How good is the E35F18-OSS ? Simple test

Started Jan 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 11,241
Re: What to look for?

losangeles wrote:

Thanks to the OP for doing the comparison!

Sorry if this is ignorant but can people tell me what I should look for in these pictures to evaluate the lenses' qualities?

Corner sharpness? Colors? I can't judge form the images.

Again, not meaning to offend anybody but I can't see it from the versions of the images accessible through this thread.

Thanks for your help.

I didn't bother to create comparison views.

The uploaded JPGs are all 16Mp in size, the total uploaded space is about 400MB in data in two libraries - on my PC I have about triple that amount in pictures.

Best is to view an image in your browser at 100% by clicking on Original and Open in new Tab or Window. Go first into the library for this.

When you do this on two images, you can compare them at 100% view on a side by side basis in your browser. (Make sure that your browser does not re-scale, it would 'destroy the evidence').

This is where you can see the rendering details, sharpness, contrast, and so on. It also lets you verify focus point and DOF issues at the pixel level. Typically, you'd compare center detail and edge detail between the two pics.

Remember that these lenses are fairly close, with high IQ for each. So you will not see the major detail differences that you would expect in a high and low IQ lens.

The daylight pictures posted are stopped down. I have a few more wide-open (1/4000s sec limit) that are perhaps more telling, as problems are more visible wide open. The low light pictures posted should have sufficient details to find differences.

Also - this is not scientific. I use the camera handheld, trying to frame a similar image, and let the multi-focus AF do its work, rather than using MF, except for the MF lens.

Of course, wide open, focus point related DOF effects can lead to false conclusions.

If I have time, I'll add a compare shot to highlight some of the differences that I noticed.

Corner sharpness is not a problem for these lenses, except for the ZM35 on the Nex-7. I tried to match exposure and color in post, to make the images more comparable. You'll see the ZM35 being slightly different colored, as the lens using different coating which shows up in rendering and metering. This can be eliminated in RAW, but gets tricky in JPG AWB setting. I left it as is.

But you can flip this the other way around: the ZM35, by reputation, is one of the sharpest lenses on the Nex-5N. If the E35 and DT35 can match that, it is as good as it gets. They do under stopped down daylight conditions. Under low light, the OSS, or lack thereof, plays a role. The shots posted don't necessarily highlight edge softening under lowlight, I have some other shots that I can post, but remember that focus point is a bigger factor in such comparisons as the DOF can get narrow.

From usage, I have a 'feel' about the ZM35 and the DT35. It is fairly easy to place the E35 in between these two lenses based on a first week of tinkering with it. The E35 allows OSS to stop down where a DT35 would use a larger aperture. This means more DOF for the E35, (or faster shutter), leading to more sharpness. This is quickly noticed.

To see the sharpness differences between the E35, ZM35, Sigma30, DT35 and a few more that I have (Contax, Nokton, OM) a more boring 'chart' test is perhaps more interesting. E.g. the Sigma maintains a very high sharpness across the frame, with good contrast, but never gets the resolution that e.g. the E50 has.

I simply use the ZM35 as a benchmark reference - I know that it is supersharp.

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