I don't need the PL8–18, do I?

DeeJayK

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I recently picked up a Panasonic 7–14 f/4 zoom which I bought it on a whim as it was part of a package at a "too good to pass up" price. It was my first experience with an ultra-wide zoom and I kinda fell in love with the experience of shooting with it. Now, I've run across a great price on a Panasonic "Leica" 8–18 and am trying to talk myself out of "upgrading" to this lens.

Pros of the 8-18 are the faster aperture (at least on the wide end) as well as some additional reach which could add versatility. When walking around with only the 7-14 I often find myself wishing I could pull in a little bit and so usually I carry it along with another camera or lens; maybe the PL8–18 could eliminate the need to carry something else to some degree. I also like that the PL takes filters (without a bulky adapter).

Cons of the 8-18 are the larger size and the loss of a little bit at the wide end.

As I'm primarily an Olympus shooter, I'm aware of the 7-14's notorious "purple blob" issue, but mine came with the Wrattan filter "hack" and I haven't had any issues with it.

Please share experiences you've had in comparing these two lenses. I'm leaning toward sticking with the 7–14, but am still on the fence.

- K
 

Sniksekk

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I do like my 8-18, and my wife hates it.

With that said, I don’t feel that you really really need the 8-18, but you want it.
If you’re rich, buy it.
If you’re not, think twice if it’s worth it.
 

DeeJayK

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I do like my 8-18, and my wife hates it.
Curious as to why. Just because wide-angle pics can be unflattering? Or is there some other reason it draws her ire?

With that said, I don’t feel that you really really need the 8-18, but you want it.
If you’re rich, buy it.
If you’re not, think twice if it’s worth it.

Yes, it's obviously more of a "want" than a "need" situation. Thing is, I'm not convinced I even "want" it. I definitely don't need two ultra wide angle zooms, so if I picked up the 8–18, the 7–14 would have to go. I guess I could pick it up and then decide which one to keep.

- K
 

JensM

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The PL8-18 is a very, very nice lens. I dont know about the 7-14, but the 8-18 can be carried for a days outing as an only lens.

I have never had an UW lens before this and thought I didnt use it much, but when going back and looking over the harvest from it over the years, it seems like its my second most used lens for a couple of years.

I held it to be a must have. :)
 

Danny_SWE

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The PL8-18 is a very, very nice lens. I dont know about the 7-14, but the 8-18 can be carried for a days outing as an only lens.

I have never had an UW lens before this and thought I didnt use it much, but when going back and looking over the harvest from it over the years, it seems like its my second most used lens for a couple of years.

I held it to be a must have. :)
Agree. I have the Laowa 7.5 since before also but this one is now my regular day to day lens. I was on trip to Greece this summer and brought some lenses. This was the only one I needed :) (well once I used a telezoom, but only once). Fantastic lens.
 

John M Flores

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The 18mm of the 8-18 makes it very very useful...
 

nstelemark

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Having had the 8-18, (which did not use enough to keep), if I was going get another ultra wide zoom I would take a hard look at the Oly 8-25f4. A stop slower on the wide end and usefully longer on the long end, it would be a great travel lens. It is worth noting that I have the 8f1.8 pro which you won't be able to pry from my cold dead hands, but this lens is in another class, much wider, much faster and really small.
 

bargainguy

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I love my Panny 7-14/4. Quite sharp wide open, really doesn't improve stopping down, so mine is pretty much locked at f/4 or f/5.6.

I'm shooting stills only at the moment. If I were shooting video, the 8-18 would be more tempting, one stop faster and the extra reach at the long end. For stills, I like having the 7mm wide end, just as long as I make sure to keep hands, feet and tripod legs out of the frame.
 

davidzvi

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@DeeJayK the PL8-18 is a great lens. So why is mine listed for sale? Because i have enough other things to sell so I can switch it for the new Pro 8-25. The f/2.8 on the wide end makes no difference to me, but the extra 7mm on the wide does.

The PL8-18 compared to the P7-14? I don't miss the mm on the wide end. I find the PL8-18 better controlled in distortion, chromatic abortions, ...... It has just a better look to the images in my eye.

But the bigger benefit for me was the ability to use standard filters, that was a BIG plus.
 

John King

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Like @davidzvi , I'm very much inclined towards the 8-25.

Some background.

I own the FTs 7-14, 11-22 and 14-54 MkII.

The 7-14 is too short. Beautiful lens, but too restricted.

The 11-22 is too narrow at the wide end and too short at the long end. Otherwise an excellent lens. I would find the 8-18 limiting/frustrating at the long end, like the 11-22 is.

My 12-50 and 12-100 have spoiled me for the otherwise superb 14-54 MkII. That extra 2mm is gold!

I do see an 8-25 in my future. An UWA to normal lens is hard to resist, specially for car photography.
 

Sniksekk

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Curious as to why. Just because wide-angle pics can be unflattering? Or is there some other reason it draws her ire?
- K
She just thinks it’s to wide. She prefers the O12-40 2.8.

Only time ever she has used and liked the 8-18 was when we where on a trip visiting a lot of mountain tops, in Norway.
everything else, 12-40 is her choice.
 

Brownie

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I asked similar questions before I bought mine. I love the 8-18 and was able to find a good used one for a very low price. 8mm and 2.8 is important to me for interior shots like museums, which was the main reason I purchased it, 12 not being wide enough. And even though my beloved 12-60 is a 3.5 lens and got me by, IMO 4 is too slow for that kind of shooting. Still, I think the 8-25 deserves a good look before making a decision, especially if you don't intend to use it mainly indoors and need the speed.
 

Mike Wingate

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For stills, my P 7-14 is a fine lens, smallish, not too heavy. Great. I used it yesterday in a private chapel, and for photographing a big old yew tree.
 

stevedo

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Having owned the P7-14 for a number of years I finally got tired of the purple blobs that can happen on my Olympus bodies (we're not talking regular flare here). As a result, I decided to purchase something new. My first instinct was the new O8-25. Second instinct was the P8-18. I ruled out the O7-14 due to size and weight and it being difficult and expensive to use filters.

I started by analysing how I'd used my P7-14 and realised that about 85% of my shots were ar either 7mm or 8mm. About 10% were at between 12mm and 14mm. This made me realise that I only really used the wide zoom at its widest. The focal length between 12mm and 14mm I can cover with my O12-40.

I made my decision and recently acquired the new Laowa 7.5mm F2 auto lens. I figured that I was mostly using the zoom pretty much like a fixed focal length lens. The times I did zoom in a bit I was at a focal length I already have covered elsewhere. Still learning the Laowa. I will say however that it is tiny and great fun to use when you need ultra wide angle. YMMV

:) :) :)
 

hernan

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I was thinking about the gift to myself for Christmas :)). For the same price (about 950 euros) panaleica 8-18 or olympus 8-25? i am for olympus because it reaches 25 and it is almost "macro", my doubt is how is it on om 5 mk3? is it too big for this body? does anyone use this coupled and can give an opinion? I had pen F with 12-40 and found it unbalanced.
 

RAH

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I was thinking about the gift to myself for Christmas :)). For the same price (about 950 euros) panaleica 8-18 or olympus 8-25? i am for olympus because it reaches 25 and it is almost "macro", my doubt is how is it on om 5 mk3? is it too big for this body? does anyone use this coupled and can give an opinion? I had pen F with 12-40 and found it unbalanced.
Here is a comparison of the 8-25, 8-18, and (for comparison), the PL 12-60 2.8-4 on an E-M5.3:

oly8-25_vs_pl8-18_vs_pl12-60.jpg
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

As you can see, they are all very similar in size. The only problem with the 8-25, is that it weighs 411 g (14.5 oz), whereas the 8-18 weighs 315 g (11 oz); the 12-60 weighs 320 g. So the 8-25 is relatively heavy and probably wouldn't balance as well on an E-M5.3 as the other 2 lenses would.

Myself, I have the 8-18 and the PL 12-60 and have used the 12-60 a lot on an E-M10.2. I do find it somewhat front heavy with that setup, so I would think that it would be similar with the E-M5.3 (I have one but haven't used it much with these lenses because of the pandemic). The E-M5.3 has a larger grip than the E-M10.2 (or the Pen-F), so that would probably help.

I assume you have looked, but just FYI, the 12-40 weighs 382 g, so it is in the middle.
 

Darmok N Jalad

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The PL8-18 looks bigger than it seems in product photos. It does have a larger diameter than the PL12-60, but on any gripped body it‘s an easy carry. The biggest pro it has over the 7-14mm is that it’s much easier to use filters, which can be a very critical feature when shooting landscape. Might be the biggest reason to upgrade (or not, if you don’t use them), IMO. I’ve owned both and didn’t necessarily find either lacking with IQ. In a vacuum, I‘d pick the 8-18. It’s just not as easy a decision if you already have the 7-14.
 

DeeJayK

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I appreciate all the advice here. Just to close the loop in case anyone is responding to my initial query, I passed on this lens. I think the P7–14 and Laowa 7.5mm will fulfill my UWA needs for the time being.

- K
 

mumu

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Between the P7-14 and PL8-18, I ended up choosing the 8-18 mainly because it allows easy use of filters and the front element is better protected. The downside is that it's a bit bigger and heavier although not by a huge amount. But it's quite a bit bigger/heavier than the O9-18 that preceded it in my kit.
 

RAH

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The 8-18 is semi internal zooming - i.e. the zoom barrel never protrudes from the end of the lens, although you can see it moving in and out if you look into the end. I think this is an advantage because it probably makes zoom-creep less likely (although that might not happen much at these wide focal lengths anyway).

Concerning the 9-18, it is the elephant in the room - er - I mean the mouse in the room. For travel, I use the 9-18 a on a second body (GM5) as a secondary lens. Strictly for travel, I'd rather have it than the 8-18, and I guess if I could only own one, I'd also pick the 9-18 because it is so versatile. But I think the IQ is better with the 8-18 (and it is somewhat wider, of course), which is not to say the 9-18 is not good.
 

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