Lens review

Olympus Zuiko Digital 11-22 mm f/2.8-3.5

4 December 2009
Arkadiusz Olech

4. Image resolution

The resolution in the sense of the MTF 50 function values was tested by using the RAW files from an Olympus E-3 converted without any sharpening by the dcraw program. The frame centre results can be seen in the picture below.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 11-22 mm f/2.8-3.5 - Image resolution

The lens performs quite evenly although you can notice it has better results in the middle of the range. The extreme ends fare a bit worse and their results are very much alike. The weakest performance we see at 11 mm and the maximum relative aperture although, even there, the 40 lpmm level should be considered as very good. On stopping down slightly, the lens starts to perform brilliantly at every aperture.

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What’s interesting, the biggest rival of the ZD 11-22 mm is a ZD 12-60 mm, launched not so long ago, which in its 12-22 mm range fares slightly better in this category. If you own a ZD 12-60 mm and the image resolution in the frame centre is the thing you really care about, you really shouldn’t bother with buying a ZD 11-22mm.

The duel between these lenses’ results at the frame edge promises to be an interesting thing. On the one hand we have a wider range of focal lengths, on the other – a slightly wider angle of view. What was more difficult for the constructors?

Olympus Zuiko Digital 11-22 mm f/2.8-3.5 - Image resolution

What do you know! – this 1 mm of difference at the wide angle must be important indeed because the ZD 11-22 mm frame edge performance is worse than of the ZD 12-60, comparing the appropriate focal lengths range. The difference is especially visible toward the short end and at the maximum aperture where the former lens reaches a weak result of 27 lpmm and the latter a definitely better result, reaching over 36 lpmm. You must take into account the price difference between both lenses. The fact that a newer and a more expensive device performs better shouldn’t seem to be such a strange thing then.

At the end of this chapter traditionally we show our testing chart crops, saved as JPEG files straight from the camera.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 11-22 mm f/2.8-3.5 - Image resolution