Lens review

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED

3 August 2011
Szymon Starczewski

4. Image resolution

The majority of Micro 4/3 lenses’ tests have been based on RAW files from the Olympus E-PL1. We chose such a body because of the lack of differences between vertical and horizontal MTF50 values and no interference in RAW files. In the case of this test we decided to be consistent and used the E-PL1 as well. It’s worth reminding here that the decency level is placed around 42-45 lpmm. So far the highest result on this sensor has been reached by the Leica DG MACRO-ELMARIT 45 mm f/2.8 ASPH. MEGA O.I.S. which, by f/4.0, got as high as 80 lpmm. The values Panasonic “pancakes” had were a bit worse. The 1.7/20 model brushed against the value of 75 lpmm and the wide angle LUMIX G 14 mm f/2.5 ASPH slightly exceeded 70 lpmm.

Now let’s see how the Olympus M. Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED compares here.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED - Image resolution

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As you see, already at the maximum relative aperture we get a very good result of 60 lpmm – the image quality there is beyond reproach. On stopping down the MTFs are rising to the value of 70 lpmm, which is reached by f/4.0. It is still short of the level represented by the Leica or the Panasonic but, on the other hand, the result is exactly like that of the Panasonic 2.5/14, which has a bit narrower angle of view.

A bit better results that those of the „pancakes” you can expect on the edge of the frame. While the maximum aperture is not very impressive, because the result of 40 lpmm is a bit lower than the decency level, on slight stopping down we see this problem disappear. When you stop down even further the Olympus outclasses the Panasonic 2.5/14 effortlessly. On the other hand the 1.7/20 model fares very similarly on the edge of the frame – but in this case we deal with a much narrower angle of view so the standards also are much lower.

To sum up the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED doesn’t perhaps break any resolution records but it is certainly a very solid device, providing good or very good image quality across the frame almost up from the maximum relative aperture.

Below we show you our test chart crops. They were taken from the area near the frame centre of JPEG files, saved along with RAW files. We used the lowest sharpening level but you must remember that in Olympus cameras it still remains on a relatively high level.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12 mm f/2.0 ED - Image resolution