Recently I’ve been experimenting a lot with different selections of lenses. Yesterday I took out my PEN-F camera with three lenses, my Lumix 12-32mm and M.Zuiko 17mm and 45mm f/1.8 lenses. For ages now I’ve known what works best for me in nearly all situations and my personal style. All I really need is a “standard” zoom covering moderate wide angle to moderate telephoto and maybe a fast lightweight prime like my 25mm f/1.8. I find the 17mm too wide to leave fitted all the time and, useful as the 45mm focal length occasionally is, and bearing in mind that I don’t habitually do portraiture or people shots, the same is true. The 25mm lens with its full-frame equivalent 50mm, “nifty-fifty” field of view works best for me, probably something that has stuck with me since my film days as most cameras came with one and thus it was one’s first lens and, not by coincidence, it was the first Micro Four Thirds lens that I bought.
Yesterday proved the point to me once and for all, I shot with all three lenses and particularly the 12-32mm but made a point of using the 45mm and to a somewhat lesser extent the 17mm lenses. I was changing lenses all the time, too often for my liking which significantly slowed me down and I missed one of my other standard zooms like my Lumix 14-42mm II, Lumix 12-60mm or M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO all of which are very capable lenses which I’d very happily shoot with. I gave up using the 12-40mm PRO some while back, not because it isn’t a good lens, it is a very good lens and it has weather-sealing but it’s too heavy for me nowadays and a bit front-heavy on my smaller MFT camera bodies. I took my 12-40mm to Malta, Brussels, Rome, Corfu and Prague and my 12-60mm to Bruges/Ghent and Porto/Lisbon and they both performed admirably so I know that a lens in this range pretty much ticks all the boxes for me when travelling.
I’ve chosen to buy an M.Zuiko 12-45mm f/4 PRO lens which I found at a very tempting price. This lens covers the focal length range I most frequently use, it’s lighter than the 12-40mm albeit a stop slower, which doesn’t worry me at all, but it has weather-sealing and a useful close-focusing capability of 12cm at 12mm focal length and, here’s the clincher for me, at 7cms (2.8″) in length and weighing only 254g (9 oz), it’s a fair bit smaller and lighter than the 12-40mm. I have faster standard zoom lenses (M.Zuiko 12-40mm), I have significantly smaller standard zoom lenses (Lumix 12-32mm), I have lighter standard zoom lenses (Lumix 12-32 and 14-42mm) but I don’t have a lens in this range that has this combination of size, weight, performance and weather-sealing. I think this lens is a very good move by Olympus, not all off us want faster, heavier, bigger lenses and dreamy bokeh!. 🙂
I’m really looking forward to trying out the new lens when it arrives, it just could be my new go-to lens, especially when travelling married to one of my favorite smaller camera bodies such as my PEN-F or more probably, primarily for it’s weather-sealing, my Olympus E-M5 II camera. This combination along with my 25mm lens fits in squarely within my self-imposed 1Kg weight limit at 860g or 1.9 lbs. :), marginally lighter than a bag of sugar and every bit as sweet!.