Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm 1:2.8-4.0 review

The Olympus Digital Zuiko ED 12-60mm 1:2.8-4.0 SWD is Olympus’s newest upmarket conventional zoom capability, declared to go along with its E-3 leading DSLR in Oct 2007. mixing a useful wideangle for scenery and structure with a telephoto increasing perfectly into the traditional ‘portrait’ variety. Hopefully this 5x zoom capability variety isn’t so committed as introducing undesirable visual adjustments. The visual settings is completely unique to offer great desires in this regard; the lens features no lower than three extra-low distribution (ED) cup components, one of which is aspherical, along with two further aspherical components, and as the frosting on the dessert one Extremely ED cup factor.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm
Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm

This lens also recognizes Olympus lastly implementing the now near-ubiquitous ultrasound motor for concentrating, here known as the ‘Supersonic Trend Drive’, and (according to their media content at least) providing the world’s quickest auto-focus when used with the E-3. This in turn allows the use of a mechanically-coupled guide concentrate band, in a welcome evaluation to the somewhat-unloved ‘focus-by-wire’ systems on its past contacts. Further title features include dirt and splashproofing for security against the sun and rain, a 25cm close concentrating range, and a round aperture diaphragm appealing attractive qualifications cloud. In theory at least, this makes for a greatly powerful overall program.

The 12-60mm has a hard act to follow, as the religious heir to the well known 14-54mm F2.8-3.5, which was the common kit lens for the E-1. In contrast, the newbie provides prolonged variety at both wideangle and telephoto, enhanced concentrating, and even better macro efficiency, but at the price of a soft highest possible aperture throughout the variety.

Key Features

  • 24-120mm comparative central duration range
  • Relatively quick 2.8-4.0 highest possible aperture
  • Four Thirds install for Olympus and Panasonic DSLRs

Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm Body And Design

The Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-42mm features a appropriately strong style, as is appropriate for its pro-level ambitions. The lens install is steel, and the gun barrel made with top quality plastic and steel, providing an excellent bargain between stability and weight. It also offers the unique benefit of dust and splash-proofing, such as rubberized closes around the lens install and the increasing gun barrel. Overall this seems like a lens which could handle some pretty difficult treatment and come out on top.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm Body And Design
Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm Body And Design

 

One style aspect we’re incredibly satisfied to see appear on an Olympus lens is direct mechanically-linked guide focus; this has a excellent feel compared to their older ‘focus-by-wire’ designs, and always gives the look of excellent perfection and grace of control. The concentrate ring also has a unique increase in level of resistance when the concentrate group has achieved either end of its travel, offering a responsive verification when the minimum concentrate distance is achieved. Most importantly this style also successfully places the digital camera in MF/AF method regardless of the on-camera setting, enabling fine guide concentrate improvements at any time even with the digital camera set to auto-focus method.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm Images Quality

Autofocus

This lens functions Olympus’s recently designed Supersonic Trend Generate auto-focus engine, which is actually much the same as the ultrasonic-type engines now used by almost all producers. This conducted extremely well in real-world use; it’s almost quiet operating, and we saw no proof for any methodical concentrating mistakes. While the best possible efficiency is certainly accomplished using the E-3, other bodes will also benefit considerably from the new SWD system, which is clearly quicker and less noisy than the small engines used on contacts such as the 14-54mm. As always it must be observed that concentrate rate and precision is incredibly influenced by a number of factors, such as the digicam body used, topic comparison, and light levels.

Sharpness

The lens works best towards the extensive end, although it’s no slump over at telephoto either. During its variety (around 18 to 25mm) it’s remarkably distinct right across the structure at regular operating apertures. Optimum apertures are around F4-F5.6 at wideangle, and F5.6-8 at telephoto, but efficiency start up is also very outstanding. As predicted with the Four Thirds structure, diffraction begins to break down the picture quality at apertures of F11 and more compact.

Chromatic Aberration

Chromatic Aberration is most noticeable at the extreme conditions of the zoom capability variety, and almost nonexistent around 25-35mm. However even at 12mm and 60mm CA is not extreme, and the relatively straight line form of the shapes indicates it should be easy to get rid of in software if required.

Falloff

We consider falloff to be a prospective problem when the area lighting drops to an end or more reduced than the center. We evaluate just over an end of falloff start up at 12mm, which vanishes on avoiding down to F4 – aside from that falloff is easy. An outstanding efficiency here.

Distortion

Barrel distortions are seen at 12mm, and reveals an uncommonly powerful ‘wave’ personality with re-correction towards the sides of the structure. The other variety displays pincushion distortions, which is never extremely powerful, peaking at 25mm and -0.78%. Overall breathtaking considering the zoom capability variety.

Flare

The 12-60mm conducted as good as in our ‘real-world’ surface assessments, doing well both with the sun in the structure at wideangle, and with the sun out of structure but impinging straight onto the top side factor towards the telephoto end. About the closest we came to a problem in the lens’s efficiency was some stunning multicoloured surface at 12mm when ceased right down to F16; but this was hardly noticeable at more regular operating apertures around F4-8.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm Images Quality
Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm Images Quality

Bokeh Quality

One truly suitable, but difficult to evaluate component of a lens’s efficiency is the capability to provide efficiently blurry out-of-focus areas when trying to separate a topic from the qualifications, usually when using a long central duration and large aperture. With its 60mm F4 telephoto end this lens is reasonably able to providing a wonderful level of qualifications cloud, and can produce some pleasingly sleek bokeh given adequate separating between the topic and qualifications. It’s less satisfied in macro circumstances with a relatively close qualifications, where out-of-focus areas can become quite ‘busy’ in overall look with harsh-edged functions. There’s nothing particularly uncommon here from a conventional contact though.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm Bokeh Quality
Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm Bokeh Quality

Macro performance

Not a review of this lens at all, but instead an indicator to one if its best characteristics; with its smallest concentrating number of less than 25 cm across the whole zoom ability capability wide range, this lens has an outstanding macro efficiency for an internal-focusing zoom ability capability. Clearly it won’t be as outstanding as a dedicated macro such as fantastic 50mm F2.0, but the 12-60mm allows you to get some interesting close-up opinions at the wideangle end, as well as more ‘classic’ macros at telephoto. The problem (aside from the time tested problem of details of field) is actually lighting the subject, which can be as little as 4cm from the top part aspect.

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Olympus Zuiko Digital 12-60mm Specifications

Street price • US: $900
• UK: £630
Date introduced October 2007
Maximum format size Four Thirds
Focal length 12-60mm
35mm equivalent focal length 24-120mm
Diagonal Angle of view 84°- 20 °
Maximum aperture F2.8-4.0
Minimum aperture F22
Lens Construction • 14 elements/10 groups
• 1 super ED glass element
• 2 ED glass elements
• 1 aspherical ED glass element
• 2 aspherical elements
Number of diaphragm blades 7, rounded
Minimum focus 0.25m
Maximum magnification 0.28x at 60mm
AF motor type Supersonic Wave Drive
Focus method Internal focus with floating mechanism
Image stabilization No
Filter thread • 72mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories • Front and rear caps
• Petal-type lens hood LH-75B
• Soft pouch
Weight 575 g (20.3 oz)
Dimensions 79.5mm diameter x 98.5mm length
(3.1 x 3.9 in)
Lens Mount Four Thirds
Other Compatible with teleconverter EC-14 and extension tube EX-25