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Best W I D E zoom for M4/3

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Ghosthunter, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    Looking at Oly 9-18mm, Pany 7-14mm or anything else that you recommend for my E-PL2 / E-P1. Looking for good image quality for reasonable price...about £400-£500.

    I have the 14-42mm but think i would need wider as i love landscape work. I had a canon 10-22mm which was superb so something similar would be good.
     
  2. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    well you won't easily get a new 7-14 for that money, but you will the 9-18.
    All the images I've seen from the 9-18 look pretty fine.
    and there aren't many alternatives in native mount ...
     
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  3. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    I loved my 9-18mm. Honestly, I know everyone goes crazy over the 20mm 1.7, but I much preferred the 9-18mm. It is probably a matter of style. I prefer a wider approach....and was usually down at the 9mm end. Never got to try the 14mm, but of course it's not a zoom.
     
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  4. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    There seems to be a 4/3 AND a M4/3 version, is this right?
     
  5. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    Thanks BB but i have 14mm on the 14-42mm zoom and when using it for landscapes there's no need for the extra stop.

    I really like the look of the 9-18mm. Image examples look very good and now i know the difference between the 4/3 and Micro 4/3 versions i can get a better idea of what to expect.

    Another alternative would be the Voigtlander 12mm f5.6 but I'm not sure about that one!
     
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  7. pictor

    pictor SC All-Pro

    Jul 14, 2010
    I don't own the Panasonic 7-14mm, which is said to be a great lens, but I own the Olympus 9-18mm (the µ4/3 version). The 9-18mm is one of my favorite lenses. Its quality is great and it is very versatile compared to the Panasonic. I like to choose only one lens when I go photographing and I often take only the 9-14mm with me, which I would not do as often with the 7-14mm. On the other hand there is a significant difference between 7mm and 9mm. It just depends on what you want to shoot. If you don't need the range below 9mm, you will be very happy with the 9-18mm.

    BTW, landscape photography is a very multifaceted genre. It is a common cliché, that wide angles are to be preferred for landscape work. But like other clichés this is wrong. You can use any focal length for landscape photography and indeed landscape photographers use the whole range of focal lengths available. There are also landscape photographers who use extreme telephoto lenses and their pictures look great.
     
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  8. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    This is very true!!
     
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  9. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Well, of course that makes sense Andy - you don't need another 14mm. Silly me.

    Good points, Christian (AKA pictor)!:thumbup:
     
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  10. john1027

    john1027 SC Regular

    187
    Jul 11, 2010
    Alexandria, VA
    Andy,

    I had the 9-18 and as pictor stated it is a fine lens. I used it with a G2. I found that I was using it though primarily at the 18mm end and rarely went below 12-14 mm. I sold mine as I had some other lenses that covered the range for me. Don (Streetshooter) very much liked his but found he was in the same boat with me on use and also sold his. I am pretty sure Ray has one and he will probably weigh in and I believe it is one of his favorites. I guess it all comes down to what you need and maybe you could look at some of your data to see for sure if you need the whole range or maybe just the 14mm would be fine without further expenditure. Ultimately though, if you think it will cover your range, it is a great lens, light weight, and will go well with your new camera. I am also pretty sure that there is thread on just that lens at mu-4/3s.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    As Pictor said, it really just comes down to whether you really want the difference in FOV between 7 and 9mm. If so, the Pany is your only option and its a good option. But if you don't there's no reason to get the Pany. The 9-18 is smaller, cheaper, optically very very good, and more versatile than the 7-14 by virtue of its longer long end. I have the 9-18 and I love it. I like real wide angle shooting. I'd probably love the 7-14 because I like UWA that much. But I didn't want both and the 9-18 works for me on more levels. The 18mm end is a really good walk around field of view, very similar to the 17 which I also love as an all around lens. And because its so small and light, its a great travel lens too. If you don't shoot really wide, maybe the 14 at the wide end of the kit lens is enough, or maybe the rumored Olympus 12mm will do it. I have the 16 for my Nex and the same field of view at the wide end of my LX5 and I like it a lot, but I really like going even wider too. So its up to what you like to shoot.

    -Ray
     
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  13. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    I think I'll have a look at my previous image data from last year and see what i used the most. I had a Canon DSLR with 10-22mm and 24-105mm lenses and if i remember right although the 10-22 was great i seemed to be quite happy with the 24mm end of the zoom which was x1.6 crop = 37mm. 14mm on the kit lens is 28mm in real money so will be wider than 24mm on crop sensor camera.....is that right?

    Most images taken last year were taken with a Canon DSLR [x1.6 crop] and 24mm prime, 24-28mm end of the 24-105 zoom and 12-18mm on the 10-22mm UWA SO i could quite easily be happy with what i have!
     
  14. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    The 10-22 equates pretty well - seems to be closer to the 7-14 than the 9-18, so it should give you a pretty good idea of whether you want a UWA. If you don't use it and a 28mm (in full frame equivalent) is OK for you, an awful lot of zooms will hit that mark. I really like having at least a 24 available most of the time, which is why I like the LX5 so much and now the Nex 16 (which both hit that mark). I could probably be happy enough with a 24 equivalent, but 28 just doesn't quite do it for me as a wide-EST, although I shoot at that focal length a fair amount...

    -Ray
     
  15. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    Thinking back i did come back of my holiday and sold the 10-22 pretty quickly as i felt i would rather have something else rather than a UWA lens. I'll see how i get on with the 14-42 1st and if i need a UWA I'll get one.
    With canon you do get a good choice in lenses of equivalent focal length and it's nice having the Canon 'L' glass if you want the better quality but there's not a 'posh' set of lenses for M4/3 sadly. What we do have is pretty good except for a couple lenses that are exceptionally good like the 20m pany but it would be nice to have some real high quality alternatives that are AF. I guess if we want really decent glass we have to go Leica, Zeiss and Voigtlander manual focus. Perhaps it's time to invest is a 25mm like the Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 or the Zeiss 25mm f/2.8 Biogon????
     
  16. pictor

    pictor SC All-Pro

    Jul 14, 2010
    Micro Four Thirds is a much younger system, don't expect a similar amount of lenses to choose from.

    However, I am convinced that there are some more than only decent lenses available. Of course, there is the 20mm, but don't forget the 9-18mm, which is a great lens, and the 7-14mm, which is great, too. The flare resistance of my 9-18mm is simply exceptional, much better than any consumer wide angle zooms by Nikon and Canon I know of. It is sharp even in the corners, which you don't get from all wide angle zooms of Nikon and Canon.

    We have a macro lens, which is as great as Canon's or Nikon's macro lenses, and we have some very fine zooms. Neither Nikon nor Canon offer such a fine super zoom like Olympus' 14-150mm or Panasonic's 14-140mm. You have to accept much more compromises, if you buy Canon's or Nikon's super zooms.

    Panasonic's 100-300mm is said to be a great lens. Howsoever that may be, I have seen some raw files made with the E-PL1 and Olympus' Micro Four Thirds version of their 75-300mm, which are so astonishing, that I will most probably buy this lens as soon as winter has gone. You cannot buy any comparably light lens matching the equivalent range of Olympus' 75-300mm from Canon or Nikon, because there is no such lens and there cannot be such a lens (I don't want to carry such a heavy lens like Canon's 100-400mm, which offers the same range on a camera with an APS-C sensor).

    I love my 17mm by Olympus, which is one of the most underrated lenses. It is very light, sharp enough, and I really love the aesthetic quality I get from this lens. But I can say that from the 9-18mm, too, and there are even pictures I made with my 14-150mm, which have this special aesthetic quality I love so much.

    These lenses are extremely light and offer a very high image quality, at least if you don't get defective versions (which can happen with lenses of any manufacturer). One has to look at all aspects. Any lens is only as good as it fulfills ones individual needs. Canon's 100-400mm or Nikon's 80-400mm or Nikon's 200-400mm may be better in some respects, and I am sure they are, but unless I want to carry that much during my hikes, they are nowhere near as good as Olympus' 75-300mm, which I would take with me the whole day long. The same holds for other Micro Four Thirds lenses, too.
     
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