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Leica D VARIO-ELMARIT 14-50mm f2.8-3.5 lens review Gordon Laing, June 2007

Leica D 14-50mm gallery

The following images were taken with the Leica D Vario-Elmarit 14-50mm f2.8-3.5 lens on the Olympus E-410 and Panasonic Lumix DMC L1 digital SLRs. The bodies were set to their best quality JPEG settings, multi-pattern metering and their defaults for colour, tone and sharpness. The individual exposure mode, file sizes, shutter speeds, aperture, ISO and lens focal length are listed for each image. The first two images were taken with the E-410, while the remaining four were taken with the Lumix L1.

The crops are taken from the original files, reproduced at 100% and saved in Adobe Photoshop CS2 as JPEGs with the default Very High quality preset, while the resized images were made in Photoshop CS2 and saved with the default High quality preset. The three crops are typically taken from far left, central and far right portions of each image.

Landscape: 6.11MB with E-410, Program, 1/320, f5.6, ISO 100, 14-50mm at 50mm (equivalent to 100mm)

Landscape - Leica D 14-50mm with Olympus E-410 at 50mm f5.6   This landscape shot was taken with the Leica lens zoomed-in to its longest equivalent of 100mm.

The crops reveal a very high level of detail and the image is well-corrected up to the edges and corners.

As our results pages show, the Leica lens exhibits little to no coloured fringing when zoomed-in, and here's the evidence in practice. High contrast areas on the mountain ridge would normally reveal some fringing on lesser optics, but there's none here.

Macro: 6.15MB with E-410, Program, 1/30, f13, ISO 100, 14-50mm at 50mm (equivalent to 100mm)

macro - Leica D 14-50mm with Olympus E-410 at 50mm f13   The Leica 14-50mm has a closest focusing distance of 29cm at all focal lengths. Here we got as close as the lens would focus to this machinery and zoomed-in to 50mm for the maximum possible reproduction.

The reproduction isn't huge, but the image is well-corrected and there's plenty of detail in there.

Sharper results can be enjoyed at larger apertures, but we needed to stop-down here for the required depth-of-field.

Portrait: 2.90MB with L1, Program, 1/200, f9, ISO 100, 14-50mm at 50mm (equivalent to 100mm)

Portrait - Leica D 14-50mm with Panasonic L1 at 50mm f9   The Leica 14-50mm is ideal for portrait use when zoomed-in to its longest equivalent focal length of 100mm.

We left the L1 on Program for this particular shot, but the Leica lens has a pleasing bokeh if you open its aperture.

Like other images taken with the Lumix L1 and Leica 14-50mm, the results are very detailed and natural looking, but will handle additional sharpening if desired.

Landscape: 5.06MB with L1, Program, 1/250, f9, ISO 100, 14-50mm at 14mm (equivalent to 28mm)

Landscape - Leica D 14-50mm with Panasonic L1 at 14mm f9   Another wide angle shot with the Leica lens, and again a natural, pleasing result from it and the Lumix L1.

As before, there's plenty of detail in the image which can be brought out with additional sharpening if desired.

Landscape: 5.02MB with L1, Aperture Priority , 1/50, f16, ISO 100, 14-50mm at 14mm (equivalent to 28mm)

Landscape - Leica D 14-50mm with Panasonic L1 at 14mm f16     This landscape shot was taken with the Leica lens zoomed-out to 14mm. To ensure a sufficient depth-of-field, the aperture was set to f16 - a quick and easy adjustment on the Leica lens thanks to its analogue aperture ring.

The image was composed using the L1's Live View mode and optional grid lines, which greatly helped with lining up the desired horizon.

Landscape: 4.07MB with L1, Program, 1/100, f6.3, ISO 100, 14-50mm at 38mm (equivalent to 76mm)

Landscape - Leica D 14-50mm with Panasonic L1 at 38mm f6.3   This shot was taken just over halfway through the Leica's focal range at an equivalent of 76mm.

As with the other L1 examples on this page, the crops reveal a well-corrected image which can easily accommodate extra sharpening if required.

Overall the Leica 14-50mm lens performs very well and is a high quality general-purpose choice for owners of Four Thirds bodies. See our Panasonic Lumix L1 gallery for more samples.


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All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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