Olympus 40-150mm 100mm/150mm Comparison

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Brian Beezley, Nov 21, 2013.

  1. Brian Beezley

    Brian Beezley Mu-43 All-Pro

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    I've seen comments here that the Olympus 40-150mm lens is somewhat soft above 100mm. Since I leave that lens on my E-PL2 all the time, I thought I would try a little test. I mounted my camera on a tripod and aimed it at wallpaper. I set it for 150mm and took three shots. Then I set the lens for for 100m, moved the tripod closer, reaimed, and took three more shots. The focus looked the same in all six shots so I selected the middle shot in each series. The photos are 100% crops at the center of each image. The 100mm is on top and the 150mm is below.

    I let the camera handle the exposure and focus. It chose 1/8 sec for both (it's an overcast day). The 100mm shot was at f5.0 while the 150mm was at f5.6 (both wide open). I turned IBIS off and used a 2-second shutter delay. ISO was 200, sharpness was -2, metering mode was ESP, picture mode was natural, and everything else was auto or normal. I used Olympus Viewer 3 to import the RAW images, but did no processing other than cropping 1024 x 768 pixels from the middle of each image. I tried to load uncompressed 16-bit TIF files, but the forum doesn't handle TIF. These are JPGs at the highest-quality OV3 setting.

    I wish I had a high-quality prime lens to show you what the wallpaper really looks like. In real life it is crisper than either image.

    This is the first time I've tried something like this. If anyone spots an error or an oversight, please speak up.

    Brian
     
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  2. zensu

    zensu An Old Fool

    Aug 8, 2012
    Southeastern USA
    Bobby
    I've had the second (I think) version of this lens, the 40-150 f4-5.6 MSC Zoom and I love it. I got it on sale for $100 over a year ago (when they came out with the "R" version) and my copy is just as sharp at 150mm as it is at any other focal length. I guess we both are lucky and got very good copies of this gem of a lens!
     
  3. Brian Beezley

    Brian Beezley Mu-43 All-Pro

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    This lettering on fabric has more contrast and sharper edges than the wallpaper. Exposure was f5.6 at 1/25 sec (I forgot to open up the lens to f5.0 at 100mm).

    The top image is 100mm and the next is at 150mm. I generated a 16-bit TIF for the second image from OV3, fed it to RawTherapee, and sharpened it with RL Deconvolution using default parameter values. The last image is the result. I always set the camera sharpening to -2 because I believe that causes no sharpening or minimal sharpening (I assume the camera doesn't blur the image for negative values). Then I save all sharpening until the very end and do it at the output resolution. This means I almost always generate an intermediate 16-bit TIF from Olympus Viewer 3, whether I'm feeding OV3 itself or RawTherapee.

    Brian
     
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  4. zensu

    zensu An Old Fool

    Aug 8, 2012
    Southeastern USA
    Bobby
    I get the same results but maybe it's because I'm just an amateur that they look equally sharp. I'm just thankful that for $100 I got a great ยต43's telephoto lens!
     
  5. photo_owl

    photo_owl Mu-43 Regular

    164
    Nov 8, 2013
    I have to admit that I'm confused as to what is trying to be illustrated/tested here. You can only really do relative assesments, but there aren't any.

    What is apparent is that the lighting and camera settings are contributing more to the IQ than the lens is likely to be.

    Much more importantly, just exactly what is happening to that duck, and is that enough butter?