Olympus mZD 9-18mm - user questions

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Leedsgreen, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. Leedsgreen

    Leedsgreen Mu-43 Rookie

    20
    Jul 7, 2010
    Dear All,

    I would like to buy an UWA lens and am looking at either the Olympus mZD 9-18mm or its bigger 4/3 cousin. Ideally, I would prefer the compactness of the m4/3 version but have a few concerns. Would anybody be able to tell me:

    1. Is the image qaulity of the m4/3 version as good as the 4/3 version. According to DPreview they seem pretty similar. How about in the field?

    2. Is there a huge deifference in AF speed (on an Olympus and/or Panasonic m4/3 body) between the lenses?

    3. I've read that the mZD 14-42mm lens is a little flimsy with regard to attaching (square) filters, how does the mZD 9-18mm hold up? Has anyone tried square ND grads and (round) polariser filters using a Kood adapter on the m4/3 version? Finally, the mZD 9-18mm has a 52mm filter thread. What size Kood filter holder would work for ND grad filters (i.e. could I get away with the smallest A-type)?

    Thanks for any help, particularly around question 3, as it's really hard to tell from pictures how sturdy the lens is. Maybe the larger 4/3 version is much stronger?

    Cheers,

    Nick
     
  2. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Yes, surprisingly good... no concerns whatsoever on IQ compared with the 4/3rds version.

    Yes - night and day difference... the m4/3rds version uses a completely different focusing mechanism, silent and fast. There's a fair bit of ziz zizzing goes on with the 4/3rds lens on a Pen.

    I haven't tried a filter yet on the mZD 9-18... but it appears to be built to a good level above that of the mZD 14-42 - not much play anywhere in the lens barrel, and the end doesn't rotate with focusing.

    The 4/3rds version would certainly be worth considering if you're running a 4/3rds DSLR as your primary camera, with a Pen as a backup... but I doubt that you'd use an E-PL1/P2 as a backup considering the IQ is so good.

    Hope that helps

    Cheers

    Brian
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. PeterB666

    PeterB666 Mu-43 Top Veteran Charter Member

    780
    Jan 14, 2010
    Tura Beach, Australia
    Real Name:
    Peter
    I only have the MFT version and I think it is a great lens. I use it most of the time - probably around 90% of my photos since getting the lens a couple of months ago have been using it.

    I have a mix of Olympus and Panasonic lenses. The 9-18mm is probably the fastest focusing lens of the lot. I use it MF quite a bit so focus speed is rarely an issue for me anyway.

    The AF motor in the M.Zuiko 14-42 lens simply isn't strong enough for a Cokin holder. The front element rotates with focusing and it even rotates a little zooming. It is easy to knock the front of the lens on the 14-42 which will knock out your focus anyway (here I am talking about using it MF). The M.Zuiko gives great image quality and will focus nice and close but it is a crap lens with filters. Essentially a no-go zone.

    I use the M.Zuiko 9-18mm zoom with a Cokin P holder and filters. I stack filters. Works fine. While the A series filter would probably be OK, I would suggest you use the P series. If you already have A series filters, then you can get an adapter to take those in the P series holder. Don't know if that works well or not.

    I would go for the larger size as it gives you more room to play when moving grad filters up and down.

    From what I can tell, the Kood filter holder is essentially the same as the Tian Ya holder you can pick up on eBay and is sold by the million. It is a knock-off of the Cokin holder. I have had mine for around 6 months and have noticed it is starting to become a little loose. I will be replacing it with the Cokin holder. It is a pity that Cokin don't make a metal holder for the P series. HiTech do but it costs close to GBP 50 which is fairly steep and it looks like it doesn't take the standard adapter plates either.

    You are welcome Nick. I have found the 9-18mm zoom to be a ripper of a lens. Well made, well controlled flare, sturdy even though it is a telescoping lens. It is only a 2-section lens so that helps a lot. The only issue with the 14-42 is the front focusing. It they built it with internal or rear focusing it would have been on issues with it for me. I think Olympus wanted to prove a point by making the most compact standard lens possible (which they did).

    Check out my other posts. You will see many examples from the M.Zuiko 9-18mm lens. It is definitely a keeper.

    Cheers

    PeterB666
     
    • Like Like x 4
  4. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    I wish that Olympus would re-engineer their mZD 14-42 using the focusing mechanism of the mZD 9-18 and mZD 14-150... oh, and while they're at it, turn it into an mZD 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 :biggrin:

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  5. Leedsgreen

    Leedsgreen Mu-43 Rookie

    20
    Jul 7, 2010
    Brian and Peter,

    Thanks very much for your help and your detailed answers. Much appreciated. I got confused between Kood and Cokin, and actually already have Cokin type A filters but can see upgrading to type P no problem. (I imagine the type A will be too small and cuase vignetting)? It's great that the mZD 9-18mm is strong enough to hold them etc. Mmmm, it's certainly a tempting idea...

    Thanks again,

    Nick
     
  6. PeterB666

    PeterB666 Mu-43 Top Veteran Charter Member

    780
    Jan 14, 2010
    Tura Beach, Australia
    Real Name:
    Peter
    I am more modest.

    I am sure Olympus could engineer a nice compact 14-35mm f/2.8 constant aperture zoom. A 12-48mm f/2.8-4 would be acceptable too. I wish Olympus would take the hint.

    :43: :thumbup:
     
  7. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Yes, either of those would be fine also - provided the IQ and focusing speed is there. :2thumbs:

    Cheers

    Brian