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Re: [OM] 12-200 reviews

Subject: Re: [OM] 12-200 reviews
From: Moose <olymoose@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 23 Jun 2019 21:51:16 -0700
On 6/23/2019 3:38 PM, Lawrence Woods wrote:
Most reviews of the M. Zuiko 12-200mm that I found on the web seem to date from February with the initial announcement, or March with "First look" type superficial initial impressions.

I take the scarcity of later, in-depth and technical reviews as a bad sign.  Photo web sites seem to subscribe to the "if you can't say something good, don't say anything at all" school - presumably to avoid getting on the bad side of manufacturers.

But I did run across a June review from Amateur Photographer


While praising the lens's ingenuity and convenience, the faint praise for its optical performance at the telephoto end of range gives me pause.

I was pretty sure I'd read five full, or at least serious reviews. I looked 


Digital camera World 


Ming Thein 

And the one you link to.

Not that the conclusions are much different. :-)   All are bothered by the resolution, starting at 75 or 100 mm. All try to find a way to see that it's not all that bad, in light of all the other good things about it.

Without trying one myself, it's hard to see how that would play out in practical use. I used the Oly 75-300 extensively for several years, almost 10,000 shots. Reviews of it were often similar to those about this lens, only about the range from 200-300 mm. In fairness to the reviews, when this lens came out, the problem of shutter shock in µ4/3 bodies wasn't understood.

I was much puzzled with my early results. One shot would be OK, the next blurred, or even with something like a double image.. Once I found out about and used the 1/8 sec. shutter delay, that problem went away.

OTOH, straight out of the camera and ordinary Raw conversion, 300 mm images weren't notably sharp. If not prevented by saving one's own conversion profile(s), ACR, in either PS or LR, applies some moderate, but unsubtle USM sharpening, which is not good for this, indeed most, lenses, if one is looking for the best pixel level detail. Turning that off, they responded wonderfully well to NeatImage NR with resharpening and to FocusMagic deconvolution.

Nowadays, one might also be looking at how DxO Lens Sharpening, which is based on analysis if the imaging characteristics of each lens and apparently includes some lens specific deconvolution works with any particular lens and FLs.

None of these reviews gives any information about how processing may affect detail. For those who are happy with JPEGs, or whatever their converter and editor do by default or simply, the reviews are valid. For me, they don't tell the whole story. I have many wonderfully clear, detailed images from the 75-300 @ 300 mm.

I probably won't be trying one, because of the lack of OIS. My serious kit relies on Panny Dual-IS with the PLeica 12-60 and 100-400 lenses. My small, casual kit uses the Panny GM5 and a Panny 14-140 lens with OIS. I could use the E-PL7, with roughly equal IS, but it's larger and heavier than the GM5, and lacks a built-in EVF. Image files are of equivalent quality.

Waiting on the (unannounced) Panny 12-200. :-)

Patient Moose

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