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Olympus G. Zuiko 40mm f/1.4 AUTO-S (PEN-F) Review - Performance

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Olympus G.Zuiko Auto S 40mm f/1.4 Performance

Central sharpness is soft at f/1.4, good at f/2, very good at f/2.8 and excellent from f/4 through to f/8. It is still very good at f/11 and f/16. Sadly, the edges are not exciting, being poor at f/1.4, only fair at f/2 and f/2.8 but rising to a good level from f/4 to f/16.



Olympus G.Zuiko Auto S 40mm f/1.4 MTF Charts

How to read our MTF charts

The blue column represents readings from the centre of the picture frame at the various apertures and the green is from the edges.

The scale on the left side is an indication of actual image resolution as LW/PH and is described in detail above. The taller the column, the better the lens performance.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Panasonic Lumix G9 using Imatest.

CA (Chromatic Aberration) is well controlled centrally, but the edges do show distinct colour fringing with the usual problem subjects, such as branches against a bright sky and black and white buildings. Correction can be made in software.


Olympus G.Zuiko Auto S 40mm f/1.4 Chromatic Aberration Charts

How to read our CA charts

Chromatic aberration (CA) is the lens' inability to focus on the sensor or film all colours of visible light at the same point. Severe chromatic aberration gives a noticeable fringing or a halo effect around sharp edges within the picture. It can be cured in software.

Apochromatic lenses have special lens elements (aspheric, extra-low dispersion etc) to minimize the problem, hence they usually cost more.

For this review, the lens was tested on a Panasonic Lumix G9 using Imatest.


Distortion is impressively low at -0.60% barrel.

Bokeh, the quality of the out of focus areas in an image, is not the strong point of the lens. The highlights show doughnut shapes and rings at the edges of the out of focus points and it's all a bit untidy. However, this is not a problem with many subjects.

Flare is nowhere near as well controlled as with a modern multi-coated lens. Pointing towards the light, the lens shows an instant drop in contrast. If a strong light source is included, then we see a mass of artefacts and reflections. Lighting should, therefore, be watched carefully if these defects are to be avoided.

Vignetting is around -1 stop throughout the aperture range, a reasonable result and one that is unlikely to be noticed.

Although sharp images can be expected, especially at the centre, the lens is, as far as technical results go, a bit disappointing overall.

Olympus G.Zuiko Auto S 40mm f/1.4 Sample Photos


Olympus G.Zuiko Auto S 40mm f/1.4 Aperture range

You can view additional images in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

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davetac 12 69 2 United Kingdom
25 Aug 2019 11:14AM
I have a good as gold 50mm f1.8 Olympus OM and a very good 25mm f2.8 Miranda (Om fitting) macro lens and have used both with an adaptor on my beloved OM D EM10 ii. You could slice ham with sharp images I get with both. Though the merest hint of chromatic aberration is visible with the Miranda that's easily dealt with in post.
20 Jan 2020 12:57PM
I've a few of the Pen F lenses and find they work very well on my Fuji X-E2. With the APS sensor the crop factor is just right, my 38mm 1.8 being quite "normal". One of the best things about these lenses is the very narrow adapter, allowing a close to original form factor. These manual lenses are uniquely suited to the external manual controls of the Fuji RF style bodies.

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