Panasonic LX100 II Optics

Lens Test Results

Center and Corner Performance
The LX100 II's lens is sharp in the center but produces images with soft corners at both the wide-angle and telephoto ends. Moderately low to very low chromatic aberration in camera JPEGs. Minor vignetting at wide angle.

Aperture: maximum
Wide Angle (24mm eq.) Telephoto (75mm eq.)
Wide at f/1.7: Center
C.A.: Very low
Softness: Sharp
Wide at f/1.7: Upper left
C.A.: Moderately low
Softness: Soft
Tele at f/2.8: Center
C.A.: Very low
Softness: Sharp
Tele at f/2.8: Upper right
C.A.: Low
Softness: Soft

Sharpness. Wide open at full wide angle, the LX100 II's lens is fairly sharp in the center though not tack sharp, however all four corners are soft, with some softness extending deep into the frame. Much of the softness is due to the strong distortion correction needed, and you can also see some interpolation artifacts in the form of rough or stepped edges in the USAF targets. Wide open at full telephoto, the center is again fairly sharp though perhaps not quite as sharp as at wide angle, while the corners are soft though slightly sharper than at wide angle with better contrast and fewer interpolation artifacts.

Chromatic Aberration. Thanks to effective chromatic aberration suppression, in-camera JPEGs show very low CA in the center at both ends, moderately low CA in the corners at wide angle, and low CA in the corners at telephoto. As expected, though, uncorrected raw files (see below) show much more CA than seen above.

Vignetting. There's some noticeable vignetting (corner shading) at wide angle, though it's fairly minor. There's no sign of vignetting at full telephoto.

Aperture: f/5.6
Wide Angle (24mm eq.) Telephoto (75mm eq.)
Wide at f/5.6: Center
C.A.: Very low
Softness: Very sharp
Wide at f/5.6: Upper left
C.A.: Low
Softness: Slightly soft
Tele at f/5.6: Center
C.A.: Very low
Softness: Very sharp
Tele at f/5.6: Upper right
C.A.: Very low
Softness: Soft

Stopped down to F5.6: At maximum wide angle, sharpness in the center improved when stopped down to f/5.6, to what we'd call very sharp. Corner sharpness, contrast and CA all improved, though corners are still somewhat soft. Again, this isn't a surprise given the amount of correction applied. At full telephoto, center sharpness also improved when stopped down to f/5.6, however the upper corners actually got a little softer compared to wide open, while the lower ones became slightly sharper, though they are still not tack sharp. CA at full telephoto is very low across the frame. Vignetting is still detectable at wide angle and f/5.6, but is very minor. Stopping down further may incrementally improve corner performance, but softening due to diffraction would likely start to become an issue across the frame.

Chromatic Aberration Correction
Low to moderately low chromatic aberration in camera JPEGs, but moderate to moderately high CA in uncorrected raw files.

Camera JPEGs Uncorrected Raw
Wide (f/1.7): Upper left
CA: Moderately low
Wide (f/1.7): Upper left
CA: Moderately high
Tele (f/2.8): Upper left
CA: Low
Tele: (f/2.8): Upper left
CA: Moderate

As you can see above right in the crops from uncorrected raw images (taken from RW2 files converted with RawDigger which doesn't suppress chromatic aberrations), the LX100 II's lens produces moderately high and bright lateral chromatic aberration at wide angle, and what we'd call moderate CA at full telephoto. So the LX100 II's processor does a good job suppressing lateral chromatic aberration in camera JPEGs (crops on the left). Note that most raw converters should also automatically suppress CA when converting the LX100 II's RW2 files, in addition to correcting for geometric distortion.

Geometric Distortion
Low distortion in camera JPEGs, but very high in uncorrected raw files at wide angle.

Camera JPEGs
Barrel distortion at wide angle is about 0.3%
Pincushion distortion at telephoto is about 0.1%

Thanks to in-camera distortion correction, there's low geometric distortion in the LX100 II's JPEG files at wide angle. At full wide angle, we measured just under 0.3% barrel distortion which is pretty low but still visible. At full telephoto, geometric distortion is very low at just over 0.1% pincushion 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).

Uncorrected Raw
Barrel distortion at wide angle is about 3.3%
Pincushion distortion at telephoto is about 0.1%

To see how much correction is taking place in the camera, we converted raw files from the above shots with RawDigger, which does not correct for geometric distortion (and also doesn't do full demosaicing, so please do not evaluate image quality using these uncorrected images). As you can see, at max wide angle barrel distortion is very high at about 3.3%, while max telephoto has about the same very low pincushion distortion as found in the camera JPEGs.

We've come to expect seeing significant distortion in uncorrected raw files from fast, compact lenses, as allowing this gives lens designers greater flexibility in optimizing for overall optical performance, cost, size and weight. The downside is that strong distortion correction contributes additional blurring to the corners and edges of the frame where pixels are "stretched" during correction and where lenses are usually already a bit soft. Note that raw converters that officially support the LX100 II's RW2 files will apply distortion and chromatic aberration corrections automatically, as specified by Panasonic in the lens profile built into the raw files.

Macro Mode
A slightly smaller than average minimum coverage area, with very good detail near the center. Flash throttled down well at minimum focus.

Macro, 24mm eq., f/8 Macro with bundled flash

The Panasonic LX100 II's macro mode captured a slightly smaller than average sized minimum area measuring 2.33 x 1.74 inches (59 x 44 millimeters), which is quite good, especially compared to most competing 1-inch sensor cameras. Sharpness in the center is very good, but corners show some blurring even at f/8 (most lenses show some softening in the corners at macro distances, so this is typical). The bundled flash throttled down well at such a close distance (a little over an inch or about 3 cm from the front of the lens), but the lens appears to have cast a shadow as seen in the bottom half of the above right image, leading to an uneven exposure.


Bottom line: Good overall performance from the Panasonic LX100 II's wide-angle zoom considering its compact size, speed (brightness) and sensor size, but corner performance is somewhat disappointing even stopped-down, at least at the wide and tele extremes.

Note: For real-world far field performance, please see our LX100 II Field Test.

Viewfinder Test Results

Very good coverage accuracy from the electronic viewfinder and LCD monitor.

Wide Angle, EVF
Telephoto, EVF
Wide Angle, LCD
Telephoto, LCD

The Panasonic LX100 II's EVF and LCD monitor both provide about 100% coverage at wide angle and just over 99% coverage at telephoto in record mode. This is very good performance, especially considering the amount of geometric distortion correction taking place at wide angle.


The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II Photo Gallery .

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