Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm f/4 Pro Review

February 17, 2020 | Mark Goldstein | Rating star Rating star Rating star Rating star Half rating star


As a smaller, lighter, simpler and cheaper alternative to the flagship M.Zuiko Digital 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro zoom, the new M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm f/4 Pro makes perfect sense for a lot of enthusiasts. Sure, it might not be the most exciting lens that Olympus have ever made, but it's a great step-up from the usual kit lenses in terms of overall quality, and is ideal for travel and general-purpose photography.

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm f/4 Pro proved to be a great partner to the equally new OM-D E-M1 Mark III, forming a compact, well-built, weather-proof system that delivers excellent image quality. It would be even better suited to the smaller E-M5 Mark III camera, weighing in at less than 700g for the complete package.

Optically, both the centre and edge sharpness are very high throughout all of its focal length range, even at 45mm. Sure, you don't get the faster maximum aperture of f/2.8 offered by the M.Zuiko Digital 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro and therefore quite the same creamy bokeh effects, but on this lens you don't have stop down at all at any focal length to get pleasingly sharp results across the frame.

Chromatic aberrations are almost completely absent, vignetting is not a real issue, and distortion is very well auto-corrected through software algorithms.

The lack of in-lens image stabilisation makes it somewhat impractical for owners of Panasonic cameras which don't have IBIS built into the body, but Olympus owners obviously benefit from the superlative in-camera image stabilisation that most of their MFT bodies provide.

Overall, it might not have all the bells and whistles offered by the faster f/2.8 lens, but there's a lot to like about this new f/4 variant. It comes highly recommended to anyone who wants an all-in-one solution to their everyday photography, videography and even macro needs.

4.5 stars

Ratings (out of 5)
Design 4.5
Features 4
Ease-of-use 4
Image quality 4.5
Value for money 4.5