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Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 SWD 35mm Zoom
High-performance standard zoom lens that features for the first time the SWD (Supersonic Wave Drive) autofocusing system and covers a zoom range equivalent to 24 to 120 mm on a 35 mm camera lens. Special optical glass elements are used to correct various types of aberrations, while the digital-dedicated design ensures high-definition performance with clear, crisp images from edge to edge. This lens also boasts impressive close-up shooting capability, allowing users to shoot from as close as 25 cm throughout the zoom range.
Submitted by Greg McCary a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: February 7, 2010
Strengths: Tough, Sharp, Fast, Weather sealed. Great range of focal length, A perfect walk around lens, splendid in low light.
Weaknesses: None that I see. If you don't want a heavy lens then maybe that could be a weakness.
The 12-60mm is an awesome lens. Very comparable to the 14-54mm. It is heavy and weather sealed. It looks, feels and performs like a pro lens. As far as focus well what can I say. It is fast and accurate, faster than the 14-54mm. Maybe but if so not by much. It does how ever focus slightly better than the 14-54mm. It is also sharp. It does seem to be ever so slightly sharper than the 14-54mm. I have to sharpen images less than I did with the 14-54mm. It also is a little more contrasty than the 14-54mm. Would I buy again. Well if you own the 14-54mm I wouldn't pay full price to upgrade. It just isn't worth it. But in my case I ran into a bargain on craigslist I just couldn't resist. I sold my 14-54mm and a 25mm to fund the purchase.
Duration Product Used: 2-5 years
Price Paid: $575.00
Purchased At: craigslist
Similar Products Used: 14-54mm, 25mm, 14-42mm kit lens
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by michael l. higgins a Professional
Date Reviewed: August 17, 2008
Strengths: The shape of the lens is attractive.
Weaknesses: A mid-to low quality resolution for top prices.
When I start spending this kind of money, I expect excellent optics. This not an example. over a number of focal lengths the end of lens casts a semi-circular shadow onto the suject = bad design. The images seen on the own-camera viewfinder are unusably soft when viewed at 10x. I would not recommmend Olympus lenses on the basis of looking into this one and the 14-54mm f2.8/3.5. If the line up of lenses are similar to the two I looked at, I woulf stay away from the cameras as well. I read a lot of good reviews of this stuff before I bought my examples. All tthat I can say is those people were not using what I got.and I would not trust what they would send to you
Duration Product Used: 21+ years
Price Paid: $900.00
Purchased At: keh photo
Similar Products Used: 28-70mm and 80-200mm Minolta lenses and a 16-80 f3.5-4.5 zeiss lens for the Sony alpha line
Type of photography: Other
Submitted by albot976 a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: August 5, 2008
Strengths: Excellent corner to corner image quality
Versatile; wide zoom range, 12-60 (24-120 35mm equivalent)
Weaknesses: Slight, but odd, distortion at extreme wide end
When I bought into Olympus, I had decent amount of SLR experience. After spending some time with the kit lens, I was looking to upgrade and heard great things about the 12-60 and so decided to give it a try.
Physically, it is a big lens, but the performance is big too. It handles very well on my 510, no complaints there. It weighs a decent amount too, but nothing abnormal. Filter size is 72mm, so filters will be slightly more expensive. The lens does not rotate while focusing, easing the use of polarizing filters (which will likely be used on a lens of this zoom range).
It excels in almost every way that a lens can be measured. In the middle of its zoom range, image quality is absolutely outstanding and chromatic abberations are practically nonexistent. Towards the zoom extremes, there is (according to reviews I have read) slight performance drop in both departments, but in my experience it is practically unnoticeable.
I've never had a problem with lens flare. The lens has produced good (but I wouldn't say excellent) bokeh in my shots. It is also surprisingly capable in the macro department - having a minimum focusing distance less than 1 foot away from the whole 12 to 60.
It snaps to focus quickly and silently, and the focus ring is NOT focus by wire, but mechanical. I prefer this since I find that the tactile feedback it offers makes it easier to focus more accurately in those few situations that AF doesn't cut it.
Aperture range of 2.8-4 is nice, but not amazing. Ideally, I would want this to be a little bit faster on the telephoto end to give me a little more wiggle room.
My only real complaint is that distortion on the extreme wide end (12-13mm) is a little troublesome. It is not significant but it is abnormally shaped, like a trough/wave, and so correction in PP is difficult. I've only had this be a problem In applications where I needed horizontal/vertical distortion to be nonexistent, such as a straight on architectural photo of distinct lines on a building. In general landscape and architecture though, it is so minimal (and easily avoided by stepping up to even 14 or 15mm) that it wasn't noticeable or a problem. This is the only reason I momentarily hesitated to give it a full 5/5 rating.
Out of the box, the zoom ring was a bit stiff, and hit a "speed bump" at around 35mm or so. However, it smoothed out after a couple hours of use (all on one day), and has handled deliberately and accurately ever since.
Durable and dust/splash proof, it has already survived a couple hundred miles of weeklong backpacking trips through forests and mountains during spring, summer, and fall. Absolutely no problems even after some decent wear and tear.
If you're going to spend money on a lens, this is the one. It's a fantastic workhorse lens and takes care of my everyday and some not-so-everyday applications with ease. Highly recommended.
Duration Product Used: 2-5 years
Similar Products Used: Zuikos 14-45 f3.5-5.6, 14-54 f2.8-3.5
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