Why are "consumers" lenses so good?

D7k1

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I was doing some testing the other day (was having some GAS) and I realized something. We have some very fine lenses that don't cost a lot but perform very well. For a majority of folks and what they shoot and what they do with the images these over performing lenses (they know who they are;)) are another strength of M43. My four fav's in this group I own are : 7.5 FE, 14 (+ GWC1), 35-100 f4/5.6 and the 75-300 II (requires good technique). I paid more for my "normal" zoom than all of these. Yet I find them just as valuable as my more expensive lenses and very sharp when properly used.

What are your favorite second string lenses that can be "put me in coach" and save the day?
 
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stevedo

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I was doing some testing the other day (was having some GAS) and I realized something. We have some very fine lenses that don't cost a lot but perform very well. For a majority of folks and what they shoot and what they do with the images these over performing lenses (they know who they are;)) are another strength of M43. My four fav's in this group I own are : 7.5 FE, 14 (+ GWC1), 35-100 f4/5.6 and the 75-300 II (requires good technique). I paid more for my "normal" zoom than all of these. Yet I find them just as valuable as my more expensive lenses and very sharp when properly used.

What are your favorite second string lenses that can be "put me in coach" and save the day?

I'm surprised that you've been here since November 2013 and only just figured this out :)
 

ac12

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I was doing some testing the other day (was having some GAS) and I realized something. We have some very fine lenses that don't cost a lot but perform very well. For a majority of folks and what they shoot and what they do with the images these over performing lenses (they know who they are;)) are another strength of M43. My four fav's in this group I own are : 7.5 FE, 14 (+ GWC1), 35-100 f4/5.6 and the 75-300 II (requires good technique). I paid more for my "normal" zoom than all of these. Yet I find them just as valuable as my more expensive lenses and very sharp when properly used.

What are your favorite second string lenses that can be "put me in coach" and save the day?

It is similar for FF and APS-C lenses.
The consumer line optics have gotten good, sometimes VERY good.
The difference for pro lenses still lay with fast constant aperture zooms and better mechanical quality.

The Panasonic-Lumix 12-60 is my favorite, and my standard light/travel lens.

I have a full set of consumer lenses, when I don't want to carry the heavy pro lenses; like on trips, or when I am shooting for a LONG time, or when I have to carry the gear for a relatively long distance.
 

ac12

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Some other info.

In the past that I grew up in. Optical calculations were done manually, using a calculator.
So doing sophisticated calculations was SLOW. And with it the ability to model different optical formulas was limited.
In a different industry (radio antennas), a design engineer told me that the lowly Apple II sped up calculations TREMENDOUSLY, vs. using a calculator. And the later computer assisted designs were SO MUCH better than the the prior manually calculated designs.​

In addition today we have new glass that prior generations could not only dream about.
And then only in EXPENSIVE pro lenses, not inexpensive consumer lenses.
 

phigmov

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Yeah, the 12-32, 14-42, 14-45, 20 & 14 were all kit lenses and were/are pretty outstanding. The only kit-option which I'd consider questionable is the Oly 17 2.8 - even then, its not bad, just not particularly good (given its competition at the time was the 20 which set a very high-bar).
 

pake

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Oly 45mm f/1.8. The IQ/price ratio is insane. And it also amazes me that the Pana 12-32mm produces such sharp images for a lens that tiny. And it's not that expensive either.
 

pdk42

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About the only lens I thought was awful on m43 when I tried it was the Panasonic 45-200. Other than that, there are very few duds. Even lowly things like the 14-42 kit lenses perform reasonably well. It's real testament to the designers since with the smaller sensor size on m43, lens acuity matters much more than on larger formats.
 

PakkyT

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We have some very fine lenses that don't cost a lot but perform very well.
Ya I have mentioned in posts here in the past when discussing "PRO" lenses vs cheaper lenses, the "PRO" advantages are not usually really noticeable compared to a kit lens until you are doing something on the edge of performance for the lenses and then do you see where the "PRO" level money spent really shines.

To your point, taking a snap midday outside of a normal scene where zooming in on tiny details is not important at f5.6, unless a particular lens is really bad, no one is likely to be able to reliably pick the "kit" shots out from the "Pro" shots in a blind comparison.
 

John King

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Ya I have mentioned in posts here in the past when discussing "PRO" lenses vs cheaper lenses, the "PRO" advantages are not usually really noticeable compared to a kit lens until you are doing something on the edge of performance for the lenses and then do you see where the "PRO" level money spent really shines.

To your point, taking a snap midday outside of a normal scene where zooming in on tiny details is not important at f5.6, unless a particular lens is really bad, no one is likely to be able to reliably pick the "kit" shots out from the "Pro" shots in a blind comparison.
Patrick, I guess that shows just how good 'ordinary' lenses have become, specially since computer programs for lens design became a commonplace in the mid to late 1990s.

Any minor optical defects are more likely a result of manufacturing tolerances than lens design errors.

Amazing, really.
 

ralf-11

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It is fairly easy to make slow, non-rugged lens that sells in large quantities and is near normal focal lengths. That's why they are so good for the price.
 

doady

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I've never bought any "consumer" lens for m4/3, or any other system. But I've only ever bought one lens in my life...

After 16 years with a point-and-shoot with a F2.8-4.8 lens, I was sick of variable aperture. And right before COVID, I was planning to visit a rainy tropical country, so I also wanted weather-sealing. Obviously, my standards for image quality are not high, but I will get two more lenses, and likely they will also be "Pro", for constant aperture and weather-sealing.
 

Bushboy

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The cheapies definitely can take a great pic. No denying that.
Mine all suffer from dust ingression.
They’re like vacuum cleaners the way they suck the dust out of my bag...
 
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