Help deciding between Olympus 9-18mm and 12mm?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by bumblebee, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. bumblebee

    bumblebee Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 20, 2014
    Vancouver, BC
    Hoping some of you have these lenses (or have tried them both) and can help me decide.

    I'm looking for a wide-angle lens, and at this point have ruled out the Panasonic 7-14mm for being too big, too expensive, and being unable to take filters.

    I'm planning a few trips this year (Japan, Hawaii, northern BC and possibly a road trip down the coast to California) and would like something for scenery, landscapes, and smaller spaces. I currently own the PanaLeica 25mm and Oly 40-150 so I haven't considered any of the other zooms for the sake of not having any overlap in my kit, plus the fact that I like the small size of both of these. My reasons for leaning towards either are as follows:

    • Versatile focal range
    • Lower price (although the difference may not be enormous as I'll have to buy new filters)
    • Greater capacity to shoot in low-light situations without a tripod, etc.
    • Takes the same filter size as my PL25
    I have no idea what to do. I keep making up my mind and changing it. I wonder if I'll really miss the range of the 9-18 if I go with the 12, or if I should go with the 9-18 because of the great wide angle shots possible at 9mm and I'll have my lower-light situations covered with my PL25 (but then what about night time city shots, especially for Japan?)!
  2. D4rK89

    D4rK89 Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 25, 2013
    Real Name:
    I got your problem not long time ago. Im about to order Olympus 12-40mm 2.8 pro lens.

    For me its more versality, the light gattering about 0.8 doesnt matter for me. Only pros for 12mm 2.0 is its small size.
  3. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    I have both and would encourage you to go with the 9-18 mm. It's a fantastic travel lens. In my book, travel = zoom. I need the flexibility. The 12 is nice for low light but my new GX7 is good enough in low light that I may sell the 12. I'll never sell The 9-18!
  4. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    9 is much wider than 12 and the IQ from the 9-18 is pretty good. Unless the f2 matters for you, go for the 9-18.
  5. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    I don't have either one (the 14mm is my widest), but I'd vote for the 9-18mm. You've got the 25/1.4 for low light and the flexibility of the 9-18 will cover a lot of travel situations. What camera are you shooting? Consider packing a monopod if you're worried about low-light wide-angle shots, with cleaner high ISO (and 5-axis IBIS on some bodies) you don't need quite so extreme slow shutter speeds.
  6. Jaynometry

    Jaynometry Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 13, 2011
    Toronto, Ontario
    I'd do the 9-18. I have it and love it. You may not have to buy new filters if you get a step down ring.
  7. stargate

    stargate Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 14, 2013
    Go for the 9-18. I do not have it yet but in my DSLR days my Tokina 12-24 (same effective FL) almost never left my D80. I think it is the most convenient FL and when you use the ultra wide angle correctly (ie enough foregroung interesting details) you can get some pretty awesome shots.
  8. tosvus

    tosvus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 4, 2014
    I would say go for the 9-18. Fast glass becomes less important on ultrawide as you can shoot at lower speeds and still avoid blurring. At some point maybe invest in oly 17 or pana 14 too, but the 12mm is expensive.

    Sent from my RM-877_nam_att_205 using Tapatalk
  9. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Real Name:
    Ditto for 9-18. I thought I didn't need one, but in a bit of what-the-heck moment - flush with curiosity- I bought one, and it never went back. Since your primary purpose is travel, I think zoom is the best way to go. I never travel without this lens.
  10. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    If 12 is wide enough the 12/2 is an awesome lens. If 12 is not wide enough, it can't replace the 9-18.
  11. bumblebee

    bumblebee Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 20, 2014
    Vancouver, BC
    Oh thanks, you guys are awesome. You've made up my mind for me...I'll pick up a 9-18 before I leave for any trips :)

    I'm shooting on an EPM2 so no 5-axis IBIS for me. So far it's been a good-enough camera and small enough to stash in my everyday bag as long as the lens is detached. Can't wait to test its full potential this year, and then maybe I'll consider a higher-end body next time I want to buy myself a birthday gift!
  12. NettieNZ

    NettieNZ Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 18, 2012
    I've just had the same dilemma.
    Decided to go with the 9-18mm. It's on it's way to me now....
    From personal experience with my 12-50, the wide end just isn't wide enough for some of the street/building photos I want to take. Hoping that I'll get what I want from the 9mm end of this lens.

    Hope that helps!
  13. bumblebee

    bumblebee Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 20, 2014
    Vancouver, BC
    Oh geez, I'm clearly a forum newbie. I should have read through your thread before starting my own.

    Either way, that's all extremely useful information and really helps inspire confidence in choosing the 9-18. Thanks!
  14. 350duser

    350duser Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 26, 2012
    Brisbane, QLD
    Have both.
    On a recent trip to USA the 12 stayed at home and 9-18 came along with the 12-40. Great combo.

    WOuld highly recommend the 9-18 for all the reasons listed so far.
  15. Halaking

    Halaking Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 17, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    I have both, 9-18 is good buy with your 25 1.4.