I’ve recently taken delivery of a sparkling new Olympus E-M5 camera, which came bundled with the catchily-named M.Zuiko Ed 12-50mm f3.5-6.3.
For a kit lens, it performs pretty respectably. The f3.5-6.3 bit means it’s pretty slow in terms of aperture, which in particular means it isn’t good for creating out-of-focus backgrounds. But as a walk-around lens with equivalent 35mm focal length range of 24-100mm, it’s pretty useful and sharp.
However, it really comes into its own when used for video and macro. I’ve only had a quick play with video mode, but the lens features smooth and silent motorised zooming plus a really smooth transition as it comes into focus.
Equally impressive is the macro mode. Macro is initiated by pressing the ‘macro’ button on the side of the lens while pushing the zoom ring forwards until the word ‘MACRO’ shows in a little window. This locks the zoom to a 43mm focal length (86mm equivalent in 35mm terms) while the maximum aperture appears to be f6.
What’s immediately apparent is that you can get pretty close in macro mode, that f6 might not sound impressive but gives a good compromise depth of field. And the image quality is fantastic! The camera’s excellent built-in image stabilisation also ensures that you can hand-hold and achieve sharp images – which can be very difficult with a macro lens.
To prove the point, here are some obligatory cat shots, showing some of Dolly’s best features in extreme close-up.