Olympus 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Lens Review: A solid superzoom gives MFT shooters heaps of zoom reach


posted Friday, May 10, 2019 at 5:20 PM EDT

Click here to read our Olympus 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Review


One of the primary benefits of the Micro Four Thirds system is that despite the smaller sensor compared to APS-C and full-frame cameras, you get to enjoy significantly smaller lenses than the big-sensor counterparts. The system is designed for lightness and compactness, and perhaps one of the best examples of this in recent times is the new Olympus 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3. This surprisingly compact zoom lens offers an amazingly versatile zoom range that's unlike anything else offered in the Micro Four Thirds system, and especially so in the larger-sensor ILC market. This lens gives photographers a wide 24mm-eq. view on the short end, while also giving them supertelephoto reach to the tune of 400mm-eq., and all in a small, weather-sealed package that costs just $899.

But... is it any good?

E-M1 II: 1/1000s / f/8 / ISO 200 / 400mm eq.

After an initial impressions look at the lens from our own Dave Pardue, we were already pretty impressed with this portable powerhouse lens. But we've now published our full lab-tested review of the Olympus 12-200mm, and the results are quite positive. As with most high-powered zoom lenses, there are optical compromises that had to be made in order to keep weight down and the cost reasonable. The image quality is fairly good overall, but given the zoom range, things aren't as tack-sharp as we've seen from prime lense, of course, or from higher-priced zoom such as Olympus' Zuiko Pro lenses. Build quality, too, isn't a robust as an Olympus Pro lens, but the 12-200mm is still solidly built, feels nice in the hand and features weather-sealing, so we're not complaining much there. The fairly dim variable aperture, especially at the long end, does limit the usability in low light and indoor situations.

Overall though, the lens is quite impressive given its size, price and extensive zoom versatility. For all the details, including test results and samples, as well as real-world photos, check out our in-depth Olympus 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Review

Olympus 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 ReviewGallery