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.

Specs

Principal specifications
Lens type Zoom lens
Max Format size FourThirds
Focal length 12–40 mm
Image stabilisation No
Lens mount Micro Four Thirds
Aperture
Maximum aperture F2.8
Minimum aperture F22.0
Number of diaphragm blades 7
Aperture notes Circular diaphragm
Optics
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
Focus
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
Physical
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

Reviews

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:
    review

    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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Videos

DPReview's Richard Butler discusses the features of the Olympus M Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro Lens

Olympus M Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro Interchangeable Lens

Questions & Answers

QUESTION

Get the Panasonic 12-35/2.8 or the Olympus 12-40/2.8 for OM-D E-M1?

I am considering buying the Olympus OM-D E-M1, as I have various 4/3 and m4/3 lenses I would like to use on it.  I would like to buy one of the above fast zooms.  Which one should I get?  How do they compare in image quality?

LucaPCP asked
3 months ago

ANSWERS

I own both and use them both, primarily the 12-40 on an E-M1 and the 12-35 on a GX7, but I did use the 12-35 quite a bit on the E-M1 prior to buying the GX7. The primary difference you will see using the 12-35 on the E-M1 compared to the 12-40, in high contrast scenes you will get some purple fringing with the 12-35 that does not happen when using the 12-40 M. Zuiko, especially in the upper corners of the frame. If it's a raw file and you are using Lightroom or Photoshop, clicking the the box in the fringing tool window will correct it most of the time, although I have also had to utilize both clicking the box and the purples slider in some more extreme cases. I've not yet seen any fringing when using the 12-35 on the GX7 and little, if any, when using the 12-40 on the E-M1. They are both very sharp lenses, It's a case of 1A and 1B. Side by side there's not a lot of difference, size-wise, but in use the Panasonic definitely feels smaller. Continue Reading

Gregm61 answered
3 months ago

Sure, it feels like it. Then reality sets in when looking again (bearing in mind that if choosing a DSLR for better results than m4/3, entry level APS-C is ignored). E-M1 + 12-40/2.8 ......................... 5D2 + 24-70/2.8 .......................... E-M1 + 12-35/2.8 Continue Reading

Bob Tullis answered
3 months ago

I believe the consensus is that the 12-40 has somewhat higher image quality and has more consistent image quality across the frame. It focuses closer than the 12-35. The 12-35 is smaller and has built-in image stabilization. There is a lot written on the subject, here and elsewhere. Continue Reading

richarddd answered
3 months ago

QUESTION

Giottos Vitruvian VGRN8255 or Sirui T-025x Tripod for travel & general purpose

Hi all! New to the forum so please be gentle! I'm hoping to traveling through China for 3 weeks towards the end of the year and need a decent tripod to go with my Olympus EPL5 with 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro Lens, so a bit heavier than the usual lenses. Heard great raves about the Sirui T-025x and this is most probably what I will go for but I have a chance to get the slightly heavier (and heightier) refurbished Giottos Vitruvian VGRN8255 with MH5400-652 Ball Head second hand for roughly the same price as the CB Sirui. Sirui T-025x: http://www.amazon.co.uk/SIRUI-T-025X-Tripod-Ballhead-Carbon/dp/B00AZTCHK2 Giottos Vitruvian VGRN8255 with MH5400-652 Ball Head: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Giottos-Vitruvian-VGR8255-MH5310-630-Carbon/dp/B003AJDGAE/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1405435444&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=Giottos+Vitruvian+VGRN8255+with+MH5400-652+Ball+Head My existing tripod is a Manfrotto Compact MKC3-PF Tripod with Ball Head: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Manfrotto-Compact-MKC3-PF-Tripo ...

1 month ago

ANSWERS

I have the Sirui, but have never tested the other one you asked about. The Sirui is very nice but not supersteady when it is in it's highest position. With low wind and electronic shutter it is very nice even at the highest level, hanging a weight under in the hook improves stability. At lower positions it is stable enough for M43 cameras in most conditions. The compact size and the low weight does make it to actually follow along and not be left at home. Continue Reading

lattesweden answered
1 month ago

I bought a Velbon UlTrek UT53D because the sirui was way to small for me. I have it for 1 1/2 years now and did not see any better option yet. The Velbon has 1.56cm max height, folds down to tiny 29cm and its weight is 1.1kg with head. The UT43 is lighter (0.9kg) but the 53D seemed the best compromise in stability/weight for me. Here is a review: http://www.ephotozine.com/article/velbon-ultrek-ut-43d-tripod-review-16820 Continue Reading

CrisPhoto answered
1 month ago

What about the REDGED 522K?  It's a very good all round tripod - we've only had great feedback so far! Continue Reading

JamieTux answered
1 month ago

QUESTION

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
5 months ago

ANSWERS

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
5 months ago

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

Undergrd answered
5 months 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
5 months ago

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