Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO Lens (Micro Four Thirds)

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Key Features

  • 12-40mm focal length
  • 24-80mm equivalent focal length on Micro Four Thirds cameras
  • F2.8 maximum aperture; F22 minimum
  • Stepper motor AF with full-time manual
  • Manual Focus Clutch mechanism
  • 62mm filters
  • Micro Four Thirds mount for Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens cameras

Product Description

The M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 is the first lens in Olympus's 'PRO' lens line for Micro Four Thirds, and designed to match the top-end OM-D E-M1. It offers a 24-80mm equivalent range, and is dust-, splash- and freeze-proof. It uses a focus clutch design similar to the 12mm F2 and 17mm F2.8 primes, so pulling the focus ring back towards the camera engages manual focus mode and reveals a distance scale. The lens also has a L.Fn button, whose function can be assigned from the camera.


Principal specifications
Lens type Zoom lens
Max Format size FourThirds
Focal length 12–40 mm
Image stabilisation No
Lens mount Micro Four Thirds
Maximum aperture F2.8
Minimum aperture F22.0
Number of diaphragm blades 7
Aperture notes Circular diaphragm
Elements 14
Groups 9
Special elements / coatings 1 aspherical element, 1 dual-sided aspherical element, 2 ED glass elements, 2 HR glass elements, 1 EDA glass element, 1 HD glass element
Minimum focus 0.20 m (7.87)
Maximum magnification 0.3×
Autofocus Yes
Motor type Stepper motor
Full time manual Yes
Focus method Internal
Focus notes Manual Focus Clutch mechanism
Distance scale Yes
DoF scale No
Weight 382 g (0.84 lb)
Diameter 70 mm (2.75)
Length 84 mm (3.31)
Sealing Yes
Zoom method Rotary (extending)
Filter thread 62 mm
Filter notes Does not rotate on focusing
Hood supplied Yes
Hood product code LH66


User Reviews

4.625 out of 5 stars
  • Michael Jardine, Jan 13, 2014 GMT:
    My favorite lens ever

    This doesn't mean it's the 'best' lens ever. It's just my favorite because it provides me exactly what I want with the E-M1:  an excellent walk-around lens that allows me to take this camera into virtually ANY situation, and get GREAT pictures.  And that's why I invested in M43 in the first place.   I have other lens/camera combinations for other situations:  for unobtrusiveness, the Olympus E-PL5 with Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 is great and, in my opinion, a far better choice than the current hot ...

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  • Jan Morgils, Jan 24, 2014 GMT:

    Pro: Is takes very sharp pictures. Great image quality. It has a very nice zoom range. Change to manual focusing by sliding focus ring. Programable function button. It feels very solid. It's weather sealed Con: No syncronisation between the manual focusing ring and the focusing system inside the camera. Putting the focus ring on infinity don't´make the camera focusing on infinity automatically. (And not having focus peeking on a E-M5 dosn't make that better - will we ever have a software ...

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  • photohounds, Feb 5, 2014 GMT:
    Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm 1:2.8 PRO Lens - no hesitation needed.

    I bought the 12-40/2.8 with the EM-1 I have a swag of MFT Zuikos that carried over from the EM-5 to my EM-1 and this lens is very satisfying in every respect. Smooth, robust and SEALED. It comes with a hood and a pinch lens cap that does NOT fall off when you push on its edge as many others do. There's a metal ring protecting the pinch buttons and that super mechanical focus ring for zone focus devotees. Nice touch. I note that the 12-40 costs the same as the "full marketing frame" 55/1.8 ...

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  • OlympusTog, Mar 10, 2014 GMT:
    So sharp, you'll cut yourself!

    Having used L series lenses for several years, I was a bit apprehensive on moving to M43 lenses but this little beauty has allayed my apprehension - this lens is on a par with my 24-105L but a full one stop faster but absolutely pin sharp even wide open. I was astounded by the results.

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What is the advantage of using a mirrorless camera? by DPReview GearShop

Questions & Answers


Olympus 12-40 f2.8 better than Nikon 18-200?

Hi guys, Currently I'm shooting with a D7000 and the Nikon 18-200. Mainly travel and family photo's. After upgrading from a D80 I'm not happy anymore with the 18-200 IQ, but I'm hesitant to buy an expensive and heavy 18-55 and 70-200. I'm interested in the lighter OMD E-M1 combined with the 12-40 and later on the 40-150. I would think that the better IQ of the 12-40 would compensate for the smaller sensor. Any thoughts/experiences? thanks!

Martin vb asked
3 months ago


To begin with the 18-200 and the Olympus 12-40 are lenses of two entirely different categories (and quality levels). 1.  The 18-200 and 12-40 cannot be compared within the same category.  The Zuiko should be compared more with the Nikkor 24-70 2.8 or the high-end Tamron regular zooms.  Maybe you should also say is the Nikkor 18-200 better or worse than the Olympus 14-150 (equivalent to a 28-300), or the Panny 14-140 (equivalent to a 28-280). 2.  The statement, "to offset the small sensor size," is really out of place here.  The 4/3 sensors have reached a stage where they now compete solidly with APS-C sized sensors, and in some cases (depending on model) can surpass many an entry-level DSLR.  So that consideration should now be laid to rest really. The Zuiko 12-40 is a high-end, professional level lens - with results often on line with fine prime lenses. Continue Reading

Ben Herrmann answered
3 months ago

@200mm :-D Continue Reading

Wu Jiaqiu answered
3 months ago

I'm guessing that "a couple of months" is very optimistic. Continue Reading

brentbrent answered
27 days ago


I'm in Singapore and everything is SOOOO much cheaper, what to buy?

Currently in Singapore 11 weeks into 30 week travels and have been waiting to get here to buy some new gear.  What I've found, and really, really want the Olympus 12-40 f2.8 PRO & Olympus 25 f1.8, which will cost me around £800 (12-40 on its own in UK costs £900).  To (partly) fund the new lenses I plan to sell my Olympus 12-50 and Pamasonic 14 f2.5. However, after a few questions in the shop (and with a massive grin on my face) I found out that if I buy the 12-40 as a kit on a new E-M5 or E-M1 the lens would be cheaper, obviously, but I would also save so much money on another body, dilemma! So, the question is, do I buy the two lenses and save myself about £500, or do I buy the E-M5 kit and 25mm and save around £600, or the E-M1 and 25mm and save £800? I'm not sure if I NEED another body, and I don't really have the money to warrant spending so much, if I buy one of the bodies I'll sell my E-PL3 and I have some other things I could sell, when I get home in 5 months that is. So is ...

ajmoore7 asked
28 days ago


I'm pretty conservative when it comes to money.  So spending money I can't really afford, to buy products I don't really need, just because I spot a 'deal', seems illogical to me. Now if I expected to make a profit selling stuff later that might be different.  But I bet when you factor in the import costs to your home country, the savings aren't as great as they seem right now, so even the expected profit from a quick resale might prove illusory. My advise is buy what you need and use the extra money you might have spent on gear for some sight seeing/photo trips and you might not have spent money on otherwise. Modern photo gear lasts 5 years, if we're lucky.  But our memories (and the photos we make) will last as long as we do! Continue Reading

Glen Barrington answered
28 days ago

I think you shld just go ahead and buy both lenses rather than buy another body with it. Continue Reading

Undergrd answered
28 days ago

Lenses are always the best investment. You're not saving money by buying a camera body you don't need, surely! So I would buy the lenses only. But, if you were to buy another body, I would reccomend the E-M1. You gain features you don't have (better EVF, PDAF, focus peaking, better grip) in a body that will better balance the 12-40/2.8. Don't underestimate the value of PDAF if you ever want to photograph wildlife or sport. And the E-M1 uses the same batteries as the E-M5. Do you use video at all? The E-M1 has a video teleconverter, that turns a 25/1.8 into a 100/1.8. It's an amazing feature to have for low light video of a performance. But, personally, I don't travel with a back-up body. And you already have one. And you can't sell your extras until you get home. So any extra money you spend now, is money you can't spend while travelling. If you are in Singapore for a while, there is an excellent local photography forum called Clubsnap. They will happily help you find the best deal, ... Continue Reading

DonTom answered
28 days ago


What are these tinted rings (low-light E-M5 w/flash)?

In Lightroom 5.3, I boosted Exposure by 3.4 and slid the clarity, vibrance and saturation sliders all the way to 100 to make this effect more prominent, but it was also visible with the sliders set to 0. I used my new Nissin Di466 flash for this photo (just playing around outdoors at night with the new flash to see what it can do). I had the built-in Fresnel diffuser covering the flash when I took the photo. If you look closely at the top corners of the image, bands seem to continue into the darkness above the building. Where's the unwanted color coming from? Thanks in advance!

texinwien asked
1 month ago


looks like posterization due to lens vignetting. Continue Reading

greerd answered
1 month ago

As far as I can tell there is no light fall-off towards the corners which suggests that some correction for vignetting was applied. After boosting brightness a lot the discretization causes this to show up as rings. Never seen it before but then I never boost dark images by that much either. Continue Reading

Paul De Bra answered
1 month ago

It sounds similar to an auto-vignetting-correction problem that the Ricoh GR had with its original firmware. It was reported here . Ricoh released a FW update that provided an option to disable the auto-correction and that was a good workaround because correcting the vignetting in a standalone RAW converter avoids color shifts of the reported type. It's still a mystery why the camera-internal correction does so badly. Continue Reading

assaft answered
1 month ago

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