Is something wrong with one of these 9-18mm lenses?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Mr Hahn, Oct 1, 2013.

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  1. Mr Hahn

    Mr Hahn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 9, 2010
    SLC, Utah
    I need some help with this.

    I sold my Olympus 9-18mm here on the forum. The buyer sent me several PM's today and insists the lens has serious flaws. He says he got another 9-18mm lens from a friend and it performs much better. So, below are his own comparison shots that he labeled Lens "A" and Lens "B".

    Without any of you being biased in any way by knowing what his complaint is or which lens is which, does anything stand out to you that says one lens is behaving far worse than the other? I'm honestly trying to figure out if I completely missed something here or if the lens got damaged in shipping, but I'm just not seeing it. Please note, exif info is correct and there is one more piece of information I'll share about it after I get some feedback.

    Lens A
    Camera: E-PL5 9mm 1/320sec f8.0 iso200 0 EV

    Lens B
    Camera: E-PL5 18mm 1/500sec f11 iso200 0 EV

    Lens A
    Camera: E-PL5 10mm 1/1600sec f4.3 iso200 -0.3 EV

    Lens B
    Camera: E-PL5 9mm 1/160sec f7.1 iso200 0 EV

    So, do you think one of these is bad or is this guy acting strange.
  2. Adubo

    Adubo SithLord Subscribing Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    Thats hard to compare since he's using diff subjects/framing diff exposure settings and diff FL's.

    Ask for a better comparison shot.
  3. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 2, 2010
    I don't see anything that stands out, but then again, none of the photos are comparable so it is hard to judge.

    The buyer needs to shoot the same scene at the same focal length with the same camera and settings to really compare.

    Good luck resolving it, I know your price was very good (I kept wishing I had the money for it).
  4. Mr Hahn

    Mr Hahn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 9, 2010
    SLC, Utah
    Thanks for the initial input guys. It's honestly not jumping out at me. He got the lens today and said he took over 200 images with it, and these are what he sent me to showcase the faults. I'll tell you what problems he found and which lens is which tomorrow night after more people have a chance to tell me what they think.

    If the buyer reads this thread, I'm not posting your name or dragging you through the mud, and I'm not even saying your wrong. I'm simply seeking unbiased opinions and I ask that you wait until after 7:00pm Tuesday night (Pacific Time) before posting any replies or details so other photographers have a chance to tell me what they think.

    Thanks in advance for more input guys,

    Nate Hahn
  5. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Hmmm. If I didn't know better, I'd think those shots were all taken with the same lens. I don't see anything wrong with any of them. Am curious to know what the problem is.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk 4
  6. nardoleo

    nardoleo Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 2, 2013
    Dont see anything wrong in these photos either. Really curious as to what the problem could be.

    Sent from my trusty Samsung Galaxy Note 2
  7. hrsy1234

    hrsy1234 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 29, 2013
    East London
    I see nothing wrong with them. Sharpness is comparable and there's no odd CA or anything.

    Unless the issue is not to do with IQ and something else - slow to focus, noise when focussing, faulty connections with the camera?
  8. Colorbright

    Colorbright Mu-43 Regular

    I cannot see anything wrong so far, but will look at the images again later when i have more time. As previously mentioned by other people, the person who took these should probably take the exact same shots at the approx. the same times for purposes of comparison. (I would use a tripod, too).

    I look forward to learning something from this posting when you do the big reveal about what is supposedly wrong.
  9. maybe the buyer is using it on a Panasonc body... as far as I know, Panny bodies do not do any correction with Olympus lenses. At wider angles, its probably more noticeable.

    I dont notice anything either....
  10. Colorbright

    Colorbright Mu-43 Regular

    Ok, maybe in these pool pictures there is some sizing differential (difference in image size scaling relative to the mm at which it was shot)? I can see that there is a fair bit of difference in the image magnification from one to the other (with one shot at 10mm and one at 9mm). however, if that was the issue it would have been simple to shoot two images with each lens at the same MM for purposes of comparison. The other differences in the shots really make it hard to compare them, though (angle, speed, etc.)

    Really just taking a flyer on this hypothesis, though:wink:

  11. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    I believe that the Lens A images are sharper - but, the Lens B images are taken at smaller f-stops where diffraction is an issue - which would explain the slight sharpness difference - that's a law of physics issue, not a lens issue.

    I would suggest that the guy take specific comparison shots at the same settings and positions, and compare those, to actually know if there is a lens issue.
  12. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    These shots are useless for comparison purposes - different focal lengths, f-stops, shutter speeds - how do you do a meaningful comparison of very different photos?
    • Like Like x 1
  13. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 29, 2013
    Taneytown , MD
    I'll be honest with you, I smell buyers remorse.
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Mr Hahn

    Mr Hahn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 9, 2010
    SLC, Utah

    Wow, that's this thread got lots of feedback overnight so I'll go ahead and post what he sent me right now before I leave the house:

    So, Lens A is supposed to be his friends good lens and Lens B is supposed to be my malfunctioning lens.

    And here's one more thing I learned from the EXIF info:
    The Lens A shots were taken on June 27th 2013, while the shots with my Lens B were taken when he got it on Monday Sept 30th 2013. So not only is almost every possible camera setting and angle different, he also used images 3 months old for the comparison.

    Thanks for all of the replies,

    Nate Hahn
  15. pisanoal

    pisanoal Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 29, 2012
    When i first looked at these photos, i thought he might have been complaining about what he calls blooming. The right side of the last image has blown highlights, but so does the right side of the first image which was taken with the "good" lens. If you compare the third and fourth shots, which are arguably the most comparable framing, lens A is a more correct exposure, where the lens B photo seems to be over exposed (basing that off the differences in shadow brightness). If you compare the first and second images, the "good" lens performed IMO identically in a similar situation to the bad lens in the 4th shot, with the the "bad" lens maintaining good detail on the right side in the second shot. Whoever said "buyers remorse" sounds right.

    If he is paying return shipping, you may consider allowing him to return it for the purchase price only (although i would be concerned about any damage to the lens that may have happened in his hands). Or just tell him that based on several unbiased opinions of his comparison shots, there is nothing wrong with the lens you sent him and that if he does not want the lens, he can sell it for a fair price as there does not appear to be anything wrong with it.

    If he still insists, make him take identical shots within the next day or two at each end of the zoom range and send them to you.
  16. Mr Hahn

    Mr Hahn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 9, 2010
    SLC, Utah
    At this point I think that he used a friends lens 3 months ago and got excited about it, but now he's remorseful buyer trying to find fault in the lens to back out of the transaction. I am sorry he is unhappy with the lens, but I don't see a reason to offer him a refund even if I could. The money was needed and is already spent. The lens worked fine when it left my house, but his settings are everywhere and I think he just needs to learn how to use it. If he doesn't want it anymore he should simply sell it, either way I think it's out of my hands at this point.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I see no blooming,
    only a hugely overexposed photo of the pool, Number 4.
    No blooming.

    Hey I'm in the same boat as the buyer : I just bought a used 4/3rds 9-18, took some photos outside : yes it's wide.
    Took some photos on tripod inside : yes, sharp as the kit zoom.
    That was the extent of my testing to reckon it does what it says on the tin.
    If I'd bought it brand new I might do more tests ... might.
  18. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    The exposure and composition are all over the map.

    Manual, Program, with Exposure comp, without.

    Who can tell. I will say that in general lens A's images are better exposed than Lens B, but since they are different you can't really tell anything usable.

    This kind of testing is hard.
  19. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    The 9-18 is an interesting lens. It is not particularly sharp, and pixel peeping on it will lead to disappointment, but it is not intended to be used this way. The whole point of WA lenses is to use the whole frame captured. I like the lens. It takes great images for what it is.
  20. Bobrob

    Bobrob Mu-43 Rookie

    I agree with previous replies, that nothing can be gained form these shots, except that both lenses don't seem to have serious defects.
    Looking at the data though, lens A photos were taken in June, and lens B in September. It suggests to me that since purchasing your lens in June the buyer got another lens, (a cheaper deal perhaps?), and now wants an excuse to return yours.
    Maybe I am being harsh.
    I would suggest the complainant do a series of realistic comparison shots, same day, same camera and settings, from a fixed position etc. Only then could any difference be seen.
    Best wishes.
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