GF 30 vs 32-64

Started 6 months ago | Discussions
fkaphotoblogger Junior Member • Posts: 47
GF 30 vs 32-64
2

Hi all:

From what I've read here, and the excellent testing on Jim Kasson's blog, the consensus is that the performance of the 30/3.5 is close enough to the 32-64 at 32mm that the recommendation would be to get the 32-64. Right now my only native lens is the 45/2.8 and I've also been using adapted vintage lenses.

I know some people have suggested the 30 and 45-100/4 as a good pairing that might be more versatile then the 32-64.

I mainly shoot street and hiking photos with the GFX. I've still been using my Sony for portraits. Any recommendations?

Thanks,

MED

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spilla Regular Member • Posts: 474
Re: GF 30 vs 32-64

fkaphotoblogger wrote:

Hi all:

From what I've read here, and the excellent testing on Jim Kasson's blog, the consensus is that the performance of the 30/3.5 is close enough to the 32-64 at 32mm that the recommendation would be to get the 32-64. Right now my only native lens is the 45/2.8 and I've also been using adapted vintage lenses.

I know some people have suggested the 30 and 45-100/4 as a good pairing that might be more versatile then the 32-64.

I mainly shoot street and hiking photos with the GFX. I've still been using my Sony for portraits. Any recommendations?

Thanks,

MED

I have the 30 and 45 — the 30 is a solid lens, very light and portable. Think main reason to choose it over 32-64 is size. It complements the 45 very well.

Jvlahakis
Jvlahakis Senior Member • Posts: 1,019
Re: GF 30 vs 32-64
3

-The 30mm is super light compared to the 32-64mm.  It makes for a very easy travel lens.  You could add the 63mm 2.8 and have a really nice kit without the weight of the zoom.  I had the 32-64, and while it’s a terrific lens, I sold it and went all in on primes.  But, then again, that is my personal preference.

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left eye
left eye Senior Member • Posts: 2,281
Re: GF 30 vs 32-64
3

The 32-64 has a major curved plane of focus.

Jim acknowledged that via the similarity between the lenses in question was only possible by using edge/corner AF focus when he tested the edge sharpness of the zoom.

In real-world use you normally focus close to the centre - and hope the edges will be sharp-ish! With the 32-64 they are not, with the 30 they are.

Enuf said.

For environmental portraits the zoom is great, defocusing edges while keeping your central subject sharp, yet bringing in really close details at the corners, magic if that's what you're after, otherwise the 30 is more predicable and overall far better ...if you only need to shoot wide without lens changes.

The zoom is sharp in the corners but ONLY much closer than the central-ish focus plane, otherwise the corners and sides will be poor.

Certanly the 30mm is far better than you might gather elsewhere compared to the 32mm end of the zoom. Just as the GF 50mm is a wonder compared to 50mm in the zoom.

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Manzur Fahim
Manzur Fahim Veteran Member • Posts: 3,457
Re: GF 30 vs 32-64
1

fkaphotoblogger wrote:

Hi all:

From what I've read here, and the excellent testing on Jim Kasson's blog, the consensus is that the performance of the 30/3.5 is close enough to the 32-64 at 32mm that the recommendation would be to get the 32-64. Right now my only native lens is the 45/2.8 and I've also been using adapted vintage lenses.

I know some people have suggested the 30 and 45-100/4 as a good pairing that might be more versatile then the 32-64.

I mainly shoot street and hiking photos with the GFX. I've still been using my Sony for portraits. Any recommendations?

For shooting street and hiking, 32-64mm is greay and useful due to the focal length. It is a great walkaround lens, and image quality is on par with primes. I'd choose the 32-64mm.

Thanks,

MED

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norjens
norjens Regular Member • Posts: 418
curves

left eye wrote:

The 32-64 has a major curved plane of focus.

Jim acknowledged that via the similarity between the lenses in question was only possible by using edge/corner AF focus when he tested the edge sharpness of the zoom.

In real-world use you normally focus close to the centre - and hope the edges will be sharp-ish! With the 32-64 they are not, with the 30 they are.

Enuf said.

For environmental portraits the zoom is great, defocusing edges while keeping your central subject sharp, yet bringing in really close details at the corners, magic if that's what you're after, otherwise the 30 is more predicable and overall far better ...if you only need to shoot wide without lens changes.

The zoom is sharp in the corners but ONLY much closer than the central-ish focus plane, otherwise the corners and sides will be poor.

Certanly the 30mm is far better than you might gather elsewhere compared to the 32mm end of the zoom. Just as the GF 50mm is a wonder compared to 50mm in the zoom.

I still don't see how this is a negative in general. Sometimes I'd prefer my plane of focus to be flat and angled to the left or right, sometimes I'd prefer it to be curved away from me, sometimes flat and straight, etc. Some of those don't exist, but point is that in real life use I never have the perfect focus plane for my shot, and no particular shape is always better aligned.

If there's some repeating use case, one can be better. Like if you're scanning papers or paintings, you want a flat plane of focus. Same if you're testing lenses on standardized scenes, it's faster with a flat plane if your scene is flat. Alternatively if you're taking large group photos of people in a semi-circle so that everyone's the same size in the frame, you'd want a plane that is similarly equidistant; curving towards you.

@fkaphotoblogger indicated that it's for street and hiking photos, in which case the subjects can be anywhere in relation to each other. In that case the plane of focus might as well be shaped like a saddle for all I'd care.

left eye
left eye Senior Member • Posts: 2,281
Re: curves
1

norjens wrote:

left eye wrote:

The 32-64 has a major curved plane of focus.

Jim acknowledged that via the similarity between the lenses in question was only possible by using edge/corner AF focus when he tested the edge sharpness of the zoom.

In real-world use you normally focus close to the centre - and hope the edges will be sharp-ish! With the 32-64 they are not, with the 30 they are.

Enuf said.

For environmental portraits the zoom is great, defocusing edges while keeping your central subject sharp, yet bringing in really close details at the corners, magic if that's what you're after, otherwise the 30 is more predicable and overall far better ...if you only need to shoot wide without lens changes.

The zoom is sharp in the corners but ONLY much closer than the central-ish focus plane, otherwise the corners and sides will be poor.

Certanly the 30mm is far better than you might gather elsewhere compared to the 32mm end of the zoom. Just as the GF 50mm is a wonder compared to 50mm in the zoom.

I still don't see how this is a negative in general.

Generally a flat plane of focus is preferable - as then the plane of focus is predictable, flat is flat. A curved plane is somewhat of a irresolvable case - as to where the curve is.

Jim's tests while thorough, tested the 32-64mm sides and corners by focusing on them - rather then on the centre and then inspecting the sides and corners. Focusing on the sides/corners gives a best case scenario for the lens, but doesn't match up in my experience to real-world scenario. I've actually been very disappointed with the performance of the sides of this lens - due to the curved plane of focus. Sure when I focus at distance (near infinity) the corners render really close ground to be in focus - that's nice, but the sides at the same central near infinity distance are totally out of focus - disappointing.

I realise, and as I said, for environmental portraits some extra de-focus outside of your subject can be ok, but I'd rather just control this with aperture than a curved plane of focus.

The 30mm is far better in this regard than the 32mm end of the zoom - a fact that is hidden by Jim's test. In this regard I do think the 30mm has significant optical advantages over the 32mm end of the zoom. In fact for landscapes (horizons at middle to long distances) the 32mm end of the zoom is poor - due to the curved plane of focus, for closer subject - where an obvious horizon isn't present, the curved plane of focus becomes more integrated into the depth a scene.

As a landscape lens - I'd pick the 30mm every time, and the 23mm. For environmental portraits I'd pick the 32-64 zoom - due to FL flexibility - but I still wish it's plane of focus was flatter.

Sometimes I'd prefer my plane of focus to be flat and angled to the left or right, sometimes I'd prefer it to be curved away from me, sometimes flat and straight, etc. Some of those don't exist, but point is that in real life use I never have the perfect focus plane for my shot, and no particular shape is always better aligned.

If there's some repeating use case, one can be better. Like if you're scanning papers or paintings, you want a flat plane of focus. Same if you're testing lenses on standardized scenes, it's faster with a flat plane if your scene is flat. Alternatively if you're taking large group photos of people in a semi-circle so that everyone's the same size in the frame, you'd want a plane that is similarly equidistant; curving towards you.

@fkaphotoblogger indicated that it's for street and hiking photos, in which case the subjects can be anywhere in relation to each other. In that case the plane of focus might as well be shaped like a saddle for all I'd care.

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norjens
norjens Regular Member • Posts: 418
Re: curves

left eye wrote:

norjens wrote:

left eye wrote:

The 32-64 has a major curved plane of focus.

[snipped]

I still don't see how this is a negative in general.

Generally a flat plane of focus is preferable - as then the plane of focus is predictable, flat is flat. A curved plane is somewhat of a irresolvable case - as to where the curve is.

They're both regular and familiar shapes that we see all around us, so I doubt I'm the only one not having a greater problem predicting where a curved plane will be as soon as I'm familiar with the lens. Just looking outside without a camera, it's not hard to visualize some curve on the ground. If it were a zigzag or saddle shape I'd agree.

Jim's tests while thorough, tested the 32-64mm sides and corners by focusing on them - rather then on the centre and then inspecting the sides and corners. Focusing on the sides/corners gives a best case scenario for the lens, but doesn't match up in my experience to real-world scenario.

Lens testing is always done in the best case, removing bottlenecks like motion blur, pixelation (where possible) and misfocus, obviously Jim doesn't test misfocused areas because that is meaningless. He tests with correct focus for each part of the frame, and where that is depends primarily on where those objects happen to be.

I've actually been very disappointed with the performance of the sides of this lens - due to the curved plane of focus. Sure when I focus at distance (near infinity) the corners render really close ground to be in focus - that's nice, but the sides at the same central near infinity distance are totally out of focus - disappointing.

If your subjects are always on a perfect line, like a head-on shot of a wall, then I understand. But most subjects are randomly distributed, no? Especially in street and hiking, which is the use cases in question here.

I realise, and as I said, for environmental portraits some extra de-focus outside of your subject can be ok, but I'd rather just control this with aperture than a curved plane of focus.

The 30mm is far better in this regard than the 32mm end of the zoom - a fact that is hidden by Jim's test. In this regard I do think the 30mm has significant optical advantages over the 32mm end of the zoom. In fact for landscapes (horizons at middle to long distances) the 32mm end of the zoom is poor - due to the curved plane of focus, for closer subject - where an obvious horizon isn't present, the curved plane of focus becomes more integrated into the depth a scene.

Horizons are in general curved, because the earth is curved. Variations due to elevation are common, but completely straight ones are not. At middle to long distances the depth of field becomes less and less limiting, so it doesn't matter as much as for mid to short.

As a landscape lens - I'd pick the 30mm every time, and the 23mm. For environmental portraits I'd pick the 32-64 zoom - due to FL flexibility - but I still wish it's plane of focus was flatter.

[snipped]

(unknown member) Regular Member • Posts: 468
Re: GF 30 vs 32-64
1

I would rather carry the 30/50 or 30/63 than the 32-64. After about a year with the 32-64 before I sold it, all my photos taken with it were shot at either end of the focal range. The only real benefit of the zoom for me was I didn't have to change lenses in adverse conditions.

Dirk Dittert Regular Member • Posts: 411
Re: curves
2

I had the Canon 24-70 that also had a curved plane of focus. It did drive me crazy because for every photo you not only had to make sure that you picked the right point to focus on but to also check that the plane of focus did not yield any unwanted results. Ok, back then displays ware not as good as they are today. But still very annoying.

If that‘s the same with the 32-64, I would recommend trying the lens before buying. Does the 45-100 have a flat plane of focus?

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JimKasson
JimKasson Forum Pro • Posts: 32,566
Re: curves

Dirk Dittert wrote:

I had the Canon 24-70 that also had a curved plane of focus. It did drive me crazy because for every photo you not only had to make sure that you picked the right point to focus on but to also check that the plane of focus did not yield any unwanted results. Ok, back then displays ware not as good as they are today. But still very annoying.

If that‘s the same with the 32-64, I would recommend trying the lens before buying. Does the 45-100 have a flat plane of focus?

In my experience, only process lenses have a flat plane of focus.

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