m4/3 primes are "stellar"?: distortion comparison to other lenses

Started Jul 3, 2013 | Discussions thread
ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Flat view
walkaround
Senior MemberPosts: 1,035Gear list
Like?
m4/3 primes are "stellar"?: distortion comparison to other lenses
Jul 3, 2013

Caveat: my favorite two cameras are the GX1 and E-PL5, and I use and enjoy the Oly 17mm 1.8. I also think the Olympus jpeg engine is superior to all other cameras on the market. So please don't bother saying I am some kind of Canon/Leica/Fuji troll, etc...

In another thread I made the reply to someone blasting Sony primes that Panasonic and Olympus m4/3 primes are not "stellar", and in fact are mediocre at best. Someone asked me if I want to 'recant' that. No, I do not.

I did about 15 minutes of browsing to find these numbers, and no I did not cherry-pick. I threw in some Canon EF lenses just as a comparison.

I understand that there is more to lens performance than a distortion number... but these results don't look all that "stellar" to me. M4/3 primes are consistantly higher in distortion than any other primes. I believe the Pany/Oly designers have made a decision to favor small size, cost, and speed over IQ. Then they attempt to correct it in post.

Having said that, often there are no other autofocus options in a particular focal length, or the alternative is too pricey, so the m4/3 lenses can be the best/only option. Everything in photography is a compromise, but please don't go around bragging about something that in reality your camera's algorithms are doing, not your glass.

Lens, distortion %, price

Olympus 75mm 1.8, 0.44%, $899
Voigtlander 75mm 1.8, 0.27%, $699
Canon EF 85mm 1.8, 0.14%, $369

Olympus 45mm 1.8, 1.02%, $349
Canon 50mm 1.8, 0.37%, $110
Zeiss 50mm 2.0 ZM, 0.17%, $859
Voigtlander 50mm 1.5, 0.08%, $899

Panasonic 25mm 1.4, 2.73%, $569
Canon EF 24mm 2.8, 1.32%, $699
Voigtlander 25mm 0.95, 1.07%, $999

Panasonic 20mm 1.7, 3.26%, $399
Canon EF 20mm 2.8, 1.89%, $489
Zeiss 21mm 2.8 ZF, 1.70%, $1843

Olympus 17mm 1.8, 4.54%, $499
Voigtlander 17mm 0.95, 1.77%, $1149
Zeiss 18mm f3.5 ZE, 1.77%, $1395

Olympus 12mm 2.0, 5.45%, $799
Voigtlander 12mm 5.6, 1.84%, $799

 walkaround's gear list:walkaround's gear list
Canon ELPH 310 HS Nikon Coolpix P310 Canon PowerShot S110 NEX5R Olympus PEN E-PL5 +6 more
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX1
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Flat view
Post (hide subjects)Posted by
YawnNew
FehNew
ForumParentFirstPreviousNextNext unread
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark post MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow