Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO - review / test report - Samples & Verdict
Lens Reviews - (Micro-)Four-Thirds

Sample Images & Verdict

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Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 100.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/200s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/40s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/6s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/25s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/10s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 100.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/50s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 100.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/800s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12.0mm
Aperture: f/5.6
Exposure 1/5s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 57.0mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Exposure 1/640s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/500s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 61.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/1600s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 100.0mm
Aperture: f/4.0
Exposure 1/2000s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 15.0mm
Aperture: f/8.0
Exposure 1/20s
Make OLYMPUS IMAGING CORP.
Model E-M5MarkII
ISO Speed 200
Focal Length 12.0mm
Aperture: f/7.1
Exposure 1/320s

Competition

The Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO (to the left below) doesn't really have a true competitor within the MFT system. The lens that comes close in scope may be the Leica DG Vario-Elamrit DG 12-60mm f/2.8-4 ASPH Power OIS (center, to be reviewed next). Obviously the range is much smaller but, consequently, the Leica lens is much more compact and, at least at the wide-end, also faster. If the range of the M.Zuiko is not enough, there are a variety of options. The Panasonic Lumix G 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH Power OIS (to the right) may be the best bet but it's a consumer-grade lens really - which is why it is both smaller and slower.

Visual comparison courtesy of camerasize.com.

Verdict

There are many ways to judge the results of the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO. If you want to phrase it in a negative way, you may call it a jack of all trades and a master of none. However, that's unfair really. You could also argue that it doesn't show any true weakness and that's quite something considering the range. More so than the charts, the provided sample images may show that you can use this lens at pretty much all relevant settings with very good results at the wide end and still good results at the extreme long end. Lateral CAs are no issue. Vignetting and distortions are handled nicely (albeit somewhat lossy) via image auto-correction. And the quality of the bokeh is pretty decent for a zoom lens.

The build quality is very good and complies to professional standards including weather sealing. Yes, it is a comparatively big lens by it's not a brick either. I was certainly never annoyed by the size/weight during the field sessions. The AF is speedy and noiseless. A differentiator is the image stabilizer. Of course, many lenses have image stabilizers these days so it's hardly a novelty. However, this one is more efficient than most - especially when combined with an Olympus camera that is compatible to "Sync IS". Whether you can achieve the claimed efficiency of 6.5 f-stops or not - it's class-leading in any case - by quite a margin.

So would I take the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO to that remote island ? Yes, I would. Highly recommended (within its scope)!

Optical Quality: to
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