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Panasonic 7-14 vs Oly 9-18 (and Other Questions...)?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by newbert, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    I'm considering purchasing a UWA lens for use with my E-M5. My decision seems to boil down to the Panny 7-14 vs the Oly 9-18. I'm leaning towards the Panny 7-14 for it's extra 2mm at the wide end and it's constant f/4, but am seeking opinions on whether it's worth the extra $$$ over the Oly 9-18.

    Also, I see that the Panny 7-14 is a bit difficult to find in stock right now. Amazon does have it at the moment, but for $1099 :eek:  ($200 more than most places like B&H - but that don't have it in stock right now. (Note: I also see that Amazon is selling the Panasonic 20/1.7 for over $100 more than other places. :eek:  Their prices are usually pretty competitive, so I wonder what's going on with them right now? Are they gouging their customers on hard-to-find lenses? :confused: )

    Finally, I've read a few customer reviews on the Panny 7-14 that state excessive CA as a negative (but easily correctable using Lightroom). Is that truly the case? If so, how do you make that correction using Lightroom?

    Any thoughts on these items would be appreciated!
  2. gardengirl13

    gardengirl13 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 26, 2012
    No experience with either lens but I have also seen Amazon prices WAY more then adorama. One I saw was like $200 more! Seeing that makes me just ignore them all together for lenses. I did buy my batteries from blue nook there though. They shipped yesterday!

    As for UWA, for me personally if I find I really need it over the 12 I'm getting the 9-18 even though I hear the 7-14 is slightly better. But I need a filter. No way around it so I have to settle. Plus it's smaller and lighter which helps me a lot too.
  3. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Jerry Jackson Jr
    Amazon's prices are crazy sometimes because Amazon also allows 3rd-party retailers to sell goods via Amazon ... so when you look for the 7-14mm on Amazon you might get a link on the Amazon website to buy it but if you look closely you'll see that it's actually sold by another store. Those "other stores" are usually the culprits charging crazy prices based on availability and demand. Amazon usually sticks to MSRP or lower when selling products but the 3rd party stores will charge whatever people are willing to pay.

    It's good that you can at least find some hard-to-find products on Amazon via the "partners" but it stinks that they often charge more.

    As for the 7-14 vs 9-18 ... I don't have the Pany so I can't comment but I do like the 9-18mm when I need extreme wide angle. That said, I usually just use the 12mm prime for wide angle because it's such a great lens at it's usually "wide enough."
  4. TDP

    TDP Guest

    Comparing the two:

    7-14 Pros:
    - Wider
    - constant f4.0

    9-18 Pros:
    - lighter
    - smaller
    - threaded for filters
    - cheaper

    Most wide angle lenses have some CA, edge fuzziness and propensity to flare in direct sunlight.

    I have the 7-14. Going wide as possible and having a constant aperture were the most important things for me in an UWA.
  5. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    Actually, in this case it's Amazon itself who's overcharging for this lens...not one of their partners. That's what shocked me.
  6. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    I've been noticing this lately as well - Though it is out of stock currently, the 100-300mm is being sold by warehouse deals (amazon returned/blemished stock) for $85 OVER msrp - something I have never seen them do before. They did have the lens in stock a few days ago and it was over $700 direct from amazon, over $100 more than the $599 msrp. If that becomes a trend they follow I'll be pretty disappointed.
  7. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    I've had the 7-14 for a couple of weeks now. I'm very glad I opted for it over the 9-18. I've use all primes and the 7-14 is being used at 7mm 95% of the time. 9 just isn't quite wide enough for what I wanted an UWA lens for. While the 9-18 might be a bit smaller, the 7-14 isn't too big or heavy and it handles well on both the GX1 and EM-5. Flare is a bit of an issue so far for me, but I've shot in some challenging light conditions, and that is to be expected. Filters aren't generally recommended (as in polarizers) for UWA so I'm not too worried about that aspect. On my GX1 CA is corrected, on the EM-5 it's not but I haven't seen bad examples of it. Easy fix in lightroom if there is!
  8. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I love my 7-14. While 2mm may not sound like much, it's actually a significant difference at these focal lengths. Somewhere there's an image from Olympus that outlines the FOV of different focal lengths from 7mm up to whatever, and the difference between 7 and 9 is striking.

    While the ability to use filters would be nice, I find it less important with this lens than most. The only filter I'd likely use much is a polarizer, but this lens captures so much sky that the effect of a PL really varies across the frame (strongest at right angles to the sun, weaker the further you get from that angle) and tends to look unnatural.

    People have figured out a couple of ways to mount filters to this lens if you really want to do so, though. Search these forums for more.
  9. Rob917

    Rob917 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 18, 2011
    jacksonville, florida usa
    You are right that CPLfilters are not reccommend for UWA lens, but I also like to use ND and IR filters which make the 7-14mm a bit problematic for me.
    Another problem I have is that I sometimes forget the meaning of the acronyms that I use. Guess I am SOL.
  10. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Had the 9-18 and sold, picking up a 7-14 in the morning!

    Didn't really have anything against the 9-18 but I'd heard the 7-14 is a cracker and certainly looking at the image thread shows that, constant f4 was good for me as the 9-18 doesn't stay at f4 for long.
  11. billgreen

    billgreen Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 4, 2012
    Santa Ana, San Jose, Costa Rica
    Bill Green
    It's my understanding that the 7-14 is, or is about to be discontinued. I read that somewhere a couple of weeks ago and the very next day I noticed the price jump.
  12. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I think B&H was showing it as discontinued, but they've done that for other lenses that suddenly showed up in stock again. There don't seem to be any credible rumors of a replacement. My suspicion is that this is simply Panasonic's typical inability to keep the US supply chain filled.
  13. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    Can you explain how to fix the CA in Lightroom when necessary? Thanks!
  14. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2011
    I have the 9-18mm and love it. But would enjoy the 7-14 more. Is it worth the cost difference?

    Part of the answer may lie at slrgear.com. I compared both there. There are distances where the 9-18 is sharper and more consistent across the frame but in general the 7-14 is a better lens. I (as in ME)would buy it for the focal length but not for the difference in IQ.
  15. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Go to the develop tab first. Scroll down on the right hand column to where you see "Lens Corrections". Go to the color section of this tab, and select "remove chromatic aberration". I usually just correct for purple fringing (with legacy glass especially). Very easy to do.
  16. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    Aberdeen Scotland
    I currently have both lenses :eek:  The 9-18 is absolutely a great lens, small and compact, good build quality and excellent IQ the fact that it is a f4-5.6 lens isn't really any issue you won't notice anything in DOF between f4 and f5.6.
    If I'm honest I bought the 7-14 to compliment my Lumix lens set and for lesser reason because I wanted the extra 2mm wide angle. I got it for a very good price and I'm trying to sell the 9-18 as I don't need both.
    I've only had the 7-14 for 2 days so not had a chance to test it properly.

    Basically I'd say if you want the ultimate UWA lens and are prepared to pay for it get the 7-14, if you want a excellent UWA for a reasonable price that really gives very little if anything away to the 7-14 (except 2mm) get the 9-18.

  17. NJH

    NJH Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 8, 2012
    South West England
    I think the FoV comparison mentioned earlier is this one?
    Micro 4/3rds Photography: Defished fisheye compared with ultra-wide

    The difference is shown by the 5th image and it is IMHO a huge difference, YMMV however. I don't own either lens but I am leaning towards the 7-14 for this reason and the fact that I have 35mm covered by my X100.
  18. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Just picked mine up from the Post Office.
    Not yet had it on the camera but seems much smaller than I expected actually! Looking forward to getting out and giving it a try!
  19. blue

    blue Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2010
    am seeking opinions on whether it's worth the extra $$$ over the Oly 9-18.

    Yes. I had the 9-18, didn't get on with it. Got the 7-14 and it's in a different league. The 2mm extra width really gives you some "oomph" that the 9-18 won't get to. Never noticed the CA.

    The price on this lens seems to flucuate more than any other. I tracked it on Amazon for a few months until the price dropped.
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