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Dxomark review of olympus 12-40 out!

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by hazwing, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    Australia
    http://www.dxomark.com/Reviews/Olym...s-Panasonic-LUMIX-G-X-VARIO-12-35mm-F2.8-ASPH

    A few quotes from dxo:

    "The new M.Zuiko Digital Pro zoom achieves a DxOMark lens score of 19 points on the 16-Mpix OM-D E-M5, putting ahead of every other MFT zoom available with the exception of the Panasonic 12-35mm. It has good overall sharpness, and vignetting and chromatic aberration are both well controlled in a lens like this. However, distortion is higher than expected over the 12mm to 18mm focal lengths."

    "However, where the Panasonic has slightly higher levels of sharpness in the center, certainly at the longer focal lengths, the Olympus has better uniformity across the field at wider apertures, particularly at the shorter focal lengths. "
     
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  2. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    First time I agree on pretty much everything they said about a lens. In my own tests in the real world, I find the Olympus 12-40mm to be slightly sharper than the Panasonic 12-35mm at 12mm across the image (even in the center), but at 40mm, the 12-40mm is definitely softer in the center than the 12-35mm at 35mm, when used wide open. Stopping down to f/4.0 and the two are virtually the same in terms of sharpness. I also find the sharpness of the Olympus lens to be more uniform across the field at all focal length when compared to its Panasonic counterpart...

    One curious issue I found differing between my test and the DXOmark test is chromatic aberration, in particular purple fringing. According to DXOmark, the 12-40mm has slightly more chroma noise than the 12-35mm. However, when I tested mine on the E-M1, even in RAW, there is absolutely no purple fringing in my images with the 12-40mm, when purple fringing is quite noticeable on the 12-35mm. This led me to believe that the E-M1 performed certain lens correction on Olympus lenses even for RAW images, since the DXOmark test was performed on the E-M5 instead...
     
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  3. wildwildwes

    wildwildwes Mu-43 Veteran

    456
    Jun 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    Interesting read. That said however, I couldn't be happier with my copy of the 12-40. It's definitely among the "best" lenses I've yet owned. At it's asking price, I can't think of another comparable zoom lens that can equal its performance.
     
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  4. deang001

    deang001 Mu-43 Veteran

    230
    Sep 16, 2013
    Hong Kong
    Dean
    I'll wait for Lenstip & Photozone to test it.

    I hate DXO testing. I'm too dumb to understand any of their waffle. :)
     
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  5. cmpatti

    cmpatti Mu-43 Veteran

    263
    May 8, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    I find it odd that DxO appears to have based its claim of the Pany's superior sharpness at the long end on a comparison of the Pany at 35mm vs. the Oly at 40mm. If, as SLR Gear's test seem to show, the two lenses are nearly equivalently sharp at 35mm (where DxO doesn't test the Oly), DxO is essentially penalizing the Oly for having the extra 5mm of reach.


    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 mobile app
     
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  6. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    I think it comes down to how sharpness is defined by each tester. In my own real world experience, the Panasonic lens edges out the Olympus in terms of center sharpness at 35mm at f/2.8, but the Olympus is sharper across the entire image. In addition, the Olympus catches up, or even slightly surpass the Panasonic in terms of center sharpness at f/4.0. The Panasonic seems to be at its best at f/2.8...

    In any case, I think both are excellent zoom lenses with great sharpness, and I personally prefer the Olympus lens more because of that 5mm extra reach, greater micro-contrast (IMO), and much better chroma noise control, whether it's due to in-camera lens correction or not... Built quality is slightly better, too, with great damping on the zoom and focus rings, the lock keeping the lens hood in place, and the sweet clutch manual focus feature... :biggrin:
     
  7. tbyork2012

    tbyork2012 Mu-43 Veteran

    213
    Nov 14, 2012
    Oxford, UK
    The scores given the lenses are dependent on the camera sensor used. For the 12-40mm f2.8 on the E-P5, it actually scores 20 vs the Pan 12-35mm f2.8 which remains at 19. Not that anyone cares. I wonder if the scores will change once they have actually included the E-M1 onto their list?

    I wonder if there is an AF advantage of the 12-40mm on an Olympus body vs the Panasonic 12-35mm lens; although the Panasonic is already plenty fast on the E-P5.
     
  8. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    That sounds very unlikely to me. If they had such a unique feature, why wouldn't they advertise it? It's a real pain to implement, gains them very little, and opens a whole can of worms in terms of 'cooked RAW'.

    I'd check the RAW files with an unsupported converter, like RPP or ufRAW.
     
  9. SpecFoto

    SpecFoto Mu-43 Veteran

    313
    Aug 28, 2012
    So Cal
    Jim
    The 12-40 is a high quality zoom, the best yet optically by Olympus for M4/3. To put it all in perspective though, here are the DxO same test overall scores for the M4/3 primes, all shot with the EM-5:

    Olympus 75mm f/1.8 = 27
    Olympus 45mm f/1.8 = 23
    Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 = 23
    Olympus 17mm f/1.8 = 22
    Olympus 12mm f/2 = 21
    Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 = 21
    Olympus 60mm Macro f/2.8 = 19

    Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 = 19
    Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 = 19
     
  10. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK

    Yes, but remember that the DxO composite scores for lenses also include their transmission - so lenses with a smaller max aperture will automatically have a lower score, whatever their sharpness.
     
  11. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Well it seems that, contrary to what many have thought (and posted), the 12-40 does not blow the 12-35 out of the water after all.

    In fact, the 12-35 is notably smaller and has OIS. OTOH, the 12-40 has a bit more reach and a shorter MFD. Choose your poison...

    Personally, I'm really happy with my 12-35 and I think, on size alone, I'd probably choose it over the 12-40.
     
  12. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    To the contrary, most of the early adopters on the site commented that there is no noticeable difference between the two lenses, in terms of sharpness. It is the marketing machine that was hyping it up!
     
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  13. bcaslis

    bcaslis Mu-43 Veteran

    302
    Jul 3, 2011
    Wilsonville, OR, USA
    Brian Caslis
    Saying the MFD is shorter doesn't give it full credit. I can focus on items until the lens hood touches them. It's pretty impressive. And it has an additional button for Olympus users. Nothing that requires someone owning the 12-35 to sell theirs, but it seems like it's a better choice for Olympus users that don't have the 12-35.
     
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  14. Lawrence

    Lawrence Mu-43 Regular

    199
    Oct 8, 2011
    This is a very heated topic discussion around the world of M4/3 forums. This discussion has been locked in the Dpreview forum for the Panny and Olympus fans stand firm on their side. Many 12-35mm users on Oly bodies found out the Dxomark review shows the 12-40mm is only equal to but not better the 12-35mm, they won't sell the Panny to get the 12-40mm. But I have question in mind, the 12-40mm come to the market more than one year later why can't it surpass the Panny one ??
     
  15. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Close enough that there is no reason to argue. Why isn't it that simple?
     
  16. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    Indeed. Isn't it great to have choices! What's there to argue about? People who prefer the Panasonic lens can continue to use it. Those who prefer Olympus can use the Olympus. Both are great lenses!
     
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  17. wildwildwes

    wildwildwes Mu-43 Veteran

    456
    Jun 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    I agree. Pick your poison and get out there and shoot! That said, I have shot with both the P & now the O. The autofocus on the O is LIGHTNING fast... IMHO noticeably faster then the P from what I can recall. For the record, although I shoot with and own O bodies, I have NO brand biases.
     
  18. tbyork2012

    tbyork2012 Mu-43 Veteran

    213
    Nov 14, 2012
    Oxford, UK
    Is that with the E-M5 or the E-M1 that you are referring to with the autofocus? If the AF speed has improved, this alone is worth the price of an upgrade.
     
  19. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    I'm still not sure what DXO is measuring in these benchmarks. Perceptual MP is about as unenlightening a metric as I can think of. That said, I wouldn't be that surprised if the differences are fairly small. We are after all talking about two $1k+ lenses.
     
  20. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Actually the Perceptual MP and Subjective Quality Factor are much more useful than a MTF graph or LP/mm number, because they address the issue of visible differences. There are very few people who have the technical chops to work from MTF numbers to what the picture will maybe look like. Aside from having a internet forum pissing contest, I don't see the point in measurable, but invisible differences.