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Leica's D Vario-Elmarit Lens with 14-50mm f/3.8-5.6 Aspherical Mega O.I.S.

Leica D Vario-Elmarit is a 4/3 system, mid-class zoom lens with focal length ranging from 14mm to 50mm at f/3.8-5.6, that is 35mm equivalent of 28 mm to 100 mm. It is an interchangeable lens, designed specially for digital SLR cameras, with light weight compact body. Designed by Leica and manufactured by Panasonic, this is an aspherical, Mega O.I.S. lens.

This lens can be bought as standalone item or an integrated offer with Panasonic digital SLR DMC-L10 camera. The lens uses conventional AF-micro motor that has great accuracy and speed. Due to contrast AF system support, the lens can be used by photographers to exploit the contrast AF system feature of cameras like DMC-L10. Users can try functions like face detection and produce creative pictures.

Plastic body of lens is robust and of high quality with high tolerances. Due to internal design, front element is safe as it does not rotate. Rubberized zoom and rings are smoother to operate and lens is supplied with snap-on, petal shaped hood. Lens perfectly meets the performance and quality standards of Leica and is able to produce high resolution pictures with edge to edge contrast.

Leica D Vario-Elmarit has 15 lens elements in 11 groups inclusive of two extra low-dispersion ED lenses and two aspherical lenses. This helps in minimizing distortion and vignetting. Distortion characteristics are moderate with 1.9% barrel distortion at 14mm that reduces further with higher focal length, reaching near zero distortion above 35mm.The seven diaphragm aperture blades in the lens are good enough to create lovely portrait photos that remains smooth even in out-focus areas.

Two ED lenses in Leica D Vario-Elmarit, help to produce high contrast images, free from corner to corner effect with reduced chromatic aberration. Minimum focal distance of lens is 0.29m with 1:3.5 of magnification ratio. This helps in producing macro shots with good quality even without a tripod.

Leica has also added Mega OIS i.e. Optical Image Stabilizer feature in this lens. This OIS is very efficient with gain of 2-3 f-stops that helps in excellent hand shake corrections to avoid blurred images and capture lovely shots with or without a tripod. The lens uses multi coatings in lens elements to reduce flare and ghosting and is exceptionally good for photography with extra potential.

Though vignetting is bit higher at 14mm and AF motor is bit noisy, Leica D Vario-Elmarit 14-50mm f/3.8-5.6 is excellent in optical results of high quality. With its class resolution and focal range, Leica is the best and rightly priced in its category.

Fri, 25 Dec 2009 08:11:52 +0000

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