My personal thoughts about Robin Wong's blog (comments welcome)

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OzRay

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Constructive criticism is about giving positive feedback to help improve the person's review method or shooting method and grow. It's how we improve by inspiration and how growth is achieved. All photographers who want to improve will all in one point in time have been criticized by clients or peers alike. This is good. We in society are taught to always say nice things or keep our mouth shut if we have nothing nice to say. But how can saying nice things help improve and encourage people to grow?
I fully agree with this, in so many aspects of life today, especially children and schools, people are discouraged from providing any feedback that may be construed as 'hurtful'. I recently read about a new scheme in some English schools where rugby teams are arranged in such a manner that no one loses and if one team starts to win, the players are shuffled around so that things are equalised again. One cannot grow, and go through life with a healthy attitude and approach to life, if they are always shielded from failure. Failures and pointing them out and explaining what happened and what needs to be done to succeed is important. Failure is not a bad thing in itself. As an old saying goes: 'He who has not made a mistake, has not made anything.'
 

Hoffelijk

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Robin's workflow

Hello,
I am not intended to buy one of the 25 mm primes that are discussed lately. I am just wondering what you think of Robin Wong's strategy to call ACDSee in his workflow that he published a few weeks ago? Does ACDSee have any relationship with Olympus?
I am asking this cause after he wrote that blog, i set this workflow up for myself and found out that OV3 and ACDSee work very well together.
 

RT_Panther

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As long as one understands that you won't see any direct Panasonic recommendations from him, you're fine.....it is what it is....
 

OzRay

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Hello,
I am not intended to buy one of the 25 mm primes that are discussed lately. I am just wondering what you think of Robin Wong's strategy to call ACDSee in his workflow that he published a few weeks ago? Does ACDSee have any relationship with Olympus?
I am asking this cause after he wrote that blog, i set this workflow up for myself and found out that OV3 and ACDSee work very well together.
Lightroom, LightZone, Capture One, Silkypix, IrfanView etc all work well with ORF files. I think the conspiracy theories are getting better all the time.
 

T N Args

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I think the simplest way to treat Robin's blog is to not go there under false pretences,
What does that mean? What are you saying, 'false pretences'?

What's stopping you?(looking elsewhere)
Hey, I was just reading mu-43.com and got directed there. Along with some others, I saw some problems with the 'review' and entered the discussion. You seem to have a problem with that?
 

Andym72

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To my mind, a big part of why this comparison doesn't work, comes down to the divergence in the m43 standard. Olympus and Panasonic own the standard 50:50, and yet they seem to be getting further and further apart and becoming more like competitors than collaborators.

They've both recently partnered with the others sworn competitor (Oly with Sony, Panny with Fuji). They are starting to overlap each other's lens ranges more (the fast zooms, the 42.5 and 45 primes for portraits, and now these two normal lenses). And now the last two Olympus bodies do image processing to do with AA filter strength and CA only when they have an Olympus lens mounted which they don't do with Panasonic lenses, just like Panasonic bodies have always done CA processing only when they have Panny lenses mounted. We are now in a situation where "the other companies" lenses don't work as well on every camera, which can only drive the two sides of the standard even further apart, and that ain't good for any of us.

The problem that people have with Robin Wongs blog post is that he completely fudges this last known fact. He basically say that the E-M10 maybe, possibly is doing more processing when the MZ25 is mounted (or should I say OV3 is doing more processing). When he knows full well that there is no maybe about it - the images with the MZ25 will have less AA filter applied and will be corrected for CA, whereas the PL25 will not. To my mind, this means we can't make any conclusions about the sharpness or CA control of these two lenses because his test isn't a level playing field. He knows it isn't and doesn't acknowledge as such.

I've got no issues with the other parts of his comparison, close focusing goes to the Oly (useful for all those restaurant food shooters out there), the DOF and bokeh compare is self evident from his photos, his finding of the wider field of view seems totally valid (the closer a "normal" is to 22mm the better in my book), and he quite fairly explains his test isn't rigorous enough to be sure he's genuinely found the Oly has less transmission losses.


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OzRay

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It's good to know that he won't be doing anymore Panasonic lens reviews, just Olympus lens reviews. People interested in how Panasonic lenses work in real life situations with lots of photographic examples taken by an enthusiast in interesting and varied locales, with well written and engaging commentary, can now go to...
 

robbie36

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To my mind, a big part of why this comparison doesn't work, comes down to the divergence in the m43 standard. Olympus and Panasonic own the standard 50:50, and yet they seem to be getting further and further apart and becoming more like competitors than collaborators.

They've both recently partnered with the others sworn competitor (Oly with Sony, Panny with Fuji). They are starting to overlap each other's lens ranges more (the fast zooms, the 42.5 and 45 primes for portraits, and now these two normal lenses). And now the last two Olympus bodies do image processing to do with AA filter strength and CA only when they have an Olympus lens mounted which they don't do with Panasonic lenses, just like Panasonic bodies have always done CA processing only when they have Panny lenses mounted. We are now in a situation where "the other companies" lenses don't work as well on every camera, which can only drive the two sides of the standard even further apart, and that ain't good for any of us.

The problem that people have with Robin Wongs blog post is that he completely fudges this last known fact. He basically say that the E-M10 maybe, possibly is doing more processing when the MZ25 is mounted (or should I say OV3 is doing more processing). When he knows full well that there is no maybe about it - the images with the MZ25 will have less AA filter applied and will be corrected for CA, whereas the PL25 will not. To my mind, this means we can't make any conclusions about the sharpness or CA control of these two lenses because his test isn't a level playing field. He knows it isn't and doesn't acknowledge as such.

I've got no issues with the other parts of his comparison, close focusing goes to the Oly (useful for all those restaurant food shooters out there), the DOF and bokeh compare is self evident from his photos, his finding of the wider field of view seems totally valid (the closer a "normal" is to 22mm the better in my book), and he quite fairly explains his test isn't rigorous enough to be sure he's genuinely found the Oly has less transmission losses.


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The fact that Olympus and Panasonic actively compete against each other in the same format is what makes M43 so dynamic. If they are producing different products we get more product choice and if they are producing the same/similar product we are likely to see more price competition.

Really the probably with Robin Wong's blog is not Robin Wong himself - we know he is an Olympus employee but we are happy to see his reviews of Olympus products. This problem could effect a lot of people - essentially when an Olympus employee talks about Olympus product - what is so great and not so great it is fine - but when an Olympus employee starts comparing an Olympus product with a Panasonic product you are essentially asking for trouble. Look if I want a fair comparison between and Olympus and Panasonic 25mm I am hardly going to look towards an Olympus or Panasonic employee to give one. I am going to look for an 'independent' reviewer.
 

kevinparis

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To my mind, a big part of why this comparison doesn't work, comes down to the divergence in the m43 standard. Olympus and Panasonic own the standard 50:50, and yet they seem to be getting further and further apart and becoming more like competitors than collaborators.

They've both recently partnered with the others sworn competitor (Oly with Sony, Panny with Fuji). They are starting to overlap each other's lens ranges more (the fast zooms, the 42.5 and 45 primes for portraits, and now these two normal lenses). And now the last two Olympus bodies do image processing to do with AA filter strength and CA only when they have an Olympus lens mounted which they don't do with Panasonic lenses, just like Panasonic bodies have always done CA processing only when they have Panny lenses mounted. We are now in a situation where "the other companies" lenses don't work as well on every camera, which can only drive the two sides of the standard even further apart, and that ain't good for any of us.

The problem that people have with Robin Wongs blog post is that he completely fudges this last known fact. He basically say that the E-M10 maybe, possibly is doing more processing when the MZ25 is mounted (or should I say OV3 is doing more processing). When he knows full well that there is no maybe about it - the images with the MZ25 will have less AA filter applied and will be corrected for CA, whereas the PL25 will not. To my mind, this means we can't make any conclusions about the sharpness or CA control of these two lenses because his test isn't a level playing field. He knows it isn't and doesn't acknowledge as such.

I've got no issues with the other parts of his comparison, close focusing goes to the Oly (useful for all those restaurant food shooters out there), the DOF and bokeh compare is self evident from his photos, his finding of the wider field of view seems totally valid (the closer a "normal" is to 22mm the better in my book), and he quite fairly explains his test isn't rigorous enough to be sure he's genuinely found the Oly has less transmission losses.



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Hmmm. I always thought the AA or anti aliasing filter was a physical layer of glass that sat in front of the sensor before any signal processing was done.....if that's the case then how can the amount of AA applied vary between lenses mounted on the same camera?

Also you seem confused about what OV3 or Olympus Viewer is....it's a piece of external software designed to run the same processing algorithms that the cameras internal processor uses to work on the sensor data

As it seems you have gaps and inaccuracies in your information, should I start a thread or two saying how untrustworthy and duplicitous you are ?

Of course not

People get this whole thing in perspective...the guy did us a service, letting us see images from both lenses in real world situations that to me tell me more than any endless test charts.

As far as I know, none of us actually know what his position at Olympus Malaysia is...he could be an accountant or in human resources for all I know

Stop reading this review...yes review...not comprehensive technical analysis.... And applying all sorts of weird conspiracy theories to it

Instead rejoice that there are now 2 very good 25mm lenses available for the platform, which I reckon most people would not be able to tell apart in a blind test

K
 

Andym72

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Some cameras are now skipping the optical low pass filter, and doing (or trying to do) the anti aliasing in software. The idea being that the lenses are doing almost enough low pass filtering themselves. The software AA is "tuned" to each lens, so lenses that are less sharp physically have less software filtering applied.

And yes, OV3 runs the same processing algorithms as the cameras, meaning a RAW file from my E-PL3 fed to OV3 will get no software AA and no CA processing, but a RAW file from an E-M10 shot with an Oly lens will. Robin clearly says he used an E-M10, shot RAW and processed in OV3. For lenses that OV3 has no profile for, and according to someone in the other thread that has an E-M1 it seems OV3 has no profiles for any Panasonic lenses, OV3 errs on the side of caution and applies maximum software AA filtering.

Gaps in MY info? People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones...


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Lisandra

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The fact that you started a thread to defend his point of view says it all to me ...
 
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The reason why I don't quite understand the lynch mob that came out in response to Robin's comparison is that, aside from my own opinion that it doesn't by design suffer from a lack of stopped-down corner sharpness as Robin's sample displayed, I don't think that anything he wrote or any image he displayed was untrue for the use of this lens, especially when mounted on an Olympus body. It does lack edge sharpness until f/2.8. It does display significant purple fringing in high contrast conditions. It does have a hood that annoyingly can't be reversed. It does have loud diaphragm blades. It does have a very smooth focus ring which feels nice but also spins so easily that I had to disable S-AF + MF on my cameras. As good as the PL25 is it isn't perfect and ignoring that doesn't help me any. At least after reading Robin's comparison I have a better inkling over whether the MZ25 may suit me better and I'm going to be looking at any further reviews of it very closely. Until or unless that happens, my current favourite lens will remain as steadfastly attached to a camera as it has done for the last two years.
 

lightmonkey

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Hello,
I am not intended to buy one of the 25 mm primes that are discussed lately. I am just wondering what you think of Robin Wong's strategy to call ACDSee in his workflow that he published a few weeks ago? Does ACDSee have any relationship with Olympus?
I am asking this cause after he wrote that blog, i set this workflow up for myself and found out that OV3 and ACDSee work very well together.
I saw the video but choose not to follow the examples because I decided for myself its too cumbersome to bounce between different software.

Lightroom for adjustments and Photoshop for the rare advanced touchups.
 

Ulfric M Douglas

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I bold the unbelievable bit ;
Some cameras are now skipping the optical low pass filter, and doing (or trying to do) the anti aliasing in software. The idea being that the lenses are doing almost enough low pass filtering themselves. The software AA is "tuned" to each lens, so lenses that are less sharp physically have less software filtering applied.

And yes, OV3 runs the same processing algorithms as the cameras, meaning a RAW file from my E-PL3 fed to OV3 will get no software AA and no CA processing, but a RAW file from an E-M10 shot with an Oly lens will. Robin clearly says he used an E-M10, shot RAW and processed in OV3. For lenses that OV3 has no profile for, and according to someone in the other thread that has an E-M1 it seems OV3 has no profiles for any Panasonic lenses, OV3 errs on the side of caution and applies maximum software AA filtering.
You are saying that for E-M10 files, OV3 applies blurring to those taken with Panasonic lenses.?
Are you really saying that?
Is it really true?
Where can I read about it from the manufacturer?
Where can I see it in evidence with two RAW files (taken on E-M10 with each lens from O & P) and the resulting Jpegs.
 

Andym72

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I bold the unbelievable bit ;

You are saying that for E-M10 files, OV3 applies blurring to those taken with Panasonic lenses.?
Are you really saying that?
Is it really true?
Where can I read about it from the manufacturer?
Where can I see it in evidence with two RAW files (taken on E-M10 with each lens from O & P) and the resulting Jpegs.
For any Oly m43 cameras that has no optical low pass filter, OV3 is applying software based anti alias filtering (which is much more accurate than just saying "blurring") to every image. How do I know this? Because anti alias filtering has to be done somewhere, whether it is done in the analog domain, the digital domain, or a bit of both. For OOC JPEGs it is the camera doing this, for RAW files it must be OV3 (or Lightroom, or whatever) doing this.

This is a key part of the TruePic VII image processing engine that is in the E-M1 and E-M10.

The idea is, instead of having the same level of anti alias filtering for every lens (which is what you get with an optical low pass filter), the processing engine reads the image metadata, finds out what lens at what focal length and aperture, and then goes and looks this up in a profile table. The profile table then tells the camera or OV3 how much anti alias filtering to apply, so that the maximum amount of detail can be retained in the image without exceeding the nyquist limit and getting nasty stuff like moire.

If there is no entry for the lens in the lens profile table, because you aren't using a Olympus lens, what is the camera/OV3 supposed to do? Apply the least amount of filtering, and risk moire, or apply the most amount of filtering and play it safe? Well, what do you think it does?!

And before anyone gets me pegged as a Oly fan or a Panny fan, I'm neither, I'm an m43 fan and as I've said in the past, anything either of them do to reduce interoperability in the m43 standard is bad news to me. As far as I'm concerned, it shouldn't matter if you are using a Panasonic lens on an Olympus camera or a Olympus lens on a Panasonic camera, but both companies are doing stuff to try and stop this from being true.
 

fortwodriver

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The idea is, instead of having the same level of anti alias filtering for every lens (which is what you get with an optical low pass filter), the processing engine reads the image metadata, finds out what lens at what focal length and aperture, and then goes and looks this up in a profile table. The profile table then tells the camera or OV3 how much anti alias filtering to apply, so that the maximum amount of detail can be retained in the image without exceeding the nyquist limit and getting nasty stuff like moire.
I think you're confusing de-mosaic'ing with software OLPF. There's really no reliable way to simulate an OLPF in software. You can see some of the photos taken at Olympus events with the E-M1 clearly show moiré in the fabrics of the clothing worn by the model. Once that false colour is on the image, it's actually quite difficult to remove it. You're making a leap of faith saying that OLPF is happening in software. It's not.

RAW conversion software first has to de-mosaic the image to decode the Bayer array. Then you can go to town on colour, local contrast and sharpness.
 
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