any reason to upgrade to the native m43s Oly 9-18? Should I maybe SELL something?

GBarrington

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I recently bought the E-M5 III and I own the 4/3s DSLR version 9-18 which I've always liked rather well when adapted to my E-M10. And recently I bought some lenses that included the Lumix 7-14 f/4.0 which I really haven't had a chance to fully test yet, at least with the type of landscape/nature photos I like to take. A 9mm FL has seemed adequately wide for me, though I've never had the 7-14 out in the field so I don't know with certainty that 7mm has no value for me and as a result, I'm looking forward to testing it that way.

I clearly have too much time on my hands, but I like the idea of having native m43s lenses whenever possible. Is there any advantage to selling my two current UW zooms to buy a native m43s 9-14? My "gut" says this would be frivolous gear churning, but clearly I don't need TWO UW zoom lenses. How would you rate and rank these three UW zooms?
 

Mike Wingate

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I own and use my P7-14. There are times that 7mm is very useful. I have used a Loawa 7.5mm rectilinear which was great. But I cannot justify the cost. Is f4 fast enough. In churches, I rest the camera on a surface and 2 second shutter release works fine. Use the P7-14, otherwise you will need the PL8-18 and the PL10-25 as well as the O9-14?
 

RichDesmond

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I only own the native 9-18, so I can’t rank or compare them. I can say though that I consider it to be a good but not great lens, so unless the smaller size is important I wouldn’t be in any hurry to get one if I were you.

You could just wait for a good deal on a used one, if you didn’t like it sell it for little or no loss.
 
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I have owned all three, although not at the same time. The only advantage of the m43 version of the 9-18 is physical size. It’s tiny! Image quality is similar.

I only own the Panasonic 7-14 now. I would not go back to the 9-18 unless I needed to put together a super compact kit. If you own the 7-14 you should give it a chance, it’s better in every way except from 14-18mm obviously but nobody buys an ultra wide zoom to shoot at the long end.

As you may have read, some people have been troubled by strange purple flare resulting from reflections of the rear element on the 7-14. I suppose this is one downside to the lens but the issue I think was overblown and specific to certain cameras and shooting situations. I’ve never had a problem with it.
 

Michael Meissner

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Well the native 9-18mm is much smaller than the classic 4/3rds 9-18mm lens. Though some people complain that you have to twist the lens to unlock it (similar to the 14-42mm mark I/II).

Some people have problems with the classic 4/3rds adapters going slightly out of alignment. This seems to affect lenses wider than 14mm and causes part of the image to be distorted on one side. When you zoom out to 14mm, it goes away. Most of the reports that I've seen involve using the cheap adapters, but I do recall one poster a few years ago on dpreview.com that had the classic 4/3rds Olympus 7-14mm lens, and went through two MMA-3 adapters, that over time went out of alignment, and eventually he had to get the micro 4/3rds version of the 7-14mm.

Focus will be faster with the native lens than the adapted lens.

I don't have the lens, but the Panasonic 7-14mm had purple flare issues with the older Olympus cameras (particularly the E-m5 mark I). The conventional wisdom is this was caused by a mismatch between Olympus and Panasonic in terms of IR blocking. I believe starting with the Olympus E-m1 mark II (I may be mis-remembering the model), Olympus put in an IR filter, and the problem seems to have gone down or away.
 

davidzvi

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1. As others have said, does size matter?

I'll add:
2. Does the ability to use simple screw on filters matter?
3. Do you mind using an adapter?

For me 1- yes to an extent / 2 - VERY important / 3 - I hate using adapters or TCs.

I've owned the O9-18 and P7-14, both were fine. I have the PL8-18 now and am pretty happy with what it offers over the other two.
 

PakkyT

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I bought some lenses that included the Lumix 7-14 f/4.0 which I really haven't had a chance to fully test yet, at least with the type of landscape/nature photos I like to take.
I think before anyone can answer your questions you first need to work with the 7-14 for a bit and decide if you are happy with 9mm or if you are blown away with 7mm. When you are talking wide angles, a couple of millimeters doesn't sound like much but it really does make a huge difference, So first decide if you want 7mm or 9mm then that will answer the question of what to sell off. Then you can decide 4/3rds vs. m43 for what remains.
 

GBarrington

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Would it be fair to say that optically, aside from the flare issue on Oly Cameras, the Panasonic 7-14 is a tiny bit better than either 9-18 Olympus lens?
 

bargainguy

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I have the 7-14, and it's a fantastic performer. I don't think you will be disappointed.

Having said that, the 9-18 and 7-14 are very different lenses. My take:

9-18 is more kit-like, more plastic, very light, takes filters.

7-14 is bigger, has a more serious feel without being too heavy , bulbous front element, filters not possible without workarounds.

Keep in mind that 7-14 front element is much more susceptible to damage than the 9-18. If you regularly shoot under tough and tight conditions, the 9-18 might be a better choice simply from a damage mitigation standpoint.
 

RAH

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...Some people have problems with the classic 4/3rds adapters going slightly out of alignment. This seems to affect lenses wider than 14mm and causes part of the image to be distorted on one side. When you zoom out to 14mm, it goes away. Most of the reports that I've seen involve using the cheap adapters, but I do recall one poster a few years ago on dpreview.com that had the classic 4/3rds Olympus 7-14mm lens, and went through two MMA-3 adapters, that over time went out of alignment, and eventually he had to get the micro 4/3rds version of the 7-14mm.
I think I may have been the person whose thread you read a few years ago who had a lot of trouble diagnosing why my 4/3 9-18 lens was giving me such awful results on my E-M10I. I was counting on using it for my first trip to Utah and discovered about 1 month before leaving that at 9mm the edges of the image were simply DREADFUL.

I was using a 3rd party adapter (maybe a B&H one). After hashing things around with a bunch of opinions in the thread, the final conclusion was that it was the adapter that was the problem. I couldn't test it because my old E-520 camera no longer worked.

Anyway, I would be VERY leery of using the 4/3 9-18 for m43 use with an adapter. At best, it seems to be very sensitive to the alignment of the adapter. Plus, it is very large and heavy (and compared to the m4/3 version, it is ridiculously large!).

So I wound up getting the m4/3 9-18 2nd hand on KEH for $405. For travel it is perfect, IMHO. It is so small I think Olympus must have made a deal with the devil when they designed it. How can it possibly be that small and that wide?!? (yeah, I know - slow and pancake; still, it is a marvel, IMHO).

I find the results quite good even though I know everyone bad-mouths it. In fact, when trying to decide which image taken at Double Arch should be made into a metal print, I chose one taken with the 9-18 (using a Pany GM-5) over one taken with a P12-35 2.8 (on the E-M10I). The IQ was similar, but the composition, etc was better on the shot with the 9-18.

I did buy a PL 8-18 about 6 months ago, for non-travel use. So I would recommend that if size isn't all that important (the 8-18 is pretty small in it's own right, but everything is relative). I think there's not much reason to buy a P7-14 instead of the 8-18 (other than maybe price). Edit: I decided to emphasize the 8-18 thoughts because that is a lens not mentioned in the OP, but I think it is the best option if size is not a concern and 9mm is enough width).
 
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hoggdoc

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What about the Olympus 7-14mm Pro Lens. Bit pricey, but is weather sealed and Pro Level build quality and IQ.

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GBarrington

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I'm fairly certain I would not use it enough to warrant the high price they ask for it. I already have the Pro 12-40 f/2.8, and am seriously thinking of stepping up to a better quality zoom tele, Panasonic has something in between the kit zoom tele and the Oly pro version. I might look at that or spring for the Oly pro. I'd use it more than an ultra wide, I think.
 

DHart

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Finding the "vision" for applying ultra-wide lenses to situations can take some work for some folks. I seem to be able to find applications for 7mm, 8mm, even 9mm almost everywhere. I LOVE ultra-wide lens images when applied well. In fact, I find the ultra-wide lenses FAR more useful, generally, than long, telephoto lenses.

If the money allows, I wouldn't think it to be "gear churning" at all. Go for native m4/3 ultra-wide! And, you will likely be quite well-served with the P 7-14 that you have now!

I have a P 7-14/4 and an Oly 9-18. Both are good lenses with a nod to the 7-14 for angle of view and IQ.

If the cost is not an issue, and size isn't an issue, I would have a good look at the Lumix 8-18/2.8-4 and the Zuiko 7-14/2.8. Otherwise, P 7-14 is awesome, an Zuiko 9-18 is pretty nice.

That said, in recent years I have had great appreciation for using somewhat more "normal" focal length images (perhaps 35 to 50mm - equivalent) stitched together to encompass the desired width of coverage. The closer perspective of a more normal focal length brings most of the subject closer in view, and the stitching enables the wide perspective - win/win for a lot of situations - BUT, not ALL!

So, when possible, I shoot m4/3 at around 15-25mm, and stitch a few images together for wide coverage.

There is a fairly significant difference in field of view between 9mm and 7mm. 7mm is AWESOME.

And, of course, some situations absolutely require an ultra-wide lens, period. Like these, taken with the P 7-14/4. Stitching can't give you this:

49826240753_fac15a28e8_k.jpg
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49826771216_ee820165d3_k.jpg
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RAH

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I'm fairly certain I would not use it enough to warrant the high price they ask for it. I already have the Pro 12-40 f/2.8, and am seriously thinking of stepping up to a better quality zoom tele, Panasonic has something in between the kit zoom tele and the Oly pro version. I might look at that or spring for the Oly pro. I'd use it more than an ultra wide, I think.
I agree. I have the PL 12-60 f2.8-4 and think it is a nice compromise. Along those lines, I'll mention again that I think the PL 8-18 f2.8-4 is a better option than the Oly 7-14 f2.8, unless you don't care about size and price. Look at the size difference:
Oly 7-14 f2.8:
Weight 534 g (1.18 lb)
Length 106 mm (4.17")

PL 8-18 f2.8-4:
Weight 315 g (0.69 lb)
Length 88 mm (3.46″)
 

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