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Lens review

Leica D Vario-Elmarit 14-50 mm f/2.8-3.5 Asph. Mega O.I.S.

24 September 2010
Szymon Starczewski

4. Image resolution

The resolution of the lens was tested on the strength of RAW files from the Olympus E-510 with the usage of a 3-second initial mirror luck up function. The results we got in the frame centre are presented below.

Leica D Vario-Elmarit 14-50 mm f/2.8-3.5 Asph. Mega O.I.S. - Image resolution

What could be said? You can only clap and cheer enthusiastically. First thing that sticks out is the perfect recurrence at every focal length. In the case of zoom lenses such lack of weak points is rarely observed. What’s more, the level at which we see that recurrence simply fill us with admiration. The Leica zoom lens simply doesn’t differ here from the prime Olympus 3.5/35 Macro.

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What’s interesting, the results of the Leica could have been even better had it not been for a small slip-up. When we test lenses using charts of different sizes we are able to discover differences in work at varied distanced from the photographed object. The Leica, tested here, showed a weak point having the MTFs by several percent worse on small charts so by photographing objects from closer distances.

Our experience has taught us that while high-end zooms are able to match prime lenses in the frame centre, the most often they are thoroughly beaten at the edge. Accordingly the Leica 14-50 mm is worse than the aforementioned Olympus 3.5/35 but only slightly. Although there is a bigger discrepancy between particular focal lengths (the best results at 50 mm, the weakest at 14 mm) still the lens deserves our praise for the high MTFs level and acceptable dispersion. Purists can express some reservations about the most difficult combination of the widest angle and the maximum relative aperture.

Leica D Vario-Elmarit 14-50 mm f/2.8-3.5 Asph. Mega O.I.S. - Image resolution

To sum up, such a good company as Leica certainly knows a thing or two about producing lenses. In the resolution category you can hardly criticize the tested instrument. At the very end we present some test chart crops, based on unsharpened JPEG files.

Leica D Vario-Elmarit 14-50 mm f/2.8-3.5 Asph. Mega O.I.S. - Image resolution