Wide angle lens for travel

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by bipinsnair, May 16, 2013.

  1. bipinsnair

    bipinsnair Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 7, 2012
    Herndon, VA
    Bipin Nair
    Hi all.. Sorry to start another lens suggestion thread. But I am really confused and would like your opinion.

    Planning to visit SFO, Lake Tahoe & Muir Woods later this month and possibly NY city later.

    I don't have a wide angle for the Mu-43 kit and like to hear from you on what you will choose from below for OM-D E-M5

    Option 1 :
    Panasonic 7-14

    Option 2 :
    Panasonic 14 and Samyang/Rokinon 7.5 fish eye (or just 14 is enough? , I like the 7.5 fish defished shots a lot)

    Not interested in Oly 9-18

    Current kit
    Pana 20
    Oly 45
    Oly 75

    Thanks for checking and like to hear from you :smile:

    Things changed and we (read wife :smile:)  changed the plan and now decided to go to Key West, FL. We are leaving this Wednesday (May 22nd).

    Now the question is, Is a weather sealed lens required for the weather in FL ?:confused: 
    If not, I will just get the 9-18 and of course, will have to pay the non-discounted price with extra price for next day delivery :mad: 
  2. jglover

    jglover Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 28, 2010
    Naperville, IL
    Personally I'd go for just the 14mm. It's a very nice little prime, it doesn't hurt the wallet like the 7-14mm and you's still a nice, small kit for travelling. As far as being wide enough, only you can answer that. It's fine for me. :) 
  3. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    Is price an issue? if no, then the Panasonic 7-14 is best of course. vs the fisheye, it's auto focus and does not need a lot of work afterward to straighten in post. More importantly it's actually wider, especially if you need to lop off some of the fisheye photos to lose that curved look.

    I have your option number 2. You may still want to get the 14mm for nighttime wideangle needs.
  4. bipinsnair

    bipinsnair Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 7, 2012
    Herndon, VA
    Bipin Nair
    Thanks for the suggestion John.
    I really like the 7mm on Panasonic 7-14, it has a wow to it.
    But I have shot with a 18-200 on a Nikon cropped sensor before and the 18 mm at the wide end, which is almost same as 14 mm on mu-43, was fairly wide for my use.
  5. bipinsnair

    bipinsnair Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 7, 2012
    Herndon, VA
    Bipin Nair
    Thanks Steven. Price is not a major issue, but it doesn't hurt to keep the price low if I can :smile:

    I understand your point on de-fishing efforts required later. And again, for that money for 7-14, I will really have to pray not to have major purple blob issues on OM-D.
  6. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    You asked for opionions . . .

    I absolutely love the 14mm, but it's really not that wide. I think I'd find it not wide enough in the tight confines of a city, or the Muir woods. In combo with the 7.5mm Rokinon it might be OK, but I personally prefer the less distorted images from a true WA (as opposed to a fisheye).

    The 7-14mm from all reports is a great lens, but you will be committed to WA if it's on your camera.

    I know you said you're not interested in the 9-18mm, but that's what I'd choose (and have chosen) for traveling. In fact, whenever I review photos after a trip--trips on which I usually take the kit 14-45mm, 20mm, 45mm, and 9-18mm--I always end up with more favorites from the 9-18mm than any other lens. It's also darn near a normal lens at 18mm, which gives it great versatility.

    But if you don't want it, I guess I'd go for the 7-14mm. Just be aware that it can produce lots of purple flare on your EM5.
  7. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Panasonic 7-14mm
    Awesome, awesome lens. Sharp, super wide, and just generally one of the best UWA lenses out there. I don't use it enough but I love the results whenever I do take the time to shoot with it.

    However, it has an issue with purple flare on the OM-D EM-5 and the GH3; other camera bodies don't exhibit the problem. It's normal lens flare & reflections except that the color is shifted to a rather obnoxious purple when there's a direct light source in the frame. Note that this is the worst offender but these purple spots can show up with many other lenses on the OM-D EM-5 as well. Just something to be aware of.

    Panasonic 14mm / 7.5 fisheye
    The 14mm is a great sharp tiny little lens especially for the price. No hesitation recommending it, and if 14mm is wide enough for you then it's a great choice. However, there's a HUGE difference between 7mm and 14mm :smile:

    Rokinon 7.5mm FE
    This is a double edged sword. I had one of these lenses really briefly and I finally just traded it because I never ended up carrying it, though there was nothing wrong with it. A fisheye is a ton of fun sometimes, but the problem I found was that it's such a special use lens that I usually didn't feel like carrying it or shooting with it on the camera. If you use it well, it makes for some awesome creative shots. But it's tough not to have it feel like a one-trick pony.

    Defishing can be done of course, but I have never been ultra impressed with it... the defished shots almost always have some artifacts where it was stretched in the frame, and I'm sure you also lose some resolution in the process as well.

    Ultimately what would decide me is 1) price - you're talking about < $500 worth for both 14mm and 7.5mm FE lenses, versus in the ballpark of $1000 for the 7-14mm lens. And 2) versatility: the 7-14mm covers ultra wide 7mm rectilinear all the way to 14mm which is a moderate wide angle, with one lens. You can shoot a lot more with that without swapping lenses compared to shooting a 14mm and 7.5mm trading off.
  8. dwrk

    dwrk Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2012
    i'm guessing 12 is out because you're looking at the 7-14?

    i'd prefer the 7-14 for the convenience...alternatively the 12-35 and stitch if required/possible

    i too have the 7.5 and hardly use it...
  9. xxjorelxx

    xxjorelxx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2012
    MD, USA
    You could also consider getting the 14mm and see if you might be able to find a wide angle converter (DMW-GWC1) in the sale forum for a fair price. Turns the 14mm into a 11mm.
  10. On the Sony-based 16mp sensor I have seen examples of (and personally experienced) "flare" unlike anything else I have seen on other cameras and lenses from multiple systems. For a lens of that price it's not a problem which I want to put up with. Check the return policy before trying one out. Some camera/lens combos seem to work better than others.
  11. bipinsnair

    bipinsnair Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 7, 2012
    Herndon, VA
    Bipin Nair
    Thanks for your opinion and yes the purple flare worries me.

    Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts..it helps :smile:

    Yes, did not consider 12 as it is expensive and I could go with 14 mm instead. I will think about 12-35 as well.
  12. bipinsnair

    bipinsnair Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 7, 2012
    Herndon, VA
    Bipin Nair
    This seems to be a great option. I wil check this out. Thanks for sharing.
  13. bipinsnair

    bipinsnair Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 7, 2012
    Herndon, VA
    Bipin Nair
    That is my main worry too :) 
  14. wildwildwes

    wildwildwes Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    Lots of great advice... My vote goes for the Pany 7-14 too. Although an ultra-wide lens, it renders a signature that allows for very graphic images that a longer lens wouldn't manifest.

    Since you mentioned that you might be visiting NYC, thought I'd share the attached image. Shot from the Brooklyn Bridge, the 7-14 allowed me to capture the panorama of several of lower manhattan's architectural masterpieces -- on the left: Frank Gehry's Beekman Tower & the nearly completed One World Trade Center (both the tallest in their class in the Western Hemisphere). Next to which is the Neo-Gothic Woolworth Building. On the right: Manhattan Municipal Building. A difficult shot to get without a REALLY wide lens! :rolleyes: 

    Anyway, good luck with your search!

  15. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Firstly - why have you rejected the 9-18? It seems to me to be a good solution if you're looking for a wide angle travel lens. It's got a good range, good IQ, it's small and light, has no purple flare problems, takes filters and it won't break the wallet to the extent the 7-14 will. I love mine!

    Regarding purple flare on the 7-14, do some googling on it. The problem seems to be caused by extended UV sensitivity of the latest sensor/sensor filter. There is a DIY fix using a UV filter on the rear of the lens.
  16. Mijo

    Mijo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 23, 2012
    San Francisco, CA
    I bought the 7-14 several months ago and it just hasn't panned out the way I thought it would. I read about the purple flare issues before I got it but it's worst then I expected. The flare shows up way more under the same conditions than my 8mm fe and the 12mm (w/o a hood), and I'm using it on an Omd.

    I live in the city so if you come into the city I'd be down to let you try it out. The only reason I'm still holding onto it is b/c my wife uses it a lot on her gx1 otherwise I'd sell it and stick with the 8 and 12 combo
  17. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Well if 14 is wide enough for you I would suggest the Panasonic 12-35. It is my most used lens. If you need wider than the 14 that you state is wide enough, then look at the 7-14.

  18. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    If the 7-14/4 isn't a budget buster, I'd go that way. I took mine to the UK last summer and having the flexibility of that range was incredibly useful. At the time, I shot that lens mostly on an OM-D EM-5 and somewhat less on a GX1. I never had any "purple blob" issues with either body. I have no question that it occurs, but it's not something that's going to affect every picture taken by everybody every time - far from that, in my experience.
  19. NikkoExiledInSF

    NikkoExiledInSF Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 8, 2011
    Wiltshire, UK
    My current WA combo is the Oly 12mm f/2.0 and Rokinon 7.5mm FE. I used to have the Pany 14mm f/2.5 but ended up dissatisfied with the quality of its output (sharpness, contrast) and so traded it. The Oly offers amazing quality but you pay for it.

    The Rokinon is an absolute gem, as many others have stated in this focus. Razer sharp, lovely contrast and low, low price. Maybe the best bang for buck in the MFT lineup.

    Of course, comparing a Rokinon image to the Pany WA zoom at 7mm is apples & oranges but I have used it in a landscape setting to my own satisfaction. When I used to own a Nikon system, I used the 10.5mm DX fisheye the same way. Examples follow using the same subject (a misty Manhattan morning last December) and an OM-D:

    Rokinon 7.5mm FE (de-fished with Fisheye Hemi plugin for Aperture)


    Oly 12mm


    Nice thing about both lenses is they are small and suit the M43 form factor very well.

  20. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Yep, this is being discussed in the thread I linked above too.

    I've actually ordered the necessary filter holder and gel filter, just waiting on the gel filter to arrive so I can install. In a nutshell, you order the rear filter holder assembly from the Panasonic 8mm fisheye and install it on the 7-14mm so it can hold a filter over the rear element. Then you buy a 2A "pale yellow" (Kodak/Wratten) gel filter for it, and it filters out the purple, changing the flare back to a more palatable standard lens flare color.
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