Oly 7-14 vs PL 8-18

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by mneary, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. mneary

    mneary Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Dec 3, 2017
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Mike Neary
    Hi everyone,

    What's the conclusion here about these 2 super wide angles?

    I currently have the Oly 9-18, and while it's really small & light, I keep wondering if I should upgrade...

    The Oly is currently the same price as the Pana-Leica... Hmm...

    Thanks

    Mike
     
  2. Growltiger

    Growltiger Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 26, 2014
    UK
    I have the Oly 9-18 and the Oly 7-14.
    The 7-14 is far superior in terms of image quality and of course 7 is FAR wider than 9.
    I use the 9-18 as a tiny lightweight lens sometimes when travelling. Used at f/5.6 it isn't bad.

    The 9-18 has a lot of CA which is no problem with more recent Oly cameras - i.e. the original E-M1 and anything later, as they correct it. But it is poor with my old E-P5, requiring post processing to fix the CA.

    I have read quite a few posts about quality consistency problems with the 8-18 so be careful. And don't forget that 7 is a lot wider than 8.
     
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  3. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    If the 9-18mm meets your needs, why upgrade?

    However if you want to upgrade, you'll need to figure out what is more important to you - a constant f-stop, 1mm more at the wide end compared to you lens, 1mm less compared to the 7-14mm, or 4mm more at the long end in comparison to the 7-14mm.
    OR
    the other option is the Panasonic 7-14mm F/4.0.

    Any of the three lenses will be an upgrade to your lens - but you may not think it worth the cost. So how important is the upgrade?
     
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  4. Jeffcs

    Jeffcs Mu-43 Veteran

    273
    Jan 20, 2017
    Toms River NJ
    Jeffrey Swank
    I have the o7-14 superb lens I don't have a comparison for you only lens quality is awesome with one drawback no filter threads
     
  5. mneary

    mneary Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Dec 3, 2017
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Mike Neary
    Thanks, Growltiger.

    I like the 9-18 as a lightweight travel lens, too. I shoot with the Oly E-M10 Mk II, and have not seen much CA.

    But the 9-18 is a bit slow at the long end, and I feel the optical quality, even though it’s quite decent, could be a bit better. And most of all, I enjoy super wide so 9mm isn’t as wide as 8 or 7

    I also have the excellent Oly 12-40 as a midrange zoom, and there’s a lot of overlap with the 9-18.

    The Oly 7-14 would be perfect except I don’t care for the built-in hood design that prevents the use of filters...

    Hadn’t heard about quality issues with the PL 8-18 yet.

    So optically, are the 7-14 and 8-18 comparable?

    Cheers

    Mike
     
  6. mneary

    mneary Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Dec 3, 2017
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Mike Neary
    Hi Clint,

    As I said in my other post, the 9-18 fills the small & light need but not the “I want wider, faster, and optically better” need :biggrin:

    How important is the upgrade? Don’t know, that’s part of why I asked the question...

    Cheers

    Mike
     
  7. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    If you currently only view your photos on a computer with less than a 4K monitor you will probably never see the difference except for focal length changes - unless you pixel peep.

    I make fairly large sized prints and had all intentions of changing over to the Panasonic 8-18mm lens when it came out. But the Panasonic 7-14mm has filled all of my needs so I've stayed with it. If I was just shooting photos for myself and family - the Oly 9-18mm would more than suffice.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
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  8. Underwater

    Underwater Mu-43 Veteran

    208
    Jun 1, 2014
    Eugene, Oregon
    Paul
    I had the 9-18, and really didn't like it too much. Upgraded to the Oly 7-14 and loved it. I was intrigued with the longer top end and filter threads of the 8-18, so I stewed about it for a while but ultimately made the switch. I'm happy I did; for the same price I can't imagine going with the 7-14, but I won't judge if you do :)
     
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  9. speedy

    speedy Mu-43 Veteran

    384
    Nov 27, 2015
    I've got the PL 8-18, & absolutely love it. To me, it epitomizes the spirit of m4/3. I see it as having just the right balance of size, weight, aperture, focal range & image quality to make it about perfect. For me. It's the only zoom lens I own, so it only really needs to have the larger aperture below about 12 mm, to keep me happy. My primes take over above that. Highly, highly recommended. Out of curiosity, I tested it out against my PL 15, & it's so close it's not funny. Outstanding for a zoom. The fact that I got it new for $1120 Au absolutely sealed the deal for me
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
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  10. TonyVentourisPhotography

    TonyVentourisPhotography Mu-43 Regular

    139
    Nov 1, 2015
    Washington DC
    Tony
    I've used all three extensively and have reviews on my site. The 7-14 is the wide equivalent of the 12-40 pro. Pretty much close to perfect. Remember how wide it is though... and for that focal length corners are pretty amazing. The build is typical oly pro and it has lens function and manual focus clutch. I love all that. It is very front heavy when zoomed out.

    The 8-18 is also amazing. No distortion or flaring issues either...but lighter compact build...but it still feels great. I love the look this lens gives. And I love that I can use normal size filters with no problem. 8mm is plenty wide enough for most uses.

    Between these two it really comes down to preference and not image quality.

    The 9-18 from oly is decent but can't resolve the finest details like the pro lenses. It's good enough. It's a casual shooters lens. Great when needed, and I've delivered paid client work with it in a pinch...but when I have real work to do I prefer the pro lenses. The difference is not tremendously huge, but it is definitely there.

    If the 8-18 had a manual focus clutch and a lens button it would have been the ultimate wide angle zoom made in my opinion. By any brand. Unfortunately it doesn't. The filter thing might not be an issue depending on your use. I shoot a lot of interiors and rely on polarizers.
     
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  11. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    I'll offer my thoughts as an owner of the 7-14 PRO which I sold to purchase the PL 8-18.

    The 7-14 PRO is a good lens, but there were a few things that I didn't care for with it. First, it has some pretty significant field curvature on the wide end, which can result in excessively soft corners. You'd have to really pay attention when shooting at the wide end to ensure that your corners were acceptably sharp, and many times I ended up with a smeary mess, even after stopping down to f/5.6. Another thing that I didn't care for was the lack of filter threads. Granted, I've never seen a 14mm FoV lens that has had filter threads before, but this meant purchasing an adapter, as well as larger and more expensive 100mm x 100mm ND filters. All of this took up more space in my bag, and added weight. Speaking of space and weight, the 7-14 is definitely a portly little lens. It handles fine on an E-M1 body and is a non issue when working from a tripod, but at over 500g it was fairly heavy, especially if you had a backpack loaded up with gear for multiple days (hiking, vacation, etc.).

    In the end, it was these reasons that drove me to sell my 7-14 PRO and buy a PL 8-18. For what I shoot, I'd gladly give up the 1mm on the wide end to get a bit more reach on the long end, as well as circular filter threads. I shoot a lot of landscapes and long exposures, so being able to use circular ND's was a big help. It allowed me to eliminate the space and weight that the filters & adapter took up for my 7-14 PRO. The lens is also over 200g lighter than the 7-14 PRO, which is noticeable and appreciated when traveling. I am also glad that I don't have the significant field curvature to worry about on the wide end anymore.

    Overall, I'm extremely happy with the PL 8-18 and was glad to get rid of the 7-14 PRO. For landscapes, the slightly slower variable aperture is a non-issue. The only thing I really miss from the 7-14 PRO is the manual focus clutch, but there are so many advantages that I found in the PL 8-18 that I'm willing to sacrifice that one feature to gain all of the other benefits.
     
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  12. Sniksekk

    Sniksekk Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    455
    Apr 7, 2015
    I have never owned a UWA before
    P8-18.
    I wanted to reach 35mm (FF terms), and I wanted a lens with filter thread.
    I love it (the lens), but can’t compare it to anything similar since I ‘ve never owned anything like it.
     
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  13. mneary

    mneary Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Dec 3, 2017
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Mike Neary
    Thanks, Clint.

    I do pixel peep, and I have a 4K monitor :)

    I think neither of the 7-14 lenses will cut it for me, due to the missing filter thread.

    Cheers

    Mike
     
  14. mneary

    mneary Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Dec 3, 2017
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Mike Neary
    Wow, the last few posts have been very informative - thanks so much, guys! In particular the direct comparisons by Tony & Ian.

    Looks like I'll pass on the Oly 7-14 deal. The weight and lack of filter thread is making me steer away from this lens, although 7mm would be attractive.

    I'll keep my 9-18 for a while, and look out for a deal on the 8-18.

    Cheers

    Mike
     
  15. Impulse

    Impulse Mu-43 Regular

    70
    Apr 18, 2014
    Puerto Rico
    Frank
    I bought the 9-18 when the only other choice was the Pana 7-14, ultimately I bought it for the compact size as well as the range... I enjoy shooting UW a lot and I find myself using it as my walkabout lens often, so the more limited long end (and heft, and lack of filter threads) of either 7-14 never tempted me.

    I wasn't unhappy with the 9-18, but I was aware of it's limitations... Since size isn't a big concern when I'm out with the two bodies (rather than just the GM1) so I ended up upgrading to the PL8-18 (I'd bought the Laowa 7.5/2 anyway so I had a new compact alternative to the 9-18).

    There's a lot of IQ comparisons out there beyond what's already been said here, Mirrorless Lessons/Comparisons had a good one, as did slartz on DPR, as did this guy:

    攝事23.5度 | Ricardo 's 豆豆記事。: 【Lens】超廣角運動會。LEICA DG 8-18mm/f2.8-4 vs LUMIX G 7-14mm/f4 vs M.ZD 7-14mm/f2.8 PRO Wide-angle lenses comparison.

    So I won't get into that... There's the obvious speed, wideness, and sealing advantages too... But as much as those things matter, I also find the PL8-18 a lot more enjoyable to use. I don't miss the 9-18's silly hood and lock button one bit. I think they actually bug me more now in retrospect, heh.

    The PL8-18 is the perfect sweet spot of speed/range that I never thought we'd see (4 native 1st party UWA zoom options on a smaller format system is some kinda luxury).
     
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  16. Bruce Clarke

    Bruce Clarke New to Mu-43

    6
    Nov 23, 2016
    Bruce Clarke
    Ricardo's comparison is very useful. There's a surprising difference between 7 and 8mm, which I think I would miss. I've been tempted by the Oly 7-14 f2.8 and the Panny 8-18, but will probably stick with my huge old Oly ZD 7-14 f4 beastie for now. I think it has less field curvature than the f2.8 one, and a bit sharper in the corners with less digital correction going on.
     
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  17. Ross

    Ross Mu-43 Regular

    167
    Sep 14, 2015
    Paul Ross
    I have owned two Oly 9-18 mmWA lenses over the last three years. Both bought on eBay used. The first was just not sharp as ZI thought it should be having read reviews of this lens. Image quality was OK, but IMHO, was not what I expected having read reviews of this lens, so I sold the lens. A few months ago I had an opportunity to buy a second one of these lenses at a very good price so,I bought it and was surprised at how much better it seemed than the first one I owned. Could be sample variation, or that the earlier one was out of alignment and given the complex and build, not a unreasonable assumption. Never the less the second lens if IMHO much better then just OK. its sharp and meets my limited need for a WA wider than the 12-35 F2.8 that I normally carry.
     
  18. Egregius V

    Egregius V Mu-43 Veteran

    251
    Jun 14, 2015
    Massachusetts, USA
    Rev. Gregory Vozzo
    When I went from p&s cameras to m43, it was primarily to shoot ultra-wide. I started with a cheap PEN Lite and used Oly. 9-18 - small, light, decently sharp most of the time (my copy), and fun. I eventually added the Samyang 7.5mm fisheye for wider shots. Of course, nowadays there are better and pricier options, especially for low-light situations. Just before the Pan. 8-18 was announced, I bought a cheap, refurbished Oly. 7-14. For indoor and night shooting, I wanted the constant f/2.8 aperture. Weight, size, and field curvature haven't been problems for me. (I often set my focus point away from the center.)

    The specs of the 8-18 are very impressive: light, fast at 8mm, very sharp if you get a good copy, filter ring, relatively aberration-free in the corners, low flare... When I consider what I paid for the 7-14 and 9-18 and how useful both are, I don't want to switch. If I were starting over, I would consider a new 8-18 as a compelling jack-of-all-trades, but not a no-brainer. I'd have serious analysis-paralysis. :blush:

    Aren't we blessed to have so many good options?
     
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  19. cnyap

    cnyap Mu-43 Regular

    97
    Jan 30, 2015
    Never see reviews of the Panny 8-18, been wondering the same thing because the 7-14 seems disappointing in terns of green globs when shooting onto the sun. I love my Canon 10-22 for shooting into the sun (very little "green blobs" even though my old Rebel performs no corrections) but can't seem to find a m43 replacement. 10mm on a Rebel is 16mm equivalent. It is ridiculously wide and you need to be careful to hold it level (up/down angle) or the perspective distortions is very annoying. Wider would just be worse, and the 18mm end would be useful. BTW, the Canon 10-22 only costs around $500 nowadays and is fairly lightweight for what it is. It's the only reason I use my Rebel at all since getting the GF7. I'd dump my Canon gear if I could replace the 10-22.
     
  20. Impulse

    Impulse Mu-43 Regular

    70
    Apr 18, 2014
    Puerto Rico
    Frank
    Totally, spoiled for choices... And I went thru much of the same path, my interest in M4/3 was largely fed by the things by the things I couldn't do with a P&S, UWA being chief amongst them. My initial kit was just the 45/1.8 + 20/1.7 + 12-32 and the 9-18 fit right into that compact setup, as did the 7.5 FE.

    The kit has grown a good deal but very often it's still pared down to something like that... Tho I'll soon give the 9-18 away, but the 7.5/2 will take its place. :D
    Well the PL8-18 only came out this year, so there's probably less reviews of it in all. In addition to the comparison I linked above and the two I mentioned in the same post, Cameralabs' was one of the most useful ones I remember reading. Canon does have economies of scale working in their favor tho...

    IIRC they introduced a second EF-S UWA zoom like two years ago at an astonishingly low price point of $300 (pretty sure it was the lowest by a good margin for a new 1st party UWA zoom), Nikon later made their own $300 UWA crop zoom. That surely brought the original price of the 10-22 down.

    M4/3's budget option, tho not quite as wide, would be the 9-18... I've seen it as low as $500-600, and at $400 in Oly's refurb outlet. From what I've seen the Oly 7-14 has the most potential for flare of the 4 (it's also the fastest with the largest and most bulbous front element, so it's almost expected tbh).