Micro 4/3 M4/3 superzooms: any consensus about filmlike rendering?

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
I think everyone agrees, when looking at MTF charts and brickwall tests the Olympus 12-100 PRO wins everything else and for a good reason.

So it's objectively the best superzoom lens to get.

But what about the subjective matters... Say one enjoys particular imperfections in bokeh, now suddenly the 12-100 Pro might be overly clinical and not one's cup of tea.

Wonder if there's an established consensus about a good enough lens (in terms of distortion, sharpness) that will also exhibit more of an exciting character?

A very remote distant dream would be a lens covering 14-100 mm (or more) with the exact character of P12-32 which must be my favorite zoom lens ever, any system.

People usually go on looking for character lenses in SLR primes or something but I feel like there could very well be a slamdunk of a character lens in a nice compact consumer superzoom lens.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
Interesting topic - but I think I can't help you there. My :mu43: superzoom of choice, the Olympus 14-150mm II, and my not-quite-:mu43: superzoom, the Panasonic FZ1000 (yes, I know, not a lens, but the camera attached to that lens came "for free", so to speak) both render quite neutrally, not wild in any major way, especially on their long end. The 14-150mm II exhibits some green bokeh fringing in specular highlights if you're after that - I don't find it particularily interesting or appealing, though.

However, I wonder what the Panasonic 14-140mm lenses (all of them, the first, the second and the second of the second version ...) would do; there's also the Tamron 14-150mm ...

The Olympus PRO zooms are all exceptionally well behaved for what they are - I've even learned to appreciate their price; compared to other systems, they're not expensive at all.

I usually feel that the 14-150mm II is sharp enough, btw. Certainly not perceptably soft at 100% like, just e.g., the Canon G1X III's lens tends to be at the long end.

OT: My two "modern vintage" lenses aren't zooms, and they're only slightly "wild" near their closest focusing distance: The Sigma 45mm f/2.8 C and the Fujifilm 23mm f/2 WR both are distinctly "glowy" wide open and around 2ft. or closer (I'd say 0.5-0.6m and closer ...). This "overcorrection" can cost "feel". If I want "wild", I mount the 7Artisans 35mm f/1.2 on the Sony A6000 - more aberrations than anything wide open, but superbly charming images all the same ...

M.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
µ4/3 is truly the promised land of zooms of various... erm, focal lengths.

Olympus 14-150 looks nice. Neutral and usable as you say. Perusing some shots from a review here Review: Olympus 14-150mm f4-5.6 II Weather Sealed I might say it's capable of nice punchy scenes with a little PP which I'm going to do anyway.

Panasonic 14-140 II might be a bit more on my radar because I've largely given up Olympus cameras (only for the time being!). But is it telling that browsing through reviews of the lens I can't find good examples of attractive rendering? Maybe not. The best demonstrations come from From Wide to Tele – Panasonic 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 Review and it looks like this lens is in fact a bit duller than the Olympus.

This is of course just my view.

Wow, the lens is only 265 grams. Consider Nikkor 28-300 which gets mixed reception and that is 800 grams alone.

Would love to some day take these two or three lenses and do some extended comparisons.
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
It's hard getting a long zoom lens with character but if I was using m43 I think I'd certainly want to investigate the old Zuiko 50-200mm ƒ/2.8-3.5 four thirds lens. Pretty sure I remember seeing character in that lens.
 

jyc860923

Veteran
Location
Shenyang, China
Real Name
贾一川
I can understand why you might not feel the 12-100 pro is worth it for what you want, but honestly if a superzoom with the exact character of P12-32 existied we would've all been aware by now, because that'd be very much good enough for most people. I'm not a fan of the Oly 14-150 for its flat rendering, the complex optical formula paired with not-so-great elements are to blame IMO and that's quite normal for superzooms, the 12-100 pro is an abnormality. Panasonic offers two 12-60s, one with 3.5-5.6 and the other 2.8-4.

If you're open to adapting, get a metabones speedbooster and I haven't tried this but the Micro-USM motor version 18-135 from Canon should be the fastest focusing lens, image quality should be definitely better than the 14-150, though not as great as the 12-100 pro. I have used the Canon 15-85 3.5-5.6 USM lens, it's better than the 18-135 and more expensive, don't mistake it for the rubbish 17-85 though.
 

melanieylang

Regular
µ4/3 is truly the promised land of zooms of various... erm, focal lengths.

Olympus 14-150 looks nice. Neutral and usable as you say. Perusing some shots from a review here Review: Olympus 14-150mm f4-5.6 II Weather Sealed I might say it's capable of nice punchy scenes with a little PP which I'm going to do anyway.

Panasonic 14-140 II might be a bit more on my radar because I've largely given up Olympus cameras (only for the time being!). But is it telling that browsing through reviews of the lens I can't find good examples of attractive rendering? Maybe not. The best demonstrations come from From Wide to Tele – Panasonic 14-140mm f/3.5-5.6 Review and it looks like this lens is in fact a bit duller than the Olympus.

This is of course just my view.

Wow, the lens is only 265 grams. Consider Nikkor 28-300 which gets mixed reception and that is 800 grams alone.

Would love to some day take these two or three lenses and do some extended comparisons.
The Panasonic 14-140 mk II is an excellent all-round compromise, due to being light and pretty easy to leave on an EDC camera. It's great in good light. Personally, I prefer its rendering on my OMD EM10 mk II than my Panasonic GX7 or GX9, which surprises me a bit, but I think Olympus colours are generally a touch more lively. I haven't used pro lenses except O12-40 PRO, which I didn't enjoy for the extra weight and relatively short zoom range. Of the zooms I've had, the 14140 is the only one that's stuck.
 
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