Nikon Coolpix L2 Optics







Fairly good performance from the 3x optical zoom lens, though noticeable blurring in the corners.

4x Digital Zoom

The Nikon Coolpix L2 zooms over a fairly standard 3x optical zoom range, equivalent to a 38-116mm range on a 35mm camera. Details are reasonably sharp at wide angle, though there's a moderately high level of blurring in the corners of the frame and a small amount of coma distortion in the tree limbs against the sky. The camera's 4x digital zoom takes it out to 12x total, with some loss of quality (as you might expect).

A below average macro area with good detail and high resolution. Flash has trouble up close, with uneven coverage.

Standard Macro Macro with Flash

The Nikon Coolpix L2's macro setting is reasonable, though slightly below average, capturing a minimum area of 2.98 x 2.24 inches (76 x 57 millimeters). Detail and resolution are both good, with only a moderate amount of softening in the corners from the lens. (Most cameras have some softening in the corners in macro mode.) The flash throttles down a little too much for the macro area, resulting in an uneven exposure with dark shadows at the bottom of the frame.

Very high barrel distortion.

This is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel--usually at wide angle) or inward (like a pincushion--usually at telephoto). The Nikon Coolpix L2's 1.1% barrel distortion at wide angle is much too high, and quite noticeable in its images. At the telephoto end, the L2's 0.07% barrel distortion is low, really only about two pixels' worth.

Barrel distortion at 38mm is 1.1%
Barrel distortion at 116mm is 0.07%

Chromatic aberration
Moderately high, small effect on images at edges.

Wide: moderately high, top left @ 200% Wide: moderate, top right @ 200%
Tele: low, top left @200% Tele: low, top right @200%

Chromatic aberration is moderately high at wide angle on the Nikon Coolpix L2, showing about 7-8 pixels of moderately bright coloration on either side of the target lines, but decreasing to very low levels at telephoto focal lengths. (This distortion is visible as a very slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.) Note here that the strong blurring in some corners from the lens intensifies this effect.

Corner Sharpness
Strong blurring in opposing corners at wide angle, fairly soft results overall at telephoto.

Wide: very soft in the upper left corner. Wide: sharp at center.
Tele: quite soft in the upper right corner. Tele: fairly soft at center.

The Nikon Coolpix L2 produced soft corners in a few shots, most notably in the upper left and lower right corners at full wide angle. (The lower left and upper right corners were actually quite sharp.) At telephoto, the entire image is soft, though the upper right corner shows stronger blurring than the rest of the frame.


Very good accuracy from the LCD monitor.

38mm eq., LCD monitor 116mm eq., LCD monitor

The Nikon L2's LCD monitor showed about 100% accuracy at wide angle, and about 99% at telephoto. Very good results.

The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Nikon Coolpix L2 Photo Gallery .

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