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Lens review

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 7-14 mm f/2.8 ED PRO

9 February 2016
Szymon Starczewski

6. Distortion

In the case of the Micro Four Thirds format the Olympus company often gives up on the optical distortion correction, leaving that task to the software of the camera. The tested lens is not an exception to that rule. As long as you work with JPEG files the distortion won’t be especially bothersome. At 7 mm it amounts to −2.70%, being noticeable only in that place. At 10 mm it decreases to −0.27%, and at 14 mm it is just +0.18%.

Still the situation observed in RAW files can only be called dramatic. At 7 mm you get −8.04% of ‘barrel’ so the image starts to be similar to the photos taken with a ‘fisheye’ lens. The deformations remain still noticeable at 10 mm, reaching −2.92% and only at 14 mm the distortion of +0.34% can be called negligible.

Of course giving up on correcting the distortion by the optics is a practice we don’t approve but, in order to be honest, one thing should be emphasized here. The angle of view of the corrected image is the most important issue and here the Olympus manages to defend its position pretty well because the JPEG field of view at 7mm focal length amounts to 112.8 degrees (with the measuring error not exceeding 0.1 of a degree). It is a tad less than a declared value of 114.2 degrees but the difference is not very big. It’s worth adding that using RAW files you might have a field of view as wide as 120 degrees at your disposal. It means the shortest focal length of the lens is in reality closer to 6 than to 7 mm.

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Olympus E-PL1, JPEG, 7 mm
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 7-14 mm f/2.8 ED PRO - Distortion
Olympus E-PL1, JPEG, 10 mm
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 7-14 mm f/2.8 ED PRO - Distortion
Olympus E-PL1, JPEG, 14 mm
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 7-14 mm f/2.8 ED PRO - Distortion

Olympus E-PL1, RAW, 7 mm
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 7-14 mm f/2.8 ED PRO - Distortion
Olympus E-PL1, RAW, 10 mm
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 7-14 mm f/2.8 ED PRO - Distortion
Olympus E-PL1, RAW, 14 mm
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 7-14 mm f/2.8 ED PRO - Distortion