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Thread: Panasonic Lumix LX3 lens quality

  1. #1
    David Paul Carr
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    Panasonic Lumix LX3 lens quality

    Interesting discussion here and food for thought about the "legendary quality" of Leica lenses....

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/[email protected]/

  2. #2
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic Lumix LX3 lens quality

    Very interesting but the bottom line is your stuck with there raw processing software. That is not good. Just another damn program you have to have and something else in 3rd party maybe much better.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic Lumix LX3 lens quality

    does the GX200 do this? I went and fondled the DLux4 4 and shot a few things in the store. I have to admit I was somewhat underwhelmed. The lens is fast and you can use lower ISO indoors. Plus the shooting performance is snappier. But when I zoomed in on the images in-camera it frankly didn't thrill me. I'm sure there is tweaking to be done in raw and I was on "factory" settings (dynamic I think). It certainly didn't make me want to run out and ditch my DLux3. It did make me ponder a GX200 though, as my brief foray with the GRDII had it's moments...

  4. #4
    wbrandsma
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    Re: Panasonic Lumix LX3 lens quality

    I haven't noticed any differences in the GX200 jpegs and RAW files. So I think there is no correction applied in-camera.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic Lumix LX3 lens quality

    That is good news. Really there should not be much difference except for the typical stuff but distortion is not one of those good things easily corrected after the fact, just more work.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Panasonic Lumix LX3 lens quality

    I have not noticed that much difference in RAW -- GX200 and LX-3 when it comes to the distortion factor. I can see the distortion using wide angle but the two are not that much different between the two cameras. I will say the LX-3 does have more severe CA/fringing and I am amazed how well the in camera jpg can process it out without much other negatives. There are some examples where i cannot get quite as good results using silkypix or noise ninja starting with the RAW image.

    My conclusion is that both cameras have wide angle distortion issues and I am not convinced there is that much difference at this time.

    PS There is an in camera distortion setting in the Ricoh and I believe i have this set to off. I need to go and look if this distortion filter is applied to the RAW as well as the jpg generated image.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic Lumix LX3 lens quality

    That would be good to know Mark. Thanks
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Panasonic Lumix LX3 lens quality

    Guy I think the thread you raise is important because going back and reading where the original posts come from. I see the issue is that the concern is that at least some of the LX-3 distortion is software fixed in silkypix via the RAW regardless of the default modes. The concern is some image degradation and loss of pixels. I have never done the comparison to the point I can see if pixels are being lost. Most of my comparisons were between the LX-3 and GX 200 and because the 16:9 4:3. 3:2 format differences in megapixels makes getting the exact image frame more difficult to compare. We can go through all the issues about best way to accomplish this. I should do some jpg vs RAW image frame comparisons between the two cameras and see what the differences might be.

    To be honest this camera is my carry around point and shoot, and some of these parameters are just not that important for me.
    The bottom line is: Noise is worse with GX-200 at almost all isos-- but not as tolerable at iso 200 and above. Camera design and control advantage goes to the GX200, CA goes to GX200. IN camera jpg processing algorithms goes to LX-3 (not that important to me). THe LX-3 lens is faster. If it were not for the noise issues especially at the higher isos, I would pick the GX-200 but for a general carry around camera, I still prefer the LX-3.

    SO clearly a mixed bag and depending on what is most important to each of us----


    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    That would be good to know Mark. Thanks

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic Lumix LX3 lens quality

    Exactly Mark and I agree most P&S camera are more for just getting a shot when you don't carry they monster stuff around and most likely folks attitude is does not really matter so much. I would think tough the distortion correction would have to affect some pixels for sure. It has always been debated that it happens in PS with those type of corrections, seems it would apply here as well.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  10. #10
    David Paul Carr
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    Re: Panasonic Lumix LX3 lens quality

    For the Lumix LX3: the incredibly simple attitude to high ISO noise - use a faster lens. Pity that we haven't seen that since the Olympus C5050.
    I've pretty much given up on noise-free high ISO images from "small sensor cameras". With current technology, faster lenses are the only solution and there aren't that many around.
    Plus HD video which has, mysteriously, been removed from the Canon G10.

    I stumbled on the Flickr thread. Normally, I use PTLens with my Canon G9 and the results are pretty good, so the idea of correcting distortion with software isn't taboo.

    What bothers me here is 1) being tied to one rather clunky raw processor (PTLens can't process LX3 raw files) and 2) that if I want a distortion-corrected image it will be interpolated, even at the beginning of my workflow.

  11. #11
    Senior Member 4season's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic Lumix LX3 lens quality

    The LX3's lens sounds like an engineering tradeoff, that's all: Maybe there was no other way to build a lens meeting those parameters, in such a small space? Leica's specs indicate that there are 8 lens elements involved, a number of them aspherics. Ricoh uses eleven, with aspherics and special glass, but max aperture is "only" f/2.5 That's really an amazing level of complexity given how small and outwardly simple these cameras are. I've used Olympus 4/3rds zooms which had more barrel distortion than the Ricoh.

  12. #12
    asabet
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    Re: Panasonic Lumix LX3 lens quality

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Very interesting but the bottom line is your stuck with there raw processing software.
    I'm pretty confident there will be wide support by third party RAW developers. However, most of them won't automatically correct the barrel distortion.

    As you know, for ultimate resolution, it's best to leave the distortion uncorrected. Overall, it's not a big deal to me because of several reasons: 1) I like C1, which supports the D-LUX 4 and automatically corrects the barrel distortion; 2) Raw Developer supports the LX3, and I'm a big fan of RD even though it doesn't correct the distortion; 3) PTLens supports the LX3, so anyone who uses a RAW app that doesn't correct the distortion can do a batch correction in PTLens if desired; 4) When I choose to leave the distortion uncorrected, I have a wider than 24mm equivalent lens, which is a pretty cool option to have.

    What I don't like about this situation is that the RAW apps which ship with these cameras (Silkypix for LX3 and C1 for D-LUX 4) don't give you the option to leave the distortion uncorrected. In fact, C1 automatically corrects all the distortion instead of leaving the same bit of barrel distortion that one finds in the in-camera corrected JPEGs. I'd prefer to always have the choice, in any given RAW app, whether to leave the distortion or have it corrected.

    As for whether the lens is a good one, I think it is. This is a sharp lens, across the frame, with good contrast and flare resistance. It suffers from some color fringing and a lot of barrel distortion, but that is a compromise I can accept for the lens speed. None of the f/2-2.x lenses from the older digital cameras were this small. Most of those cameras were quite boxy compared to the LX3. This isn't a very good shot, but it shows something that no other compact today can do, which is get this type of background blur at 60mm equivalent with the trees no far behind my wife (D-LUX 4 at full tele, wide open):



    The G10 can do it at 100mm equivalent, so it really comes down to the working distance one prefers.

    The GX100/200 have a great lens. It too is sharp across the frame, and it has much less barrel distortion than the LX3 lens at the wide end. However, the GX lens is more susceptible to veiling flare, and it's quite slow at the tele end.

    The DP1 lens is basically perfect if you can accept the fact that it is f/4 and doesn't zoom. The GRD lens is also hard to fault.

    All of the zoom lenses on compacts come with their compromises. I have no regrets so far about going for the LX3/D-LUX.

  13. #13
    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic Lumix LX3 lens quality

    FAB shot of the Mrs. .....
    Great tones, lovely overall FEEL
    & the background softness accentuates the sharpness in the portrait
    beautiful

  14. #14
    David Paul Carr
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    Re: Panasonic Lumix LX3 lens quality

    Amin, I have PTLens 1.2 running on a Mac and, although it reads the EXIF and correctly identifies the model, there are no profiles in the database to correct distortion on the LX3.
    I've had a quick look on the website and don't see the LX3 as a supported model. Am I doing something wrong?

  15. #15
    asabet
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    Re: Panasonic Lumix LX3 lens quality

    Hi David, there is a thread about this here. It seems like it will only work with TIFF files in the Photoshop plugin version of PTLens. It should work with JPEGs in the standalone version. I haven't used it myself, but that's what I took away from that thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by helenhill View Post
    FAB shot of the Mrs. .....
    Great tones, lovely overall FEEL
    & the background softness accentuates the sharpness in the portrait
    beautiful
    Thanks Helen!

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    Re: Panasonic Lumix LX3 lens quality

    I did some tests --- I used CS3 for GX200 and silkypix for LX3 raw files. I do not see any difference in jpg vs silkypix converted in terms of distortion. THe GX200 camera distortion setting does not seem to do anything between jpg and RAW images. Anyway, here is a set of shots i took. Camera was on a tripod and leveled. I shot jpg and RAW and here i am posting one example of RAW image-- resized to 640 horizontal, top image is panasonic. The full crops are upper right side. Lens 24mm equivalent f2.5. I placed RAW sharpening to lowest (off) in each program. I am sorry white balance and exposure not exact but the point is to look at the bar. distortion.
    The panasonic images show less distortion but based on the other posts, I assume this is software based. In the end, I do not see this as a major problem for the LX-3. Overall, not a clear winner in cameras but will still be selling my GX 200.
    Last edited by mark1958; 15th March 2011 at 14:49.

  17. #17
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Panasonic Lumix LX3 lens quality

    Quote Originally Posted by asabet View Post
    I'm pretty confident there will be wide support by third party RAW developers. However, most of them won't automatically correct the barrel distortion.

    As you know, for ultimate resolution, it's best to leave the distortion uncorrected. Overall, it's not a big deal to me because of several reasons: 1) I like C1, which supports the D-LUX 4 and automatically corrects the barrel distortion; 2) Raw Developer supports the LX3, and I'm a big fan of RD even though it doesn't correct the distortion; 3) PTLens supports the LX3, so anyone who uses a RAW app that doesn't correct the distortion can do a batch correction in PTLens if desired; 4) When I choose to leave the distortion uncorrected, I have a wider than 24mm equivalent lens, which is a pretty cool option to have.

    What I don't like about this situation is that the RAW apps which ship with these cameras (Silkypix for LX3 and C1 for D-LUX 4) don't give you the option to leave the distortion uncorrected. In fact, C1 automatically corrects all the distortion instead of leaving the same bit of barrel distortion that one finds in the in-camera corrected JPEGs. I'd prefer to always have the choice, in any given RAW app, whether to leave the distortion or have it corrected.

    As for whether the lens is a good one, I think it is. This is a sharp lens, across the frame, with good contrast and flare resistance. It suffers from some color fringing and a lot of barrel distortion, but that is a compromise I can accept for the lens speed. None of the f/2-2.x lenses from the older digital cameras were this small. Most of those cameras were quite boxy compared to the LX3. This isn't a very good shot, but it shows something that no other compact today can do, which is get this type of background blur at 60mm equivalent with the trees no far behind my wife (D-LUX 4 at full tele, wide open):



    The G10 can do it at 100mm equivalent, so it really comes down to the working distance one prefers.

    The GX100/200 have a great lens. It too is sharp across the frame, and it has much less barrel distortion than the LX3 lens at the wide end. However, the GX lens is more susceptible to veiling flare, and it's quite slow at the tele end.

    The DP1 lens is basically perfect if you can accept the fact that it is f/4 and doesn't zoom. The GRD lens is also hard to fault.

    All of the zoom lenses on compacts come with their compromises. I have no regrets so far about going for the LX3/D-LUX.
    Great info Amin. Does some it up very well. All camera's have some limitations . Just need to pick what works the best for your style. What I like is we can learn from each other before you buy one and than it is to late.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  18. #18
    asabet
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    Re: Panasonic Lumix LX3 lens quality

    I couldn't agree more Guy. We've got enough early adopters here that none of us have to go into very many purchases without a good scouting report from someone else. I'm looking forward to hearing from Terry and Jono about the Panasonic G1 .

    At the end of this post I've put an animated GIF demonstrating how the in-camera JPEG corrects barrel distortion most of the way, and C1 corrects it that extra bit. It also shows how much wider the native angle of view goes, when you consider that the in-camera JPEG is 24mm equivalent. Finally, it illustrates the type of shot where I don't care about barrel distortion one way or the other, which is actually the case with most of what I'm shooting.


  19. #19
    focale_32
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    Re: Panasonic Lumix LX3 lens quality

    Hi everybody,
    I'm often stitching pictures I've get from my GX100 together to get panoramas. I use Hugin for this, it's an open source program that runs under Windows, Mac and Linux.
    It has nice features to correct distorsion, CA and more. It is easy to calibrate any lens and here the stepped zoom function of the Ricoh is great as you obviously don't have the same level of distorsion a 24mm than at 50mm.
    Site of the program
    http://hugin.sourceforge.net/
    How to correct distorsion
    http://hugin.sourceforge.net/tutoria...ation/en.shtml
    How to correct CA
    http://hugin.sourceforge.net/tutorials/tca/en.shtml
    Hope this may help some of you
    Regards Thomas
    Last edited by focale_32; 26th October 2008 at 19:37.

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