15-45mm EF_M kit lens V.S. 22mm EF_M

Rocky

EOS R
Jul 30, 2010
1,042
118
I read a few post about how good the 22mm is and 15-45mm kit lens is so so. I decided to do a A-B comparision with my own lenses. The attached two croped pictures are at pixel level, taken with flash at 1/200 to minize hand-shaking. 22mm is at f4 and the kit lens is also at about 22mm at f 8. ( both are supposed at optimum f stop for best performance) I cannot tell the difference between them. My not so good eye site?? Please look at both pictures and tell me which lens is used
 

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Czardoom

EOS RP
Jan 27, 2020
520
1,138
IMG_B seems clearly sharper to my eye. Of course, real world shots (not of a flat graphic) at different focal lengths would give a more complete picture.
 

Rocky

EOS R
Jul 30, 2010
1,042
118
IMG_B seems clearly sharper to my eye. Of course, real world shots (not of a flat graphic) at different focal lengths would give a more complete picture.
Thanks for the input. Will let you known which is which in a few days to try to have more opinion. Praphic is choose to have exactlt the same content
 

jd7

EOS R
CR Pro
Feb 3, 2013
997
347
I read a few post about how good the 22mm is and 15-45mm kit lens is so so. I decided to do a A-B comparision with my own lenses. The attached two croped pictures are at pixel level, taken with flash at 1/200 to minize hand-shaking. 22mm is at f4 and the kit lens is also at about 22mm at f 8. ( both are supposed at optimum f stop for best performance) I cannot tell the difference between them. My not so good eye site?? Please look at both pictures and tell me which lens is used
I would expect just about any reasonably modern lens to produce a pretty sharp image at f/8, and particularly if you are looking near the centre of the image. Lenses don't usually get a good reputation based on their performance at f/8 (unless perhaps f/8 is at or near their widest aperture, which is becoming a more relevant consideration with lenses for mirrorless systems than it was pre-mirrorless). Lenses tend to get a good, or bad, reputation for their sharpness at wider apertures, perhaps for being sharp across the whole frame (although how important sharpness towards the edges is may be arguable if a lens is likely to be used for something like portraits) and/or for a range of other characteristis such as bokeh, control of chromatic aberations, vignetting, auto-focus speed and reliability, minimum focus distance, etc. There is more to a lens than sharpness. In the end, the whole package is important, including things like size and weight, and the intended use of the lens.

If you want to compare your two lenses, I would start by comparing the sharpness of shots taken at their widest apertures (so f/2 on the 22mm prime and the widest aperture the zoom can manage when it is at 22mm), comparing shots taken at their widest common aperture (so stop down the 22mm prime to the same aperture that is the zoom's widest aperture when it is at 22mm), and perhaps comparing shots when both lenses are at f/8. Look at the sharpness towards the edges as well as in near the middle. I would also take some shots against strong backlighting to compare colour fringing on high contrast edges and metal/reflective surfaces, and some shots with a reaonably out of focus background to compare bokeh (more complex backgrounds, eg foliage, tend to show up differences in bokeh more than simple backgrounds). Test the auto-focus as best you can. There are a million other tests you could do too. And think about how and when you might use a lens (eg the fact the 22mm is so small and light may or may not be significant to you).

Another approach is simply to look at a bunch of photos taken with each lens displayed how you usually display photos (eg on a screen of a certain size, in a print of a certain size, etc) and ask yourself if you see a difference. If you don't, that's fine. You can certainly make an argument that the internet often over-states the practical differences between lenses by obsessing over differences which appear only in limited conditions and/or are unlikely to be noticed when a whole image is viewed in the way it is likely to be viewed (ie on a particular type and size of screen or print). There will almost certainly be differences between two lenses, but how much practical difference those differences can be harder to quantify (and the answer will depend on a number of factors, including how the images will be view, eg the larger an image is displayed, the more likely it is you will notice issues).

To answer you question about the two pictures you posted, image B looks a little sharper or perhaps higher contrast to me. My guess if image B is the one shot at f/8, so in this case the zoom. I won't be shocked if I am wrong though, and I agree there isn't much difference between the two images. I don't find that very surprising though given they were shot at f/4 and f/8, and particularly if you are looking near the centre of the image and the prime is the one at f/4.
 
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Rocky

EOS R
Jul 30, 2010
1,042
118
B is from Kit lens, A is from 22mm. Both are 15% off center. Thanks for helping my "bad eyes". Anoth picture at pixel level from kit lens
 

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ReflexVE

Fujifilm X-S10 (M50 Veteran)
CR Pro
May 5, 2020
92
92
Renton, WA
B is from Kit lens, A is from 22mm. Both are 15% off center. Thanks for helping my "bad eyes". Anoth picture at pixel level from kit lens
I want to second what was stated above. These are very different lenses for very different purposes. The point of the 22mm f/2 are two-fold: 1) it's a prime lens capable of a much faster max aperture, so it can get types of shots the zoom cannot; and 2) it is a pancake lens, meaning it is extremely small and very nice for travel photography.

On the 15-45 there is a lot of evidence if fairly wide sample variation, some copies produce pretty poor results, others are outstanding. I was lucky with mine, the results are very good at least for the shots I took with it (I don't have my M50 anymore). I never really took to the 22mm, but likely due to already owning the 32mm whcih was a phenomenal lens for that body.

I also want to say you can really only compare two lenses at the same aperture and focal length, and if they are nearly identical at 22mm f/3.5 the 'more valuable' lense would depend on which you value more: the ability to gather more light via the f/2 capabilities of the prime, or the ability to have a wider range of coal lengths via the 15-45mm capability of the zoom. Both answers are valid depending on your need.