Sharpness

The lens is capable of delivering nicely sharp images and can focus pretty close up--about 9.8 inches away. Also note the welcome lack of fringing on the higlights.

(E-PL1, 18mm, 1/30 sec, f5.6, ISO 200, AWB, ESP metering, Natural picture mode)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Sharpness

Another example of the lens' detail rendering; I credit the slight crunchiness to the camera's image processing rather than the lens.

(E-PL1, 18mm, 1/60 sec, f5.6, ISO 100, center-weighted metering, Natural picture mode, AWB)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Distortion

There's little visible barrel disortion for such a wide-angle lens, but it also looks as if the distortion has been corrected in-camera--as if the lines have been straightened, but still aren't quite parallel.

(E-PL1, 1/500 sec, f13, ISO 200, ESP metering, AWB)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Bokeh

The lens has a nice organic rendering for out-of-focus elements. It has a pretty narrow maximum aperture of f4 (given its short focal length), though it was too bright out when I was testing to get that wide.

(E-PL1, 17mm, 1/100, f5.6, ISO 100, center-weighted metering, AWB, Natural picture mode)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Fringing

The lens exhibits very little chromatic aberration; at the very edges of the frame you can just make out a bit of cyan, magenta, and purple fringing, but it's otherwise quite clean.

(E-PL1, 18mm, 1/80, f11, ISO 200, center-weighted metering, AWB, Natural picture mode)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Flare

This is just an illustration to note that Olympus doesn't bundle a hood with the lens; it's a $29.99 option.

(E-PL1, 9mm, 1/20 sec, f14, ISO 100, center-weighted metering, AWB, Natural picture mode)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:
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