12-32 outperforms 12-35 (wide-angle, f7.1)

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by aidanw, Jul 10, 2016.

  1. aidanw

    aidanw Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 19, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    A very limited scope test and quite unscientific. I was surprised at how good the 12-32mm is.
    12mm, iso400, f7.1.
    No UV or CPL filters. Shot on E-M5 mk II. Unprocessed in LR for purposes of comparison.

    2 of the 3 photos to me look near-identical. However the bush is definitely clearer on the 12-32 than the 12-35.

    Compare the bush:


    Top-left corner, strong highlight:
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  2. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Is the first comparions edge or centre?
  3. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sorry man, I'm not seeing it.
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  4. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Btw, most test suggest 12-35 is most sharpest at F4. By f7.1 it's starting to get into diffraction territory.
  5. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Real Name:
    Mike Aubrey
    At f/7.1, both lenses are diffraction limited. Sharpness is no longer decided by the quality of the lens. Any difference you're seeing in the bush (I can't see it), is likely do to things like a slightly different focus or field curvature.
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  6. Nathanael

    Nathanael Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2015
    what drama
    what intrigue
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  7. aidanw

    aidanw Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 19, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    First comparison is top-right edge. You'll need to click on the photo to make it "Lightbox" to really see the difference. I'm looking at it on a 27" monitor and can just see the difference.

    I would describe it that the bush when taken with the 12-35 appears to have a slight horizontal blur, whereas the 12-32 has more definition.

    The fact that the 12-32 holds it's own against the 12-35, a far more significantly expensive lens, is impressive.
    I know there is far more between the lenses (weatherproofing, f2.8, longer range, etc.).
  8. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    Real Name:
    It really hard to compare IQ on this site. On my 27" 4k screen in chrome even the LR text isnt as clear as in LR itself.
  9. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I'm pretty sure early tests of the 12-32 found that it stood up to the 12-35 reasonably well under certain circumstances.

    Micro 4/3rds Photography: Comparison @ 12mm

    There's quite a lot of sample variation and barrel distortion to contend with though, also the 12-35 is best in the middle of its zoom range, not at 12mm like the Olympus 12-40.
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  10. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    I'm not sure the 12-32 is every bit as good as (or better than) the 12-35, but having both, I think they are both awesome lenses and relatively indispensable within the system, particularly for the 12mm focal length, which I use a LOT. The 12-32 certainly hits far above its weight and is surprisingly great.
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  11. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Should also be noted that many "kit" lenses are very good once you stop them down a bit and can rival the expensive higher end lenses. But for many of the higher quality lenses, we don't buy them to use them so much for their quality at f4, f5.6, etc. but instead to get the same image quality when shooting at f2.8 when we need it.
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  12. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    @MAubrey@MAubrey is quite correct here.

    In general, you will find that most faster M4/3 lenses hit their quality peak somewhere between f2.8 and f4. At f7.1, all M4/3 lenses will be on the downhill in terms of resolution, unless there is really bad field curvature, or the corners were so poor initially that diffraction is not the dominant effect.

    Still, a little visual reminder is useful to demonstrate that if most of your shots are about maximizing depth of field while maintaining quality, there is often little reason to splurge on fast lenses.
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  13. Egregius V

    Egregius V Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 14, 2015
    Massachusetts, USA
    Real Name:
    Rev. Gregory Vozzo
    While I have a religious profession, I sometimes like to play devil's advocate. ;) Is it possible that there is some motion blur in the 12-35 photo? I realize the shutter speeds are high, but the speed used for the 12-32 photo of the bush and fence is faster. Just offering that as a consideration.

    (I must admit - I like to compare my own lenses and am very pleased by how similar they can be. Helps me to know their strengths and weaknesses.)
  14. jalywol

    jalywol New to Mu-43

    Sep 26, 2011
    I can't believe you aren't noting the other differences between these lenses. The contrast, microcontrast, and color depth are vastly better on the 12-35mm.

    There are more things about a lens than simply sharpness that make it a good tool. (Note: I own, and like the 12-32mm. However, it just doesn't hold a candle to my Oly 12mm when shooting complex landscape stuff. I assume the 12-35mm will be more like the 12mm prime, judging by these shots...).
  15. PhilippePASCAL

    PhilippePASCAL Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 21, 2015
    I have a bunch of silly arguments (because you know...i'm silly ) :D
    I don't have any use for a 2.8 lens in wide angle. That's why i use 12-32mm f3.5 (at 12mm mainly) and 20mm f1.7.

    1 When i use wide angle, i'm mostly outside in daylight. Can take pics up to f5.6 if i want to.
    2 When i need short exposure (indoor or outdoor at lnight), i use a REALLY fast lens. f2.8 is not enough. 20mm f1.7 is.
    3 When i need long exposure...i don't care about f2.8 f1.7 f3.5... I have all my exposure time to do it. Focal length is the key.
    4 When i use wide angle, DOF will not change that much between f2.8 and f3.5. An half stop AND on WA ? peanuts. Playing with DOF on WA lenses is a joke...until FF sensor or f0.95 M43 ;)

    12-32mm is an ideal companion to the "all round" 20mm. Small and effective.

    This was my ode to the 12-32mm :biggrin:
  16. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2013
    While I have the 12-35, I'd say the 12-32 with the 35-100 f4-5.6 is truly a bargain set of very fine optics when bought used or "De-kitted". But that is one of the great things about mm43 - most lenses are very good.
  17. PhilippePASCAL

    PhilippePASCAL Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 21, 2015
    On my Oly IBIS side, i think too the cheap 40-150mm f3.5, combined with 12-32mm is a killer combination.
    You can add some cheap plastic wired tubes for macro on the 40-150mm. Very impressive results for cheap.

    The only thing you "need" after that is a fast lens : 20mm for me. 17 or 25 for others.
    With those 3 lenses, you cover a lot of ground.
  18. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2013
    I also have the 40-150 and use it with the MCON1 or Canon 500D 58mm for very good macro:
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  19. PhilippePASCAL

    PhilippePASCAL Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 21, 2015
    On my side, i use a good old unknow gem : Olympus A-Life-Size Macro Closeup Lens +7.7 Diopters.
    Paid peanuts on the bay.
    A little heavy on a plastic lens, but very impressive results. Will never sell it.
    Nice pic ;)
  20. aidanw

    aidanw Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 19, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    One of the reasons I like the 12-32 is that I can put the Panasonic Fisheye Converter on it with minimal quality loss in the centre (it's noticeable in the corners).

    I get nearly as wide as the fantastic Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5, but with more flexibility to zoom in, I can use a polarising filter, and it's got autofocus.

    If anyone wants example photos I can upload them.
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