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Olympus mZD 9-18mm over Panasonic 7-14mm?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by GF1dp1, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. GF1dp1

    GF1dp1 New to Mu-43

    Sep 6, 2010
    I am in a situation where I can purchase the 7-14mm used for the same price as the 9-18mm brand new. Which to choose?

    The way I see it:

    -sharper (marginally?)
    -a bit better for low light
    -comes with lens hood

    -more useful focal lengths
    -more compact design

    I will be mounting my new purchase to a GF1. Is there anything issues I can expect with slower AF etc. mounting an Olympus lens to the GF1?

    The other issue complicating my decision is that the Panasonic 14mm F2.5 is in the pipeline....
  2. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    I'm happy with my 7-14 - the only advantage of the 9-18 to me is it takes filters.
  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    To the extent the 7-14 is sharper, its not by a whole lot - the 9-18 is pretty sharp as well and sharp enough for anything I've ever tried to do with it. I'd compare how useful the focal lengths would be to YOU and, if size and weight matter to you, take that into account too. Although there are probably times I'd rather have the 7 at the wide end, the 9 is almost always wide enough for me to get the shot I'm trying to get. Its a notable difference though, so if the ultimate wide angle is your priority, go for the 7-14.

    But I personally find the whole range of the 9-18 more useful to me. At the 18mm end, I have a good walk around street lens (obviously very close to the 17, which I love for street shooting) that isn't ALL that wide. With the 7-14, even at the long end, you're still shooting with a real wide angle, as wide as most wide angle zooms get. If that's what you want, that's the better pick. To me, the 9-18 was wide enough and more versatile overall. And the size/weight thing mattered to me also - as a travel lens, the 9-18 is soooooo small when its closed up. But that's probably not a concern for a lot of people and its not like the 7-14 is really all that big, so that may not matter to you.

    But in terms of image quality, the differences are minor enough that I wouldn't worry about it unless you're a pretty hard-core pixel peeper. Even at the 16x20 prints I've done, the 9-18 shots look great. I'd base it 95% on which focal range you'd rather have.

  4. Jerry_R

    Jerry_R Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 26, 2010
    I am happy with 7-14mm and 95% of time it stays on 7mm.

    As Ray said - it is slightly sharper, but selection mostly depends on focals you need. For me 9mm is not enough in producing wide angle distrotions, when I am close to a subject or part of the subject.
  5. Spanjaart

    Spanjaart Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 6, 2010
    Spoilt for choice

    I'd buy the 7-14 for more wide angle. If you have regrets just sell it to me for the same price ;) 
  6. Ryan Karr

    Ryan Karr New to Mu-43

    Aug 25, 2010
    Calgary AB Canada
    I went with the 9-18mm. Half the price, half the size, and taking ND filters is important to me.
  7. bpalme

    bpalme Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 9, 2010
    I'm thinking about selling my 7-14 so I can use filters.
    Great lens though agreed with above.
  8. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 9, 2010
    You don't say what other lens(es) you have.

    Obviously the 9-18mm is a bit less useful if you already have the 20mm kit. If you have the 14-45 kit then the 9-18 will have more overlap with the 9-18 than the 7-14.

    Personally, if you can get the 7-14mm used for the price of the 9-18mm new, I'd go with the 7-14mm since you could, in theory, sell it for more than a 9-18mm if you decided it wasn't a lens you needed.
  9. GF1dp1

    GF1dp1 New to Mu-43

    Sep 6, 2010
    So the other lenses I have are:

    20mm f/1.7
    CV Nokton 40mm f/1.4

    I actually had a chance to play with 9-18mm and I'm not as enthused about it anymore.

    It is really light and compact for storage, but when extended it is really quite long. More importantly than that, the barrel seems flimsy in the extended position.

    Things look good on the LCD viewfinder. Uploading pics to view on a larger screen, the pop isn't quite there. Not sure how to describe it, but sharpness feels off and things don't look vivid enough.

    I feel uneasy pulling the trigger on this lens at $700. Then again I haven't tried out the 7-14mm just yet.
  10. Andrew Riddell

    Andrew Riddell Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 21, 2010
    I had the same choice downsizing from FT to MFT. Most of my shots are architecture and I'm so used to having the Oly 7-14 that the question didn't really come up! I have tried the MFT 9-18 (and it's a nice lens), but that extra 2mm is a lot more than it seems! Have a look at the comparison chart here: Olympus Zuiko lens field of view comparison.

    I spent last weekend wandering round the centre of Brussels, and the 7-14 was on/off the camera all the time. You just need to get into the habit of of putting the cap back on between shots.

    If you're a keen filter user, it may not be for you.

    As others have said, in the end it's down to what and how you like to shoot!

    Good luck,

    • Like Like x 1
  11. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 9, 2010
    That is a great comparison chart, thank you!
  12. PeterB666

    PeterB666 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 14, 2010
    Tura Beach, Australia
    For me it came down to the ability to use ND filters. The 7-14 cannot do that so it was no contest. I have found the 9-18mm to be a great, compact lens. Yes, there are times that it would be nice to have it a little wider, a little faster and a little longer but bang for buck, very hard to beat.

    If you don't shoot sky, sunsets and sunrises, and can pick up a 7-14mm for the same price of a 9-18mm, then go for it. It would be a great investment.

    BTW, if anyone is interested in making a 7-21mm f/2.8 zoom that weighs no more than 200g, is compact, does not extend on zooming or focusing, takes a filter thread no more than 62mm (OK, 67mm is doable), zero CAs, zero flare, low distortion (i.e. naturally and not via firmware or software) and would like to sell it for $500 - I will buy one.

    I don't ask for much, do I? :wink:
  13. dko22

    dko22 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 26, 2010
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Peter --I think you forgot the 0 on the end of the 21:wink: Then we would really be talking...
  14. Yalcrab

    Yalcrab New to Mu-43

    Sep 11, 2010
    I have the Oly 9-18mm.

    I chose it over the 7-14 because of size and the ability to fit filters, i like to use a polariser.

    I am very happy with it, but i think that both lenses are very good, you cant go wrong.

    7 mm or 9 mm is no real difference to me as this is my first very wide angle lens.

    It was also £400 cheaper, so i am happy.

  15. Andrew Riddell

    Andrew Riddell Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 21, 2010
    If you like filters, that's certainly the way to go. However, I wouldn't be using a polariser at the wide end of either lens, because the huge angle of view means the polariser can produce quite different effects (particularly on sky) as you get to the edges of the shot.

    • Like Like x 1
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