Let's do a quick run down of this lens' capabilities:
- Dust and splashproof, similar to 4/3rds HG (High Grade) and SHG (Super High Grade)
- Macro capability, 1:3 (roughly), 8 to 20 inches closest focusing
- Electronic zoom for smoother zooming capability during video capture
- Mechanical zoom for stills
- Fly-by-wire manual focus
- Extremely quite autofocus (MSC, Movie-Stills-Compatible)
- $500 suggested price.
- Max aperture range 1:3.5 (12mm) to 1:6.3(50mm)
- A weight of 211 grams
I own the 12-60mm and use it quite extensively. I love that lens. But that lens is big and heavy and requires a decent sized body, such as the E-1, E-30, E-3, or E-5 to work comfortably with it. Let's do a quick side-by-side comparison of both lenses key features.
|Olympus Lens Comparision (µ4/3rds 12-50mm vs. 4/3rds 12-60mm)|
|Version||µ4/3rds 12-50mm||4/3rds 12-60mm|
The last two specifications, weight and cost, are real standouts for me. This is the first µ4/3rds lens that comes in at what I consider a fair price in comparison to its regular 4/3rds equivalent. Yes, the 12-50mm is 1 stop slower (1 1/3rd at 50mm) than the 12-60mm, and doesn't go out to 60mm. Boo-hoo.
Here's what I've discovered using my copy of the 12-60mm, which I purchased in December 2008.
- I usually stop the 12-60mm down one stop for best optical performance, which means I operate the lens from f/4 to f/5.6. That slots neatly into the max aperatures of the 12-50mm (1:3.5 to 1:6.3). And here's a little secret: f/6.3 is only one third stop slower than f/5.6. And I would be willing to spend good money that the 12-50mm's optical performance at max aperture is as good, if not better than, the 12-60mm stopped down one stop. And the 12-60mm ain't no slouch.
- The 12-50mm is almost 3 times lighter (2.73 to be exact) than the 12-60mm. That's a really nice weight, especially for a small sized µ4/3rds system. This lens would make an excellent walk-around lens mounted on any of the E-Px series of digital Pens.
- That cost. The more speedy you want a lens, the more glass you need, and the more elaborate the lens formula. There are folks who feel the 12-60mm is too slow for a zoom, and so purchase the SHG 14-35mm 1:2 zoom, for a mere $2,500. If you think that Olympus charges too much, then you need to look at the Nikon and Canon equivalents for equivalent amounts of money.