GX7 sharpness trouble


Mu-43 Regular
I have had my GX7 since it was released. Before that I owned the EM5. The trouble is that as much as I enjoy the ergonomics of the GX7 none of my pics came out tack sharp when I used my Olympus primes. And I know for a fact that my 45mm can be sharp and that the 17mm 1.8 should at least be as sharp as the Panny kit lens.

So why is it that my 14-42mmII produces better results? Do you think its misfocusing on my Oly primes or the ibis is acting up. I will post examples. Bottom line is I wanna know if I should send it in for warranty work or just go back to Olympus bodies.



Mu-43 Regular
Definitely post samples. Olympus JPEGs have by default more sharpness and contrast, so that's what you might be seeing. On the other hand, Thom Hogan says the GX7 gives up a little absolute sharpness if you're pixel peeping hard.

The scientific test would be to have the camera locked down on a tripod, with IBIS off, with several shots MANUALLY focused for maximum sharpness on a target that has consistent lighting. Snapshots of varying subjects won't cut it. As I understand it's basically impossible for contrast detect autofocus to "misfocus" under controlled conditions but it would also be worth experimenting and seeing if you can nail significantly sharper shots manually focusing on a target instead of the camera autofocusing (I'd probably use the touch screen with the boxes set to the smallest setting).


Mu-43 Regular
Any follow ups or can anyone else speak to their experience with the Oly 45 or 75 on the GX7?


Mu-43 All-Pro
I get good shots with the 45. You don't have the IBIS, so you want higher shutter speeds in general, but I may have have a particularly good example of the 45, because I find it to be a very sharp lens.

Here are a few recent shots with the 45, is this what you get or are yours softer than these? These are RAW processed in LR, so they might have some sharpening. You can click to embiggen.

13182295413_dba2a04483.jpgSanta Fe, NM by GFFPhoto, on Flickr
13710818805_460ef37289.jpgSt. Francis Cathedral, Santa Fe, NM by GFFPhoto, on Flickr
13073901113_265803cb96.jpgSanta Fe, NM by GFFPhoto, on Flickr

Oh, and I don't know how the 17 1.8 compares to the kit zoom in sharpness, but DxO rates its sharpness as a bit low for a prime


Mu-43 Top Veteran
I used my GX7 with the Oly 45mm just this afternoon. My daughter had a new hairstyle and asked for a quick photo to send to friends (she used to be my studio manager and is quite "persnickety" about who she wants photographing her. Results were tack sharp where I wanted them to be.

I programmed autofocus to the AEL/AFL button on the back and set SHUTTER AF to OFF. I have AF mode set to SAF + MF ASSIST. When I press the AEL/AFL button autofocus locks on something, if I don't trust it to have locked on the near eye or whatever I wanted I grab the focus ring and the magnified assist "kicks in" making it easy to see and "nail" focus. Focus remains locked and I can refocus with the focus ring at any time with no fuss, the AFL "lock" releases when the AEL/AFL button is pressed once more (and when the camera is powered off I suppose).

What may be happening is you moving a bit before completing shutter press. Watch people taking pictures sometime, they autofocus and then "rock back" a bit before completing the shutter press. This will affect the shot more with the 45 than it will with shorter focal length lenses.

If you feel this is not the case then try using MF with MF ASSIST set to ON. Also the Oly 17mm f1.8 was noted for not being as sharp as it could be when first released. So don't be surprised the 14-42 "kit" lens produces sharper images.

T N Args

Agent Photocateur
I think we were waiting for the OP to post samples as requested.

I have GX7, 45, 75, and absolutely no complaints. But I don't have an E-M5 for direct comparison. If the GX7 has a little more AA filter, it is not an issue or a concern -- just dial a touch more sharpness in PP to compensate. BUT, the OP says his kit zoom photos are sharper than his prime lens photos, so that means reasons other than AA filter.

If he puts it on a tripod with the 45mm and IBIS off, shoots a scene at 1/250 or faster and f/4, one MF and the other AF, if the two shots look different on focus there is an issue. If they both look less sharp than an E-M5 image, that would be a concern if the PP has been adjusted to compensate for the AA filter - at least approximately.

But samples are critical to this topic.


Mu-43 All-Pro
I mistakenly thought TBK was the OP asking for follow up. It was posted two weeks ago so maybe he found the solution.

Ulfric M Douglas

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
The OP posted a few comments last October, then this one in April.
Maybe he lost interest.
My guess about his situation ; 45mm wide open and certainly the 17mmF1.8 may well both be slightly duller than the new metally 14-42MkII which in my in-shop test equalled my SHARP old 14-45. Those two kit lenses are GOOD.
On the other hand, a really EASY test would be to take test pictures with all three lenses on his camera and any nearby Olympus...