Olympus 12-50mm @ 45mm vs Panasonic 14-45mm @ 45mm IQ comparison

Started May 27, 2012 | Discussions
Moonlight Knight Regular Member • Posts: 150
Olympus 12-50mm @ 45mm vs Panasonic 14-45mm @ 45mm IQ comparison

This is a sharpness comparison of Olympus 12-50mm and Panasonic 14-45mm at 45mm wide open on the OM-D E-M5. Crops are processed in LR4.1RC2 sharpening = 30 radius = 0.8 luminance NR = 0 color NR = 0 CA correction = off. The 14-45 crops are underexposed accidentally and have EV increased in LR.

Note: the original full size image is not posted.

Center 100% crop: (12-50mm first, 14-45mm second)
Please zoom in the images to view them properly.

Corner 100% crop: (12-50mm first, 14-45mm second)
Please zoom in the images to view them properly.

I have not got photos good enough for 14mm comparison. If there's sufficient interest I may try to do that. Meanwhile, those interested in a 14mm comparison are referred to these posts in a Hong Kong forum and getdpi forum:

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=zh-CN&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.omuser.com%2Fviewthread.php%3Ftid%3D186944
http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/420457-post9.html

By the way, my copy of 14-45mm has a serious blur in the bottom-left hand corner in the wide angle range. Other corners seem normal.

Olympus OM-D E-M5
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
Jun2 Senior Member • Posts: 2,237
Re: Olympus 12-50mm @ 45mm vs Panasonic 14-45mm @ 45mm IQ comparison

wow. Get 14-45mm.

 Jun2's gear list:Jun2's gear list
Sony a5000 Sony a6000 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 Sony E 50mm F1.8 OSS Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS +2 more
Ben3D
Ben3D New Member • Posts: 19
Re: Olympus 12-50mm @ 45mm vs Panasonic 14-45mm @ 45mm IQ comparison

Looks like you have a bad copy of the 12-50. I'd get it replaced.

 Ben3D's gear list:Ben3D's gear list
Nikon D4 Nikon D750 Sony a7 III Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E II +3 more
Spectacle99
Spectacle99 Regular Member • Posts: 120
Re: Olympus 12-50mm @ 45mm vs Panasonic 14-45mm @ 45mm IQ comparison

Out of curiosity, do you have the IBIS on in both of these shots? In just the Olympus? I just ask, since the Panasonic lens has OIS in the lens, while the Olympus 12-50 does not.

I don't know if it will matter at these particular speeds, but I also noticed that the Panasonic is shot with a faster shutter speed. Probably would be best to have all things equal on here for purposes of comparison.

OP Moonlight Knight Regular Member • Posts: 150
Re: Olympus 12-50mm @ 45mm vs Panasonic 14-45mm @ 45mm IQ comparison

Spectacle99 wrote:

Out of curiosity, do you have the IBIS on in both of these shots? In just the Olympus? I just ask, since the Panasonic lens has OIS in the lens, while the Olympus 12-50 does not.

Good question. Right after posting it I realized I forgot to mention the IS settings:

IBIS Off for both lenses.
OIS Off for Panasonic lens.

OP Moonlight Knight Regular Member • Posts: 150
Re: Olympus 12-50mm @ 45mm vs Panasonic 14-45mm @ 45mm IQ comparison

Ben3D wrote:

Looks like you have a bad copy of the 12-50. I'd get it replaced.

That's a possibility, but the general tone of reviews of 12-50 is negative for good reasons.

The lenstip review:

http://www.lenstip.com/334.4-Lens_review-Olympus_M.Zuiko_Digital_12-50_mm_f_3.5-6.3_ED_EZ_Image_resolution.html

shows that at wide angle it is decent, and at telephoto it is below decent. This is consistent with my lens behavior.

Spectacle99
Spectacle99 Regular Member • Posts: 120
Re: Olympus 12-50mm @ 45mm vs Panasonic 14-45mm @ 45mm IQ comparison

To be quite honest, your photos are the first ones I've seen on this particular forum that show the 12-50mm as subpar. Almost everything I've seen has been positive by people used to shooting with primes, who think that this 12-50mm is surprisingly good for a kit lens. And the only softness I've seen reported has been all the way in at 50mm, a bit further beyond what you're shooting at here. If I were you I'd definitely send it back and see if the replacement isn't any better.

Moonlight Knight wrote:

Ben3D wrote:

Looks like you have a bad copy of the 12-50. I'd get it replaced.

That's a possibility, but the general tone of reviews of 12-50 is negative for good reasons.

The lenstip review:

http://www.lenstip.com/334.4-Lens_review-Olympus_M.Zuiko_Digital_12-50_mm_f_3.5-6.3_ED_EZ_Image_resolution.html

shows that at wide angle it is decent, and at telephoto it is below decent. This is consistent with my lens behavior.

gulffish
gulffish Senior Member • Posts: 2,179
Re: Olympus 12-50mm @ 45mm vs Panasonic 14-45mm @ 45mm IQ comparison

Moonlight Knight wrote:

Ben3D wrote:

Looks like you have a bad copy of the 12-50. I'd get it replaced.

That's a possibility, but the general tone of reviews of 12-50 is negative for good reasons.

The lenstip review:

http://www.lenstip.com/334.4-Lens_review-Olympus_M.Zuiko_Digital_12-50_mm_f_3.5-6.3_ED_EZ_Image_resolution.html

shows that at wide angle it is decent, and at telephoto it is below decent. This is consistent with my lens behavior.

You need to read more 12-50 reviews, general tone not negative. You got a dud, send it back.
--
Kirk

 gulffish's gear list:gulffish's gear list
Sony RX100 III Sony E 70-350mm F4.5-6.3 G OSS
MrGubrz
MrGubrz Senior Member • Posts: 1,382
Re: Olympus 12-50mm @ 45mm vs Panasonic 14-45mm @ 45mm IQ comparison

Spectacle99 wrote:

To be quite honest, your photos are the first ones I've seen on this particular forum that show the 12-50mm as subpar. Almost everything I've seen has been positive by people used to shooting with primes, who think that this 12-50mm is surprisingly good for a kit lens. And the only softness I've seen reported has been all the way in at 50mm, a bit further beyond what you're shooting at here. If I were you I'd definitely send it back and see if the replacement isn't any better.

Moonlight Knight wrote:

Ben3D wrote:

Looks like you have a bad copy of the 12-50. I'd get it replaced.

That's a possibility, but the general tone of reviews of 12-50 is negative for good reasons.

The lenstip review:

http://www.lenstip.com/334.4-Lens_review-Olympus_M.Zuiko_Digital_12-50_mm_f_3.5-6.3_ED_EZ_Image_resolution.html

shows that at wide angle it is decent, and at telephoto it is below decent. This is consistent with my lens behavior.

ive liked most of the 12-50 shots ive seen
they look good to me
compared to other lenses is when it loses out

but if your happy with choice A, go with it, stop looking at choice B and saying "but its not B"

lets see both of those same shots at 50mm... oh wait...
lets see both of those same shots in the rain... oh wait...

just silliness each has its uses, and each is a compromise, just like every other lens in history

just pick the one that suits your needs and stop looking at comparisons between the one that SUITS YOU with lenses that DONT

youll be happier!

lets all work on being HAPPY

 MrGubrz's gear list:MrGubrz's gear list
Sony a9 Sony a7 III Canon EF 200mm f/2L IS USM Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 35mm F1.4 +11 more
bikemate11 Junior Member • Posts: 27
Re: Olympus 12-50mm @ 45mm vs Panasonic 14-45mm @ 45mm IQ comparison

It appeares to me that noise is much more apparent in both 14-45 shots. This of course cannot be caused by the lens. Are you sure that the sharpening and or noise reduction were exactly equal for both lenses?

 bikemate11's gear list:bikemate11's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10
kenw
kenw Veteran Member • Posts: 6,323
Re: Olympus 12-50mm @ 45mm vs Panasonic 14-45mm @ 45mm IQ comparison

bikemate11 wrote:

It appeares to me that noise is much more apparent in both 14-45 shots. This of course cannot be caused by the lens. Are you sure that the sharpening and or noise reduction were exactly equal for both lenses?

Umm... Did you read his post? The answer to your question is already in there (pushed by 1EV).
--
Ken W
See profile for equipment list

 kenw's gear list:kenw's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Olympus E-M5 II Nikon Z7 Nikon Z 14-30mm F4 Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR +37 more
kenw
kenw Veteran Member • Posts: 6,323
Slightly different FL?

Thanks for sharing!

More of a curious note, but it looks like the 12-50 is at a slightly longer focal length (features larger in images) even though the camera has reported the same FL in the EXIF. Not unusual for close subjects (FL only validly defined at infinity focus) but these seem pretty distant. Anyway, kind of curious.

At these shutter speeds no IS or tripod needed, perfectly valid test I think.

As to being a "bad copy" that's always very hard to tell. People who don't own two lenses and compare them side to side often say "bad copy" simply because they've never seen anything besides their one lens, which looks great with nothing to compare it against. On the other hand, we know there have been plenty of lenses that truly have suffered from "bad copies" (early on the 45-200 was notorious) so it is a real possibility as well.
--
Ken W
See profile for equipment list

 kenw's gear list:kenw's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Olympus E-M5 II Nikon Z7 Nikon Z 14-30mm F4 Nikon Z 24-200mm F4-6.3 VR +37 more
Spectacle99
Spectacle99 Regular Member • Posts: 120
Re: Olympus 12-50mm @ 45mm vs Panasonic 14-45mm @ 45mm IQ comparison

No need to be rude, kenw. bikemate11's question was a valid one, and included the phrase "Are you sure that...", which indicates doubt about a thing known to have been stated. He clearly read the OP's post.

kenw wrote:

bikemate11 wrote:

It appeares to me that noise is much more apparent in both 14-45 shots. This of course cannot be caused by the lens. Are you sure that the sharpening and or noise reduction were exactly equal for both lenses?

Umm... Did you read his post? The answer to your question is already in there (pushed by 1EV).

Spectacle99
Spectacle99 Regular Member • Posts: 120
Re: Slightly different FL?

Actually, given how many positive reviews there have been of this lens by people who have both (and indeed many m43 lenses), the OP's findings here (alongside the one negative lenstip review he posted), leads me to believe that in fact this might be a lens model that does have the occasional imperfect one mixed in with the others.

Doesn't hurt to send it back and see.

kenw wrote:

Thanks for sharing!

More of a curious note, but it looks like the 12-50 is at a slightly longer focal length (features larger in images) even though the camera has reported the same FL in the EXIF. Not unusual for close subjects (FL only validly defined at infinity focus) but these seem pretty distant. Anyway, kind of curious.

At these shutter speeds no IS or tripod needed, perfectly valid test I think.

As to being a "bad copy" that's always very hard to tell. People who don't own two lenses and compare them side to side often say "bad copy" simply because they've never seen anything besides their one lens, which looks great with nothing to compare it against. On the other hand, we know there have been plenty of lenses that truly have suffered from "bad copies" (early on the 45-200 was notorious) so it is a real possibility as well.
--
Ken W
See profile for equipment list

helimech Contributing Member • Posts: 598
Re: Slightly different FL?

I have seen this comparison a couple times now, and every time the 14-45 is noticeable sharper than the 12-50, same with sites that have reviewed both.

I don't think it's a one off, the fact is optically the 12-50 is just not as good. No need for anyone to get defensive the 12-50 can still take good pictures but in terms of pure optical performance the 14-45 is still the best m4/3 kit lens.

The 3 advantages the 12-50 has is 12mm vs 14mm, weather sealing and a decent macro mode (45mm vs 50mm is nothing). If those are not important to you then the 14-45 is a better lens.

 helimech's gear list:helimech's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS +2 more
stimmer Veteran Member • Posts: 5,219
Looks like a dull copy.
helimech Contributing Member • Posts: 598
Re: Looks like a dull copy.

First off that is not a comparison shot, 2nd did you actually look at that picture full size on flickr? http://www.flickr.com/photos/whacker/7277827650/sizes/o/in/photostream/

VERY HEAVY pp, can't judge any lens when the picture has been processed to that extent.

stimmer wrote:

Look at this 12-50 shot.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1041&message=41627531

 helimech's gear list:helimech's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS +2 more
Spectacle99
Spectacle99 Regular Member • Posts: 120
Re: Slightly different FL?

I don't think anyone on this thread has gotten defensive. Just some reasonable debate and trying to offer some advice based on our experience and what we've all read/seen about these lenses. I know that I for one don't care one way or the other. If the Panny's a sharper lens, that would definitely be good to know.

To the OP: If you send the lens back and the new one isn't any better, then you'll likely have your answer. If so, let us all know. Would be interesting to see.

helimech wrote:

I have seen this comparison a couple times now, and every time the 14-45 is noticeable sharper than the 12-50, same with sites that have reviewed both.

I don't think it's a one off, the fact is optically the 12-50 is just not as good. No need for anyone to get defensive the 12-50 can still take good pictures but in terms of pure optical performance the 14-45 is still the best m4/3 kit lens.

The 3 advantages the 12-50 has is 12mm vs 14mm, weather sealing and a decent macro mode (45mm vs 50mm is nothing). If those are not important to you then the 14-45 is a better lens.

jhinkey
jhinkey Senior Member • Posts: 2,814
Re: Olympus 12-50mm @ 45mm vs Panasonic 14-45mm @ 45mm IQ comparison

I just had a chance to try out the 12-50 on the E-M5 and I was not super impressed.

Opened ISO200 ORF files in Bridge 6.6. The 12mm end had lots of CA while the 50mm end did not. At medium distances (30 ft) the 12mm end did not look too great while the 50mm actually was surprisingly good. It appears that this particular copy of the 12-50 lens may have some centering issues as the left side was less sharp than the right side.

At far distances the 50mm seemed to be not as good.

Video looked pretty good to me except when zooming in or out then the whole image went out of focus while I was zooming (I was using manual zoom). Rolling shutter was not obvious with relatively slow panning or passing cars.

Video was way better than my LX-5

It was a real quick look as the batter was running low. I'll be back to try some of the primes with it (like the 12mm).

The menu system was not obvious/intuitive at all as others have reported.

John
--

 jhinkey's gear list:jhinkey's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 Panasonic LX100 Nikon D800 Sony a7R II Panasonic G85 +27 more
helimech Contributing Member • Posts: 598
Re: Slightly different FL?
 helimech's gear list:helimech's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS +2 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads