Is the ZD 7-14 the best wide-angle lens on the planet?

Started Oct 17, 2012 | Questions thread
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philosomatographer Contributing Member • Posts: 539
Is the ZD 7-14 the best wide-angle lens on the planet?

Take a look at this corner crop, shot stopped down only one stop. Taken at 14mm (where it performs worse than at 7mm, confirmed both by the published MTF charts and my experience):

(sorry, but this new forum system is awful IMHO, I'd rather the image open on its own)

I am utterly amazed that gargantuan or optically flawed (fisheye-like distortion) lenses (like the Nikkor 14-24, 16-35) get all the attention, or that there are still people that think a $4000 Leica Summicron on an M9, with pixellated false detail, colour shifts and massive vignetting is state-of-the-art.

Surely one of the true gems of the four thirds system is the world-beater lens that does not seem to receive any love outside of the system. Just look at the insanity of the crop I posted.

Now, look at crops of even the new giant, manual-focus, non-sealed Zeiss Distagon 15/2.8 on a Nikon D800, and it's clear as daylight that the pixel-sharp corners of the Olympus E-5 image resolves more actual detail (almost twice as much, since at comparable apertures the detail blurs across three or four pixels, whereas the Olympus combination is the only one where the 12MP sensor is clearly the limiting factor here.

A lens that is built as tough as nails (there is a crazy guy posting regular underwater images on flickr, made with an E-3 and the 7-14 without an underwater housing. A lens that still ships with a solid billet aluminium press-on cap instead of a plastic one.

Lenses like these make we watch the rest of the digital photographic world with a disinterested, self-satisfied smirk - nothing else really tempts me. So glad I could buy an orphaned one for less than $1000. Leica would charge $7000 for this piece of magic.

 philosomatographer's gear list:philosomatographer's gear list
Nikon Df Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED-IF VR Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 14-35mm 1:2.0 SWD Carl Zeiss Makro-Planar T* 2/100 +3 more
Nikon D800 Olympus E-3 Olympus E-5 Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm 1:4.0
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