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Lens review

Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60 mm f/2.8-4.0 SWD

3 November 2009
Szymon Starczewski

8. Vignetting

A huge advantage of the Four Thirds system was supposed to be the lack of vignetting problems. Will the ZD 12-60 mm confirm that slogan of the manufacturer? When we look at the 12 mm focal length we see clearly that no, it won’t. At the maximum aperture in the frame corners we lose as much as 30% of light (-1.01 EV) which is a significant amount. Fortunately the stopping down to f/4.0 improves the result, reducing the aberration to the level of 17%; by f/5.6 it reaches only a very negligent value of 12%.

Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60 mm f/2.8-4.0 SWD - Vignetting


If you want to be objective, though, you must compare this result to the performance of the lenses mentioned in the chapter concerning distortion, with the same angle of view as the ZD 12-60 mm at 12 mm. Against such a background the lens fares very well because the other devices had brightness losses reaching as much as 42-49%.

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The situation is much better in the middle of the focal range, where vignetting practically doesn’t cause any problems at all. At 23 mm and by f/3.4 the light fall-off in the frame corners amounts to only 11% (-0.34 EV) and it decreases to 9% by f/4.0. At 40 mm and maximum relative aperture the vignetting is 15% (-0.46 EV), decreasing to 12% by f/4.0 and to 7% by f/5.6.

A tad worse performance is noticed at the maximum focal length where, by f/4.0, the vignetting reaches 21% (-0.68 EV). Fortunately by f/5.6 it decreases to the level of 12% and by f/8.0 it disappears completely (6%).


Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60 mm f/2.8-4.0 SWD - Vignetting


Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60 mm f/2.8-4.0 SWD - Vignetting


Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60 mm f/2.8-4.0 SWD - Vignetting