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Lens review

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH.

25 June 2018
Maciej Latałło

4. Image resolution

The resolution test (resolution meaning MTF50 function values) of the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50–200 mm f/2.8–4 ASPH. was based on RAW files from the Olympus O-MD E-M5 Mark II . In that case the decency level is situated near 48-50 lpmm and high quality, fixed focal lenses can reach a level of 85 lpmm and higher. The record values belong to the Panasonic Leica DG Elmarit 200 mm f/2.8 POWER O.I.S., which exceeded 91 lpmm and the Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 45 mm f/1.2 PRO which was able to get almost to 96 lpmm.

Let’s check how the tested lens compares – a graph below presents its results in the frame centre at 50, 100, 150, and 200 mm focal lengths.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. - Image resolution

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The performance of the tested lens is very good – it is able to reach 60 lpmm or higher across the focal range already from the maximum relative aperture. There are no record broken here but these are hardly expected from telephoto zoom lenses with such an aperture fastness. In the Micro 4/3 system records can be broken near f/2.8 and in this case such a fastness is available only at the shortest focal length and it is its maximum relative aperture, still influenced by many optical aberrations. However that good aperture fastness allows you at 50 mm get the best results which, on stopping down the lens, soar to near 80 lpmm.

What’s interesting and praiseworthy, the producer additionally decided to optimize their instrument for the longest focal length despite the slowest aperture, offered at that place. It was a difficult task, in the Micro 4/3 system diffraction is already felt from f/4.0 to f/5.6 focal range and when you join that with other optical aberrations the achievements of the lens can be diminished very badly. Here they saw to achieving good results so your photos at 200 mm are sharp and really beyond reproach.

However, in order not to paint an overly rosy picture, you must add that with such a high price of the tested lens there should be more results close to 80 lpmm.

Now let’s check how the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50–200 mm f/2.8–4 ASPH. fares on the edge of the frame – an appropriate graph we show below.

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. - Image resolution


The situation is similar – you get very solid values but without fireworks. Already from the maximum relative aperture the results land near 50 lpmm so a level we consider to be useful. The middle of the focal range is better for a change and – as the next chapter will explain – it’s due to good chromatic aberration correction.

At the end, traditionally, we present crops taken from photos of our resolution testing chart saved as JPEG files along RAW files we used of the analysis above.

Olympus E-M5 II, JPEG, 50 mm f/5.6
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. - Image resolution
Olympus E-M5 II, JPEG, 100 mm, f/3.6
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 50-200 mm f/2.8-4 ASPH. - Image resolution