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Olympus M.Zuiko 8-25mm F4.0 Professional area overview: Digital Images Evaluation


Introduction

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 8-25mm F4.0 Professional is a compact, high-end lens designed for photographers utilizing Micro 4 Thirds digicam our bodies.

Protecting a 35mm-equivalent focal size vary of 16-50mm and boasting surprisingly good macro efficiency, it exhibits nice promise as a flexible, single-carry lens for panorama, road and journey images.

Obtainable now, checklist pricing is about at $1099.99.

All photos edited in Adobe Digicam Uncooked 13 with changes restricted to white stability, publicity, highlights, shadows, white and black ranges. Sharpening and noise discount at ACR defaults.



Key specs:

  • Focal size: 8-25mm (35mm-equivalent: 16-50mm)
  • Aperture vary: F4.0 – F22
  • Stabilization: No
  • Filter thread: 72mm
  • Shut focus: 0.23m (9.1″)
  • Most magnification: 0.21x
  • Diaphragm blades: 7
  • Hood: Included
  • Weight: 411g (0.91 lb)
  • Optical building: 16 components in 10 teams (1 DSA, 2 Aspherical ED, 1 Tremendous ED, 1 ED, 1 Tremendous HR, 1 HR and 1 HD)
ISO 320 | 1/2000 sec | F4 | 44mm equiv. | Olympus E-M1 III
Picture by Dale Baskin

The Olympus 8-25mm F4.0 Professional is an unusually versatile lens with no direct opponents inside the Micro 4 Thirds system. When it comes to its focal vary, the closest options are both Panasonic’s Leica-branded 8-18mm F2.8-4.0 or 10-25mm F1.7. Much less-direct rivals embrace the Panasonic 7-14mm F4 and Olympus’ personal 7-14mm F2.8 Professional.

Of those, the closest by way of its focal vary is the Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25mm F1.7 ASPH, a 2.25x zoom that is a lot bigger, heavier and dearer. It is virtually 4cm (1.5″) longer, has a few 1cm (0.5″) better diameter, weighs two-thirds extra and prices an extra $700 greater than the 8-25mm F4.0.

ISO 200 | 5 sec | F7.1 | 50mm equiv. | Olympus E-M1 III
Picture by Chris Niccolls

However for that, you get a a lot brighter F1.7 most aperture throughout its zoom vary, which together with a nine-bladed aperture ought to yield extra prospects for (and extra engaging) bokeh. Nevertheless, the Olympus’ lens bests it not simply by way of wide-angle protection, but in addition in its macro capabilities.

The Olympus 8-25mm F4.0 additionally accepts barely smaller 72mm filters, moderately than the 77mm filters of the Leica lens. And whereas we have not but absolutely examined the Leica’s efficiency, its stepping autofocus motor seemingly will not be fairly as swift because the extraordinarily quick linear motor of the Olympus lens.

ISO 80 | 1/640 sec | F4.5 | 34mm equiv. | Olympus E-M1 III
Picture by Dale Baskin

As for the Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18mm F2.8-4.0 ASPH, the scale is near-identical, and so is its $1099.99 pricetag. It is simply 3.6mm (0.1″) shorter, however weighs virtually 25% much less regardless of boasting a considerably brighter F2.8 most aperture on the wider finish of its zoom vary.

It additionally takes a good smaller, extra reasonably priced 67mm filter measurement, however opts for a stepper motor-based autofocus drive. And as soon as once more, the 8-25mm F4.0 Professional affords noticeably higher macro specs.

ISO 250 | 1/60 sec | F22 | 42mm equiv. | Olympus E-M1 III
Picture by Dale Baskin

If measurement and weight are your main concern and you may stay with its lesser telephoto attain, the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH matches the Olympus’ most aperture whereas being 5-7mm (0.2″) shorter and fewer vast. And you will save a worthwhile $200 by way of checklist pricing.

It is also the lightest of the group, tipping the scales at 300g (10.6oz), a full 27% lower than the Olympus. However it’s the one one to lack climate sealing, and in addition has the weakest macro efficiency of the bunch. Nor can it settle for filters in any respect.

ISO 200 | 1/50 sec | F5.6 | 32mm equiv. | Olympus E-M1 III
Picture by Chris Niccolls

Lastly, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm F2.8 Professional is about 17mm (0.7″) longer, weighs virtually 30% extra, and prices $300 greater than the 8-25mm. It additionally lacks filter threads, has considerably weaker macro efficiency and makes use of a stepper motor to drive AF, however these shortcomings are mitigated by a brighter F2.8 most aperture, which may even yield better alternatives for softly-blurred backgrounds.

In comparison with…

Olympus 8-25mm F4 Professional Leica 8-18mm F2.8-4 Leica 10-25mm F1.7 Panasonic Lumix G 7-14mm F4 Olympus 7-14mm F2.8 Professional

Value (MSRP)

$1099.99 $1099.99 $1799.99 $899.99 $1399.99
Optical building 16 components, 10 teams 15 components, 10 teams 17 components, 12 teams 16 components, 12 teams 14 components, 11 teams
Aperture blades 7 7 9 7 7
Climate sealed Sure Sure Sure No Sure
AF drive Linear motor Stepper motor Stepper motor Micromotor Stepper motor
Minimal focus distance / max magnification 0.23 m (9.1″) / 0.21x 0.23 m (9.1″) / 0.12x 0.28 m (11.0″) / 0.14x 0.25 m (9.8″) / 0.08x 0.20 m (7.9″) / 0.11x
Filter measurement 72mm 67mm 77mm N/A N/A
Diameter x Size
(no hood)

77mm x 88.5mm (3.0″ x 3.5″)

73.4mm x 88mm (2.9″ x 3.5″) 87.6mm x 128mm (3.5″ x 5.0″) 70mm x 83.1mm (2.8″ x 3.3″) 78.9mm x 105.8mm (3.1″ x 4.2″)
Weight

411g (14.5oz)

315g (11.1oz)

690g (24.3oz) 300g (10.6oz) 534g (18.8oz)

Dealing with

For a lens of its focal vary and construct, the Olympus 8-25mm F4.0 could be very compact and light-weight. Its small measurement has been achieved due to a primary for an Olympus Professional-branded lens: a retracting zoom design.

But that design does not include the inconvenience typical of many retracting zooms: there isn’t any locking mechanism to be launched earlier than you may prolong the zoom to its capturing place. As an alternative, a agency twist of the zoom ring is all that is wanted to deploy the lens and prepared it for capturing. As soon as prolonged, the zoom ring operates usually till you utilize one other agency twist to completely retract it once more.

Regardless of a really strong, all-metal building which might fulfill skilled photographers, the 8-25mm suggestions the scales at simply 411g (14.5oz). That offers it simply sufficient heft to stability properly with out being front-heavy each on extra compact our bodies just like the E-M1 III and bigger ones just like the E-M1X.

In addition to the aforementioned zoom ring there is a focus ring, and Olympus has additionally included a programmable perform button on the left aspect of its barrel. The main focus ring is properly damped, and racks from close-focus to infinity in a bit of over 1 / 4 of a flip. The zoom ring likewise strikes good and easily, and each rings are metallic and the textured end makes it simple to make exact adjustments.

The main focus ring additionally has a spotlight clutch, permitting it to be pushed forwards to focus robotically, or pulled again in the direction of the digicam physique to shortly change into guide focus mode. And although it is nonetheless focus-by-wire, the main target ring very a lot behaves prefer it’s mechanically coupled.

The lens can be comprehensively weather-sealed, not simply with a gasket on the interface between the lens and physique, but in addition on the particular person controls and seams between the lens’ element elements. Olympus charges the 8-25mm F4.0 to the IPX1 customary, and says that in addition to being each splash and dustproof, additionally it is freezeproof to -10ºC (14ºF).

No optical picture stabilization is supplied, though you may after all depend on the in-body picture stabilization of your digicam, if accessible. (We discovered the E-M1 III’s in-body stabilization alone ample not simply to shoot or report video handheld, however even to offer very secure walk-and-talk video footage.)

Up entrance, you will discover 72mm threads with which to connect your alternative of filters, and the entrance factor additionally features a fluorine coating to assist cleansing, if the lens will get splashed or smudged.

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Autofocus and focus respiratory

Due to its linear autofocus motor, the 8-25mm F4.0 drives focus as shortly as you might hope for an ultra-wide to regular lens of this kind, which is to say in a short time certainly. It takes nicely beneath a second to completely rack focus, so that you could be assured that no matter focal size, you can deal with surprising adjustments in topic distance with ease.

And whereas it is technically not a macro lens, the Olympus 8-25mm additionally delivers surprisingly nicely on the utmost magnification entrance. The minimal focusing distance all through its zoom vary is simply 23cm (9.1″) from the picture sensor, which interprets to a minimal topic distance of simply 7cm (2.8″) or so from the entrance factor of the lens.

ISO 200 | 1/100 sec | F4 | 50mm equiv. | Olympus E-M1 III
Picture by Chris Niccolls

At that minimal distance and with the lens at its telephoto place, you will handle a most magnification of round 0.21x (35mm-equivalent: 0.42x), whereas on the wide-angle place this falls to about 0.07x (35mm-equivalent: 0.14x).

There’s nice information for video shooters, too. The 8-25mm F4.0 Professional could be very nicely suited to video seize, offering not only a focus clutch and a spotlight ring that turns within the route skilled videographers are probably to be accustomed to, but in addition displaying no seen focus respiratory by any means.

ISO 160 | 1/640 sec | F5 | 46mm equiv. | Olympus E-M1 III
Picture by Dale Baskin

We really feel that the 8-25mm affords just about the proper focal size vary for a video lens. Actually, we discovered ourselves wishing we had a second copy of the lens with which to shoot our DPReview TV footage, which you will discover in the direction of the top of this web page under.

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Picture high quality

As you’d anticipate of an Olympus Professional lens, picture high quality is sweet to nice in most respects. The one actual weak spots for this lens are considerably busy and distracting bokeh, and sunstars which will not precisely set the world on fireplace.

Sharpness

The 8-25mm F4.0 Professional delivers spectacular sharpness within the middle of the body, even when capturing wide-open. Stopping right down to F6.3 does enhance middle sharpness ever so barely, however it’s truthfully troublesome to note the distinction even while you’re searching for it.

ISO 80 | 1/250 sec | F5 | 22mm equiv. | Olympus E-M1 III
Picture by Dale Baskin

Nook sharpness on the vast finish when targeted within the middle of the body is superb, even when capturing vast open, and outcomes sharpen up solely very barely when focusing within the nook, indicating minimal area curvature. The lens is so sharp vast open within the middle that stopping right down to F6.3 solely reduces sharpness barely, because of diffraction (remembering that F6.3 on 4 Thirds is F12.6 in full-frame equal phrases).

On the 25mm finish the story is analogous on the middle of the body, with barely sharper outcomes vast open than stopped right down to F6.3, although that is solely seen beneath shut scrutiny side-by-side. Nook sharpness when targeted within the middle of the body is not dangerous, however specializing in the high proper nook yields notably sharper outcomes there, indicating some area curvature on the ‘telephoto’ finish. The corners sharpen up fairly properly as soon as the lens is stopped right down to F6.3 at this finish of the zoom.

Bokeh

Bokeh is extra of a combined bag, sadly. The excellent news is that the seven-bladed aperture delivers nicely-rounded bokeh even when stopped right down to F5.6. And the transition from in-focus to out-of-focus areas can be fairly good.

ISO 200 | 1/500 sec | F4 | 50mm equiv. | Olympus E-M1 III
Picture by Chris Niccolls

The not-so-good information is that the bokeh tends to have a moderately grungy, mottled texture which might show distracting in some conditions. It additionally has a barely cleaning soap bubble impact with a brighter line round its periphery than within the middle, which might probably be distracting at larger magnifications with out-of-focus highlights. It is unlikely to be a lot of a priority with extra diffuse bokeh (see picture above), or when viewing the picture at smaller magnification.

So in the event you’re searching for easy, nondescript bokeh, this is not the lens for you. However then we’re speaking about an F4.0 ultra-wide lens for Micro 4 Thirds right here, in order that’s probably not to be anticipated within the first place. You are probably not going to get large bokeh balls except you are capturing wide-open and close to to the 25mm telephoto, so in the event that they’re what you are searching for, go for a lens with a stronger telephoto and/or a wider aperture with a extra uniform circle-of-confusion.

ISO 400 | 1/250 sec | F4 | 50mm equiv. | Olympus E-M1 III.

If you happen to zoom in to this picture, you will observe a delicate texture on the within of the out-of-focus highlights.

Picture by Chris Niccolls

Flare, ghosting and sunstars

Olympus features a hood with the 8-25mm Professional lens, and has additionally used its Zuiko Further-low Reflective Optical coating which goals to additional suppress the ghosting and flare that may be typical of wide-angle lenses. We discovered these to work very properly; flare is well-controlled, although it does present up as a slight loss in distinction in the event you purpose instantly on the solar on the proper angle. We noticed solely very minor ghosting artifacts with the solar within the body.

ISO 200 | 1/15 sec | F20 | 30mm equiv. | Olympus E-M1 III
Picture by Dale Baskin

Sunstars aren’t actually a forte of this lens, nonetheless. They’re okay however not superb, yielding 14 moderately diffuse spikes. They usually include a trade-off, as to get them you will have to cease down a good bit, however doing so means you will shortly cross the diffraction restrict due to the Micro 4 Thirds sensor measurement and its comparatively excessive equal F-numbers. So if you’d like these sunstars, you will have to stay with some diffraction-induced softness to get them.

Longitudinal / lateral chromatic aberration (fringing)

Though it does undergo from some chromatic aberration points, the excellent news is that these are of the type you may most-easily appropriate within the digital darkroom. The hard-to-correct longitudinal variant, also referred to as LoCA, is barely noticeable in images from the 8-25mm F4.0 Professional, as is anticipated of a lens with a smaller most aperture.

As for lateral chromatic aberration or LCA, whereas a bit of is noticeable in uncorrected photos, it is fairly minor even with excessive topics (on the order of simply 1-2 pixels at worst). LCA is well fastened, and shall be corrected for you in in-camera JPEGs or in Raws processed with most mainstream Uncooked processors except you particularly decide to disable these corrections. It is value noting that in Seize One, LCA correction barely softened the picture (we shot on an OM-D E-M1 III), and because it was so delicate to start with, we truly most well-liked to go away the correction off altogether.

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Conclusion

What we like What we do not
  • Good sharpness even wide-open
  • Minimal chromatic aberrations
  • Suppresses flare and ghosting nicely
  • Bokeh stays spherical even when stopped down
  • Extraordinarily quick autofocus
  • No focus respiratory
  • Surprisingly first rate macro efficiency
  • Very compact, light-weight and versatile
  • Strong, weather-sealed construct
  • Good controls
  • No want for a fiddly retraction lock
  • Not very vibrant
  • Distractingly-mottled bokeh with slight cleaning soap bubble impact
  • No optical picture stabilization
  • Sunstars aren’t a energy, accompanied by important diffraction-induced softness

We’re large followers of the Micro 4 Thirds merchandise right here at DPReview. Whereas the system has some limitations, they will usually be labored round and the format can ship a worthwhile benefit by way of portability.

And the Olympus M.Zuiko 8-25mm F4.0 Professional is a phenomenal instance of this. Regardless of its high-end, all-metal design, the 8-25mm F4.0 is nonetheless very compact and light-weight, particularly when its picture high quality and flexibility are borne in thoughts.

ISO 320 | 1/200 sec | F8 | 16mm equiv. | Olympus E-M1 III
Picture by Dale Baskin

Its photos are crisp even wide-open, and the bokeh in out-of-focus areas fairly pleasing general in the event you can stay with its considerably busy look in some conditions. Its aberrations are well-controlled. And the mix of better-than-expected macro efficiency plus its beneficiant focal vary make it a fantastic single-carry lens for panorama, road and journey images. Simply understand that at F8 equal, this is not a lens geared at isolating your topic with a blurred-to-oblivion background.

Coupled with blazing-fast autofocus and lack of focus respiratory, it makes a extremely good all-rounder, able to catering to a variety of capturing conditions both for stills or video seize. The one factor it actually lacks is optical picture stabilization, and with the very succesful in-body stabilization on supply lately, that is not an enormous destructive.

Nor are there actually any good options accessible to Micro 4 Thirds shooters on this focal vary. The closest choice, Panasonic’s Leica 10-25mm F1.7, is after all a lot brighter and affords higher depth-of-field management, however it’s additionally a far much less moveable and way more costly.

ISO 200 | 1/500 sec | F5.6 | 16mm equiv. | Olympus E-M1 III
Picture by Chris Niccolls

And whereas the Leica 8-18mm F2.8-4.0 is equally priced to the Olympus 8-25mm and simply as moveable with a brighter aperture at wide-angle, it lacks the Olympus’ versatility, with neither its telephoto or macro capabilities.

With no clear rival, the M.Zuiko 8-25mm F4.0 Professional is simple to advocate as a fantastic choice for the Micro 4 Thirds-based panorama, road or journey shooter who desires to pack mild and but nonetheless be prepared for no matter photographic alternatives come their method!

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Scoring

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DPReview TV overview

See what our crew at DPReview TV has to say concerning the Olympus 8-25mm F4.0 Professional.

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Pattern galleries

Please don’t reproduce any of those photos with out prior permission (see our copyright web page).

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III (DPReview HQ gallery)

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III (DPReview TV gallery)

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