Making the Right Decision? Oly 9-18mm

dohearne

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At the risk of going over a well worn path, I am posting regarding the Oly 9-18 vs Pany 7-14. I have read many posts here and elsewhere. I have a OM-D E-M5 and looking to buy a wide angle zoom for a trip to Sicily and Rome next month. I will be photographing sunsets, sunrises, and the icons of Rome at night. And because of this and the "purple" issue with the Pany 7-14, I am ready to purchase the Oly 9-18. The price of the lenses is not an issue. My problem is that I do like FOV's wider than the Oly lens gives. I have a Nikon D300 and a Tamron 10-24, a combo which have made almost 4000 images with. Of those half of the images would fall within the 7-8mm range on a micro 4/3, so I clearly tend to use the wider angles. However, I do not want to spend a lot of time dealing with purple blotches. Before I send off an order, I decided to reach out to the micro 4/3 group for any input.
 

BigTom

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I came from a D200 and 10-20, which I pretty much always used at 10mm. I do occasionally miss the extra couple of mm, but not terribly. The 9-18 was pretty much a no brainer for me because I use filters a lot, and it is fantastically small and light which is a bonus for travelling. I often wish for a focal scale though.
 
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Rome and the m. 9-18mm Olympus

I have no experience with the Panny 7-14 .... but the Olympus M. 9-18mm is my go to lens for traveling. Below iare a few nighttime shots of Rome with the lens in question. Each time I use this lens I come away impressed. Also threw one taken in a museum with the m. 9-18.
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Cheers.

Jean
 

Clint

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How many of those shots were shooting directly into a small bright light source?

Which would you prefer -
To not have half the shots you knew you could have gotten with another lens
or
to have all of the WA photos that fit your vision, with a few that might have purple flair?

If you get the 7-14 and shoot with a small bright light source directly into the lens - just take a couple of more shots varying the angle slightly.
 

dohearne

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Clint, I frequently shoot into a setting sun which of course frequently generates flare in the lens and am accustomed to repositioning. My impression (and judging by posted images), however, was that the purple "blobs" from the 7-14 on the E-M5 are different and not as easy to deal with. I see you have the E-M1. Did you shoot the E-M5 with the 7-14?
 

xdayv

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I'll go for the 9-18, giving up the aperture and wider FL, but otoh refraining from the issues of the 7-14 with EM5. Enjoy and bring back some photos here.
 

Art

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I just got Oly 9-18. I came to the conclusion that 9-18 would be a perfect travel lens. It covers all outdoor family travel situations. One body w/9-18, second body w/telephoto or low light lens (PL25, O17, etc.) seems like a sensible solution. I never had an UWA lens except for a fisheye.

I was shooting/testing w/9-18 yesterday and realized that it's not an easy lens to use compared to my other lenses. It requires some practice to control for perspective distortion. I found that the lens is sharp enough across the frame but most images required post processing.

The lens is very prone to purple fringing, loss of contrast and misfocus (frequently focuses on background/infinity even with face detect).
PP in LR requires manual CA correction, distortion correction, levels adjustment, etc. Without PP, most pictures came out pale, washed out, cheap P&S looking.

It's definitely a lot more work than any of my other lenses. I will be getting a polarizer for it which should help with contrast/colors. A hood may also help but to my knowledge there are no hoods for this lens which are reversible making it a big NO for any size conscious folks (m43 user base).
 

DHart

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The "purple blob fear" seems to be rampant around here. :rolleyes: Funny how such fears spread, take root, and flower profusely. As with most fears, the fear itself is often more destructive than what is feared.

While purple flare may be induced under certain circumstances, in years of using the 7-14 myself, I haven't experienced it once. Most of my applications with the lens are exterior landscape, shooting with GF-1, G3, G5, GH2, GX7, EPL3, EPL5, EP5, EM5.

Even if purple blobs were to occur on occasion, that wouldn't dissuade me from the 7-14 lens at all.

The difference in FOV between 7mm and 9mm is dramatic. 9mm is no substitute when 7mm is appropriate. If you desire greater FOV than 9mm, I would encourage buying the 7-14. I own and use both the 9-18 and the 7-14. Each of them are wonderful lenses, each suited for different applications. Neither quite a suitable substitute for the other.

Don't fear purple blob... you may never even experience it using the 7-14.
 

dohearne

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@Art. Thanks for your reply and you are correct that wide angle shooting has a learning curve. As to a polarizing filter, be careful with sky shots due to the FOV yielding uneven blues.
 

pdk42

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Totally agree with Don's analysis. I had both and decided to sell the 7-14 mainly to reduce size/weight and investment overall. I still miss the 7-14 from time to time, but the 9-18 is a good lens so I'm not too unhappy. I don't recognise Art's comments about lack of contrast, poor CA, poor sharpness, missed focus etc. Sure, the corners could do with being a bit sharper and you need to click the "remove CA" checkbox in LR sometimes - but these aren't show stoppers and aren't unique among UWA u43 lenses (or lenses from other systems). I have produced some really excellent shots from my 9-18 and there are excellent examples in the sample images section here too.
 

Mellow

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Without reading this whole thread (sorry, busy!) I'll add this: I find that I use the 9-18mm a lot as my only lens. At 18mm it's close enough to be "normal", so I can go out with just a small camera + 9-18mm and find lots of things to shoot. Personally I love WA and would probably love the 7-14mm, but I also think I'd have it on my camera a whole lot less. So I guess it depends on what you like to shoot, and how often you like to change lenses. If you're like me and probably change lenses less than you should, then the 9-18mm's extra versatility is a real plus.
 

jziegler

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At the risk of going over a well worn path, I am posting regarding the Oly 9-18 vs Pany 7-14. I have read many posts here and elsewhere. I have a OM-D E-M5 and looking to buy a wide angle zoom for a trip to Sicily and Rome next month. I will be photographing sunsets, sunrises, and the icons of Rome at night. And because of this and the "purple" issue with the Pany 7-14, I am ready to purchase the Oly 9-18. The price of the lenses is not an issue. My problem is that I do like FOV's wider than the Oly lens gives. I have a Nikon D300 and a Tamron 10-24, a combo which have made almost 4000 images with. Of those half of the images would fall within the 7-8mm range on a micro 4/3, so I clearly tend to use the wider angles. However, I do not want to spend a lot of time dealing with purple blotches. Before I send off an order, I decided to reach out to the micro 4/3 group for any input.
Another small factor to consider: You list the 12-50mm lens, is that your only other lens? Olympus and Panasonic lenses zoom in opposite directions from each other, so it can be disorienting switching from one to the other. It requires some thought, along with a few moments of going the wrong way when you first switch. Coming to m43 from Nikon (zooms like Panasonic) and now having only Oly zooms, I still get it wrong at times (partially since I use my primes more than zooms).
 

dohearne

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Another small factor to consider: You list the 12-50mm lens, is that your only other lens? Olympus and Panasonic lenses zoom in opposite directions from each other, so it can be disorienting switching from one to the other. It requires some thought, along with a few moments of going the wrong way when you first switch. Coming to m43 from Nikon (zooms like Panasonic) and now having only Oly zooms, I still get it wrong at times (partially since I use my primes more than zooms).
I have not updated my lens list - I now have the Pany-Leica 25mm/1.4 and the Oly 40-150. Because I am still switching between my Nikon and the OMD I know the confusion on zooming.
 

macalterego

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I'm hoping to get the 9-18 myself, soon. From all accounts it will feel similar to what I was used to with the Canon 5D/17-40f/4 combo that was my walk-around/day-trek/cruise and travel kit for many years. I love the E-M1 with 12-40, but I think I miss wider angles. I have the 7.5mm fisheye, which is a great little lens for it's many uses. Plus, filters is useful for me, too. If it were weather sealed, it would be perfect.
 

dohearne

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Thanks to all who gave me feedback in this thread. I purchased the Oly 9-18 even though some good points were made for the Pany 7-14. For me the deciding factors for the Oly were:
- more compact for travel
- can use filters which I tend to do and have them already
- I can see it as a walk around lens for a day
- despite the reassurances regarding the "purple" problem, I saw too many images online illustrating the issue
- if I need wider on the trip, I will shoot for a stitched pano using my 25mm/1.4 (I feel more comfortable PPing a pano than removing purple blobs)
- and maybe in the future a wider lens will become available...lenses can always be bought and sold
 

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