My Expression | ZD ED 12-60mm SWD f/2.8-4.0

The ZD ED 12-60mm SWD f/2.8-4.0

Weather resistant lens – proven during rainy 4×4 challenge photography

I bought this lens together with the Olympus E-3 in 2007. Since then the lens become my favourite with over 90% of the time usage. It covers from wide to moderate tele and also not forgetting macro capable. Overall, I’m very satisfied with this lens for its Super Grade, dust and weather resistant.

Portrait – Model at KDCA
E-1 + ZD12-60mm
f/4.5 | ISO 100 | 1/40s | Shamrie Sainin

Portrait – Model at Mesilau, Kundasang
E-3 + ZD12-60mm
f/8 | ISO 100 | 1/640s | Shamrie Sainin

Portrait – Gong Player during Kaamatan Festival
E-1 + ZD12-60mm
f/4 | ISO 100 | 1/40s | Shamrie Sainin

Close up – Rooster
E-3+ ZD12-60mm
f/4 | ISO 500 | 1/125s | Shamrie Sainin

Landscape – Blue Sky
E-3+ ZD12-60mm
f/8 | ISO 100 | 1/640s | Shamrie Sainin

Nature – Sunrise at Mengkabong, Tuaran Sabah
E-3 + ZD12-60mm
f/20 | ISO 100 | 1/100s | Shamrie Sainin

Offroad – Crossing the river after heavy rain during Borneo Safari
E-1 + ZD12-60mm
f/5.6 | ISO 100 | 1/50s | Shamrie Sainin

Offroad – 4×4 action
E-1 + ZD12-60mm
f/7.1 | ISO 200 | 1/80s | Shamrie Sainin

Panning – 4×4 action
E-1 + ZD12-60mm
f/6.3 | ISO 200 | 1/40s | Shamrie Sainin

However the lens eventually suffered with aperture stuck issue in early 2009. Having serviced by Olympus Malaysia, the lens is working perfectly until extreme usage of this lens during wet and muddy Borneo Safari 2011 where the SWD was totally out of order. The symptoms began with refuse to focus from 12mm and then all the zoom ranges where the lens does not response to focus at all. Manual focus helped a bit but there was a smearing effect in the photo. The lens is now at Olympus Service Centre since April 2012 because I still couldn’t decide whether to bare the cost (RM900++) to change the  SWD unit.

In my final opinion:


  1. Perfect walk around lens
  2. Wide and moderate zoom-tele capable
  3. Close up and macro capable
  4. Well built and feels solid


  1. Needs a special care to keep the lens in good condition
  2. Zooming feels a bit sticky, sometime with rattling sound – this is obvious when following a fast action with zooming and panning (in 4×4 action photography)

Straight out from camera – finally this lens (12-60mm) refuse to focus and blurred at corners
E-1 + ZD12-60mm
f/6.3 | ISO 100 | 1/160s | Shamrie Sainin


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