Leica 50-200mm f2.8-4 review - Quality

Quality

To illustrate and compare the quality of the Leica DG 50-200mm f2.8-4 lens, I took a series of shots with it at a variety of focal lengths and aperture values, before then taking matching versions with the Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 PRO zoom. All images were taken with the Olympus OMD EM1 Mark II in RAW and processed using Adobe Camera RAW using 50 / 0.5 / 36 / 10 sharpening and with all profiles and corrections disabled; note there may still be some non-optional corrections applied though. I have four sets of tests at 50, 100, 150 and 200mm, with the first three including direct comparisons with the Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 PRO at the same focal lengths. In each case, I’ve taken crops from the corner and centre of each image and presented them below at 100% for comparison; the cropped areas are indicated by the red frames in the complete images below.

 

 

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First let’s compare the lenses at 50mm where both can be opened to f2.8. I’ll start with the performance from each in the corner of the frame, followed by the centre.

 

Leica 50-200mm vs Olympus 40-150mm at 50mm (corner sharpness at 100%)

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Above: Leica 50-200mm (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm (right). 100% crops from corner at 50mm f2.8

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm (right). 100% crops from corner at 50mm f4

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm (right). 100% crops from corner at 50mm f5.6

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm (right). 100% crops from corner at 50mm f8

 

Leica 50-200mm vs Olympus 40-150mm at 50mm (centre sharpness at 100%)

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Above: Leica 50-200mm (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm (right). 100% crops from centre at 50mm f2.8

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm (right). 100% crops from centre at 50mm f4

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm (right). 100% crops from centre at 50mm f5.6

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm (right). 100% crops from centre at 50mm f8

 

Leica DG 50-200mm vs Olympus 40-150mm PRO at 100mm

Next let’s compare the two lenses set to 100mm. Note this time the Leica is operating at a maximum aperture of f3.6, so in the first row you’ll be comparing f3.6 against the Olympus at f2.8 where the latter is almost one stop faster. I’ll start with the performance from each in the corner of the frame, followed by the centre.

 

 

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Leica 50-200mm vs Olympus 40-150mm at 100mm (corner sharpness at 100%)

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Above: Leica 50-200mm at 100mm f3.6 (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm at 100mm f2.8 (right). 100% crops from corner

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm (right). 100% crops from corner at 100mm f4

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm (right). 100% crops from corner at 100mm f5.6

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm (right). 100% crops from corner at 100mm f8

 

Leica 50-200mm vs Olympus 40-150mm at 100mm (centre sharpness at 100%)

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Above: Leica 50-200mm at 100mm f3.6 (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm at 100mm f2.8 (right). 100% crops from centre

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm (right). 100% crops from centre at 100mm f4

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm (right). 100% crops from centre at 100mm f5.6

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm (right). 100% crops from centre at 100mm f8

 

Leica DG 50-200mm vs Olympus 40-150mm PRO at 150mm

Next let’s compare the two lenses set to 150mm, which is the longest length for the Olympus. Note this time the Leica is operating at a maximum aperture of f3.9, so in the first row you’ll be comparing f3.9 against the Olympus at f2.8 where the latter is essentially one stop faster. I’ll start with the performance from each in the corner of the frame, followed by the centre.

 

 

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Leica 50-200mm vs Olympus 40-150mm at 150mm (corner sharpness at 100%)

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Above: Leica 50-200mm at 150mm f3.9 (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm at 150mm f2.8 (right). 100% crops from corner

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm (right). 100% crops from corner at 150mm f4

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm (right). 100% crops from corner at 150mm f5.6

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm (right). 100% crops from corner at 150mm f8

 

Leica 50-200mm vs Olympus 40-150mm at 150mm (centre sharpness at 100%)

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Above: Leica 50-200mm at 150mm f3.9 (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm at 150mm f2.8 (right). 100% crops from centre

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm (right). 100% crops from centre at 150mm f4

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm (right). 100% crops from centre at 150mm f5.6

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm (left) vs Olympus 40-150mm (right). 100% crops from centre at 150mm f8

 

 

Leica DG 50-200mm at 200mm

And finally the performance of the Leica DG 50-200mm at its longest focal length of 200mm, where I’m testing it in isolation and starting at its maximum aperture of f4. As before, I’ll start with the performance in the corner of the frame, followed by the centre.

 

 

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Leica 50-200mm at 200mm (corner sharpness at 100%)

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Above: Leica 50-200mm. 100% crop from corner at 200mm f4

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm. 100% crop from corner at 200mm f5.6

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm. 100% crop from corner at 200mm f8

 

Leica 50-200mm at 200mm (centre sharpness at 100%)

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Above: Leica 50-200mm. 100% crop from centre at 200mm f4

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm. 100% crop from centre at 200mm f5,6

 

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Above: Leica 50-200mm. 100% crop from centre at 200mm f8

 

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