The need to move forward with M43

Bidkev

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Thanks. But I do see better quality from the few early morning shots taken with the Sigma 60mm than the 12-60 zoom. But perhaps the lesson there is to use primes for those lower light locations.
What do you mean by "quality"? If all you're trying to achieve with your photography is to get a (so called) technically "proficient" shot ie one that is "sharp" then all I can say is that there's more to an image than sharpness and sharpness is something that, no matter how good a lens you have, is never going to be achieved early morning or late evening in the UK other than in full summer light.

Thanks JensM. Yes, lack of crispness is also what I would describe with many of my images (and the opposite of what I see in Levster's examples).
Sorry, and not to be critical of Levster's examples but I really don't know/understand what you would class as "crispness". "Crispness" is to my mind not the same as "sharpness". You can make an image "crisp" by over-sharpening and TBH the boy in Levster's example looks soft to me whereas other than the pub, the other two look over-sharpened. If you want to see "true" sharpness click on this image and enlarge at flickr. You will never achieve that with a kit or budget lens, but as I say, who is going to enlarge an image to full res in this day and age?

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Harajuku r (7) by Kevin Dickinson, on Flickr
 

D7k1

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It depends where and how you shoot mostly. But I bought the 12-35 & 100-400 at the same time when I got the Gx8. You can get the 12-35 v1 fairly inexpensively as someone said, and I can tell you it is very fast and the dual IS gives me about 4 stops on my Gx8 (4 years old) and about 5 on my Gx85, and about 6 or more on my G9. Just know the the f2.8 zooms are heavier than your current lenses.
 

bargainguy

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I think you were a painter in a previous life! Your Flickr images are taken mostly in soft light.

Images like this can appear softer because the contrast is lower. Without that contrast, you're left looking for detail which may or may not be there, hence the perceived sharpness. The detail doesn't pop the same way it does in a higher contrast image.

Now do you want to shoot higher contrast images? Does that jive with your shooting style?
 

Generationfourth

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I'm fortunate enough to own the 12-35, 35-100 mki, and 20 f1.7, 42.5 f1.7. Recently picked up a 15 f/1.7, and 25 f/1.7. When I got the 15 and 25 I set up a speed lite and shot the same exact exposure settings on both the primes and zoom focal equivalents. Pixel peeping at 1:1, 2:1, 4:1 etc I simply could not tell a difference. Everything looked identical. Maybe the 25 1.7 looked a tad softer on 2 slightly out of focus leaves out of the whole house plant I photographed. So in conclusion I don't think you could go wrong with opting for one of the quality zooms.

The lens that I consider the best is the 20mm f1.7. I didn't include it in my test but in terms of sharpness, rendering, and that artsy magic I can instantly feel it when browsing through my catalog of images and I stumble on a 20mm shot.

Did you look into a newer camera body? I don't know much about the G80 but a quick glance suggests older smaller 16mp sensor. I recently I picked up a G9 (gently used market is pretty good right now) and was surprised at the image quality over the GX8 it replaced. Maybe it's a little placebo but the lack of AA filter and different image engine-amajig made a surprisingly noticeable difference in color/sharpness. Also I found the ~6 stop IBIS advantage to make a huge difference in low light.
 

GBarrington

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Having browsed your Flickr site, I understand what you mean by painterly. There is some sort of general softness going on there. Not having pondered it before, perhaps "lack of crispness" is a better expression for it? I haven't much of solution to suggest on it though, but its not in tune with what I have come to expect from the system, as such.
I have also browsed the Flickr site and the first thing that came to mind was the focus was a bit off. I wonder if the op is having focus issues? My kit lenses produce images sharper than that. My suspicion is that new/different lenses are not the answer to this issue.

It might be wise to spend some time testing your current gear and shooting methodologies before spending any money
 

Peadingle

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What do you mean by "quality"? If all you're trying to achieve with your photography is to get a (so called) technically "proficient" shot ie one that is "sharp" then all I can say is that there's more to an image than sharpness and sharpness is something that, no matter how good a lens you have, is never going to be achieved early morning or late evening in the UK other than in full summer light.
No, I am not equating sharpness with better image quality on its own. I think that we all know that there is more to how a lens produces good images than sharpness. As I said earlier, I really like the images that I shoot with my old legacy lenses.
 

Peadingle

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I think you were a painter in a previous life! Your Flickr images are taken mostly in soft light.

Images like this can appear softer because the contrast is lower. Without that contrast, you're left looking for detail which may or may not be there, hence the perceived sharpness. The detail doesn't pop the same way it does in a higher contrast image.

Now do you want to shoot higher contrast images? Does that jive with your shooting style?
I often say that I am taking photos because I am a frustrated artist who can't draw or paint. But I don't think that my images lack contrast. At least not the ones taken in higher light situations.
 

Peadingle

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Did you look into a newer camera body? I don't know much about the G80 but a quick glance suggests older smaller 16mp sensor. I recently I picked up a G9 (gently used market is pretty good right now) and was surprised at the image quality over the GX8 it replaced. Maybe it's a little placebo but the lack of AA filter and different image engine-amajig made a surprisingly noticeable difference in color/sharpness. Also I found the ~6 stop IBIS advantage to make a huge difference in low light.
I would like to play with a G9, and a friend does one. But at present it is a bit above my budget.
 

Peadingle

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I have also browsed the Flickr site and the first thing that came to mind was the focus was a bit off. I wonder if the op is having focus issues? My kit lenses produce images sharper than that. My suspicion is that new/different lenses are not the answer to this issue.

It might be wise to spend some time testing your current gear and shooting methodologies before spending any money
Very good advice. And it won't cost anything.
 

WT21

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Many of my images look slightly 'painterly' for want of a better word. Or like they are printed on a rough matte paper instead of a smoother glossy paper. The ones taken with the primes are more realistic (or to my liking). I'm not just after sharpness. Some of my favourite shots were taken on legacy glass (including the Helios 44M (Bidkev).

I don't get the sort of quality that I see in in Levester's pictures above, even with the primes.

In fairness, I should add that I do a lot of my shooting in poor light. You can see my pictures on my Flickr photostream .

I shoot RAW, and being retired, can spend a lot of time on PP. So colour isn't too much of an issue

Having spent the whole morning researching (storms have some use) I am leaning toward the 12-35 or 12-60 (PanLeica). Ideally I need to find somewhere to try before I buy.
Looking at your Flickr, I like a lot of your shots but a number of the earliest ones are shot with a PK 135 on a 2x Tele. In my experience, you are going to have limits to what you can do with that in terms of sharpness, especially wide open. Film didn’t require the increasing resolution that digital does. When I use film lenses, I like the output, but to get really sharp, I need to stop down, which would drive up the iso. Then throw in the two stop lost on a 2x Tele.

Additionally, at least two look cropped pretty strongly which, against the pk135 with Tele, isn’t going to look great.

That being said, that’s a 270 prime. It might still be sharper than eg the P100-300, though no lens IS.

But this is all feedback from my phone. I’d need to get to my computer to drill deeper
 
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Yes, lack of crispness is also what I would describe with many of my images
As many mentioned the perception of sharpness is quite dependent on the light when you take the shot.

But a lot can be done in post-processing. Having a good understanding of how sharpening, contrast, clarity/texture/dehaze affect the sharpness/crispness of an image and when to use what is really beneficial.

So besides regular sharpening, I do uses (in Lightroom):
  • contrast and dehaze work well for images with "large" details - e.g. wide landscape vista's
  • clarity for medium detail - for example buildings
  • texture for fine detail - for example leaves/rocks
I mostly use them in conjunction but dependent on the image I do have one primary tool which does 95% bringing out the "crispness" (e.g. perception of sharpness).

And it is also good to use output sharpening when exporting images.
 
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Peadingle

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I mostly use them in conjunction but dependent on the image I do have one primary tool which does 95% bringing out the "crispness" (e.g. perception of sharpness).

And it is also good to use output sharpening when exporting images.
What is that primary tool?

Thanks for the tip about output sharpening as I have never used it.
 

demiro

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@Peadingle I think your images are mostly fine, though I would echo the points raised by WT21. Do you shoot raw exclusively? If so, let your camera process a few for you and compare. The lack of crispness being discussed reminds me a bit of raw images that were not proficiently processed (first hand experience, I'm afraid).

But also consider that seaside images in hazy conditions will not be crisp. I doubt they would look correct if they were. :)
 

demiro

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... Personally I’d go for the 12-60 f/2.8-4.0 but it would depend on if you planned on using the lens in dim light. For a general walk about daytime lens, I loved the 12-60. Here are a few samples:
Nice pics, but please tell us more about them when they are presented to show what a lens can do. If you shot raw and processed them the results may be much more about your skills after the fact than the gear.
 

PeeBee

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Having just browsed through the OP's Flickr stream, I like the images but I would expect images from my 12-32 / 12-60 to be sharper, even in low light. Try using the same lenses at base ISO with the camera on a steady base or tripod, and compare the results.
 

ac12

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Kinda depends on how picky you are.
I have the PLumix 12-60 and I find it just fine, for my needs.
I pair that with the Olympus 17/1.8 for indoor low light.
That makes a nice 2-lens kit.

I have the Olympus pro zooms, but I have no issue using the PLumix 12-60.
In fact, when I want a light kit, I will grab the Panasonic 12-60, rather than the heavy Olympus pro lens.

Poor light tends to have low contrast, which makes the image pop less. So you have to work harder to get a good image.
Do a shot during the day, when you have plenty of good light, and see if you have the same problem.
 
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@Peadingle I didn't see anyone mention this yet (apologies if I missed it), but I briefly had the O12-40 and had insurmountable difficulty reconciling the opposite direction of zoom turn with my Panasonic zooms (14-140 & 100-300). This may not bother you, but I thought it worth mentioning.

All the best with your decision,
Melanie
 

PeeBee

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@Peadingle I didn't see anyone mention this yet (apologies if I missed it), but I briefly had the O12-40 and had insurmountable difficulty reconciling the opposite direction of zoom turn with my Panasonic zooms (14-140 & 100-300). This may not bother you, but I thought it worth mentioning.

All the best with your decision,
Melanie
I don't personally have a problem with opposite zoom direction, but I have friends for whom this is a total deal breaker.

Looking again at the OP's Flickr, many of the images I checked are at ISO 1600. I wonder if poor lighting and heavy NR in post is the problem?
 
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