Help! I am being robbed!! No no..I am not really but those who buy this lens may think so. As gorgeous as it is inside and out, this Olympus Special Edition 12mm f/2 in all black comes at a price. The original silver 12mm f/2 is $799, a price that was hard to swallow for so many who shoot micro 4/3. The lens is beautiful and one of my faves on the OM-D but this black edition comes in at $1099 which is a $300 price hike just for the black color.
I remember a day when ALL lenses came in black. Now we get to pay extra for the privilege. I admit, this lens looks absolutely gorgeous in all black and I KNOW it performs but it will ultimately be up to your preferences and wallet whether you want to take the plunge. I am a little bothered by this price hike but I know some will buy it and love it. After all, this hobby is just as much about enjoying the gear as it is enjoying the memories we create with it (for many of us anyway). Besides, how much is a Leica 24 3.8? Thats about the equivalent of this lens on M4/3. It’s no Leica but it kind of looks like one and has the performance as well.
You can check out the all black Olympus 12mm f/2 at B&H Photo HERE.
UPDATE: More research has shown me that this comes with the $90 metal lens hood included, a nice all metal retro lens cap and a protective filter. So the $300 is not all that bad for a “special edition”. It is more like a $150 price bump after the extras. That could make it worth it for the sexy color upgrade, but still wish it was only $100 more. Truth be told..I’m digging it in black though it is the same exact lens as the silver version.
You can check out the all black Olympus 12mm f/2 at B&H Photo HERE.
I am considering instead a Rokinon 12mm 2.0 for less than $350. I lose the AF capabilities, but what else am I losing, compared with the $1000+ Olympus lens?
You will lose the AF, some sharpness, some color saturation and depth, etc.
It is a tough decision. I just inspected some image that I have taken yesterday with vintage Zeiss lenses (35/1.4, 85/1.4) on M 4/3 cameras. They look just awesome. I wonder whether small and subtle differences will be lost by using the less costly alternative lenses. Thanks, Steve.
Steve do you know if the olympus 12mm lens cap will fit the 45mm lens?
Criminy. Just read the listed specs for the filter thread size online. If they match great. If not that to is your answer.
Well, it does seem a bit overpriced, but I just ordered one from B&H to give to my wife for Christmas. I am sure she will love it. When I see her open up the box (and the ‘rice paper wrapping’!?) I’ll forget all about what it cost.
Besides, she gave me a Olympus ZD 300mm 2.8 lens for my birthday a few years ago, so really – I am getting off rather cheap!
She will love it, gorgeous lens.
Pure marking rip off. The extra parts cost them next to nothing and it is a way to force those that should have a standard color to pay an extra $300. For this reason Olympus has lost me a customer. If they had black at the normal price they would sell more lenses and not tic off new M43 buyers. Offer a special edition with extra junk but don’t make it the only option for black. This marketing technique is going to back fire on slaes and is really foolish.
Its more like $150 for the extra color as this comes with the hood (in black as well), filter, etc. Many have happily paid that extra $150 for this lens and if I were buying this lens today it would be the one in black. Olympus did not lose me as a customer, they do what many other companies do these days like Fuji, Leica, Sony, etc. if you want black, buy it. If not, do not. No one forces it. It is a limited run lens and comes with the extras so costs a but more.
Mine arrived from B&H yesterday. No regrets. Thanks, Steve!
Awesome! Enjoy it!
FOR SALE: one Sharpie pen, $1. Or, if you really have $150 burning a hole in your pocket, I’ll sell you 150 of them.
Nice lens, but the premium for “limited” is a bit much. But, supply and demand and all so more power to them. The lens hood should be included with every lens. Fortunately, this is a good hood.
I bet these sell out.
thanks steve, happily just bought one of B&H
Lot of anger here! Don’t like it – switch to Fuji and see what you have been missing…
I just bought one. Yes the price is high, but silver looks crappy on a black OMD body.
I am just mad they don’t have a special edition 45mm yet 🙂
Luckily my kinda ugly black plastic Panasonic “Leitz” lenses contrast nicely with my silver OMDs. So the Oly silver lenses look great and the Pana lenses look “normal” in a nice Nikon/Canon retro sort of way. So while the two or more lens sources seems a bit odd to my traditional systems approach it does create a little unwanted drama. Hahaha.
Come on Olympus, everything about this black version is distasteful. Firstly you release the “high grade” lens in silver only, force those of us to buy into this colour, which is annoying but not terrible, then you leave it for a year, resell it in the black colour and hike up the price.
You will no doubt sell all of them, and someone will be patted on the back for the thousands of extra dollars poured into the pot but at what cost? Don’t you see that a lot of us, the true enthusiasts that want to get behind their brand are somewhat disgusted at this?
I just think Oly is getting a bad reputation as overpriced, i’ve got my silver 12mm, and lens hood and lens cap which I had to swallow hard to purchase but was really happy with, but now this, sneaking in a $150.. i’m not buying the OMD now, that’s what? 3 of these lenses you could have sold at normal price, hell you could have brought them out at the same time, that would have been stellar, and i’d be singing your praises as I went and upgraded my busted E-P2. Not now. tut tut.
Rip off !!!!!
The mirrorless manufacturers (I’m looking at you, Olympus and Fuji) are starting to take advantage of the current hype surrounding the format to gouge the customers. Nikon and Canon are far from perfect but when was last time they launched something equivalent to the ridiculous “special” black Olympus lens or the “limited edition” Fuji X100. And the DSLR manufacturers are usually gracious enough to supply lens hoods rather than making consumers buy them as over-priced add-ons. Can’t help thinking that DSLRs are starting to look increasingly good value compared to some MFT systems. With the FF Nikon D600 now falling to just over £1,500 in the UK, suddenly £1,000 for an OMD EM5 starts to look pretty steep, especially when Olympus, Panasonic etc. are pricing lenses and accessories at screw-the-customers levels.
You are missing the point…it’s all about the size of the body and the lenses and the performance. I was just looking over a folder of images shot with my OM-D and this 12mm and some of them blew me away in regards to their quality. They give up NOTHING to any DSLR, and I have plenty in a folder shot with a Nikon D4 and D800. Sure, you get more shallow DOF with full frame but this system is about size, weight and quality, all in one. I wouldn’t take a D600 over an E-M5 personally just due to the fact that a a D600 and decent lens is going to be huge and heavy, no way around it.
This lens has the hood included, in black. Has a filter included, has a metal cap included. It ends up being $150 more for black but the good thing is we make the choice on wether to buy it. We don’t have to, but some will of course. Canon may not have come out with special edition colored lenses but they have no reason to as all they have are DSLR’s which all look the same. There is nothing unique about their style or look and the reality is that these days, style is a big part of it for many. It’s fact.
You cant really blame Olympus for doing this as they will sell them all eventually. They are feeding demand and there is a demand for these things. Fuji did it with the black X100. Again, another camera that people buy who do NOT want a DSLR. DSLR sales are down from where they were 2-3 years ago, the reason is due to mirror less as more and more realize they can get the same quality in a small package.
Im not talking pros, I am talking hobbyists and enthusiasts. Again, I would take an OM-D and 12, 45, 75 lenses over any DSLR and equiv set of lenses..any day of the week. There are many who feel the same as I do otherwise these cameras and lenses wouldn’t be selling like hotcakes.
Even though they are selling like hotcakes, that is NO reason to gouge the customer. It will backfire on them eventually and history shows us this is true.
Yea, just like it has backfired on Leica 🙂 Not true. It is not “gouging” because they offer a choice. Silver at normal price or if you want, and desire, the black at a little bit more. It’s your choice. I am not a fan of it but it is reality.
Your comments are completely valid and I am certainly not anti the mirrorless camera ‘revolution’. I just feel that companies like Olympus and Fuji have realised that their products are very fashionable right now and see it as an opportunity to cash in. Every internet post saying “I was so tired of lugging (why do people always use that word?) my DSLR and 5 zoom lenses around with me so I sold everything and bought an OMD/X-Pro1 and now I can fit all me gear into my trouser pocket” just provides them with another excuse. I’m always wary of paying the fashion premium that comes with products that have been hyped to the sky (and note that I am NOT saying that the praise that has been heaped on cameras like the OMD is not justified – they are doubtless very capable machines).
When something becomes as trendy and ‘now’ as MFT appears to have become, the consumer inevitably ends up paying over the odds. I think we need to get a bit of a reality check here. The fact is that MFT does have a size/weight advantage over DSLRs, but I don’t think it’s actually as dramatic as people sometimes make out. Many of the size/weight comparisons are not comparing apples with apples. Yes, if you are comparing an OMD with 3 primes to a D4 with 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200 f2.8 zooms, there is a huge difference. But why do MFT users seem to assume that’s what every DSLR user carries with them? In reality, if you are carrying, for example, a D7000 with, say 4 primes e.g. a 24 2.8, 35 1.8, 50 1.8 and 85 1.8, unless you have abnormally small hands and weak arms, that’s really not a huge kit to ‘lug around’. And it’s really not that much bigger than an MFT kit. As I said, I’m not anti mirrorless, just anti hype.
Keep up the good work, by the way. This is still the best photo website on the ‘net (and that’s one bit of hype that is totally justified….!!!)
You could buy the panasonic 12-35 2.8 zoom which has dropped in price. A little slower and a bit bigger but versatile and if I remember Steve really liked it, and it is not silver either.
Who cares. The silver lens is JUST as cool…if not more so. 40% more…..LOL!
I used to think that when Olympus decided to make their fine lenses with silver color it defin their High Grade lenes from regular lenses it almost same like Canon L lenses with their white color, but now they make the black version which is more expensive ; what the heck,..Oly
I loved Olympus and my OMD (still do) before they pulled this stunt. The hood and cap should have come with the original version, which was pricey enough, but this is outrageous, makes me want to jump ship to the new Fuji. Shame on Olympus!
I own the 12mm (on a Pen) and bought the xpro with its 18mm lens. Well, I recommend you don’t jump ship to fast. The 18mm Fuji is nothing to write home about, and the autofocus is (and remains after FW) a disaster. I also think Olympus pushes a bit too far with the price of the 12mm not to talk about the accessories, but compared to the performance of the Fuji lens, I still think it was worth paying 800$ for the Zuiko 12mm, and I regret that I did not change for an OMD. Besides that, I enjoyed every moment I spent with the Olympus, and the xpro just drives me nuts because of it’s crazy handling and defaults (loose exposure correction wheel, loose aperture ring, noise of the AF and blades, slowness…), which constantly stand between me and the picture I want to take.
I have the same reaction to the X-Pro 1 and 18mm…
Hahaha. Fuji and Mamiya and some others has always been also rans for a reason. The OMD for me has been a very pleasant surprise. And one I’m hoping Sony doesn’t screw up with their “investment” in the scandal plagued Olumpus. Look what wonders they did with Minolta they acquired. Also a once pleasant second tier also ran.
Yes. I’m being a bit unkind but only a very companies seem to keep themselves “together” over the long haul.
I really wish I had thought about the fact that all Olympus lenses seem to come in silver when I decided to get the Black OM-D. It is a silly thing, but the silver lens on the black body just doesn’t feel right.
Did the extra $$ for the Black x100 make it any better than the silver?? No but it looks killer!
I think this lens is a good one but certainly not up to being called a great one. The Zuiko Lens ED 12-60mm f2.8/4.0 SWD is head and shoulders above this lens in IQ at 12mm.
Olympus is trying to rip us off. Don’t pay it folks – it will be coming down in price soon. The 12-60 SWD lens is $999.00 from Olympus – cheaper and better than the ‘black’ 12mm.
Shame on you Olympus.
It is in fact a GREAT lens for Micro 4/3. The 12-60 you speak of is slower – MUCH MUCH larger and a zoom. For those reasons alone I wouldnt buy it for my Micro 4/3 let alone needing the use of a fat adapter. This 12mm f/2 is fantastic. It has been $799 since its release (silver). The black does nothing for performance though it does for looks, thats it.
Yes. It is a great lens. In any “color”. I bought a Leica spec’d chrome finished B+W MRC UV filter and tried and returned the crummy Oly shade and two more fun aftermarket shades as well. Now I use no hood at all. No big deal. And for your zoom analogy is dead on. Why put an unneeded two ton lens on this little tiny camera body?
I’m guessing we can look forward to premium priced “Special Editions” of the 45 and 75mm lenses, as well.
Perfectly ridiculous, given that all Oly lenses, including the cheapest, have always come in black.
I love Olympus cameras; can’t say I like the company much, any more.
not only lens hood, but also metal lens cap and a protection filter is included.
How much is the hood???!!!!
I paid for 59$ for an original silver hood,actually third party is far more cheaper,..
Even for the silver price 799$ is still too expensive, concerning the performance even though is very good , but not outstanding like the 75mm ,.and now the black color without any improvement ,..it’s so ridiculous price
But is does come with the hood included which is almost $100. So maybe it’s only $200 for the blank…=)
Awesome! Just updated. Comes with hood, retro metal cap, and protective filter. So its about $150 more…
Well, yeah, but why is the lens hood not included with the lens in the first place?
Why is it almost $100?
The upside is that when a simple accessory is this overpriced, it provides an opening for third parties to market a (much) cheaper alternative, as they have for the X100. I bought an eBay accessory ring and lens hood for that camera for about 1/3 of Fuji’s price. Works just fine.
Hope the Chinese manufacturers do the same to Olympus.
yeah 300$ more for a lens hood, lens cap uv filter…
sexy, but that won’t make my photo better, just my coworkers more jealous 🙂
Not a lens, simply a Rip-off/ I just bought a SLR .95 (50mm) for my Nex 7 for a lot less than that.
Well, this is indeed a lens. A great one at that and one of the best for M4/3, period. After finding out it comes with the hood, cap and filter extras it is not so bad really. If black is your thing and wide angle is your focal length of choice.
Yes, black is indeed my thing, because it’s going on my GH1 (soon to be GH3). PLEASE OLYMPUS 75mm NEXT!?
Please, also mention: This limited series comes with a very fine, old-fashioned metal lens cap and an Olympus high-quality UV filter.
I hear you Steve, for this kinda dough you could almost buy an X100!
Aaaargh! “This is so fun!”
This so fun! Just like cars up until the very standardized nineties. Now we can expect any color of the rainbow? Like Nikon and Canon with their white and silver and blue and god only knows color variants! And, of course, Leica after their fall from professional relevancy.
We’ll expect designer color lens/body combinations too.
And, yes, I am kidding. This is silly. And black was once the premium. Never chrome. What a marketing coup. But not a photography coup. Clowns.
The world is lost … $ 300 for a color!?
Not for a color, for special edition.
Like the special edition of Leica cameras.
yes, all cameras should come in two-tone orange and green. and a 100% premium for special custom orders in black.
Olympus is [playing the market]. NO Excuse for such a large hike… it did not cost and extra $100 or whatever [cost price] would figure out to be a $300 retail hike. For Black bodies SLRs there was about $50 increase. in my day, So a $300 body in chrome would cost $350 in black. So, that is a 16% increase… The 12/2 black is a 28% increase…
Oooof…I’ll wait a few weeks to see what happens. $300 for a different color has a sting to it.
The 12mm looks very attractive in black! But I must admit that I do not think a $300 increase is worth it for a color change. I am all too familiar with being picky about color – most people want their gear to look good – but I wouldn’t pay nearly 40% more for it.