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Should I trade my oly 12mm for the pany 7-14?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by RSilva, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. RSilva

    RSilva Mu-43 Regular

    172
    Oct 24, 2011
    Portugal
    I have had my 12mm f2 for 3 weeks now and I am thinking that maybe the Panasonic 7-14 would have been a better deal.
    The reasons I think this are:
    - To use the oly as a hiperfocal I have to close it at least to F8, at F11 the photo quality loss is substantial. Because the 7-14 is a slower lens, at F11 image quality must still be good, plus, those near far landscapes really feel great if everything is sharp focused;
    - The Oly at F2 renders a ugly bokeh, I mean, seems like the scenario is just slightly out of focus and I end up closing it to at least F4. It´s really hard to get a great picture with this lens full open (or at least for me);
    - With the 7-14 I would get a extreme wide angle, and thats great for landscape and architecture.
    - I don´t find the 12mm that good for street, because I have to get really close to people.
    Does any one here have the 7-14 or both to give me an advice?
    Thanks
     
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I don't have the 7-14, but I have the Oly 9-18, as well as the 12mm. If you don't need the 12's f2 for low light, either of the UWA zooms will give you more versatility. The strength of the 12 is that you can shoot wide in low light - I don't think you're gonna get great bokeh out of a lens this wide. I wouldn't count on getting great IQ out of any m43 lens at f11 - I believe diffraction becomes an issue before the aperture gets that small - but others can probably tell you more about that. The 9-18 is a great walk around lens in good light. I find the 12mm is also, and is also a great street lens, but I LIKE it for getting close to my subjects and shooting from the hip or waist. But I like the 9-18 for that too. If low light is never an issue, I'd go for one of the UWA zooms instead of the 12. In terms of the UWA zooms, the Pany goes wider - 7mm is quite a bit wider than 9. But the 9-18 is a good deal smaller and lighter, roughly the same optically, and for some has a more reasonable focal range, with the long end being a pretty good length for a lot of day to day shooting. But if you like really wide, the Pany 7-14 is the widest option out there other than a fisheye.

    -Ray
     
  3. RSilva

    RSilva Mu-43 Regular

    172
    Oct 24, 2011
    Portugal
    Thank you Ray, i didn´t know that.
     
  4. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    My advice would be first to think very carefully about what you want the lens for - the 12/f2 and 7-14/f4 are both immensely capable but fundamentally different lenses.

    Second, think very carefully about whether the issues you're having with the Oly are due to the lens or the photographer.
     
  5. RSilva

    RSilva Mu-43 Regular

    172
    Oct 24, 2011
    Portugal
    I guess it's the photographer since I'm finding it hard to use this lens. I have been using the 20mm for one year now as my single lens and maybe I'm still not used to the oly field of view. With the pany I'm always getting that Wow feeling and with the Oly, I still haven't found it's sweet spot.
    I will run it for some time before I make my decision because everybody says it's so great but I haven't still had that experience.
     
  6. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    Looking at slrgear.com tests, the Oly 12mm looks to be it's sharpest around f5.6. At f8 its still pretty sharp.

    For the panny 7-14mm, at 12mm, the Oly is sharper at f8 than the 7-14 zoom, but not by much.
     
  7. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    In terms of bokeh, here's the 12mm at f2 with the subject at the closest focus distance. This is about all of the bokeh you're gonna get with this lens. In practical circumstances, I'm almost never after bokeh with this lens (the 25mm and 45mm are different stories), but am frequently after low light capability, so it works for me. I don't think a wide angle is a good place to go looking for bokeh in the first place, although the 14 isn't bad at all and the 23mm on the X100 (similar to the 17 for m43) is quite nice.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/6285784011/" title="12mm bokeh example by ramboorider1, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="683" alt="12mm bokeh example"></a>

    As to framing, shooting with a real wide angle is its whole own thing. I live down there and feel very comfortable with it, but many don't. Its an entirely different thing to shoot with the 12 than the 20 and while I'd say the 12 is easily as good a lens, its not even remotely comparable because you're gonna be shooting different things in a different way. A 7-14 is just gonna allow you more latitude at the wide end, which might just mean you can get into more trouble, or might make it easier to learn to shoot with a real wide angle, because there's just no hiding from it or trying to do anything else at that extreme a focal length.

    -Ray
     
  8. Bill Gordon

    Bill Gordon Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I am very confused with this discussion....is the 12mm a very good lens indeedy.....or is it not so good!! Comparisons are being made of two different lenses....how can one compare when one is a zoom and the other is a prime?
     
  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    They're both very good lenses. I think this discussion has turned toward giving the OP information that might help him decide what sort of wide angle is going to work best for him, or if a wide angle WILL work well for him.

    -Ray
     
  10. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    There are also assumptions being made about the 7-14 in the original post when stopped down that I don't think are true.
     
  11. RSilva

    RSilva Mu-43 Regular

    172
    Oct 24, 2011
    Portugal
    Yes, I don´t doubt that both lens are good in terms of image quality up to F5.6/F8 being the oly slightly better. If they are equally bad closed down to F11, this is a closed argument in terms of IQ.

    What I am experiencing is that it's harder to go wide than to go Tele for someone like me that's used to a normal lens.

    So maybe (as noted by nickthetasmaniac) it will be even harder to use a 7mm than a 12mm lens.

    I will stick the 12mm to the camera until I start to see some improved results and then go further.

    Thank you guys.
     
  12. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I think this might be a bit confusing.

    Bokeh refers to the QUALITY of the out of focus area - are the bright spots round, brighter in the middle than the edges, etc.

    Depth of field refers to the QUANTITY of the out of focus area.

    The two are connected in that a shallower DOF puts more of the frame more out of focus, and usually that shows as "better" bokeh.

    In other words, it's hard to say a wide angle lens has "bad" bokeh when it has such a large DOF and not much of the scene is truly out of focus.
     
  13. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Fair enough - I was conflating the terms even though I know better for the sake of simplifying the discussion. I think that if its really what you're focussed on doing (like in my example shot above), you can get a fair quantity of OOF area and a fairly nice quality bokeh. But those situations don't present themselves that often, at least for the way I tend to shoot with a wide angle. So the point was that its kind of a secondary consideration for a UWA, particularly compared to a neutral or long focal length lens, which tend to lend themselves better to both the quantity and the quality of that OOF portion of the shot.

    -Ray
     
  14. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
  15. RSilva

    RSilva Mu-43 Regular

    172
    Oct 24, 2011
    Portugal
    I'm sure I would love to have it this lens, but I still have the E-P1 and it's a pain to manual focus without an EVF. Waiting for the Pen PRO.