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James Emory Jan 9, 2016 2:19 PM

Olympus 12-50mm EZ lens
Well the more I am trying to decide which way to go the more frustrating the experience. Of course gobs of money could settle the issue quite fast. :)

After doing a lot of reading and getting feedback from the members, I thought about going with the 25, f1.8 Oly lens as a walk around lens and then some time later getting the 12mm and the 45mm. I could end this quickly by getting the 12-50mm Oly and be done with it and also have a nice macro to boot. The 12-50 also has weather proofing which is complimentary to my OMD-M5.

The downside is that I'm sure sharpness, contrast and IQ are going to be better with the three primes I mentioned above. Where I need input is; am I going to be able to see the difference in IQ in photos up to 10x12; is it worth the expense of buying all three primes versus the more versatile but slower 12-50mm? Guys/gals, help me make my decision.

MarceloLI Jan 9, 2016 4:49 PM


Im not sure what is your stile of photography and what is your budget for the new lenses.

I had the 12-50mm and I like it, it is not sharp as the primes but is a versatile lens and the weather sealing is a nice feature.

If you are planning to take pictures in hard weather conditions the 12-50mm is a great choice, if you are looking for sharpness, faster aperture and better IQ the primes are the way to go.

The 12,, f2 is a sweet lens, if you are planning to do some landscapes, cityscapes pictures this is a great lens,

If you are more on people portraits or street photography the 45mm 1.8 is the right lens for it.

I don't have the Oly 25mm 1.8 so I can't comment about the IQ this lens deliver.

Good luck with your search and let us know if you have more questions.


James Emory Jan 10, 2016 1:24 PM

Thanks for the photographic input Marcello. Money is not really the issue, it's just that I do not want to buy something I really do not require. I'm sure that I do not take the amount of photos that you and many other members of this forum take so I ask myself, would the PRO 12-40mm be a good investment for the amount of photography I do; probably not. But when I do go to an event or place, I do want sharpness, nice contrast and good color. So I am thinking that I could probably find nice used copies of the three primes I mentioned for a cost that would likely be below what the PRO 12-40 would cost. Of course the primes would not be weather sealed but I am not one to take photos in the rain or expose my lenses to rain should it start raining. I may take another few days to decide but I'm leaning toward starting with the Oly 25mm prime which should be a good walk around lens and have good sharpness, contrast and color. My next move would be the 45mm prime which I feel would get more use than the 12mm which would be the last prime lens I would get. I would likely buy the 70-300 Oly before I bought the 12mm. Sometimes I think I must be driving everyone here crazy.:bash:

folob Jan 11, 2016 3:40 PM


A couple of things: If you get the 12-40 ... then you do not really need the 12, 25 or even the 45mm ... unless you want really fast lens (f1.8 instead of f2.8).

Since I got the 12-40 ... my 25 and 45mm are staying on the basement more often than not. As for the 75-300 (not the 70-300). It is not bad at all and cheap!

Cost for new ($USD): 12-40 f2.8 new is ~$800 ... and the 25mm is ~$300 (the same for the 45mm). So, a bit of a cost saving having the 25/45mm combo ... but maybe not as useful than the 12-40 (if you have not concern about the weight of the 12-40).

Alternative: The 14-150 mark II ????


James Emory Jan 11, 2016 5:58 PM

Thanks Gilles. Never thought of the 14-150. When released it sold for 600.00 and now can be had for 400.00. Just finished reading reviews on this by users and not photo critics and it appears to be a sharper lens than the 12-50. The 14-150 is seriously worth considering.

MarceloLI Jan 11, 2016 8:12 PM

The 14-150mm MKII is a very nice lens.

I used it in my last trip and i like it, nice focal length and weather sealed.

MarceloLI Jan 11, 2016 8:13 PM

folob Jan 12, 2016 8:52 AM

Even if the 14-150mm MKII is slower than the 12-50 (not that much), it became my travel lens because if its weight and its range. The 12-40 is still way better but I keep it closer to home :)

Note: Example of Travel Kit -> 14-150 Mark II, Rokinon 7.5mm fisheye and (based on where I go) the 4/3 9-18 or the 75-300

Greg Chappell Jan 18, 2016 12:19 PM

After using every possible iteration of lens combinations, the 12-40mm f2.8 for me is the best combination of speed, versatility and image quality. You get the optical quality of the primes and the versatility of the zoom.

The most important issue after that is, finding what works best to carry your outfit comfortably, with the needed space and the "Pro" zooms definitely impose the need of finding a comfortable bag. Just the 12-40 or it and the 40-150 still work fine with a shoulder bag. Adding the 7-14, I moved to a Think Tank sling bag that distributes the weight more evenly, making the outfit very comfortable to carry, and keeps a lower profile.

James Emory Jan 18, 2016 1:06 PM

Yes Gregg, that would be a great lens to have and I am seriously thinking about doing that down the road. Right now I have a great prime in the Panny/Leica 25mm, f1.4 that should serve me very well for the time being. I also have the 35mm macro and a MMF3 adaptor that will take care of any close up work. I will need a telephoto zoom and I think the Oly 75-300 would be a good lens for me without having to sell my house to get it. I saw the beautiful shots you took with it at the baseball park quite some time ago and I thought they looked very good in contrast and color but I'm sure you probably did some editing with those files.

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