Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm f/1.2 PRO Lens Review
Designated as a PRO lens, there is no doubt about the general quality of manufacture. The overall package is compact and weighs in at a reasonable 410g. It is designated as being splash and dust resistant. The round lens hood provided fits slickly and has a locking catch to make sure that it never works loose. All of this fits easily and with great precision. The bayonet hood fitting surrounds a 62mm filter thread.
A thin ring then describes the lens details, and as we travel further towards the camera body next up is an equally thin depth of field scale. Then we find the manual focus ring. If pushed forwards, this ring can be used to manually override the AF. If pulled backwards it reveals the manual focus scale and the ring operates as a manual focus ring, with traditional hard stops at each end of the focusing range. There are indications in feet and metres revealed on a thin ring forwards of the focusing ring, but because they are all in the same plane and the ring is so thin there are very few actual figures inscribed. The forwards / backwards action of the focusing ring is very light and it could usefully have a tad more friction to prevent accidental operation.
Focusing is down to 0.3m, giving a maximum magnification of 0.11x. This equates with a working distance of around 19.5cm. There are 9 rounded diaphragm blades for smoother bokeh, the quality of the out of focus areas in an image.
Finally, a solitary push button marked L-Fn will disable the AF when kept pressed. The metal MFT mount is of the highest quality and bayonets onto the camera smoothly, without any play once fitted.
A conventional 50mm f/1.2 lens for 35mm-format might be expected to have around 7 elements in 6 groups, but this 25mm f/1.2 for MFT format has a highly complex 19 elements in 14 groups, including 2 ED (Extra Low Dispersion), 1 Super ED, 3 HR (High Refractive Index), 1 Extra-HR and 1 Aspherical element. Z-Nano coatings complete the picture of a highly corrected and professional optic.
In use, apart from the possibility of accidentally switching from AF to MF and vice-versa, there is very little to go wrong. The bright f/1.2 aperture ensures a crisp point of focus and the AF system snaps into focus with speed. Using the Lumix G6 though, it was evident that the AF is not quite precise enough to make the best of the f/1.2 aperture and manual focus with focusing aids actually is more accurate. However, it takes time, so for normal use, probably stopped down anyway, AF performs well enough.
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