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Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH

Distortion: 18/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH

Distortion is of the wave type, generally unavoidable in an extreme wide angle design.

One finds moderate barrel distortion over the central 3/4 of the frame, reversing to accelerating pincushion distortion beyond that— a wave-type pattern readily visible on man-made structures, such as the front of a building.

It is the pinching effect (pincushion distortion) in the corners that photographers should be most aware of during composition; your author finds this much more objectionable than barrel distortion.

For an 18mm lens, this amount of distortion is relatively low, though the Zeiss ZM 18mm f/4 Distagon has about half as much distortion (but also ray angle issues).

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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.

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.
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  • 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.

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Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH distortion
Leica M9 + Leica 18mm f/3.8 Super-Elmar-M ASPH, ~f/11 @ 1.0 sec, ISO 80

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