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

Started Feb 2, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP RoelHendrickx Forum Pro • Posts: 25,870
True - the proof of the pudding

Paul De Bra wrote:

I wear glasses with varifocal lenses. A common problem with such glasses is that you have to find a spot on the glasses to look through to get sharp vision, depending on the distance to the subject. With the first 12-40 image I can find a spot where the image is crisp but with the first 12-50 image it is as if there is something wrong with my glasses as I cannot find any spot to look through so that the image becomes crisp.

It isn't dramatic as you can clear up such "fog" by means of added contrast and sharpening. I think that if these images were shot in RAW, the CA corrected and a bit more contrast and sharpening applied to the 12-50 image the pair would become much harder to distinguish. So the 12-50 is by no means bad but the 12-40 is clearly better. Images that require less processing end up looking better upon close inspection. But if CA were corrected and contrast for the 12-50 increased a bit then the images would look the same when viewed on a large computer monitor. Such monitor has a resolution of 2MP (soon going up to 4MP) and that is enough of a downscaling to make the differences disappear.


The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

The proof of the photo is in the printing (moderate size to large).

Printing does strange things, especially if you are used to looking at images only on a monitor.

* Printing is friendly for a number of so-called defects (like noise : it "blends").

* But printing large is a real eye-opener for sharpness and detail.

I am currently reviewing a number of images that must be printed as large as 96x72 cm (and one image at 160x120 cm) for an exhibition and it is quite sobering (even if truth and emotion were much more the object of the images than sharpness - how can it be, for handheld documentary work often in low light?)

BTW, images shot with E-M5, E-5 and E-3 are perfectly printable at those sizes.

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Roel Hendrickx
lots of images:
my E-3 user field report from Tunisian Sahara:

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