In early January, 2019, I had the opportunity to test-drive the Olympus m.Zuiko Pro 12-100mm f/4 “travel zoom” lens for a few days (thanks fotogena Darmstadt!). The weather wasn't great most of the time but I managed to put the lens through its paces on the Mathildenhöhe in Darmstadt, in the Opel zoo, Eppstein, and Mainz.

As far as I'm concerned the results are pretty impressive - the lens is very sharp across its whole focal range, allows extreme close-ups, and the additional in-lens stabiliser makes it very versatile and usable even in fairly bad lighting conditions. For a Micro-4/3 lens the 12-100mm f/4 Pro is fairly large and heavy but considering that it replaces at least two other lenses in one's camera bag this is not necessarily a bad trade-off, and it fits well on the OM-D E-M5 II with the battery grip attached. The lens is built like a tank, with many metal parts, and like all m.Zuiko Pro lenses it is weather-sealed, which should come in useful at times.

I could see myself using this lens a lot when travelling; I must admit that I rather like the convenience of the m.Zuiko 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 zoom which came with my original OM-D E-M5 and for a “kit lens” isn't bad but not great either. The 12-100mm f/4 Pro would be a nice upgrade (and then some) but of course at five times the price one would rather hope that to be the case. I'm still a big fan of my m.Zuiko 17mm and 45mm f/1.8 lenses, though; the 12-100mm f/4 Pro is quite a bit slower even though the enhanced stabiliser makes up for that at least in part.

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