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Standard zoom and mid range Lenses with focal lengths larger than 12mm, but no longer than 60mm, includes standard zooms and portrait primes plus some macro lenses.

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Old 15th September 2013
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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.

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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:
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Old 15th September 2013
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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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Old 15th September 2013
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Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

So which is it Ian? Not that I plan on replacing my 12-60. It's only the second zoom lens I've kept in nearly 4 decades. The 7-14 was the first.
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Old 15th September 2013
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Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

Interesting. I had a quick compare of the 12mm f2.8 files and figured one of them was very very slightly sharper (by which time I forgot which was which).

Checking, it looks like the new one has the edge If so, well done Olympus.
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Old 15th September 2013
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Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

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Originally Posted by snaarman View Post
Interesting. I had a quick compare of the 12mm f2.8 files and figured one of them was very very slightly sharper (by which time I forgot which was which).

Checking, it looks like the new one has the edge If so, well done Olympus.
Even if the 12-40 is sharper, the attraction of my already paid for, and superb performing 12-60 is a compelling reason just to get the em1 body.
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Old 15th September 2013
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Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

I'm not going to attempt viewing the files on this BlackBerry. But as my sample of the 12-60 is so good it doesn't really matter.
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Old 15th September 2013
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Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

I haven't actually spent any time comparing them - just getting the shots taken, sorted and uploaded!

I have to do the shopping and cook the Sunday roast now so I will reserve my judgement for later!

Ian
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Old 16th September 2013
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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 haven't actually spent any time comparing them - just getting the shots taken, sorted and uploaded!

I have to do the shopping and cook the Sunday roast now so I will reserve my judgement for later!

Ian
Gosh Ian...Sunday Roast??? Haven't had one of those for a long time...can I come over for din din??

I looked at a couple of your posts and can't see any diff........they are sharp!! Than's all that matters!!
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Old 16th September 2013
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Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

The 12-60 will always be a damn fine lens with a great range, despite the new kid on the block.
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Old 16th September 2013
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Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

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Originally Posted by Bill Gordon View Post
Gosh Ian...Sunday Roast??? Haven't had one of those for a long time...can I come over for din din??
It seems to me to be a die-hard practice for the British because we had the same in Australia for a long time as Dad was English, although it was at lunch time (midday).
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Old 25th September 2013
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Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

Thanks for the comparisons Ian. Not much between these lenses, splitting hairs I would say.

I was able to try out an EM-1 at Clifton Camera's at the weekend and put my name down for one. At last we have a Camera from Olympus that is a worthy successor for 43 lens users.

I tried the 11-22 and 50-200 + EC-14. Didn't get a chance to try my 14-54 but would love to see some controlled side by side comparisons done with these older lenses on the EM-1. My tests were not as controlled as I would have liked and I made a mess of the 11-22 shots as I tried too sort out all the settings and get used to the Camera but my primary concern was would they focus well. The answer is yes, and given it was a very dull day I was impressed.

I was very impress with the way the EM-1 handled the 50-200 EC-14 combo, and comparison shots between it and the 75-300 left me in no doubt as to which was the best combo, by a huge margin I would say with just focus speed of the 75-300 wining out. I also tried the 12, 45 and 75 mm lenses and I brought my 100 2.8 OMZ manual focus lens to try out how easy it was for me to focus it. Again I was very impressed and can see my vast range of OMZ lenses getting some use again. All in all the best Camera Oly has released since the OM3 Ti
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Old 27th September 2013
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Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

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Originally Posted by PeterMG View Post
Thanks for the comparisons Ian. Not much between these lenses, splitting hairs I would say.
I notice that the 12-40mm isn't as impressive at 60mm I take a fair amount of my shots at the long end of this lens, so despite the 12-40mm edging it in definition, weight, bulk, focus speed (perhaps) etc., I'd be frustrated at its lack of reach. Maybe its a ploy by Olympus to get us to buy the new 40-150 too

In my very limited time with the EM 1 at Sheffield I was very impressed with focus speed on the 12-60 over my E3, particularly on moving subjects (traffic, pedestrians). I was even more impressed with the focus speed on the ED 75-300 compared to the hunting on the E3, but what impressed me most was the lack of camera shake at 300mm. It was by no means an extensive test of the stabilization, but early impressions look very encouraging indeed.
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Old 15th September 2013
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Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

That's fantastic, just the comparison i called for in another thread. Looks to me that at 12mm and 25mm the 12-40 has the edge over the 12-60. At 40mm it's not so clear cut with the 12-60 being sharper at the edges generally. At 25mm the 12-40 seems to outperform the 12-60 by some margin at the edges.

Two fantastic lenses for Oly m43 (in the guise of the EM-1).
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Old 15th September 2013
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Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

Thanks Ian. The 12-40 generally looks slightly better. The 12-60 at f=25mm, @ f/3.4 looks pretty soft on the left edge, but fine on the right, and at the other two focal lengths.

Bruce
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Old 15th September 2013
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Re: Comparing the new 12-40 Pro with the 12-60 SWD on an E-M1

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Originally Posted by Ian View Post
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.
Great work, Ian !

The rain left some soft spots on either lens, so this part already seems to be confirmed

At a first glance examining the jpg only, there is a slight difference in exposure between the two, which makes the new 12-40 come out darker thus seemingly with a tad more contrast.

As for resolution, for now I didn't see anything that would make me consider to switch to the new 12-40 nor to say the 12-60 is way ahead.
Less distortion is a real benefit tough and of course the low min focus distance of that lens. Biggest con to me is the relatively small zoom range.

Interested what your findings will be.
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