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Thread: Olympus ZD 25/2.8 vs Canon EF 50/1.4 Bokeh Shootout (Large Images)

  1. #1
    asabet
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    Olympus ZD 25/2.8 vs Canon EF 50/1.4 Bokeh Shootout (Large Images)

    The ZD 25mm f/2.8 is a tiny lens. Coupled to an E-4xx series Olympus body, one has a DSLR combination approaching the size of digital compacts. In this comparison, I'll be comparing the bokeh from the ZD lens on an E-420 to that from Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens on a 5D. In other words, I'll be comparing the way the two lenses render out-of-focus, blurry areas when used on their respective camera bodies. This is not a sharpness test, nor is it a test of colors and/or contrast. I used Lightroom for the 5D files and Olympus Master for the E-420 files. The 5D images were downsized to 10MP using Photoshop Bicubic Sharper. Then all files from both cameras were downsized to 25% image size using Bicubic Sharper, and Olympus files were slightly cropped to match the 5D aspect ratio. I used a fixed tripod to match perspective for all comparisons and attempted to match exposure with manual settings.

    Here's the gear:



    In each comparison below, the aperture used is indicated on the images.



















    The differences in bokeh rendition are pretty subtle here. I think that both lenses do pretty well.

    Regards,
    Amin

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    Lili's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus ZD 25/2.8 vs Canon EF 50/1.4 Bokeh Shootout (Large Images)

    Remakable performance, Amin.
    Bokeh is vey subjective IMHO, both look quite good.
    But I very much like the performance of the Olympus lens/camera combo

  3. #3
    asabet
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    Re: Olympus ZD 25/2.8 vs Canon EF 50/1.4 Bokeh Shootout (Large Images)

    Thanks for your comments Lili. The little Oly set made a good first impression on me, and that impression is getting better as time goes along.

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    Re: Olympus ZD 25/2.8 vs Canon EF 50/1.4 Bokeh Shootout (Large Images)

    Well,
    Which colors are more true.....my guess the Oly as the blue looks very much like "canon blue" which might not be a real paint color!
    However, good tests.

  5. #5
    asabet
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    Re: Olympus ZD 25/2.8 vs Canon EF 50/1.4 Bokeh Shootout (Large Images)

    Thanks Terry. To be honest, I'm not sure which one has the more true colors in these comparisons. One looks better in one area and worse in another. In general, I don't like the default Lightroom color profile for the 5D very much. It's tough to draw conclusions about color when there are so many RAW developers and color profiles to choose from.

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    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus ZD 25/2.8 vs Canon EF 50/1.4 Bokeh Shootout (Large Images)

    As usual our Photo Scientist Amin
    has Superb & Fun Test Results
    my eye leans towards the Oly (YES I'm biased )
    (She shines next to the Big oaf canon boy)

    H

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus ZD 25/2.8 vs Canon EF 50/1.4 Bokeh Shootout (Large Images)

    I like the look of the Oly myself all around
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  8. #8
    asabet
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    Re: Olympus ZD 25/2.8 vs Canon EF 50/1.4 Bokeh Shootout (Large Images)

    Thanks Helen . Guy and Helen, I'm with you. Overall, I'm really enjoying the look of the E-420. The colors are really nice, and I find that with the Gradation set to 'Auto', I hardly need to do any postprocessing. The 5D comes out for low light indoor use and landscapes which I plan to either extensively process or print really large. Otherwise, I use a combination of the DP1 and E-420, more often the Oly.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus ZD 25/2.8 vs Canon EF 50/1.4 Bokeh Shootout (Large Images)

    Let me ask a dumb question. The E3 which I really came close to buying and liked that sensor. Do they make one with the same sensor in a different body
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Olympus ZD 25/2.8 vs Canon EF 50/1.4 Bokeh Shootout (Large Images)

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Let me ask a dumb question. The E3 which I really came close to buying and liked that sensor. Do they make one with the same sensor in a different body
    E520 (smaller, not weatherproof, with IS), E420 (tiny, not weatherproof, without IS).

    Mind you, as far as I'm concerned the E3 is tiny anyway.

    Just this guy you know

  11. #11
    asabet
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    Re: Olympus ZD 25/2.8 vs Canon EF 50/1.4 Bokeh Shootout (Large Images)

    Hi Guy, that's not a dumb question. The E-420 and E-520 probably have the same sensor. Those who have both the E-3 and E-420 tend to say that those two cameras have very similar sensors. Not identical but very similar. If you liked the E-3 sensor, I think it's a safe bet that you would also like the sensor in the E-520. The primary difference between the E-520 and E-420 is that the former has IS and the latter is smaller.

    On paper, the size difference is modest. In the hand though, the E-420 is the one which blurs the boundary between compact and SLR. It has a very similar form factor to the Leica M, whereas the E-520 is a bit thicker and has the prominent grip. The E-420 is a pleasure to hold. The only issue I have is with the placement of the neck strap rings, but it wasn't hard to get used to that. Same as with the OM-2n.

    Unfortunately, neither the E-520 nor the E-420 have a viewfinder like the one in the E-3.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus ZD 25/2.8 vs Canon EF 50/1.4 Bokeh Shootout (Large Images)

    Okay , not sure i can handle not having a great viewfinder. So i would have to go E3 than. Maybe something new coming at Photokinia. No hurry just thinking about this . i want something outside the MF that has AF and such but it does not have to be a Nikon
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus ZD 25/2.8 vs Canon EF 50/1.4 Bokeh Shootout (Large Images)

    Super test, Amin! I'm surprised how nicely the pancake's bokeh compares to the Canon. Just read the lens review over on DPR today and was kind of put off, now I'm back to thinking this little lens looks very worthwhile.

    Thanks for sharing your findings here, GREAT JOB as always. :-)
    Regards,
    Joan

  14. #14
    asabet
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    Re: Olympus ZD 25/2.8 vs Canon EF 50/1.4 Bokeh Shootout (Large Images)

    Guy, yes the E-3 is the only Four Thirds camera to date with a really good viewfinder. It isn't as large as a 35mm camera viewfinder, but it's bright and compares well to high end APS-C viewfinders from Canon and Nikon.

    Joan, thanks for the kind comments. I too was pleasantly surprised with the bokeh from the little digital Zuiko in comparison to the Canon. As the very good DPR review indicates, this is a flawed lens. It has more barrel distortion than most normal primes and shows moderate CA. Yet it resolves well, has good contrast, color, flare resistance, bokeh rendition, price, and is in a size and weight class of its own. It's also 1 and 1/3 stops faster than the kit lens at 25mm.

    Regards, Amin

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    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus ZD 25/2.8 vs Canon EF 50/1.4 Bokeh Shootout (Large Images)

    Amin, you have almost convinced me to get the E420. I did a brief trial of the Nikon D60 and I just didn't bond with it. I like the Olympus colors, controls/menus much better plus I like having Live View on occasion. I sold my E410 but kept my lenses, so now it's just deciding whether to get the E420 and pancake, or wait a bit and go for E520 with IS. OR sit tight with my D2 for now and save my money, LOL. I love the D2 more than any other camera I've ever had, and I sometimes think a DSLR is wasted on me.
    Regards,
    Joan

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    Senior Member Peter Klein's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus ZD 25/2.8 vs Canon EF 50/1.4 Bokeh Shootout (Large Images)

    Quote Originally Posted by Joan View Post
    I love the D2 more than any other camera I've ever had, and I sometimes think a DSLR is wasted on me.
    The lady doth need an M8 much, methinks. Or maybe an R-D1 (ask Helen and CAM)

    --Peter, with apologies to Mr. Shakespeare

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    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus ZD 25/2.8 vs Canon EF 50/1.4 Bokeh Shootout (Large Images)

    Peter, methinks you are right. ;-) Would LOVE the M8 but won't be able to afford it without a Lotto win. Have never seen an R-D1 in person, but I'd probably like it, too. Again, not in the budget anytime in the near future. *sigh*
    Regards,
    Joan

  18. #18
    asabet
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    Re: Olympus ZD 25/2.8 vs Canon EF 50/1.4 Bokeh Shootout (Large Images)

    Joan, it's a tough decision. The D2 is fantastic. The E-420 isn't that much of an advance over the E-410. That flawed little 25mm lens changed everything for me though. As someone who enjoys the boring 40-50mm angle of view, it just fits.

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    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus ZD 25/2.8 vs Canon EF 50/1.4 Bokeh Shootout (Large Images)

    Amin, I won't give up the D2, it's just too special. For outdoor & nature (95% of what I like to shoot) it's the bee's knees, but I'd like something to go along with it that's faster and good at higher iso's. Hoping for something new and interesting to come out at Photokina, so am trying to wait and not make any more dumb camera decisions. My husband is getting tired of my buying and selling, he just doesn't get it! LOL
    Regards,
    Joan

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