LensTip.com

Lens review

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO

3 June 2020
Maciej Latałło

6. Distortion

When it comes to distortion, Olympus cameras very often help lenses to correct it – small wonder that aberration is not especially bothersome for JPEG file format. You get some chances to notice it only at 12 mm focal length where we noticed the barrel variation of this aberration amounting to −1.51%. At other focal lengths distortion is reduced, within the margin of error, to a value amounting to zero. Officially, at 14, 18, 25, 35, and 45 mm focal lengths we registered the following results: −0.16%, −0.08%, +0.06%, −0.13% and −0.07%.

Still, the real distortion performance can be observed only on RAW files developped by dcraw program and we have to say don't like it at all. At 12 mm distortion is really huge, reaching −6.87%, quite a lot for a rectilinear lens. If it wasn't enough, you can also notice quite distinct moustache distortion so measurement limited to 1:1 markings area shows even a higher level of that aberration, −7.22%.

If you expected distortion would drop quickly with lengthening of the focal length you could feel disappointed. At 14 mm you deal with a continually huge level of −4.94%. What's more, moustache distortion can still be noticed because in the area limited by 1:1 markings distortion reaches as high as −5.34%.


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That's not the end of bad news. Even at 18 mm we managed to notice 'barrel' of -2.13% and it was once again disrupted by moustache distortion – in that case limiting the measurement area to 1:1 markings provided a result of −2.52%

Only near 25 mm focal length you can get rid of distortion as our measurements provided a negligible level of that aberration, amounting to +0.27%. With the lengthening of the focal length pincushion deformation increase as well, reaching +1.41% at 35 mm, and +1.75% at 45 mm.

It is clear that the constructors of the Olympus 12-45 mm gave up on distortion correction completely and, in this category, the lens has to rely on software of the camera.

Olympus E-M5 II, JPEG, 12 mm
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO - Distortion
Olympus E-M5 II, JPEG, 14 mm
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO - Distortion
Olympus E-M5 II, JPEG, 18 mm
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO - Distortion
Olympus E-M5 II, JPEG, 25 mm
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO - Distortion
Olympus E-M5 II, JPEG, 35 mm
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO - Distortion
Olympus E-M5 II, JPEG, 45 mm
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO - Distortion

Olympus E-M5 II, RAW, 12 mm
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO - Distortion
Olympus E-M5 II, RAW, 14 mm
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO - Distortion
Olympus E-M5 II, RAW, 18 mm
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO - Distortion
Olympus E-M5 II, RAW, 25 mm
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO - Distortion
Olympus E-M5 II, RAW, 35 mm
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO - Distortion
Olympus E-M5 II, RAW, 45 mm
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45 mm f/4.0 PRO - Distortion