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Lensrentals: MTF 25mm Prime Lens Comparison
Very interesting comparison.

The copy to copy variation is not pretty, especially regarding the Pany 25mm.


Brandon Dube (working at lensrentals) seems to be very knowledgeable as far as lens design goes.


From the comments section:


Phillip Reeve:

Question to Brandon: How can it be that the OM 1.2/25 is so much less sharp than the FE 1.8/55 (in relative terms comparing 10 LP/mm (FE55) to 20 LP/mm (OM25) and 20 LP/mm to 40 LP/mm) at their widest aperture? The OM should have all the advantages: It is massively more complex (19 with lots of fancy glass vs 10 elements), more expensive, heavier and it has a smaller aperture. Yet the Sony has a much higher contrast in that comparison. Thanks Smile


Brandon Dube:
Better and easier optical design -- f/1.8 is a lot easier than f/1.2, but the olympus lens also has a very complicated design. The light is squeezed down towards the middle (elements 1-5), pushed back up (6-8), slowly made to be converging again (9-15), and finally focused (16-19). This is the technique used by photolithography lenses to flatten the field (get rid of field curvature and astigmatism). The requirements of those lenses are sub-nanometer field flatness, so they really need it. For a camera lens? Well, not even the Masterprimes or Summilux-C lenses do that (at $40,000/ea). You can see Olympus leveraged it here to produce a very flat field, pretty high resolution (in absolute terms...) design at the expense of making the lens very complicated and expensive to produce.

The Sony lens also has 3 aspheres (maybe 4 aspheric surfaces) vs 1 in the olympus. If they had opted for 3-4 aspheres and 6 fewer lenses in Olympus' design, without this field curvature correcting technique, they probably could have produced a superior design.

So I would say that the Sony lens, whoever designed it, was done more cleverly and the result is better. The Olympus lens, whoever designed it, is probably a good optical designer (the product is pretty good and utilizes some advanced design techniques) but didn't stop to ask ask "should I" before betting on "can I."

As an aside, the A7rIII has 4.5 micron pixels and can "see" up to 110 lp/mm. None of the spatial frequencies shown on these plots really show "pixel level" detail. We show down to more like 2-4 pixel level of detail, which is probably about how close you want to look at your pictures unless you're posting 100% crops online or using them to measure things.


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Brandon also posted occasionally here at PZ as AiryDiscus (earlier scythes) and he knows a lot more about optics than I ever will need to know.  Big Grin not to say "as I ever will be capable to learn".

Wow, talk about dropping the ball... Just look at the edge performance of that Voigtländer. O_o
      With M4/3 cameras having such a small sensor, I still have trouble understanding that their lenses "cannot" produce excellent resolution at the edges of the image with consummate ease!............


               .....after all their edges are at the place of most camera's......just slightly off center!      ie. only 9mm off center axis!    :blink:


          9mm turns out to be quite a hike in M4/3rds land!

just remember that pixel density of 20 MP MFT sensor is very high, to have it on full frame you will have to go 80MP and we already know full frame lenses are already struggling at 50 MP

Actually, IMO the Oly Pro (25 F/1.2) is an incredibly good lens. I really like the way it renders an image.


Funnily enough I compared it with 2 of the other 3 lenses, and the PL 25 did not impress me (maybe a bad sample, considering the variation), and the Voightlander I did not like because you really need to stop it down quite far to get edge to edge sharpness, apart from the fact that it is MF only. Neither do I like the fairly contrastless rendering of the latter.


The Oly is special because it has very nice, smooth OOF transitions (IOW, great bokeh) both in front of the focused area, and behind, which is something only very few lenses achieve. I reckon that is one of the reasons why it has so many elements.


Kind regards, Wim
Gear: Canon EOS R with 3 primes and 2 zooms, 4 EF-R adapters, Canon EOS 5 (analog), 9 Canon EF primes, a lone Canon EF zoom, 2 extenders, 2 converters, tubes; Olympus OM-D 1 Mk II & Pen F with 12 primes, 6 zooms, and 3 Metabones EF-MFT adapters ....

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