Saturday, 3 July 2010

Leica Lumix 45mm f/2.8 bokeh

I have previously made a comparison of the bokeh for the three lenses Leica Lumix DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm, Panasonic Lumix G 45-200mm and Panasonic Lumix G HD 14-140mm. Since the largest common aperture for these lenses at 45mm is f/5.6, I found it fair to use that for all of them.

Readers interested in this topic may also want to see the bokeh comparison with the Olympus Zuiko Digital 50mm f/2 macro.

However, anyone possessing the Leica Lumix 45mm f/2.8 macro are likely to be using it with a larger aperture than f/5.6. Therefore, it makes sense to examine the bokeh for larger apertures as well.

The setup is still the same: The focus distance is one meter, and the background foliage is about five meters away from the camera. This is consistent with typical portrait situations, in which you fill the head into the frame, and want the background to be blurred and non-distracting.

All the images were taken within less than one minute, and the lightning is hopefully pretty similar for all of them. I did not use any filters on the lens. The camera used was the Panasonic Lumix GH1, at ISO 100.

Here is the full image, taken with f/2.8. The image is scaled down and sharpened a bit, otherwise unchanged from the camera JPEG.


To learn more about the bokeh characteristics, let's look at 100% crops from various parts of the image. Here are 100% view crops from the centre of the image, at f/2.8, f/4 and f/5.6. Click on an image to see an enlarged view.


And crops from the upper right hand corner:


Finally, crops from the lower middle region:


Conclusion

The bokeh looks better at larger apertures. There is still some ringing around the highlights even at f/2.8. This causes some distraction, even in the downscaled view. However, keep in mind that this is a very tricky situation for any lens to render.

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