Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6 Review

PeterB666

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Got my lovely little M.Zuiko 9-18mm lens today from Japan via an eBay seller. Great price (worked out cheaper than ordering from the US) and still isn't available in Australia.

Here is the box...

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Here is the lens getting itself out of the box...

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OK, so it is getting a bit of help.

Here is the lens eager to get into action...

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Cute little critter.

Feels good. There is only minimal play in the extended bit. It focuses reasonably fast. I have only tested it in low light & indoors and it is probably a little faster than the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 which I use most of the time (or have up until now). It is absolutely silent unlike the Panasonic lens.

It is a joy to use and the only caveat I place on that is that as the lens is so compact, I found that you can accidently change the focus (I shoot a lot of MF) when you zoom the lens.

No prolems with using Cokin P series holder and filters. No vignetting with the filter holder at 9mm.

Initial impressions are that there is a lot of detail in the photos and they seem pretty sharp from edge to edge. Flare is minimal at 18mm and low at 9mm. Even at it's worst, flare is better than the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7.

The diffraction of point sources of light when stopped down isn't as good as the Panasonic and it appears that the Olympus lens renders a slightly warmer image.

The lens is still small enough to fit with the camera into my little Lowepro pouch that I kept from my old point and shoot camera (Sony DSC-V3) so even with the zoom, I will be able to pack it into my work bag and take it with me most of the time.

Overall, I am very impessed with this lens but the real test will be when I start with revisiting some my rock pool and seaside haunts in the wee hours of the morning.

Test shots to follow in a few minutes.
 

PeterB666

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Here is a picture of Kermit and Miss Piggy at a distance of around 0.25m from the focal plane. All shots taken with my Olympus E-P1, f/5.6 and ISO800.

The first shot was taken with the Panasonic 20mm lens as a comparison...

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Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm set to 18mm

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Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm set to 9mm

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That's the shadow of the lens in the foreground. Hey, what do you want in a quick review, photgraphic perfection?

I have now attached a Coken P series filter holder at the 9mm setting. Note no vignetting...

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PeterB666

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Night shots from the real world. The night was crap. No cloud, no moon and smoke from bushfire hazard reduction during the day that went wrong.

These are at 9mm and 18mm respectively. Both shots are for 13 seconds, f/8.0 and ISO200.

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BBW

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Thanks so much for this thread Peter, and for these photos. I'm very impressed by this little lens!

Maybe after you use it for a bit, you'd consider writing up a review for the Reviews section (the one you get to via the Reviews tab)?
 

PeterB666

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I must admit, I didn't know there was a reviews section. I am quite happy for a moderator to move this tread and I will add to it later.

Cheers

Peter
 

Caroline

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Hmmm, blast.... I'm now completely torn between buying this lens and getting an iPad when they both come out in the UK later this month - can't afford both but seeing these shots makes me think I will not be able to contain my lens-envy for as long as I thought I would!
 

Brian Mosley

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I'd hold out a little on the iPad... see what the competition is doing, meanwhile the mZD 9-18 looks like a must-have.

Cheers

Brian
 

BillN

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look, just stop encouraging me to spend money - there is an serious economic situation in Europe - I have a social responsibility to act with prudence - Japanese imports do nothing for our western economies

This is not fair!
 

BillN

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Don

It is about £650 in the UK - almost US$1,000

That buys a lot of ???

I suppose that I could sell my M6 and put some money to what I get - but that would be criminal
 

Streetshooter

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This lens is not for everybody....for example.
If you like a real long shot on a tripod at 30 seconds....it's not for you......
other wise...it's a must have.....
We can talk about IQ and stuff all day and it don't amount to a hill of beans in the end....
here's what matters to me...and probably to most that entertain the idea of this lens.....

you know how you take a zoomie like the 14-45 and start at 14 then turn to get a tighter shot in to 45.....
well, with this one...it's great to be at 18 (36) and then go out to 9 (18) and move in closer...
It's a streetshooters dream because it has the ability to draw you closer and still maintain a great amount of DOF.
The old adage of the street is, "Get close, then get closer". This is the lens that will do that.
 

PeterB666

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Don

It is about £650 in the UK - almost US$1,000

That buys a lot of ???

I suppose that I could sell my M6 and put some money to what I get - but that would be criminal
I paid £455 with free shipping from Japan via eBay (don't know why the price was in £ but it was). That worked out cheaper than from the US with shipping and certainly cheaper than it will be in Australia.

Cheers

PeterB666
 

PeterB666

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Would love to see you shoot towards the sun to see how flare control is. Thx.
I hope to do one of my pre-dawn to post-dawn seaside shoots either this weekend or next. Unfortunately I am back in the "salt mines" and it is either work and get money or stave and take photos. Tough choice but I want the 14-150 zoom later this year before my next longer trip.
 

PeterB666

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This lens is not for everybody....for example.
If you like a real long shot on a tripod at 30 seconds....it's not for you......
other wise...it's a must have.....
I was doing 60 second shots on a tripod last night too but the lighting was so poor (no moon and little ambiant light) the images have too much noise and I cannot be bothered to clean them up. I have done better 60s exposures in the same spot before.

The only problem is the viewfinder is too dark on the E-P1 so you need to take a test shot to frame the image and sometimes several test shots to get the focus right. That's the camera more than the lens as f/4 at 9mm isn't too bad.
 

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