In The Box
Olympus Lens Cap
Olympus Rear Lens Cap
Olympus Instruction Manual
Olympus Warranty card
Product Description for Olympus Lens M.Zuiko ED 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 SWD
This 12-60mm lens offers a field of view equivalent to a 24-120mm lens on a 35mm camera, with a relatively bright maximum aperture of f/2.8-4. Costing around £940, this lens fits into Olympus' mid-to-high end range of lenses and promises to provide the world's fastest autofocus speeds, thanks to the silent SWD focusing motor.
Alternatives for Four Thirds SLRs include Olympus' 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II lens, which costs around £580 but has a slightly narrower zoom range, and no silent focusing motor. Panasonic's 14-50mm f/2.8-3.5 may also be a suitable alternative, costing around £785, although this also lacks the range and silent focusing motor of the Olympus 12-60mm.
Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm f/2.8-4 SWD: Handling and features
Weighing 575g, this lens isn't overly heavy and balances nicely on the Olympus E-3 used for testing. High quality materials have been used in the construction and the lens feels very solidly put together, plus it is also sealed against dust and moisture.
The lens accepts 72mm filters and as focusing is performed internally, the filter thread doesn't rotate, making polarising filter easy to use. As the lens is zoomed in it extends by just under two inches. The zoom mechanism is smooth and has enough resistance to prevent zoom creep when the camera is pointed towards the ground.
The manual focus ring is well damped, making it easy to make fine adjustments. Auto focus is extremely quick and virtually silent on the Olympus E-3 used for testing and the minimum focus distance of 0.25m is useful for frame-filling close ups at 60mm.
Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm f/2.8-4 SWD: Performance
At 12mm and f/2.8 the sharpness in the centre of the image area is already very good, and the quality towards the edges isn't too far behind. Peak quality across the frame at this focal length is achieved at f/5.6, where the sharpness in the centre is outstanding, and the quality towards the edges approaches excellent levels.
With the lens zoomed to 25mm, the sharpness in the centre is excellent from maximum aperture, and the quality towards the edges isn't far off good. Peak quality across the frame is also achieved at f/5.6 at this focal length, where the sharpness is excellent in the centre of the image, and very good towards the edges.
Finally at 60mm, sharpness at f/4 is good in the centre and the quality towards the edges isn't too far behind. Again, peak quality across the frame is achieved at f/5.6, where the resolution is excellent in the centre and good towards the edges of the frame.