First Impressions: Olympus 12-100mm F/4 IS Pro

We had a chance to see and interact with the new Olympus 12-100mm F/4 here at PhotoPlus Expo 2016. This lens was announced back at Photokina and this was our first opportunity to give the lens a good look, so today we have some initial impressions for you.

Tech Specs

Performance
Focal Length 12 – 100mm
Comparable 35mm Focal Length: 24 – 200 mm
Aperture Maximum: f/4
Minimum: f/22
Camera Mount Type Micro Four Thirds
Format Compatibility Micro Four Thirds
Angle of View 84° – 12°
Minimum Focus Distance 5.91″ (15 cm)
Magnification 0.3 – 0.21x
Elements/Groups 17/11
Diaphragm Blades 7, Rounded
Features
Image Stabilization Yes
Autofocus Yes
Physical
Filter Thread Front: 72 mm
Dimensions (DxL) Approx. 3.05 x 4.59″ (77.5 x 116.5 mm)
Weight 1.23 lb (561 g)

Ergonomics

Olympus 12-100mm F/4 IS PRO

The 12-100mm F/4 IS Pro feels great in the hands. The finish on the lens barrel is easy to hold onto and doesn’t feel like something that could easily slip out of your hand. The lens looks as if it could be a little front heavy on the very light Olympus cameras, especially when the barrel is fully extended.

Olympus 12-100mm F/4 IS PRO

Olympus 12-100mm F/4 IS PRO

The lens has a good size for anyone with average to large hands, it fits comfortably. Users with smaller hands may find the lens to be a bit on the large size to hold, but overall it is a good size.

Build Quality

The build quality of this lens is exactly what you would expect for a professional level lens from Olympus. It is incredibly solid and feels like a substantial lens, you can tell that there is a lot of glass in there.

Olympus 12-100mm F/4 IS PRO

 

The switches for the L-FN and Image Stabilization have a perfect amount of resistance, not so much so that they are hard to switch, but not so easy that you are constantly switching them by accident.

Olympus 12-100mm F/4 IS PRO

The lens does feature weather sealing, but given that we were just viewing the lens in a press meeting room we did not have a chance to test it.

Autofocus

TBD, We were not able to shoot any images with the lens this time around.

Image Quality

TBD, We were not able to shoot any images with the lens this time around.

First Impressions

We really love these Olympus PRO lenses, the look, and the feel are as good as any other pro-level lens out there and this new 12-100mm F/4 is no different. The focus ring is smooth and very responsive. The zoom ring had a little more resistance that we prefer, but it wasn’t bad at all.

Overall though, the lens looks great, is very solidly built and seems like it will be a great addition to the Olympus M4/3 lens lineup. Stay tuned for our full review once we are able to get a review unit in.

Anthony Thurston

Anthony is a Portland, Oregon based Boudoir Photographer specializing in a dark, moody style that promotes female body positivity, empowerment, and sexuality. Besides The Phoblographer, he also reviews gear and produces his own educational content on his website.