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Is my 12-50mm a bad copy?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Asuna, May 7, 2013.

  1. Asuna

    Asuna New to Mu-43

    7
    May 7, 2013
    Norway
    Hi All,

    After reading this forum for a couple of weeks, I decided to join the community :)
    In addition, I just bought an omd em5 with the 12-50mm.

    I'm coming from a Nikon D7000 with the Nikkor 16-85mm. This combo is great but I wanted something smaller and lighter when hiking and be able to grab an ultra wide angle lens while remaining quite light, hence the omd solution.

    I bought it with the 12-50mm. At first I intended to stick to it for a couple of months, then buy the oly 9-18mm and after the pang 12-35mm. I don't want to switch lens often, so for now I won't consider primes.

    I did enjoyed the few shots I made with the omd (though I find that noise at 200ISO is quite high), but I was very disappointed with the sharpness of the 12-50mm. I knew it will not be on par with the Nikkor 16-85mm, but the difference here is quite important.

    So I'm seeking your opinion on whether or not you think I may have a bad copy of the 12-50mm.

    To illustrate this, I took almost the same shot with the omd and the D7000, during a hike. This is not a scientific test, but more a real life shot. I set-up both camera to their base ISO, with an aperture which allow a good depth of field while avoiding diffraction. The framing change a bit between the shots since I was not carrying a tripod, but the light was enough to avoid blur (though an the OMD the IBIS was on IS-1).

    Here below links to download the JPG directly converted in lightroom4 with sharpening and noise reduction disable for both. The same goes for lens correction. I just adjusted the exposure and change the color profile:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/opwjppp3l3yolr5/OMD.jpg
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/9nlmt036x4eagu0/D7000.jpg

    Here below the link for the raw file in DNG:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/gqpwjrdrxt7la0v/OMD.dng
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/0xmfdfcw2h8onef/D7000.dng

    And if you prefer in their respective format:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/ggheab70mqxddjm/OMD.orf
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/rp74m7pg7z9ofb4/D7000.nef

    Any help will be greatly appreciate, since I hesitate to bring this lens to my retailler and ask for a new one.

    Note, that my answer might be delayed a bit and I may only be able to answer you tomorrow. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    Many Thanks,

    Julien
     
  2. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    637
    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Dennis
    I'm playing around with the raw files now.

    I did notice though that the E-M5 shot is much more under exposed than the D7000. Bumping up the exposure on the E-M5 would cause quite a bit of noise.
     
  3. Asuna

    Asuna New to Mu-43

    7
    May 7, 2013
    Norway
    Thanks. That's true.
    I'm still discovering the omd and the evf, and I might I've been trick by the histogram in the eve.
     
  4. mister_roboto

    mister_roboto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    637
    Jun 14, 2011
    Seattle, WA, USA
    Dennis
    I played around with the E-M5 RAW file, and stuck it with your D7000 RAW edit, and put them side by side in a full size jpg (sorry, it's large @ 18mb, and I cropped the D7000 slightly as it has larger resolution files).

    I tried to get it to match the D7000, although I think I had a little too much blue tone to it.

    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/xtmmximwejbnnib/qikeyrNOSu Right is D7000, Left of E-M5

    I'd say your copy of the 12-50 is fine, that Nikon lens is just a better performer. The 12-50 is a "jack of all trades master of nothing" lens, it has a nice range of zoom, and "kind of" macro setting, power zoom controls for video etc, but it doesn't really excel well at those things, it's merely adequate. I like the 12-50 lens a lot, it makes a great hiking lens- but it has shortcomings in all of it's catagories, but I like it because it has so many categories. Full disclosure though: I usually don't like zoom lenses, I'm more of a prime lens sort of guy. The only time I like using zooms is hiking, which the weather sealed 12-50 is great for.

    My verdict is: you'd like the 12-35 a lot :wink: Also not too much under exposing, although I notice Norway and Seattle (where I live) are the few places in the world where it can be gloomy and sunny somehow at the same time- and I underexpose most all of my shots a little, since Olympus seems to blow out the highlights too much to begin with.
     
  5. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    can I make a request that if you post files for comparison that you post original raw files ... not DNG... not everyone uses lightroom and DNG is not the universal file format that Adobe would like you to believe.

    K
     
  6. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    also comparing a 500 dollar lens with a 800 dollar lens is a bit of an uneven playing field.

    that said your result with the 12-50 do look disappointing... but i dont shot landscapes so have no comment on whether that is the norm... I have found the 12-50 to be a fine performer for my photography

    Oly 12-50 - a set on Flickr

    cheers

    K
     
  7. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    a supplemental question.. were these shot on a tripod?... if so did you turn off image stabilisation on the OMD ?
    k
     
  8. Asuna

    Asuna New to Mu-43

    7
    May 7, 2013
    Norway
    @ Mister_Roboto,

    Many thanks for your answer.
    I think I will the 12-50mm and try to buy as soon as I can the 12-35mm...

    Oh by the way, I think you inverted the two pictures, the one the left is the D7000. But thanks anyway for the time spent.

    @Kevin
    Many Thanks also for your answers.

    I agree with you that it's not a fair comparison, but I never expected the two lens to match ( as I said in my first post). It's more that I hoped the 12-50mm will be a bit sharper (especially when you look at the grass texture).

    I didn't not shot on tripod, so the IBIS was active.

    I edited my first post and added links to non-DNG raw files. I was surprised that Mac OSX 10.8.2 can not open or preview an ORF converted to DNG.
     
  9. mftlandscaper

    mftlandscaper Mu-43 Regular

    26
    Feb 6, 2013
    Before you spend $$$ on the 12-35mm, take a look at the Panny 14-45mm. It's an excellent performer. It only lacks the 12mm wide end and the f/2.8 aperture compared to the 12-35.
     
  10. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Margaret
    And weather sealing.

    --
    Sent from my phone. Please pardon my brevity!
     
  11. Asuna

    Asuna New to Mu-43

    7
    May 7, 2013
    Norway
    Thanks for the suggestion, but the 12mm is important to me: most of my pictures are about 12mm but some higher. Furthermore weather sealing is really a plus to me when hiking in harsh weather.
     
  12. mauro

    mauro Mu-43 Regular

    145
    Jun 26, 2012
    near Venice, Italy
    I played 5 minutes with your orf file, it seem that your 12-50 is ok.
    Consider that at 12mm the lens doesn't have its best performances.
    Here are the result of my elaboration:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/63795130/OMD_1.jpg


    Picture was about 1 stop underexposed and I can't understand where you took the focus. Did you focus at infinity?
     
  13. Asuna

    Asuna New to Mu-43

    7
    May 7, 2013
    Norway
    Thanks Mauro for your answer.

    It appears indeed that most of my shots were underexposed.
    I used to live histogram to adjust the exposure: I set the shutter speed where the histogram just begins to clip highlight but it seems not reliable with my current settings. I need to learn more how to use this camera.

    Yet, and apart the lens, it's a real pleasure to use the camera. Yesterday, I went on a hike and it was pouring rain. I bring both the Nikon D7000 and the Oly EM5, just to test a little more. I ended only using the OMD as I was much confident on its capacity to handle such a rain. I will try to post some pictures this week.
     
  14. Asuna

    Asuna New to Mu-43

    7
    May 7, 2013
    Norway
    Thanks very much for these links. I really need to dig more in the settings, especially ETTR and IBIS. I've just read a very interesting post made by Amin (on this forum) about IBIS and success rate at different shutter speed. Need to properly configure my em5.

    By the way I just ordered the oly m.zukio 9-18mm. I hope I will get better results than with 12-50mm ;-)
     
  15. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    I like the Tucker Torpedo close-up in that set.
     
  16. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Vassilios
    Great choice for what you do IMHO. :thumbup: