Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm f/4-5.6 ED or a Panasonic 20mm 1.7?

Starred

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I am very tempted to buy the E-PL1 / M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm f4.0-5.6 kitcombo.

As I am going to do some citytrips with my wife soon, I would like to take some nice pictures the city, and of my wife of course :rolleyes:
I try to decide what would be the best lens for me to buy next to the kit lens, in order to be able to make excellent and very sharp pics.

What would you recommend for this, a Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm f/4-5.6 ED or a Panasonic 20mm 1.7?
 

everythingsablur

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Different lenses with pretty different purposes.

Do you think you will be taking a lot of pictures in difficult light conditions using only available light? If that's the case, then the Panny 20/1.7 is the pretty clear winner. Since it is widely praised as the best lens for any ILC camera and a true must have for m43 owners, I'm sure you'll get it some day. :)

If you'll mostly be in good light and are liking to take wider angle cityscapes, or interesting perspective shots of big towers, then that would steer you more towards the 9-18.

You might want to get your camera and try to see how either the it lens or the 14-150 do for you at their widest to see if you think you need to go wider. For many people 14 is "good enough" (or the cost of a true WA lens isn't a good investment because they won't use it enough/get enough ROI), but that is entirely dependant on what your subject matter is.
 

G'kar

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Different lenses with pretty different purposes.

Do you think you will be taking a lot of pictures in difficult light conditions using only available light? If that's the case, then the Panny 20/1.7 is the pretty clear winner. Since it is widely praised as the best lens for any ILC camera and a true must have for m43 owners, I'm sure you'll get it some day. :)

If you'll mostly be in good light and are liking to take wider angle cityscapes, or interesting perspective shots of big towers, then that would steer you more towards the 9-18.

You might want to get your camera and try to see how either the it lens or the 14-150 do for you at their widest to see if you think you need to go wider. For many people 14 is "good enough" (or the cost of a true WA lens isn't a good investment because they won't use it enough/get enough ROI), but that is entirely dependant on what your subject matter is.
With regard to the last paragraph, although I am presently a 4/3 user with a 9-18mm and a 14-42mm lenses, I would personally go for the 14-150mm lens were I to switch to m4/3 later on. My reason is that this is a versatile lens (reviews of it have been favourable) which covers most of a casual photographer's photo situations from 28mm wide angle to 300mm tele. It is also relatively compact and light. If I have a need to take a scene wider than 28mm I would take three shots and stitch them into a panorama in Photoshop. Just my two cents:wink:
 

PeterB666

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Both the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 and Olympus 9-18mm are great lenses. I have them both. I think it is a hard choice with those 2 and I don't think it is really a case of which one. Most people could use both.

The 20mm f/1.7 is a great walkabout lens and sufficiently fast but it is too long for landscape and often too long for indoor shots. One of its virtues is that it is long enough that you don't get too much distortion so you can get away with protraits with it as long as you don't mind a bit of body in the shot (getting too close will give your subject a nose like Jimmy Durante).

The 9-18mm lens is a great cityscape and landscape lens. Great indoors too provided you have enough light. I probably use my 9-18mm lens more than 90% of the time or about the same amount of time I was using the 20mm beforehand.

One point to note, if you like primes, Panasonic is bringing out a 14mm f/2.5 and Olympus a lens of around 12mm (probably a f/2.8) soon. Either of those would complement the 20mm lens quite nicely.

Tough choice but it will basically come down to what you want to take photos of. For me the 9-18mm wins most of the time.
 

Starred

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Great comments guys!

Will the M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm f4.0-5.6 also allow for taking some nice portraits?


@Peter: If you were to go to lets say Paris, what lens would you take with you?
 

PeterB666

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Great comments guys!

Will the M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm f4.0-5.6 also allow for taking some nice portraits?
I recently recommended an Olympus E-PL1 and the 14-150mm lens as a travel kit for a friend who is now in Greece for a 6 week holiday. I stand by that recommendation. Unfortunately the 14-150mm lens was not yet available in Australia so she settled on the 14-42 kit lens. If you only wnat to take a single lens, the 14-150 is a good choice.


@Peter: If you were to go to lets say Paris, what lens would you take with you?
If you are offering to take me, I will tell you when I step off the plane. :biggrin:

Assuming you would rather by lenses than pay for my airfare and accomodation, I did a holiday in NZ and had the 14-42 Olympus kit lens and Panasonic 20mm and 45-200mm lenses. That plus FL-14 flash, ND filters, chargers, gorrillapod with ballhead etc. fitted into a small Kata DR-465 backpak along with travel docs, personal stuff and weighed in at 3.5 kg. I also took a 1.1 kg tripod.

If I were returning, I would take the 9-18mm Olympus lens (not available when I went on that trip), 20mm Panasonic and the 14-150mm Olympus zoom (as a new purchase). I would probably have the 14-150 on the camera most of the time but do note that in normal (non-travel) photography, I currently use the 9-18mm lens about 90% of the time.

I found changing lenses to be a pain while travelling, especially if you don't have the luxury of being able to take your time.
 

Starred

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I was in Greece recently and a 14-150mm would absolutely be the lens I would take with me. But in Paris, just walking slowly around, taking pictures of buildings, people in the streets, restaurants etc., I thought the 9-18mm maybe would be a better choice (or even the pana 20mm/1.7) than the 14-150mm, but I guess I am wrong about that?
 

PeterB666

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Don't know. My son went to Paris and other bits of France with school a couple of years ago and I gave him my pocket camera, a Fujifilm Z3. That had something like a 35-105mm equivalent lens on it and he did OK.
 

everythingsablur

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With regard to the last paragraph, although I am presently a 4/3 user with a 9-18mm and a 14-42mm lenses, I would personally go for the 14-150mm lens were I to switch to m4/3 later on. My reason is that this is a versatile lens (reviews of it have been favourable) which covers most of a casual photographer's photo situations from 28mm wide angle to 300mm tele. It is also relatively compact and light. If I have a need to take a scene wider than 28mm I would take three shots and stitch them into a panorama in Photoshop. Just my two cents:wink:
Oh I agree completely. If I were faced with the same decision, I think I would find more value in the 14-150 as well. I only made my comparisons of the two at their widest point because that's the common focal length between the two. A 9-18 is only a wide angle lens. The 14-150 is a very versatile lens that can be reasonably wide and pretty long.
 

nmatheis

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If I were returning, I would take the 9-18mm Olympus lens (not available when I went on that trip), 20mm Panasonic and the 14-150mm Olympus zoom (as a new purchase). I would probably have the 14-150 on the camera most of the time but do note that in normal (non-travel) photography, I currently use the 9-18mm lens about 90% of the time.

I found changing lenses to be a pain while travelling, especially if you don't have the luxury of being able to take your time.
Good advice! I'm heading to Milan in September and am planning on taking my EP-L1. I'm taking the Olympus 14-150mm for a general walk-around lens, the PanaLeica 20mm for dim lighting shots, and am considering taking the Olympus 9-18mm for wide-angle architecture, landscape, and general scenery shots. Having a comfortable bag with easy access to your gear is a must, as is a comfortable camera strap!

Have fun in Paris!!!
 

Ray Sachs

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Good advice! I'm heading to Milan in September and am planning on taking my EP-L1. I'm taking the Olympus 14-150mm for a general walk-around lens, the PanaLeica 20mm for dim lighting shots, and am considering taking the Olympus 9-18mm for wide-angle architecture, landscape, and general scenery shots. Having a comfortable bag with easy access to your gear is a must, as is a comfortable camera strap!

Have fun in Paris!!!
That's exactly the kit I took on a recent 3+ week trip to Europe. I added the 17mm pancake also because it's more or less weightless and takes up almost no room in the bag, but the 14-150, the 9-18, and the 20 were the lenses I'd decided on before I figured "why not" about the 17. I ended up using the 17 a lot, mostly for street shooting but also for more general purpose stuff, just because I like shooting with primes sometimes and I like that FOV more than the 20 for lots of stuff. But it wasn't really necessary. I could have used the 20 or the 9-18 for everything I did with the 17.

But the 14-150 and the 9-18 were the heart of the kit, with the 20 mostly for low light situations. I also "borrowed" a second body for the trip (I bought an ep2 with the intent of selling my epl1 because I like the controls on the ep2 a good deal more, but figured I may as well sell the epl1 AFTER the trip) and kept the 9-18 on the second one pretty much the whole time, ready to pull out of the bag and shoot at a moment's notice. The main body got the 14-150 at the start of each day and I'd occasionally swap it out for one of the pancakes as the circumstances changed. This was a pretty ideal setup for travel. A range of 14-150 always ready, around my neck. And the 9-18 almost as immediately available. Probably kept my lens changes down to 2-3 per day, at most. I just sold the epl1 because I don't anticipate shooting with 2 bodies around home, but the next time I take a major trip like that, I think 2 bodies is the way to go if you can swing it.

Then again, for that kind of money, you might be able to take a few of us to Paris!

-Ray
 

Starred

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I want to stress that the 14-150mm is part of the kit, so I'll have that lens with me anyway.
At this moment, I want to buy one more lens, so the decision will be between the Pana 20mm/1.7 and the Oly 9-18. What would be the preferred one for a citytrip?

Another question, is it possible to easily put an E-pl1 with the 20mm/17 in your pocket?
 

Brian Mosley

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Hi Starred,

I would go with the mZD 9-18 first, but certainly add the 20mm f1.7 in due course. The mZD 9-18 + mZD 14-150 will give you a huge zoom range (28mm to 300mm EFL) in a 2 lens kit. The 20mm f1.7 is fantastic for indoor portraits, as well as being a 'normal' range prime lens.

The E-PL1 + 20mm f1.7 would fit in a jacket pocket.

Cheers

Brian
 

Starred

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Hi Starred,

I would go with the mZD 9-18 first, but certainly add the 20mm f1.7 in due course. The mZD 9-18 + mZD 14-150 will give you a huge zoom range (28mm to 300mm EFL) in a 2 lens kit. The 20mm f1.7 is fantastic for indoor portraits, as well as being a 'normal' range prime lens.

The E-PL1 + 20mm f1.7 would fit in a jacket pocket.

Cheers

Brian
Thanks Brian. Very clear. :thumbup:

By the way, I assume the EPL1 with the 9-18 will not fit into a jacket pocket?
 

everythingsablur

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By the way, I assume the EPL1 with the 9-18 will not fit into a jacket pocket?
Depends on how big your jacket pockets are. :wink: It's not that bad. Oly uses the same collapsible design for the 9-18 that they do for the kit 14-42 lenses, so it does shrink down quite a bit. It will never be pancake-small like the 20mm or the 17mm, but it should be fairly small. Would fit in a big coat pocket, or a small bag.
 

zettapixel

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I was in Greece recently and a 14-150mm would absolutely be the lens I would take with me. But in Paris, just walking slowly around, taking pictures of buildings, people in the streets, restaurants etc., I thought the 9-18mm maybe would be a better choice (or even the pana 20mm/1.7) than the 14-150mm, but I guess I am wrong about that?
In many cases yes, and sometimes 9mm is non too wide in Paris, but there are cases where 150 is not too long if you like this kind of thing.

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C

ccmsosse

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Good advice! I'm heading to Milan in September and am planning on taking my EP-L1. I'm taking the Olympus 14-150mm for a general walk-around lens, the PanaLeica 20mm for dim lighting shots, and am considering taking the Olympus 9-18mm for wide-angle architecture, landscape, and general scenery shots. Having a comfortable bag with easy access to your gear is a must, as is a comfortable camera strap!
Have fun in Paris!!!
EP-L1 + m43 14-42mm, 17mm, 20mm, 9-18mm, & 14-150mm
43 adapter + Lensbaby & lots o' optics and wide angle adapter

You got a nice collection of lenses.
Either way I have just returned from Europe and my kit essentially included the E-PL1 with 17mm, the 9-18 and 14-45 in a small pouch clipped to my jeans, the 45-200 in my backpack or home/hotel. The 9-18 is wonderful but often too wide with too much distortion. I would often quickly switch the 9-18 and 14-45 on the fly and use the 17mm for indoors.

Michael Sossenheimer | My PAD Project
Michael Sossenheimer | My PAD Project
Michael Sossenheimer | My PAD Project
Michael Sossenheimer | My PAD Project

So for me even in Europe (Spain, not Paris), the 17mm + 9-18 + 14-45 seems to be an ideal and very compact travel companion.

Cheers
 
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