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Lens tests (on the EZ 14 - 45 mm)

As the EZ 14-45 mm is the E-300's "Kit Lens" we have added a few additional tests which we would more typically carry out on prosumer digital cameras with fixed lenses.

Macro Focus

With a minimum focus distance of 38 cm it's fairly clear that the EZ 14-45 mm was never really intended as a macro lens. The best performance of 107 x 80 mm was achieved at telephoto.

Wide macro - 357 x 267 mm coverage
9 px/mm (232 px/in)
Distortion: Average
Focal length: 14 mm
Telephoto macro - 107 x 80 mm coverage
30 px/mm (768 px/in)
Distortion: None
Focal length: 45 mm

Barrel and Pincushion Distortion

The EZ 14-45 mm lens exhibited 1.2% barrel distortion at full wide angle, this is perfectly respectable considering the focal length and is better than we would expect from a prosumer level digital camera with a 28 mm equiv. wide angle. At telephoto we measured no distortion at all.

Wide angle - 1.2% Barrel distortion
Focal length: 14 mm
Telephoto - 0.0% Pincushion Distortion
Focal length: 45 mm

Purple Fringing (Chromatic Aberrations)

We hunted long and hard through the several hundred samples we shot with the E-300 and 14-45 mm to find some with purple fringing, but to no avail. The first sample below is as close as I could get, interestingly the branches which are contrast against the over-exposed sky appear to have been processed (built-in purple fringing removal?).

Thumbnail 100% Crop
14 mm, F4.5
29 mm, F5.6

Vignetting / Lens Shading

Our vignetting measurement is made by taking the average luminance value of the darkest corner of the image and comparing it to the average luminance at the center of the image, any difference greater than 15% may be visible in everyday shots. The EZ 14-45 mm had perfectly acceptable levels of lens shading at wide angle (this much wouldn't be noticeable). However at telephoto there is some noticeable shading of the frame corners which while reduced doesn't go away at smaller apertures, this could be (and was in some cases) visible in everyday shots.

Note that the E-300 doesn't have the E-1's lens shading compensation feature.

Wide angle, maximum aperture (F3.5)
10.5% maximum fall off, top left corner
Telephoto, maximum aperture (F5.6)
13.7% maximum fall off, bottom left corner
Wide angle, stopped down (F8.0)
8.0% maximum fall off, top left corner
Telephoto, stopped down (F8.0)
10.5% maximum fall off, top left corner
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