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Thread: leica wide angles distortion

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    leica wide angles distortion

    do leica 21mm and 24mm have less barrel distortion then similar focal lengths from canon/nikon?


    does the leica 24mm lux have more barrel distortion then the 24mm 3.4 super elmer?

    thanks

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    Senior Member dude163's Avatar
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    Re: leica wide angles distortion

    I always thought the leica wide angles had hardly any of either

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: leica wide angles distortion

    They for sure have distortion, although it is pretty moderate.

    Having said that I guess the Leica lens profiles in LR should handle the remaining distortion pretty well.

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    Re: leica wide angles distortion

    do inferior wide angles (not naming brands) have more distortion then Leica's M lenses or not really?

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    Re: leica wide angles distortion

    Quote Originally Posted by gooomz View Post
    do inferior wide angles (not naming brands) have more distortion then Leica's M lenses or not really?
    I process a ton of images from various cameras due to using second shooters at weddings ... mostly Canon and Nikon ... and I shoot with Sony and Leica M and S cameras myself, including a M21/1.4 ASPH, 28/2 ASPH and a S35mm.

    To some degree, almost all barrel or pin cushion distortion can be corrected using the correction profiles in Lightroom. There is probably some sort of penalty for using software corrections but it isn't all that apparent in everyday shooting ... but maybe is apparent to those doing very critical work ... just like if you use manual distortion corrections and go to far, the image shows definite deterioration.

    The lenses with mustache distortion are very hard to correct. The W/A Leica M21-24-28 WATE featured some irritating mustache distortion.

    The WA zooms are more prone to distortion than primes. Canon in particular.

    Sony has the least amount of correction profiles in Lightroom, but I've found some for Canon or Nikon that do well enough.

    The M W/A lenses are pretty well corrected going in depending on the lens ... the 21/2.8 ASPH I once used showed bit less distortion than the 21/1.4 ASPH I now use, so I'd presume that the slower W/As show less. The 28/2 ASPH is not bad.

    The S lenses are probably the most well corrected of any lenses I've used to date ... when you use LR to correct the S35mm (28mm FOV) there is very little correction apparent ... some, but not a lot.

    -Marc

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    Member Kokoshawnuff's Avatar
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    Re: leica wide angles distortion

    yes. That is typically the case, but even among modern Leica lenses most expensive doesn't equate to least distortion; for example the Summilux 21 asph has about 2.3% distortion, while the now discontinued Elmarit 21 asph has just under 2%, and the newish Super Elmar has about 1.5%. But all pail in comparison to the ZM C Biogon 21mm f/4.5, which Zeiss claims is less than .5%. Ultimately once you get below 2.5% it's very difficult to tell in normal shooting conditions

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    Re: leica wide angles distortion

    Kokoshawnuff, your analysis is both interesting and detailed. I'd add that the ZM lenses, which tend to be a little larger and heavier than their Leica M counterparts, not least because they eschew aspherical elements, also tend to offer less distortion. This can be noticeable in the case of the 18mm offerings (ZM about 1% and Leica about 1.9%), 21mm f/2.8 (ZM 1%, Leica 1.5%), 24 or 25mm f/2.8 (ZM 0.8%, Leica 2%), and 35mm f/2 (ZM 0.2%, Leica 0.8%). I'd add that the distortion of the WATE at 16mm is about 3.2%.

    All the Leica lenses for which data are given above are the ASPH versions. ASPH designs can involve compromises, one of which tends to be in the quality of out of focus areas (bokeh), and another, the level of distortion. As in other areas of engineering, one doesn't necessarily achieve smallness of size without surrendering something.

    The 1.9% distortion in the Leica 18mm lens is certainly noticeable in real situations, involving horizons and/or architecture. I've personally had a little trouble with even the 1% distortion of the ZM 18mm lens, in an image with a particularly conspicuous horizon, close to the long side of an image. So I'd gently beg to differ with the statement that "once you get below 2.5% it's very difficult to tell in normal shooting conditions". But I'm sure that "normal shooting conditions" means something different to each of us!
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    Re: leica wide angles distortion

    The distortion characteristics are published for all Leica lenses in their technical papers. They're also covered in Erwin Puts' Leica Compendium and Ken Rockwell has them for the reviewed lenses.

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    Re: leica wide angles distortion

    The notion that the more expensive doesn't equate to less distortion is true in my experience. Generally, some attribute is favored over another, like max aperture speed verses distortion, or sharpness corner to corner.

    A good example is the Zeiss 40/4 FLE CFE verses the newer 40/4IF. The latter showed less distortion but was softer in the corners, where the 40IF is visibly sharper corner to corner, but displays more distortion than the lens it replaced.

    In most cases, software corrections have now become commonplace and are quite effective for correcting distortion ... so if you need a faster aperture, distortion is correctable. If you need a faster aperture than f/2, f/2.8, or f/3.4 of a lens you are using, you are stuck.

    -Marc

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: leica wide angles distortion

    Having used most of the available 21-24 lenses. The one not mentioned is the newest leica 21 3.4 asph . This is the very best of the 21 s available for the M with maybe the exception of the zeiss zm 21/4.5 which has color shading issues on the M .

    The trade off is speed but for many applications the 21SE is best in class.

    The 24/3.8 is the other frequently mentioned wide angle if distortion and edge sharpness are the priority.

    The Zeiss 21/2.8 distagon in any mount Zf or Zm are superb but the wave distortion requires the adobe profiles. Using CR or LR not a problem but not sure on other raw convertors.

    Generally

    The slower primes have formulas that minimize distortion and maintain a flat field and edge sharpness.

    Zooms generally aren t so good .

    Faster lenses probably need more corrections in post.

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    Member markowich's Avatar
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    Re: leica wide angles distortion

    the leica M 18mm has a horrible pincushion distortion, almost uncorrectable in PP. a while ago i posted an example in the leica forum, which abolutely horrified me (you can find it by a simple search over there, my user name is the same as here). mr. daniel found it normal back then...although i have not seen anything similar from (the better lenses) of 'lesser' brands like nikon....
    the interesting thing is that leica advertised the 18mm lens as an architecture lens.
    i since sold it, got the 21mm SE and it is much better in the distortion department.
    peter

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    Re: leica wide angles distortion

    Quote Originally Posted by markowich View Post
    the leica M 18mm has a horrible pincushion distortion, almost uncorrectable in PP. a while ago i posted an example in the leica forum, which abolutely horrified me (you can find it by a simple search over there, my user name is the same as here). mr. daniel found it normal back then...although i have not seen anything similar from (the better lenses) of 'lesser' brands like nikon....
    the interesting thing is that leica advertised the 18mm lens as an architecture lens.
    i since sold it, got the 21mm SE and it is much better in the distortion department.
    peter
    In my experience the Nikon 18's in particular have some of the nastiest moustache distortion. Nikon's 20's were all better, as were the 15's (I have no experience with the 14), but all the 18's - the f/4, the f/3.5 and the 2.8 were all terrible and unusable, especially in the film days. The Leica 18, while hardly good, isn't as bad as that. Conversely, the Canon 17/4 FD was a lot better, and what distortion it did have was mostly quite benign barrel type.

    I wish I could use the Zeiss 21/4.5, but that really isn't possible on the M9. It's easier to correct the distortion on the 18 with panotools than it is to correct the colour casts on the M9, although neither is fun.

    Henning

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