If You Could Only Have One Lens Micro four thirds edition

The M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO lens is the lens I would recommend to most photographers if they could only afford to buy one lens. It really is in a class by itself. It’s the only professional high magnification zoom to cover a 35mm equivalent 24-200mm focal range all on its own. One lens covering this wide focal range is unheard of. This Micro Four Thirds lens features premium construction and superior glass to provide spectacular optical performance. It is SUPER sharp and SUPER contrasty and performs very well in low light thanks to its 5-Axis Sync IS, the world’s most powerful image stabilization system. Every inch of this lens is PRO: weatherproof construction, fast auto focusing and effortless control. Its broad focal length lets you shoot portraits, wide-angle, landscapes, and macro. One lens. Unprecedented versatility.

Even though it is an approximation of a 10X zoom, it exhibits incredible sharpness at all focal lengths, even wide open. No other zoom lens I’ve tested in this range is this sharp and exhibits so little chromatic aberration. There’s virtually no vignetting and no distortion. It also focuses very quickly. It’s so versatile, it can even double as a poor man’s macro lens.

I’ve used this lens for about a year now and it’s built to extremely high standards. It’s fully splashproof, dustproof and freezeproof down 14°F (-10°C). It balances well on the flagship Olympus body and feels good in the hand.

The versatility of a lens that covers such a wide focal range with a relatively fast constant aperture makes it my hands-down choice for Micro Four Thirds shooters deciding which lens to buy. It’s more expensive than many M43 lenses but it’s worth every penny and more.


The M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-100mm f4.0 IS PRO lens was Imaging Resource's lens of the year (travel) for a reason. It's rock solid, and its performance is consistently top-shelf. It has amazing stabilization that will allow shutter speeds so low you won't believe it.

You can buy a cheaper lens, but not a better lens. If you're dubious about a 10x zoom performing at pro levels don't be. I can tell you that I never worry about grabbing this lens if I need to have the flexibility of a zoom, but the sharpness of a prime. It's so good that it has caused me to completely re-think how I feel about zoom lenses. Highly recommended.

About The Author

Scott Bourne is a member of The Board Of Advisors at Macphun, an Olympus Visionary and a professional wildlife photographer, author and lecturer who specializes in birds. He was one of the founders of This Week In Photo, Founded Photofocus.com and is co-founder of the new Photo Podcast Network (photopodcasts.com.)

Scott is a regular contributor to several photography related blogs and podcasts and is the author of 11 photography books.

Scott is available to speak to your birding group, photography group and for both private and small group bird photography workshops. For more information on engaging Scott as a speaker or workshop leader, or for image licensing and print information, e-mail scott@scottbourne.com.


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