1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

12-40 IQ vs. primes

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Replytoken, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I know that 12-40's have just started shipping, but I would be interested in any IQ comparisons between the 12-40 and the usual prime suspects in the same FL range. I am especially interested in comparisons with the 25 and 45 (Oly f/1.8).

    Thanks,

    --Ken
     
  2. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Shot at 2.8 the differences will probably be measurable (maybe), but not visibly different unless pixel peeping. The real difference is the difference in look that the primes, with larger apertures to out of focus areas, and the ability to shoot in lower light levels with the larger apertures.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    True, I should have clarified that I was mostly considering the look of the primes at f/2.8 and above in comparison with the 12-40. Below f/2.8, I would have to give the advantage to the primes! :rolleyes:

    --Ken
     
  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    The 25 is exemplary in the center, but never quite catches up in the corners. I'd suspect the 12-40 will be more even across the frame. The 45/1.8 on the other hand is pretty consistent all around, and I gather the 12-40 is weakest at the long end, so there may still be an advantage to the prime. However you slice it though, I don't think you'll see a meaningful different unless you're examining at 100%.
     
  5. lakemcd

    lakemcd Mu-43 Regular

    176
    May 27, 2013
    Montana
    Gary
    To give up the 20/1.7 or not. That is the question. I love the 45/1.8 and will probably keep it.
     
  6. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    799
    Oct 28, 2013
    This is a great question. Given the option of buying the Oly 12-40 F2.8 or buying the following prime trinity Oly 12 F2, Oly 17 1.8 and Oly 45 1.8 ..... do the primes give a significant 'character' improvement in rendering (forget DXOmark for bit :) ). I know this is subjective , but I am interested in hearing peoples subjective opinions. Especially from people who have both the 12-40 and the 3 primes that I mentioned already.
    BTW I know that the primes are not weather sealed :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Philly
    Steve
    I never owned either, but cost wise, you only need to give up the 12 and 17, which I would do in a heartbeat...you can still keep the 45 in the above scenario.
     
  8. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I was going to use the "C" word in my OP, but being as subjective as it is, it sometimes seems to open a big can of worms. But, having said that, I have to admit that I am more than a bit curious what people who have shot the new 12-40 AND some of these primes think of their images. I suspect that, like many comparisons, it will be a win some/ lose some situation. Early feedback seems to indicate few big problems, but I would like to know what IQ and/or "character" gains, if any, the 12-40 offers over the primes. It certainly is convenient if you do not mind an f/2.8 lens, and the ergonomics of it (manual clutch, triple-proof design) are certainly nice. It has great appeal, but it is always hard for me to buy up when the gians in IQ over my existing glass are very subtle. Having said that, if I had a big trip coming up and needed to travel light, I probably would have picked it up already.

    --Ken
     
  9. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    926
    Nov 6, 2012
    Canada
    I think I would miss f/1.4 or f/1.8 if I had a f/2.8 and it was my only lens. It's still early days, you'll probably have to Google around a bit more to find comparisons of the 12-40/2.8 with primes. People are just mostly comparing it to the mid-range zooms of other systems right now.
     
  10. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    No real rush unless I want to buy both the body and lens and take advantage of the current rebate. It is tempting, but as it would blow my camera budget for some time, I really need to decide if the E-M1 is "it", or if I want to wait and see what they may release next year, possibly with some more emphasis on sensor/IQ improvements. Right now, an E-M1 would mostly be a gain of ergonomics, as the sensor in my E-PL5 is not too far behind WRT IQ.

    --Ken
     
  11. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    The trouble is that I can see situations where I would want the primes, and others where I would want the zoom. Tough choices for those on a budget.

    --Ken
     
  12. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    926
    Nov 6, 2012
    Canada
    I would go for the E-M1 kit for now to maximize the savings if starting fresh.

    If I already have a body, I would start paring down the kit and only keep the essentials, then jump on the 12-40 when the timing is right. I also would wait out another generation so that E-M1 gets cheaper as mark II rolls out.

    Ideally I would keep a fast prime for low light along with the 12-40 if that's the lens I invest in.
     
  13. Photodan1

    Photodan1 Mu-43 Regular

    157
    Jun 26, 2012
    Nashville, Tennessee, USA
    Dan
    If you are looking for a quality improvement over the primes, I don't think you will find it. However, from what I have read the image quality is also impressive on the zoom. The convenience is a big deal, have roughly comparable image quality in one lens replacing 2-3. In a very low light situation, I think it would be wise to hang onto one fast prime. In your scenario, it seems like the 17 is the most general purpose lens.
     
  14. bigal1000

    bigal1000 Mu-43 Veteran

    337
    Sep 10, 2010
    New Hampshire
    Exactly well said...
     
  15. portadiferro

    portadiferro Mu-43 Regular

    30
    Aug 26, 2013
    I was considering 12, 25, 45, 75 set, but then when they released the 12-40 and it got great reviews I bought that and skipped 12 and 45. So now I have the 25/1.4 and 75/1.8 for when I expect to need more light or shallower DOF and otherwise I mostly use the zoom. It seems to be a good setup for me, especially now that it's been raining for weeks it's nice to have weather proof set up and no need to change lenses.
     
  16. Neftun

    Neftun Mu-43 Veteran

    408
    Jul 15, 2012
    Norway
    Patrick Kristiansen
    Exactly what I'm thinking. For me, the zoom is a good replacement for the 12mm, 17mm and even 20mm, but not so with the 25mm. The 45mm is cheap and small, nice to have lying around. And the 75mm is, once tried, is irreplaceable:)
    I'm getting the zoom, first normal-zoom to catch my eye in years.


    Patrick K
     
  17. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    My brain doesn't work very well with zooms - I tend to shoot with one focal length pretty much all day, sometimes two, but almost never more than that. I just don't do well with options and can see better when that variable is removed. The exception is a good portrait zoom like the 35-100, which I might even like more than the 75 because at those lengths and for that type of shooting, the shot is less about composition and more about the content of the shot and the zoom actually helps me there, where it tends to hinder me otherwise...

    BUT....

    If I was the kind of guy who worked well with zooms, I'd say an awesome walk around kit would be the 12-40 and maybe ONE fast prime at the focal length of your choice. I'd probably go for the 12 because I tend to be more of a wide angle shooter than anything else, but the 17, 20, 25, or 45 could be equally good choices for those who prefer those focal lengths. And then if you want to cover the ultra wide or the longer focal lengths you could stick a 9-18 and/or a 35-100 or 75 or something in the bag. But in terms of the focal lengths covered by the 12-40 (or just slightly beyond, in the case of the 45), that's how I'd probably approach it... In my case, though, if I went out with the 12-40 and the 12, I'd end up just shooting with the 12 all day, so no point in hauling the weight of the 12-40. I'm better off with the 12, 17, and maybe the 45 or 75, but generally not. I mostly walk around with the RX1 (which is actually about 31-32mm although it's sold as 35) and/or the Nikon A (at 28) which is better for pocket-ability and street shooting and leave everything else at home. I've done entire vacations shooting almost exclusively with this small combination. And then if I have something really specific in mind, I'll take the OMD and something longer or wider, but I don't end up going wider that often or long out in the world - I use the portrait stuff for family and friend candids, usually around the house...

    -Ray
     
  18. Neftun

    Neftun Mu-43 Veteran

    408
    Jul 15, 2012
    Norway
    Patrick Kristiansen
  19. tetraphoenix

    tetraphoenix Mu-43 Regular

    40
    Oct 30, 2013
    I really like the 12-40. It looks actually sharper to me in corners than canon 24-70 II L lens. My biggest issue is picking between PL 25 of 75mm for a companion lens.


    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  20. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Hi Ray,

    Good post. I think that your approach hit upon an issue that is sometimes not considered - a two-camera set-up. We often look for a one-lensand/or one-camera solution, like the 12-40, when a two body solution might actually serve our needs better, especially since there are a number of very small m4/3rd's bodies available to us. I am a bit agnostic in the primes vs. zooms, and would say that my preference depends on the situation at hand. I can easily see how the 12-40 alone would serve my neeeds in certain situations, and I can also see how two bodies with primes or a specialized camera like the GR or A complimenting my m4/3rd's gear could make sense. Now you have me again wondering how the 12-40 would handle on a smaller body, like my E-PL5 or G3. :hmmm:

    --Ken