Lindsay Dobson writes about her impressions of the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 EZ lens, and impressed she is.

This kit lens may come out mauled by most the reviewers, but a minority like Lindsay-and others, see it otherwise. It may not be the optically best mirrorless kit lens there is (that distinction should probably go to the Fujinon XF 18-55mm), nor the cheapest, BUT, it is sharp enough, has a good zoom range, and is unbeatable when it comes to features., the 'Jack of all trades-master of none' equivalent of lenses.

And for those buying the E-M5 and get rid of this kit lens within 5 minutes because they read a bad review of it, just try it first, will ya? You get Weather sealing, 24-100mm range, power zoom and macro mode, all in one convenient package. Too dark for you? Just bump up the Iso and you're set. Don't believe me? Check out Lindsay's pics, many of these are shot at Iso 1250-1600:

"But the question got me thinking, and I asked myself if there might be situations where the Olympus M Zuiko ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ would prove useful to me. And actually, the answer is yes.

So when would an inexpensive kit lens like this come in handy? Will probably fairly often, because this lens has some very useful features such as the ability to switch between power and manual zoom, the fact that it’s weather sealed (fantastic if you live here in the UK), it’s very lightweight, it covers a useful field of view equivalent to 24-100mm, and it has a macro feature which works very well.

That sounds great, so what are the downsides? Well, inexpensive kit lenses are usually designed just to get you going, they don’t have the expensive lens coatings and lens construction of their much more expensive professional counterparts, and most important of all they often have a slow maximum aperture.

This is very much the case with the lens and a question, it is very slow when fully zoomed which means you are generally limited to using this particular piece of kit in good light. And due to their construction, kit lenses often fall down on the attributes we pay so much for when we invest in pro lenses. Namely the fact that cheaper optics will not resolve as much fine detail, or colour, contrast. But even so I decided to give this one a whirl as I walked around the beautiful Sheffield Park yesterday. For once the sun was shining so the whole outing was relaxing and pleasant."

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