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Only 12-40mm f2.8 Soft Corners?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by RickBowden, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. RickBowden

    RickBowden Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Mar 2, 2016
    Richard Bowden
    Hi, I just got my E-M5 ii with the 12-40mm f2.8 lens and been out testing them today.
    I was less than impressed with the corners on some images so I did the brick wall test and I'm sure there is some corner/edge softness especially on the left side. All the reviews I've read about this lens states it does not suffer from corner/edge softness so I'm wondering if I've got a bad copy.

    I'd be great full if someone could check the image I uploaded and give me a second opinion before I go back to the store.

    20160308_154332.JPG

    Rick
     
  2. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Philly
    Steve
    I see the slight barrel distortion, but not softness....then again I never do this sorta thing or have noticed imperfections in lenses of mine.
     
  3. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    You're not parallel to the wall FWIW, the right side is closer than the left.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. robcee

    robcee Mu-43 Veteran

    289
    Jan 10, 2016
    Toronto
    Rob Campbell
    And the camera's angled down so the lower left corner is a bit further still.

    My 12-40 is really sharp. If you have any doubts, can you take it into a shop and compare it to another copy?
     
  5. RickBowden

    RickBowden Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Mar 2, 2016
    Richard Bowden
    Thanks for your replies. Maybe my wall test was not the best. I only did it after taking some landscape shots and noticing some soft corners. I've just come from Fuji and their lenses are very sharp corner to corner.

    I also noticed the distance scale is way out. At 12mm when focusing on something 1m away the distance scale is already just past infinity.
    When trying to get the focus right for a landscape there is very little "turn" between focusing on the foreground and background (if that makes any sense)
     
  6. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Andrew
    If you are intent on finding it pretty much all wide angle m4/3 lenses will display some "softness" in the extreme corners due to the amount of distortion correction being applied, but can't say it has ever bothered me in real world use. Like the other poster said if you want to know if yours is abnormal just test another lens in the store.

    See here for an example of how much correction is applied in camera: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12-40 mm f/2.8 ED PRO review - Distortion - LensTip.com
     
  7. gr6825

    gr6825 Mu-43 Veteran

    277
    Oct 10, 2012
    Say no more. Something is clearly wrong.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Akashi

    Akashi Mu-43 Regular

    152
    Jun 1, 2010
    Tromso, Norway
    I agree with the others, I do not see soft corners in the image. Is this at 12 or 40? The lens in somewhat softer at 40 (center), it is not a prime you know :)
     
  9. RickBowden

    RickBowden Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Mar 2, 2016
    Richard Bowden
    Update:
    I took it back to the store today and checked it against another lens and yep it was faulty.
    They exchanged it without a fuss.
    Lucky to live just down the road from Wex.
    Thanks everyone for your replies.

    Rick
     
    • Like Like x 7
  10. RAH

    RAH Mu-43 Veteran

    271
    Dec 1, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Rich
    Glad you resolved your problem. Just as a follow-up, one of the issues you had with your stone-wall test shot was getting perfectly square to the plain of the wall. This can be pretty difficult to do, but is critical when you are doing this type of evaluation.

    In my experience, the absolute best way to get perfectly square and parallel to a flat surface (as with photographing documents, paintings, test charts, etc) is to shoot STRAIGHT DOWN from a tripod, and use a hot-shoe 2-way bubble level. When you do this, you can get exactly parallel to the plain of the item very easily. It is MUCH easier than trying to do a regular standing up shot, where there are too many variables.

    Of course, it is hard to find a brick wall where you can shoot straight down, but perhaps a brick sidewalk.
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  11. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    This will only work if your flat surface is also perfectly level. A rarity, in my experience.

    Fred
     
  12. RAH

    RAH Mu-43 Veteran

    271
    Dec 1, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Rich
    I guess you mean outside, right? I mean, inside, the ground (floor) is level, right? This is why shooting straight down is easier - you KNOW the floor is level. OK, perhaps outside this might not be the case, but inside it is pretty reliably true (unless you are in a really old house, or something).
     
  13. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    There's not a single floor in my house that is level. Yes, it's over 100 years old. But I've worked in a lot of new and "young" houses and I'd check any floor with a four foot bubble level before asuming it's level.

    Remember, smooth isn't the same as level.

    Fred
     
  14. RAH

    RAH Mu-43 Veteran

    271
    Dec 1, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Rich
    Well, I have always found the technique useful. We do a lot of document photography (books, newspapers, manuscripts, etc) at a museum I volunteer at and we find it the easiest way to square-up on a flat object to photograph it. It doesn't have to be perfect, of course, especially if you use an aperture that gives good DOF. As they say, your results may vary, and is just a suggestion.
     
  15. Pstmstr

    Pstmstr Mu-43 Regular

    31
    Mar 22, 2016
    Thanks for the suggestion, I've been struggling with this when taking shots of my girlfriends art quilts. She's always telling me, it's good but not quite squared up. She uses an electronic level to hang them on a wall but I have the toughest time getting it exactly right. She may need a new photographer soon. Got my 12-40 coming Friday and look forward to trying it. Glad you got your lens exchanged with no hassle.
     
  16. RAH

    RAH Mu-43 Veteran

    271
    Dec 1, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Rich
    Shooting something that large is pretty difficult shooting straight down, of course. You can do it using 2 tripods and say a backdrop pole, mounting the camera in the center with a superclamp and then using a remote to trigger it. But I guess it's better to just try to get it square shooting the normal way.

    To do that, I normally start by positioning the item in the viewfinder (or LCD) in one corner - e.g. the upper left. (This is assuming that the item fills most of the frame with some space all around.) Then check the top and left sides to see if they are straight vs the frame. If so, the other 2 probably are, but not necessarily. It is difficult, at least for me.

    If you get it pretty well squared-up, you can easily make it PERFECT in post-processing using the perspective correction tool in your image editor. This is what I usually do.

    If you haven't been doing this correction in PP, I suggest you try it and see what she thinks. :)
     
  17. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Graham
    The proper technique is to make your PP corrections first, then show the finished result! :biggrin:
     
    • Agree Agree x 1