LensTip.com

Lens review

Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 14-35 mm f/2.0 SWD

30 August 2010
Arkadiusz Olech

9. Ghosting, flares and transmission

Let’s start with describing the transmission graph of the tested lens, which is presented below.


Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 14-35 mm f/2.0 SWD - Ghosting, flares and transmission

If you deal with one of the most advanced lenses in the E system you should expect the best performance in every category. The transmission doesn’t impress though. It’s true that we see a quite flat graph in the range from 450 to 670 nm, which ensures the right colour rendition. The problem is that the maximum transmission, in this case for red light, reaches the level of 84-85 % which can be considered medium only. It’s enough to remind here that full frame equivalents of the tested lens with the parameters of 24-70 mm f/2.8, produced by such companies as Sigma or Nikon, feature transmission level of 90-94%. Compared with it, the result of the Olympus is simply weak…


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There’s one thing which should be taken into account, though. The tested lens consists of as many as 17 groups of elements so there are 34 air-to-glass surfaces to cover. It can be easily calculated that, in order to get the 84-85% transmission level, on one surface we lose about 0.5% of light. Such a result looks a bit better but still keep in mind that the best coatings used in photography optics can reach the level of 0.2-0.3% of loss on one air-to-glass surface. We should expect such coatings in the case of the best and the most expensive lenses from any producer. Unfortunately Olympus failed to deliver here.

The loss of as much as 15% of light in the red part of the spectrum, 18-19% in the middle of the range and over 20% in the blue part must have a negative effect on the work against bright light. As you can notice in the pictures below, it does. It’s worth adding here that the flares are a bit less bothersome at the maximum aperture and a bit more so when we stop the lens down.


Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 14-35 mm f/2.0 SWD - Ghosting, flares and transmission

Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 14-35 mm f/2.0 SWD - Ghosting, flares and transmission

Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 14-35 mm f/2.0 SWD - Ghosting, flares and transmission