ClipArt ETC is a part of the Educational Technology Clearinghouse and is produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology, College of Education, University of South Florida. For the most part, the lens lives up to what you’d expect in this department, with a tightly assembled body with high-quality plastics and a metal shell over most of the lens body.
The lens extends during zooming towards the long end of the range, and very slightly at the widest focal lengths, with the lens at its shortest length at 16mm. Unfortunately, the lens, like all Olympus lenses, doesn’t have an optical stabilizer.
I always find it very helpful that you evaluate lenses not only at chart shooting distance, but also near infinity. Do you recommend this lens over the Panasonic 12-35 F2,8 for landscape photography on a GX7?
Based on various lab tests, including Lenstip, this zoom is as sharp or sharper than the primes from Olympus and Panasonic. I get so sick of reading reviews and opinions from all the nitpicking, chart waving, sharpness-above-all photo gear dweebs out there. Tests I have seen show that when using so-so kit zoom the HighRes mode doesn’t add anything. I also use my Nikon primes and in particular the 60mm f2.8 Macro via the german Novoflex adapter.
If someone had wandered into my studio 20 years ago and handed me these cameras; I would have firstly wondered if something other than honey had been put in the bed-time milk? Frankly, I though the locking mechanism was a bit clunky and unnecessary, and slowed down storing the lens. The manual focus clutch is also pulled back to reveal the focus scale in the right hand image. I tested the lens on the OM-D E-M5 Mark II, and in most situations, the lens was extremely fast to focus and very accurate. This is fine if you’re shooting with an Olympus body, as the outstanding in-body image stabilization of any recent Olympus camera negates any need for an optical stabilizer. However, it is erroneous to assume that the hires mode requires an extremly high resolving lens. But i suppose this is due to the fact that these lenses not even deliver enough resolution for the 16 MP-sensor. I overlooked the point that with the shift the drawbacks of the interpolation of a Bayer-Sensor are basically chanceled out by recording true color information for each channel on each pixel position. The lens has a focal range that gives a field of view similar to a 24-80mm lens on a full frame camera, encompassing a versatile range from super-wide angle to short telephoto. The inner lens tube rubbed slightly when turning the zoom ring, and the extending tube has a small amount of play.
The focus ring is very smooth and precise, and features a manual focus clutch mechanism, allowing for quick switching to manual focus, complete with focusing scale. The 12-40mm also has an Olympus L-Fn button on the side, which adds an additional programmable button for use with any Olympus camera. I had a few situations in dim light where the camera thought the lens was in focus when it was clearly well out of focus, and I had trouble getting it to sweep through the full range to lock on, but this only happened a few times during my testing. However, if you own a Panasonic camera other than the GX7, you’ll want to consider the lack of lens-based stabilization in the 12-40mm. Imho there is no lens on the market which would be able to resolve 40 MP with such a small pixel pitch. It’s worth noting that the focus ring still turns when the ring is pushed forward for AF operations, which allows for full-time manual focusing, or manual focus when manual focus is engaged via the camera. It’s true that few lenses can resolve the detail needed to get pin-sharp images at 64MP, but most good lenses will see a notable benefit in final resolution.
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