jfgroen's reviews

  • Olympus 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ED SWD Zuiko Digital

    9 out of 10 points and recommended
    excellent range (24-120mm equiv), fairly bright (f 2.8-4), very low distortion, fast focus
    zoomring is not as smooth as I would have liked

    Got a bit fed up with the 14-45 mm lens provided with the Olympus 330 kit. The 12-60/2.8-4 should be the standard lens for everyone using the Olympus E-series. Distortion is inconspicuous over the whole zoom range; the image is clear and sharp with good contrast, and the autofocus is fast (the available software update makes it even faster). For twice the price one could have had an aperture of 2.8 over the whole zoom range, but there is always something to desire, isn't it?

    This is a great lens to carry around all the time -- the range from 24mm wide till 120mm equiv tele is a very useful focal distance: lusciously wide for buildings and landscapes, good tele for portraits and also landscapes.

    Only for some corner softness at 12mm/2.8 (needs about 2 f-stops to diminish) pictures have a constant quality throughout the f-range.

    As I shoot RAW, I have only one minor issue: vignetting at 12 mm. is just present, but disappears one f-stop down; at the 60 mm end, it is more visible and takes about two stops to disappear. Shading compensation in the Olympus camera will get rid of it, but that only works for jpegs, not for raw-files.

    Oh, and get a normal flash for your E330: the lens blocks part of the light of the built in flash.

    reviewed December 30th, 2007
  • Olympus 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 Zuiko Digital

    6 out of 10 points and not recommended
    compact and light
    a bit slow; vignetting; distortion; image quality

    The lens came as a kit with the Olympus 330, together with the 40-150mm/f3.5-4.5 zoom. Unlike the telezoom, I find this lens quite disappointing -- I just expect better quality than 'sufficient' from an Olympus lens. Barrel distortion is on the high side at 14 mm, and stays noticeable throughout much of the zoom range. Though the test results show sufficient sharpness, I find the images slightly, and for my idea: too, fuzzy. Vignetting makes the lens for me in fact only usable from f-stop 8 (given the smaller chip size, and the more square four-thirds standard, I think vignetting should not be a problem at all with these lenses).

    reviewed December 30th, 2007
  • Olympus 40-150mm f/3.5-4.5 Zuiko Digital

    8 out of 10 points and recommended
    lightweight, good range, good image quality
    a bit slow; noisy AF; front of the lens turns while focussing

    Unlike the 14-45 which came with my Olympus 330 too, this is a very good lens. The construction is very simple, which might be a drawback because the front of the lens turns while focusing, and the zoom ring is a bit loose -- it almost zooms out on its own when you point the camera down. However, the simple design might be the reason that it performs so well. Images are nice and crisp (one can see it already in the viewfinder), and there are no serious image quality issues at the different f-stops, nor at the various focal lengths (though I also discovered that beyond 100mm the lens is slightly less crisp). I tended to prefer to use this lens more and more over the 14-45 lens. But now I have the 12-60mm/f2.8-4 lens which solves the problem for wide angle shots.

    reviewed December 30th, 2007