Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm f 2.8 – Pro Zoom Lens

The Long Awaited Lens Upgrade

 Olympus MZuiko 12-40mm f 2.8 – Pro Zoom Lens
Recently purchased this lens on special from Ted’s Camera House here in Australia for around the $750.00 mark. This is the cheapest I’ve ever seen this lens marked down. They regularly retail for around the $850 – $900.00 mark.
Have heard very good reports about this lens. I’m hoping it doesn’t disappoint given my very high expectations.
Let’s see what it can do…!!!

The image above is the first real portrait I’ve taken with this lens. At f2.8, 200 ISO and paired with the Olympus OMD EM-5 camera body, this image is amazingly crisp with reasonable bokeh (background blurring effect).
I should note too that this is a web optimised image through Photoshop and is about a third of the original JPEG image resolution, so it has lost a little bit of quality in translation from the original file.

Here are a few additional images from a recent photo shoot at a friends Baby Shower. The images in most instances, particularly the glass frog are extremely crisp and sharp.

The MZuiko 12-40 Pro Zoom f2.8 comes well packaged and includes a quality lens bag. The lens also comes complete with a sturdy Lens Hood.

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Despite this I felt even this web optimised image was a very impressive result demonstrating the real potency of this lens.
To be honest I have never used an Olympus prime so I can’t compare personally, but from other reviewers who have used both it appears the quality difference between this zoom and primes in this case is minimal.

 Len’s Features

One of the first things you notice about this lens compared to the Kit MZuiko 14-42 lens is its weight and physical size. By comparison this is a much larger and heavier lens.
The Pro Zoom is also water, dust and freeze proof, a huge advantage over the Kit lens which is prone to dust infiltration (a major drawback) and has to remain under cover when rain is imminent.
The solid feel and the slightly positive resistance of the zoom ring are both suggestive of the quality build of this lens.

Preparing for the Medieval Tournament

This is another portrait with a little more colour and flare. The colours pop in this image and it is very sharp. Please remember that these images are not out of camera JPEGs. I have thrown these images from the Cameras RAW file output into Photoshop and tweaked them. Compared to images from the Kit lenses these tweaks are fantastic and are a testament to the quality of the Pro Zoom.

One of the fantastic new features of this new pro Lens Lineup from Olympus is the presence of a manual focus clutch ring. This simple, easy to use mechanical device allows you to manually put the lens into manual mode instantly without having to access the camera’s menu systems.
It is also easy to forget that the camera has been set to manual focus in this way.
Don’t do what I did and take the camera back to the place you bought it from thinking the Auto Focus has died. To save some major embarassment check the manual focus clutch first, you may just have forgotten it’s there.
Please check out the Photos from our Abbey Medieval Festival page. All the photo’s bar the Jousting Images have been taken with the 12-40 Pro Zoom f2.8.
I hope you have enjoyed this review. I will continue to update it as I find the time.
Platypus Paparazzi Photography