OM System 12-40mm F2.8 Professional II Overview: The New Workhorse?

In 2013, we reviewed the Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens. Practically a decade later, the corporate has launched the OM System 12-40mm f2.8 Professional II. When it comes to specs and usefulness, not so much has modified. It’s across the similar weight, nonetheless has the identical aperture blades, and retains most of the similar specs as the unique lens. What’s completely different? Actually, it doesn’t appear to be a lot. Nonetheless, it’s now insanely climate resistant and feels prefer it focuses a lot quicker.

The brand new OM System 12-40mm f2.8 Professional II comes bundled as a equipment lens choice with the OM1. Whereas it’s extremely versatile, I believe there absolutely are higher lenses on the market. 

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The Huge Image

The OM System 12-40mm f2.8 Professional II lens is a light-weight, quick focusing, and sturdy lens that deserves to be in your OM System OM1 digicam. If you wish to carry one lens round all day, that is the one to get. It delivers in each class: construct high quality, picture high quality, autofocus, and extra. Certainly, it’s among the finest equipment lenses you may get.

On the similar time, it’s a jack of all trades and grasp of none, which really exhibits. OM System might’ve actually turned heads with an f2 fixed aperture zoom and even one thing at f1.8. 

We’re awarding the OM System 12-40mm f2.8 Professional II 4 out of 5 stars. You should buy this lens from Amazon, Adorama, and LensRentals Keeper Program.


  • Climate-resistant design
  • Sharp picture high quality
  • On the longer finish, it delivers good bokeh.
  • Good colours
  • Quick autofocus efficiency and good monitoring on the OM System OM1
  • Small and light-weight
  • Comes bundled with the digicam at an excellent worth
  • General an excellent worth


  • I actually want OM System made an f2 or f1.7 zoom lens as a substitute. This has the depth of area of an f5.6 lens on full-frame cameras when getting used wide-open. And it leaves so much to be desired.

Gear Used

The OM System 12-40mm f2.8 Professional II we examined was a loaner unit offered to us by OM System. It was used with the:

  • OM System OM1 (loaner unit offered by OM System)
  • Olympus EM1 Mk III (loaner unit offered by OM System)
  • Flashpoint Zoom Li-on X R2 (our personal unit bought some time again)


The OM System 12-40mm f2.8 Professional II doesn’t include a complete lot of innovation over the earlier lens. It has higher optics, quick autofocus, and a complete lot of issues the earlier model had. However within the grand scheme of issues, there’s not so much that’s groundbreaking right here. Comparatively talking, it doesn’t shine as a lot in comparison with most of the different PRO-monikered lenses from OM System.


From our First Impressions publish.

Right here’s a top-down have a look at the brand new OM-System 12-40mm f2.8 PRO II. For those who didn’t know higher, you’d suppose this is similar because the earlier lens. It’s characterised by two huge rings. There’s the additional texture on them too. The entrance ring is the focusing ring, the rear ring is the zooming ring. Each provide you with numerous good grip.

The entrance of the lens holds a 62mm filter thread. That will provide you with an thought of how small this lens is.

The focusing ring is rather like the earlier one’s: it will probably slip into handbook focus mode when you pull it again. That may be very helpful whenever you wish to give the digicam a little bit of autofocus help. In any other case, you may set it so the handbook focus ring can override the autofocus.

When the lens is totally prolonged, it doesn’t get a lot greater. For positive, this is a wonderful little bundle.

Construct High quality

Make no mistake, that is OM System. With that stated, the construct high quality right here is high of the charts. We examined this lens for a really very long time within the rain, snow, and on numerous commutes. It stood as much as a cringe-worthy quantity of environmental abuse. At one level, another person was so involved for the digicam and lens that they began masking it up for themselves. After I reassured them that it was nice, they had been a bit much less involved. Photojournalists, panorama photographers, journey photographers, and passionate photographers who like taking pictures within the rain will all adore this lens.

What’s extra, one among my huge issues concerning the OM1 is that the sensor would get very soiled as a result of there isn’t any sensor safety for whenever you’re altering lenses. We’re completely happy to say that the sensor by no means change into soiled when testing this lens.

Climate resistance apart, this lens is unbelievable in terms of construct high quality. It’s light-weight and feels superior in your hand. And I can’t actually complain an excessive amount of about that in any respect. It’s a lens that you simply’ll wish to carry with you all over the place you go.

Ease of Use

For those who’re aware of OM System optics, there isn’t something out of the atypical right here. The OM System 12-40mm f2.8 Professional II shares the identical pull-back mechanism for autofocus and handbook focus switching as many different lenses. In any other case, it’s a degree, focus, and {photograph} affair. Offering they don’t unintentionally bump the focusing ring into the handbook place, this lens will probably be simply utilized by any photographer on the market.


I examined this lens with the OM System OM1 and a bit with the Olympus EM1 Mk III. And general, it really works fairly properly. We’ve mentioned the autofocus of OM System and Panasonic alike right here within the employees. General, all of us agree that neither are simply that clever in comparison with Canon and Sony. Particularly, we’re speaking about wide-area autofocus algorithms. The place Canon and Sony can give attention to a scene after which instantly choose a topic out, OM System nonetheless lags behind a bit. Can or not it’s carried out? Certain! Is it pretty much as good as Canon or Sony? Nope! Canon and Sony have a tendency to have a look at the middle and the areas the place the rule of thirds are likely to intersect. 

That is no matter whether or not or not the scene detection is on. So with all this stated, you’ll have to present the OM System 12-40mm f2.8 Professional II a little bit of focusing help by selecting an space for it to give attention to. That is in some methods an antiquated mind-set for a lens like this. If it had been a for much longer focal size and photographing birds, it will be completely different. However there have been absolutely occasions the place the OM System 12-40mm f2.8 Professional II pissed off me over a interval of some months of testing.

Additional, the OM System 12-40mm f2.8 Professional II struggles extra with publicity preview settings activated. For those who’re utilizing the simulated OVF perform, you’ll get the most effective autofocus efficiency by way of accuracy, pace, and all.

General, mixed with the OM1, it feels a bit just like the Nikon z9 earlier than firmware updates. That’s to say that it’s good; however not unbelievable. It’s miles forward of the Fujifilm X Professional 3 comparatively talking. On the similar time, the Sony a7r III — a far older digicam — can outdo this lens with a third-party choice on it.

For the report, I wouldn’t use it for road images. However I’d simply use it for documentary work.

Picture High quality

The OM System 12-40mm f2.8 Professional II can produce some lovely picture high quality. However personally, I had probably the most enjoyable utilizing it with the digicam system’s artwork filters. Once they weren’t getting used, it was nonetheless fairly good general. That is due to the brand new processor and sensor within the OM System OM1. Nonetheless although, it leaves us wanting one thing extra. For those who’re utterly married to Micro 4 Thirds, it might even be the identical downside. Panasonic makes some lovely however enormous f1.7 zoom lenses. OM system makes a small, mild, f2.8 zoom lens with the depth of area of f5.6 in full-frame. 

Actually, why would you simply not go for a much bigger sensor? Micro 4 Thirds absolutely has its benefits and its potential. However the previous lens to this was launched virtually a decade in the past. Why couldn’t they’ve a minimum of made it an f2 or f1.8 zoom lens?


On the wider finish, the OM System 12-40mm f2.8 Professional II doesn’t actually excel when it come to the bokeh class. As an alternative, you’ll get it on the longer finish. The standard of the bokeh itself is basically, really lovely. However in comparison with full-frame lenses, you’re not getting all that a lot.

Colour Rendition

The colours from the OM System 12-40mm f2.8 Professional II are nothing to argue about. They’re very good. Overexpose by a cease and also you’ll get these lovely muted colours which might be so widespread with movie photographers. Expose completely in response to a light-weight meter, and the colours will simply pop at you. Significantly, you may’t go fallacious with this lens’s colours.

Lens Character

For higher or worse, this lens controls points like distortion, lens flare, and fringing very properly. On the similar time, I actually want that I might’ve gotten rather more lens flare from this lens. At one level, an engineer informed me that OM System appears to be like to Zeiss as their customary for testing in opposition to. And in all methods, the OM System 12-40mm f2.8 Professional II is excelling right here. Nonetheless, there’s nothing fallacious with slightly little bit of attraction and character in your lenses.


We examined the OM System 12-40mm f2.8 Professional II for photojournalism, portraiture, and some landscapes. Is it sharp? Sure. And if there have been extra megapixels I’d be involved that it was too sharp. However with 20MP on the OM1’s sensor, it’s in a terrific candy spot. 

Further Picture Samples

From day one, The Phoblographer has been enormous on transparency with our viewers. Nothing from this overview is sponsored. Additional, plenty of people will publish opinions and present plenty of modifying within the pictures. The issue then turns into that anybody and everybody can do the identical factor. They’re not exhibiting what the lens can do. So we’ve got a bit in our Further Picture Samples space to point out edited and unedited pictures. From this, you may make a choice for your self.



Who Ought to Purchase It?

This can be a fairly straightforward query to reply. For those who’re getting the OM System OM1, then get it bundled with the OM System 12-40mm f2.8 Professional II. Do you have to improve to it? Actually, I’m unsure. For those who go together with the Panasonic 25-50mm f1.7 and pair it with the 10-25mm f1.7, you’ll most likely be in fairly nice form. However you’ve bought way more vary with the OM System 12-40mm lens as a substitute. Nonetheless, you’re at solely f2.8! Years in the past, it was a formidable feat to have a 24-80mm equal lens with an f2.8 aperture. However the world has moved on. 

Make no mistake, this is among the greatest equipment lenses you’ll ever get your fingers on. However when you do, you’ll desperately wish to complement it with OM System’s lovely Professional-level prime lenses. You’ll additionally wish to get extra zoom lenses on the longer finish as a result of they’re simply that nice. 

You should buy this lens from Amazon, Adorama, and LensRentals Keeper Program.

Tech Specs

These specs had been taken from the LensRentals itemizing. Go forward and lease one from them utilizing our hyperlink.

Angle of View

84° 30’





Filter Dimension


Focal Size


Hood Included


Picture Stabilization


Merchandise Kind


Lens Kind

Large Angle and Regular Vary

Max Aperture


Most Magnification


Mfr. Mannequin Quantity


Minimal Aperture


Minimal Focusing Distance



Micro 4/3rds

Optical Design

Teams/Parts: 9/14

Further-Low Dispersion Parts: 2

Aspherical Parts: 2

Twin Tremendous Aspherical Parts: 1

Further-Low Dispersion Aspherical Parts: 1

Excessive-Refractive Index Parts: 2

Aperture Blades: 7, Rounded


Dimensions (ø x L): 2.8 × 3.3″

Weight: 0.8 lb.

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