My wide angle madness

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by pdk42, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I think I'm taking leave of my senses...

    I use UWA lenses a lot. Back in Canon FF days it was the 17-40L. Nice enough lens and at f11 it was pretty sharp right across the frame (don't ask about the corners at f4!). That was fine though since I mostly used it for landscapes on a tripod and f11 was no issue.

    When I got into u43 the madness started:

    1. I bought a 9-18 and it was OK, but the corners disappointed me.

    2. I bought a Panasonic 7-14 and that was much better in the corners so I sold the 9-18 and lived with the 7-14 for a while. But, the lack of an easy ND filter solution and purple blobs eventually forced me to think again. I tried various DIY ND filter holders but none were really satisfactory and I struggled to find the Wratten 1A gel filters in the UK for the rear filter holder mod so I gave up on that.

    3. In frustration, I sold the 7-14 and I bought another 9-18. This was better than the first, but at times it didn't go wide enough and the corners, although better, still weren't where I wanted them to be. So, I sold it (dumb move - looking back at images from it, it really wasn't too bad).

    4. I bought another 7-14 but this time invested in a decent square filter holder and found the right Wratten 1A gel filter for the rear holder. I've been using this for a while now and it delivers good results. However - the rear gel filters are very fragile and I find myself replacing them fairly regularly. I'm now down to only a few left from the sheet I have and once again it's hard finding them in the UK (and they are very expensive). On top of that the square ND filter is cumbersome too.

    5. So, I thought I'd get another 9-18 (I told you I was mad!!). I found a used one at a reasonable price - but guess what.... I don't like the corner performance (duh - I could have told myself that). Why did I do that????

    So, I'm at a crossroads... Options seem to be:

    a) Live with the Pany 7-14 and its annoyances. Perhaps the best option.

    b) Live with the 9-18's limitations (in truth probably more of an issue in my mind than in reality - would it really be that noticeable on a print?, would it spoil an otherwise excellent shot?).

    c) Give up with both and get the Oly 7-14. However, it's a huge bit of glass and I'll still be struggling with the after-market ND filter issue (and probably spending a slug of money on another adapter and filter).

    d) Wait and hope that the new Panasonic 8-18 doesn't suffer the blob issue.

    e) Look at some of the UWA prime options - Kowa (big £/$/€ and not that good from what I've seen), Loawa (is it here yet?), SLR Magic (no reviews yet). Nothing too clear - but TBH for landscapes a zoom is really the better option.

    e) Go and buy a cheap Canon 5dii and 17-40!

    OK - so the post is probably more a case of me ranting and justifying things ... but any sage advice would be welcomed; even if it's only the contact details for a good shrink!
    • Funny Funny x 5
  2. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus loser Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2010
    • Agree Agree x 5
  3. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Quit standing in the corner. That's my advice. No,;)  maybe you should stay there.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  4. This is what I'm doing - d), and in the meantime b). Always stop the lens down to at least f/5.6 unless you're taking relatively close up shots (like contextual portraits) where corner sharpness doesn't matter. The corners at f/4 are mushy, but by f/5.6 I can live with it. Unless you're doing huge prints it really won't be an issue - I've printed shots from the 12-50mm which in the corners look like the 9-18mm at f/5.6 and they look fine.

    If you're looking at good, compact UWA on the cheap though - a late model Canon APS-C body + 10-18mm IS STM is hard to beat. That lens and dual-pixel AF are two things that I wish m4/3 had an answer to.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. scotttnz

    scotttnz Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 16, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I plan to do a) with a 7-14 that I get cheaply from somebody else who is doing d).

    I want a UWA, but I wouldn't use it enough to justify doing d) myself. Well that's my plan this week anyway....
  6. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    Why not use your 12-35 in portrait mode and start doing panoramas?

    PS: BobbyTan said to stick with the panny 7-14 - he has tried both. You are welcome! I mean I just saved you a ton of cash.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. You mean he's tried the 8-18 :-O
  8. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    Between the oly and panny 7-14

  9. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
  10. Stay out of the corners.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. 50orsohours

    50orsohours Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 13, 2013
    Portland Oregon
    Or shoot in Hi Res mode and you can crop your heart out of those corners. :) 
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 27, 2011
    Seoul, South Korea
    I'm still trying to get comfortable with the UWA as I find it's the hardest for me to compose with, but I'm planning on moving over to the 8-18 pending reviews on it. You could always do what was suggest above and get a small pano-gimbal head like this one from RRS and then start doing multi-row high-res pano-stitches... Muahahahaha.
    • Sad Sad x 1
  13. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    a > d> and if that doesn't work out > c and if you don't like it, quit messing around and go to >option Z.

    Oh, what is option Z? Go buy these - a EOS-1Dx Mk II with a EF 11-24mm f/4L USM and have the real UWA!

    Whoops - that won't work - its got that filter thingee again. Oh well, go back to start.....
    • Funny Funny x 1
  14. Giiba

    Giiba Something to someone somewhere Subscribing Member

    Aug 19, 2016
    New Westminster, BC
    Ever thought of a fisheye? Doesn't get any wider!
  15. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 18, 2015
    Option d). It's what I am doing depending on price. Just hoping the 7-14 price won't drop like a rock once the new lens is released.
  16. SojiOkita

    SojiOkita Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2014
    I also like ultra wide angle and ND filters on ultra wide angle lenses.
    Currently, my solution is (b).
    The corners are quite soft, but acceptable. When I received the lens, I tried it and find it soft in the borders / too soft in the corners. Then I compared it to my Canon 10-22 which gave me some pictures I really like. The Canon lens was softer. I looked at the best pictures I made with the 10-22. In none of them, the soft corners spoiled the pictures.
    Now that I have the 9-18 for nearly two years, the conclusion is the same: the corners could be sharper, but I can't say it spoils my pictures. Nobody notices unless pixel peeping.

    I was thinking of solution (d) but it will be expensive (1500$).
    So, now I think of (e) with the Loawa 7.5 which accepts filters.
    It's mainly to go wider than the 9 mm which is not so wide.

    Both 7-14 are eliminated because of the filter issue (complicated & expensive to use ND filters).

    I like panoramas but perspective is not the same. Panoramas look better (from my point of view) with cylindrical or equirectangular projection.
    So do unfished fisheye pictures.
    Rectilinear ultra wide angles give very different images.
    Some people probably manage to get interesting rectilinear images from panoramas or fisheyes, but I don't ;) 
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Or... Pick up a used GX8 or GX85 and use your Panasonic 7-14 without rear filters!
    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Mike Wingate

    Mike Wingate Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 21, 2017
    Mike Wingate
    I have the GX85, and plan on buying the Lumix 7-14mm. If I need to, I will make a fitting to go over the lens hood to hold ND filters. The price of the available filter holders are high, a set of massive round filters ND cost nearly as much as the lens. Some affordable ideas are here.
    Using filters on the 7-14mm - Problem solved!
  19. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Thanks Chris - I recognise that new Avatar photo!

    The problem with Panasonic cameras is the lack of Livetime/Livecomp - I use that a lot.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
  20. SojiOkita

    SojiOkita Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2014
    It's also huge compared to standard filters.
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
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