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

Started Feb 2, 2014 | Discussions thread
OP RoelHendrickx Forum Pro • Posts: 25,916
a vampire is not judged by his tan

Sierra Dave wrote:

RoelHendrickx wrote:

Shots at corresponding focal lengths were done wide open and then progressively at F2 (where available), F2.8 (where available), F4 (where available), F5.6, F8 and F11. That yields a few less shots with some lenses than others. The Nokton was shot at F0.95, F1.4, F2, F2.8, F4, F5.6, F8 and F11.

Thanks for sharing your results. Looks like you did a fair bit of testing.

About an hour and a half or so of thumbing the aperture dial and swapping lenses.

Something that was remarked in another thread can be confirmed: the view of the MFT 12-40 is indeed slightly less wide (on a whole bookshelf at 12mm there is difference of 2 books) than both MFT 12-50 and ZD 12-60. Probably distortion correction.

No, that's not the cause. Remember, the 12-50 is being corrected, and to an even greater extent. Basically, lens focal lengths are given with a certain amount of slop - a lens advertised as 12mm may well be anywhere from 11-13mm in practice. Even the 12-60 is 12.28mm at the wide end, not 12.0mm. In any case, all m4/3 lenses are measured/advertised based on the corrected image, which makes sense seeing as that's the AoV that you see in the EVF when shooting..

OK. Regardless of the cause, 12mm is not always 12mm (can it play a part how far the lens protrudes from the sensor? I would not think so)

The two MFT primes did very well, also wide open. They are sharp and fast and small and I think I will keep them in the bag and not consider them replaced by the MFT 12-40 (although the need to mount them will become more rare than with the 12-50. They remain excellent small primes that make the E-M5 without grip into a small and fast and sharp imaging machine.

True, thought for what it's worth the 12-40/2.8 is actually sharper than the 20/1.7 at f/2.8.

Quite possible. But I will keep the 20mm regardless: it's fast and good and small: nice little party-walkaround on E-M5 without grip.

The Nokton continues to live in a class of its own, with pretty amazing sharpness and rendering at all apertures : F0.95 is less at the edges (and vignetted) but already amazing in the center, and it becomes edge-to-edge sharp at F1.4 or F2 maximum. But that lens is heavier than the MFT 12-40 so it will not be a routine take-along-anywhere lens like the Pany 20mm will remain. It will be reserved a bit more for extreme low light reportage or for those moments where I just want to use a fast standard prime.

The Nokton is a pretty unique lens on m4/3. That said, it's yet another m4/3 prime where the center is superb and the edges never catch up. If you're doing landscapes at 17mm, I'd bet the 12-40/2.8 will end up being the better lens.

Quite possibly so. And I can see myself doing a landscape with the 12-40 because I will have it with me when outdoors in nature.

The Nokton is more of a boozy, cigar-smoke type of lens: a real partygoer and cultural omnivore, a vampire even who flourishes after the sun goes down.

It will not easily get a tan while the 12-40 most certainly will.

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