Panasonic 7~14mm or Olympus 12mm ?

Started Jan 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
OP slimandy Forum Pro • Posts: 17,155
Re: Thanks for all the replies and suggestions

Anders W wrote:

slimandy wrote:

Anders W wrote:

slimandy wrote:

Anders W wrote:

slimandy wrote:

Anders W wrote:

Yes, they test under lab conditions, just as Photozone.

To be honest I'm not a fan of Photozone either but I quoted them because I can't find reviews from professional photographers they way I can with Nikon gear. At least some of their samples are real world pictures and not just test charts and studio still lifes.

I have no trouble making sense of test charts, studio still lifes, or MTF values. Just a matter of learning how one set of observations translates into another. The same is true with respect to DxO figures about sensor performance. I have no trouble making sense of those either since I have spent the time required to see how they translate into aspects of image quality that my eyes can see.

I have no problem at all understanding and interpreting the charts so I do look at the lab results, but they are not what I will shoot in real life so they only tell part of the story.

Could you please elaborate? What part of the story are you missing?

The bit where you use the lens to do the kind of photography that I will actually do!

Yes, but what bit, more specifically, is that? You say you have no difficulty understanding the lab results so what more specifically, expressed in terms of optical properties, is it that they don't tell you?

All of it! I don't shoot in a lab. I want to know about AF speed, bokeh, flare, etc. etc. out in the field where I shoot. I want to know how it does in real-life use rather than still life or test charts. You can evaluate sharpness, contrast, CA etc. in a lab and that's all good, but it's not what I shoot and won't tell me the whole story.

The trouble with looking at "real world pictures" is that those will never allow you to directly compare two lenses to one another unless they happen to be taken under identical conditions such as those in Amin Sabet's test of the 7-14 versus the 9-18 that Optical1 linked to here.

For obvious reasons, the lens test sites would have difficulties accomplishing directly comparable sample shots outside the studio inasmuch as this would imply that they would have to shoot new "real world pictures" of all lenses already tested for every new lens they test.

If a highly skilled photographer whose reviews I trust were to use a lens extensively and write his review on it that is the most useful info I could get. I do not need to pixel peep with identical shots side by side in order to form an opinion.

Your call of course. But in order to form an informed opinion about the relative performance of two competing lenses, I'd like to see them shot/tested side by side under identical circumstances. I'd also rather see for myself than go by someone else's opinion, even if it's a person whose judgment I trust.

I will see for myself after I buy the lens. Until then I need to decide which to buy.

So do I. I was referring to the information I prefer to rely on before I get to that stage. I'd rather not personally evaluate more lenses than I actually have to so I want to make the prior screening as efficient as possible.

Furthermore, I don't think that being an outstanding photographer is either a necessary or a sufficient condition for being a good lens tester or lens designer. Some people may have great optical skills without being great photographer and some great photographers don't know a whole lot about optics.

Hence I like to read reviews from someone I trust. You don't need to know about optics; you need to know how the lens handles and how good the results are. I'm a photographer, I make photographs; I don't make lenses.

If you want to know how good the results will be under a variety of circumstances, you need to know about optical aberrations and their various manifestations. Otherwise, you won't know what to look for.

Here's an example of a review (comparison of the new Oly 17/1.8 with the 20/1.7) by someone I consider a very good photographer. I find his sample images very helpful. Yet, I strongly disagree with some of the conclusions he draws. Can you guess which?

Curiously Ming Thein is a reviewer that I do trust. He does get quite technical but at the end of the day his sample photos are real-world photos and his conclusions are based on things that matter such as AF speed and image quality.

I would like to know where your opinion varies and why. Even when I read the opinion of someone I trust I reserve the right to disagree, and the most important opinion is always my own! I am assuming you prefer the Pany 20mm to the Olympus 17mm f1.8? That's another decision I have to make actually. I was assuming I'd get the 20mm pancake but now wonder if I should get the 17! More than one person has commented on the slow AF of the 20mm lens.

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