Wide-angle micro 4/3 lens reviews

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lens Review
Introduction | Panasonic LUMIX G Vario 7-14mm F/4 ASPH | Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12mm f2.0 | Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f/2.8

In the small-size zoom category, here is Panasonic’s very-wide-angle (114°) lens. Compact, its focal length is the equivalent of a 14-28 mm over the entire field. This is the widest-angle fisheye currently available for micro 4/3 mounts. Only the aging Olympus ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 7-14mm F4.0 furnishes an equivalent focal length, but it requires an adapter ring.

Measurements

Let’s take a look at the Panasonic LUMIX G Vario 7-14mm’s DxOMark scores.

The pluses:

  • Good resolution (57lp/mm).

The minuses:

  • Not bright (4.4 T-stop).
  • Quite strong vignetting (–1.5EV).
  • Strong chromatic aberrations (19µm).
  • High-priced.

Comparison

Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM Canon vs Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH

The strengths and weaknesses of the Panasonic (mounted on a Canon EOS 7D) when compared to the Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM (mounted on a Panasonic Lumix DMC GH2 APS-C):

The pluses:

  • Controlled vignetting.
  • Very good resolution.

The minuses:

  • Not as bright (4.4 T-stop).
  • The measured distortion is higher (the distortion present in RAW files is systematically corrected for RGB image files in the camera).

Conclusion

The Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH is a very nice fisheye lens with impressive sharpness. The distortion is strong but is corrected during processing. Still, beware: the price is very high for a lens that isn’t very bright. Some photographers may want to opt for the less costly Olympus MZUIKO DIGITAL ED 9-18mm f/4-f/5.6 instead.