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  #1  
Old 26th March 2012
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Comparing the new m.Zuiko 12-50 with some other familiar Olympus lenses

(Reproduced from Four Thirds User here: http://www.fourthirds-user.com/forum...ad.php?t=10778)

There has been some negativity towards the new 12-50mm m.Zuiko power zoom/macro kit lens that will be offered as the default kit lens for the new OM-D E-M5 with regards to image quality. I decided that we could confirm or otherwise concerns about this lens by comparing it back to to back with a range of other familiar lenses and here are the results.

All the test images were taken using a Pen E-P3 recording RAW and JPEG, the JPEG noise filter was set to OFF and I processed the RAW files in Lightroom 4 to boost sharpness and improve contrast from default levels. The lenses were all set to f/7.1, representing the smallest aperture before any danger of diffraction softening sets in. This should enable the lenses to show their optimum performance.

The lenses compared include:

12-50mm m.Zuiko (at 12mm and 45mm focal lengths)
45mm f/1.8 m.Zuiko
12-60 Zuiko Digital (at 12mm and 45mm focal lengths)
14-54 Zuiko Digital Mk1 (at 14mm and 45mm focal lengths)
14-42 m.Zuiko Digital II (at 14mm and 42mm focal lengths)
50mm f/2.0 Zuiko Digital
12mm f/2.0 m.Zuiko

And here are 100% crops for you to peruse:

WIDE ANGLE:


JPEG 12mm m.Zuiko f/2.0


RAW 12mm m.Zuiko f/2.0



JPEG 12-50mm m.Zuiko


RAW 12-50mm m.Zuiko



JPEG 12-60mm Zuiko Digital


RAW 12-60mm Zuiko Digital



JPEG 14-54mm Zuiko Digital


RAW 14-54mm Zuiko Digital



JPEG 14-42 m.Zuiko II


RAW 14-42 m.Zuiko II


TELEPHOTO:


JPEG 12-50 m.Zuiko


RAW 12-50 m.Zuiko



JPEG 14-42 m.Zuiko II


RAW 14-42 m.Zuiko II



JPEG 14-54mm Zuiko Digital


RAW 14-54mm Zuiko Digital



JPEG 50mm f/2.0 Zuiko Digital


RAW 50mm f/2.0 Zuiko Digital



JPEG 12-60mm Zuiko Digital


RAW 12-60mm Zuiko Digital



JPEG 45mm f/1.8 m.Zuiko


RAW 45mm f/1.8 m.Zuiko

Let us know what you think!

Ian
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Last edited by Ian; 26th March 2012 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 26th March 2012
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Re: Comparing the new m.Zuiko 12-50 with some other familiar Olympus lenses

Thanks Ian for posting this set of images...with my old eyes...they all look the same which translated means the quality remains the same with all of them...who could tell the difference...certainly not me!!
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Old 26th March 2012
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Re: Comparing the new m.Zuiko 12-50 with some other familiar Olympus lenses

I go with you Bill, to me they are essentially the same
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Old 26th March 2012
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Re: Comparing the new m.Zuiko 12-50 with some other familiar Olympus lenses

Thanks for taking the time to post these Ian.
Looking very closely (I admit it is difficult) of the zooms, the 12-60 and 14-54 have the edge, to my eye more detail where the paint is flaking on the window frames, but then you would expect that.

Presumably these area all a central crop at 100%?
If so I would also be very interested to see exploration of the corner performance at say f/4 -f/5.6

Thanks again Ian
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Old 26th March 2012
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Re: Comparing the new m.Zuiko 12-50 with some other familiar Olympus lenses

I somehow forgot to include the 12-50 telephoto shots - goodness knows how that happened.

Incidentally, the 12-50 at 45mm and f/7.1 is practically full aperture. I can post corners from the f/7.1 shots here if you like.

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Old 26th March 2012
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Re: Comparing the new m.Zuiko 12-50 with some other familiar Olympus lenses

OK, the missing 12-50 telephoto images have been added - sorry about that!

My feeling is that the 12-50 is better than the 14-42 II kit zoom overall, and actually very good at 12mm, and while the 45mm image is not as impressive as the 12mm, it's certainly not poor at all.

Ian

PS And the RAWs are definitely winners over the JPEGs.
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Old 26th March 2012
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Re: Comparing the new m.Zuiko 12-50 with some other familiar Olympus lenses

Now remember that I've looked at these when coming in from the pub.

To me it shows just how good the 12-60 and the 50mm are.I'm a little worried about the blue edges round the windows at the wide end of some of the lenses ,
didn't expect that on the 14-54.
I suppose as these are crop I shouldn't worry to much.

Probably to much ale.
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Old 26th March 2012
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Re: Comparing the new m.Zuiko 12-50 with some other familiar Olympus lenses

Thanks for this Ian.
I don't think I'm going to have any reason to be disappointed when one arrives with my EM-5.

Regards.
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Old 26th March 2012
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Re: Comparing the new m.Zuiko 12-50 with some other familiar Olympus lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian View Post
I somehow forgot to include the 12-50 telephoto shots - goodness knows how that happened.

Incidentally, the 12-50 at 45mm and f/7.1 is practically full aperture. I can post corners from the f/7.1 shots here if you like.

Ian
Hi Ian,
Yes I would be interested in the corner performance.
Did you test at any other aperture other than f/7.1? It's simply that I wouldn't want to always stop down to that extent when using a zoom, it's a game I used to remember playing with my Pentax DA* 16-50 to maintain sharpness in the corners and it wasn't much fun (one the reasons I ended up coming back to Oly actually)
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Old 26th March 2012
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Re: Comparing the new m.Zuiko 12-50 with some other familiar Olympus lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by andym View Post
Now remember that I've looked at these when coming in from the pub.

To me it shows just how good the 12-60 and the 50mm are.I'm a little worried about the blue edges round the windows at the wide end of some of the lenses ,
didn't expect that on the 14-54.
I suppose as these are crop I shouldn't worry to much.

Probably to much ale.
Andy - were you on your way back from the ale house when you encountered all that mud?

Ian
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Old 27th March 2012
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Re: Comparing the new m.Zuiko 12-50 with some other familiar Olympus lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greytop View Post
Presumably these area all a central crop at 100%?
If so I would also be very interested to see exploration of the corner performance at say f/4 -f/5.6
Thanks for all the effort you've put into comparing these lenses - no mean feat.

If Lenstip is anything to go by, better centre resolution can be had with the lens at near maximum aperture, so, theoretically at least, one should be able to improve on the wide angle results by using f4. If anything, reports suggest that it is the edge performance which lets the lens down, which is a shame as one of the reasons I bought into Oly in the first place was their good lens performance across the frame. If you are up to it, Ian, it would be interesting to see some edge results as well.

But we do need to be realistic though, as the 12-50 is not a desperately expensive lens for what it is, being only about 1/3rd the cost of the legendary Zuiko Digital 12-60 4/3 mount. Personally, I was hoping for a m4/3 version of this lens, but I don't think this is it.
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Old 27th March 2012
Ulfric M Douglas Ulfric M Douglas is offline
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Re: Comparing the new m.Zuiko 12-50 with some other familiar Olympus lenses

Blimey I can't tell the difference.
I can let my mental bias influence what I see but ... even then I can only just detect a bit less goodness from the 14-42II collapsible.

Very good test Ian, thanks.

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Old 27th March 2012
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Re: Comparing the new m.Zuiko 12-50 with some other familiar Olympus lenses

Edge crops now up here:

http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=19545



Ian
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Old 27th March 2012
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Re: Comparing the new m.Zuiko 12-50 with some other familiar Olympus lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by andym View Post
Now remember that I've looked at these when coming in from the pub.

To me it shows just how good the 12-60 and the 50mm are.I'm a little worried about the blue edges round the windows at the wide end of some of the lenses ,
didn't expect that on the 14-54.
I suppose as these are crop I shouldn't worry to much.

Probably to much ale.
Hi Andy...too much ale? Not if it is bitter, my favourite!!
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Old 27th March 2012
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Re: Comparing the new m.Zuiko 12-50 with some other familiar Olympus lenses

I'd need to put these all side-by-side to check if there's much difference. Without doing that, I'm impressed with the 12-50, as I suspect I might be in real-world photography.

Thanks, Ian, for taking the trouble to do this.

PS surely "too much ale" is an oxymoron?
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