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 Post subject: Panasonic GH1
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:03 pm 
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I've just been reading the DP Review's review of the Panasonic GH1, which includes a critique of the 14-140mm lens packaged with the camera. It would appear that software has been created to offset normal optical shortcomings of such zoom lenses, so that , to the eye, the sort of distortions (barrelling, CA, etc) normally to be expected from relatively cheap super-zooms are minimised beyond the normal. The review includes a statement to the effect that "This is the future" for lenses. May we expect, therefore, that all the irritating geometric, etc distortions we are familiar with will be programmed out of existence, altogether?

Anyone have any views on the subject?

Ian White


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:08 pm 
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One word: nope

More words: not entirely.

Lense sare very complex. Barrel/pincushioning distrortion are easy to fix, but curvy/wobbly distortion (often found in wideangles) is a lot tougher to fix (although DxO makes a nice effort).

Same thing for CA. CA when in focus is easy to fix, but "bokeh-CA" is nearly impossible (fringing in the out of focus areas).

Then there's softness, which is of course not fixable by software (sharpening is an illusion, you can't create detail out of nothing of course) :)


the furure of lenses? they keep getting better and better! Computers allow lens manufacturers to generate multiple (3D) diagrams and plot specifications, and better coatings are coming out for better contrast and reduced flare.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:40 pm 
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It definitely will be the future for imaging devices in general, but there will always be a space for high quality lenses where cost or space is a lesser concern. It is about appropriate tradeoffs. If you can simplify parts of lens design by allowing more easy to fix aberrations, you could reduce cost. Or maybe it allows smaller lenses than otherwise. That is offset by the complexity and computational cost of "correcting" it, so there will be a balance.

Ideally the lens designer would supply the required corrections. For now, that probably only includes m4/3 format as far as interchangeable lenses go. It doesn't matter what shape the distortion is in as long as it can be defined and corrected. 3rd party software like DxO is less than ideal in this case, since they have to figure out themselves what they need to correct.

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