Panasonic 7~14mm or Olympus 12mm ?

Started Jan 18, 2013 | Discussions thread
slimandy
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Re: Thanks for all the replies and suggestions
In reply to Anders W, Jan 20, 2013

Anders W wrote:

slimandy wrote:

Louis_Dobson wrote:

No, like you, I considered it, because it is small and takes filters.
The reviews I read put it miles away from the 7-14, so I wonder if you have found some reviews that are atypical? The 7-14 is excellent quality, more or less up with my 14-24 f2.8 Nikkor and 7-14 f4 Zuiko. The samples I have seen from the 9-18 are distinctly ordinary, in terms of both sharpness and contrast.
Like you, I don't mind spending money on lenses (it is the blasted petrol and flights to use the lenses that are the money problem!), but I didn't buy the 9-18 because on the basis of samples and reviews I have seen it appears to be a cheap, low quality lens.
But if it turns out to be pin sharp, let me know!

Photozone open their conclusion of the 9~18 with, "The Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm f/4-5.6 ED is an engineering masterpiece."

They compare it favourably to the 7~14 for it's smaller size and price....

http://www.photozone.de/olympus--four-thirds-lens-tests/529-oly_m918_456

Camera stuff compare it favourably with the 7~14 too....

http://www.camerastuffreview.com/olympus-lens-review/review-olympus-9-18-mm

It is smaller, lighter cheaper, yet, (quote) "In terms of optical performance, this lens is approximately equal to the much more expensive Panasonic 7-14 mm, as shown by our test. The wider viewing angle of the Panasonic 7-14 mm seems the only reason not to choose for the much cheaper Olympus 9-18 mm."

Here's a test I have more confidence in. The 7-14 is disadvantaged here because it's tested at its long end (which is its weakest spot) but nevertheless clearly beats the 9-18.

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/05/wide-angle-micro-43-imatest-results

I find lens rentals tests are a very poor way to choose a lens. Read their methods and criteria. They are testing under lab conditions rather than in the field and they are only testing for resolution, nothing else. In terms of resolution all I need to know is that the lens has sufficient resolution and I would say that is true of either lens. I then need to look elsewhere to find out about size, handling, sharpness across the frame, sharpness wide open, CA, bokeh, etc. - basically everything! They did a similar test on lenses on a Nikon D800 and had to completely re-write it because people mis-understood what they were testing for. It is not a review, just a test for resolution.

SLRGear shows the same results.

SLR gear is similar. They do test for more than lensreantals but they are still lab tests and don't tell me what I want to know about using the lens in the field. I often disagree with their findings. I like the user reviews on that site though.

Honestly, I would take the opinion of anyone who has used the lens in the field to actually take real photos over either of those two web sites, both of which I am very familiar with from the Nikon forums.



slimandy wrote:

Louis_Dobson wrote:

It's the only one of the three I don't own - but that's not coincidence. I don't think it has terribly good IQ, unsurprisingly, for the money.

Your opinion is not based on using it then? I've read a couple of reviews that put it very close to the 7~14, if not on a par; just not as wide. But it's small and takes filters so suits me better than the 7~14, and it's wider and more versatile than the 12, just lacking the fast aperture.

The chap below saying he takes his dSLR when he needs high quality rather makes the point. The OM-D needs no dSLR to back it up, paired with the best lenses.
The Olympus bodies correct distortion just like the Panasonic ones.

Agreed about the OMD. If the IQ wasn't good enough I wouldn't be in this forum at all. Not that I'll be selling all of my DSLR gear yet.

I read the Panasonic bodies make corrections with the 7~14 that the Olympus won't so there's no point paying the extra for the 7~14 on an OMD because you'll be fixing in PP anyway. Distortion might be a different matter but if it's a crucial shot I'm happy to fix in Lightroom anyway.

slimandy wrote:

Louis_Dobson wrote:

slimandy wrote:

It looks like the lens that best fits my needs is the Olympus 9~18mm rather than the 2 I actually asked about!

Thanks again.

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Really? That's a very eccentric choice from my PoV.

Why? It's small enough to be part of a multi lens kit, it's wider than the 12mm and more versatile, it takes filters, and I've read reviews that put it on a par with the Panasonic 7~14 when used on Olympus camera (the Panny has an advantage on Panasonic cameras that won't apply on Oly bodies, i.e distortion correction). Unlike the 2 lenses I was considering originally it ticks all the boxes with fewer compromises.

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