Sharpest lens?

Started Oct 5, 2012 | Discussions
SirSeth
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I think both that you listed.
In reply to Starred, Oct 6, 2012

"Sharpest" is a moot point beyond a certain level of bliss.

Cheers,

Seth

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sansbury
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Re: Empirical Data Not a Qualitative assessment
In reply to dcassat, Oct 6, 2012

dcassat wrote:

Alas sharpness can be measured.

Yes, but to what end? The only thing these tests are really good for is relative ranking: they can tell me that Lens B is sharper than Lens A, but they can't tell me how my pictures will look taken with either of them.

As an example, I'm trying to decide whether to upgrade from the kit zoom that came with my OM-D. It's the widely-reviled 14-42, which I chose for its size. Lens tests show that the Pany 14-45 is sharper by a decent margin, and that the Pany 12-35 is slightly sharper still.

The problem is, I don't take pictures of liquor cabinets. So, SLRGear's reviews don't really tell me how often the 14-45 will produce better-looking pictures than the 14-42 (when not pixel-peeping) or whether the 12-35 is enough better to be worth another $900. In fact, they told me nothing useful I couldn't figure out better from listening to actual owners on these forums.

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dcassat
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Edge to edge too!
In reply to sansbury, Oct 7, 2012

The thing about the 75mm is that not only is it sharp but consistently sharp from edge to edge.  The 45mm also has this characteristic at f5.6.  Not all lenses, in fact few, can claim this.

So what does it mean?  If you want the best, there it is.  Now some would say it's too clinical or find other faults with a lens of little character

If you're interested in landscape and want consistency across the frame this lens sets that standard.

If you're a portrait or macro or bird shooter then you could feel you want character...

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Starred
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Re: Edge to edge too!
In reply to dcassat, Oct 16, 2012

The 75 seems to be significantly sharper than the 60...

75/1.8

60/2.8

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TrapperJohn
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You need to ketchup with the latest lenses
In reply to Detail Man, Oct 16, 2012

From user shots I've seen, both the 60M and 75 1.8 appear to be wicked sharp. But, looking at them, I can't say they could slice a tomato. Crush one, perhaps, but the lack of weathersealing might discourage that activity.

OTOH, those pricey metal hoods could probably cut a nice cylinder out of a tomato. Probably make a pretty good cookie cutter, too.

Geez, is this a disintegrating thread, or what?

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mpgxsvcd
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There is no m4/3s lens that is sharper on center than the 14-140mm @ 14mm
In reply to Starred, Oct 16, 2012

There is no m4/3s lens that is sharper on center than the 14-140mm @ 14mm. It is very good across the whole lens @ 25mm as well.

The 7-14mm is great at everything but 14mm.

The 45mm F1.4, 20mm F1.7, and 25mm F1.4 are no slouches either. However, those lenses all need to be stopped down a bit(ie: F2.0-F2.2) before they become very sharp.

Check out some of the dpreview lens reviews to see what I mean.

14-140mm

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicdmcgh1/page17.asp

7-14mm

http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/panasonic_7-14_4_o20/4

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mpgxsvcd
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45mm F2.8 is not good
In reply to mpgxsvcd, Oct 16, 2012

Everyone seems to think the 45mm F2.8 Panasonic lens is a sharp lens. The Dpreview test results show otherwise. I really want to like that lens because I really need a stabilized mid focal length bright lens. However, its test results are pathetic for its price.

Hopefully, the 35-100mm F2.8 will fit my needs. Even though its cost is quite steep.

http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/panasonic_45_2p8_o20/3

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Ulric
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Re: Sharpest lens?
In reply to Starred, Oct 16, 2012

Starred wrote:

Which M43 lens is currently the sharpest?

Oly 75/1.8, Oly 60/2.8, or...?

According to the test at lenstip.com, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 75 mm f/1.8 ED is ​almost​ as sharp as the Voigtlander Nokton 25 mm f/0.95 in the center.

http://www.lenstip.com/351.4-Lens_review-Olympus_M.Zuiko_Digital_75_mm_f_1.8_ED_Image_resolution.html

http://www.lenstip.com/276.4-Lens_review-Voigtlander_Nokton_25_mm_f_0.95_Image_resolution.html

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Art_P
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The sharpest lens...
In reply to Starred, Oct 16, 2012

is useless if it's not the focal length you need.

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gandalfII
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Re: Empirical Data Not a Qualitative assessment
In reply to sansbury, Oct 16, 2012

sansbury wrote:

dcassat wrote:

Alas sharpness can be measured.

Yes, but to what end? The only thing these tests are really good for is relative ranking: they can tell me that Lens B is sharper than Lens A, but they can't tell me how my pictures will look taken with either of them.

As an example, I'm trying to decide whether to upgrade from the kit zoom that came with my OM-D. It's the widely-reviled 14-42, which I chose for its size. Lens tests show that the Pany 14-45 is sharper by a decent margin, and that the Pany 12-35 is slightly sharper still.

The problem is, I don't take pictures of liquor cabinets. So, SLRGear's reviews don't really tell me how often the 14-45 will produce better-looking pictures than the 14-42 (when not pixel-peeping) or whether the 12-35 is enough better to be worth another $900. In fact, they told me nothing useful I couldn't figure out better from listening to actual owners on these forums.

Real world result for pana 14-45.  Pixel peepers can see full size in my gallery

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Adrian Harris
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Re: Sharpest lens?
In reply to Starred, Oct 16, 2012

I use 2 Voigtlander manual primes which are STAGGERINGLY sharp through the entire F-stop range.

90mm Apo-Lanthar f3.5

75mm Color Heliar  f2.5

These are available second hand very reasonably and only need a £15 adapter.

Treat yourself, go get one - or both

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reon3010
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Re: Sharpest lens?
In reply to Starred, Oct 16, 2012

Been using the Nokton 17.5...they say its one of the sharpest from f2-f4...panny 20mm is also one of them....the 60mm comes into play too...

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exdeejjjaaaa
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Re: 45mm F2.8 is not good
In reply to mpgxsvcd, Oct 16, 2012

mpgxsvcd wrote:

Everyone seems to think the 45mm F2.8 Panasonic lens is a sharp lens. The Dpreview test results show otherwise.

DPReview is the last place to go to see any test results :-)... they are good in terms of blah-blah-blah writeups... but if you actually want tests you go to places like DxOMark, SLRGear or similar... no wonder that DPReview abandoned its testing and instead decided to cooperate w/ DxOMark...  plus the question is - at what sensor to target distance you are going to test a macro lens ? that makes a difference when you are talking about macro lens which is optimized to deliver its best for macro work first of all and not necessarily keep the same at a longer distances.

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Jon Stock
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Lens rentals has tested lots of micro 4/3rds lenses
In reply to Starred, Oct 17, 2012

Starred wrote:

Which M43 lens is currently the sharpest?

Oly 75/1.8, Oly 60/2.8, or...?

Standard range:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/05/standard-range-micro-43-imatest-results

Wide angle:

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/05/wide-angle-micro-43-imatest-results

60mm

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/09/quick-look-at-the-olympus-60mm-f2-8-macro

12-35mm

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/06/a-weekend-with-the-panasonic-12-35-f2-8

No 75mm test yet.  Too bad, I am looking forward to seeing it tested. My 75mm seems like the best lens I have for sharpness. Better that my 12-35mm, 25mm 1.4 and my 45mm.  It seems as good as my 4/3rds 50mm macro.

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JCB123
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Re: You need to ketchup with the latest lenses
In reply to TrapperJohn, Oct 17, 2012

TrapperJohn wrote:

From user shots I've seen, both the 60M and 75 1.8 appear to be wicked sharp. But, looking at them, I can't say they could slice a tomato. Crush one, perhaps, but the lack of weathersealing might discourage that activity.

OTOH, those pricey metal hoods could probably cut a nice cylinder out of a tomato. Probably make a pretty good cookie cutter, too.

Geez, is this a disintegrating thread, or what?

It certainly is. - I find that the weather sealing on tomatoes is actually quite good - for a while.

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jim stirling
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Re: Sharpest lens?
In reply to ppotka, Oct 17, 2012

ppotka wrote:

Lumix 20mm is my most used lens but no, it has not same quality wide open as ZM 45 or 75mm. It does not come even close to ZD 12-60mm zoom at same apertures and FL.

-p-

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pekkapotka.com

The 12-60 is F3.2 at 20mm and is easily outperformed by the 20mm even with the 20mm set at F2 especially at the extreme edges. I owned the 12-60 until recently and have had the 20mm since the GF1 came out, so I am comparing results from using both lenses on the same cameras.

Here are the slrgear charts showing the respective performance with the 12-60 at F3.2 and the 20mm at F2

The 12-60 is an excellent kit lens for FT and its only lets downs on mFT are its relatively large size and weight combined with its poor AF performance. I think there is a certain degree of snobbery amongst some Olympus users who seem to work under the impression that no one else can make decent lenses. I am certainly not claiming the 20mm is the sharpest just that it easily manages to in this instance out do the zoom.

Horses for courses, a zoom is far more flexible but for me the small primes combined with small mFT bodies eloquently define the attractiveness and worth of a smaller system.

Jim


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steveTQP
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Re: You need to ketchup with the latest lenses
In reply to TrapperJohn, Oct 25, 2012

TrapperJohn wrote:

From user shots I've seen, both the 60M and 75 1.8 appear to be wicked sharp. But, looking at them, I can't say they could slice a tomato. Crush one, perhaps, but the lack of weathersealing might discourage that activity.

OTOH, those pricey metal hoods could probably cut a nice cylinder out of a tomato. Probably make a pretty good cookie cutter, too.

Geez, is this a disintegrating thread, or what?

Hi Trapper. FYI, I believe the Oly 60 Macro does have weather-sealing. I too, am interested in maximum sharpness, which is why I'm considering the OM-D EM-5 with the Oly 60 macro and/or the Oly 75. Thanks.

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grumpyolderman
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Re: Lens rentals has tested lots of micro 4/3rds lenses
In reply to Jon Stock, Oct 25, 2012

Am I getting this wrong, but the lens rental test shows again the 20mm is the sharpest tool in the box? even wide open, of course 1t 1.7 it get beat by some who only go to e.g. 2.4, but at e.g. 4, unbeaten?

I found it to be very sharp, even wide open, hence my wife hates it...

JL

JL

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dotborg
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Re: Sharpest lens?
In reply to Starred, Oct 25, 2012

Starred wrote:

Which M43 lens is currently the sharpest?

It's funny how that's always the most (only?) important aspect of a lens. To hell with angle of view, overall contrast, flare resistance, maximum aperture, light falloff, distortion, aberration, bokeh rendition, etc.

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Johann D
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Re: Sharpest lens?
In reply to dotborg, Oct 25, 2012

Every lens has it's use. It's up to the photographer to figure out that use to get the best out of it. I have an OM 55 f1.2 that is pretty soft, but takes beautiful photos. Portraits and still life are it's forte.

Carry on with numbers and charts...

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