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Olympus 12mm F2 Lens Silver Wide Angle & Astro Photography

Olympus EC30661
Olympus 12mm F2 Lens Silver Wide Angle & Astro Photography
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A fast aperture super-wide prime lens with the world's first depth of field scale in a compact system camera lens. Designed for rapid hyperfocal shooting, its quick-clutch manual focus ring enables quick focus-free candid or reportage photography. MSC drive technology assures super-fast and quiet autofocusing. Olympus introduces its revolutionary new ZERO (Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical) multicoating with this new high performance lens for maximum shooting confidence in challenging contra-jour lighting conditions. An all metal barrel design provides durability and a premium build quality.

Astro is obviously about shooting in low light, so longer shutter speeds generally, however, if the shutter speed is too long, there will be movement in the stars captured – to work out the maximum shutter speed at given focal length we need to use the 500 rule.


Understanding the 500 rule

The 500 rule is an equation used when attempting to capture photos of the Milky Way.

It helps us understand the slowest shutter speed that we can use, before stars start to trail.

  • The equation is 500 / Full Frame (35mm) Focal Length = Shutter Speed
  • Because Olympus Cameras use a MFT sensor you need to multiply your focal length by 2 when calculating your shutter speed.
  • For Example if I was using the 7-14mm F2.8 at 7mm, the equation would be 500/14=35. Therefore my exposure time is 35 seconds.
  • Use this table to help you calculate your exposure time using the 500 rule.
  • For best results, round down the exposure time to the full second. Example 35.7 becomes 35.

Focal Length (mm)

Full Frame Equivalent (mm)

Maximum Exposure time (seconds)



























Shutter speed is only 1 part of understanding Exposure.

When we are choosing a lens we need to consider the maximum aperture available to us.


Calculating Exposure

Ready for some photography nerd mathematics?

This is the equation for calculating Exposure Value, where N is your Aperture and t is your shutter speed.

Don’t freak out, we’ve done the work for you, but remember;

  • That the lower the number, the better suited the lens will be for dim lit situations (like Astrophotography).
  • If you go down a whole number you are capturing double the amount of light.
  • Whilst you could use any lens for capturing stars, we are going to focus on some wide angle options.


8mm f1.8 Fisheye Pro at 31 second exposure at f1.8 (EV -3.21)

12mm f2 at 20 second exposure at f2 (EV -2.32)

7-14mm f2.8 Pro at 35 second exposure at f2.8 (EV -2.16)

 As you can see, the 12mm performs very well – even compared to the Olympus Pro lenses.



The 12mm, the Architectural & Landscape Photographer's Delight.

Pro grade super high performance wide-angle prime with a no-compromise optical design. It's super-bright aperture allows for more light to be captured even in lower light environments. Dual Super Aspherical (DSA), Extra-Low Dispersion (ED), and Super High Refractive index (Super HR) glass elements ensure that clarity is maintained at all apertures. Engraved depth of field scale with quick-clutch manual focus mechanism for hyperfocal photography All metal barrel and focusing ring MSC (Movie & Still Compatible) mechanism for fast and quiet autofocusing.

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