7 out of 10 points and recommendedExtremely wide, cheap (and wider) alternative to 7-14mm. Workhorse lens - built like a tank, and weatherproof.Soft wide open, a lot of Purple fringing
I used this lens on E-1, E-3, E-510, E-450, and now on OM-D E-M1. The lens is effectively useless on any DSLR body except OM-D E-M1, due to misfocus issues. No Olympus DSLR body can focus precisely with 8mm. It is only usable in live view mode with with manual focusing. With this method I produced some stunning images.reviewed October 30th, 2016 (purchased for $350)
On OM-D E-M1 it focuses precisely, thus the lens see increased use on new body. I generally like it, altho it does fringe a lot in frame-extreme high-contrast areas.OM-D E-M1 has built-in profiles that correct all CAs and some Fringing, so it is not that big of an issue.
The lens is soft by my standards until you hit f5.6. No need to go higher than than that, dof is plenty at 5.6.
My Principal use of this lens is architectural photography and closed spaces photography. 7-14 is much better (either version), but that is very expensive lens that can't justify the expense given the infrequent need for such a specialist lens. 12 or 14mm is usually more than enough.
9 out of 10 points and recommendedStunning opticallyNo focus limiter
Optically, this lens is stunning. You won't believe what you are getting out of it. I used it on many Olympus DSLR cameras, but it really shines on OM-D E-M1.reviewed October 30th, 2016 (purchased for $365)
The only issue, for me, is the no limiter switch. It is extremely annoying wen lens get to hunt thru its entire (macro) range.
For macro use the lens is fantastic. I've done loads of macro, including using EX-25, and images are fantastic.
With old DSLR bodies there were always focusing issues, especially on non-pro bodies. On my E-1 lens does focus precisely, but on E-500, E-510 and E-450 it generally miss-focused.
The focus on OM-D E-M1 is very good. It is very fast in good light, but it does occasionally hunt in bad light on low-contrast focus points.
The lens is extremely sharp, but when I started using it for the first time on E-M1, I had a feeling I have a microscope, and not a camera, it is that sharp. E-M1 in general produce fantastic results with old pro grade lenses, but on 50mm results are stunning.
This is my most used lens, on any Olympus camera I had.
On E-M1 I use it wide open, almost exclusively.
Also - on E-1 this is really the only usable lens in not-ideal light. Everything else have too high F number.
10 out of 10 points and recommendedMost usable lens on OM-D E-M1 bodyNothing
This is a fantastic lens. Optically it is brilliant, and it is packed in small and sturdy package. Add to that macro capabilities, and you have a winner. The focus is also brilliantly fast at focusing, even in dark conditions.reviewed October 30th, 2016 (purchased for $450)
I tested this lens for a week prior buying E-M1, but didn't go for it as I had 14-54 already from old system. Optically, 14-54 is inferior to 12-40, but not dramatically. 12-40 is sharper and produce images with more contrast. It is also better controlled optically.
The only issue with this lens is that it is no that fast optically. If it would be a F2.0 in this package, I would buy this lens this instant, for whatever price point.
10 out of 10 points and recommendedSharp, contrasty, fastnothing
Great allruonder for Olympus systems. Works great on OM-D E-M1 too.reviewed October 30th, 2016
Optically great, very long reach, much better than 14-54.
6 out of 10 points and not recommendedCreates imagesSoft, slow
I used this lens, but didn't like it. Piece of plastic crap. Fork out the money, and buy a real lens.reviewed October 30th, 2016
9 out of 10 points and recommendedA workhorsenothing at this price point
At the price point of this lens, especially today, there is nothing to complain. The lens is great. It is weather sealed, and on OM-D E-M1 produce dramatically sharper images than on old bodies, due to low-pass filter.reviewed October 30th, 2016 (purchased for $400)
It focuses fine on all bodies, and on it works great. It is very precise and fast.
It is optically better than 14-54 mk2.
7 out of 10 points and recommendedGreat bokeh, relatively fast at price-pointslow, softish
Great lens. It is cheap as hell, and you get 300mm equivalent. That is a joke! it is much better optically than the later version that have plastic mount, and which is slower and optically inferior.reviewed October 30th, 2016 (purchased for $300)
This lens is really usable, especially if you have hood. Not in the 50-200 ballpark, but still a fantastic lens for the price.
10 out of 10 points and recommendedImage quality, speed, build, priceNothing
***UPDATE ON BOTTOMreviewed November 3rd, 2016 (purchased for $1,600)
Absolutely amazing lens. It is sharped on 1.2 than Zuiko Digital 50 F2.0 at F2.0.
Bokeh transition is gradual and fine like milk. There is no nervousness, or jerkiness.
The lens is not heavy or too big. It feels great. it's weight stabilizes the shot. Too small lens doesn't provide good hand-grip area.
DoF is great - meaning you get enough of it. about 2-3 times more than ZD 50 at 2m wide open.
Lens exhibits no practical CA, no distortions, no practical vignetting, no practical flare.
With this, and E-M1 or comparable camera it is possible to shoot at ISO 200 in almost any condition.
Camera default speed for this lens is 1/60. You can shoot without any fear of shake at 1/10 or 1/15.
MF clutch works brilliantly.
And if someone complains about price - this lens is actually cheap. It is a professional tool, built like a tank, optically flawless, focuses like lightning, etc...
Yes, there is PL 25 1.4, or old PL 1.4, but those are not weatherproof, and flimsy build and focusing. A nono for work.
*I see they tested 25 1.2 on GX1 - that produces images opf worse sharpness and exposure than on pro bodies like E-M1 (GX1 has a Low Pass filter). Also, E-M1 automatically removes CAs (on most any les), so you can espect much better results if you use E-M1 or M1 mk2. IR sample images are very bad, and regardless of positive review, they don't paint the correct picture about this lens. Details you will get from E-M1 or comparable camera RAW files are simply unbelievable. Try seeing some samples on Steve Huff site.