Olympus has unveiled its latest high performance optic, the Olympus 12-45mm f/4 Pro – the world’s smallest and most lightweight fixed aperture standard zoom (in equivalent 35mm terms, this lens is a 24-90mm).
At just 254g, the Olympus M.ZuIko 12-45mm f/4 Pro (to give its full name) is about the same weight as a large apple. And measuring just 70mm long by 63.4mm in diameter, it’s a truly pocketable bit of glass. However, it isn’t just the compact form factor that this lens has going for it.
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Designated as one of Olympus’ Pro series of lenses, the 12-45mm f/4 is fully weather sealed. Its robust construction provides dust, splash and freezeproofing, thanks to seals in nine locations that will protect your kit when shooting in even the worst conditions.
Still, on the surface, the Olympus 12-45mm f/4 Pro seems a curious release, given that the fantastic Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro already exists. So why would you choose the new lens over the faster optic?
Well, this clever little optic is also a powerful macro shooter, with a maximum magnification of 0.25x (0.5x, in 35mm terms) across the entire zoom range. Capable of close focusing at 12cm when shooting at the widest end, and 23cm at the telephoto extreme, the lens enables photographers to shoot with great agility in the field.
As you’d expect of Olympus pro glass, its optical engineering is excellent, featuring 12 elements in 9 groups (including an aspherical and a dual-super aspherical element), with the company’s ZERO (Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical) coating to control aberrations, ghosting and flare.
In short – and the lens really is short – this new optic is a pro-grade option for those who want to travel light, shoot in whatever the weather, get great edge-to-edge sharpness and have the option for macro photography.
The Olympus 12-45mm f/4 Pro will be available from the end of March, at a retail price of $649 / £599.99 / AU$1,099.