Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm f/2.8 ASPH OIS - Review / Test Report - Analysis
Lens Reviews - (Micro-)Four-Thirds

Distortion

The Lumix lens produces an absolutely negligible degree of distortion. It is worth to mention that this aspect is NOT auto-corrected via software so we're not talking about a purposely under-designed lens here.

Vignetting

At ~1.2EV the amount of vignetting is surprisingly high at max. aperture - this can be visible in some situations. It's not overly field relevant anymore at f/4 and the problem is basically resolved from f/5.6 onwards.

Here're two sample images taken at f/2.8 and f/4:

MTF (resolution)

The Leica lens produced very impressive resolution figures in the MTF lab. The performance is excellent straight from f/2.8 till about f/8. The peak quality is already reached at f/4 although it's not overly superior to the directly adjacent aperture settings. The quality remains more than respectable at f/11 and it's still good at f/16. Everything beyond is lost in diffraction which is a physical limitation and not a lens flaw.

Below is a simplified summary of the formal findings. The chart shows line widths per picture height (LW/PH) which can be taken as a measure for sharpness. If you want to know more about the MTF50 figures you may check out the corresponding Imatest Explanations

Chromatic Aberrations (CAs)

Lateral chromatic aberrations (color shadows at harsh contrast transitions) are very well controlled with a maximum of less than 0.5px at the image borders. This isn't really field relevant anymore.

Bokeh

The quality of the bokeh (out-of-focus blur) is generally very good at max. aperture. Out-of-focus highlights are pretty uniform here and the blur in the focus transition zone is smooth. The highlight quality deteriorates a little when stopping down - please observe the developing outlining effect in the sample crops below. It's also worth to mention that out-of-focus highlights are circular in the inner image portion but they change towards an ellipsoid shape the closer they get to the image borders.

Bokeh Fringing / Longitudinal Chromatic Aberrations (LoCA)

Bokeh fringing (colored focus halos in the focus transition zone) is often a problem for large aperture lenses but the Leica lens is very resistant here. There're only marginal traces of LoCAs at f/2.8 and there isn't really anything left beyond. The degree of correction is certainly unusually good here.

Move the mouse cursor over the f-stop marks below to observe the respective LoCAs
f/2.8 f/4 f/5.6




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