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Greg Chappell Sep 9, 2012 2:06 PM

I Am Now Seeing Blurry Edges in my Dreams
Just like I am with the standard Micro zooms. Make that nightmares.

That's it. Done. Finished. The great Micro Four-Thirds standard zoom experiment is now at an end.

Mainly because none of the ones I have tried are any good. At all.

The 12-50 is a somewhat OK lens from around 15-50mm. The problem with that is, 12mm is one of THE main reason for owning the stupid lens, and the extra area covered by 12mm is just this side of worthless.

One typical example..

Captured at 12mm with the 12-50 Zuiko. Looks OK at this size..

Then start looking a little closer towards the left-hand edge....and this is at f5.6, the meaty part of the aperture range where, supposedly, the edges are only "slightly soft" and diffraction has not yet started setting in according to this review..

Here's what slightly soft (and blurry) looks like at 12mm on one side. At f5.6, I would expect something just a little bit (well, actualy more than that) better, and EVERY image captured at 12mm has sides that look like this, and as you can see this extends well in from what I would call "the edge" of the frame.

And on the other side....a complete, total mess. I can't tell if those are leaves or what dinner looks like after food poisoning.

Back to the primes.

The 12mm f2 this morning, capturing the moon as it drifted between the trees. Ahhhhh....something sharp across the frame at 12mm for a change..

And maximizing E-M5 file shadow details here in ACR to bring out the reflections. I used ZERO noise filtering here in addition to raising the heck out of the shadows and the sides at 12mm here compared to the 12-50 at 12mm...... is no comparison.

Talk about raising shadows, here's another shot, but using the 7.5mm Rokinon in the same area. Again, zero noise filtering used..

One more shot from this morning with the 7.5mm Rokinon fisheye, the Mustangs running at Williams Square..

Going forward, I more mention of Olympus standard Micro Four-Thirds zooms. They simply are not worth discusing.

Micro Four-Thirds and primes lenses in the standard zoom range. If image quality is what you are interested in, that's the combination you want.

zig-123 Sep 9, 2012 3:50 PM

I understand your frustration with the 12-50mm lens, as it's difficult to accept the loss in clarity and corner sharpness when you're comparing the performance of the 12-50mm to two excellent prime lenses. The 12mm and the 45mm Olympus primes are about as good as it gets in the sharpness dept. Throw in the Rokinon 8mm fisheye and you've got quite a collection of primes.

My view of the 12-50mm is that Olympus simply wanted to release a zoom covering a pretty decent focal range (24mm to 100mm 35mm equiv). for the people stepping up from a P&S. Those folks would not buy the primes so they wouldn't be able to compare and know what they are missing.

That doesn't make it right. But, me thinks Olympus just made a dud.

By the way, have you tried talking with Arlington Camera and seeing if you can try another copy of this lens?


Greg Chappell Sep 9, 2012 4:18 PM

I have thought at times about maybe trying another one or two more copies. I do believe there probably is some amount of variability from one unit to the next, but I think I'm ready at this point to just go forward with what I have that does perform and eventually bridge the gap between the 12/25/45 primes and the 75-300 with with either the 60mm f2.8 macro Zuiko or 75/1.8 some time around the end of the year.

The Rokinon fisheye is one amazingly sharp lens. I am constantly impressed with that lens every time I use it.

lisalonewolf Sep 9, 2012 6:49 PM

I looked at your original sites photos, looked at the 3x photos and was amazed by the shots you had. Some did have less clarity off on the right, not on the left. some did both sides. Might be as Zig suggested and trying a second lens of the same kind might show a difference...would be interesting and educational to try rather than shrug off. Anytime I can find, thru trial and error, what caused something I am way ahead of the game.
Your photos are great.

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