12-40 with dtc and 40-150 comparison, at 80 mm

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MatsP
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12-40 with dtc and 40-150 comparison, at 80 mm
4 months ago

I made a little experiment to see if the digital teleconverter is useful to give the excellent 12-40 a little more reach. First picture is the 40-150 at 80 mm. Second the 12-40 at 40 mm with dtc. Both jpeg direct out of camera (the dtc photo is always jpg). What do you think? Apologies for an uninteresting subject.

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SidSnot
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Re: 12-40 with dtc and 40-150 comparison, at 80 mm
In reply to MatsP, 4 months ago

Thanks for posting this as I have been wondering if this DTC option is any good.

Sadly from what I see there it's not so good - the 40-150 beats it by quite a margin...

40-150 left, 12-40DTC right

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Guy Parsons
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Re: 12-40 with dtc and 40-150 comparison, at 80 mm
In reply to SidSnot, 4 months ago

SidSnot wrote:

Thanks for posting this as I have been wondering if this DTC option is any good.

Sadly from what I see there it's not so good - the 40-150 beats it by quite a margin...

40-150 left, 12-40DTC right

Naturally there is a difference. The 2x DTC takes a 4MP crop from the centre of the sensor then interpolates it up to 16MP. So you are comparing a 4MP image with a 16MP image. Good enough for up to say 8x10 inch prints but no bigger.

Regards.... Guy

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MatsP
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Re: 12-40 with dtc and 40-150 comparison, at 80 mm
In reply to Guy Parsons, 4 months ago

SidSnot wrote:

Thanks for posting this as I have been wondering if this DTC option is any good.

Sadly from what I see there it's not so good - the 40-150 beats it by quite a margin...

40-150 left, 12-40DTC right

Naturally there is a difference. The 2x DTC takes a 4MP crop from the centre of the sensor then interpolates it up to 16MP. So you are comparing a 4MP image with a 16MP image. Good enough for up to say 8x10 inch prints but no bigger.

Regards.... Guy

Yes, this is what one could expect. There is much more details in the 40-150 picture. But I thought it was useful to do this little experiment to see if the superior optical quality of the 12-40 could overweigh the loss you get with the DTC. Obviously not. My own conclusion is that the DTC is good enough as a rescue solution if you don't have a tele lens with you. But I think the result might be as good or even better with raw and cropping and post-processing in LR. I have the raw images as well and maybe I try that later when I've got some tine left again.

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arbuz
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Re: 12-40 with dtc and 40-150 comparison, at 80 mm
In reply to MatsP, 4 months ago

40-150 is shaken. There is a lot of blur and I can't belive this is famous u4/3 kit zoom quality.

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MatsP
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Re: 12-40 with dtc and 40-150 comparison, at 80 mm
In reply to arbuz, 4 months ago

40-150 is shaken. There is a lot of blur and I can't belive this is famous u4/3 kit zoom quality.

Both are handheld at 1/200 s with IBIS on. Shouldn't be motion blur. 40-150 was at it's biggest aperture at this focal length. 40-150 is s sharp lens but best stopped down a little. Anyway, even with some blur it resolves more details than the 12-40 and dtc.

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Paul De Bra
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Sadly the shots do show some blur.
In reply to MatsP, 4 months ago

The 12-40 shot shows some "double-image" blur (most visible on some of the leaves) and the 40-150 shows some blur that could just be a case of this lens not being very sharp.

I would not say one is clearly much better than the other. Neither looks very good to me.

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Slowly learning to use the Olympus OM-D E-M5.
Public pictures at http://debra.zenfolio.com/.

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boxerman
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Re: 12-40 with dtc and 40-150 comparison, at 80 mm
In reply to SidSnot, 4 months ago

SidSnot wrote:

Sadly from what I see there it's not so good - the 40-150 beats it by quite a margin...

Well, if we are a little more careful, maybe it's not so bad.

One thing we know is that because it's from a crop of the sensor data, if you look at 100%, there's no way the (up sampled) crop can compete with the full-size. There's really no need to look. I learned long ago that in digital media, if you blow any pic up enough, it looks crappy. It looks to me like you're (SidSnot) about at 100%, except that you showed two side-to-side, so more like 50% crop. I'm just slightly (but not much) surprised you can tell the difference so easily.

So, we should calibrate a little bit, like "is it good enough for X." X should include the size of the presentation, probably the display medium, and some rough "viewer" criterion (like "good enough for jazz" or more stringently "can't tell the difference"). (I'll ignore the content of the picture, and distance to viewer.)

The crop shown by SidSnot is blown up about a factor of 4 from the originals. At the original size, I would not care to make a distinction between the two (at the jazz level). So, I'd conclude that at 18 inch width (on my screen) (the blow-up factor of these crops), I could easily tell the difference. But, my screen is only 11 inches wide, so I'm not sure the difference would be that easy to see at full-screen width; I bet it'd be "close enough for jazz," at least for me. That's pretty much precisely Guy's benchmark of "good enough for an 8X10." I bet it would also be good enough for a HD display (1080 vertical lines), no matter what the display size. My most common medium of displaying my work is large-screen HD display (although I also do largish prints, where the story is different). So this is important for me.

We should have known that fact (that it's OK for HD display) from the beginning because at half linear resolution off the sensor, we still have 1700 pixels on the vertical, which is significantly greater than HD resolution.

So, sure, there is a clear difference if you chose to look for it in SOME display mode. But, for 8x10 or HD large-screen presentation, the difference is, minimally speaking, not so clear.

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tt321
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Re: 12-40 with dtc and 40-150 comparison, at 80 mm
In reply to boxerman, 4 months ago

boxerman wrote:

SidSnot wrote:

Sadly from what I see there it's not so good - the 40-150 beats it by quite a margin...

Well, if we are a little more careful, maybe it's not so bad.

One thing we know is that because it's from a crop of the sensor data, if you look at 100%, there's no way the (up sampled) crop can compete with the full-size. There's really no need to look. I learned long ago that in digital media, if you blow any pic up enough, it looks crappy. It looks to me like you're (SidSnot) about at 100%, except that you showed two side-to-side, so more like 50% crop. I'm just slightly (but not much) surprised you can tell the difference so easily.

Don't trust the in-thread view. In fact never trust the in-thread view on DPR when judging sharpness as they do something funny and these end up as 'preview' only in my opinion.

Click on 'original size' and the difference is as obvious as SidSnot said.

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MatsP
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Re: 12-40 with dtc and 40-150 comparison, at 80 mm
In reply to MatsP, 4 months ago

Thank you all for your comments. To me the difference is obvious when I look at the pictures at 100% on my screen. The 40-150 shows much more detail. But I like colors and contrast better from the 12-40. Remember it's a 4 MP picture that's upsampled. Not long ago 4MP was a lot!

Paul: I can't see any double contours. Maybe it's the a little edgy bokeh from the 12-40 that shows when looking at 100%. No good photos, yes, it's just what I saw from my summerhouse veranda.

I did an experiment with upsampling the central 4MP of the 12-40 raw file to 16 MP, got some more detail than the camera jpg engine provided but also a dreadful moire, so I won't post it. Did it with exporting from LR, there are probably better ways.

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Steve
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Re: 12-40 with dtc and 40-150 comparison, at 80 mm
In reply to MatsP, 4 months ago

Oh you pixel peepers !

The 12-40 is a superior lens and of course it is sharper.. But if you are printing at 8x10, or 9x12 and you do a little post sharpening, i doubt the casual observer will note a significant difference...

A GOOD picture DOESNT HAVE TO BE TACK SHARP. The master photographers frequently exhibit images which are not tack sharp and maybe the staples in a wood log are lost, but that is not what photography is all about...

I have just been watching a conference by David DuChemin who laughs at these forums which are filled with people discussing the sharpness of their artwork...

His advice: Stop this insanity of spending your time comparing how sharp a hair is on a model's head and GO OUT AND MAKE PICTURES !!!!!!.

(and to the guy who didn't even like the 12-40.. get a life. Its a great lens and there are thousands of images on the net taken with it). Remember that its a smaller sensor camera and you can't expect a Canon Mark Whatever with an L lens attached to it... )

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tt321
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Re: 12-40 with dtc and 40-150 comparison, at 80 mm
In reply to Steve, 4 months ago

Steve wrote:

Oh you pixel peepers !

The 12-40 is a superior lens and of course it is sharper.. But if you are printing at 8x10, or 9x12 and you do a little post sharpening, i doubt the casual observer will note a significant difference...

A GOOD picture DOESNT HAVE TO BE TACK SHARP. The master photographers frequently exhibit images which are not tack sharp and maybe the staples in a wood log are lost, but that is not what photography is all about...

I have just been watching a conference by David DuChemin who laughs at these forums which are filled with people discussing the sharpness of their artwork...

His advice: Stop this insanity of spending your time comparing how sharp a hair is on a model's head and GO OUT AND MAKE PICTURES !!!!!!.

(and to the guy who didn't even like the 12-40.. get a life. Its a great lens and there are thousands of images on the net taken with it). Remember that its a smaller sensor camera and you can't expect a Canon Mark Whatever with an L lens attached to it... )

The purpose of this forum is the discussion of M43, and one of its main focuses is the gear, in contrast with forums with names ending in, for instance, the word 'photography', of which there are quite a few on DPR.

The advice you claimed to have heard from DuChemin is pertinent where he gave it - not in a tech-focused form but presumably at a higher level conference where the philosophical question of photography vs. its tools may be discussed. Within a gear-focused forum like this, it is incredibly groundless and condescending to assume that participants have not resolved such higher level problems to their own satisfaction elsewhere before spending time here to discuss gear and therefore need this so-called 'advice' which is conventional wisdom at best more likely wisdom-free cliché shoved onto their faces. And in shouting capital letters no less.

It is a valid hobby or profession to only concentrate on the gear without bothering about what the gear is designed for. In other words, it is quite valid for someone to be solely fascinated by one or more aspect of some gear, such as marketing, technology, and indeed how sharp a lens is at which part of the frame on which body with or without digital zoom, and come here to discuss that one topic because that topic is on topic in this forum. A lens designer is not obliged to enjoy photography, and a market analyst does not have to be an expert in the activity itself. However these people can come to here and share their views on matters for which they are experts because if they concern M43, they are on topic.

In comparison, unsolicited wisdom-free cliché 'advices' such as 'get a life' and 'GO OUT AND MAKE PICTURES' are much better aired at a higher level forum. Indeed the highest forum on DPR, 'open talk', is the best place for that.

High-level thinkers should keep to high places and leave us proletariats enjoy our simple topics unmolested.

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Steve
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Re: 12-40 with dtc and 40-150 comparison, at 80 mm
In reply to tt321, 4 months ago

Points well taken. These forums are a fun place to compare and discuss gear, but i wonder how many people value the technical aspects of a camera over the craft itself. It just bugs me when people fill up the forums with nitpicking over 100% crops. I am not alone in this universe with that thought.

"it is incredibly groundless and condescending to assume that participants have not resolved such higher level problems to their own satisfaction elsewhere before spending time here to discuss gear and therefore need this so-called 'advice' which is conventional wisdom at best more likely wisdom-free cliché shoved onto their faces. "

Really ? . There are more of those people who never resolved higher level problems.. than you think.

How many people bought the best gear without really understanding how to use it.. I've crossed paths with many of those. How many people buy expensive gear because it 'looks cool' and will impress their friends.or just because they can afford it..

And in shouting capital letters no less."

my apologies.. should have been underlined, rather than upper-cased.

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tt321
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Re: 12-40 with dtc and 40-150 comparison, at 80 mm
In reply to Steve, 4 months ago

Steve wrote:

Points well taken. These forums are a fun place to compare and discuss gear, but i wonder how many people value the technical aspects of a camera over the craft itself. It just bugs me when people fill up the forums with nitpicking over 100% crops. I am not alone in this universe with that thought.

"it is incredibly groundless and condescending to assume that participants have not resolved such higher level problems to their own satisfaction elsewhere before spending time here to discuss gear and therefore need this so-called 'advice' which is conventional wisdom at best more likely wisdom-free cliché shoved onto their faces. "

Really ? . There are more of those people who never resolved higher level problems.. than you think.

Probably true, I have no data. I assume people have resolved these questions by default as assuming that others are somehow less rational than myself is dangerous.

How many people bought the best gear without really understanding how to use it.. I've crossed paths with many of those. How many people buy expensive gear because it 'looks cool' and will impress their friends.or just because they can afford it..

But these are people who have resolved the higher level issues to their own satisfaction. These are completely valid personal priorities that provide people with enjoyment.

I'm saying this with a degree of self-interest. Interchangeable-lens systems are an incredibly specialized and potentially fragile market that cannot be sustained by serious photographers alone and has always been supported, on the main, by people who buy the SLR because of other reasons than seriously using it. People who are serious about photography should thank this part of the public that spend much more money to prop the industry up, rather than sneer at the hand that feeds them, so to speak.

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baxters
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Re: 12-40 with dtc and 40-150 comparison, at 80 mm
In reply to MatsP, 4 months ago

Your 40-150 is clearly better here, but this has not been my experience when doing a similar comparison between my 40-150 zoom and my 45mm in DTC mode. I wonder what's happening. You might try this again on a tripod to take camera shake out as a variable.

I would expect your 12-40 to kick my 40-150 zoom out of the ball park as far as sharpness.

I find the 45mm wide open in DTC mode to match the 40-150 zoom at 90mm at f5. Stopping down the prime to f4, it outclasses the zoom. Colors are richer with more detail. I believe part of the reason for this is greater DOF from the 45mm. I ran some numbers thru a DOF calculator, and there is always more DOF for 45mm vs 90mm. More of a scene appears in focus if it is a real scene and not a brick wall.

And this is a real situation for me because I like to shoot bands under lights with both lenses (for fun). Occasionally, I'll be at a distance where 90mm works, and then the 45mm with DTC is a better choice.

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Julius
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I agree, neither image sharp.
In reply to Paul De Bra, 4 months ago

My 40-150mm is razor sharp at any focal lengths even wide open.

This image is unacceptably soft with the 40-150mm lens. I do not even attempt DTC it is not usable for me.

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MatsP
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Re: I agree, neither image sharp.
In reply to Julius, 4 months ago

My 40-150mm is razor sharp at any focal lengths even wide open.

This image is unacceptably soft with the 40-150mm lens. I do not even attempt DTC it is not usable for me.

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Then you're lucky having an extraordinary good copy. My copy is very sharp from 60-120 mm but I wouldn't call it razor sharp. And this is what most reviewers say as well. I regarded this lens as my sharpest zoom until I got the 12-40. After that I hardly even use the 40-150, and my attempt with the dtc was to see if it was useful enough to avoiding taking the 40-150 with me on travel for example. And my conclusion is that it can be useful if you don't have the 40-150 with you, but if you have, it's better to change lenses. And shoot raw.

How do you know dtc is useless without an attempt?

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MatsP
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Re: 12-40 with dtc and 40-150 comparison, at 80 mm
In reply to Steve, 4 months ago

Oh you pixel peepers !

The 12-40 is a superior lens and of course it is sharper.. But if you are printing at 8x10, or 9x12 and you do a little post sharpening, i doubt the casual observer will note a significant difference...

A GOOD picture DOESNT HAVE TO BE TACK SHARP. The master photographers frequently exhibit images which are not tack sharp and maybe the staples in a wood log are lost, but that is not what photography is all about...

I have just been watching a conference by David DuChemin who laughs at these forums which are filled with people discussing the sharpness of their artwork...

His advice: Stop this insanity of spending your time comparing how sharp a hair is on a model's head and GO OUT AND MAKE PICTURES !!!!!!.

(and to the guy who didn't even like the 12-40.. get a life. Its a great lens and there are thousands of images on the net taken with it). Remember that its a smaller sensor camera and you can't expect a Canon Mark Whatever with an L lens attached to it... )

Steve, it's true Henri Cartier-Bresson said some time that "sharpness is bourgeousi" when arguing against those who thought Leica was a toy camera with just 24x36 film frame.

But sharpness is very important in many cases. If you shoot architecture or interiors for an exhibition or a book you want sharpness all over the picture. To get that you need good tools you can rely on. All artists and artisans want good tools. So sometimes it's useful to do some tests, even with pixel peeping involved.

I have found that my E-M5 with the 12-40 is a very good tool for most things I want to do. But sometimes I need something equally good outside the range of the 12-40 and sadly the 40-150 isn't of similar quality.

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Ulric
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Re: 12-40 with dtc and 40-150 comparison, at 80 mm
In reply to arbuz, 4 months ago

arbuz wrote:

40-150 is shaken. There is a lot of blur and I can't belive this is famous u4/3 kit zoom quality.

Yes, the first picture definitely suffers from shake.

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Steve
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Re: 12-40 with dtc and 40-150 comparison, at 80 mm
In reply to tt321, 4 months ago

I thought long and hard when i decided to dump my D7000 for a compact. I do 90% of my photography while traveling and figured that i would just try to deal with the shortcomings of a compact (mostly noise and dynamic range). Reading thousands of posts all over the place in the last few years shows that a lot of older folks are tired of lugging around large dSLr's. Most don;t replace their dSlrs for their serious work, but they are usings the compacts as a second camera for everyday or vacation shooting.

Actually i should practice what i preach, lol.  I chose to go with the 12-40 because i wanted better optics and a faster lens (than the kit) so that i could shoot at lower iso's. in terms of the EM1, i do have to do a little more post processing for noise, but what excites me the most is that fact that i can get away (in many cases) without a tripod. While my d7000 gave me less noise, the so-so stabilization of the VRII lens gave me more 'move to trash' shots due to the blurriness of my low light scenes.. For me, i get sharper shots at 1/20th than i got with my 1/60th of a second with my Nikon...

Yes, the compact (ILC) market is niche and if dSlr's get smaller, than maybe the ILC's will die. But then again the ILC lenses are smaller and lighter than the APC/FF brothers and that makes a perfect little package for many of us...

In my travels, i have noticed that over the last 5 years, there are a lot more of the dSLRs around (albeit the cheap end of Canon and Nikon) because a lot of people DO want better gear. (or is it because the  idiot mode produces better shots than the point-and-shoots). I've also seen a lot more ILCs in the last 2 years.. mostly Nikon and Sony and a few Fujis... very very few Olympuses (olympie ?)

Frankly, i don't know why i just rambled off topic like that, but i'm 62 and my attention deficit disorder is getting worse.

I'm sorry for ruffling your feathers like that.. I only meant to say that i thought that there was too much nit-picking over quality.. but as you say, this is what these forums are about and to tell you the truth, all these post rantings over pixel peeking convinced me to spring $$$ for the 12-40..

(My only worry is using the EM1 for stock photography. One of my sites, Shutterstock are completely anal when it comes to dynamic range and noise. They are 200% magnification pixel peepers, lol)

Again, i apologize to you and anyone else i may have turned off.

steve

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