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Oly 9-18 or Panny 7-14? I need advice.. :)

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by MrDoug, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    985
    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    I know that this ? has probably been asked several times, however I would like a up to date observation and opinions for both lenses.. I know the cost will be brought up as a factor, so putting cost aside and looking for IQ etc.. which lens is the best? GAS has set back in and I want to try WIDE.. :smile: so should I buy 7-14 or 9-18? and no I can't afford both.. I have the Oly EM5 and Panny G3 to match both up with as well.. your thoughts and comments much appreciated..
    Thanks in advance..
    Doug
     
  2. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    Doug, hi! I bought the 9-18, but the motivators were size and cost. Everything I've read says the 7-14 is superior optically and of course gives you a wider wide. If you're going for the best, I believe the 7/14 will be your choice.
     
  3. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    985
    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    Hi Chuck.. thanks for your opinion.. sheesh that GAS problem I have will not go away.. hope all is well..
    Doug
     
  4. chuckgoolsbee

    chuckgoolsbee Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Apr 6, 2010
    Bend, Oregon
    Ditto what the other Chuck says, go with the 7-14. You won't be disappointed!
     
  5. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    What kind of pictures do you like to take?
     
  6. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    985
    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    I like to shoot landscape, buildings inside and out, automobiles, signs and street.. just for starters.. I need something wider than my 14/2.5 and is zoom capable.. and sharp.. :)
     
  7. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    272
    Nov 16, 2011
    Cloverdale,CA
    I would check into the sample pics you can find. There is quite a difference in price and the 9-18 is a great lens too.
     
  8. TDP

    TDP Guest

    If you are going to go wide, go wide......

    7-14, unless you are going to shoot pigs running the the mud in a rainy dust storm - in which case you might want to go with the Oly since it takes filters :)

    My Canon 16-35 was almost glued to my 5DII the first year I had it. Wide is so freaking cool, it is addictive. I went down to my most favorite LCS Friday night with the intent to pick up the 7-14 but they were out, so I picked up an EOS to m4/3 converter to play with.
     
  9. sym5

    sym5 Mu-43 Regular

    33
    Feb 21, 2012
    SoCal
    The difference between 7mm and 9mm is pretty significant. But 9mm is WAY wider than 14mm, so maybe it's already plenty wide enough for your needs.

    7mm: P2218728.

    9mm: P2218730.

    14mm: P2218735.

    Here's my two cents. If you find yourself mostly thinking, "I need something that goes wider than my current lens," you'll probably be happier with the 9-18. But if you find yourself thinking, "Dammit, wider is better, so give me the widest, sharpest thing you have," then you'll be happy paying extra for the 7-14 and putting up with its idiosyncrasies (like no filters).

    FWIW, the 7-14 is one of my favorite lenses of any system. If you're a confirmed wide angle fanatic like me, it's pretty much the best lens ever. :)
     
    • Like Like x 3
  10. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    7-14 if you want the ultimate UWA... 9-18 if you don't mind losing that extra 2 mm of FOV on the wide end and want a little more reach on the long end for times when this may be the only lens you have with you, as a walk around lens.

    If you can afford it, get them both so your kit has maximum versatility and capability.
     
  11. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    Ad
    Not considering size and price, there's only one advantage of the 9-18mm: it takes filters, the 7-14mm doesn't. Personally I don't care. A polarizer is difficult to use on a wide-angle anyway because of the uneven skies you get all too easily. A graduated filter is favoured by landscape photographers, but I can do without it, I usually have enough dynamic range with the GH2 to achieve the same effect in PP.

    I have a 7-14mm and like others have said, it's a great lens. I never leave without it.

    Edit: I think Thom Hogan did a fair review on both lenses.
     
  12. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    Part of my motivation for picking the 9-18: I've never been a wide-angle person and didn't want to make that large a commitment to that viewpoint. Why buy a WA at all then? I've learned so much from Don Hart and others here about how to use WA that I really want to try. So 9-18 for now, 7-14 later if I find I want to expand my horizons - literally.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    OK. Thats pretty much my viewpoint; most of my photography is as a tourist.

    I agree on 28mm (equivalent) not being wide enough. My view is that a 24 is about the longest focal length that is acceptable for interiors. In some cases, wider is better. In others, not.

    Re sharpness, I disagree with a lot of people who hang out here IMHO there is a threshold of sharpness above which it no longer affects whether a photograph is good or not. Further, all of the native M43 lenses are above this threshold. The exception to this view is if you are a pixel-peeper, if your photography is primarily of lens test charts, or if you routinely print larger than 11x14." So, I would say that sharpness is not a useful differentiator between the two lenses.

    I disagree with this. First of all, not considering size is to not consider one of the major advantages of the 9-18mm to me. Secondly, the range of 28mm-36mm (equivalent, again) is far more useful to me than the range 14-18mm. And, I would argue, this is also the case for the OP's stated uses of the lens. But with sym5's nice set of photos, the OP can judge for himself.

    For me, the 9-18's size and price are major advantages. With its focal length flexibility, I can shoot reasonable interiors:

    Library.

    In lapses of good judgment, I can shoot cliches:

    P1020165.JPG

    And, importantly, I can also shoot photos that are not so self-consciously wide angle:

    Girl_and_House.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    oldracer, thanks! Feeling better now about my choice...:)
     
  15. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Chuck... No reason at all to feel anything less than very happy to have chosen the 9-18. It's a wonderful lens, I love mine, and it's a good compromise lens for UWA to the near normal end of WA... Better as a one lens walk around than the 7-14 at the longer end of the range. The 7-14 is perfectly capable of creating images that are not 'self consciously wide angle', nor is there anything necessarily undesireable about self consciously wide angle images.

    You can have either lens and along with other longer lenses, get along just fine without the other. However, for myself, possessing either lens does not negate the utility of having the other for varying applications.

    When I want to make full use of the UWA FOV, I prefer the 7-14. When I want a one lens walk-around, the 9-18 serves that role better than the 7-14. That's why I have and use them both.

    As for difference in size, there isn't enough difference to be of significance to me. Cost of each may be a limiting factor for some folks, though not for others.

    Which ever one you choose is an excellent choice and, again, neither one negates the utility of having the other for varying applications.

    As reflected in many of my posts on this forum, I love creating images with the wide field of view and consider having at least one of these two lenses essential when traveling, walking around, etc.
     
  16. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    Don, thanks for the words of encouragement and - especially - for taking the time to explain and illustrate the way to use a WA zoom. I hope to get out soon and practice what you've taught us!
     
  17. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Chuck... I know you will really enjoy UWA once you have spent some time exploring the FOV... And the 9-18 is an awesome lens to do that with. And at some point down the road if you want to delve more deeply into UWA and desire the extra 2mm width (which is more than it sounds like it would be from the numbers) you can always pick up the 7-14 and have both lenses to choose from.
     
  18. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Chuck, congrats on your purchase on the 9-18 zoom. I'm not a big fan of using an UW lens, but last year a did a project for an agency that required an UW lens to do IR & UV, so I bought the mZuiko 9-18 because it accepts filters.
    I think this lens offers many advantages; it's very small and light weight, not overly expensive (my cost just over $400.00 using my discount), it's very sharp and easy to handle, and of course it accepts filters.
    The size of the filter ring is 52mm, but I recommend using a step-up filter ring to accept larger size filters.
    I use a 52mm-62mm step-up ring to use the many 62mm filters I own, I think this is the smallest filter size I would personally use. 72mm would be the ideal size in my opinion (providing you can find a 52mm-72mm step-up ring), but I'm sure the casual user would disagree. My reason is that using larger filters prevent vignetting, allows for the use of a large size rubber lens shade, and access to the more available filters when needed. The large rubber lens shade work very well when doing store front displays, as this allows you to put the lens up to the glass window and the rubber hood shields out unwanted light and reflections.
    There are more uses for using a polarizer than the ever so common "darken the sky" phrase. If you're doing interior shots of a classic car, chances are you're not going to be after "darkening the sky", but rather reducing or eliminating unwanted glare and add color saturation. The same applies when taking photo's of vegetation.
    Sorry to ramble on, but that's my take on why having the capability of using filters on the lens puts it over the top.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. sym5

    sym5 Mu-43 Regular

    33
    Feb 21, 2012
    SoCal
    9-18 is practical, but 7-14 is special. I've never used a wide angle as sharp and contrasty as the 7-14. Here are some shots I took with the 7-14 and E-PM1 in Spain a few months ago:

    P3282613.

    P3290588.

    P3300728.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    :thumbup:

    Very rich, gorgeous, and highly detailed images with that '7-14' look! :smile: The 7-14 is a gem indeed!

    Aside from image quality, there have been times with the 9-18 when I wished I had the extra 2mm of FOV from the 7-14.

    As for the extra 4mm on the longer end of the range (14mm to 18mm), that's easily covered with any of a multitude of more "standard" range lenses.

    Filters? I rarely find the need for any, except when using very fast lenses in very bright situations... never encountered the need for ND filtration when shooting either the 9-18 nor the 7-14. And the deep, dramatic look I get in my skies is simply made with local adjustments in Lightroom.

    9-18 or 7-14... 7-14 or 9-18... STOP - you're both right! :smile: There's plenty of call for having each of them in my image making endeavors.