7-14mm OM-D advice

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by mw1, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. mw1

    mw1 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 4, 2012
    So I dropped my $900 on this lens and just (just now!) got it. Maybe I should have done more 'research' to find about this issue but at first blush I'm astounded at how awful the purple flare/ghosting is on the E-M5 (and how it's completely absent on my GF5, although certainly the standard hazy-light flare is present in spades on the GF5 :smile:)...Not only in sun-backlit shots, but even if the sun is blocked behind a building, or even basically any interior shot on a sunny day with a window nearby--regardless of where the sun is!--has at least some purple flare, and often crazy bright splotches...

    So I'm very very frustratedly looking for some advice! I'm wondering what people who own this combo do? I could try to return it (although I've also just discovered that Unique Photo does not accept returns on pricy glass!) and, I suppose get the 9-18 instead, though I don't want to...

    (ps I can't help but feel it's crazy to have a $1000 lens on a $1000 camera that's unusable in a big chunk of regular scenarios! And while I'm complaining :smile: I have to say I find this lack of coordination between Oly and Pana to be extremely aggravating. It seems many OM-D users are Olympus die-hards with no interest in Pana lenses anyway, but personally I don't like having my decisions made for me--without warning!--esp when the pana competitor is better glass!...)
  2. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    I loved the 7-14 on the omd, but yes you do get CA on the Oly due to no lens correction. It didn't really bother me personally, because I only saw it when pixel peeping.
  3. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    wow man are you sure is that bad? im just waiting some paychecks and im onto that "famous" lens even though i already hate it doesnt have a filter thread (who the heck in this world doesnt include a filter thread in a thousand dollar lens)....but this would be a deal breaker and maybe just get the 9-18. can you show us some pictures of what you say to see how terrible they can be?. is it something that lightroom can fix perhaps?.
  4. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Are you a Lightroom user?

    I am curious if there would be any difference in output after running through LR's CA correction, versus Panasonic's in-body?
    • Like Like x 1
  5. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    at that extreme wide angle, because the front element bulges out, there really is no way to attach a filter. i felt the same way too until i realized that that's just the way it has to be designed. and this is in effect the micro four thirds port of the E-system's super HG 7-14/4. :thumbup: i just bought mine and haven't tested it out yet but i assume that this can be corrected by checking the box for CA in LR4.
  6. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Panasonic corrects in body for CA, Olympus does not. Options:

    - switch to Panasonic body
    - shoot raw, use CA correction in LR
    - live with it
  7. veereshai

    veereshai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 12, 2011
    Arlington, VA
    The first time I used the 20mm on the OM-D, I could see horrible CA around the edges and I was really disappointed till I got the LR4.1. Removing CA in LR is so easy that the CA issue doesn't bother me at all. Choose an option and CA gets removed, zoom in a bit and remove the rest. It's very easy. I got my 7-14mm couple of days ago, can't wait to try it on my OM-D.
  8. Bill

    Bill Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2009
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill (really)
    It seemed like a good idea at the time

    I agree wih ~tc~, but I htink there's a fourth option: Sell the 7-14mm and chalk it up to experience.

    I have the 7-14mm and love it, but, then, I'm not an Olympus body owner. I could be selling it, however, because I might be up for a switch to the upcoming 10-18mm for my NEX.

    Sooner or later we all end up saying that, "It seemed like a good idea at the time."
  9. cmpatti

    cmpatti Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    I believe that the issue the OP is referring to isn't typical CA or fringing, both of which can be easily corrected by software. This is an entirely different problem, which is apparently caused by reflections between the EM5 sensor and the back element of the 7-14. Here's an example:


    (Note the purple splotch at the apex of the arch to the right of the central dome)

    It's not always a problem in high contrast situations, but when it occurs it can be very difficult or impossible to fix. I've concluded that it is simply a limitation of this lens/camera combination. (I don't see it with any other lens on the EM5.) I've decided to keep the lens, because it is otherwise terrific, but this is a real issue.
    • Like Like x 2
  10. jmw

    jmw Mu-43 Regular

    May 20, 2012
    San Francisco, CA
    Yeah, you're going to want to pair up LR4.1 when shooting this on an Oly body. Is this your first time working a UWA lens? Here's a little exercise:

    Set the zoom at 7mm and hold the bare lens with both front and rear caps removed in room with a well lit wall and point the rear element toward the wall. Looking through the front element you should be able to see the light from the wall as a circle. Now move the lens or your eye and note you can still see the dot of light from out the rear of the lens at very extreme angles. If anything in that huge field of view includes the sun or a bright reflection, you're going to see flare in the image. That's the design of the lens and it's also a problem on similar SLR lenses like the Nikon 14-24 and Canon 14.

    Shooting with a UWA is a technical challenge because you don't always realize how much contrast and range there is in a scene with such a wide FOV. If you shoot leaves on a tree against a bright sky, you probably know there's going to be some purple fringing even with a nice telephoto lens. With the 7-14mm, you're looking at your subject and can easily forget that the tree and leaves are there in the corner.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Isn't the blotch 'simply' flare? The 7-14 is very susceptible to it, even in situations where you might not think stray light is going to be an issue. Shading the sun isn't always possible, and the example shot above has plenty of incident sunilght coming in through those windows. I don't get the 'purple blotch' effect in indirectly lit scenes or when sun/light sources are behind the camera (fully behind), and stopping down a little bit seems to help somewhat. It is an ultra ultrawideangle, after all, and it's just one of those things you have to accept.

    I absolutely love the 7-14 on the E-M5, more so than I thought I would, and it is currently the lens that's on there at least half of the time. Balances well, relatively light and small package for what you're getting. I do my corrections with DxO Optics Pro, which addresses any CA, but flare is flare is flare.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011
    I agree ith Mattia try stopping down.

    Unfortunately. You may have a bad lens. Maybe some coating were not applied correctly at the plant, or there was a drop somewhere along the line causing some elements to be incorrectly assembled. Would your camera store take an exchange?

    BTW, for filters get a 77mm filter ring, saw a spare friction cap in half, place filter ring on sawed cap. Slide ring and cap combo onto lens hood.
  13. Sanpaku

    Sanpaku Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 24, 2012
    Purple flare with the EM-5 and 7-14mm is a known problem. See:

    Help with purple blotches with Panny 7-14mm images

    E-M5 flare problems with Pany 7-14mm

    Andy Radin writes:

    Its not typical flare (which results in part from light reflected from the interior walls of the lens body), or chromatic aberration resulting from different wavelengths bent at slightly different angles (especially at the edges of the front element).

    The purple splotches have the defined shape of light sources in the image, and the consensus seems to be that its a form of the digital sensor reflection effect.

    The EM-5 is not alone in catching reflections from the sensor and 7-14mm rear element, but its sensor coating is unique in giving the reflections a purple cast, and hence making them much more visible (and annoying):

    Some photos from Anders W from dpreview:

    7-14mm on G1:


    7-14mm on EM-5:


    You'll notice the same sensor reflections from the G1, but they are less objectionable as they don't have the purple cast the EM-5 gives them.

    I'm seriously bugged by this too, and if I can't learn how to counter the blotches with practice, may consider parting with the lens and getting a fisheye (and defishing), or 9-18mm for my UWA duties instead.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. mw1

    mw1 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 4, 2012
    Thanks everyone. Yes this is indeed about flare, not CA which is perfectly manageable in LR. As some have pointed out, the issue on the E-M5 is that the flare is a very noticeable and distracting purple reflection. I agree of course that the lens is spectacular when it's not flaring! I also agree that flare is to be expected with this lens (perhaps much of the time in sunny california!)--just not that it be purple! I would say that cmpatti's example is the kind that I find quite 'troubling' indeed! Perhaps with some time and effort it would be possible to make some preset post-processing in photoshop that does a purple-specific desaturation only near the flare...I'm also a bit discouraged to hear that others are considering getting rid of the lens as well! Quite frustrating.

    One other option for me anyway would be to use it on my Pana body in bright light where I don't really gain much from the OM-D sensor performance, and on the E-M5 in medium or low light, I suppose...
  15. mw1

    mw1 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 4, 2012
    I just wanted to say I've decided to return the lens.

    I'm not sure where something like this would go, but it would be very helpful if some kind of sticky warning could be posted for the community somewhere to prevent other people from dealing with this ridiculous issue.

    Personally, I couldn't convince myself it made sense to live with insane purple streaks on what for me has turned out to be ~20-30% of pictures for $900. I'll be buying the 9-18, (which I don't really want as much of course), on store credit, such is life. I really really hope the optical quality isn't as disappointing as Amin's comparison made it seem :frown:...

    I have to say I find this whole scenario absurd and a bit unacceptable--how long would it take Olympus to take 10 pictures (the very first 5 I took all had purple streaks!) with every M43 lens before releasing a camera? In the end it's Olympus' responsibility to let people know if their products aren't conforming to standards. They're listening I'm sure :wink:!!
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Mercurio

    Mercurio Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 17, 2012
    Bogotá, Colombia
    Thank you mw1 for your advise: I was willing to buy the 7-14 next month and now I am very doubtful... I´ll prefer the 7-14 to the 9-18, but I own an OM-D and I dont want to be dissapointed as you are, sorry.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    then how come the Canon 17-40 and 16-35mki and mkii do have filter threads? even the sigma fisheye that i used to use on my canon used its hood as filter thread!. really theres no reason for no filter thread in such a lens IMHO.

    :thumbup: no i am really doubtful as well!. I might go for the 9-18 now and sacrifice those 2 extra mm.
  18. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I have to say that I am reading this thread and thinking that it does not represent my experience with the 7-14/4 on the OM-D at all.
  19. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Other than when I first started using it, I haven't seen the purple flare pop up. I took it out on a semi-overcast day and had a lot of problems that day getting the purple blobs in the middle of the frame. I was pretty disappointed that day, but I remained persistent and really haven't seen it since (I've noted the ways not to shoot with this lens). I haven't seen it at all on the GX1 and there is much less CA (only occasionally needs minor LR correction).

    I'm really glad I went with the 7-14 over the 9-18, I think those 2mm make all the world of difference, 95% of the time it's used as a 7mm prime.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. mw1

    mw1 Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 4, 2012
    So am I understanding, that you don't have this problem on the OM-D E-M5? Can you describe how you avoid it, because I haven't found consistent circumstances...Thanks.
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