I find this lens to be as good as advertised! Highly recommended.
- Sharp corners, even at widest focal length where most lesser zooms have soft corners.
- Sharp fully zoomed in, where most lesser zooms become softer.
- Sharp when used wide open, at all focal lengths.
- No purple fringing.
- No field curvature (that I’ve noticed; I only tested for field curvature at the wide end).
- Less expensive than buying a bunch of prime lenses. (This week, the 12-40mm is selling for the same price as just the 12mm f/2.0 by itself.)
- Lateral chromatic aberration.
- Lens blocks built-in pop-up flash on some Micro Four Thirds cameras.
- Lens hood is cheaply made.
- Big and heavy for a Micro Four Thirds lens (although quite a bit smaller and lighter than the comparable Canon 24-70mm f/4.0 full-frame lens).
What this lens is best at:
- Event photography (I would expect that this is the number one lens for wedding photographers who shoot Olympus)
- Landscape and cityscape
- Travel photography (if you don’t mind the weight)
- General purpose photography (the most versatile lens to have if you have no idea what you want to take pictures of)
What this lens is NOT best at:
- Portraiture (generally you should use a prime lens for better bokeh, however the 12-40mm is excellent for a type of wide-angle portraiture where you don’t want a blurred background)
- Street photography (too big to be inconspicuous)
- Photos that have no purpose except to show off extreme bokeh (and there are lots of these types of photos on Flickr)
- Any use that require focal lengths wider than 12mm or longer than 40mm
I have written a whole series of blog posts about this lens before writing this conclusion. Read the details:
G.A.S. attack (Olympus 12-40mm lens)
Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 “PRO” lens, first impression
Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 second impression: this lens is ginormous!
12-40mm F/2.8 vs. 17mm f/1.8 extreme corner(with test photos)
12-40mm f/2.8 vs. Ricoh GR (with test photos)
Olympus lens test: 12-40mm vs. 9-18mm extreme corner (with test photos)
Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 vs. three primes (with test photos)