I agree, image quality is conveyed through multiple effects, it's not all just resolution. However, If I view the larger size image on Flickr for your posted example, it already looks a bit "mushy", which (from inspection) apears to be a combination of lower contrast (which had to be added back in in post-processing), poor resolution (in-focus areas should appear pixel-sharp in this small image, which it does not), flare (at high-contrast edges), and perhaps poor focus.
Originally Posted by blockend
Look, let's drop this. You keep on re-stating things I said in my original review (such as the futility of performing image quality comparison with small online JPEG images).
A 4x5in print is so tiny, that if well done, it can look like a contact print even from a so-so lens, even on ISO 400 film, if processed correctly. It doesn't exactly prove much! Still, you don't need to convince me on anything Zuiko, it's my primary system. When using top-notch lenses, and a really high-resolution film like the defunct Kodak Tech Pan, or Adox CMS (ISO 20), it becomes difficult to believe that certain large prints were made from a 35mm negative.
The best 12x16in print I ever made from a 35mm negative (from a resolution / tonality aspect) was made with a Zuiko 250mm f/2.0 shot wide open - this image:
On the print, every bit of detail in the tyre on the bottom-left is crisply resolved, it looks a bit like my medium format prints (but not quite - no 35mm can).
From what I'm seeing though, the Heliar 50mm f/3.5 likely out-resolves, out-contrasts, out-everythings even this king-of-the-zuikos, which is no mean feat. For a tiny, 5-element lens that takes 27mm filters, that's quite something
For the analogue B&W phtographer travelling light, and photographing in good light, the Heliar is a cut above pretty much anything else. And collapsed on a Leica M3, it's certainly more than pocketable (though it looks so darned good, you rather want to flaunt it like jewelery!).