Olympus mZD 9-18mm f4-5.6 Experience Diary

Brian Mosley

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Hello everyone,

through my Olympus contacts here in the UK, I have managed to secure one of the first production mZD 9-18mm f4-5.6 lenses, to be able to answer your questions here and to arrange for some hands-on impressions by Olympus Photo Safari Group members here in the UK.

I am not a paid reviewer, so please don't expect a lab review - I don't photograph resolution charts... this will be a hands on experience diary, with lots of example images.

OK, first off some sample images from today - all converted from raw using the free Olympus Viewer software, and shadows enhanced + scaled for web using Lightzone.

E-P2 + mZD 9-18mm f4-5.6
1/320s f/8.0 at 9.0mm iso200
View attachment 146228

E-P2 + mZD 9-18mm f4-5.6
1/800s f/8.0 at 9.0mm iso200
View attachment 146229

This is a tiny high quality lens, collapses as the mZD 14-42, but feels more precise and as with the mZD 14-150mm lens is fast and silent to focus.

I would say that the 20mm f1.7, mZD 9-18 f4-5.6 and mZD 14-150mm f4-5.6 makes the perfect kit right now for m4/3rds... I'll wait for the mZD 50mm f2 before deciding on a macro lens - in the meantime, the ZD 50mm f2 does the job with a 4/3rds adapter.

Please post any questions you have, or examples you would like me to provide...

Cheers

Brian
 

Caroline

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Thanks Brian, look forward to your in-depth real world tests!

Must admit I assumed because these lenses have been available in the US for a while that the UK shops were just out of stock, but that explains why I have been finding it so hard to find one even just to try out on the camera :wink:, so please do let me know if/when you are doing your UKPSG hands-on days as I would really like to come along and try this lens out as I'm considering buying one.

Caroline
 

BBW

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Brian, I'm wondering how do you find the lens in a lower light situation? Have you taken many photographs inside or in the evening? I know we have several other people on the forum who already have this lens and I've been following their photographs with great interest and a quite a bit of lens lust.:wink:
 

LisaO

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I agree with Brian my favorite native lenses are the 20 1.7 Pany, 9-18 Oly and my Micro-Nikkor 55 2.8 on the adapted side.

These are with the 9-18

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Ray Sachs

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I really like the 9-18 a lot too, and the 20. And the 45-200. (and the 17, but it tends to get crowded out).

But I haven't really figured out when to use the 9-18. Usually, when I THINK its going to be the right lens for a particular setting or shot that I have in mind, its not once I start framing. OTOH, there are times I just have it on the camera when I pull the camera out for a shot that I DON'T think it would be right for, but I check before switching lenses and its about perfect. Took it on a walk last week and figured I'd mostly be using the 18 and I found all kinds of shots with the wide end.

Fine lens. Confused photographer! :smile: Not a bad problem to have - I'm sure it'll get more automatic with time.

-Ray
 

LisaO

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Yes, it's a lens that needs the proper situation. Some people have no idea how to shoot with ultra wides. I love your B&W baseball stadium shot Ray, that was a great use of the lens.
 

Brian Mosley

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I've been shooting with the 20mm f1.7 for so long, I'm having to remember how to compose for an UWA's strengths.

This lens is fantastically compact, lightweight and I think better IQ in terms of sharpness, contrast and lack of CA than the ZD 9-18... quite an achievement!

Some examples from today, first my PAD image for today...

E-P2 + mZD 9-18mm f4-5.6
1/25s f/4.0 at 9.0mm iso200
View attachment 146278

I was really bored... playing with the idea of unusual perspective, I popped the E-P2 into time delay shutter release, placed it on the ground under my car and tried an instant panoramic shot :

E-P2 + mZD 9-18mm f4-5.6
1/250s f/8.0 at 9.0mm iso200
View attachment 146279

Ever get that feeling?

E-P2 + mZD 9-18mm f4-5.6
1/160s f/8.0 at 9.0mm iso200
View attachment 146280

Cheers

Brian
 

Linh

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Is anyone using this lens on a GF1? How's its focusing? Walking around I've found a few times I really wish I could go wider than the 20. But the 7-14 is just a bit too much for me to swallow. This is a smidge better on that front, heh.
 

Brian Mosley

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I had a frustrating day today... unable to get out and shoot on a glorious day in London, but I did take the opportunity to shoot into the sun with the mZD 9-18 as a bit of a stress test on the way home.

E-P2 + mZD 9-18mm f4-5.6
1/320s f/8.0 at 9.0mm iso200
View attachment 146311

Cheers

Brian
 

trisberg

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Image quality really looks good from this little lens.

I have some questions around the mechanical construction of the lens. How tight is the zoom ring? Is there any zoom creep? If I put it at let's say 11mm will it stay there even if I throw the camera over the shoulder or put the it in a bag for a while before resuming shooting? What happens if I collapse the lens, does the zoom setting change next time I extend it to shooting position?

-Thomas
 

BBW

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Just took delivery of this lens and I am infatuated! It's so sharp and there's something that just seems to make the color sing. I've only had a brief chance to take a couple of quick shots. Posted one in the Flowers thread and one in the 9-18mm Image thread. It's a keeper.:biggrin:
 

LisaO

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Yeah BB!! Enjoy!

Just took delivery of this lens and I am infatuated! It's so sharp and there's something that just seems to make the color sing. I've only had a brief chance to take a couple of quick shots. Posted one in the Flowers thread and one in the 9-18mm Image thread. It's a keeper.:biggrin:
 

w7ox

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I really like this lens. I owned the Panny 7-14 first, and it is wider. But the 9-18 is a more usable range and distortion is less noticeable at the wide end. I'll likely keep both, but if I had to choose, the 9-18 would be the keeper.
 

Brian Mosley

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Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
2,998
Image quality really looks good from this little lens.

I have some questions around the mechanical construction of the lens. How tight is the zoom ring? Is there any zoom creep? If I put it at let's say 11mm will it stay there even if I throw the camera over the shoulder or put the it in a bag for a while before resuming shooting? What happens if I collapse the lens, does the zoom setting change next time I extend it to shooting position?

-Thomas
Hi Thomas, the lens feels higher quality than the mZD 14-42... tolerances are tighter, less play in the extending barrel. It's not so stiff that you can't knock it out of zoom position, but it won't creep with simple use.

To collapse the lens, you move it through the 9mm zoom setting while holding the 'unlock' latch open.

Here are some shots comparing the mZD 9-18 + E-P2 vs ZD 9-18 + E-30... now this feels like progress!

View attachment 146399

...with mZD 9-18 in the collapsed position :
View attachment 146400

...at the 9mm zoom setting :
View attachment 146401

...at the 18mm zoom setting :
View attachment 146402

Hope that helps!

Cheers

Brian
 

trisberg

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Thanks Brian. I'm considering getting this lens to use with an optical finder so if it works well selecting a single focal length that matches a 21mm finder then that would be great. Then I could use the LCD for any other focal lengths if I had too. I just can't get used to the EVF -- too much like watching TV :)

-Thomas
 

Novaron

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I used for the first time at a friend's BBQ and Blues picnic that was raising money for a MS Charity Walk Team. Used predominantly this lens or a Contax G90/2.8 with adapter with my EP-1L. I also used a Fujifilm FS100 (Images with numbers starting 1500).
My flickr set is 2010-0619 MS IS BS 2nd Annual Backyard Blues BBQ - a set on Flickr
 

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WT21

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Is there a hood for this lens? I guess I mean to ask available. I see it on the Oly site, but not with any resellers that I can find (in the States)
 
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