S10 vs GX200 - lens sharpness and chromatic aberration test

Discussion about Ricoh GXR system

S10 vs GX200 - lens sharpness and chromatic aberration test

Postby odklizec » Sun Jan 31, 2010 9:56 pm

Hi folks,

Today I finally processed some "side by side" test shots I took two weeks ago. This test is targeted to S10 vs. GX200 lens sharpness and chromatic aberration. Marginally, you can consider it also a dynamic range and noise test ;) But I'm planning to do more proper ISO test later.

The following photos were taken at all (step) zoom positions and with widest available aperture (for given zoom position). As we all know, most lenses does not perform best wide open. It's always better to stop them down a bit to obtain the best results. But I was curious how good or bad performs both lenses wide open ;) In addition, S10 may have similar or the same construction as GX200 lens, but the diameter of S10 lens appears to be slightly larger. So it would be interesting to see if there is an impact on the image quality.

Each photo had been taken on the tripod, with self timer and in 5 copies. Both cameras were set to more or less the same settings. Then I selected the most sharpest photo from each batch. All crops were made with Pixelmator (DNG were loaded with Apple Camera RAW support integrated in OSX and used by Pixelmator).

As you can see below, there are some surprises. Before I did this test, I considered GX200 files to be more detailed than S10. But this was before I compared RAW files and I thought it was because of 12MP vs. 10MP difference. Now it's evident that GX200 JPEG processing applies much more aggressive sharpening and so the GX200 images look more detailed. However, it seems to me that S10 lens is evidently sharper and does not need that much artificial sharpening. The GX200 at 72mm and f4.4 appears to be very unsharp. It may have something to do with my problem described >here<. However, all test samples were focused in Spot mode and with enabled Macro. S10 lens simply wins in terms of sharpness.

As for chromatic aberration, here it appears that S10 produces tiny bit more aberration (except at 72mm). But the difference is only marginal and easily fixable in good image editor. In any case, both S10 and GX200 performs very well in this area. The chromatic aberration crops also show visibly greater dynamic range of S10 sensor. Some branches invisible in GX200 crops are very well visible in S10 crops.

Another thing you may notice is how noisy are the GX200 shots even at ISO100. While I personally don't care about noise (and this particular ISO100 noise is easily fixable), the things go quickly downhill in case of GX200 with each next ISO step.

(click each image to see it in 100% resolution)

Sharpness test:
24mm.png
24mm f2.5 1/97 ISO100
24mm.png (362.3 KiB) Viewed 7729 times

28mm.png
28mm f2.7 1/90 ISO100
28mm.png (353.14 KiB) Viewed 7699 times

35mm.png
35mm f2.9 1/68 ISO100
35mm.png (352.78 KiB) Viewed 7701 times

50mm.png
50mm f3.5 1/36 ISO100
50mm.png (359.08 KiB) Viewed 7701 times

72mm.png
72mm f4.4 1/17 ISO100
72mm.png (358.86 KiB) Viewed 7715 times


CRA test (center):
24mm_cra.png
24mm - near center
24mm_cra.png (193.7 KiB) Viewed 7697 times

28mm_cra.png
28mm - near center
28mm_cra.png (144.92 KiB) Viewed 7645 times

35mm_cra.png
35mm - near center
35mm_cra.png (153.15 KiB) Viewed 7617 times

50mm_cra.png
50mm - near center
50mm_cra.png (102.94 KiB) Viewed 7646 times

72mm_cra.png
72mm - near center
72mm_cra.png (152.76 KiB) Viewed 7685 times


CRA test (left corner):
24mm_cra_corner.png
24mm - near left corner
24mm_cra_corner.png (202.32 KiB) Viewed 7729 times

28mm_cra_corner.png
28mm - near left corner
28mm_cra_corner.png (234.82 KiB) Viewed 7776 times

35mm_cra_corner.png
35mm - near left corner
35mm_cra_corner.png (221.47 KiB) Viewed 7747 times

50mm_cra_corner.png
50mm - near left corner
50mm_cra_corner.png (251.89 KiB) Viewed 7709 times

72mm_cra_corner.png
72mm - near left corner
72mm_cra_corner.png (184.98 KiB) Viewed 7825 times
Pavel Kudrys
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Re: S10 vs GX200 - lens sharpness and chromatic aberration test

Postby waloszek » Sun Jan 31, 2010 10:59 pm

Hi Pavel,

Thank you for your instructive test! Regrettably (or not...), I can no longer do such a comparison, because I sold my GX200. Perhaps, I can find one or the other scene in summer that I can "replay" with the S10...

I always found the GX 200 JPEG processing very aggressive compared with the GX100 that I had owned before. Your test confirms this and also that the S10 processing is a lot less aggressive. However, I did not expect the S10 to be able to compete in "perceived" sharpness with the GX200. CA seems, however, to be noticeably stronger for the S10, particularly in the DNG files.

I always thought that the S10 optics were more or less a revamped GX200 lens. However, there may be some subtle differences. For example, you write that the S10 lens diameter seems to be a small bit larger. I found, that at least the outer diameter is smaller than on the GX100 or 200 -- don't exactly know which one: I bought a Hama LED ring light for macro shots, because I thought that it would fit my wife's R8 (at that time...). It didn't! It also did not fit my GX, but it could at least be used (because it nearly fit). I intended to sell the light, but when I tried it on the S10, it DID fit to my surprise!

Best regards, Gerd

The Hama macro light:

R0019008_sm.jpg
R0019008_sm.jpg (53.86 KiB) Viewed 6981 times
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Re: S10 vs GX200 - lens sharpness and chromatic aberration test

Postby odklizec » Mon Feb 01, 2010 12:13 am

Hi Gerd,

Interesting point about S10 lens size! Well, I did not measure the lens yet, but it appears to be larger? In addition, S10 uses new HA-3 tube, which is visibly larger than HA-2. The lens thread is the same but the diameter of tube is larger. I will try to measure both S10 and GX200 lens diameter. Maybe I will do also S10 vs. GX100. If not the lens sharpness test, then definitely ISO test. Too bad it takes so much time only to make all crops.

Does anyone know a good Crop-specific program capable of making crops from multiple shots with just few mouse clicks? ;)
EDIT:
Folks, I moved all your comments regarding the cropping tool to this topic:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=4083
Sadly, my "initial" post is now at the end of topic. Topic merge apparently sorts the posts based of the entry date ;)
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Re: S10 vs GX200 - lens sharpness and chromatic aberration test

Postby kshapero » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:42 pm

After reading your test I would not see a need to upgrade my GX200 (Noise Ninja satisfies my need) to the GXR S10, But maybe for the 50MM lens. Having 2 bodies would be sweet.
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