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Thursday, 25 September 2014


I still go back and forth between this lens and the Panasonic 12-35, likely for no good reason one way or the other. Looking at the charts, I like the fact that the Panasonic is quite sharp both wide and long (though it's less long). It also has a more classic sharpness curve, getting better as you stop down until f4, then slowly worsening. The Olympus has sharper edges, and starts at its sharpest, and immediately starts softening a little as you stop down. So the sweet spot is wide open.

Finally, I have the 12-60, and it's really quite good, but heavy, so there you go...

This has nothing to do with the lens that got you searching, but photographs by - and links to - Jay Dickman and many other National Geographic photographers can be found at:


Just beware that one or two of the thumbnails are likely NSFW.

I thought there was a whole makeover coming to this blog... I waited and waited... and nothing. Same old blog. What happened? Did I miss something?

[Still workin' on it, Morey. I'm a one-man band here, and things always go slower than you want. --Mike]

I know it's just me but there's something lately about these overly colorful and almost too perfect digital photos that are starting to bore me. As cameras get better and better it seems they capture even BETTER than what was actually there. A certain punch to the color or a certain sharpness that makes it pop that's neat-o but gets tiresome too. Like too many pretty sunset photos seen one after another. Someone needs to figure out how to take the creativity up a notch and stick out from the crowd as colorful perfect photos are simply becoming a dime a dozen it seems. We need more creative "imperfection" somehow.

The Pana 12-35 and the Oly 12-40 1:2,8 are MFTs secret weapons in so far as I don't think twice about carrying one of them around for a longer period of time. With 35mm sensor systems, weight is always an issue. Since the introduction of the E-M1 the system has struck the right balance in terms of attainable image quality and portability.

My five cents about the post before mine: NatGeo photos are there to "document", they HAVE to be perfect. Then, you have fine arts magazines, and their photos wants to " tell a story", so they can be creatively "imperfect". To everyone his medium.

What Richard said.

Just for the record. As a looooong time TOP reader I have no problem at all with TOP remaining the "same old blog" for as long as you like. When you do change, I am sure it will be grand but there is no rush.

"(I have a tough time researching cameras and lenses because I always get sidetracked by photographers and their photographs.)"

Perhaps that's because good photographers can outperform their gear? Or is it that gear is a personal preference, and it is what a photographer sees and manages to represent that is important regardless of all objective measurement of how the image is captured?

>> We need more creative "imperfection" somehow.<<

Sounds like you are describing Instagram and all of the other "art" filters/settings found in most cameras and editing software these days!

Another way to go (if you're still looking for Oly 12-40mm photos) is to do a search in Flickr. This will get you what you want if people tagged their photos correctly:


Meanwhile, there are Flickr groups folks can land their photos in if they used this lens:




There's no shortage of reviews comparing it to Panasonic's 12-35mm lens either:





Hope this helps,


Another way to avoid that boring perfect look is to use film, something quite common in National Geographic BITD. Also, it looks like a few of the linked photos use HDR (amping up digital perfection to a grotesque degree).

Those pictures really made me miss the olympus 50-200mm from the E-system that he appears to be using adapted on his e-m1. What a spectacular lens.

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