Panasonic 7-14 f4 or Olympus 12mm f2

Started Mar 24, 2012 | Discussions thread
Henning W Regular Member • Posts: 123
Re: 3 points for the Olympus 12mm f2, (and 9-18mm)

bedhead wrote:

Yes, the distortion is FAR greater below 12mm on the 7-14. after a second weekend with a 7-14 i'm saving for the Oly 12. (at 7-9mm the camera must be at 99.9% of perpendicular, and the subject must be nearly centered.

Don't get me wrong, 7mm is FUN. For a day or two... And again, the lens performs like a 12mm should perform. But from what I've seen only on dpr, the Oly 12 will do it more magnificently.

The distortion of the 7-14 is extremely low, and is much less than that of any other lens that goes that wide unless they are of symmetrical design. The reason is that it is corrected in software in camera, and that is part of the design. The distortion of the 12 is also extremely low, but of course it is hardly as wide.

I think the distortion you are referring to is that inherent in rectilinear lenses trying to project an extremely wide angle of view onto a two dimensional plane while keeping straight lines straight. When you get that wide (or wider), you get a choice of which type of 'drawing distortion' you want, but you can't get away without this 'drawing distortion' (this is separate from the 'optical distortion' mentioned at the beginning, which is very low for this lens).

You can get this 'drawing distortion' that very wide rectilinear lenses exhibit, where building look tipped over if you point the lens up a little, or spherical objects (like heads) look ovoid in the corners, or with a fisheye you get the typical curved lines away from the axes drawn through the centre, or you get the curved lines above and below the horizon if the image is made with a swing lens camera or stitched in a barrel projection.

If you don't want any of those types of 'drawing distortion' you have to stay with lenses in the range of 50 to 100mm EFL.


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