So, what is THE lens for 4/3?

Started Feb 16, 2011 | Discussions
twonker
twonker Veteran Member • Posts: 4,646
Yes I know...

Lots of people love it. But I just sold mine after having it for about 5 years as on m43 it is soooo slow to focus. Driving me nuts.

Yes it's a nice lens optically, but really too slow on AF. I don't really want to have to focus manually if I don't have to. I couldn't honestly recommend it to users without their being aware of its limitations on m43.

Alistair

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lcubed11 Contributing Member • Posts: 787
Re: When it comes to sharpness....

compositor20 wrote:

probably the 12-60 2.8-4 but autofocus is slow...

in this site tehre is comparison with sony a55 and tamron 17-50 2.8 and sony carl zeiss 16-80 f3.5-4.5 and guess who came in first? olympus lens and panasonic gh-2 camera its an open eye lol

http://dslr-check.at.webry.info/201102/index.html#0216

google does an amazingly bad job of translating that page!!

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Steve Bingham
OP Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 25,428
Re: Don't understand this ..

OK. Here is what I am talking about. Let me tell you what Nikon's top FF lenses are:
1- 14-24 f2.8
2- 24-70 f2.8
3- 70-200 f2.8
4- 300 f2.8
5- 400 f2.8
6- 500 f4
7- 600 f4

Easy. I can do the same for DX. These are considered Nikon's very best without getting into macro or PC lenses. Now do you understand the nature of my question? When I find out what works best with M4/3 I will proceed from there. So far I think I am in overload from the information, but someone out there will nail it. My job is to sift through it and look at MTF charts ad infinitum.

kermitG9 wrote:

What's the point of this question ?

It's like asking: What's the best car ? Maybe it's a Porsche .. but forgot to mention that where you live there no paved road .. or a 4x4 but forgot to mention that you're living in an urban area.

My point is that you're neither saying in which focal length you're interested in .. and not giving any indication whether you need a DOF or not (i.e. indication about aperture).

=> Regardless of the responses you got, the reality is that without further details, there's simply no right answer to your question..

PS: You're defining THE lens in terms of sharpness.. Sorry.. THE lens is the lens that best suits your needs in a given shooting situation.

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Steve Bingham
OP Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 25,428
Re: When it comes to sharpness....

MTF looks pretty sharp with excellent contrast pretty far out!

compositor20 wrote:

probably the 12-60 2.8-4 but autofocus is slow...

in this site tehre is comparison with sony a55 and tamron 17-50 2.8 and sony carl zeiss 16-80 f3.5-4.5 and guess who came in first? olympus lens and panasonic gh-2 camera its an open eye lol

http://dslr-check.at.webry.info/201102/index.html#0216

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Steve Bingham
OP Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 25,428
Whew! What did I start! :)

. . . and so my journey begins!

What wonderful responses. Thank you all. Now my work begins.
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_vlad Senior Member • Posts: 1,958
Re: When it comes to sharpness....

Well... All my good zooms will outresolve 16 Mbit GH2. They stop resolving at some level no matter if I use 50mm prime which (tested) can resolve 110 mm per mm (6 ISO - it is not a typo) with film and microscope or my 14-140mm. And that level is presently 70 lines per mm in old fashioned numbering. Putting the lens on tripod will show some interesting comparisons re microcontrast or so but the detail is - at present 70 lines no more, both with good zooms as well as best primes. Sensor is limitation. However it does not mean that under some specific conditions and scenes prime will not look better. The opposite is true as well, though.
Cheers
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Steve Bingham
OP Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 25,428
Re: When it comes to sharpness....

Unfortunatly, few lenses appear to be tested for line pairs. All I can find is MTF, which I understand well. Interesting that the 14-140 can do 70 lp so I assume that this is at its best focal lenght - somewhere between 18 and 50????? I assume we are talking raw files on the GH2 at base ISO? The camera, ISO, and file type will make a difference. Impossible to get LP without a sensor or film.
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toscha_seidel Regular Member • Posts: 197
Re: 14-54mkII or maybe wait?

Which body did you use?

I did not attach 14-54 to the newer bodies(which I presume will be fast too) but on my old E-P2, it clocks only 1+ second.
It certainly is not blazingly fast but good enough for daily use.

mfbernstein wrote:

Bilgy_no1 wrote:

For use on a m4/3 camera, I think the 14-54mm mkII (CDAF optimised) is the best bet at the moment. It does become a bit big on one of the PENs (with the adapter), but at least it will have the fast focusing. It's a great value/quality lens.

I wouldn't call it fast. Still needs 2+ seconds to focus, in good light.

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MFBernstein

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millsart Senior Member • Posts: 2,771
Given there are only a handful lenses total its not really the same thing

First and foremost, how could you forgot some Nikon classics like the 200mm f2.0 or the "cream machine" 85mm f1.4 AF-D ?

Or another personal favorite of mine, the 105 F2.5 AiS, and my single most used lens, the 200-400 f4

That all said, there are only a handful of lenses for m4/3 so its not really the same thing. I mean if you want a telezoom there is the 45-200 and the 100-300 and thats it.

Both are consumer grade zooms, good, but not quite 70-300 VR level of consumer grade zoom good

Wide angle, there is only the 7-14 or the Oly 9-18mm. 7-14 being wider and a little sharper, 9-18 more useful range and cheaper/smaller

Your question makes sense in terms of Nikon, Canon, Pentax etc, basically anything with a long history, but with m4/3 there just isn't much

There are no G, AF-D, Ai, type of lines

It simply is what it is. Every lens is basically, the best, because its all there is

Steve Bingham wrote:

OK. Here is what I am talking about. Let me tell you what Nikon's top FF lenses are:
1- 14-24 f2.8
2- 24-70 f2.8
3- 70-200 f2.8
4- 300 f2.8
5- 400 f2.8
6- 500 f4
7- 600 f4

Easy. I can do the same for DX. These are considered Nikon's very best without getting into macro or PC lenses. Now do you understand the nature of my question? When I find out what works best with M4/3 I will proceed from there. So far I think I am in overload from the information, but someone out there will nail it. My job is to sift through it and look at MTF charts ad infinitum.

kermitG9 wrote:

What's the point of this question ?

It's like asking: What's the best car ? Maybe it's a Porsche .. but forgot to mention that where you live there no paved road .. or a 4x4 but forgot to mention that you're living in an urban area.

My point is that you're neither saying in which focal length you're interested in .. and not giving any indication whether you need a DOF or not (i.e. indication about aperture).

=> Regardless of the responses you got, the reality is that without further details, there's simply no right answer to your question..

PS: You're defining THE lens in terms of sharpness.. Sorry.. THE lens is the lens that best suits your needs in a given shooting situation.

Steve Bingham
OP Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 25,428
Learning. 12-60? Maybe 50m prime?

millsart wrote:

First and foremost, how could you forgot some Nikon classics like the 200mm f2.0 or the "cream machine" 85mm f1.4 AF-D ?

Or another personal favorite of mine, the 105 F2.5 AiS, and my single most used lens, the 200-400 f4

True. The 200mm f2 is right there! Top of the pile. My error. The 105 is a macro which I had excluded. The 85 is good, but not that good in my opinion - either version.

That all said, there are only a handful of lenses for m4/3 so its not really the same thing. I mean if you want a telezoom there is the 45-200 and the 100-300 and thats it.

I guess it might boil down to the 12-60 as a zoom and the 50 macro as a prime. Man, does that sucker look sharp (50m). I could not believe the MTF!!!!!!! I am learning. Is the 50mm really that slow focusing? Does it have a range limiter?Thanks!

Both are consumer grade zooms, good, but not quite 70-300 VR level of consumer grade zoom good

Wide angle, there is only the 7-14 or the Oly 9-18mm. 7-14 being wider and a little sharper, 9-18 more useful range and cheaper/smaller

Your question makes sense in terms of Nikon, Canon, Pentax etc, basically anything with a long history, but with m4/3 there just isn't much

There are no G, AF-D, Ai, type of lines

It simply is what it is. Every lens is basically, the best, because its all there is

Steve Bingham wrote:

OK. Here is what I am talking about. Let me tell you what Nikon's top FF lenses are:
1- 14-24 f2.8
2- 24-70 f2.8
3- 70-200 f2.8
4- 300 f2.8
5- 400 f2.8
6- 500 f4
7- 600 f4

Easy. I can do the same for DX. These are considered Nikon's very best without getting into macro or PC lenses. Now do you understand the nature of my question? When I find out what works best with M4/3 I will proceed from there. So far I think I am in overload from the information, but someone out there will nail it. My job is to sift through it and look at MTF charts ad infinitum.

kermitG9 wrote:

What's the point of this question ?

It's like asking: What's the best car ? Maybe it's a Porsche .. but forgot to mention that where you live there no paved road .. or a 4x4 but forgot to mention that you're living in an urban area.

My point is that you're neither saying in which focal length you're interested in .. and not giving any indication whether you need a DOF or not (i.e. indication about aperture).

=> Regardless of the responses you got, the reality is that without further details, there's simply no right answer to your question..

PS: You're defining THE lens in terms of sharpness.. Sorry.. THE lens is the lens that best suits your needs in a given shooting situation.

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_vlad Senior Member • Posts: 1,958
Re: When it comes to sharpness....

Steve - obviously you can't do proper test (MFT) at home. AFAIK MFT is mapping the downfall of contrast from 100% to typically 50% at different lp/mm. All I could do was to pick the resolution graph take a photo at standardized distance (for the one I have is 50xfocal length) and pixel peep. This resolution chart has steps by 5 lp/mm from 25 lines to 100 lines and is printed as squares with 45 degree revolution per each segment. Line as per definition is one white+one black stripe.

So with this setup used for nearly 20 years I just picked up some films when Pentax resolved in the centre at best AV in the centre app. 110 lp/mm. And then after years I fit the same lens to GH2 again with AV 5,6 - obviously RAW, 160ISO and processed the files with best RAW converter detail-wise I am aware of - RAW Therapee with deconvolution sharpening and AMAZE demosaicing algorithm. Then I coupled the GH2 with 14-140 and just for fun with 14-42 and did the same. With all three lenses sensor started to show beyond 70lp/mm those strange square-like artifatcs when it is clear that the lens has still some "power" however sensor has not. BTW 14,3 MP Pentax K20D with 1,4/50mm Pentax prime stopped at 60 lp/mm.

That is all. Everything was set to 50mm eq (i.e. 25mm for 14-140 and 14-42 due to crop factor).

However Pentax prime unlike zooms has quite unique rendering so even I can't measure-up this factor under some conditions it is quite obvious. Pentaxians call it the difference between DA lenses and FA lenses.
Sorry to make the answer so long - just want to explain my procedure.
cheers
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_vlad Senior Member • Posts: 1,958
Re: When it comes to sharpness....

OOps typo I meant MTF not MFT
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Jeanadriane Senior Member • Posts: 1,671
Re: So, what is THE lens for 4/3?

There's only one lens that everybody describes as a "must have", and it's not a zoom...
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PerL Forum Pro • Posts: 13,882
20 1.7 and maybe 45 2.8

Steve Bingham wrote:

millsart wrote:

First and foremost, how could you forgot some Nikon classics like the 200mm f2.0 or the "cream machine" 85mm f1.4 AF-D ?

Or another personal favorite of mine, the 105 F2.5 AiS, and my single most used lens, the 200-400 f4

True. The 200mm f2 is right there! Top of the pile. My error. The 105 is a macro which I had excluded. The 85 is good, but not that good in my opinion - either version.

That all said, there are only a handful of lenses for m4/3 so its not really the same thing. I mean if you want a telezoom there is the 45-200 and the 100-300 and thats it.

I guess it might boil down to the 12-60 as a zoom and the 50 macro as a prime. Man, does that sucker look sharp (50m). I could not believe the MTF!!!!!!! I am learning. Is the 50mm really that slow focusing? Does it have a range limiter?Thanks!

Both are consumer grade zooms, good, but not quite 70-300 VR level of consumer grade zoom good

Wide angle, there is only the 7-14 or the Oly 9-18mm. 7-14 being wider and a little sharper, 9-18 more useful range and cheaper/smaller

Your question makes sense in terms of Nikon, Canon, Pentax etc, basically anything with a long history, but with m4/3 there just isn't much

There are no G, AF-D, Ai, type of lines

It simply is what it is. Every lens is basically, the best, because its all there is

Steve Bingham wrote:

OK. Here is what I am talking about. Let me tell you what Nikon's top FF lenses are:
1- 14-24 f2.8
2- 24-70 f2.8
3- 70-200 f2.8
4- 300 f2.8
5- 400 f2.8
6- 500 f4
7- 600 f4

Easy. I can do the same for DX. These are considered Nikon's very best without getting into macro or PC lenses. Now do you understand the nature of my question? When I find out what works best with M4/3 I will proceed from there. So far I think I am in overload from the information, but someone out there will nail it. My job is to sift through it and look at MTF charts ad infinitum.

kermitG9 wrote:

What's the point of this question ?

It's like asking: What's the best car ? Maybe it's a Porsche .. but forgot to mention that where you live there no paved road .. or a 4x4 but forgot to mention that you're living in an urban area.

My point is that you're neither saying in which focal length you're interested in .. and not giving any indication whether you need a DOF or not (i.e. indication about aperture).

=> Regardless of the responses you got, the reality is that without further details, there's simply no right answer to your question..

PS: You're defining THE lens in terms of sharpness.. Sorry.. THE lens is the lens that best suits your needs in a given shooting situation.

IMO the point of the m43 is portability. Many of the 4/3 lenses mentioned are big on small m43 cameras, and slower focusing than native m43 lenses.

The Panasonic 20 1.7 is small and highly regarded. The Pana-Leica 45 2.8 macro is probably also very good, but somewhat expensive.

Marty4650
Marty4650 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,693
The Joy of M4/3.... is that

.. you can use every one of your Nikon lenses with your M4/3 camera. All it will take is buying this adapter for a mere $20 or $30. As long as you don't mind manually focusing, you can use every single lens you currently own on your M4/3 camera.

See this thread about Nikon F to M4/3 adapters..
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1041&message=34108081

One of the reasons M4/3 has been so successful with owners of DSLRs "other than Olympus" is because it can serve as a "digital back" for almost every single lens ever made. Even cinema and CCTV lenses! There is even an adapter for the old Pentax 110 Auto SLR lenses!

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SirSeth
SirSeth Veteran Member • Posts: 9,946
Re: So, what is THE lens for 4/3?

Can I be completely bias here for a second? "THE lens for 4/3rds" is a Zuiko lens. They are basically all just really really good in their respective price ranges compared to the competition. I know my statement is biased because I haven't used every other lens, but I can easily say I stay because I love the lenses. (And I have used a number of very nice L lenses). My favorite Zuikos I own are the 11-22mm and the 50-200mm. But I consider the creme de la creme to be the 50mm f2 and the 150mm f2 followed very closely by the f2 zooms. They are almost holy.

Cheers,
Seth

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Steve Bingham
OP Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 25,428
ISO 12233 or Imatest

I have some ISO 12233 large lens charts which I have used in the past. Imatest works fine, but I don't have it. I usually test my lenses when I get them - and have time - usually that week.

vlad wrote:

OOps typo I meant MTF not MFT
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_vlad Senior Member • Posts: 1,958
Re: ISO 12233 or Imatest

Yes Steve I think it something like that if I can recall. Squares with lines and each square divided by 4 smaller rotated by 45 degrees.
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papillon_65
papillon_65 Forum Pro • Posts: 27,030
Re: So, what is THE lens for 4/3?
1

Steve Bingham wrote:

In terms of resolution, what would be the sharpest lens for 4/3? This one? Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm f/2.8-4. Price is no object.

As I am a Nikon person (40 years worth), I am not that familiar with the Olympus and Panasonic lenses. I would like a zoom lens rather than a fixed focal length.
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If you want to know what "sharp" on m4/3's looks like stick a 12-60mm at F4 on an EPL-1 or a 20mm 1.7 at F2.8. These two lenses stand out from the ones I have used on m4/3's. Of the native m4/3's zooms the Panasonic 14-45mm is excellent and probably the best kit lens ever produced.
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GregF Senior Member • Posts: 1,912
Re: I see a 35-100 f2

Chez Wimpy wrote:

Steve Bingham wrote:

Price is reasonable at $2,500 for a 70-200 effective f2. Wow.

"Effective" 70-200 f4... not so nice considering the Canon alternative is 1/4 the price (allowing the FF camera - a used 5D - to be included).

Please be more specific, as you don't even state the conditions in which this is true. For DOF at equivalent FOV, yes. For light gathering, it is still an F/2. Meaning you can get faster shutter speeds at a lower ISO setting. Sorry, I get tired of these comparisons, especially when key information is left out.

The Canon "equivalent" also does not have IS, which you have to pay twice as much to get. So to compare systems accurately, you would use the IS version ($1K+). Of course I'm assuming people are using an Oly body with IS. The Canon lens is much smaller/lighter, that is true.

The lens you mention is a good one, but the 35-100 is better.

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