, the Olympus 12-40mm ƒ/2.8 Zuiko PRO provides a respectable performance in the macro category. For the most part, this is a standard lens. You attach it to a camera, point, focus, shoot, and enjoy. The only thing some folks might need to get used to are the focusing ring and actually using and understanding this lens. Just make sure you don’t accidentally bump the focusing ring into the manual focus position and you’ll be fine. But also ensure that you understand how Micro Four Thirds works. Sure, this is an f2.8 lens throughout the entire range. That means you’ll get the light gathering of f2.8, but the depth of field of f5.6. This is because of the Four-Thirds sized sensor. Chromatic Aberration: One of the better aspects of this lens. Even uncorrected the chromatic aberration is well under control, with 40mm f/2.8 being the worst case at just over one pixel's width, and almost every other focal length and aperture being significantly under that. In camera corrections don't take care of all the CA, but they reduce it enough so that you can probably ignore it.And finally we come to the Micro Four Thirds to Full Frame SENSOR comparison and the insistence that discussing equivalence means that the M43 shooter is trying to get the same ISO noise performance. The 62mm front element sits relatively vulnerable at the front of the lens, though Olympus supplies a reversible LH-86 petal-type hood that you can use to give some protection. As you zoom, the lens extends in length by a considerable amount, so don’t get deceived by the 3.3” (84mm) collapsed size; the lens will easily hit 5” with hood when zoomed. Focus does not rotate or move the front element. But those are properties of the sensor, not the lens. You literally had to speed up the exposure settings of the sensor because the M43 equivalent is 2 stops faster than the FF lens it's emulating. That's comparing sensors, not lenses. First, stabilization. If you’re shooting on a Panasonic body, the Panasonic lens probably gets the nod simply because it has OIS and the Olympus does not.

Conclusion E-M1, 1/640, f/8, ISO 200 – M.Zuiko 12-40mm at 40mm GX8, 1/1250, f/8, ISO 200 – Lumix 12-35mm at 30mm Sorry if this lens is a rude word ;p but maybe give it 5mins consideration, I think it's a beautifully operating and looking lens. During my testing, dual sync IS between the GH5 and 12-35mm ii made no noticeable improvement in the image stabilisation and didn’t allow me to handhold shots for any longer than when using the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 on the GH5. This lens appears to be particularly affected by diffraction at small aperture settings, with a dramatic reduction in sharpness being visible at f/22. Although this may not be an issue for many, those wishing to use small apertures for longer exposures, might want to use a neutral density filter instead so that the lens can be kept closer to its optimum aperture range.

Build Quality

The lens has one L.Fn button located about where you would usually have your thumb if you’re holding your left hand under the lens. I outline the L.Fn functions in my 40-150mm review. Panasonic camera owners should be aware that the 12-40mm f/2.8 does not have image stabilization. This might be a deal breaker for some Panasonic camera users (Olympus uses sensor-based stabilization). Off center performance is good enough that I’m not at all reluctant to put subjects well off center. Yes, this is the full frame I took. Further, the OM System 12-40mm f2.8 Pro II struggles more with exposure preview settings activated. If you’re using the simulated OVF function, you’ll get the best autofocus performance in terms of accuracy, speed, and all. My point is when you open up that aperture 2 stops to get the correct DoF you're image is suddenly going to be overexposed by two stops. F4 is faster than 8.

Biggest problem here is that the coloris clipped badly. Dial it down in post. If you shot raw this might be recoverable. Hard to see what else is happening here because of the clipped color. Both lenses are metal and weather-sealed. It is worth bearing in mind that the weather-sealing makes more sense when combined with a weather-proof body such as the Olympus OM-D E-M1 or Panasonic Lumix GH4. Olympus claims that the 12-40mm is dust, splash and freeze proof, while the Lumix is only dust and splash proof. At 12mm sharpness is already outstanding across the frame, and there is only a slight improvement in clarity when stopped down one stop. This pattern is repeated at 18mm with excellent sharpness being achieved between maximum aperture and f/8. Overall, the new Olympus 12-40mm ƒ/2.8 Zuiko PRO is a very sharp lens, even wide open and throughout the entire zoom range. There's also very little corner softness at ƒ/2.8 at each focal length we tested. We saw just a bit more corner softness at 40mm at ƒ/2.8, but it was extremely minor. A petal-shaped hood is supplied with this lens, which does a reasonable job of shading the lens from extraneous light that may cause issues with loss of contrast or flare. Even without the hood in place, this lens is very resistant to flare and contrast levels hold up well when shooting into the light.Image Quality – Through the lens E-M1, 1/100, f/10, ISO 200 – M.Zuiko 12-40mm at 28mm GX8, 1/160, f/11, ISO 200 – Lumix 12-35mm at 33mm Focal Range Bokeh: There's enough spherical aberration that out of focus highlights get the "corona" effect, where the edge of an even circle of light is a bit different in brightness than the centers. Moreover, it appears that the aperture blades in my sample have just a tiny bit of a joint point in them, as I can see that the circle has two distinct "points" on it as I stop down. Thus, the bokeh is nothing to get excited about. It's mostly well behaved, but it's not the dreamy, creamy type many crave. In this Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 review I will go through the pros and cons of this professional grade zoom lens after having used it for well over a year in my personal and professional work.

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