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Lens review

Fujifilm Fujinon XF 35 mm f/2 R WR

22 October 2015
Szymon Starczewski

6. Distortion

The Fujifilm company isn’t consistent in their distortion correction policy. In some lenses they do it as it should be done, in others they give up the correction of that aberration leaving that task to software of a camera. As a result that aberration might be invisible in JPEG files but in RAW files, developed by an independent program, its level might be high. Of course the distortion correction and passing from RAW files to JPEG files is done at the expense of the field of view. It creates a bit of confusion because some producer state the dimension of the field of view for RAWs and others – for already corrected JPEGs.

In the case of a 35 mm lens which on the APS-C sensor is a standard instrument, we hoped, even expected, the distortion correction would be done by the optics, not the software. Certainly we weren’t prepared for the performance of the Fujinon 2/35.

In RAW files, developed by independent software, the distortion level, for such an angle of view, is huge. Our measurements showed that you deal here with “barrel” of −3.49%.

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In JPEG files the distortion is corrected but, I suppose, ‘overcorrected’ would be a better term. Instead of leveling it off nicely to zero the software provides pincushion deformations of +0.68%.

As you see, if it’s not one thing it’s another. It’s worth mentioning, though, that in a few days’ time a new version of software is going to be released; perhaps it will allow a proper distortion correction. Unfortunately the distortion visible on RAW files will remain anyway…

Fujifilm X-E1, JPEG
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 35 mm f/2 R WR - Distortion
Fujifilm X-E1, RAW
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 35 mm f/2 R WR - Distortion