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Thread: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

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    Lightbulb Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

    Today, despite overcast weather and, at the end, spits of rain, I shot some back/back comparisons of the new 12-40 and the old favourite 12-60 SWD using an E-M1, fitting the 12-60 via an MMF-3 adapter.

    The ISO was 200, and for the JPEGs the noise filter was switched off. A link to the RAW file is provided as well. Each lens was used at 12, 25 and 40mm and each focal length was used at full aperture, f/4.0, f/5.6 and f/8.0.

    The JPEGs were imported into Lightroom 5.0 for inspection and selection but no image changes were made. These images were not taken under laboratory conditions - and the 12mm shots may have had some spots of rain in the lens surface. But the camera and lenses were tripod mounted and levelled as best as I could. The lenses were only focused once for each focal length on each lens photographed. A 2 second delay was used to allow the camera to settle before each exposure was made.

    IMPORTANT

    These images are Copyright Ian Burley. They are provided for your personal evaluation only. If you are going to post these images or part of these images elsewhere on the Web I request that you post a link back to http://fourthirds-user.com and acknowledge my copyright. PLEASE DON'T POST LINKS TO THE FILES ON OUR SERVER! If you want to post the entire file, download it and serve it from your own web space (provided you include a link back to http://fourthirds-user.com) and acknowledge my copyright).

    Micro Four Thirds M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro:



    Four Thirds Zuiko Digital 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 w/ MMF-3 adapter:

    Founder/editor
    Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
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    Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

    If anyone does not follow the linking and copyright instructions I will remove these files.

    Ian
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    Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

    Thanks for doing this! Interesting to see these two excellent lenses side-by-side for the first time. Looking at the 25mm shots, I wonder if the 12-60mm focused somewhat closer than the 12-40. The wall looks better to me on the 12-40 (considerably so at the edge), but going by the pavement, the 12-60 actually looks sharper closer by. At 12mm and 40mm I've having a hard time telling a difference between the two!

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    Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

    Thanks Ian, your effort is really very much appreciated!

    The 12-60 looks somewhat softer on the left side of the pictures than the 12-40 - independent of the focal length used. Could it be that your lens is decentered?

    Thanks again
    Frank
    naturfotos.bplaced.net

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    Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

    Quote Originally Posted by Fraenzken View Post
    Thanks Ian, your effort is really very much appreciated!

    The 12-60 looks somewhat softer on the left side of the pictures than the 12-40 - independent of the focal length used. Could it be that your lens is decentered?

    Thanks again
    Frank
    It could be, I will do a DxO Analyzer check.

    Ian
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    Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian View Post
    It could be, I will do a DxO Analyzer check.

    Ian
    Thanks again Ian!
    Cheers
    naturfotos.bplaced.net

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    Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

    OK, I have now spent some time looking at the images. Based on examination of the JPEG images, sadly, I have to put my hand up and admit two failings; the 12-60 40mm shots are very slightly mis-focused compared to the 12-40 shots and the 12-60 lens sample does look de-centred, with the top right looking sharper than the top left.

    Therefore I have decided to re-shoot the entire exercise and will use a different 12-60 and hope it is a better sample. The weather today is much better and sunny although forecast to deteriorate this afternoon. I need to wait for the light to shine on the front of the building later this morning before I can start but I will publish new images this afternoon.

    But given the above comments, at 25mm, comparing the best areas of the 12-60 to the 12-40 there is not much difference except of course the 12-40 is 2/3 or so stops brighter fully open and doesn't seem to lose much to the 12-60 at f/3.4. At 12mm wide open and this time both at f/2.8 I think the 12-40 has a very slight edge in sharpness but we'll have to see how a different 12-60 sample works out. Surprisingly, given that the E-M1 is supposed to correct Four Thirds lenses for distortion in the JPEGs there is still quite a bit of barrel distortion with the 12-60 compared to the 12-40. I should also add that the 12-40 was more consistent in focus accuracy (using CDAF) than the 12-60 (PDAF) although the conditions weren't ideal.

    Finally, the previous comments elsewhere that have referred to reduced sharpness at f/5.6 - I can concur and can only think that is a diffraction issue as it appears to affect both lenses.

    Ian
    Founder/editor
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    Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

    Here is a new set of comparison images shot today using a different 12-60. This doesn't look very sharp on the extreme right of the frame in the 40mm shots, but I think it's more representative than the first lens I tried.

    Unfortunately the clouds raced in so these shots are again taken in overcast conditions.

    The ISO was 200, and for the JPEGs the noise filter was switched off. A link to the RAW file is provided as well. Each lens was used at 12, 25 and 40mm and each focal length was used at full aperture, f/4.0, f/5.6 and f/8.0.

    IMPORTANT

    These images are Copyright Ian Burley. They are provided for your personal evaluation only. If you are going to post these images or part of these images elsewhere on the Web I request that you post a link back to http://fourthirds-user.com and acknowledge my copyright. PLEASE DON'T POST LINKS TO THE FILES ON OUR SERVER! If you want to post the entire file, download it and serve it from your own web space (provided you include a link back to http://fourthirds-user.com) and acknowledge my copyright).

    Micro Four Thirds M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro:



    Four Thirds Zuiko Digital 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 w/ MMF-3 adapter:

    Founder/editor
    Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
    Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
    Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
    Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)
    Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
    Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
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    Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

    I decided to try opening the RAW file (P9150179.ORF) of the 12-40 lens at 12mm, f8 in a Win8 app Foto & it did showing just how much barrel distortion there was before the correction had been applied to it (in the jpeg) which includes a fair amount of crop too, (which is how it opens in Olympus Viewer 3 (version 1.1)). Of course it shows it rather flat too without settings applied.
    I just though it would be interesting to mention it.

    BTW, OV3 also shows the Color Creator in the Picture Mode selection too as well as the Highlight & Shadow Control (which can't be used on E-M5 RAW files).

    Ross
    I fiddle with violins (when I'm not fiddling with a camera).
    Cameras: OM-D E-M1 & Mk II, Olympus Stylus 1, OM-D E-M5.
    Lenses: M.ZD12-40mm f2.8 PRO Lens, M.ZD40-150mm f2.8 PRO Lens with MC-14, M.ZD12-50, M.ZD60 Macro, M.ZD75-300 Mk II, MMF-3, ZD14-54 II, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM.
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    Wink Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

    Ian, thanks for this shots. As far as I can see, Olympus has done their homework very well as I see the jpegs. That means that they have done the optical formula + softwarecorrection at the wide end very good, better than any mFT lens before. The 12-60 could be old and defocussed but I can't see it going better than the 12-40. Except at 41-60mm of course.

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