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Affordable Quality - Olympus 11-22mm? Other Wide Angle Options?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Turbofrog, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    So in my ongoing struggles with GAS, I've realized I don't actually have anything wider than 14mm except my Bower 7.5mm fisheye. Which is a great lens, particularly for nature photography, but I'm planning on doing a lot more tripod-based night city/architecture photography this summer once the weather gets a bit more comfortable, and the distortion doesn't lend itself well to that kind of shooting...

    I had a chance to buy the Olympus 4/3 11-22mm for ~$200, and I let it slip through my fingers. I was wrangling with the size, and the fact that I'd need to spend at least another $50 for a4/3 adapter. And I'd heard misgivings about the corner quality on newer 16MP sensors. But now I'm thinking that it would've been just about exactly what I'm looking for.

    I like the idea of the Olympus M.Z 9-18mm, mostly just because of how tiny it is, but would the quality actually be better than the 11-22mm? Because the price is still trending over $500 up here (more than I want to spend), so even if I forked out $300 for the 11-22 + $50 for the adapter, I'd still be comfortably ahead, with a faster lens...and I'm not sure I need the ultra-wide end as much as I'd appreciate having the more useful normal end. (The 4/3 9-18mm is barely $100 cheaper, which feels like I'm giving up too much for too little difference).

    The other alternative is the Panasonic 12-32mm, which would end up being the cheapest and tiniest, but almost definitely the worst optically and not that much wider than the 14mm I already have.

    In the opposite direction, I'd be stretching towards the 4/3 Olympus 12-60mm, but I think that lens is just too big and heavy, is much closer to the $400+ range, and supposedly has complex moustache distortion at its 12mm end, which is again not that wide.

    So I'm torn. As you can tell. Insights? Anyone struggled with similar thoughts and budgets?
     
  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Have you considered a wide angle converter? There's the WCON P-01 for the Olympus 14-42 kit lenses or the DMW-GWC1 which can attach to either the Panasonic 14mm/2.5 or the 14-42 PZ. Depending on whether you have any of the compatible lenses, these would likely be the least expensive option to get to 11mm. They each sell new for around US$100, but I've seen them go for half that or less used. They may not be the best solution optically, but I've seen lots of excellent examples shot with them and they'll certainly take up less room in your kit than any of the other options you've presented.

    Another low-cost option to consider to get to 12mm is the Olympus 12-50 kit lens. I would guess it would be optically a bit better than the P12-32 (or at least on par with it), and it's weather sealed (not sure if that's a consideration for you) although it is significantly larger.
     
  3. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    Would it be more cost efficient and beneficial to sell,some of your current kit and buy the 12-40 Pro?
     
  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Disorganized thoughts:

    • If you don't have moving subjects in your frame (which tripod seems to indicate) I've always found stitching to be a nice alternative.
    • Defishing the 7.5mm can work well, too. Hugin can do it nicely and it is freeware.
    • I don't know how the 11-22, 12-60 and 12-32 compare optically. But it seems odd to hear you say that 12-32mm is not that much wider than your 14mm, yet you seem fine with 11 or 12mm on the larger 4/3 lenses.
    • One more cheap (used) 12mm option not mentioned is the 12-50mm.
    • Don't stress too much about optical quality because you'll likely be using the lenses stopped down. At f8 diffraction is the limiter of sharpness, not the lens.
     
  5. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    This is the first time I've seen the 12-40 Pro lens being mentioned in terms of cost efficiency. You're an Olympus marketer's dream, Rob. ;)
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  6. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Thanks for the feedback.

    I've done plenty of defishing with the 7.5 (in Hugin, and with LR profiles) but the edge quality from stretching gets really distracting, and its a pretty radical perspective. I'd probably be throwing away 30-40% of the pixels to get it where I want it, but the other factor is difficulty in framing.

    Likewise, with stitching, its mostly a framing issue. I've done it a lot as well, but I'm not sure if it lends itself as well to architecture. I suppose I should give it a shot.

    I did say that 12mm on the 12-60 was marginal for me. Same complaint as the 12-32. The 11-22 is supposedly more like 10.5mm, and every mm counts at the wide end. Mainly though, it is the lack of distortion which should improve resolution since corrections will be minimal.

    I'm not particularly thrilled by the 12-50. I would definitely go for the 12-32mm instead if I were compromising on optical quality like that.
     
  7. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Native lens-wise, I only have the 14-140, the 20mm/1.7, and the 7.5mm FE. Unfortunately, the 12-40mm can't replace any of those in a real way, so anything here would be an addition.

    My legacy lenses are either worth too little to bother selling, or are otherwise lovable (very fast glass or macro lenses).
     
  8. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    What about Samyang 12mm f2? $300-ish new and quite good optically.

    Also, regarding architecture and stitching, as long as you frame loosely to make sure you have plenty to work with, it usually works out ok. There is a bit of luck involved, I agree. I prefer a single lens, too.

    12-50 vs 12-32 is pretty close, but at 12mm the 12-50 has better edges. The 12-32 has slightly better center. I'd probably favor more even performance and edges over center for architecture. Both have horrible uncorrected distortion, but the 12-40 is even worse.

    p.s. - have you visited the microfourthirds matching site to see how big the 11-22 is on camera? It's a fair bit larger and heavier than your 14-140, plus it needs an adapter. Essentially same size as the 12-60.

    p.p.s - as long as you are adapting big 4/3 lenses, there are 4/3 mount copies of the Sigma 10-20mm out there. $199 for a refurb.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  9. faithblinded

    faithblinded Mu-43 Top Veteran

    929
    Nov 25, 2014
    Cleveland, OH
    Ken
    I just picked up the 4/3 Olympus 7-14mm and I'm loving it. At used prices, it's an incredible value, for the image quality it offers.
     
  10. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    Lol. Well, only if it's sell many to buy one!

    Seriously, though, quality wide angle lenses are costly and with the quality of the Pro and the price of the 12mm, 17mm, 25mm and 45mm lenses, you can make a case for the Pro vs two of them at similar cost of you don't need <f2.8
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. xxjorelxx

    xxjorelxx Mu-43 Veteran

    248
    Dec 11, 2012
    MD, USA
    JohnRae
    If you dont mind me asking, where and how much? Most of the 4/3 Olympus 7/14mm i've seen are over the $1k mark which isnt necessarily a great value when there's cheaper options out there.
     
  12. faithblinded

    faithblinded Mu-43 Top Veteran

    929
    Nov 25, 2014
    Cleveland, OH
    Ken
    KEH has one in EX condition right now for $729US. Wait for them to have a sale and get it even cheaper.
     
  13. xxjorelxx

    xxjorelxx Mu-43 Veteran

    248
    Dec 11, 2012
    MD, USA
    JohnRae
    Nice! Good to know (not that I need one anymore. I just picked up a P7-14m this AM on ebay for a decent price)... Thanks for the info though
     
  14. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Hmm, I'd agree that I'd prefer the slightly more uniform appearance of the 12-50, but I'm not sure the marginal upgrade it represents makes up for its other downsides (compared to the very convenient 12-32, which I could stick on my GX1 and put in a pocket, for instance). Neither is the solution I'd love, to be honest.

    I have seen the 11-22mm on the camera, and it's definitely a bit chunky. But I figure if it's mostly a special use lens, it's not as big a deal. We'll see how much I like it, I can always sell it, I guess.

    Haven't been able to find much of anything about the Sigma 10-20, to be honest. Is it any good? I would assume that it's not in the same league optically as the 11-22mm, but maybe that's not a fair assumption.
     
  15. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    I found the M.Z 9-18 on Olympus's reconditioned lens site for $399. It comes and goes quickly, and it just missed the 25% coupon code, but was still a good buy at that price, compared to the new price of $599. I think it's great for a wider, rectilinear view than I get with my 17mm or 12-40mm. It's wonderfully compact, which makes it great for travel.

    I cannot say whether the image quality is better than the 11-22, not having that lens. If you take a look at the 9-18 showcase on this site, I think you'll find that it yields very acceptable photos. https://www.mu-43.com/threads/2537/

    Only you can judge if that's sufficient for you. I like mine a lot. :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015
  16. scottz

    scottz Mu-43 Regular

    135
    Jun 18, 2011
    Littleton, CO
    I'm loving my new Rokinon 12mm f2.0.
     
  17. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    505
    Jul 2, 2010
    Arizona
    I used and loved the 11-22 when I had my 4/3 system. I always thought it was a great lens. I thought about it again for my E-M1 since I'm using the 50-200 and have the adapter already. Opted for the m43 12 though for size and the extra speed.
     
  18. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    So....I ended up getting an 11-22mm after all, and have an MMF-3 on its way from one of our fine forum members.

    So we'll see how it goes! I'm cautiously optimistic. Except for the 20mm/1.7 (and the fisheye, in its own way), I don't have anything that has a particular reputation for sharpness, so I'm keen to see what a high grade zoom is like.