Ever asked yourself, why does the Olympus 12mm lens have a F2 aperture and not a F4?

Bushboy

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Apr 22, 2018
Messages
1,029
Location
Aotearoa
Real Name
Charlie
And, I have often asked myself, if the lens is soft, at f2 and sharp at f4, why?
Same with the tele zooms, sharp at 75mm, soft at 300mm, why?
I guess, some like it soft... lol not me!
 

Growltiger

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Messages
1,971
Location
UK
And, I have often asked myself, if the lens is soft, at f2 and sharp at f4, why?
Same with the tele zooms, sharp at 75mm, soft at 300mm, why?
I guess, some like it soft... lol not me!
The lens designers are not trying to make the lens soft! They try their very best to make it sharp, but it is very difficult.
To understand about lens design you would need to read up on it. Here is a good article to get you started:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photographic_lens_design
 

archaeopteryx

Gambian sidling bush
Joined
Feb 25, 2017
Messages
1,400
And, I have often asked myself, if the lens is soft, at f2 and sharp at f4, why?
There are lots of reasons and there are many introductory courses and texts for optics which go through them. Some are free, some are online, and a few are linked in my profile. To provide an ultra-succinct reduction of the maths, aberrations are high order polynomials of angle and the angles in question are primarily driven by aperture. Maintaining diffraction limited performance at larger apertures therefore becomes quite expensive and can require element counts or alternate engineering that's incompatible with photographic portability.

Cicala 2016, 2017a, 2017b, and 2019 provide some examples of limitations in basic lens properties which may be helpful. Whilst lens test methods have their limitations, I'd also suggest looking across lens measurements for familiarity with patterns of behaviour.

Same with the tele zooms, sharp at 75mm, soft at 300mm, why?
From an Imatest kind of standpoint, only the lens designers know and they don't seem to be saying. Extrapolation is commonly made from Cicala 2017c which, despite being a well out of dataset prediction, is probably the least undesirable option available. See also Cicala 2011.

From a practical standpoint, there's a reason why there's loads of threads here about long lens technique, limited DoF, importance of autofocus point sizing and placement, need for PDAF adjustment, limitations in adjustment, and limitations of AF-C algorithms. It's my sense a majority of long lens softness claims aren't actually about the optics.
 

exakta

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Messages
596
I would have ask - why is it 600usd , more than double than the 25mm f1.8 or the 45mm f1.8 .
The 12/2 has metal construction, it has the sliding focusing ring for manual focus switching. Compare it's price to the 17/1.8 ($499) and 75/1.8 ($749) instead of the 25 and 45.

The real question is why is the lens hood priced at $60 instead of being included with the lens. :roflmao:

The softness of zooms is one of the tradeoffs of zoom designs. A zoom will always be sharpest at one point in it's range and softer at others. We've gotten spoiled with lenses that are actually very sharp wide open so now we expect all our lenses to be like that.
 
Last edited:

JDS

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
644
Location
San Francisco, CA
Real Name
David Schultz
I can't imagine any prime being slower than f2, unless its a specially lens (macro etc) or cheap- I don't mind f2.8 on my Sigma 60 because it's so good and I got it used for $150. But f4 on a prime sort of destroys its relevance in any indoor/low light situation, and clearly isn't needed to keep things small and light (and inexpensive, such as the 25 f1.8)
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2015
Messages
158
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Siegfried
Again thank you all for your replies....great feedback and info. Like most hobbies, I believe photography is a never ending learning curve.... at least for me 😁 Yes automation and intelligent products has its own attraction, that said I do think those who will stand out in the future will be those photographers that are also masters in traditional photography know how and technique.... Forums like these are awesome and should always promote great technique and photography know how....

That said, this video had me thinking. At the end Peter challenge his viewers. My question (related to this thread) is why did he select the settings he propose in his challenge. Which one of the two aperture settings will you use on the 12mm f2?. What will be your focussing strategy?

Video
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2015
Messages
158
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Siegfried
Siegfried, I’d be keen to read your interesting article?
Thank you Bushboy..... the difficult part is you start out with an idea and a possible conclusion and as you test, try and document your story line gets corrected and updated. Right now I am a little in a low and have a few other things distracting me.... I hope to be done by next week.... :cool:
 

JDS

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Nov 11, 2014
Messages
644
Location
San Francisco, CA
Real Name
David Schultz
Then you should look at the many superb pics on the P14 f2.5 showcase thread.
I can't imagine anything slower, unless its specialty or cheap. I consider the P14 f2.5 both- it's really cheap, it's tiny, it weighs nothing, it's really good, and it takes the GWC converter which makes it a 11mm. So yes, it counts (I have one and will never sell it).
 

Alex2

Mu-43 Rookie
Joined
Sep 21, 2015
Messages
12
I believe if you look in the menu, you can change the rotation direction of the focus ring from clockwise to anticlockwise with a click or two.
Doh! I meant the zoom ring (thinking and writing seemed to be two separated things at that time :doh:). You are right about the focus ring of course.
 

tjdean01

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
867
When the 12/2 came out I always wanted it. At the time I was settling for the 14/2.5 (which is a gem on its own) and I was using the 11mm converter (which I sold because it was no smaller or easier to use than the Rokinon fisheye which can be defished easily for ultra-wide shots). Still, at the time I thought that the 12/2 was sharper and wanted it.

A year or 2 passes and we were blessed with the Panasonic 12-32 and my desires for the 12/2 went bye bye. 12mm f/3.5 with stabilization built in does it for me. I can hand hold at 1/15 or even 1/10 if I need to. And that lens is also very, very sharp (even zoomed in). Plus it collapses to be nearly the size of the 14. I'm happy with it!
 
Last edited:

rezatravilla

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Aug 7, 2013
Messages
1,039
Location
Indonesia
Real Name
Reza Travilla
A year or 2 passes and we were blessed with the Panasonic 12-32 and my desires for the 12/2 went bye bye. 12mm f/3.5 with stabilization built in does it for me. I can hand hold at 1/15 of a second most of the times if I need to. And that less is also very, very sharp (even zoomed in). Plus it collapses to be nearly the size of the 14. I'm happy with it!
If you look for the great image quality, 12mm f2 still shines. But then again, i decided to sold it since i already have 12-40mm pro :biggrin:
 

tjdean01

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2013
Messages
867
If you look for the great image quality, 12mm f2 still shines. But then again, i decided to sold it since i already have 12-40mm pro :biggrin:
How do those 2 compare to each other at 12mm? I'd don't know if I've ever looked at comparisons of the 12-32 vs the 12/2 but I think I've seen some of mine vs yours and while of course yours is better it wasn't enough difference to be worth the extra size.
 

exakta

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Jun 2, 2015
Messages
596
I loved the 12mm. It's an awesome lens with great build quality. The moment you get it in your hands you know why it is expensive.
To be honest, I wish the 25/1.8 and 45/1.8 were both built like that, too.

The only caveat I have about the 12 is the stupid lens hood design. If it's going to be rectangular, use a bayonet, please. I never bother to remove or reverse it, because then I have to futz with getting it aligned again. Having to pay $60 for that hood is criminal.
 

User ID

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
68
A year or 2 passes and we were blessed with the
Panasonic 12-32 and my desires for the 12/2 went
bye bye. 12mm f/3.5 with stabilization built in does
it for me. ....... Plus it collapses to be nearly the size
of the 14. I'm happy with it!
I already had the 12/2 when I decided to get a
12-32 PanaCake. As you point out: OIS ! I have
only one non-IBIS body, the tiny GM5 and I got
it used without a lens. Every OIS lens I put on it
made it as big as, say, my GX7 with 25/1.7. The
12-32 lives on my GM5 !
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 31, 2015
Messages
158
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Siegfried
My apologies for my absence, I read the replies and wow great feedback. I also love my 12mm and absolutely no complains here, I cannot see the reason why somebody will call it a dud. In fact I had a few of them over the years and never once had any problems. Might be fake news like Olympus is closing down... originating over at the dark side.
I lost track with my promised article mentioned in my OP. Reason is I started with an article on image noise last year. I had a number of cameras like the G9, A7 II, EPL9, GH4, EM1.2, Pen F and a few more and did some tests with them. As I started my article in March 2019, I realized oops....it's not working, the article will end up being junk. I stopped and this past Dec I picked up again with it. I am now at total rewrite V5. Seem I am getting close and hope to be done soon. Then it's back to lenses.....🙃
 

RS86

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Mar 26, 2019
Messages
253
Location
Finland
It would make no sense to make it F4. Look at Panasonic 14mm f/2.5. How small a lens can even be? With f/4.0 this would be ridicilous. 12mm f/4.0 (or over) nearly a body-cap lens or what is the point of this?

With 12mm you get good depth of field with big apertures so for low-light or subject separation even the Panasonic 12mm f/1.4 is an interesting lens, but too expensive for most.
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2009-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom