Olympus 12mm f/2 up against a Leica M9

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The 12mm and m4/3 was pretty impressive against the Nikon D7000 I thought. So here's another tougher challenge. Fitted on an Olympus E-PL1 and compared with a Leica M9 paired with a Voigtlander 28mm f/2.

Before going into that I thought I'd illustrate the actual differences between the file sizes generated by the two cameras. This is NOT sensor size and takes no account of pixel density or anything like that. Its the actual file sizes in terms of printing.


In terms of the clients I sell my pictures to via picture libraries, they have no knowledge of what camera I use, what size sensor I use, what ISO, what lens etc. etc. All they are aware of is what size the finished file is, because that is all the information that picture libraries ever provide. So they make their decision on what is in the picture and whether its big enough for their needs. 

So, bearing that in mind, here are the comparison pictures. As per usual - shot on a tripod, raw files processed in Photoshop Adobe Camera Raw using the factory default settings. There are obvious focal length and depth of field differences and I've tried to make the images as consistent as possible. All were shot at ISO 160, which is the lowest setting on the M9. I shot at f/2, f/5.6, f/11 and f22.

As ever clicking on the images to flickr > Actions > view all sizes gives you the full high resolution file.

Just in case you weren't aware the Leica M9 file is the larger one.

f2
Olympus E-PL1 12mm f/2 lens Leica M9 Voigtlander 28mm f/2 lens ISO 160 f/2

f5.6
Olympus E-PL1 12mm f/2 lens Leica M9 Voigtlander 28mm f/2 lens ISO 160 f/5.6


f11
Olympus E-PL1 12mm f/2 lens Leica M9 Voigtlander 28mm f/2 lens ISO 160 f/11

f22
Olympus E-PL1 12mm f/2 lens Leica M9 Voigtlander 28mm f/2 lens ISO 160 f/22

I think the 12mm does just fine again. OK there will be some that argue there are better lenses than the Voigtlander. Well, indeed there are, but in my experience it wouldn't make that much difference.

All of this, and several of the previous posts of course, is / are part of my low key battle against the m4/3 doubters and rubbishers. This is what I see and have been seeing ever since I bought into the system. Its a good system. It produces excellent images under most conditions. It stands up against anything I compare it with. And yet in forums, on review sites and in magazines m4/3 still often gets treated with some patronising comments that are generally along the lines of "Well its OK but its not really a proper camera and lens system is it?"

The E-P3 and 12mm seem to be turning that around somewhat and certainly overall people seem to be deciding with their wallets what they think of m4/3 and CSC's in general. I'm very happy with it, and the new 12mm f/2 in particular, and I'm hoping these tests and comparisons will show people why.

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