Cannot decide between Panny 7-14, 8-18, or Oly 7-14.

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AlmostDoctor Forum Member • Posts: 55
Cannot decide between Panny 7-14, 8-18, or Oly 7-14.
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So after much consideration, I am pretty sure that I will stay with mft for the time being, even if em5iii ends up being a minor upgrade without all the bells and whistles.

If I were to switch the system, I would have gone sony FF since Aps-c is rather minor upgrade from mft imo and likely not worth the trouble of switching (also, many mft bodies offer hires mode if needed )

One of the biggest factors I considered is the ultrawide angle lens options. I seriously looked into sony A7ii, given that they retail for less than 1kUSD with a kit lens, and if you're only looking at standard zooms there are some reasonable options both in terms of size, price, and quality (especially given that you won't have to carry bright primes). But when I looked into adding a ultrawide zoom lenses for FE, the size and weight differences were quite massive compared to mft options. I will be using my cameras for traveling as a hobby. Adding a ultrawide to sony FF kind of breaks the size to quality ratio that I'm comfortable with. Looking at camerasizes.com, ultrawide FE mount zoom options would add just about a pound (~400g) to the camera weight compared to a midrange mft bodies and their ultrawide zoom options of equivalent fov, and takes up much more space in the bag.

During my last trip with my wife and friends, I found that I enjoyed shooting zooms, dislike lens changes, and I wanted to go wider than 12mm. I also didn't care much for bokeh in the context of travel photography...I'm trying to document the sceneries, I want them to be sharp across the frame. While the kit 12-32 was surprisingly capable as well as 20mm 1.7, I am planning on adding a pro zoom and an ultrawide zoom before my next trip.

As far as the standard zoom goes, I'm leaning towards oly 12-40 since they can be found rather cheap used, not too large, and longer than panny 12-35. I often felt that 12-32 was just a little short in many situations so 12-40 should cover most scenarios. As for ultrawide though, I am completely stuck on what's best for me.

I am aware that these are all sharp lenses, at least sharp enough for my use. Differences are:

Panny 7-14: wide. Light. Slow. Cheap. No weather seal. No filter threads. Purple blob.

Panny 8-18: longer. Light. Fast-slow. Expensive. Weather sealed. Filter threads. No purple blob.

Oly 7-17: wide. Heavy. Fast. Expensive. Weather sealed. No filter threads. No purple blob.

Panny 8-18 seems like the logical choice given size/weight, filter threads, and weather sealing, and possibly reducing lens changes due to 18mm on the long end. But looking at a lot of the 7mm photos, I feel like there's a definite "wow" factor difference between 7mm and 8mm. It's hard to explain but 8mm feels like it'll fit everything in the frame, but 7mm will make you feel like you were there.

If I'm restricting myself to 7-14 options, seems like oly would be the better choice as long as I can stomach extra weight, size, and price. (At least I'll be getting constant 2.8 for the price!)

So I guess my question is,

1.) Which of these ultrawide is your lens of choice?

2.) How do you feel about the focal range? (Wide enough, long enough, how frequently you need to switch to standard zoom etc.)

3.) How do you feel about the usability? (Anything that bothers you, like lack of weather seal, filter threads, weight etc)

4.) Sample photos you shot. (preferably at the very wide end, and optional long end)

And finally

5.) How much do you recommend? (If you lost it, would you buy it again (price not being an issue), or would you switch to another option?

I apologize in advance for the lengthy post. But I think hearing more about actual user experiences on each of these lenses would help me get a better idea of which one is the best fit for me. (Also I would love to see all of your wide angle shots!)

Sony a7
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