LensTip.com

Lens review

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17 mm f/1.8

20 November 2012
Arkadiusz Olech

6. Distortion



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When it comes to wide angle Micro 4/3 lenses some constructor give up trying to correct the distortion at the very start because they assume it will be corrected anyway by a camera’s software. By the way a lens being an equivalent of full frame 35 mm doesn’t provide an exceptionally wide angle of view so it is not difficult to correct it. Full frame 35 mm devices in our tests showed moderate barrel distortion hovering near -1.5%. That’s why we were so surprised seeing the results of the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17 mm f/1.8 on RAW files, which weren’t corrected by the software. The level we got was huge, amounting to as much as -5.80%. Let’s compare it to the results of other lenses: the Voigtlander Nokton 17.5 mm f/0.95 Aspherical had distortion of -1.7%, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17 mm f/2.8, a classic pancake device, had in on a level of -5.45% and the Panasonic G 20 mm f/1.7 ASPH. provided a ‘barrel’ measured by us as -3.66%. As you see the tested model is the worst of all lenses, presented here, even those noticeably smaller.

Of course when you pass to the JPEG files, the distortion, corrected by the software, decreases noticeably. What’s interesting it can still be seen it because the image is characterized by barrel deformations which value we measured as -0.85%.

Olympus E-PL1, JPEG
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17 mm f/1.8 - Distortion
Olympus E-PL1, RAW
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17 mm f/1.8 - Distortion