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Lens review

Leica D Summilux 25 mm f/1.4

5 June 2009
Arkadiusz Olech

8. Vignetting

Another popular view, that the Four Thirds lenses have no vignetting problems, proves to be wrong. Unfortunately the expensive Leica shows that these problems do happen and, what’s more important, they are quite difficult to manage because the stopping down helps to a lesser and unsatisfactory degree.

Leica D Summilux 25 mm f/1.4 - Vignetting


At the maximum relative aperture the frame corners illumination loss reaches as much as 38% ( -1.39 EV). It’s really a lot and it’s another reason why the Leica’s frame edge performance is significantly weaker than in the frame center. On stopping down to f/2.0 the vignetting level decreases only by 4%. By f/2.8 we still get 31% and by f/4.0 – as much as 27%. How weak this result is can be seen by comparing it with the achievements of the Olympus 3.5/35, which at f/3.5, so the maximum aperture for this lens, had the vignetting level of just 10%. When we stop the tested Leica down to f/5.6, the vignetting level decreases to 23%. By f/8.0 it reaches 17% and only at f/11 it becomes imperceptible.

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Results of Leica in this category are worse than these of Canon 1.4/35 in which case the maximum vignetting reached 38% and stopping down to f/2.0 decreased the effect to 16%. At the f/2.8 vignetting was imperceptible in the Canon case.


Leica D Summilux 25 mm f/1.4 - Vignetting