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Lens review

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH.

21 August 2017
Arkadiusz Olech

8. Vignetting

First let’s check the vignetting performance for JPEG files; appropriate thumbnails, shot with the help of the Olympus O-MD E-M5 Mark II, are shown below.

E-M5 II, JPEG, 8 mm, f/2.8 E-M5 II, JPEG, 8 mm, f/4.0
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. - Vignetting Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. - Vignetting
E-M5 II, JPEG, 13 mm, f/3.5 E-M5 II, JPEG, 13 mm, f/4.0
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. - Vignetting Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. - Vignetting
E-M5 II, JPEG, 18 mm, f/4.0 E-M5 II, JPEG, 18 mm, f/5.6
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. - Vignetting Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. - Vignetting


In the case of a difficult combination of the 8 mm focal length and the f/2.8 aperture you have to take into account a loss of light in the corners of 34% (−1.21 EV). That value is only seemingly high. Many lenses dedicated for bigger sensors, being slower than the Panaleica tested by us, have had vignetting of 50-70%. Compared to that the tested lens fares really well.


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On stopping down the aperture to f/4.0 the vignetting decreases to a not especially bothersome level of 18% (−0.56 EV), and on further stopping down it gets even lower, to 16% (−0.50 EV); after that the aberration doesn’t react to stopping down at all.

In the middle of the focal range the problems are even fewer. By f/3.5 you deal with a brightness loss reaching 26% (−0.88 EV), which decreases to 17% (−0.53 EV) on stopping down the aperture to f/4.0. By f/5.6 the vignetting amounts to 14% (−0.42 EV) and, like in the previous case, further stopping down doesn’t bring any measurable effects.

At the maximum focal length you see the lowest results. By f/4.0 the vignetting is 22% (−0.71 EV), and by f/5.6 it decreases to 13% (−0.42 EV); by f/8.0 and f/11.0 its values are similar.

At 13 and 18 mm we didn’t notice any significant differences between RAW and JPEG files. The results we got differed by 1-2% at the maximum so they remained, within the margin of error, the same.

More differences you can spot at the 8 mm focal length; they stem mainly from cropping JPEG images, a procedure performed after distortion correction. At that place the vignetting is 40% (−1.47 EV) so by 6% higher than on JPEG files; by f/4.0 it decreases to 27% (−0.91 EV).

To sum up, this category shows very well how a small sensor can be used for fighting vignetting. It would be difficult to find any other ultra wide-angle lens with a similar aperture fastness which would correct this aberration as well as the Panaleica, tested here.

Olympus O-MD E-M5 Mark II, JPEG, 8 mm, f/2.8
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. - Vignetting
Olympus O-MD E-M5 Mark II, JPEG, 13 mm, f/3.5
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. - Vignetting
Olympus O-MD E-M5 Mark II, JPEG, 18 mm, f/4.0
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 8-18 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. - Vignetting