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View Poll Results: Upgrade to the 7-14mm PRO from the 9-18mm?
get the 7-14 3 50.00%
keep the 9-18 3 50.00%
other 0 0%
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Old Feb 6, 2016, 10:28 AM   #1
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Default 9-18 vs. 7-14 is it worth the upgrade?

Well I have the four thirds 9-18 f4.0 and it is a great lens for landscape, but recently I've been thinking about upgrading to the Olympus 7-14mm f2.8 PRO. I'm thinking if I had the 7-14mm it could replace not only the 9-18, but also the Rokinon 12mm f2.0 and the Lumix 14mm f2.5 which would lighten my load a bit. It would also provide me with weather proofing which none of these have.

Obviously the cost difference is pretty big so the question is, is it worth it?

I know a few folks have had both or currently have both and the reviews have been very positive on the 7-14mm PRO.
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Old Feb 6, 2016, 7:09 PM   #2
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First, the four-thirds 9-18 is an outstanding lens. If you've got a good copy, it's better across the frame, especially in the corners, compared to the 9-18 micro model.

I've had the 7-14mm f2.8 now since last May. It's an outstanding lens, but compared to the three lenses you mention, you may save on space when you consider the real estate in the bag for the three separate lenses, but there will definitely be an increase in the weight you are carrying around. I do not really consider it to be all that heavy, but it'd definitely tilt the scales it's way opposite the combined weight of the 9-18, 12mm f2 and 14/2.5. The Panny 14mm f2.5 hardly even registers a weight itself.

Like the four-thirds 7-14mm f4, the Micro 7-14mm f2.8 will flare like the devil with the sun in the field of view or even just outside the FOV. The front element extends out as you zoom to 7mm and retracts in as you zoom towards 14mm, so the front element is most exposed at 7mm. I don't really have many example of it because I choose not to use it when I see it.

At 7-8mm, you have to be careful where you are placing the focus with the 7-14mm f2.8, as there is some field curvature. If you set the focus to infinity or at a long distance, some parts of the subject on the sides and up closer can go out of focus, even stopped down, due to the field curvature. If you focus a landscape on something 20-25 feet away and are are stopped down to at least f4, you'll be OK, like this image I did out the office window one morning. I placed focus on the third window pane on the left-hand side of the image. If the camera is kept level both vertically and horizontally, the lens renders a pretty darn straight-line image at 7mm. With the software update 4.0 on the E-M1, I love being able to have the dual digital levels and histogram on at the same time for exposure and composition.



Here, I was at 8mm and f4, focusing on the historical marker to the far right. I shoot with the 7-14 most of the time at f4-5.6.



I chose not to "vote" with my reply. I knew I was going to get it all along so it wasn't even a question. It's not so easy saying it's the "right" thing to do to someone else because the four-thirds 9-18 is so good all the way to 9mm. You're gaining the two extra MM of coverage at the wide end and one stop of light the the widest end, which you'll only use if you really need it. At 10-11mm, it's great at f2.8.

This is 11mm at f2.8..



Here's 8mm at f2.8, focus on the statue dead-center. Not half-bad, sharpness wise, across the frame. I think the softness up closer on the step railing is just the result of the wider aperture and that railing being literally almost right next to me.


Last edited by Greg Chappell; Feb 6, 2016 at 7:12 PM.
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Old Feb 6, 2016, 8:30 PM   #3
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Here's a good indication of how the lens will flare with the sun in the FOV..

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/57230898
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Old Feb 6, 2016, 10:18 PM   #4
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On another note, I've just updated my E-M1 to firmware 4.1, which is supposed to improve stabilization. Testing this lens at 7mm with some near subjects in the extreme corners inside at slow shutter speeds and f2.8, things look really nice. You do get the extreme angle of view look in the corners up close at 7mm, but the subjects I've tested look really sharp, and right from f2.8. I'll have to get outside in the morning and do some shooting around with the combination.
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Old Feb 7, 2016, 3:31 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Chappell View Post
First, the four-thirds 9-18 is an outstanding lens. If you've got a good copy, it's better across the frame, especially in the corners, compared to the 9-18 micro model.
My FT 9-18 has been great, sharp and great all around. The one thing I don't like is the slow f4.0 aperture for nightscapes, which led me to buy the Rokinon 12mm f2.0, however that lenses ends up not getting used otherwise so it's mostly left out of the bag.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Chappell View Post
I've had the 7-14mm f2.8 now since last May. It's an outstanding lens, but compared to the three lenses you mention, you may save on space when you consider the real estate in the bag for the three separate lenses, but there will definitely be an increase in the weight you are carrying around. I do not really consider it to be all that heavy, but it'd definitely tilt the scales it's way opposite the combined weight of the 9-18, 12mm f2 and 14/2.5. The Panny 14mm f2.5 hardly even registers a weight itself.

Like the four-thirds 7-14mm f4, the Micro 7-14mm f2.8 will flare like the devil with the sun in the field of view or even just outside the FOV. The front element extends out as you zoom to 7mm and retracts in as you zoom towards 14mm, so the front element is most exposed at 7mm. I don't really have many example of it because I choose not to use it when I see it.

At 7-8mm, you have to be careful where you are placing the focus with the 7-14mm f2.8, as there is some field curvature. If you set the focus to infinity or at a long distance, some parts of the subject on the sides and up closer can go out of focus, even stopped down, due to the field curvature. If you focus a landscape on something 20-25 feet away and are are stopped down to at least f4, you'll be OK, like this image I did out the office window one morning. I placed focus on the third window pane on the left-hand side of the image. If the camera is kept level both vertically and horizontally, the lens renders a pretty darn straight-line image at 7mm. With the software update 4.0 on the E-M1, I love being able to have the dual digital levels and histogram on at the same time for exposure and composition.
...
Here, I was at 8mm and f4, focusing on the historical marker to the far right. I shoot with the 7-14 most of the time at f4-5.6.
...
I chose not to "vote" with my reply. I knew I was going to get it all along so it wasn't even a question. It's not so easy saying it's the "right" thing to do to someone else because the four-thirds 9-18 is so good all the way to 9mm. You're gaining the two extra MM of coverage at the wide end and one stop of light the the widest end, which you'll only use if you really need it. At 10-11mm, it's great at f2.8.

This is 11mm at f2.8..
...
Here's 8mm at f2.8, focus on the statue dead-center. Not half-bad, sharpness wise, across the frame. I think the softness up closer on the step railing is just the result of the wider aperture and that railing being literally almost right next to me.
Thank you for the in-depth detailed discussion of the negatives of the lens and comparisons to the 9-18. I think I also need to really take a hard look at some nightscapes done with the 7-14 before I decide.
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Old Feb 12, 2016, 9:24 AM   #6
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I was really tempted (still is) to get the 7-14 m4/3 to replace my 4/3 9-18 (used with the MMF-2 adapter) ... and I can't decide to do it.

1) Price $1400CND (on sale) ... even the Panasonic is $100CND cheaper (still on sale)
2) What do I do with the 9-18? Mainly landscape shots ... do I really need f2.8? At this point of time ... not really.

Make sense?
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Old Feb 12, 2016, 11:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by folob View Post
I was really tempted (still is) to get the 7-14 m4/3 to replace my 4/3 9-18 (used with the MMF-2 adapter) ... and I can't decide to do it.

1) Price $1400CND (on sale) ... even the Panasonic is $100CND cheaper (still on sale)
2) What do I do with the 9-18? Mainly landscape shots ... do I really need f2.8? At this point of time ... not really.

Make sense?
Makes sense for you, but for me the 2.8 is needed for night shots which is why I now have the Rokinon 12mm.

Anyhow my decision is made, I just picked up a refurbished one on 20% off sale for $839, which is about what I paid for my E-M1... lol
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Old Feb 12, 2016, 12:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramcewan View Post
Makes sense for you, but for me the 2.8 is needed for night shots which is why I now have the Rokinon 12mm.

Anyhow my decision is made, I just picked up a refurbished one on 20% off sale for $839, which is about what I paid for my E-M1... lol

I guess Olympus twisted your arm, haha.

For wide I'm fine with just the Rokinon for now. 10mmish would be nice, but this one is sharp as I need and easy enough to keep everything in focus.
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Old Feb 12, 2016, 2:16 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by SammyKhalifa View Post
I guess Olympus twisted your arm, haha.

For wide I'm fine with just the Rokinon for now. 10mmish would be nice, but this one is sharp as I need and easy enough to keep everything in focus.
I was eyeing the expected president's day sale when I posted this originally

The Rokinon is a fine lens, I'm just really trying to keep my kit down to a few zooms for the most part. I'll now have three fast zooms; 7-14mm f2.8, 14-54mm mkII f2.8-3.5 and the 50-200mm f2.8-3.5, all three weather sealed* and perfect companions to the M1. I also have the four thirds 70-300mm for when I want to go beyond 200mm. Then I'll have the E-PM2 and the 12-32mm for pocket-ability

*although my Panny 4/3 adapter is not, hoping to swap for an MMF-3 at some point.

Going to be cutting loose the Four Thirds 9-18 f4, Rokinon 12mm f2.0, Lumix 14mm f2.5 and Lumix 25mm f1.7, I have filters for of these as well that will be going... if anyone is interested send me a PM, probably going to ebay the lot Sunday.
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Old Feb 12, 2016, 2:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramcewan View Post
I was eyeing the expected president's day sale when I posted this originally

The Rokinon is a fine lens, I'm just really trying to keep my kit down to a few zooms for the most part. I'll now have three fast zooms; 7-14mm f2.8, 14-54mm mkII f2.8-3.5 and the 50-200mm f2.8-3.5, all three weather sealed* and perfect companions to the M1. I also have the four thirds 70-300mm for when I want to go beyond 200mm. Then I'll have the E-PM2 and the 12-32mm for pocket-ability

*although my Panny 4/3 adapter is not, hoping to swap for an MMF-3 at some point.

Going to be cutting loose the Four Thirds 9-18 f4, Rokinon 12mm f2.0, Lumix 14mm f2.5 and Lumix 25mm f1.7, I have filters for of these as well that will be going... if anyone is interested send me a PM, probably going to ebay the lot Sunday.
I was kind of hoping the 60 would be on the list this time, but part of me is glad it wasn't, haha.

I usually go "out there" with the 12, 20, 45 and sometimes the 45-200 zoom. More zooms would probably be more convenient but I'd have a hard time giving up the 20 and 45 especially.

Last edited by SammyKhalifa; Feb 12, 2016 at 2:27 PM.
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