Direct comparison Oly 12-40mmF2.8 with Oly 12-50mmF3.5-6.3?

Started Feb 2, 2014 | Discussions thread
Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,468
Re: Seen that. Considerations.

RoelHendrickx wrote:

Paul De Bra wrote:

They have tested both. There are few surprises. (Vignetting wide open is worse on the 12-40 and uncorrected distortion at 12mm is worse as well.)

I'd rather look at the Lenstip results, which I have more confidence in than those from Photozone:

As you'd expect, the 12-40 does better at the same f-stop in pretty much every respect and gives you more speed on top of that. Note that Photozone's claim about noticeably higher distortion (before autocorrection) for the 12-40 is not replicated by Lenstip. Rather, they find it to be marginally lower.

I saw those two and tried to understand the resolution (MTF graphs).

I'm horrible at graphs and statistics, but I assume longer/higher bars and higher values are good, so that was good news for the 12-40 across the board. Actually that is probably what matters most for me : in wide to standard focal length scenes, I generally want to capture as much detail as I can, even in low light.

Vignetting with a fast lens is something I can totally live with. If anything, it often looks good and when it doesn't it is so easily corrected. Distortion is less fun to deal with, especially in architecture, but still doable (and the 12-50 was no champion either...). In that department, it will always be hard to beat the ZD12-60 (in fact also on sharpness/resolution, I think).

But now the real question, Paul : I think I know you've used both.

How would you describe your transition? Still using the 12-50 for anything?

(Personal consideration: I am not about to jump onto the E-M1 just yet. I like the E-M5 with its size configurability too much (and no complaints about the EVF). But I think the 12-40 would be a more logical upgrade for me, in order to have a faster versatile standard zoom for those occasions when I want to work dual-camera, with the ZD35-100 glued to the E-5. The ZD12-60 on E-3 is now my second combo, but that camera is really getting old and worn and the ISO difference in low light is really starting to show when I combine images.)

(Hence my interest in the 12-40, also to be able to travel very light with only two lenses : the fast standard zoom and the small tele.)

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Roel Hendrickx
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