February 18, 2017 by Kent
Good lens, great if you get it on sale
Pairing this with my E-PL7. Slightly larger than the other similar options, but I enjoy taking macro photos and this lens has a great macro mode. Overall a good medium quality lens. Not Pro level, but that is reflected in price.
February 13, 2017 by Adri
Great lens for the price
Does everything it needs to. It's a definite upgrade from the 14-42 lens. Sometimes the autofocus makes a whirring noise when shooting close up and macro photos but you can usually fix this by selecting your focus point on the touch screen.
January 13, 2017 by Robert
Excellent Lens
Excellent lens, the electronic zoom is awesome and silent, the pictures it takes are very nice with a nice out of focus background, the macro is excellent,. This is a good lens to carry when you don't want to overcrowd your lens bag.
December 5, 2016 by jeremy
very good
good kit lens overall really like the macro feature. would recommend
November 29, 2016 by peter
Too many design compromises
I bought this lens with an OMD-EM-5 (Mark I) shortly after Olympus brought out the body. I got it from a local camera store wanting to support them. To start off, the body is terrific, although since greatly surpassed by the EM-5 Mk II. I will not review the body here. The m.Zuiko is a well built internal zooming and focusing lens which promises a lot. Sadly, it fails to deliver. The range of focal lengths is great for walking around. However at essentially all apertures and focal lengths it is soft. The principal problem in my single sample is significant chromatic aberration. To some extent this is clearly a conscious choice in the design because it is somewhat corrected by the camera's firmware -- if and only if you're shooting in JPEG. But serious photographers using a camera this sophisticated will be shooting and printing from RAW where the internal post processing is not available. The other major problem I have is the serious amount of flare in the system, particularly when facing into bright lights. It is intrinsic and cannot be fixed in software post-exposure. The effect is a subtle to serious loss of contrast and color saturation, making for flat images. As slow as the lens is, this sample could not be used wide open at 12mm. Stopping down more than one stop to f/8.0 seemed mandatory to get acceptable images from the point of view of edge sharpness and also color saturation. That pushed me up against the envelope in several dimensions: 1) exposures have to be longer, and even with five axis stabilization this can get out of hand, or 2) the ISO setting has to be faster, creating a noise problem given that the sensor is a micro 4/3 (yes, you can get away with ISO 1250, faster than almost any film ever made, but we are in a digital era) and 3) with small apertures and short focal lengths, separating subject from background and getting creamy bokeh becomes impossible. Pictures made with this lens tend to have no more background separation than a shot made in broad daylight with a very small sensor point and shoot. The lens is yet slower at 50mm, which means that you may need to shoot between f/8.9 and f/11 to get acceptable sharpness and CA when shooting RAW. Longer focal length + smaller aperture <=> longer exposures or higher sensitivities. In turn this means noisier images and less subject-background separation. The actual sharpness at long focal lengths also falls off as can be seen in the Olympus MTF charts for the lens. The lens is unacceptably soft wide open at 50mm, and even stopping down only gets to barely acceptably at f/8.0 before the effects of diffraction impare performance a f/11. Olympus provides the lens with a macro setting which enables quite close focusing at 43 mm, fixed focal length. Is it an advantage to have a crippled macro setting as opposed to no macro? That's a personal choice. I preferred to work from a little farther away with a longer focal length or the ability to zoom to fill the frame. Note that the lens is so slow that a tripod or other steadying assist is mandatory. I bought the brilliant 60mm, f/2.8 macro which solved those problems. The lack of inherent sharpness means that any closeup pictures will lack the high subject sharpness that makes a great macro picture. It's particularly noticeable in photos of flowers and leaves where stamens, veins and edges really should look as if engraved with a laser. The problems come not from the construction of the lens, but rather the compromises that have to be made to get a compact 4:1 zoom that can be sold at a price that made the combination of body and lens extremely attractive and still let the designer obey the laws of physics and the refractive indices of glasses in the standard catalogs. My real problem is that I did not think through the compromises before opting for the 12-50 mm as opposed to the smaller, lighter, slower, and cheaper 12-42. Nevertheless I was initially so disappointed with my pictures that I nearly returned the whole m4/3 system. That would have been a mistake. Today I sold the 12-50 lens and bought the 12-40 f/2.8 PRO lens. Now that lens is simply magnificent!!
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