9-18 or 7-14 - which to sell?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by pdk42, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    This may sound like a crazy post, but I could do with some nudging to help me decide which of these two lenses to SELL. I bought the 9-18 first and was happy with it, but the nagging doubts about whether I ought to have bought the 7-14 were lurking in the recesses of my mind, so when I saw a nice used one come up, I decided to buy it. The plan was to evaluate them both and then sell one - except that I can't make my damned mind up!

    Here's where my head is:

    - Sharpness is good on them both. The 7-14 is slightly better for sure, but the difference isn't night and day and I can live with the 9-18's performance.

    - Purple blob flare on the 7-14 is bad on my OMD. The 2A UV filter fix is a possibility to improve it, but it's hassle to source the holder and gel filters here in the UK. I'm guessing also that it's still not a 100% fix.

    - Fitting filters to the 7-14 is problematic. I like using high block ND and grad ND filters for landscape shots and whilst Cokin-style holders can be fitted to the 7-14, I'll need to use a universal mounting kit on the hood which is a fiddle to mount/unmount and probably scratches the hood too.

    - All the above seems to make the selling the 7-14 a no-brainer; but of course the 9-18 misses a big trick and it's called 7mm! Boy is 7mm a really nice wide FOV and when I look at the shots I've taken with the 7-14, nearly all are at 7mm.

    So, here I am - flip-flopping all the time. Keeping both seems a real indulgence!
  2. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Is 7mm unfiltered purple-blobby better than 9mm??

    Seriously, though, in terms of filters -- which filters do you want? I've not found a CP particularly useful in UWA because over such a span, the polarizing effect is not even. I don't use them on my 9-18. If you wanted to use an ND filter, though, that's a different issue
  3. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    For the whole point of having the 9-18 is to use it as a straight 9 almost. but most important ND filters and graduated ones. thats why i never bought the "seven"
  4. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    had the "seven" and loved it -- never really ran into a lot of purple blotch issues. sold it 'coz i was always paranoid about keeping the front element clean. (crazy i know). never really liked the 9-18 -- the one copy i had i found too soft for my liking. and the constant f/4 really comes in handy in low light situations.
  5. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    I dumped my 9-18mm and my E-M5, lol. I have a G5 and the 7-14mm now and I'm quite happy with the pair.

    I don't think anyone can answer this question for you. The bigger question is: what are your photographic goals and what equipment meets it?

    Answer THAT question and the other questions begin to answer themselves -- but other questions will arise you might not be comfortable with, lol. Like for me, changing bodies. In my case, it was the right thing to do -- but for you? Who knows but YOU?...
  6. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    I don't see the 9-18 and the seven as redundant in any way... they are quite different in use, to me, and therefore I would find something else to sell before I would get rid of either of them. Neither does what the other can do. I use the 9-18 as a versatile, wide zoom and I use the seven simply as a seven. Very different beasts. Both very nice to have.

    I know... I'm sorry, this was of no help in terms of deciding which to let go - just presenting a third alternative: to keep them both.
  7. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    rob collins
    Perhaps I can address a couple of issues raised by the OP.

    Obtaining the back filter and gel for the 7-14mm is not difficult - I live in Thailand - it might take 3 weeks to arrive and postage maybe be expensive relative to the part (but, then again, the overall cost of the solution is not high).

    I think the Wratten 2A gel filter effectively resolves the problem. Here is my one and only before/after photo with the gel.



    In fact as people have run into purple blobs with the 9-18mm I would recommend adding a glass 2A filter to the 9-18 if using the OMD.

    I bought a 10 stop ND gel filter to use with the 7-14, so long exposure shots will also work. There is no graduated ND gel filter that I know of.

    I would also add that the installation of the back filter is a 5 minute job but the gels are a little fiddly.
  8. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    I, too, bought a used 7-14 to compare to my 9-18. Purple flare was really bad on my copy, so it went.

    Perhaps you might sell the 7-14 and try the Samyang 7.5 fisheye?
  9. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    This could convince me to try the 7-14! Any link to the gel filters you speak of?

    What's the impact on image sharpness?
  10. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I was wondering that too. If you compare the two shots, the one with filter seems to show lower contrast than the one without. Would be good to see the two raws.
  11. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    You know, that's a good suggestion. From what I've heard the Samyang is pretty good optically. With defishing, it could solve my super wide fetish. Anyone have any experience with flare issues?
  12. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Thanks John. You know I got into m4/3 because of the OMD, but the more I see and read of the GH3, I'm beginning to wonder if that's the ultimate destination. It's not cheap mind...
  13. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I'd try the G6 if it had both front and rear wheels. REALLY sexy looking camera, but I can't give up my two wheels. The GH3 is a bit big for me.
  14. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I don't have the 9-18, but I love 7mm. The purple CA blobs on my OM-D/P7-14 combo are not nearly as bad as what I've seen from other combos. For ease of use, clearly the 9-18 wins, for adding drama and impact the 7-14. I like drama and impact.








  15. sinclair

    sinclair Mu-43 Veteran

    Because no one else has said it, I will.

    Sell your 7-14mm, ...to me! :)~

    But really, I'm of the mind to keep both. Like stated above, use the Oly as a wide zoom, and the Pany as an ultra wide since you have pretty much only shot it at 7mm. I'd keep it over getting the 7.5mm fisheye because it is a zoom, so if you have it mounted, and find out you want to pull the view in some you don't have to switch lenses or move your feet.
  16. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    The 7.5 Fish is wider.
  17. my .02 cents

    Well, the 7-14 IS sharper. No question.
    It's also larger. That may be an issue for people who have smaller Olympus bodies - like myself, I have an E-PL5 and the 7-14 is bulky and unbalanced on it, but on an OM-D it feels natural.
    So the 7-14 is the winner here IMHO.

    True. But from what I know, this is a minor issue that only crops up (pardon the pun) in a few shooting situations.
    It's not a reason to get rid of the 7-14mm if you like it's other characteristics.

    9-18 is way easier on filters.
    7-14 is a hassle.
    But there's another relatively easy solution that you've not mentioned - namely using ND filter presets in post-processing. The software I use - both Lightroom 4.x and the Nik series (Color Efex and Silver Efex for b&w/monochrome processing) both feature ND effects that are truly powerful and relatively easy to use and apply. I'm guessing many other major software tools - including AC/DC, other Adobe apps, Aperture, etc etc, all feature similar tools.
    So, bottom line, using or apply ND to your 7-14 photos isn't that hard in post.
    Not a reason to sell the 7-14, in my opinion.

    That 7mm ultra wide is very very cool.
    You're totally right.
    Another compelling reason to keep the 7-14mm

    My take - and obviously each one of us is and are different people with different needs and different ways of seeing the world, and of taking pictures - is that the combination of your OM-D body plus the 7-14mm lens is both a winner and a keeper. If you want to avoid redundancy and over-indulgence, I suggest selling the 9-18. It's a fine lens but in many ways, it's only duplicating aspects of the 7-14 which from many perspectives is just a better lens, and possibly a better pairing with your OM-D.

    But I do have my own axe to grind too. The smaller more compact 9-18 would go perfectly with my smaller more compact E-PL5 body.....so if you want to get rid of it, please let me know. (grin)

    Apart from that, the truth is - they're both very good lenses.

    I honestly don't know what I would do if faced with your problem.

    Good luck!
  18. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    How does using ND filter presets in PP keep you from blowing highlights in the actual shot? Real ND filters do that.
  19. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK

    Gary - these are fantastic shots. You even make the purple blobs work for you!

    Love it!
  20. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    The 9-18 is butt ugly!!! :cool:
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.