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

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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
    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.
    Thanks for going through all this effort, Ian.

    This is highly interesting. Not only because of the decentering issues of the 12-60. But also because the 12-40 seems so incredibly consistent across the frame.

    I've developped the RAW files with PhotoNinja, though, and now I see a slightly different result: First of all, there's a massive barrel distortion on the 12 mm end of the 12-40 (not surprisingly, I'd say). Secondly, in the corners you can see huge vignetting. Luckily, they're cropped once the distortion is corrected (Olympus Viewer crops much more than PhotoNinja, b.t.w. - even after distortion correction).

    Thirdly, an that's for me the most interesting part: In the developped RAW file, the corners and edges seem to be notably softer than the center. There seems to be some selective sharpening going on: the soft outer part of the image is sharpened more than the center. That's why the results are so consistent.

    If you shoot jpgs, it doesn't matter - the results are beautiful! But for RAW-shooters this may pose a problem (if you don't use a RAW converter that accounts for the lenses' weaknesses as well as e.g. DXO does).

    Have a look at these comparisons:
    developped from RAW, uncorrected:
    http://www.wissenschaftsgeschichten....rected_ORF.jpg

    left side of the picture, jpg to the left, RAW to the right:
    http://www.wissenschaftsgeschichten...._ORF_right.jpg

    center of the picture, jpg to the left, RAW to the right:
    http://www.wissenschaftsgeschichten...._ORF_right.jpg

    right side of the picture, jpg to the left, RAW to the right:
    http://www.wissenschaftsgeschichten...._ORF_right.jpg

    P.S.: Selective sharpening seems also to be applied (by Olympus Viewer or the camera's jpg engine) to the 12-60, albeit to a smaller degree.
    Last edited by Fraenzken; 16th September 2013 at 03:37 PM.
    naturfotos.bplaced.net

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

    Just by way of interest, where is the 12-40 mm manufactured?
    Graham

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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 for going through all this effort, Ian.

    This is highly interesting. Not only because of the decentering issues of the 12-60. But also because the 12-40 seems so incredibly consistent across the frame.

    I've developped the RAW files with PhotoNinja, though, and now I see a slightly different result: First of all, there's a massive barrel distortion on the 12 mm end of the 12-40 (not surprisingly, I'd say). Secondly, in the corners you can see huge vignetting. Luckily, they're cropped once the distortion is corrected (Olympus Viewer crops much more than PhotoNinja, b.t.w. - even after distortion correction).

    Thirdly, an that's for me the most interesting part: In the developped RAW file, the corners and edges seem to be notably softer than the center. There seems to be some selective sharpening going on: the soft outer part of the image is sharpened more than the center. That's why the results are so consistent.

    If you shoot jpgs, it doesn't matter - the results are beautiful! But for RAW-shooters this may pose a problem (if you don't use a RAW converter that accounts for the lenses' weaknesses as well as e.g. DXO does).

    Have a look at these comparisons:
    developped from RAW, uncorrected:
    http://www.wissenschaftsgeschichten....rected_ORF.jpg

    left side of the picture, jpg to the left, RAW to the right:
    http://www.wissenschaftsgeschichten...._ORF_right.jpg

    center of the picture, jpg to the left, RAW to the right:
    http://www.wissenschaftsgeschichten...._ORF_right.jpg

    right side of the picture, jpg to the left, RAW to the right:
    http://www.wissenschaftsgeschichten...._ORF_right.jpg
    Thanks for your observations

    It's well known that the size of the glass elements in a lens can be reduced if you don't mind some distortion as a by-product. This is why Panasonic lenses are usually more compact than similar specification Leica-branded Panasonic lenses; Leica does not permit excessive distortion, whereas Panasonic is not so fussy and corrects it in the camera.

    When I was in Tokyo last month I asked Eiji Shirota, one of the senior lens designers at Olympus, if some size reduction had been at the cost of basic geometric distortion and reading between the lines he said yes.

    I am not so sure about selective sharpening - it's something I wlll have to ask them! Resolution can't be re-invented, of course.

    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 Graham View Post
    Just by way of interest, where is the 12-40 mm manufactured?
    Interestingly - there is no place of manufacture indication on my sample!

    But I will try to find out for you.

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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
    I am not so sure about selective sharpening - it's something I wlll have to ask them! Resolution can't be re-invented, of course.
    You're certainly right there, Ian. Maybe my comparison is a bit misleading as PhotNinja doesn't crop so much of the picture as Olympus Viewer does (and the most blurred parts are at the extreme edges). Still, if you could ask your sources, I'd be very interested in their answers.
    naturfotos.bplaced.net

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

    ... another thought: Maybe you could use your 12-40 on an E-M5 as well and compare it to the E-M1 results? One picture with each camera at 12mm f/2.8 would be enough. (I can understand though if that's too much hassle - I'm very grateful for the examples you already posted.)
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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
    ... another thought: Maybe you could use your 12-40 on an E-M5 as well and compare it to the E-M1 results? One picture with each camera at 12mm f/2.8 would be enough. (I can understand though if that's too much hassle - I'm very grateful for the examples you already posted.)
    I'll see if I can do this - might be tomorrow now. Just done some shots in late afternoon sunshine and including the Panasonic X 12-35 (as well as a third 12-60 plus the 12-40).

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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
    I'll see if I can do this - might be tomorrow now. Just done some shots in late afternoon sunshine and including the Panasonic X 12-35 (as well as a third 12-60 plus the 12-40).

    Ian
    That'd be awsome, thanks!
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    Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

    What disturbs me a bit is that absolute identical critical focus is not guaranteed with any of these lenses (and I suspect with any lens and camera combination regardless of make).

    The centre looks in focus but by comparing out of focus details you can see when the two images are actually not identically in focus (and this is with the same aperture setting and focal length of course).

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

    By the way, the third 12-60 I used seems to be consistent from side to side. I will definitely send the first one off for servicing and might send the second too.

    Ian
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