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Old 3rd November 2014
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Olympus 12-40 vs 12-60

OK, I have found some pixel peeking reviews here indicating IQ is on par with the 12-40 provided the body does lens aberration corrections.

For those who have used both... Is the 12-40 in real life situation as good as the 12-60? For me the 12-60 has always been very forgiving in terms of flaring, and always gave me nice colors, nice resolution, controlled AF, and overall pleasing photo results.

So: is it as pleasing as the 12-60? Is the weight and size gain worth loosing the 40-60 range? And to be honest, how often do we miss the extra range?
Should I skip the 12-40 and just use the 12-60 and buy the newer compact kit lens for when I need a compact setup?


I've tried the 12-50, and on the OMD EM5 I've been very unhappy with it. I find the lens is very susceptible to flaring (we have a lot of sun il california), AF has been hard to convince to focus where I want, highlights blown too often, and overall image quality not as satisfying.
It's lightweight, but it is too long, and even though the better sensor of the EM5 compensates for the missing 1 or 2 stops of light, it's just not working for me. It works great as a video lens though.
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Bodies: E510, E30, E-PL1, Lenses: 12-60mm, 14-54mm, 50-200mm, 35mm, EC-14, 14-42mmL, 40-150mm, MMF-2.
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Old 3rd November 2014
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Re: Olympus 12-40 vs 12-60

The 12-60 is still worth its weight..fourthirds or micro 4/3 body (at least to me)..its just that with the 12-40 focus is blazing fast when compared to the 12-60 on the OMD's..i find it a really good companion lens on the OMD.
No, i don't really miss the extra reach of the 12-60...what i do miss about the 12-60 is that i'm not using it much on the MFT bodies.
If the focus shudder-movement of the 12 to 60 does not bother you, then its a lens i'd not put away...
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Old 5th November 2014
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Re: Olympus 12-40 vs 12-60

I really enjoy using both lenses but I feel the 12-40 has the edge. It feels just right too.

You have a difficult choice, they are both very good in my opinion.

Regards. Barr1e

Last edited by Barr1e; 5th November 2014 at 06:58 PM. Reason: wording
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Old 5th November 2014
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Re: Olympus 12-40 vs 12-60

I've never used the 12-40, but I face/have faced the same question. The smaller size compared to the 12-60 would be nice, and I'm disappointed by the poor AF performance of the 12-60 on the E-M5. Hopefully the AF issue will go away with future cameras, as Olympus continue to develop on-chip phase detection AF. I tend to use every bit of the range of the 12-60 (it's a significant 50% longer than 40), so I think I would certainly miss the longer range.

My solution has been to get a small, fast prime for those times I want to travel light, and keep the 12-60 for times when I'm bringing a bigger kit or need the versatility.

- Hal -
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Olympus E-M5; Panasonic-Leica DG Summilux 25mm; Zuiko 12-60 SWD, 50-200 SWD; Sigma 105 Macro; Rokinon (Samyang) 7.5mm fisheye; Olympus 8/1.8 PRO fisheye; FL-50R; Giottos MT-8361 tripod with Gitzo GH2780QR ballhead.
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Old 7th November 2014
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Re: Olympus 12-40 vs 12-60

Yes my option is to get a small lens and stay with an EM5 or EM10.

I just don't know/believe that Olympus will implement phase detection on their future cameras, or if it was just a stop gap solution making the 12-60 life short lived.

I'm inclined to get an EM1 if I keep the 12-60, but then again if the 12-40 IQ is on par AND performs the same with flare, color, white blownouts, then I would want to move to it before my 12-60's value drop to zero, and just switch to mFT 100%.

Size/weight and quality are decisive for me. Even the EM1 body is big and would be my "big" camera replacing the E30.
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Old 23rd December 2015
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Re: Olympus 12-40 vs 12-60

As a new E-M1 user I can say that the 12-60 focuses just as fast on the E-M1 as the 12-40 did on my E-M5 and E-P5. I got rid of the 12-40 because I kept hitting both the 12mm and wanting to go wider or hitting the 40mm and wanting a little longer. My solution was to sell the 12-40 and get the Panasonic 7-14mm and Olympus 43s' 12-60. I consider the 12-60 as my normal zoom and the 7-14 as my wide angle zoom. Both lenses work great on the E-M1.
Bobby
PS, I wish they'd make a 14-60mm F2.0!
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