Zuiko teles and the 'quality' of out of focus backgrounds

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Messier Object Veteran Member • Posts: 9,976
Zuiko teles and the 'quality' of out of focus backgrounds

one thing I don't like abut the latest generation of Zuiko Pro tele lenses is the way they often render the out-of-focus background when its 'busy' with grass or foliage. It doesn't seem to happen all of the time, but when it does  instead of soft edges and outlines we see hard lines and sometimes doubled edges

In many photographic scenarios it's possible for the photographer to arrange the shooting geometry to avoid unwanted background clutter, but we can't always do that especially shooting wildlife

I suppose it's a personal thing.

Some don't care what the background rendering looks like if the subject is sharp with lots of detail resolved. They will be awed by the raw sharpness of the lens.  But for me, harsh or nervous background rendering can completely spoil an image and I'm reluctant to spend thousands of dollars on a lens if it does that, regardless of how sharp it is.

some examples taken from the DPR lens sample images . . .

I've cropped to show a portion of the subject (birds) and the background as it falls away




On rare occasions I have seen some hint of this with my old 4/3 Zuiko SHG lenses when using a 2x teleconverter, but  generally they don't do this.

I'll freely concede that the new Pro lenses (the 300mm F4 in particular) are sharper than the old glass, but I would have preferred that Olympus borrowed a little from their older optical designs.


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