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Lens review

Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54 mm f/2.8-3.5

3 March 2010
Szymon Starczewski

8. Vignetting

In the case of the Four Thirds system, which boasts about lack of vignetting problems, the checking whether it is really the case is always an interesting process. The ZD’s 14-54 mm situation is not a rosy one but if we compare it with the performance of APS-C/DX sensor lenses the results do start to look better.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54 mm f/2.8-3.5 - Vignetting


At the most difficult combination of wide angle and the maximum relative aperture we have the light fall-off amounting to 30% ( -1.03 EV). On stopping down to f/4.0 the vignetting decreases to 14% and by f/5.6 it practically disappears (9%).

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A noticeably better situation can be observed in the middle of the focal range. There, at the maximum relative aperture, the brightness loss is 23% ( -0.75 EV). On using the f/4.0 aperture the problem decreases to 15% and by f/5.6 it disappears completely (8%).

In-between results we record at 54 mm. By f/3.5 the vignetting amounted to 27% ( -0.91 EV). On stopping down to f/4.0 the light fall-off decreased to 22% and by f/5.6 – to 15%. Only the relative aperture of f/8 eliminates this aberration completely (9%).

According to the promise it is worth checking how the Olympus fares against the background of its APS-C/DX competitors which have the widest angle of view very much alike and the same good f/2.8 fastness. The popular Sigma 17-70 mm records the maximum vignetting at the level of 40%, the same weak result we see in the case of the Canon 17-55 mm IS USM. Only a tad better performs the Tamron 17-50 f/2.8 which reaches 38%. However it is still possible to find a lens better than the Olympus – it is the Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 Macro, having at the widest angle a very good result of 23%.


Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54 mm f/2.8-3.5 - Vignetting


Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54 mm f/2.8-3.5 - Vignetting


Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54 mm f/2.8-3.5 - Vignetting