Are the constant aperture Panasonic lenses worth it (and are you wating for Olympus?)

Started Apr 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
Anders W
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Re: I depends on which camera you use.
In reply to gollywop, Apr 4, 2013

gollywop wrote:

I'll begin by noting that I have both these lenses.  I use them on my E-M5, and they are drop-dead fantastic.  If you can afford them (and I'm not sure I could) and you like using zooms, they are an obvious choice.

Now, I disagree with Pixnat2's assessment below relative to using them with an Olympus camera.

Pixnat2 wrote:

You shoot with a Panansonic camera

In this case, they are definitely worth it, no contest. Those zooms are very sharp, high quality, stabilized and their weaknesses (CA and distortion) are well corrected by the camera software.

I agree with this.

You shoot with an Olympus camera

In this case, the answer is more complex. It depends mainly on your CA tolerence and if you shoot RAW or JPEG.

If you shoot mainly RAW and use softwares like LR, you can correct CA and distortion fairly easily. In this case, those zooms may worth it, if you're willing to spend this money knowing the lenses weaknesses, of course.

These lenses have no weaknesses on an Olympus body that they don't also have on a Panasonic body.  The distortions are the same for both bodies; it's just that the Panasonic camera software hides the geometric-distortion and CA weaknesses behind automatic correction whereas the Olympus camera software only hides the geometric distortion behind automatic correction, while you must use software like ACR or LR to do the job for CA.  But . . .

ACR does an excellent and effortless job in correcting the CA, and I'm sure LR does too.  Further, if you set the defringe on and the purple slider at 3 for a default, the CA is also done automatically -- and extremely effectively.

And that is as true for jpegs as it is for raw files.

I think Pixnat2's point here is that if you are shooting OOC jpegs, you do so because you don't want to PP (except perhaps in special cases). If you are ready to PP on a regular basis, what would be the point of shooting OOC jpegs (except for the purpose of in-camera review)? And if you are not ready, the fact that ACR/LR can remove CA provides little comfort.

If you shoot JPEGS, that's more problematic. In this case, spending 1000$ for a zoom that shows a fairly large amount of CA can be considered as a bit too expensive, but of course, it's a personal opinion, YMMV.

Personally, I shoot RAW+JPEGS, but I'm not CA tolerant, and as I shoot mainly with the EM-5, I'll wait for the Olympus 12-40.

I'm assuming you've tried these lenses on your E-M5 and are speaking from experience.

Meanwhile, your wait for the Olympus 12-40 may just be a wait for another source of CA.  It seems to be the wave of the future.

Not sure I want to call CA the wave of the future. But, like you, I would expect the Oly 12-40 (if that's what it will be) to show some CA too although most likely a bit less of the lateral variety than the Pany 12-35. Oly lenses are certainly not free from lateral CA in spite of being designed (as far as we can tell from the behavior of Oly bodies) to be fully corrected optically for that kind of CA. And of course we find some longitudinal CA (in-focus as well as out-of-focus) on top of that in most Oly as well as Pany lenses. So if you really want your images to be well corrected for CA (as we both do), the only solution is to PP anyway. That said, it is of course a stupid decision on Oly's part not to correct lateral CA in Oly OOC jpegs. It's easy to do and has virtually no downsides so there is no good reason to abstain.

 Anders W's gear list:Anders W's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH +21 more
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