Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F/1.2 Pro vs. Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro Sharpness Comparison

A sharpness comparison between the Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F/1.2 Pro and the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro. The Olympus 25mm F/1.2 is the first lens of Olympus new series of F/1.2 primes. Design and features are similar to other Olympus Pro lenses. There is a good chance, that someone who is interested in the Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F/1.2 Pro already owns the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro. Therefore, I am going to compare the two lenses in this article. Usually prime lenses are sharper than zooms, however, the Olympus 12-40mm F/2.8 is already a very sharp lens. Will the Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F/1.2 Pro be able to surpass it or is it “just” 2,5 stops faster?

Method of the test

All images below are 100% crops of 40MP JPGs shot with the Olympus OM-D E-M5IIs High-Res Mode. The High-Res Mode is even more demanding on lenses than normal images. This mode uses the electronic shutter, the camera was on a tripod, I used an 8-second release delay and artificial lightning. Therefore, shutter shock, changing lighting conditions and so on should not have influenced the result.

Image Center – Olympus 25mm F/1.2 vs. Olympus 12-40mm F/2.8

Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F/1.2 Pro @ F/1.2
Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F/1.2 Pro @ F/1.2
Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro @ F/2.8
Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro @ F/2.8
Olympus 25mm F/1.2 @ F/2.8
Olympus 25mm F/1.2 @ F/2.8
Olympus 12-40mm F/2.8 @ F/5.6
Olympus 12-40mm F/2.8 @ F/5.6
Olympus 25mm F/1.2 @ F/5.6
Olympus 25mm F/1.2 @ F/5.6

The Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F/1.2 Pro is already sharp at F/1.2. However, it is not as sharp as the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro at F/2.8. But, if the Olympus 25mm F/1.2 Pro is also set to F/2.8 it is sharper than the Olympus 12-40mm Pro. Stepped down to F/5.6 there is not much of a difference, both lenses are very sharp. It seems that diffraction is already the limiting factor here.

Image Border

Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F/1.2 Pro @ F/1.2
Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F/1.2 Pro @ F/1.2
Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro @ F/2.8
Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro @ F/2.8

 

Olympus 25mm F/1.2 @ F/2.8
Olympus 25mm F/1.2 @ F/2.8
Olympus 12-40mm F/2.8 @ F/5.6
Olympus 12-40mm F/2.8 @ F/5.6
Olympus 25mm F/1.2 @ F/5.6
Olympus 25mm F/1.2 @ F/5.6

At F/1.2 the image border of the Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F/1.2 Pro is softer than the image center. But, if you keep in mind that this is F/1.2 it is still a very good result!  Of course, the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro at F/2.8 is sharper. However, stepped down to F/2.8 the Olympus 25mm F/1.2 Pro is equally sharp. At the image border both lenses benefit from stepping down to F/5.6. It is hard to tell which one is sharper, maybe the Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F/1.2 Pro is a little bit better.

Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F/1.2 Pro vs. Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro – Conclusion

The Olympus 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro is already a very sharp lens. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Olympus 25mm F/1.2 is just a tiny bit sharper. In real life, it will be hard to tell the difference. The real achievement of the Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F/1.2 Pro is to provide a good and fully usable result at F/1.2.

The Olympus M.Zuiko 25mm F/1.2 Pro ist available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk and .

The Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro is also available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, as it has been released a while ago, it is possible to get extremely cheap deals

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