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brianvickers
17th May 2012, 08:43 PM
I'm about to invest in a 12mm f2 for landscape - I believe primes have the edge on zooms....but is the 12mm ultimately the best in terms of IQ or should I be considering something else.
Is the 9-18 zoom as good as the 12mm?
I'd welcome your opinion.

Zuiko
17th May 2012, 09:32 PM
Brian, in theory the 12mm beats the 9-18mm in terms of image quality but whether you would notice in practice, particularly when stopped down to around f6.3, I'm not sure. The zoom, of course, gives you more flexibility and a much wider angle of view at the 9mm end. The 12mm is superbly built, handles so smoothly, absolutely oozes quality and is a joy to use. It is also at least 2 stops faster than the zoom at 12mm and you can get true defocussed backgrounds wide open. You have a difficult decision to make!

If it helps I see that Ffordes have a mint minus used 12mm for 459 http://www.ffordes.com/category/Lenses/Micro_4/3rds_Fitting

brianvickers
17th May 2012, 09:38 PM
Thanks Zuiko...for your valued opinion and you may have just saved me some serious money!
cheers.

Greytop
18th May 2012, 08:39 PM
Both excellent lenses, the 9-18 is surprisingly good given it's minuscule dimensions but the 12mm edges it from what I have seen in a few test images. The 12mm needs stopping down to give it's best however.
As John says the 12mm is an absolute joy to use, it just oozes quality.

Here an example (Southampton water) taken at 11mm f/8 with my 9-18.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/p6291339_2_1024.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/36200)

brianvickers
18th May 2012, 09:17 PM
Huw, thanks for this, I have just checked 'slr gear' lens tests and the 12mm seems to score better with only two blur units in the worst case of fully open and at the edges, which is better than the zoom which has upto 6 in the very extremes - buyt otherwise appears just as good. As I have the funds from my dSLR sale I'm going to invest in the prime while I can - although the law of diminishing returns comes into play.
thanks

brianvickers
18th May 2012, 09:18 PM
Nice beach shot by the way...thats just what I'm after - front to back sharpness and a great wide angle.

Graham_of_Rainham
18th May 2012, 11:09 PM
I have a 9-18 and borrowed a 12mm from Ian (on a London walkabout) when they first came out. I did some comparisons and while the 9-18 is very good, the 12mm is just that bit better. Of course, it really comes into its own in low light (church interiors, etc.) and the snap manual focus is quite handy.

But, and for me it really is a big point, the extra 3mm is very often the difference between a good interior and an excellent one.
I also have the 7-14 and that's just a whole different game...:cool:

I often print up to A3+ and the 9-18 is perfectly good at that size. When viewing full size images on a 1920x1080 TV/Monitor (at proper viewing distance) the image quality is indistinguishable between the two lenses.

Sorry to throw still more "considerations" for you to ponder. :confused:

DekHog
19th May 2012, 05:30 AM
You've got the OM-D which has the 5-axis IBIS that is hugely effective at these shorter focal lengths, and also has the IQ of the best APS-C bodies at higher ISO, so why not give yourself the extra 3mm (a lot at the wide end), plus the versatility of a zoom and save a bit of cash into the bargain?

I could never justify 600 for a 24mm (equivalent) prime lens..... I'm still on the fence regarding a 9-18mm or 7-14mm myself. Not an easy choice!

Pete_Murrell
19th May 2012, 05:54 AM
Both excellent lenses, the 9-18 is surprisingly good given it's minuscule dimensions but the 12mm edges it from what I have seen in a few test images. The 12mm needs stopping down to give it's best however.
As John says the 12mm is an absolute joy to use, it just oozes quality.

Here an example (Southampton water) taken at 11mm f/8 with my 9-18.



Hi huw,
Just a quick question on the pic you took there. You've obviously got the hyperfocal point working quite well in this pic. I was just wonder what your settings were for this shot? I know it's 11mm at f/8 (do you find f/8 to be the lenses optimum stop for DoF?) but what is the focal distance?
And would this hyperfocal distance translate directly to the 9-18 4/3 (not micro) or would it be different?
Hope you can help. Cheers.
Pete

brianvickers
19th May 2012, 06:00 AM
I
I also have the 7-14 and that's just a whole different game...:cool:

Sorry to throw still more "considerations" for you to ponder. :confused:

...do you mean the 7-14 is better?
is it in a different league?

Pete_Murrell
19th May 2012, 06:07 AM
And Brian,
I am shooting with 4/3 and just went through the hard task of deciding between the 9-18, 11-22 and the 7-14.
After doing a lot of reading and getting a lot of first hand experience I have gone for the 9-18 for a number of reasons.
I won't bore with those reasons but I will let you know the tips I got while I was researching that might be relevant to you.
I discovered a lot of people asking the same question as you and;
1/ A guy who had both said the 12mm while having superior IQ you didn't really notice unless you printed out to a large size and even then you really had to look hard to find the differences.
2/ The 9-18 is cheaper.
3/ the zoom on the 9-18 he found really versatile for composing his shots the way he wanted
4/ The extra 3 mm gave a fair bit more field of view.

In saying all that he said the 12mm was an amazing lens and he's happy he has them both. It's jsut a question of whether you want the versatility and extra width of the 9-18 or the slightly better optics of the 12mm.

Hope this hasn't made your decision harder rather than easier.
I'm waiting on my 9-18. It should arrive Monday. Can't wait.

Pete

brianvickers
19th May 2012, 06:21 AM
Thanks Pete.....that sounds very realistic......having just read the 7-14 review it does sound great, but the figures don't appear fantastically better than the 12mm...looks like theres not a lot between any of them. Except the zoom range of course - but how much does that matter - you can always get down lower or step further back usually.

I'm particularly fussy about this purchase because when I had an SLR I bought a Tamron 10-24 - which had to be used very carefully - stopped down to f8 and it compared to Canon and Sigma...but anything other than that and it was noticeable softer except at the centre where it was often better. So I want to get it right.

I guess I'm going for the prime at present because I don't want to repeat that experience....I want to go out there with confidence and not have my arms tied around my back. Though from what you say that shouldn't be the case with the 9-18...which would look better on an E-M5.

brianvickers
19th May 2012, 09:14 AM
The 7-14mm is 729 at simply Electronics....tempting!
(so about 80 more than the 12mm with hood)

brianvickers
19th May 2012, 09:23 AM
7-14 does not accept filters!

thats out then....down to 12mm or 9-18mm

Greytop
19th May 2012, 09:49 AM
Hi huw,
Just a quick question on the pic you took there. You've obviously got the hyperfocal point working quite well in this pic. I was just wonder what your settings were for this shot? I know it's 11mm at f/8 (do you find f/8 to be the lenses optimum stop for DoF?) but what is the focal distance?
And would this hyperfocal distance translate directly to the 9-18 4/3 (not micro) or would it be different?
Hope you can help. Cheers.
Pete

Hi Pete,
It's a while since I took that shot but as a rule I would tend to aim the focal point about 1/3 into the shot.
That seems to work quite nicely as a general rule and I don't see why it wouldn't translate to the 4/3rds version, in fact I used the same method with my 7-14 f/4 SHG lens until I sold it recently :(

Pete_Murrell
19th May 2012, 10:28 PM
Thanks Huw.
And one more thing Brian,
Whenever I am trying to choose between two lenses I always just flip a coin. If (for example) heads was the 9-18 and th 11-22 was tails, if I was unhappy with the outcome I would go for the other one. It's almost like deep down you know which lens you want, you just need something to tell you to buy the other one before you realise it. It looks to me like you're set on the 12mm. If I were you I'd just get the 12. If you buy the 9-18 you'll be forever wondering 'what if I got the 12?' Plus if you've got the cash lying around now you can always buy the cheaper lens later on. ;)

brianvickers
19th May 2012, 10:44 PM
Yeah, I think you are right, I'd still be wondering about the 12 if I bought the 9-18; so that's it for me , the Panasonic looked like the best until I found you can't fit a filter, so I'm back with the 12mm, I'll get my order in as soon as my eBay funds clear from my canon stuff.
Thanks everyone.

brianvickers
23rd May 2012, 08:12 PM
Ordered the 12mm.
Was tempted to get the 7-14 but as its not available for 8 days and doesn't take filters - I decided to stick with the 12mm

So my prime stable is now 12mm, 20mm, 25mm and 45mm
and zoons 14-42, 12-50 and 40-150

And two bodies E-P1 and E-M5.
so sorted now until the 75mm prime arrives on the scene!

Glad I sold my Canon gear to fund this.

Thanks for your advice everyone.

Zuiko
23rd May 2012, 08:30 PM
Ordered the 12mm.
Was tempted to get the 7-14 but as its not available for 8 days and doesn't take filters - I decided to stick with the 12mm

So my prime stable is now 12mm, 20mm, 25mm and 45mm
and zoons 14-42, 12-50 and 40-150

And two bodies E-P1 and E-M5.
so sorted now until the 75mm prime arrives on the scene!

Glad I sold my Canon gear to fund this.

Thanks for your advice everyone.

That's a nice little kit you have, Brian! :)

Greytop
23rd May 2012, 10:53 PM
I'm sure you will be pleased with the 12mm Brian it's a super little lens.
I've just posted (http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=20675) some taken with mine last weekend.

brianvickers
24th May 2012, 09:34 AM
Huw, Thanks for posting them - all good images, my 12mm should arrive today 'between 12.45-13.45 according to an email from the carrier - cant wait.

brianvickers
24th May 2012, 01:06 PM
Just received the 12mm with lens hood and Hoya UV and Polarizer- quick garden shots confirm its a stunner.
Just one issue - cant get the hood over the Polarizer - the knurled part is too wide for the hood to pass over it, and I cant get my fingers inside the hood to tighten the polarizer if I put it on after. Must get my daughther to tighten it up - she has very small fingers.