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Leica Q

Leica Q: Extreme Barrel Distortion Degrades Sharpness, Reduces True Resolution, Decreases Field of View

The Leica Q 28mm f/1.7 lens trades off a massive level of optical distortion for other optical characteristics (all lens designs are tradeoffs), leading to degraded edge and corner performance, which is unavoidable when correcting this massive level of distortion.

As the analysis shows, the resolution of the Leica Q is a false marketing claim, since the actual usable recorded pixels is only 22.4 megapixels (approx) and there are also quality losses (due to the pronounced distortion of around 13%, and its correction).

Raw conversions made without and with distortion correction using Iridient Developer 3.0.3. The distortion-corrected (or uncorrected) results are not as sharp as Adobe Camera Raw, but this page clearly shows the negative impacts of distortion correction vs not correcting, and since not everyone uses ACR, the correction question is highly relevant, particularly given the extreme distortion.

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Diglloyd Guide to LEICA contains in-depth coverage of Leica M system cameras and lenses, with additional coverage of Leica M Monochrom, Leica Q, Leica SL.

Special emphasis is placed on Leica M lenses and certain Zeiss ZM lenses.

  • Make better images by learning how to get the best results right away.
  • Save money by choosing the right lens for your needs the first time, particularly the Summilux/Summicron/Elmarit choice and/or Zeiss ZM.
  • Make better images, a sort of “cheat sheet” saving yourself months or years of ad-hoc learning. Processing parameters are discussed and shown.
  • Jaw-dropping image quality found nowhere else utilizing Retina-grade images up to 28 megapixels filling up to 5K display, plus large crops [past 2 years or so].
  • Real world examples with insights found nowhere else. Make sharper images just by understanding lens behavior you won’t read about elsewhere.
  • Aperture series from wide open through stopped down, showing the full range of lens performance and bokeh.
  • Optical quality analysis of field curvature, focus shift, sharpness, flare, distortion, and performance in the field.

Want a preview? Click on any page below to see an excerpt as well as extensive blog coverage, for example on Leica.

Variants uncorrected,corrected available in full article
f8 @ 1.0 sec, ISO 100; 2015-07-03 11:07:14
LEICA Q (Typ 116) + 28.0 mm f/1.7

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