The Nikon DL18-50 is tempting

Discussion in 'Other Systems' started by Bruce McL, Mar 1, 2016.

  1. Bruce McL

    Bruce McL Mu-43 Veteran

    I like small, light cameras and wide angle photos. I've been enjoying the Olympus 9mm body cap fisheye lens on my GM5. It's the first time I've had a camera with a lens wider than 24mm equivalent. The 9mm BCL is the perfect starter lens in this category for me. However I usually de-fish the images which is not so good for image quality, especially in the corners. So I've started to look around for the next step up in wide angle rectilinear image quality without sacrificing small size and light weight.

    If I stay with MFT there's the Olympus 9-18 ƒ4-ƒ5.6. Image quality is good and the images are already rectilinear. It's light for a MFT wide zoom, but still a bit more bulky than I would like.

    The new Nikon DL 18-50 makes an interesting comparison with the GM5 with O9-18. Weight is about the same, only a 3 gram difference. As for the size, you can take a look here:

    Compact Camera Meter

    For the Nikon
    • Smaller size, easier to fit in a coat pocket
    • I like the 3:2 aspect ratio for wide angle
    • Larger aperture
    • Smaller sensor is better for maximum depth of field, which I like
    • 20MP good for cropping, although maybe not so good when stopped down
    • I think not having to unlock and extend the lens would be helpful.
    • Longer zoom range, but I don't expect to shoot between 36 and 50mm equivalent that often

    The Olympus / GM5 combination
    • My GM 5 has an EVF, which I use a lot. I think I would miss that with the Nikon.
    • Larger sensor, which may help with IQ
    • Not having to learn new menus and settings, although I am already familiar with the Coolpix A
    • The Olympus is about half the price of the new Nikon, but I can be patient. I expect the Nikon price to fall quite a bit eventually. Being patient is how I picked up my Coolpix A.
     
  2. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    You can buy a evf for the DL series.
     
  3. CarlB

    CarlB Mu-43 Veteran

    If they'd build in the EVF, I'd be all over the 18-50mm. I love the Coolpix A image quality, if it had a flush to the body EVF it would always be with me. I hate to try viewing a screen on a sunny day.
     
  4. Bruce McL

    Bruce McL Mu-43 Veteran

    Thanks, I did not know that. I found an image of the camera with EVF here:

    Nikon DL product photos

    No price on Nikon's website yet, but their Nikon 1 EVF is well over $300.00.

    I agree with CarlB, I would rather have a built-in or even a pop-up EVF. I don't mind the lack of a viewfinder on the Coolpix A as much because the screen is very good and because I have taken a lot of photos at 28mm equivalent over the years. I have a good idea of what I'll get when I point the Coolpix A at something.

    DSC_0734.JPG
     
  5. Drdul

    Drdul Mu-43 Regular

    107
    May 16, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    Richard
    I'm as intrigued as you are (but in my case I'd put the 9-18 on my E-PL5 when I buy a new camera). I'll reserve judgement until the DL18-50 is released and we can see how good the images are, but based on my experience with a Canon G7X (1" Sony sensor), I would hedge my bets and stay with M4/3. The 1" sensor is good, but the M4/3 sensor is twice as large (in terms of area), so I find it has better dynamic range and significantly less noise. Also, the lens on the Canon is hugely corrected at wide angles, and it shows in the corners of the image, whereas everything I've read about the Oly 9-18 lead me to believe it produces good images from corner to corner. Lastly, neither camera is truly pocketable, so I'll pick the one that produces best images.
     
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  6. Bruce McL

    Bruce McL Mu-43 Veteran

    I've seen some sample JPEGs of the DL18-50, and I like what I see. I know what you mean about "hugely corrected" though. I've never liked the RX100 series at wide - there's something about the lens and correction combination that bothers me. To judge DR I'll have to look at RAW files in Lightroom. I owned a Nikon 1" sensor camera for a while, and I was pleasantly surprised at the DR.

    The Oly 9-18 is high on my list as well. There are lots of interesting images from it on this forum to look over.

    Showcase - Olympus 9-18mm f/4-5.6

    "truly pocketable??" I must be doing "pocketable" in a false manner! :) I carry my GM5 in my jacket pocket a lot, with the kit lens and with the Oly 9mm BCL. I'm sure the DL18-50 will easily fit, and I've carried heavier cameras in that pocket. I'm not so sure about the 9-18 on my GM5.

    Compact Camera Meter
     
  7. Drdul

    Drdul Mu-43 Regular

    107
    May 16, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    Richard
    To paraphrase Steve Jobs, you're pocketing it wrong. Of course, and to paraphrase Bill Clinton, it depends on what your definition of "pocket" is. :)

    My current "small" camera is the Canon G7X. Here's a camera size comparison with the DL18-50. The retracted lens protrudes far less on the Canon than the Nikon, and I still find it too large for everything but a jacket pocket, and the issue is that I'm not always wearing jacket or something else with the right-size pocket. I agree that the 9-18 lens makes the package much larger, but for my purposes (and my clothing) I will likely take the extra size if the image quality of the M4/3 combination is significantly better.

    OTOH, the faster lens on the Nikon is appealing, as is the longer reach, so it will be a tough decision if the image quality from the Nikon is as good as the initial sample images suggest. I have even heard the DL18-50's lens described as sharp from corner to corner, which if it's true is remarkable as it's not at all what I get out of my Canon at wider focal lengths. Like you, I like lots of DoF, but I find that M4/3 gives me enough DoF for my style of photography (I tried APS-C and it wasn't enough), so the extra DoF of a 1" sensor isn't as important to me as image quality, especially in the corners.

    Regardless of what I end up doing, I applaud Nikon for thinking outside the box and developing such an appealing camera. Hopefully it will inspire others to do something similar, perhaps even with a M4/3 sensor.
     
  8. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    If you want a "truly pocketable" UWA, get friendly with the panorama mode on your phone. If you have Android, you can even due multi-row stitching in camera with nice overlap preview using the Google Camera app.

    (I know it's not the same.....)
     
  9. Drdul

    Drdul Mu-43 Regular

    107
    May 16, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    Richard
    Yeah, but then people and other things move around and you get results like this. o_O
     
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  10. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I know, the subjects have to be right. But what else are you going to do if you want "truly pocketable"? :)

    I think if you could get to the point where the DL18-50 is the only thing you take on a trip, it might be worth it. You could hang it from your shoulder or on a belt pouch and be happy. But if it just replaces your wide angle and you have to bring more things anyway, it doesn't buy much. A m4/3 wide angle takes the same sized bag slot as this camera. A extra lens doesn't need it's own charger and spare batteries.
     
  11. Drdul

    Drdul Mu-43 Regular

    107
    May 16, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    Richard
    Very good point. Most of my photos are in the 24-35mm equivalent range, so if I didn't already own M4/3 gear I could do just fine with only a DL18-50 (and my iPhone for backup). Of course, I do own M4/3 gear and I plan to buy another M4/3 camera (when Olympus makes a new Pen with a tilting screen instead of the floppy one), so the decision is unfortunately not that easy. It's such a first world problem! :crying:
     
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  12. Bruce McL

    Bruce McL Mu-43 Veteran

    The G7X is about the same size and weight as my Coolpix A. The hot rod photo a few posts above this was taken at the "Hot August Nights" car show in Reno, Nevada. Not weather for wearing a coat, but I had the Coolpix A in my cargo shorts and that worked out well - as long as I kept my belt tight! :) The 20 percent more weight of the DL18-50 might make it uncomfortable in cargo shorts.

    I didn't have the GM5 at the time, and haven't tested it out with cargo shorts or cargo pants yet. It should work fine with the BCL 9mm lens, and would not work well with the Oly 9-18. The kit lens plus GM5 is lighter than the Coolpix A, but bulkier.
     
  13. Bruce McL

    Bruce McL Mu-43 Veteran

    I'm losing interest in this camera, and in the Oly 9-18 as well. Angle of view for the Nikon is quoted at 90 degrees*, the Olympus lens at 100. That's a lot less than the 140 degrees of my Olympus 9mm BCL. Taking the photo below would be close to impossible with the Nikon, as the walls on either side are at a 90 degree angle. It wouldn't be easy with the 9-18 either. With the 9mm BCL I did some cropping on one side.

    P1010781.JPG

    *edit: I think the Nikon has a 100 degree field of view like the Oly 9-18. Thanks to Drdul for pointing this out.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
  14. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 Veteran

    296
    Mar 18, 2015
    The 9mm bodycap is truly the cheap mans ultra wide. Not great in terms of optical quality, but I've never really found that a problem. You're not going to use a lens like that and then start cropping heavily. Even though I now have the P7-14 I always bring the bodycap.
     
  15. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    It is a fisheye though, right? If you need straight lines and mounting a filter for long exposures it doesn't really work. Same issue the otherwise excellent 7.5FE has. If only Samyang made an MFT version of their FF 14mm f/2.8...
     
  16. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 Veteran

    296
    Mar 18, 2015
    Yes it is. But it is also 400€ less then the next option. It is not too fishy (compared to the samyang). Straight lines are the reason I do have the P7-14mm though. The 9mm can't be beat on value for money though.
     
  17. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    I have adapted my 9mm body cap fisheye lens to accept a 58mm filter thread. I used a 46mm to 58mm step up ring (cheaper than the MAGFilter adapter) glued and while it does create vignetting, I had created a profile in DXO ViewPoint to correct this and straighten the lines with just 1 click of a button which is what DXO ViewPoint does best. The end result is like a 9.5mm f/8 field of view with no vignetting and no fishy look and quality is almost identical to the 9-18mm f/4-5.6 at 9mm (Thanks again to DXO Optics Pro RAW) albeit it is 2 stops slower still.

    For a 10mm f/2 field of view, I adapted the Samyang 14mm f/2.8 with a focal reducer and also created a profile in DXO to correct its issues. This is to complement my body cap lens. Need filter and use a tripod, I will use body cap. Doing milky way, I will use the Samyang with focal reducer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
  18. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    The bodycap lens is not as bad as people say. Optical quality is good, but obviously not at the level of the pro lenses or even the semi-pro, but it doesn't cost that much either. I've made great 16x20 prints using the body cap lens corrected using DXO ViewPoint via DXO Optics Pro which does squeeze out a lot more detail than usual RAW converter. You can't tell if it was taken with a more expensive lens unless you look very close to sticking your nose to the print. But then, isn't that pixel peeping?
     
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  19. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 Veteran

    296
    Mar 18, 2015
    I definitely agree. That's why I said that I never found the optical quality of the lens to be a problem. I would recommend it to anyone starting out and wanting a cheap uwa solution.
     
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  20. Bruce McL

    Bruce McL Mu-43 Veteran

    After using the BCL 9 I don't think of 14mm as all that wide anymore. From B&H's listing for the Samyang:

    ... gives you approximately a 115° view with dramatic results when used with a full frame digital camera or 35mm film camera. On APS-C sized sensors the angle of view is between 90° and 94º depending on the brand. Four-thirds cameras produce a 76.24º angle of view.
    I think having a 140 degree field of view, less than the 180 degrees of a "true fisheye," is the reason the BCL 9 doesn't look quite as fishy. Straight lines on the BCL and other fisheye lenses are possible, although with some sacrifices in image quality.

    P1000708.JPG
     
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