Need advise: Optical Performance 12-50 vs 9-18mm

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by rezatravilla, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Real Name:
    Reza Travilla
    Hi all,

    I found some reasonable deal for 9-18mm. Just want to ask between 9-18mm versus 12-50mm is it on par or better?
    My main passion photography is landscape and i would love to try playing with long exposure.

    Kindly need advise =)
  2. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    Real Name:
    The 9-18 is an excellent lens, the 12-50 is better than its reputation, but it is just a kit lens and optically not so great. It has one advantage over the 9-18, it can do macro. But for landscape, the 9-18 is a great lens.
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  3. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I've sold my 12-50. Good lens but I just didn't like its size. However, the 9-18mm I still have and use extensively.
  4. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Real Name:
    I have a 12-50 and the 12mm end is good but the 50mm end not so good. Close focus is better than expected and that and weather sealing useful but for landscapes ( when not raining!) I would look at the 9-18.
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  5. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Veteran

    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Real Name:
    Bruce Foreman
    I would opt for both.

    Each has it's place. When the weather is not so good the 12-50 gives me a weather sealed "package" with either the OMD or one of my GH series bodies (don't know if it's necessary but I keep a well fitting UV filter on it). The 12mm end is quite useful and any resulting "softness" is fairly easily taken care of with unsharp mask in photoshop. I don't worry about it with video.

    The macro function gets you down to half life size and is loads of fun. I find it a quite usable lens even though I'm a sharpness nut.

    The 9-18 is a great lens to have with you, when you need wide, you often need WIDE and this one delivers. It goes from a full frame equivalent of 18mm with no rectilinear distortion whatsoever, to one of the photojournalists all time favorites, ff equiv of 35mm (it's actually 36 but 35mm perspective is an "old friend"). It is compact enough it takes up very little space in the bag.

    I have both.
  6. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    If you're into landscapes than the 9-18 is the better option. While it's not as good as the Pan 7-14 from all reports it is less expensive and can use conventional filters. As Ron noted the 12-50 better than many think and it's a fine travel zoom. But I replaced mine with the 12-32 / 35-100 (f/3.5-5.6) since I like the 12mm but found 50mm not quite long enough.
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  7. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Real Name:
    Reza Travilla
    thanks all!

    yeah have been thinking a lot. One thing that makes me kinda hard to let it go is because the weather sealed. I'm also love pana 7-14's result but 9-18mm have a good 52mm filter ring which is can attach filters. Also i love the compact size 9-18mm.

    Will keep the 12-50mm as Bif's suggest and buy 9-18mm. Thanks again all =D
  8. mannukiddo

    mannukiddo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 28, 2013
    I own both the Panasonic 7-14 and the 9-18. Each has a completely different use and for pure IQ the 7-14 is much better. But I use the 9-18 when I need to use 52mm filters.
  9. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2012
    I had the 12-50. Perhaps I had an especially poor copy but I was never happy with the IQ from that lens. I also have the 9-18 and would rate it as much better optically than the 12-50. I'm quite happy with the 9-18. Again, this might just be copy to copy variation but that was my experience.
  10. Lionroar

    Lionroar Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 10, 2014
    I am not happy at all with my 12-50 (which came with my E-M5). I find the performance quite poor at the wider end, and it's decentered and one side is less sharp than the other. It's quite sharp, however at the longer focal lengths, which I find less interesting. I guess this lens has a lot of sample variation because other people have different experiences with it, but no one ever says "wow, the 12-50 is a great lens!"

    Using the 9-18mm has been a very positive experience for me. The only bad thing about this lens is that it's not super sharp. But at the same time, there's nothing about the image quality from the lens that strikes me as being especially bad. I think the image quality is on par or better than any of the various m43 kit lenses that I own. There is less purple fringing on Olympus cameras than with the 14-42 II kit lens or than with any Panasonic lens. Corners are a little softer than the center, but not so soft that it leaps out at you and makes you notice it. The 9-18 is way sharper than the 15mm bodycap lens.

    If you aren't interested in taking photos at focal lengths longer than 18mm, and you aren't worried that some museum will reject your photos because they don't look sharp enough compared to certain other lenses when printed at 24 x 36", then I highly highly recommend the 9-18mm.
  11. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    Real Name:
    The 12-50 paired with the 40-150 went on the last trip. Now I'm thinking the 9-18 and new weather sealed 14-150...Macro on the 12-50 sure was nice though.