Sold My E-M1 and 12-40 to a friend today!

Amin Sabet

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Putting aside what individuals feel like, I think lens tests have shown that the Zeiss for Sony 24-70 f/4 is a soft lens full stop.
No, they haven't. For example, DxOmark didn't find that: http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-FE-Carl-Zeiss-Vario-Tessar-T-STAR-24-70mm-F4-ZA-OSS-on-Sony-A7R-versus-Olympus-MZUIKO-DIGITAL-ED-12-40mm-F28-PRO-on-Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-GH2-versus-AF-S-DX-Zoom-Nikkor-17-55mm-f-2.8G-IF-ED-on-Nikon-D300___1253_917_1233_677_173_440

And Tim Ashley tests his lenses as rigorously as anyone.

Photozone was less than thrilled about the lens, but if you normalize their measured results (convert LW/PH to LW/IH), you'll see that the Sony 24-70 outperformed the Olympus 12-40 in their hands as well.
 

T N Args

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With soft corners at essentially all focal lengths (and even stopped down), plus strong vignetting and distortion, the Sony FE 24-70mm ƒ/4 ZA OSS Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar T* didn't meet our expectations. It's possible that default corrections applied in-camera to the JPEG files may counteract some of these issues....



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That's enough for me. Thanks SLRgear. (they gushed about the f/2.8, BTW).

DXOMark, ptui. That crowd really needs a rocket. Their results need so much interpretation and qualification (NOT saying they are wrong, don't want that argument), that we would all be better off if they hadn't started.
 

Turbofrog

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No, they haven't. For example, DxOmark didn't find that: http://www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-FE-Carl-Zeiss-Vario-Tessar-T-STAR-24-70mm-F4-ZA-OSS-on-Sony-A7R-versus-Olympus-MZUIKO-DIGITAL-ED-12-40mm-F28-PRO-on-Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-GH2-versus-AF-S-DX-Zoom-Nikkor-17-55mm-f-2.8G-IF-ED-on-Nikon-D300___1253_917_1233_677_173_440

And Tim Ashley tests his lenses as rigorously as anyone.

Photozone was less than thrilled about the lens, but if you normalize their measured results (convert LW/PH to LW/IH), you'll see that the Sony 24-70 outperformed the Olympus 12-40 in their hands as well.
The consensus seems to be good-to-great center sharpness, but poor corner sharpness that never really goes away. Which is a bit of a shame on an f4 walk-around zoom, since you aren't using it exclusively for subject isolation where soft corners are irrelevant. I would probably stick with the 28-70mm and save the weight and bulk and the $800.

I'm not going to say that the 12-40 and 12-35 2.8s are better, but for Sony to barely beat their optical performance with a sensor 4x as large and with 2.25x as many pixels does seem like a bit of a poor showing. Especially given that the P12-35 is notably smaller and lighter.
 

Amin Sabet

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That's enough for me. Thanks SLRgear. (they gushed about the f/2.8, BTW).
SLRGear themselves are quick to point out that their blur plots cannot be used for inter-system comparisons. If they graded the Olympus and Panasonic on the Sony scale, they wouldn't look so pretty either.


I'm not going to say that the 12-40 and 12-35 2.8s are better, but for Sony to barely beat their optical performance with a sensor 4x as large and with 2.25x as many pixels does seem like a bit of a poor showing.
I don't see it that way.
 
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Well, I don't really know how you use your camera. I'm only travelling around looking for images that I can print out large and hang on my walls and I'm not going to find them at wedding receptions :smile:. In any kind of landscape, street or urban environment I wouldn't expect to find anything much better than either the E-M1 or E-M5 for S-AF, and I can't really say that I've had accuracy issues with them in low light situations as long as there is some kind of object to lock on to.

oh... I thought the hybrid AF was going to dramatically change the AF accuracy. I just haven't played with it long enough to do comparison against my em-5.

When I shoot events with my dslr I do get missed shots but this is 100% my fault due to incorrect placement of focus point. However with my em-5 I will get plenty back/front focus photos when i do not expect such mis focused photos regardless of what lens I use on my m43 platform. This is where I've lost some confidence when I use my m43 gear. This is where phase detect AF gives me a piece of mind. I'll admit when I used a staff party/function recently the hit rate was very good for slower paced events. There are times I've noticed more error's caused by my gear (m43) that shocked me after analyzing the folder filled with an event "shoot".

Not sure how well the gh4 does with its "predictive" AF with panny lenses. I feel I'd be testing out more m43 bodies in the future. For now I like the smaller form factor as a secondary system. However I'd be buying a second 5dmk3 or soon to be released 5dmk4/3d before buying anymore M43 body or A7s sony. I'll see how things go. For now my m43 works for my intended purposes :)
 

AlanU

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Well, I don't really know how you use your camera. I'm only travelling around looking for images that I can print out large and hang on my walls and I'm not going to find them at wedding receptions :smile:. In any kind of landscape, street or urban environment I wouldn't expect to find anything much better than either the E-M1 or E-M5 for S-AF, and I can't really say that I've had accuracy issues with them in low light situations as long as there is some kind of object to lock on to.
For your style of shooting I'd say the M43 is great. When it comes to my family documentation purposes be it outdoors or indoors there is no denying that phase detect AF is unbeatable vs contrast AF. Af accuracy with the M43 bodies I own (em-5, gh3) is good so I'm not disrespecting it. However using my canon dslr with professional lenses I've had a much higher rate of accuracy. I test all of my dslr lenses for back/front focus so I micro adjust my camera body with all of my primes. Any of my new zoom lenses with issues I would return to the vendor and swap for another copy.

When I use my M43 gear for work "events" I find the contrast AF is showing it's weakness. Perhaps this is something I see more with my 14mm f/2.5. I get more misfocus shots even though I know 100% I was locked on an eye when shooting human subjects. This is where I really hoped and M43 could lock on 100% identical performance to my dslr's with phase detect af. I know this is unrealistic to demand but this is where I deal with m43 for run/gun family documentation.

I read many comments about center sharpness and "poor corner sharpness". I can see this an issue if your a landscape/architecture photographer but in most cases regarding people I do not see a huge percentage of people shooting f/5.6 to f/11 in most cases. If corner sharpness is imperative this is where I can see a problem for some but I think a higher percentage of people/casual shooters are in the realm of f/1.4 to f/4 ....possibly f/5.6 at times.

For a sony shooter using f/4 zooms I see this acceptable for many occasions. I do wish sony does release a large selection of f/2.8 zooms and more primes for the alpha series. We cannot really compare the m43 lens line (high maturity) vs the sony alpha series.

I have been using my canon 5dmk3 FF more often for this holiday xmas season. In a restaurant gathering using an 24-70Lmk2 f/2.8 zoom I can comfortably shoot in most restaurant's using no flash using iso 5000+ with identical/better details/clarity as my gh3 with 25 f/1.4 in good outdoor lighting using low Iso's. Not sure if many M43 users have used gear that spoils them in that way but it's not going to make you a better photographer in terms of composition. However the files become incredibly easy to deal with minimal noise control without bombarding people with flash.

Tools, tools and tools....... every system has pros/cons. Now that sony has developed a small body full frame I am seeing people moving their primary system's and turn them into secondary when it comes to the M43 world.

I'll have to say that regardless of what system you use...PRINT your work. Man when you look at prints this is so much more rewarding than pixel peeping computer monitors.
 

Turbofrog

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SLRGear themselves are quick to point out that their blur plots cannot be used for inter-system comparisons. If they graded the Olympus and Panasonic on the Sony scale, they wouldn't look so pretty either.
Actually Amin, that's incorrect. Because SLRGear doesn't plot results as MTF50 charts but instead based on their own algorithm, they actually do allow comparisons between different systems. They say so themselves on their site:

"Because of the relative nature of the DxO blur measurements, you can't directly equate results obtained on different camera platforms. By careful choice of the camera settings and the assignment of a relative scaling factor, we've brought the blur numbers for the different camera platforms we use into reasonably close agreement. We have no adequate way to precisely calibrate the BxU numbers between platforms though."

They do say that results within 1 blur unit should be considered roughly equivalent, and that's fair. But if you compare the 12-40/2.8 at 12mm/2.8 to the 24-70/4 at 24mm/5.6, the very center is roughly the same, but the Oly is at 1.5 blur units in the corners, while the Zeiss is at 3-5 blur units! And that's stopped down! It may be an okay lens for shooting people, as AlanU says, where there is likely to be one or two definite subjects and the corners don't matter. But I think those results would be really a hard pill to swallow for a landscape photographer after spending $2000 on an A7r and $1200 on the 24-70/f4...
 

Amin Sabet

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Actually Amin, that's incorrect. Because SLRGear doesn't plot results as MTF50 charts but instead based on their own algorithm, they actually do allow comparisons between different systems. They say so themselves on their site:

"Because of the relative nature of the DxO blur measurements, you can't directly equate results obtained on different camera platforms. By careful choice of the camera settings and the assignment of a relative scaling factor, we've brought the blur numbers for the different camera platforms we use into reasonably close agreement. We have no adequate way to precisely calibrate the BxU numbers between platforms though."
That was based on analysis of a Canon 20D and Nikon D2X, two APS-C cameras in 2005. I do not think it applies to the comparison we are talking about here.

Furthermore, something touched upon in Tim Ashley's review is how to get the best real world landscape results out of a lens when taking into account field curvature. The DxO Analytics target analysis used by SLRGear utilizes a flat target which can make corners look worse than they would be in a landscape application.

Good reading here: http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/10/there-is-no-perfect-lens-test-either

And Tim's analysis is really very good too: http://tashley1.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/3/the-sony-zeiss-vario-tessar-t-fe-24-70mm-f4-za-oss-hallelujah
 

T N Args

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Amin, you can argue that point if you like, but SLR Gear clearly stated the words that I marked bold in my post. THEY know what their tests are valid for. Why don't you compare their measurements and written comments on the ZA f/4 lens and the ZA f/2.8 lens? That removes your cross-system concern (which I think you only raised because you misunderstood my comment to be about a ZA lens and an m.Z lens, when I actually wrote about two ZA lenses).

The lens is a dud.
 

RamblinR

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If anybody has both cameras I would like to see a comparison shot of the following with the same framing:

A7 with 24-70 f4 vs OMD with 12-40mm
At 24mm f4 vs 12mm f2.8
At 70mm f4 vs 35mm f2.8

If I were to go FF I would look at the A7 but would opt for the lighter f4 lenses so would like to see how they compare
Interested in compression and bokeh

Thanks to whomever may be able to assist with this. :)
 
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