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M Zuiko 9-18mm: Good thing, small package

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Luckypenguin, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. An Ultra-wide angle zoom (in the form of a Sigma 10-20mm) was always a constant part of my Canon kit, so needless to say an equivalent lens was always going to be a must-have for Micro 4/3. A few weeks ago I bit the bullet and went ultra-wide: Micro 4/3 style with the M Zuiko 9-18mm (thanks Kosta :thumbup:). So does the 9-18mm cut it? In a word, yes. In more than one word, read on...

    It doesn't work out to be quite as wide as the Canon/Sigma combo (18mm vs 16mm equivalent) but so far I haven't missed the difference. It's tiny, it's sharp, it's fast-focusing, it's tiny, it's reasonably well corrected for distortion (without losing that wide-angle look), it's tiny....it's tiny...

    Offhand I can't think of another ultra-wide that's barely bigger than the standard 3x kit zoom

    http://i883.photobucket.com/albums/ac33/ttlonline/m43/P1030360-P.jpg" border="0" width="640" alt="Photobucket"></a>


    Compared to my beloved and much-used Sigma

    [img]http://i883.photobucket.com/albums/ac33/ttlonline/m43/IMG_6236.jpg" border="0" width="640" alt="Photobucket"></a>


    Ultra-wides give a unique view of the world. Some may feel that they give an un-natural perspective, but if you can work with it that is part of their appeal.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/6073171017/" title="OEP1-P8123209-P2R Olympus Pen E-P1 Brisbane - Urban by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr">[ATTACH=full]174114[/ATTACH]"640" height="427" alt="OEP1-P8123209-P2R Olympus Pen E-P1 Brisbane - Urban"></a>
    #1


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/6059179864/" title="PGH1-P1030256-PR Panasonic Lumix GH1 Brisbane - Street by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr">[ATTACH=full]174115[/ATTACH]"427" height="640" alt="PGH1-P1030256-PR Panasonic Lumix GH1 Brisbane - Street"></a>
    #2


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/6045458988/" title="PGH1-P1030290-PR Panasonic Lumix GH1 Brisbane- Urban by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr">[ATTACH=full]174116[/ATTACH]"640" height="427" alt="PGH1-P1030290-PR Panasonic Lumix GH1 Brisbane- Urban"></a>
    #3


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/6044909903/" title="PGH1-P1030278-PR Panasonic Lumix GH1 Brisbane- Street by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr">[ATTACH=full]174117[/ATTACH]"640" height="427" alt="PGH1-P1030278-PR Panasonic Lumix GH1 Brisbane- Street"></a>
    #4


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/6048552941/" title="PGH1-P1030254-PR Panasonic Lumix GH1 Brisbane - Urban by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr">[ATTACH=full]174118[/ATTACH]"640" height="427" alt="PGH1-P1030254-PR Panasonic Lumix GH1 Brisbane - Urban"></a>
    #5


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/6055239995/" title="OEP1-P8123202-PR Olympus Pen E-P1 Brisbane - Urban by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr">[ATTACH=full]174119[/ATTACH]"480" height="640" alt="OEP1-P8123202-PR Olympus Pen E-P1 Brisbane - Urban"></a>
    #6


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/6052002300/" title="OEP1-P8133218-PR Olympus Pen E-P1 Brisbane - Urban by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr">[ATTACH=full]174120[/ATTACH]"480" height="640" alt="OEP1-P8133218-PR Olympus Pen E-P1 Brisbane - Urban"></a>
    #7


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/6048765011/" title="PGH1-P1030279-PR Panasonic Lumix GH1 Brisbane - Urban by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr">[ATTACH=full]174121[/ATTACH]"640" height="427" alt="PGH1-P1030279-PR Panasonic Lumix GH1 Brisbane - Urban"></a>
    #8

    As much as anything, this is a lens that really sells the format to me, and the reason for Micro 4/3 being in the first place: Big camera performance in a lightweight, small camera package. Now if I could only take it back to some of the places my Sigma has been and get these same shots over again on a Micro 4/3 camera...

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/5876493393/" title="C50D-IMG_1068-PR Canon EOS 50D Ephesus Turkey - Travel by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr">[ATTACH=full]174122[/ATTACH]"640" height="427" alt="C50D-IMG_1068-PR Canon EOS 50D Ephesus Turkey - Travel"></a>


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/5946039253/" title="C350D-IMG_2511-PR Canon EOS 350D Varanasi India - Travel by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr">[ATTACH=full]174123[/ATTACH]"427" height="640" alt="C350D-IMG_2511-PR Canon EOS 350D Varanasi India - Travel"></a>


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/5698457455/" title="C350D-IMG_1882-PR Canon EOS 350D Thamel Kathmandu Nepal - Travel by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr">[ATTACH=full]174124[/ATTACH]"640" height="427" alt="C350D-IMG_1882-PR Canon EOS 350D Thamel Kathmandu Nepal - Travel"></a>


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/5942530209/" title="C50D-IMG_1517-PR Giza Pyramids Cairo Egypt - Travel by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr">[ATTACH=full]174125[/ATTACH]"427" height="640" alt="C50D-IMG_1517-PR Giza Pyramids Cairo Egypt - Travel"></a>

    ...sigh
     
    • Like Like x 19
  2. uscrx

    uscrx Mu-43 Veteran

    440
    Aug 26, 2011
    Shasta Cascade
    Those are some awesome pictures.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Midwest
    Paul
    Absolutely great photos, you definitely have an ultrawide eye. First time I put my fingers on my 9-18mm I was just as floored - it is almost a work of art for them to have put an equivalent focal length into a lens the size of which rivals many compact primes. I loved it, and vow to own it again!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Wonderful use of the ultra-wide angle, Nic! I find it difficult to compose with such a wide view, but I can appreciate what you and others do with it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Thanks!

    Ouch, an ultrawide eye: sounds painful!
     
  6. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    532
    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    Mark
    What a marvelously concise and well illustrated review. Excellent.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Jimboh

    Jimboh Mu-43 Regular

    75
    Sep 17, 2010
    Florida
    9-18mm

    I've got one too, and it's a very flexible lens. Shoot straight on and it's wide view with little immediate distortion, but if you want to induce the exaggerated curved edges, tilt down or up a bit. Can have lots of fun with this lens.:bravo-009:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. playak47

    playak47 Mu-43 Veteran

    297
    Nov 4, 2010
    I have this lens. I wish I could do wide as good as you. But I'm still learning.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. yinhan16

    yinhan16 Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Aug 25, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
    Wow! Did you do any post-processing on these photos? Or fresh from the camera?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. drizek

    drizek Mu-43 Veteran

    492
    Aug 5, 2011
    I really wish this lens was cheaper. I'm in hte position now where I can't justify spending a lot of money on a WA lens because I know I'm not good at taking wide angle photographs, and I can't learn to take WA photographs because I've never owned a WA lens...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Gwendal

    Gwendal Mu-43 Veteran

    300
    Jun 6, 2010
    Ditto on the 9-18 love - must also emphasize that it is really, really sharp. And that the 18mm end is the equivalent of the traditional 35mm - so very convenient to have that angle of view AND the ultra-wide in the same package...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    Fantastic shots, I love the cow 2nd to last!

    That side-by-side with the Sigma is 'illuminating'...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    How NOT to use the 9-18!

    The 9-18 is one of my favorite lenses also. Its an essential part of any travel kit. I'd gotten away from m43 for a while and neglected this lens in the process, but now its back in my kit, front and center.

    I feel pretty comfortable with UWA composition and have plenty of reasonably good examples, but Nic is killing it with this lens and has done a more than wonderful job of showing how the lens SHOULD be used. So I figured the best contribution I could make would be to show you an example of how NOT to use it. This lens, or one like it, is wonderful in tight little urban or village streets and walkways where you want to show a lot but don't have room to back up. But when the spaces are constrained enough and there are actual human beings in them, you need to be careful. This is my favorite totally screwed up funhouse mirror shot with the wide end of this lens, taken in St. Paul de Vence, in the south of France, a little over a year ago... :biggrin:

    -Ray

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/5097861699/" title="Warped by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"802" height="1024" alt="Warped"></a>
     
    • Like Like x 3
  14. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    532
    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    Mark
    Wow! Love this, Ray. It's like HCB on acid (that's a compliment, btw :smile:).
     
  15. Yes these are post-processed in photoshop using the Nik plugins (silver efex, color efex, define). The micro 4/3 images are from a GH1 and a E-P1, the Canon/Sigma images are from a 350D and a 50D.

    This is very good point I neglected to mention. Even more so than the Sigma (~16-32mm), the focal length range of the 9-18mm (~18-36mm, emphasis on the 36) makes the M Zuiko an even more flexible lens for leaving on the camera for long periods. It is not just a one-trick pony.

    Cheers, the image you mentioned was from Kathmandu in 2008.

    Another illuminating illustration of the comparitive size of the M Zuiko, with camera bodies included. To make it fair the 9-18mm has been extended to it's operating position

    http://i883.photobucket.com/albums/ac33/ttlonline/m43/P8274810-PR.jpg" border="0" width="640" alt="Photobucket"></a>

    Plus one more with my regular location model, this time doing some studio work, for size comparison

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/6085201106/" title="OE510-P8274811-PR by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr">[ATTACH=full]174144[/ATTACH]"640" height="480" alt="OE510-P8274811-PR"></a>

    [quote="Ray S, post: 142534"]The 9-18 is one of my favorite lenses also. Its an essential part of any travel kit. I'd gotten away from m43 for a while and neglected this lens in the process, but now its back in my kit, front and center.

    I feel pretty comfortable with UWA composition and have plenty of reasonably good examples, but Nic is killing it with this lens and has done a more than wonderful job of showing how the lens SHOULD be used. So I figured the best contribution I could make would be to show you an example of how NOT to use it. This lens, or one like it, is wonderful in tight little urban or village streets and walkways where you want to show a lot but don't have room to back up. But when the spaces are constrained enough and there are actual human beings in them, you need to be careful. This is my favorite totally screwed up funhouse mirror shot with the wide end of this lens, taken in St. Paul de Vence, in the south of France, a little over a year ago... :biggrin:

    -Ray

    [/quote]

    Ray, your recent work with the E-P3 and the 9-18mm on the street were as good an advertisement for this lens as any, but you've shown a great example of the pitfalls of an UWA lens. In my #4 shot above you can see that Mr. Cool's right foot has a bit of stretch to it. The distortion in the 9-18mm seems mostly confined to the corners at 9mm, whereas the edge distortion of the Sigma 10-20mm can get a bit wild at 10mm. Here's an example of instant leg-lengthening from the Sigma, despite being not all that close to the edge or corner of the frame

    [img]http://i883.photobucket.com/albums/ac33/ttlonline/m43/IMG_2801-PR.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    483
    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Nic,

    Thanks for these posts, the 9-18 looks a cracker of a lens! I always fancied one when I had a E620 before.
     
  17. JCD

    JCD Mu-43 Veteran

    257
    Nov 10, 2010
    Palermo, Italy
    a little contribution for this great lens

    P1040164-Modifica.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  18. Thanks, Chris. The 4/3 version of the 9-18mm was a great lens as well, and I used one on my m4/3 cameras before getting this one. Before I sell it I should do a comparison, but I think I already know the answer: the m4/3 M Zuiko is just as sharp, just as flare resistant, but heaps smaller and much faster to focus (on a m4/3 body). The flare resistance of both is better than the Sigma. Great lens, great on 4/3, but too slow and bulky on m4/3 compared to it's little brother.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/5803400483/" title="PGH1-P1020599-PR Panasonic Lumix GH1 Brisbane - Urban by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr"> 5803400483_44644973ba_z. "427" height="640" alt="PGH1-P1020599-PR Panasonic Lumix GH1 Brisbane - Urban"></a>
    GH1


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/6031638171/" title="OEP1-P7092881-PR Olympus Pen E-P1 Brisbane - Urban by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr"> 6031638171_786fb32fe7_z. "480" height="640" alt="OEP1-P7092881-PR Olympus Pen E-P1 Brisbane - Urban"></a>
    E-P1


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/6011368626/" title="OE410-P1010135-P2R Olympus Evolt E-410 Brisbane by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr">"640" height="360" alt="OE410-P1010135-P2R Olympus Evolt E-410 Brisbane"></a>
    E-410 (4/3)
     
  19. Thanks, JCD. Great image showing how the lens works from a low perspective.
     
  20. walt_tbay

    walt_tbay Mu-43 Veteran

    322
    Aug 24, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I love this lens too. It's great for interior shots like this.


    NYC_Grand_Central-3.
     
    • Like Like x 4