12-40 f2.8 soft/bad copy/high expectations?

Started Aug 19, 2014 | Discussions thread
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roperc3 Regular Member • Posts: 108
12-40 f2.8 soft/bad copy/high expectations?

Hi everyone,

I bought the 12-40 f2.8 back in April and have been using it as my walkaround daytime lens with the EM5. Recently, I've begun to notice that some of the pictures don't seem as sharp as they should be.

The reason I'm only starting to notice now is that many of the pictures taken so far with this lens have been of low-detail scenes. However, on a recent trip I took some scenes with foliage and am really starting to notice how mushy the pictures look.

Having spent £900 on it I want it be as good as it can be, and judging by many of the comments on this forum it's meant to be a very sharp lens. I've a feeling it might not be that sharp for me.

I was in the UK when I bought the lens and now I'm in Vietnam, which makes the whole exchange process a pain in the a**. However, it was a lot of money for me to spend and I need to know it's not a bad copy.

Therefore, I'm appealing to the rest of the 12-40 owners to see if you can tell whether there is any degradation in quality in my lens compared to yours. Unfortunately, I haven't the skills to set up any kind of test, but have some images where the softness is evident (mainly in foliage).

Now it could be that this lens and camera combination just doesn't cut it for resolving foliage and fine detail, but I figured it was possible to get some really sharp pics judging by what others have achieved. I suppose I just want to make sure the lens is as good as it can be. So apologies if it seems I'm worrying over nothing. I guess i'm looking for a bit of reassurance!

Also, I thought that perhaps the depth of field wasn't sufficient enough, but I thought f5.6 would be enough to keep everything in focus... (I could be wrong!)

the statue and line of foliage at the bottom isn't sharp to my eyes

Green foliage in lower left is really mushy

And yet, at other times the foliage is fine! As seen below, everything seems to look pretty sharp. Maybe it's user error.

 roperc3's gear list:roperc3's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm F1.8 Olympus 12-40mm F2.8
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