Review Olympus 12-100mm f/4
The Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4 is a professional compact all-around zoom for Micro Four Thirds. The range corresponds with a 24mm to 200mm on full-frame. Usually, these kinds of zooms are not of the best optical quality. Packing a large zoom range of nearly 10 times into a compact lens only works if you make compromises in the area of image quality, right? The Olympus 12-100mm is the exception to the rule.
All in one: Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4
For a Micro Four Thirds lens, the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4 is rather large, with dimensions of 77x116mm and a weight of 560 grams. We are talking here, though, about a lens that, converted to 35-mm equivalent, includes all the fields of view from 24mm through 200mm. At one end, it is a reasonable wide-angle, and at the other end, a hefty telephoto. In between, we find other popular focal lengths like 28, 35, 50, 85, 100, 135, 150 and 180 mm. This is a whole pile of lenses in one. The 12-100mm can also serve as a semi-macro lens. For many photographers, the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm F4 is pretty much all they need. If you look at it that way, the weight and dimensions are a considerable savings, and it is quite a feat by Olympus that they have gotten so much into such a compact lens.
BUILD AND auto focus
The 12-100mm is part of the M.Zuiko PRO series from Olympus. That means that the lens is completely sealed against dust and moisture. In addition, it is guaranteed to work in the freezing cold. Olympus’s reputation in this area is outstanding, and you can thus trust that the 12-100mm will have no difficulty working in rainstorms or a snowstorm. You also feel that quality when you hold the lens. The whole lens is free of play, and the zoom and focus rings have exactly the right amount of resistance. The focus ring has the ‘focus clutch’ function, which we also find on the 12-40mm f/2.8 from Olympus. By pulling the focus ring back a bit, you switch from auto focus to manual focus. The manual focus has two hard stops for infinity and close up. You can’t endlessly and needlessly keep turning the ring, and that’s good. The fixed brightness of f/4.0 is good for photographers who like manual exposure or who do a lot of filming. As far as filming is concerned, the 12-100mm also has very little trouble from focus breathing. That means that the subject shows little sign of becoming larger or smaller when changing focus. When photographing, those kinds of things seldom get noticed, but that kind of zoom effect can be a real pain if it happens during filming. The lens also has image stabilization that can also be turned off on the lens.
Pure RAW score: This table shows the performance of this lens if the file is stored in the camera in RAW format. This score approaches the intrinsic quality of the combination of lens and test camera. If you use lens correction profiles in Photoshop or Lightroom to convert RAW files, then the RAW scores for distortion, vignetting and chromatic aberration are even better.