Olympus 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Field Test: This all-in-one 16.67x zoom is a versatile and compact lens


posted Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at 12:00 PM EST

Click here​ to read my Olympus 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Field Test


The Olympus 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 lens has proven to be very popular here on Imaging Resource. This is with good reason, as the lens is very versatile for Micro Four Thirds cameras. The 16.67x zoom offers an equivalent focal length range of 24-400mm, which is useful in many types of photographic situations. Of course, there's no such thing as free lunch, so I explore both the pros and cons in my Olympus 12-200mm Field Test.

The Olympus 12-200mm lens has a decent maximum aperture of f/3.5. However, this aperture is available exclusively at 12mm, and the lens generally becomes slow pretty quickly as you zoom. The slowest maximum aperture of f/6.3 proved somewhat limiting in low light, although autofocus performance overall was pretty good. The lens can also focus quite closely and while not a macro lens, it allows you to get macro-like images with ease. On a Micro Four Thirds sensor and with the somewhat slow aperture options, it can be difficult to get good subject separation with the 12-200mm lens, which is why getting close to your subject will prove particularly important.

Shot on Olympus E-M1 Mark II at 200mm (400mm equiv.), f/6.3, 1/200s, ISO 1600. This image has been converted and processed to taste in Adobe Camera Raw.

In ideal conditions, the Olympus 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 lens performs quite well, especially when considering the center of the frame. It is not super sharp, especially as you zoom in to longer focal lengths and when considering the corners of the frame. To read my full thoughts on the Olympus 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 lens and to see many real-world images, head to my Olympus 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Field Test

Olympus 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 lens on an Olympus E-M1 Mark II.

Olympus 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 Field TestLab Testing & Review