Wide lens of choice?

Started Feb 9, 2013 | Discussions
Dylthedog
Contributing MemberPosts: 692Gear list
Like?
Wide lens of choice?
Feb 9, 2013

I've got an E-PL5 with a Panny 20mm, Oly 45mm and the kit lens (plus some longer Oly and Panny options) but I'd quite like higher quality wide option. The Panny 20mm is pretty much welded to the camera and right now I use the kit if I want wider, but clearly that's not going to deliver the best quality.

I looked on Photozone and while the Oly 12mm review is good the actual samples left me quite underwhelmed; they didn't seem that much better than the Oly 9-18mm. I've ruled out the Panny 14mm as it's small (which is good) but no better than the kit lens as far as I can see. Compact is important to me so that is a shame TBH. The Panny 7-14mm is a bit more than I want to pay right now, though I hear it's very good.

So my question to DPR people is how have you found the 12mm f2? Are the Photozone samples representative or not? Anyone got the and the 9-18mm - if so, what's your view?

Thanks!

 Dylthedog's gear list:Dylthedog's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Olympus PEN E-P1 Canon EOS 5D Mark III Olympus OM-D E-M10 Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM +9 more
Olympus PEN E-PL5
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
bluelemmy
Contributing MemberPosts: 812
Like?
Re: Wide lens of choice?
In reply to Dylthedog, Feb 9, 2013

I had the 12mm and the 7-14mm. Based on my use of the lenses, I sold the 12mm.

Lovely lens but the 7-14 is so much more versatile and IQ wise there is little in it.

David
www.dthorpe.net

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jeffharris
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,517Gear list
Like?
Re: Wide lens of choice?
In reply to Dylthedog, Feb 9, 2013

Dylthedog wrote:

I've got an E-PL5 with a Panny 20mm, Oly 45mm and the kit lens (plus some longer Oly and Panny options) but I'd quite like higher quality wide option.

So my question to DPR people is how have you found the 12mm f2? Are the Photozone samples representative or not? Anyone got the and the 9-18mm - if so, what's your view?

I have a 7-14mm and recently got an SLR Magic Hyperprime 12mm T1.6 (f1.4).

I can't say enough good things about the 7-14mm! Image quality and the 7mm end are all excellent.

The SLRM 12mm I got for low-light shooting. Im chose it over the Oly 12mm for manual operation… stepless aperture ring and manual focus… much lower price and 1/2+ stop extra light gathering ability. The build quality is excellent… solid, smooth and feels really good in the hand. Shooting wide, hand held at night is a kind of a revelation. Plus, it's a lot of fun to use!

 jeffharris's gear list:jeffharris's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Voigtlander Nokton 25mm F0.95 Voigtlander Nokton 42.5mm F0.95 Voigtlander Nokton 17.5mm F0.95 Aspherical +25 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Dylthedog
Contributing MemberPosts: 692Gear list
Like?
Re: Wide lens of choice?
In reply to bluelemmy, Feb 9, 2013

bluelemmy wrote:

I had the 12mm and the 7-14mm. Based on my use of the lenses, I sold the 12mm.

Lovely lens but the 7-14 is so much more versatile and IQ wise there is little in it.

David
www.dthorpe.net

Thanks David.

I like compact and sharp and I don't particularly want anything quite as wide as 7mm, plus at nearly £1000 it's almost twice the price of the 12mm in the UK.

I run a full frame system as well and I have something approaching that wide there, so I don't feel the need to duplicate that at the moment.

Regards,

Nigel

 Dylthedog's gear list:Dylthedog's gear list
Canon EOS 5D Mark II Olympus PEN E-P1 Canon EOS 5D Mark III Olympus OM-D E-M10 Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM +9 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Thomas Niemann
Veteran MemberPosts: 4,085
Like?
A vote for the 9-18
In reply to Dylthedog, Feb 9, 2013

I have the 9-18 and recommend it. The 7-14 is also excellent. I suggest you view the writeup for the 9-18 and 7-14 and examine the sample images. Here's a excellent comparison of the two lenses.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Mittskitts
Contributing MemberPosts: 696Gear list
Like?
Re: Wide lens of choice?
In reply to Dylthedog, Feb 9, 2013

I also have the 9-18mm and I recommend it. It is small and lightweight and does a good job. I had waited for it to go on sale for $599 last spring (Olympus discounts their lenses periodically). I truly wish I had owned it earlier, when I went on a trip where there was fabulous scenery that I just couldn't encompass with the 14mm extreme of the kit lens.

 Mittskitts's gear list:Mittskitts's gear list
Olympus Tough TG-1 iHS Olympus SH-50 Olympus PEN E-PL1
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
James Pilcher
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,674Gear list
Like?
A vote for the Zuiko 12mm f/2, but...
In reply to Dylthedog, Feb 9, 2013

Dylthedog wrote:

I've got an E-PL5 with a Panny 20mm, Oly 45mm and the kit lens (plus some longer Oly and Panny options) but I'd quite like higher quality wide option. The Panny 20mm is pretty much welded to the camera and right now I use the kit if I want wider, but clearly that's not going to deliver the best quality.

I looked on Photozone and while the Oly 12mm review is good the actual samples left me quite underwhelmed; they didn't seem that much better than the Oly 9-18mm. I've ruled out the Panny 14mm as it's small (which is good) but no better than the kit lens as far as I can see. Compact is important to me so that is a shame TBH. The Panny 7-14mm is a bit more than I want to pay right now, though I hear it's very good.

So my question to DPR people is how have you found the 12mm f2? Are the Photozone samples representative or not? Anyone got the and the 9-18mm - if so, what's your view?

Thanks!

I have the Zuiko 12mm f/2. I got one of the first ones available in 2011. I love it. I think it is a better lens than many say. I sometimes wonder how many of the folks who pan the 12mm as "average" or "OK" have actually used it for any amount of time. Having f/2 with autofocus is really nice. The lens sharpens up nicely at f/2.8 and I find f/4.5 to be the optimum aperture when I am shooting for best image quality, all other considerations aside. It is a very good wide angle lens. Ask Louis Dobson (although he likes the 7-14mm very much too). I highly recommend the Zuiko 12mm f/2.

BUT...the Zuiko 12mm price is a killer for some. Your m4/3 kit appears to be a secondary system to your FF, so other considerations may come into play. If ultimate image quality is not your m4/3 goal, but, rather, very good quality, consider the 9-18mm for flexibility or the 14mm for small size and speed. The 14mm is a very good lens (I'm surprised that you think it's no better than a kit zoom) and a perfect complement to the 20mm.

An aside: I have the Lumix 8mm FE, Zuiko 12mm, Leica 25mm, and Zuiko 45mm. My next purchase to fill in the wide-to-normal gap will be the Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 or the rumored Zuiko fast f/2.8 zoom that I'm hoping will start at 11mm or 12mm and go past normal.

Happy shooting.

Jim Pilcher
Summit County, Colorado, USA

 James Pilcher's gear list:James Pilcher's gear list
Olympus PEN E-P5 Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 +8 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
optic67
Forum MemberPosts: 67Gear list
Like?
Re: Wide lens of choice?
In reply to Mittskitts, Feb 9, 2013

i have the same problem , im using the 75mm which is anything but wide but fantastic , but seems to be compared to the 12 mm in quality so i am drawn to this , the panasonic 14 also gets a favourable review but is not so sharp at the edge , but can be purchased for 1/5 of the price on ebay . the 12mm is a fast f2 lens , and fast is good , especially if used in low light and indoors, the 12 is not cheap and for a bit more the panny 7-14 becomes very tempting , its not easy , the 75mm is great

 optic67's gear list:optic67's gear list
Nikon Df
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
howielenny
Contributing MemberPosts: 707Gear list
Like?
Re: Wide lens of choice?
In reply to Dylthedog, Feb 9, 2013

I bought the Panasonic 14mm f2.5 and so far so good. I use it virtually for all my landscapes. If I want something wider I'll shoot 3-5 shots in portrait mode then stitch them together in Photoshop and make it as wide as I want it to be. I find the Panasonic to definitely sharper than the 12mm-50mm and produces good contrast and colours.

 howielenny's gear list:howielenny's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8 +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
wine540
Regular MemberPosts: 172Gear list
Like?
Re: Wide lens of choice?
In reply to Dylthedog, Feb 9, 2013

I have both the Oly 12 mm and the Pany 7-14 to use on a EP-L5 or EM-5.  The 7-14 is a "chunky" lens with a built in lens shade: produces great pictures. The 12 mm is light, small, fast and sharp - I love it on both bodies, I prefer the 12 mm on the EP-L5. Usually lighter and faster is what I end up grabbing and using. The 7-14 is a big investment and I originally bought it to use on a Pany G1 (still do as you can't get much $$ these days for a used G1 body even in perfect shape). I am in the process of rethinking my lenses and find the 12-50 mm that came with the OM-D much maligned and actually pretty good. Ask yourself what you are going to use it for? Vacation shots or giant blow-ups or video (viz: iPad, monitor, projection). The zooms have stood me in go stead. Ask me again in a year when I have few thousand more images...

-- hide signature --

Dan W

 wine540's gear list:wine540's gear list
Canon PowerShot S100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Geekapoo
Contributing MemberPosts: 604Gear list
Like?
Re: Wide lens of choice?
In reply to wine540, Feb 9, 2013

I have an Oly 9-18 and Rokinon 7.5 to pair with my G3 and GF3. Love both lenses! Would not get the Rokinon 7.5 if I didn't have a camera with a viewfinder (I pair it with the G3 but not the GF3). Maybe would have gone with the Panny 7-14 but appreciate the size of the 9-18 and ability to use filters....would do it again vs buying the 7-14.

 Geekapoo's gear list:Geekapoo's gear list
Casio Exilim EX-Z850 Fujifilm FinePix 4700 Zoom Sony RX100 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Hen3ry
Senior MemberPosts: 9,163Gear list
Like?
Re: Wide lens of choice? -- how wide is wide and do you want zoom?
In reply to Dylthedog, Feb 9, 2013

My main camera is an E-PL3 (I have a Panny FT4 for underwater and rough). I run the Panny 14 on it as my "standard" lens (back in the day, I ran the f2 28mm as my standard on the OM1). That’s a pretty good wide. Good and sharp, focuses at warp speed in virtually any light,. and very importantly in day to day use, allows the E-PL3 with VF2 fitted to be pocketable in my fishing vest I use for photographic carrying.

A couple of examples:

Hmmm -- they might have to come later, the Gallery won’t connect right now.

I also have the Oly 9-18 mainly for professional work (among other things, I photograph guesthouse, lodge, and motel interiors for websites), and that is very good too, although I would pretty much settle for a pancake 9 or 10mm if it were available. A couple of examples:

Here we go again, connection problem to galleries.

Further, I have the 14-42 II R kit lens. This is much, much better than is generally thought on this forum (I remember when I first came on the forum being amazed at the denigration of the Panny 14-45 which had come as standard on my G1 -- I thought it a great lens although I would have oike a stop more, particualry st the long end, and said so, and so did others. Now you see it universally praised. Lots of people automatically downgrade a lens when it is kit. I believe the current Oly 14-42 is as good as the 14-45).

My crude testing (the picket fence across the road) suggests that at 14, the 14-42, 9-18, and 14 are all pretty much on par, with the 14 maybe having a slight edge but you would have to be very picky to see a difference in general photography.

FURTHERMORE -- you can get the WCON for little money and turn the 14-42 at the f3.5 14 end into an f3.5 10/11 lens. And with pretty good quality too. Some distortion, but it is simple curve and correctable in a moment with any PP software.

Here’s an uncorrected one (I liked the way the distortion emphasized the appearance of the already sagging fence):

Oh no, still a connection problem. I'll post later.

Cheers, geoff

 Hen3ry's gear list:Hen3ry's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8 Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Dave Sanders
Contributing MemberPosts: 852Gear list
Like?
What he said about the 14mm
In reply to James Pilcher, Feb 9, 2013

James Pilcher wrote:

BUT...the Zuiko 12mm price is a killer for some. Your m4/3 kit appears to be a secondary system to your FF, so other considerations may come into play. If ultimate image quality is not your m4/3 goal, but, rather, very good quality, consider the 9-18mm for flexibility or the 14mm for small size and speed. The 14mm is a very good lens (I'm surprised that you think it's no better than a kit zoom) and a perfect complement to the 20mm.

I bought an OM-D to compliment my Nikon kit so size was the first consideration. The 14mm is ridiculously small and light and produces excellent images. It is sharp as one would ever need in the centre from f/2.5 and I have found that, by f/4, it is good all the way out to the corners. This lens gets a bad rap. Given the price -- $170 new for me -- it's a great lens.





-- hide signature --

Dave Sanders

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jalywol
jalywol MOD
Veteran MemberPosts: 5,086Gear list
Like?
Re: Wide lens of choice?
In reply to Dylthedog, Feb 10, 2013

Dylthedog wrote:

So my question to DPR people is how have you found the 12mm f2? Are the Photozone samples representative or not? Anyone got the and the 9-18mm - if so, what's your view?

Thanks! 

Bought a 9-18mm about a year ago, was underwhelmed.  Exchanged it for the 12mm, which I absolutely love.

The color rendition, microcontrast, detail, etc. in the 12mm is just remarkable.  I don't use the lens all that much, but every time I do I am just amazed by it.  If I had to narrow down my lenses to a couple of primes and a zoom, this would be one of the ones I kept.

I'd post a couple of shots from it, except the DPR gallery selector seems to be not working at this moment...If it comes back up later I will post them then.

-J

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
sigala1
Senior MemberPosts: 3,305
Like?
This is wrong
In reply to Dylthedog, Feb 10, 2013

Dylthedog wrote:

I've got an E-PL5 with a Panny 20mm, Oly 45mm and the kit lens (plus some longer Oly and Panny options) but I'd quite like higher quality wide option. The Panny 20mm is pretty much welded to the camera and right now I use the kit if I want wider, but clearly that's not going to deliver the best quality.

I looked on Photozone and while the Oly 12mm review is good the actual samples left me quite underwhelmed; they didn't seem that much better than the Oly 9-18mm. I've ruled out the Panny 14mm as it's small (which is good) but no better than the kit lens as far as I can see. Compact is important to me so that is a shame TBH. The Panny 7-14mm is a bit more than I want to pay right now, though I hear it's very good.

So my question to DPR people is how have you found the 12mm f2? Are the Photozone samples representative or not? Anyone got the and the 9-18mm - if so, what's your view?

Thanks!

This is just as was said in the other thread about prime-only shooters with snobby attitudes:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50822454

I am very good at pixel peeping, and I can't tell that the Panasonic 14mm prime has any better image quality than the kit lens that comes with the E-PL5. In fact, just the opposite, I think the kit lens has better image quality because there are less chromatic aberration correction artifacts in the corners of the image.

While certainly there are lenses that go wider than the kit lens, they don't all produce better image quality.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Hen3ry
Senior MemberPosts: 9,163Gear list
Like?
Re: This is wrong +1
In reply to sigala1, Feb 10, 2013

As I mentioned in my post. Well said, Siggy.

Cheers, geoff

 Hen3ry's gear list:Hen3ry's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8 Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
TORN
Contributing MemberPosts: 721
Like?
Re: Wide lens of choice?
In reply to Dylthedog, Feb 10, 2013

The 9-18 is an average performer, the 7-14 is good but produces purple and blue flare on actual Olympus sensors, the 12mm is good as well but 12mm only, meaning it adds only so much to a 14mm.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Ann Chaikin
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,878Gear list
Like?
Re: Wide lens of choice?
In reply to Dylthedog, Feb 10, 2013

Panasonic 7-14 if your want really wide. It is a great lens.

Panasonic 12-35 if you want a great walk around lens that is fast.

I like both very much.

 Ann Chaikin's gear list:Ann Chaikin's gear list
Sony RX100 Sigma DP2 Quattro Panasonic Lumix DMC-G5 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 +6 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Aleo Veuliah
Forum ProPosts: 14,468Gear list
Like?
Re: Wide lens of choice?
In reply to Dylthedog, Feb 10, 2013

My opinion is that the Panasonic Lumix 7-14mm is the best zoom for extreme wide. Indeed a superb lens.

But the Olympus 9-18mm is also a good one and a bit cheaper.


-- hide signature --

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Pure logic is the ruin of the spirit.
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
God is the tangential point between zero and infinity.
Aleo Photo Site

 Aleo Veuliah's gear list:Aleo Veuliah's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ1000 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Hen3ry
Senior MemberPosts: 9,163Gear list
Like?
Phooey -- galleries still misbehaving; I'll add examples direct
In reply to Hen3ry, Feb 10, 2013

TERRIFIC thunderstorm right overhead here in Vunakabi Village in the Gazelle Heights, Rabaul, New Guinea Islands. Typical wet season storm. Rain pouring down as though the sky has fallen. It was findand sunny this morning, it's 2.34pm now, and it will probably be fine again in half an hour.

That's the tropics. Now, to business:

Hen3ry wrote:

My main camera is an E-PL3 (I have a Panny FT4 for underwater and rough). I run the Panny 14 on it as my "standard" lens (back in the day, I ran the f2 28mm as my standard on the OM1). That’s a pretty good wide. Good and sharp, focuses at warp speed in virtually any light,. and very importantly in day to day use, allows the E-PL3 with VF2 fitted to be pocketable in my fishing vest I use for photographic carrying.

A couple of examples:

Dawn, Medina Village, New Ireland. instant focus, of course.

Flash with a longish shutter time to get some mogement into the lights in the background to add a bit of drama. Worked like a charm. This is a tropical island nightclub with appropriate lighting -- the 14 focused instantly; the Oly f1.8 45 struggled to focus in the same situation.

I also have the Oly 9-18 mainly for professional work (among other things, I photograph guesthouse, lodge, and motel interiors for websites), and that is very good too, although I would pretty much settle for a pancake 9 or 10mm if it were available. A couple of examples:

An interior with the 9-18 at 9. Well n open interior!   Barrel distortion corrected by the Kekus Lensfix CI plug-in in PhotoLine (PS compatible plug-in for Mac, PT Lens for Windows is a sister program). Lensfix doesn’t have most m43 lenses., but applying the fix for the 9-18 43 lens works fine! Which maybe tells us something (I don’t know what).

I'm a bit fond of sunsets!    This one with the 9-18 @ 9 @ Rye, Victoria, Oz. This lens is a bit better than the "good" label applied by the Pannh 7-14 fanciers, which says nothing about the 7-14 lens.

Further, I have the 14-42 II R kit lens. This is much, much better than is generally thought on this forum (I remember when I first came on the forum being amazed at the denigration of the Panny 14-45 which had come as standard on my G1 -- I thought it a great lens although I would have oike a stop more, particualry st the long end, and said so, and so did others. Now you see it universally praised. Lots of people automatically downgrade a lens when it is kit. I believe the current Oly 14-42 is as good as the 14-45).

My crude testing (the picket fence across the road) suggests that at 14, the 14-42, 9-18, and 14 are all pretty much on par, with the 14 maybe having a slight edge but you would have to be very picky to see a difference in general photography.

FURTHERMORE -- you can get the WCON for little money and turn the 14-42 at the f3.5 14 end into an f3.5 10/11 lens. And with pretty good quality too. Some distortion, but it is simple curve and correctable in a moment with any PP software.

Here’s an uncorrected one (I liked the way the distortion emphasized the appearance of the already sagging fence):

Lensfix does have corrections for the m43 14-42 which work well even though they are not specifically for the lens with the WCON attached.

Cheers, geoff

 Hen3ry's gear list:Hen3ry's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8 Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads