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Old May 20, 2009, 3:37 PM   #1
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Default Zuiko ED 14-35mm f/2.0 - Financial Disaster Strikes

The regulars on this thread know that I shoot a lot in indoor available light. I've been wanting the Oly ED 14-35mm f/2.0 but 2 things stopped me: the price and the fact that it seemed to have problems with focus under low-light conditions. Recent threads on DPReview seemed to indicate that newer versions of the lens plus the E3 firmware 1.4 update solved the problem for the E3, which caught my interest. (For the most important work I do - imaging religious ceremonies - fast zooms are way more practical than fast primes.)

Then financial disaster struck. I was perusing B&H and they had one of those lenses used, condition 9+, for USD400 below retail. Avarice overcame me and I bought it.

It arrived today and I took it down in my dark basement and did some shots. AF was really fast - no hunting (this is my first SWD lens and I was impressed).

Here is a crop of one of the shots. It was shot at EV 4.3 (!), the lens set at 35mm, f/2, 1/40 sec, ISO800. The WB is off because I just used my MyMode2 setting which is set for a different WB. But the AF looks good to me. I'm looking forward to using it as soon as I get to stop working on weekends.

PS: Like the 35-100 f/2, it's a BIG lens for a 4/3 lens in its focal range. (In fact both lenses use a 77mm filter - go figure.) Carrying both of them will definitely require that I follow the advice Harj gave me a long time ago, which is to hire a Sherpa...

Ted
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Old May 20, 2009, 3:46 PM   #2
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Then financial disaster struck. I was perusing B&H and they had one of those lenses used, condition 9+, for USD400 below retail. Avarice overcame me and I bought it.
You didn't see the listing for the latest version of the 14-35mm f/2 for only $1,195 at likenewzuiko.com?

I'm only teasing, of course. lol

Congrats on the new lens!
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Old May 20, 2009, 3:52 PM   #3
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I tried the 14-35 f2 at Arlington Camera a while back. Indeed, I believe it was bigger/fatter than even the 7-14 4 Zuiko I was once totting around with the 14-54 and 50-200 Zuikos. Magnificent lens though...

Again, I am jealous.
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Old May 20, 2009, 4:01 PM   #4
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Here's another shot. This one is daylight, EV 9.3, ISO200, f/3.2 at 1/125 sec. The AF still looks good to me, for a tough AF situation.

Ted
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Old May 20, 2009, 4:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JimC View Post
You didn't see the listing for the latest version of the 14-35mm f/2 for only $1,195 at likenewzuiko.com?

I'm only teasing, of course. lol

Congrats on the new lens!
Ouch - that would really hurt if it was true!

Ted
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Old May 20, 2009, 4:11 PM   #6
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I tried the 14-35 f2 at Arlington Camera a while back. Indeed, I believe it was bigger/fatter than even the 7-14 4 Zuiko I was once totting around with the 14-54 and 50-200 Zuikos. Magnificent lens though...

Again, I am jealous.
Greg, at least for the outdoor work you do, I think this lens would be way too expensive, heavy, large, and un-needed. I'm in a situation where I really want to do good photography in low light. (My E-500 was fine in daylight.)

I spent years shooting film in low-light conditions and got maybe 1 out of 100 keepers. I am overjoyed that DSLR technology lets me do this reliably now. And when I look at the cost (inflation adjusted) of my film DSLR equipment plus the cost of processing the film, the Oly E3 plus these 2 SHG lenses are not really that expensive. But my next task is definitely to sell the Oly lenses I don't use, to get the CCard balance down!

Ted
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Old May 20, 2009, 4:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JimC View Post
You didn't see the listing for the latest version of the 14-35mm f/2 for only $1,195 at likenewzuiko.com?

I'm only teasing, of course. lol

Congrats on the new lens!
Hi Jim!

Hey I nearly fell for that one !

Ted, well mate .... congrats on the new lens and now at that price I can see how tempting it would have been not to snap it up. Give us a personal review of the lens, specifially with IS off in low light (I read an interesting E3 review on LL and the AF in low light was something that was highlighted as a major flaw and the reviewer thought it might have been down to the sensor shift based IS.)

Good thing that beastie is nearly 2000 here .... its stopped me from buying it !

Shall I send the sherpas over... looks as if your gonna need two of them

Cheers

Harj
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Old May 20, 2009, 4:38 PM   #8
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Hi Jim!



Shall I send the sherpas over... looks as if your gonna need two of them

Cheers

Harj
Truly....

I'm carrying around my E1 w/accessory grip these days in a backpack with *just* the 9-18, 12-60 and 50-200 SWD lenses, FL50R and EX25 and that kit is not exactly light-weight.

I once had a chance to handle a 35-100 f2, also at Arlington Camera. I can imagine the weight of that, an E3 and 14-35 f2....and I bet that isn't all that's in the bag, either!
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Old May 20, 2009, 4:43 PM   #9
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BTW (getting down in the weeds here), in the first shot I posted to start this thread, in the black areas of the original shot there's a lot of noise at ISO800. But that shot was at EV 4.3 - most of my low light imaging is at EV 5 - 6 without any significant dark areas. Putting this in perspective, I've found that for the typical low light imaging I do, ISO800 in the E3 is just fine.

I've been happy with the E3 at ISO800, although I'd be happier with an E5 that has an ISO1600 as good as the E3's ISO800. If I had that, with the Oly SHG f/2 glass I'd be a happy camper. And the FF CaNikons wouldn't make a difference because whereas they would give me ISO1600 their glass is a stop slower.

Ted
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Old May 20, 2009, 5:16 PM   #10
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Hi Jim!

Ted, well mate .... congrats on the new lens and now at that price I can see how tempting it would have been not to snap it up. Give us a personal review of the lens, specifially with IS off in low light (I read an interesting E3 review on LL and the AF in low light was something that was highlighted as a major flaw and the reviewer thought it might have been down to the sensor shift based IS.)

Good thing that beastie is nearly 2000 here .... its stopped me from buying it !

Shall I send the sherpas over... looks as if your gonna need two of them

Cheers

Harj
Well I want to be clear here that I wouldn't recommend the Oly ED 14-35mm f/2.0 unless you were doing low light imaging with action going on and you couldn't use flash. It's too big and expensive otherwise. I got into this loop from the folks at DPReview who do wedding photography and were discussing this lens. The theme of my work has similar characteristics, otherwise I'd have been very happy with the other lenses I have. I didn't post this to raise the level of desire of members of this forum, just to describe my initial impressions of the lens for folks who might really need it.

> Give us a personal review of the lens, specifially with IS off in low light. (I read an interesting E3 review on LL and the AF in low light was something that was highlighted as a major flaw and the reviewer thought it might have been down to the sensor shift based IS.)

My initial images with IS on in low light seem fine. Look at the images - am I out to lunch here? The lens doesn't seem to have a flaw but I suspect that the initial batch of E3s themselves had flaws. Based on your initial posts with the 1st batch of E3s like the one you bought I waited a while before I bought mine. I do thank you for that (unlike many of the folks at DPReview I'm not a big fan of schadenfreude.)

> Shall I send the sherpas over... looks as if your gonna need two of them

That would be good but I'd prefer to join the group in this Forum who are going over to London at your invitation, and pick up some sherpas at that time.

(grin)

Ted
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