Comparing Olympus 12-45mm f4 vs 12-40mm f2.8 Lenses

Comparing Olympus 12-45mm f4 vs 12-40mm f2.8 Lenses


In this article, we will discuss the differences between the Olympus 12-45mm f4 and 12-40mm f2.8 lenses. We will compare their features, performance, and suitability for different photography scenarios. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of which lens might be the best fit for your needs.

What are the main differences in aperture and focal length between the two lenses?

The main difference between the Olympus 12-45mm f4 and 12-40mm f2.8 lenses lies in their maximum aperture and focal length range. The 12-45mm f4 lens has a maximum aperture of f4 throughout its focal length range, while the 12-40mm f2.8 lens maintains a constant aperture of f2.8. This means that the 12-40mm lens allows for better low-light performance and more control over depth of field compared to the 12-45mm lens.

Additionally, the 12-45mm lens has a slightly longer focal length range, offering a bit more telephoto reach compared to the 12-40mm lens. This can be beneficial for capturing distant subjects or achieving a tighter composition.

How do the two lenses differ in terms of size, weight, and build quality?

When it comes to physical characteristics, the 12-45mm f4 lens is notably smaller and lighter than the 12-40mm f2.8 lens. This can make the 12-45mm lens more portable and convenient for travel or long shooting sessions. However, the 12-40mm lens’s larger size and weight often translate to better durability and a more robust build quality.

The 12-45mm lens is constructed with a high-grade plastic material, while the 12-40mm lens features a metal construction that offers enhanced protection against wear and tear. Depending on your shooting style and environment, you may prioritize portability or sturdiness when choosing between these two lenses.

Which lens delivers better image quality and overall performance?

Both the 12-45mm f4 and 12-40mm f2.8 lenses are known for delivering excellent image quality and sharpness. However, the 12-40mm lens with its constant f2.8 aperture tends to produce slightly sharper images, especially when shooting wide open or in low-light conditions. The increased light-gathering ability of the 12-40mm lens also contributes to better overall performance in challenging lighting situations.

On the other hand, the 12-45mm lens is no slouch when it comes to image quality, offering impressive sharpness and detail rendition. Its versatile focal length range may also make it a more practical choice for casual photography, travel, and street shooting. Ultimately, the choice between these two lenses depends on your specific photographic needs and priorities.

Which lens is better suited for portrait, landscape, and everyday photography?

For portrait photography, the 12-40mm f2.8 lens is often preferred due to its wider aperture and ability to create beautiful background blur (bokeh). The constant f2.8 aperture also makes it a strong contender for capturing landscapes with enhanced detail and depth. However, the 12-45mm f4 lens can still excel in these genres, offering a slightly longer focal length for portraits and a more compact form factor for on-the-go shooting.

When it comes to everyday photography, the choice between the two lenses may come down to personal preferences and shooting styles. The 12-45mm lens’s versatility and lightweight design make it a great all-around choice for capturing a wide range of subjects in various conditions. The 12-40mm lens, while bulkier, is a workhorse that can deliver consistent results across different photography genres.


Ultimately, the decision between the Olympus 12-45mm f4 and 12-40mm f2.8 lenses depends on your specific photographic needs and shooting preferences. The 12-40mm lens offers a constant f2.8 aperture and robust build quality, making it a strong contender for low-light photography and professional applications. On the other hand, the 12-45mm lens’s compact size, versatile focal length range, and lighter weight may be more appealing to photographers who prioritize portability and everyday usability.

Before making your decision, consider the genres you primarily shoot, the lighting conditions you often encounter, and your willingness to carry a larger lens. Both lenses have their strengths, and it’s important to weigh these factors when choosing the best option for your camera setup.


1. Can the Olympus 12-45mm f4 and 12-40mm f2.8 lenses be used on both Micro Four Thirds and other camera systems?

No, these lenses are designed specifically for Micro Four Thirds camera systems and are not compatible with other camera mounts.

2. Are there significant price differences between the two lenses?

Yes, the 12-40mm f2.8 lens is generally priced higher than the 12-45mm f4 lens due to its wider aperture and professional-grade construction.

3. How do these lenses compare to prime lenses with similar focal lengths and apertures?

Prime lenses with fixed focal lengths and wider apertures may offer superior image quality and low-light performance compared to zoom lenses like the 12-45mm and 12-40mm. However, zoom lenses provide greater versatility and convenience for various shooting scenarios.

4. Are there any known compatibility issues or drawbacks with these lenses?

Some users have reported minor issues with autofocus performance and lens distortion, but these can often be mitigated through firmware updates and post-processing techniques.

5. Which lens is better for video recording?

The constant aperture of the 12-40mm f2.8 lens makes it a popular choice for video recording, especially in low-light conditions. However, the 12-45mm f4 lens offers smoother and quieter autofocus, which can be beneficial for video work.


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