View Full Version : HELP! Zuiko 12-50mm v Lumix 14-45mm Test

13th May 2014, 03:38 PM
I have both the Zuiko 12-50mm and the Lumix 14-45mm; one of them should really go!

Purely on specifications the 12-50mm is a clear winner, sporting a bigger zoom range, weather sealing and "macro" close focusing, but I wanted to compare actual performance before making a decision. So how did they do?

Well, in terms of resolution I'm not even going to bother to show the results, it's just too close to call. Both lenses deliver a thoroughly respectable performance and any difference is so small that frankly it is not worth worrying about. However, what did surprise me was the significantly worse CA of the Olympus optic compared to the Panasonic, under certain conditions. Here is an example:-

Full frame images resized for web



100% Crops



Compared to the Lumix, the CA of the Zuiko kit lens is shocking and puts doubt on the otherwise straightforward decision of which one to keep. I know some editing software successfully removes CA but Elements 10, which I use, does not - at least so far as I'm aware! Does anyone know of a cheap plug-in that would do the job?

13th May 2014, 04:27 PM
Does anyone know of a cheap plug-in that would do the job?

Faststone :cool:


This was a few seconds, purely to reduce CA, you would need to boost back the colours a bit. But for FREE it well worth playing with.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/FS_-_GT_EASTON_LENS_TEST_011_crop_100_.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/73378)

13th May 2014, 04:44 PM
Lightroom :)


Wee man
13th May 2014, 05:07 PM
Just help wrap the 12 - 50mm and send it to me you would save all the bother of downloads and having to learn new software.

13th May 2014, 05:22 PM
I'm looking forward to seeing John at my Lightroom seminars in July :) (he also has a copy of Lightroom!)


13th May 2014, 05:24 PM
I'm looking forward to seeing John at my Lightroom seminars in July :) (he also has a copy of Lightroom!)

Have you got dates yet, Ian?

13th May 2014, 06:38 PM
Would the lens size be a factor John?

I always found the 12-50 a bit ungainly but as your comparisons bare out it's quite an underrated lens. My eldest daughter now has mine and it's put to work on her E-PL2.

13th May 2014, 09:25 PM
This is interesting because I thought from everything I had read this version of the Panny was supposed to be sharper than the Oly 12-50.

13th May 2014, 10:37 PM
Thanks guys,

Fastone seems to have delt with the problem, but at the expense of loss of saturation. I wonder if increasing the saturation will bring the CA back?

I suspect the answer might be Lightroom but, unless a training course convinces me otherwise, it's not a program I feel happy using (old dog, new tricks and all that I suppose). I could use it just for reducing CA I suppose, but when I tried it if I remember right, it did seem to establish itself as the default editing program on my computer and I hate programs that try to take over!

The other solution might be to sell the Olympus and keep the Panny, which has the advantage of being more compact albeit without the the advantages of the Zuiko. Heck, I might just keep both and think of alternatives to raise funds.

In theory the Lumix should be the sharper lens but viewing the test shots at 100% I can't see it and that's good enough for me. They were shot on a tripod-mounted E-M5 using 4 second anti-shock at ISO 200, IS turned off and no filters.