Not superior ... different
Here's my short comparison on these lens makers:
Sharpness, Color and Contrast
I am generally finding the Oly lenses sharper than Panny. But, I find them a bit less contrasty, and therefore a little more washed out.
I think of it this way -- Oly lenses seem more clinical to me. More technically sharp wide open, but I find the Panny lenses have more character. Better contrast and color generally, a little less sharp overall, but just richer feeling (sorry, not very scientific).
Size and Weight
The Oly lenses are generally more compact and lightweight, which has it's benefits.
The Panny lenses have had some great easily matched filter sizes (46mm for 14, PL25 and PL45 and I think also the 45-200??), which I appreciate. I guess maybe Oly has that too with the 17, 14-42 and 45, but the first two lenses, to me, which are just "meh" so I don't really care about them sharing with the 45 (is the 12mm lens also 37mm filter?). The 9-18 is 52mm which I think is shared with the 40-150 and 14-150?? But not the primes like the 45.
Lastly, I find the built quality of the Panny lenses "better" in that the Olys feel lighter and more plasticky, BUT -- 1) the Oly construction choices makes the lenses lighter and smaller, which as mentioned above, has it's benefits, and 2) while the Panasonic build quality might feel better, they are all still plastic, so it's only a relative comparison, and they are nowhere near the build feel of my previous Canon lenses, and certainly not my legacy glass.
Oddly enough, I prefer the Oly bodies, which I find have more consistent metering and better colors, at least OOC. IBIS is also of course very nice. My goal is to have sharpness, yes, but maximize OOC contrast color and "character" (an elusive term, of course), and I find Oly bodies + Panny lenses does that best.
So, I'm mostly Panny lenses and Oly bodies.
EM5; 9-18, PL25, 100-300 and some others.
(also, 6D + RX100)
Last edited by WT21; July 16th, 2012 at 12:46 PM.