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View Full Version : Barrel distortion of FZ20



PvH
11-01-2004, 04:19 AM
I was about to buy the FZ20 when my local retailer showed me pictures with horroble barrel distortion. The horizon had about the same shape as the setting sun! He advised me NOT to buy the FZ20. This puzzled me because everyone is enthusiastic about this camera. Do people here have the same experience?

One solution that I read about was not to use the extreme ends of the zoom spectrum. But if I can't use the wide-angle end (36mm) and therefore have to adjust to f.e. 40mm, don't I give up a lot then compared to my current 28-80 lens?

Thanks for answering.

genece
11-01-2004, 05:53 AM
I just do not have a picture of a straight horizon as we do not have many of those in western Pa but this is a wide angle shot with a FZ20 (6mm)
http://photos.imageevent.com/grc6/skyandtruck/websize/Near%20water%20park.jpg

I do have some photos of a horizon taken with a FZ10 (same Lens) here is one
http://photos.imageevent.com/grc6/vacation2003/grandtetons/websize/Tetons%20%200833.JPG

John_Reed
11-01-2004, 06:29 AM
I was about to buy the FZ20 when my local retailer showed me pictures with horroble barrel distortion. The horizon had about the same shape as the setting sun! He advised me NOT to buy the FZ20. This puzzled me because everyone is enthusiastic about this camera. Do people here have the same experience?

One solution that I read about was not to use the extreme ends of the zoom spectrum. But if I can't use the wide-angle end (36mm) and therefore have to adjust to f.e. 40mm, don't I give up a lot then compared to my current 28-80 lens?

Thanks for answering.It's amazing what retailers will do to steer you away from a camera, but this is a prime example. As Gene demonstrated, and as Jeff's review of the FZ20 shows, the FZ20's "barrel distortion" is no worse, nor any better than any other long-zoom telephoto camera. Some amount of "barrel distortion" is almost inherent in this type of lens at the wideangle extreme. If he showed you a horizon the "same shape of the setting sun," and if the photo was truly taken with an FZ20, the photo was either shot through a lens adapter with a lot of vignetting, or at least something was done with the photo to exacerbate what is truly a minor effect. Tell me, did he have FZ20s for sale in his shop? I doubt it.

Jayde
11-01-2004, 06:30 AM
PVH
re barrel distortion..
for what the lens range is its not excessive, most long lens dont come close.. and have other abberations also, purple fringing etc..

http://www.dcresource.com/reviews/panasonic/dmc_fz20-review/index.shtml
The distortion test shows moderate barrel distortion at wide-angle

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/fz20_pg5.html
This will also help eliminate the affects of camera shake. We did noticed an average amount of barrel distortion at full wide angle, with slight pincushioning at full telephoto

did u look at the FZ15 http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/fz15_pg2.html
review quote..
The lens produced a noticeable amount of barrel distortion at full wide angle.
even so i trhink you expect too much for the money... these are tops :)

PvH
11-01-2004, 06:51 AM
It's amazing what retailers will do to steer you away from a camera, but this is a prime example. As Gene demonstrated, and as Jeff's review of the FZ20 shows, the FZ20's "barrel distortion" is no worse, nor any better than any other long-zoom telephoto camera. Some amount of "barrel distortion" is almost inherent in this type of lens at the wideangle extreme. If he showed you a horizon the "same shape of the setting sun," and if the photo was truly taken with an FZ20, the photo was either shot through a lens adapter with a lot of vignetting, or at least something was done with the photo to exacerbate what is truly a minor effect. Tell me, did he have FZ20s for sale in his shop? I doubt it.

Hi John, the amazing thing is that among approximately ten retailers he is the only guy in town who sells the FZ20, so there was no "selling-reason" for him to steer us away from the camera. Now we ended up buying nothing at all!

Payne
11-01-2004, 07:01 AM
I was about to buy the FZ20 when my local retailer showed me pictures with horroble barrel distortion. The horizon had about the same shape as the setting sun! He advised me NOT to buy the FZ20. This puzzled me because everyone is enthusiastic about this camera. Do people here have the same experience?

One solution that I read about was not to use the extreme ends of the zoom spectrum. But if I can't use the wide-angle end (36mm) and therefore have to adjust to f.e. 40mm, don't I give up a lot then compared to my current 28-80 lens?

Thanks for answering.

I think your local retailer missled you since Steve just noticed average amount of barrel distortion at full wide angle - but if it is not enough for you, its better that you wait for the Dpreview review, maybe they could clarify this issue - they usually measure barrel distorsion through percentage points.

D70FAN
11-01-2004, 08:18 AM
I was about to buy the FZ20 when my local retailer showed me pictures with horroble barrel distortion. The horizon had about the same shape as the setting sun! He advised me NOT to buy the FZ20. This puzzled me because everyone is enthusiastic about this camera. Do people here have the same experience?

One solution that I read about was not to use the extreme ends of the zoom spectrum. But if I can't use the wide-angle end (36mm) and therefore have to adjust to f.e. 40mm, don't I give up a lot then compared to my current 28-80 lens?

Thanks for answering.

Who is the local retailer? Which camera(s) did they recommend instead?

In order to get distortion as you described would require mounting a "fisheye" lens to the camera. Even the absolute worse barrel-distortion I have seen is nowhere near that severe.

Ask the retailer if you can get a copy of the picture (with EXIF data) to post on this board.