40-150 vs 80-200

Started Feb 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
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MatsP
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40-150 vs 80-200
Feb 8, 2013

In the thread about what lenses people uses most I wrote about (among other things) my two telephoto lenses, M.Zuiko 40-150/4-5,6R and Tokina RMC 80-200/4 and I claimed that the Tokina was sharper. That was the feeling I had, but after a while I grow uncertain if I really was right in that or if I was biased by my faiblesse for old lenses... So I made some tests. I shot my bookshelf and a home-maid test chart and I went out shooting in real life. I found that the Tokina may be a tiny bit sharper in the longer end than the Oly but much less than I thought. I won't bore you with those pictures, you just believe me or not.

Anyway, I went out. It was in the beginning of dusk. First I shoot some pictures with both lenses at 80 mm and 150 mm and f/5,6 on a very ugly wall. Now the Oly tended to be sharper, probably because of that I didn't manage to focus the Tokina properly hand-held. I wont bore you with these ugly pictures either.

Then I took two shots of a street in my city with both lenses at their longest, 150 mm for the Oly and 200 mm for the Tokina. Then i cropped the Oly image to the same FoV as 200 mm would give. And resampled both images to 2400x1800. This was because I wanted to test if it's really worthwile to carry the heavy Tokina to get the extra 50 mm or if I rather could crop from 150 mm Oly pictures. Here is the result. Oly first, Tokina second. You see that the Tokina has less contrast, i use to adjust that in PP but now I didn't do anything. And regarding sharpness, to my eyes and to my astonishment there is not much difference. My conclusion is that if you are out shooting handheld it's better with a light AF lens than a heavy MF lens, even if the latter nominally may be a little sharper in controlled situations.

 MatsP's gear list:MatsP's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Canon Pixma MG8150 DxO Optics Pro Standard +1 more
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