7-14mm for travel?

Started Feb 20, 2014 | Discussions
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G1Houston Senior Member • Posts: 2,583
Re: 7-14mm for travel?

For "environmental portraits," the focal length you need is dependent on how much of a person you wish to show. If you want to include someone from the chest up, 14mm is way too wide b/c in order to achieve that you need to move in more which may easily cause perspective distortion. IMO, a 20 or 25 mm m/43 lens is better suited for this type of shots. To the OP, make sure you are familiar with how to use a super wide angle lens before you make such a major investment. There are many bad superwide pictures out there because people do not know how to use it.

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Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,466
Re: mountain landscape example.

JLTaylor wrote:

A few years I carried a 7-14 on a favorite hike (Ingalls Lake in the Cascades) and took the same scene at 7mm and at 14 and stitched.

7mm

Same time/location stitched version.

I am not a big fan of UWA for landscapes (exception is if you are going for large DOF). In the upper photo the clouds and larches seemed stretched in the corners. In this case Mount Stuart is very close to Ingalls pass, but UWA's can easily make molehills out of mountains.

The stitched version looks more natural, even though it is much wider. Another advantage of shooting panoramas is you can use different projections.

To show why the UWA stretches the corners I mapped stitched version using rectilinear projection and did not crop.

You can of course reproject UWA images and get exactly the same result as you would when shooting with a more narrow AoV and then stitching. Below is an example shot with the 7-14 at 7 mm that was reprojected from rectilinear to Panini by means of Hugin.

Original 7 mm rectilinear projection

After reprojection to Panini

Of course, stitching remains a perfectly valid technique for the purpose of gaining increased resolution or an even wider final AoV. But it's not required to get the projection you want.

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JLTaylor Contributing Member • Posts: 977
Re: mountain landscape example.

Anders W wrote:

You can of course reproject UWA images and get exactly the same result as you would when shooting with a more narrow AoV and then stitching. Below is an example shot with the 7-14 at 7 mm that was reprojected from rectilinear to Panini by means of Hugin.

Hi Anders,

I didn't intend to imply that you couldn't change the projection of a single shot, but I guess I did.

I frequently use Panini projections from fisheye shots, but don't think I have ever done it to a single rectilinear frame.  I tend to think of it a straightening vertical lines.   I did a quick test with my example and it isn't bad. Still won't carry a UWA for mountain landscapes, and for most landscapes I would rather start with a fisheye (close in formations like Arches).

I often take a wide rectilinear if I am traveling in cities.

Gravi
Gravi Senior Member • Posts: 1,504
or 9-18mm

zilver wrote:

I've been interested in wide angle lately but never really tried shots wider than 12mm (24mm FOV) with the 12-35mm.

The review seems to agree that the Pana 7-14mm F4 is a very good wide angle zoom.

I'm going to the mountains and thinking I want to explore wider lens, just need to ask that if I take only one lens can the 7-14 be a walk around lens for landscape and family shots, can I at least take nice shots of family member with background of the view at long end of the zoom or it's not really practical?

Thanks,

Olympus 9-18mm is the other option.

Advantages over the 7-14:

- much smaller and lighter

- cheaper

- accepts filters (7-14 does not)

Disadvantages:

- not as wide (but still very wide)

- not as fast - it is f/4 at 9mm and f/5.6 at 18mm, the 7-14 is constant f/4

- not as sharp in the corners. Edges and center do not show that much difference.

I personally chose the 9-18mm. The filter possibility was the main reason for me, second was size.

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Regards,
Gravi

Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,466
Re: mountain landscape example.

JLTaylor wrote:

Anders W wrote:

You can of course reproject UWA images and get exactly the same result as you would when shooting with a more narrow AoV and then stitching. Below is an example shot with the 7-14 at 7 mm that was reprojected from rectilinear to Panini by means of Hugin.

Hi Anders,

I didn't intend to imply that you couldn't change the projection of a single shot, but I guess I did.

I frequently use Panini projections from fisheye shots, but don't think I have ever done it to a single rectilinear frame. I tend to think of it a straightening vertical lines. I did a quick test with my example and it isn't bad. Still won't carry a UWA for mountain landscapes, and for most landscapes I would rather start with a fisheye (close in formations like Arches).

I often take a wide rectilinear if I am traveling in cities.

Hi JL,

I use Panini to (partly) defish fisheye shots as well. But my point here is that you can also "refish" ordinary UWA shots by means of Panini and get rid of the kind of distortion you get with a rectilinear UWA. The type of distortion you start out with is entirely different (bent lines in the case of the fisheye, excessive stretching in the case of the rectilinear UWA) but the end result the same except that the AoV is different (still wider for the FE than for the UWA).

Of course, Panini isn't distortion-free either. There is no such thing. We just replace one type of distortion by another. But that works surprisingly well in many cases. It's just a matter of finding the type of distortion that bothers the eye least for a particular shot.

Personally, I tend to carry my (Samyang) fisheye as well as my 7-14 most of the time. Unless I specifically want the fisheye distortion (as I sometimes do), the difference is just the AoV and I like a bit of versatility in that regard on the WA side just as I do on the tele side.

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daqk Contributing Member • Posts: 543
Re: 7-14mm for travel?

I would vote yes for UWA 7-14MM, or 9-18MM if you are cheap:-).

I carried my 10-20UWA on my DSLR (likely 15-30mm) to my mountain trips and it stayed on body included my family shots (in front of landscape). UWA is not any stiching can easily replace due to the vista deformation (in a good way). If you take many pictures on the go, there never would be enough time to take stiches. I made thousands pictures each trip and half of them were near the 10mm end and I just can not imagine myself stich them. If you do, try this free tool from billgates:

http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/groups/ivm/ice/

SterlingBjorndahl Senior Member • Posts: 1,880
Getting It All In
1

jeffharris wrote:

Here's a good piece by Ken Rockwell (really! ) on shooting with ultra-wide lenses.

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/how-to-use-ultra-wide-lenses.htm

I agree with recommending this article. An ultra-wide lens is not about "getting it all in". That will lead to very boring landscapes. You need to put something interesting in the foreground, very close to the lens, with an interesting background that is not so small or far away that it becomes boring.

Sterling
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secretworld Senior Member • Posts: 1,614
Re: 7-14mm for travel?

zilver wrote:

I've been interested in wide angle lately but never really tried shots wider than 12mm (24mm FOV) with the 12-35mm.

The review seems to agree that the Pana 7-14mm F4 is a very good wide angle zoom.

I'm going to the mountains and thinking I want to explore wider lens, just need to ask that if I take only one lens can the 7-14 be a walk around lens for landscape and family shots, can I at least take nice shots of family member with background of the view at long end of the zoom or it's not really practical?

Thanks,

I have not read all replies, but I have done exactly that, using the 7-14 as a walkaround and I love it. On a really nice trip I might hide the 45mm f1.8 in a jacket pocket just in case. Yes 7mm is very wide, but 14mm is perfectly okay for family shots. I find the 14mm of the 7-14 much better then the 14mm f2.5. I also use my 20mm as a walkaround, but for mountains I would choose the 7-14!

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Robert Deutsch Forum Pro • Posts: 10,152
Re: 7-14mm for travel?
1

On a trip to France last fall, I took the E-M5 with three lenses: the Panasonic 14-42x, the 7-14, and the 45-175. Most of favourite shots were taken with the 7-14. (I also had the Sony RX100.) Some of my shots are at http://www.pbase.com/phile/france_the_people.

Bob

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Len_Gee
Len_Gee Veteran Member • Posts: 9,492
Re: 7-14mm for travel?
2

It's a great lens to shoot landscapes that have interesting foregrounds.

But it can be too wide for general landscapes, where distant mountains can be too diminutive in the composition.

I prefer to use it when shooting tight streets scenes.

Good luck.

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Bob Radlinski Regular Member • Posts: 190
Definitely

I'm retired and travel extensively, with photography being one of the primary reasons.  Up until my recent purchase of the E-M1, I used Pentax DSLRs and the 12-24mm zoom (same 35 mm equivalent as  9-18 mm on an MFT) is my walkaround lens (the Oly 9-18mm was the first lens I bought for the E-M1).  I don't use it so much for landscapes, but, as others have mentioned, for street shots where there's no room to back up.  But it's also invaluable for interior shots of castles, " stately" homes and cathedrals.

Don't leave home without it!

Bob

SkiHound Senior Member • Posts: 2,458
Re: 7-14mm for travel?

I agree. I think you'll be much happier with the 12-35 as a general, all purpose lens. Anything wider than 12 is pretty specialized.

Mole101 New Member • Posts: 13
Re: 7-14mm for travel?

The 12-35 is a great lens to have for traveling.

Using an UWA lens requires you to do some thinking with regards to composition. As others have already pointed out, it makes most scenes look relatively empty especially the foreground area. The distortion the UWA gives can sometimes be exploited creatively.

Most of it's usefulness I have done with UWA are for indoor interior shots As well as some outdoor landscape shots when the opportunity presents itself.

In short, nice lens to have but only useful in certain situations.

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Mike Ronesia
Mike Ronesia Veteran Member • Posts: 3,027
Re: 7-14mm for travel?
1

While 7 is crazy wide for people, I like how the 7-14 allows you to get so much in the frame from a very close distance. As long as you keep your subjects centered it's not no bad.

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dddesign Forum Member • Posts: 50
9-18 for me!
2

The Oly 9-18 is one of my favourite lenses - tying with the 20mm Pana.

I use it extensively when travelling. In a trip to Europe I discovered later that, of the 4 lenses I took with me, I'd used the 9-18 about 50% of the time. Definitely a good walk-around lens. Nice and sharp, yet light and compact.

I don't think the 7-14 would be so versatile. There have been very few times when I felt 9mm wasn't wide enough and I know there would be a lot of times that 14mm wouldn't be long enough.

jeffharris
jeffharris Veteran Member • Posts: 6,967
Re: 9-18 for me!

dddesign wrote:

I don't think the 7-14 would be so versatile. There have been very few times when I felt 9mm wasn't wide enough and I know there would be a lot of times that 14mm wouldn't be long enough.

If you haven't used the 7-14mm, you have no idea just how incredibly versatile the 7-14mm really is! Fast focus, very sharp. Oh, but that 7mm end!

And don't forget the constant f4 aperture!

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gak44 Regular Member • Posts: 299
Re: 9-18 for me!

jeffharris wrote:

dddesign wrote:

I don't think the 7-14 would be so versatile. There have been very few times when I felt 9mm wasn't wide enough and I know there would be a lot of times that 14mm wouldn't be long enough.

If you haven't used the 7-14mm, you have no idea just how incredibly versatile the 7-14mm really is! Fast focus, very sharp. Oh, but that 7mm end!

And don't forget the constant f4 aperture!

Perhaps, but I agree with dddesign. The 9-18 rarely leaves my LX7 and while I would like the extra 2mm at the wide end, 28mm equivalent is too wide for me as a general purpose walk-around lens.

I have found the small and light 9-18 an ideal walk-around lens, from classical ruins, to interiors, to street photography to the canyons and pueblos of the SW, including the Grand Canyon. The range from 28-36mm equivalent is essential for me, and 18 mm is wide enough.

Use whatever works for you.

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Paul De Bra
Paul De Bra Forum Pro • Posts: 12,139
And for me too!

With the 18mm long end (36mm-equivalent) you can still take a pretty normal shot so you are not just bound to all ultra-wide. I have done walking around with the 9-18 quite a bit in a city environment and before I had it I did landscape and nature with 12mm as the wide end and definitely frequently found the need for wider (much more than for longer than 18mm).

And... it takes filters, has a removable hood and is very small. Besides, it also has good image quality!

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dddesign Forum Member • Posts: 50
Re: 9-18 for me!

If you haven't used the 7-14mm, you have no idea just how incredibly versatile the 7-14mm really is! Fast focus, very sharp. Oh, but that 7mm end!

No, I've never used the 7-14, and I'm sure it's a lovely lens. However my opinion is that for a walk-around lens - that the OP was wanting to take family shots with as well as landscapes - the 9-18 will be more useful. I have very rarely longed for wider than 9mm, but I certainly know I'd not be satisfied having a longest focal length of 28mm equiv at a family gathering.

zuikodude Contributing Member • Posts: 558
Agreed 9-18

For travel during day time if I could pick only one lens, this would be it. (Over my 12-40mm)
Is a great walk around lens!! Just fantastic for landscape and street photography in travel.
You get ultra wide all the way to 35mm equiv.
You should try it and see if it matches your style of shooting.

It is perfect for day time. It may be too slow for late evening time.

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