Wide Angle Showdown: testing distortion on full frame cameras by Adrien Le Falher

Wide Angle Showdown

I'm writing a technical article again, sorry, we'll come back to art shortly!

One of the advantage of the Sony A7 line series is being able to use adapters, and therefore lenses from different manufacturers, on their camera. Being a Canon shooter, I regularly use the 17-40mm, which I find to be a decent lens on a 5dmkII. But how does it compare to Zeiss' 16-35mm for Sony E mount, and Voigtlander 15mm III? 

For wide angle lenses, distortion is the main issue. Therefore, this is what I wanted to test: does the Sony 16-35mm has less distortion than the older Canon 17-40mm? Does the Voigtlander 15mm has less than both? Let's find out!

For this test, I went to a camera shop that had a straight grid for a ceiling. The straight lines would then make the distortion very obvious. I then tested the cameras on Sony a7 R and Sony a7rII. 

Here are the pictures (you can download the raw files at the end of the article):


As you see, both the Sony 16-35 and the Canon 17-40 are pretty distorted at their widest, maybe the Canon a bit more so than the Sony. The Voigtlander, unsurprisingly, has almost no distortion, thanks to being a fixed lens made for short flange. 

The good news? Adobe Lightroom has corrected for each of these lenses, but you will lose some quality. 

You can download the raw files below, including shots at their longest, where distortion is minimal.