Is Viewing m4/3 Images at 100% Unrealistic?

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DevonBoy
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Is Viewing m4/3 Images at 100% Unrealistic?
1 month ago

Background:

I came back to 'serious' photography after many years away, my last camera being a 35mm Olympus OM2n.

Last year I purchased an OM-5 with the 12-50mm. With my interests being landscapes and nature, I then purchased an M.Zuiko 9-18mm UWA and an M.Zuiko 75-300mm. My latest acquisition is the M.Zuiko 12-40mm PRO, but I am very disappointed in the image sharpness, as it is not the big-improvement that I was expecting over the standard of my other lenses.

What am I trying to understand?

Well, firstly, is my 12-40mm what you would expect from a PRO lens in terms of image quality, sharpness etc (I have no experience of other Pro-level lenses to compare it with)...

...and secondly, can you view an m4/3 image at 1:1 (100%) and expect to be able to check sharpness, CA etc, or is that just unrealistic with a sensor of this size?

Whilst accepting that these images are not ‘proper test shots’, they are the result of my first walk-about near my home with this lens. The two close-ups, I think, are fine, but I have to say that I am disappointed by the medium-range to infinity sharpness of the others. Also, the horizon seems to have a pale halo along it – is this CA, or something else? (I also shot RAW and converted to TIFFs, and they look the same to me)

@ 40mm

@ 40mm

@ 12mm

@ 40mm

@ 12mm

@ 40mm

@ 12mm

All of the images, except the signs/writing on the telegraph-pole and the dragonfly, were shot on a sturdy Manfrotto tripod. It was a little windy, so the foliage is not a good test of the sharpness, but areas like the house roofs and the wording on the back of the farm trailers should be (I assume).

IBIS was on for the hand-held shots, and a 1/8 second Shutter-Shock is on for all of them. They are all SOOC: I have not done any cropping or processing on them (sharpening, contrast etc) as I wanted to be able to judge them without any enhancements. They were all shot with AF, except for the shot of the collection of farm-trailers, where I focussed on the sign at the back of the rear-right trailer. Some have modest EV adjustments of -0.3 or -0.7, to compensate a little for the bright sky. I did not use any filters.

You should be able to see Exif, but they were all shot at f/4 (its optimum sharpness, I believe) and at either 12mmm or 40mm.

My interests are Landscapes and Nature, so I do need a lens that can deliver both sharp close-ups and landscapes.

Perhaps my expectations are too high, but everything that I read before buying the lens commented on it being very sharp.

I would really appreciate your comments.

PS. I also shot this ‘big-sky’ whilst I was out (this one is compressed):

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