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Lens review

Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f/1.7 ASPH

23 September 2019
Maciej Latałło

6. Distortion

Optics specialsits, responsible for designing Micro 4/3 lenses, often resign from distortion correction and let software of a camera deal with that problem. Most often it is at the expense of field of view because the one stated in official specifications is a value after distortion correction. An advantage of such an approach is such that there are more degrees of freedom when it comes to correcting other optical aberrations but there are drawbacks too. Photos tend to have lower effective resolution – after distortion correction an image is cropped so, overall, not all pixels of the sensor are effectively used.

In the case of the Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10–25 mm f/1.7 ASPH a similar approach was employed, it's enough to glance at a comparison of images saved in JPEG and RAW format, the latter developped with the dcraw program.

In the case of JPEG files you get some chances to notice distortion only at 10 mm, where you deal with slight barrel variation, amounting to −1.24%. At 12 mm that aberration is practically zero, officially being +0.16%. A very similar level can be observed at the 14 and 18 mm focal length where we got, respectively, +0.14% i +0.20%. At 25 mm the result even decreased, amounting to just +0.08%.

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For the RAW files the situation is quite different. At the widest angle of view barrel distortion is simply huge, reaching −5.98%. Even at 12 mm its level still remains high, being −3.89%. It's easy to notice it also at 14 mm, because the result we got there amounted to −2.30%. Only at 18 and 25 mm focal length you can speak about a slight level of that aberration as it reaches, respectively, −0.52% and +0.78%.

Olympus E-M5 II, JPEG, 10 mm
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Distortion
Olympus E-M5 II, JPEG, 12 mm
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Distortion
Olympus E-M5 II, JPEG, 14 mm
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Distortion
Olympus E-M5 II, JPEG, 18 mm
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Distortion
Olympus E-M5 II, JPEG, 25 mm
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Distortion

Olympus E-M5 II, RAW, 10 mm
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Distortion
Olympus E-M5 II, RAW, 12 mm
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Distortion
Olympus E-M5 II, RAW, 14 mm
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Distortion
Olympus E-M5 II, RAW, 18 mm
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Distortion
Olympus E-M5 II, RAW, 25 mm
Panasonic Leica DG Vario-Summilux 10-25 mm f/1.7 ASPH - Distortion