9-18 native m43s, 9-18 adapted from 4/3s, Panasonic 7-14 . . .

GBarrington

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I'm a wide-angle guy AND a zoom guy. I own the adapted 9-18 from 4/3s and the Panasonic 7-14 f/4. I like them both well enough, though the Panasonic offers me a few challenges on my E-M5 III, and on my E-M10 II, FTM. I have encountered some purple splotching with it, and adding a polarizing filter seems to be rather challenging. I don't really use it at 7 mm; the distortion, once corrected, doesn't seem THAT much wider than 9 mm.

Both lenses are kind of big physically on my smaller bodies, though they aren't unmanageable and quite good with external grips. I think I'd like the native Oly m43s 9-18 because it seems a bit smaller than the adapted 4/3s version. Focus speed with the adapted lens on both the E-M10 II and E-M5 III seems more than adequate for my nature and landscape photography.

I like the idea of the native 9-18 because of size, but I ALSO think I could sell both of my existing lenses and get enough money to contribute substantially towards the cost of an optically better lens in that zoom category. My question is this, are there better lenses optically in this category, that are 'reasonably' close in size to the native 9-18? Are they more likely to be the size of my existing lenses, or larger?

The "specs", at some point just become numbers and lose their meaning. I'd like some input from users of other lenses in this zoom category. What have your practical experiences been?
 

RS86

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I'm a wide-angle guy AND a zoom guy. I own the adapted 9-18 from 4/3s and the Panasonic 7-14 f/4. I like them both well enough, though the Panasonic offers me a few challenges on my E-M5 III, and on my E-M10 II, FTM. I have encountered some purple splotching with it, and adding a polarizing filter seems to be rather challenging. I don't really use it at 7 mm; the distortion, once corrected, doesn't seem THAT much wider than 9 mm.

Both lenses are kind of big physically on my smaller bodies, though they aren't unmanageable and quite good with external grips. I think I'd like the native Oly m43s 9-18 because it seems a bit smaller than the adapted 4/3s version. Focus speed with the adapted lens on both the E-M10 II and E-M5 III seems more than adequate for my nature and landscape photography.

I like the idea of the native 9-18 because of size, but I ALSO think I could sell both of my existing lenses and get enough money to contribute substantially towards the cost of an optically better lens in that zoom category. My question is this, are there better lenses optically in this category, that are 'reasonably' close in size to the native 9-18? Are they more likely to be the size of my existing lenses, or larger?

The "specs", at some point just become numbers and lose their meaning. I'd like some input from users of other lenses in this zoom category. What have your practical experiences been?
I have only experience with the native Olympus 9-18mm, and can recommend it if on sale, like I had it. Surprisingly good for the size, great to have always in the bag. The corners are not great though, a bit better from 10mm.

If not in a hurry, I would recommend waiting for the 8-25mm f/4 Pro, if you want better quality. I just think it won't be very small, more of the Panasonic 8-18mm size.
 
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I found my M.Zuiko 9-18mm a bit soft (especially in the corners) and sold it. But you might get a better copy and/or be less critical about the image quality. The compact size is indeed very nice.

The only other currently available native wide-angle zoom options are:
  • Panasonic Leica 8-18mm f/2.8-4: good image quality; a little bit larger and heavier than your 7-14mm
  • Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8: excellent image quality; large and heavy
  • Panasonic Leica 10-25mm f/1.7: excellent image quality; even larger and heavier
If you want small and light, you can also consider one of the rectilinear wide-angle primes: the Laowa 7.5mm f/2 and the Laowa 9mm f/2.8. Or one of the fisheyes.
 

Toddster

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I had the Panasonic 7-14, on Panasonic bodies it is fantastic. However it's size kept it home most of the time. I sold it and purchased the Oly 9-18 and have no regrets. I know that it is not as good as the 7-14 or the Panasonic 8-18 but neither of those do me any good if they are at home. The Oly 9-18 stays in by bag so it actually gets used.

If I had to have wider than 9mm I think I'd consider the Laowa 7.5mm f/2. Wide, small and great optics, but fairly specialized and for me would not be used often enough to justify. Olympus 9-18 is my go to wide lens.
 

GBarrington

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It's interesting that people are saying the Panny 7-14 is optically superior to the native 9-18. I would judge the adapted 9-18 roughly similar to that of the 7-14. I wonder if it is the difference is because of cross-system usage? (Panny lens on Oly body/Oly lens on Panny body)

I'd love to see a "no compromise" 9-18!
 
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RS86

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It's interesting that people are saying the Panny 7-14 is optically superior to the native 9-18. I would judge the adapted 9-18 roughly similar to that of the 7-14. I wonder if it is the difference is because of cross-system usage? (Panny lens on Oly body/Oly lens on Panny body)

I'd love to see a "no compromise" 9-18!
Well I think it should be, being double the price, double the weight, and overall bigger.

I think Olympus 9-18mm is and will be the smallest wide zoom you can get from M43. Olympus 8-25mm f/4 will have more range than the Panasonic 8-18mm, while not being f/2.8 in the wide end. So likely quite similar in size, they won't compromize Pro lens quality.

Those Laowa primes are the next best small option. I would have likely bought the 7.5mm one, but it wasn't available back then. And they don't have autofocus of course.
 

Hypilein

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The 9-18 is certainly not as sharp as the PL8-18 or even the P7-14 but unless you're a pixel peeper it probably won't matter that much. I've used all three and the PL8-18 is by far my favourite lens, but I'd probably go for the 9-18 second because of the easy of use with filters as well as the small size.

It looks to me that you are certainly in the camp of people who think that small size is important so I would probably go with the 9-18 in your place. The new 8-25 is going to be as large or larger than the 8-18 and that lens is certainly chunky.
 

RAH

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I agree with everything @Hypilein said. I just have a few things to add.

I have both the m43 Oly 9-18 and the PL8-18. I use the 9-18 for travel and think that it is essentially PERFECT for this use. I suppose you realize how small it is, but you do say "I think I'd like the native Oly m43s 9-18 because it seems a bit smaller than the adapted 4/3s version." "A bit smaller"?!? Um, it's A LOT smaller. I used to own an adapted 43 9-18 and sold it to KEH because it was AWFUL when adapted. There is a lengthy discussion about my trouble with it starting here:

https://www.mu-43.com/threads/zuiko-9-18-vs-m-zuiko-9-18.84959/#post-899440

I guess you would have noticed such awful results with your copy of the adapted 9-18, so apparently your adapter is OK and so is the lens. But I cannot figure that it would be any better than the m43 9-18 even if things were perfect.

As far as the size of the PL8-18, yes it is chunky. It is almost exactly the same size as the PL12-60 (f2.8-4), except the 8-18 is a little fatter. This is still a lot larger than the m43 9-18, of course.

As far as IQ, as @Hypilein says, if you don't pixel peep, you won't notice any trouble with the 9-18. In fact, I have an example of exactly that. I took a trip to Utah a few years ago and had a P12-35 f2.8 on my E-M10I and the m43 9-18 on a Pany GM5. I took a bunch of shots of Double Arch with both cameras. When I got home, I picked which Double Arch pic I liked best and after doing some editing and some minor cropping for composition, sent it off to make an 11 x 17 metal print. It was only after I'd sent it that I realized that the image I'd used was from the GM5/9-18 setup. So, it gives absolutely fine results for landscapes, etc.
 

exakta

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If not in a hurry, I would recommend waiting for the 8-25mm f/4 Pro, if you want better quality.
I agree.

I own the 9-18 because it's all I could afford (I got mine used, even on sale it's not that cheap). The P 7-14 was out because of the blobs and the O 7-14 because of price.

I think the 8-25 might be the sweet spot if the size and price are reasonable, but with no details we just have to wait.
 

RAH

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I agree, wait if you can. Meanwhile, I also bought my m43 9-18 used, and I agree, they aren't cheap even then. I got it on KEH for $405 in EX+ quality in 2016. I was VERY happy to find it at that price because at least back then they were hard to find except new.

One thing I like to mention whenever the 9-18 comes up - the official Olympus lenshood (or even 3rd-party knockoffs) is NOT reversible. A better option is to get the JJC LH-J55C lenshood, which is available on Amazon for a big $9. It's listed as being for the Olympus 12-50mm 3.5-6.3 EZ lens, but it works PERFECTLY on the 9-18 lens, and is reversible (go figure!). It is a little larger than the official hood (which is square in shape and nice except for not being reversible), but the reversibility makes it much more useful, IMHO. I have tested it at 9mm and there is no vignetting.
 

GBarrington

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Yeah, I think I'm going to wait a bit. It's not like I am lacking in the wide-angle zoom lens department. And I'm not dissatisfied with the results I'm getting. Just the size and weight.

And God knows, with TWO lenses with what seems to be very different design goals, I have a level of shooting flexibility that a single lens could not provide. There is no rush, I'm telling myself it's GAS.
 

exakta

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One thing I like to mention whenever the 9-18 comes up - the official Olympus lenshood (or even 3rd-party knockoffs) is NOT reversible. A better option is to get the JJC LH-J55C lenshood, which is available on Amazon for a big $9. It's listed as being for the Olympus 12-50mm 3.5-6.3 EZ lens
There are two Oly hoods, JJC sells copies of both.

LH-55B not reversible, discontinued by Oly

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LH-55C "cookie cutter", reversible

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RAH

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One wonders why JJC didn't just make a hybrid with the mount base of the JJC LH-J55C (reversible) and the top part of the Olympus and just call it a 55B Mark2.
 

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