User Review of Olympus mZD 25mm F1.2 Pro lens


wonglp

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Jul 20, 2007
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Bukit Batok
#1
About the lens:

This large-diameter single-focal-length lens, which conforms to the Micro Four Thirds System standard, features dustproof, splash proof and freeze proof construction with excellent resolution performance and outstanding image quality.

This lens thoroughly removes all types of aberrations common to large-diameter lenses, and achieves superb resolution performance from the widest aperture setting of f1.2, by lavishly using 19 lenses including 8 special lenses in an effective arrangement. The latest optical technologies provide not only superb resolution performance, but also beautiful, natural defocusing effects.

The high-speed AF and silent MSC (Movie & Still Compatible) technology makes autofocusing fast and highly precise. This allows users to capture still images and movies without any stress especially when shooting in a shallow depth of field at the widest aperture setting. Users can also simply select Face Detect AF or Eye Detect AF for accurate focusing on faces or eyes for better portrait photography.

Some specs



Here's some product images.
19 (8 special ones) elements and 14 groups


Top view on an EM1. with depth of field markers, sweet


Side view
 

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wonglp

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Jul 20, 2007
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#2
With the plethora of choices the m43 camp has these days, from Panasonic 25/1.7 and 1.4, Voigtlander 25/0.95, Olympus 25/1.8 and if you include the 43rd camps and some other lesser known, there's quite a few more. It's still however, refreshing to have another one, one that's weather sealed, solid built, bright, and completely new redesign of the typical 50mm F1.2 from other brands. Here's a size comparison of a few that I owned.

From Left: Pen EP5, Olympus 25mm F1.2 Pro, Voigtlander 25mm F0.95, Olympus 25mm F1.8 Premium
(Image taken with EPL8+Olympus mZD 45/1.8)


Interesting to see that the 25mm F1.2 is larger and longer than the brightest 25mm (voigtlander), though same weight at 410g, the voigtlander feels denser but of course, the latter lacks AF, weather sealing and has really bad chroma aberrations and soft edges wide open. However, this is not a battle of the lenses review, but a user review and this shot is just to give an idea of the relative sizes.

On a Pen EP5, that's how it would look like and beside a small prime Olympus mZD 17/1.8
 

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wonglp

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#3
Handling and built.

On a entry level body like EPL8, that doesn't have a proper grip integrated, handling is awkward, and mostly need to hold the lens barrel most of the time. On the flagship EM1, this would be well balanced or the EM10/5 with optional grips. One thing I realised is the manual focus clutch mechanism ring is very deep/long, as compared to other Pro lenses which has a smaller clutch ring (as they have a zoom ring as well), it's often when changing lens, I would accidentally turn it to MF, so when changing back this lens, it would be locked in MF position, not a big issue just need to hold front of lens instead of the ring when changing.

Built quality is top notch, smooth focusing ring, and has the physical stops at minimum focus and maximum infinity focus.

For those who are old school and likes to hyper focus, there are DOF markers and work well, at F11 and the marker shows slightly more than 3m, so the hyper focus distance is about 1.5m and beyond would give me sharp images. With m43 camp, have a deeper depth of field would render this 25mm pretty suitable for hyper focusing work I would think than say on an FF. Did a quick test and it works. Will try out more of this soon.

There's also a Lens function that's customisable if needed.
 

wonglp

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#4
Some wide open shots to share. No editing for all shots unless specified. Jpeg files were shared.

Matthew (Spidey89) was my model here. ISO200, 1/800s, F1.2


Laksa, ISO200, 1/100s, F1.2, white balance tweak.


Some street shots, ISO200, 1/1250s, F1.2.



ISO100, 1/1250s, F1.2. This was at minimum focus distance which is slightly lesser than 25cm.
 

wonglp

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#5
More wide open shots with Pen EPL8.

A friendly neighbourhood cat...ISO 200, F1.2, 1/1000s, Some editing on highlights, shadows in Lightroom and cropping, no sharpening. How do you like the bokeh?


ISO 200, F1.2, 1/1000s, Out of camera jpeg.


ISO 200, F1.2, 1/1000s, out of camera jpeg


Here's a 100% face crop, there's little chroma aberration (purple fringe) spotted, which is also easily removed on post with Lightroom (right shot)

 

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wonglp

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#6
Here's a shot of using Olympus mZD 25/1.8 premium and Olympus mZD 25/1.2 Pro on Spidey89, with same background to show the difference in depth of field and bokeh. Nothing scientific really, slightly 1 more stop difference means. Of course if the background distance and my focusing distance to spider changes, everything will change.

Left is 25/1.8, right is pro lens

 

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wonglp

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#7
Couple of low light shots, the AF is very fast, typically I would use S-AF at a spot, or touchscreen to capture.

Indoor, ISO1000, F1.2, 1/60sec. If using F1.8 lens, the ISO would easily be >2000. The dog was very obedient, else my success rate would have been far lesser. Out of camera jpeg


ISO1000, F1.2, 1/60sec
 

wonglp

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Jul 20, 2007
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#8
Testing the DOF marker for hyperfocusing street shooting, it works well. This shot was aligned to hyperfocus for F8, it didn't show the exact distance but it was more than 3m. Using DOF calculator app, this works about 10.5m hyperfocal distance (meaning 5.25m onwards will be sharp). This is an advantage of using m43 sensor that's smaller than fullframe equivalent 50mm which would require twice that hyperfocal distance.

1SO1250 (auto), 1/80s. Pen EPL8. Slight crop and straightening
 

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wonglp

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#9
A shot showing the starburst possible with the 9 circular blades from F8 to F16, quite brilliant really.

 

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wonglp

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#10
A relatively low light shot at F1.2, ISO400, 1/20s.

 

wonglp

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#12
Some street shooting wide open. All with Pen EPL8

F1.2, ISO200, 1/320s


F1.2, ISO200, 1/500s


F1.2, ISO200, 1/250s


F1.2, ISO200, 1/2500s
 

wonglp

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#14
Just loaned an Olympus Pen F to do some sharpness (centre and corner) tests, as electronic shutter would be useful for wide open day time test. Stay tuned.

Meantime, a few more wide open shots to show the image quality.

1/60s, ISO200, F1.2, rotated and slight crop


1/1000s, ISO200. F1.2, out of camera


1/100s, ISO200, F1.2, out of camera
 

wonglp

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#15
Some sharpness tests next. Left top corner and centre at different apertures of F1.2, 2, 2.8,4,5.6,8,11,16.

Here's the shot at F4, ISO is controlled at Low. Pen F electronic shutter. Default sharpness, contrast. Out of camera. IBIS was turned off. The same basis for all other shots too. And mounted on a clamp.



F1.2 corner & Centre


F2 corner & F2 centre
 

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wonglp

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#19
From the sharpness test, F5.6 seems like the best. But really at F1.2 it's already sharp and detailed even at the corners. Just do a quick comparison of F1.2 and F11, you should be able to see the difference. At F1.2, the Chroma aberrations is slight at the corners which is impressive. But certainly there will be be some at F1.2 if the contrast is more like the swimming shot, still it's nothing short of impressive. From F11, the IQ drops quite fast, possibly diffraction kicked in.
 

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wonglp

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Jul 20, 2007
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#20
The sharpness off centre is excellent with this lens. Some might argue about having too sharp a lens for portraits, I would take a sharp lens any day.

At F1.2, ISO200, 1/160sec. Shadows recovery and crop on Lightroom.
 

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