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View Full Version : Advice re wide angle for M4/3 wanted please.


snerkler
22nd May 2014, 09:10 PM
Hi,

I currently have the EM10 with 14-42mm EZ pancake zoom, Panny 20mm f1.7, and 45mm f1.8. I know the kit lens is never going to be as good as a prime, but I have to say I'm disappointed in how much difference there is between the 14-42mm at 42mm and the 45mm throughout all the apertures. There's a marked difference to me eyes.

I'm hopefully going to be taking a lot more landscapes and have my concerns about the 14-42mm EZ for this due to the above. I did a comparison with the 20mm f1.7, both at 20mm (much longer FL than I would normally take landscapes) and the 20mm f1.7 was noticeably better,..... until I had a play in Lightroom where could get the 14-42mm to just about match the 20mm unless pixel peeping.

So my questions is this, is the 14-42mm EZ actually pretty good at the wide end (based on my results compared to the 20mm which is considered an excellent lens), or is there a wide angle lens that would show the same level of difference that I see between my 14-42mm and the 45mm? I thought about the Panny 14mm f2.5 as that's within my current budget, but I've been told by many folk to save me money as I won't see much difference from my 14-42mm. Lenses like the Olly 12mm and 9-18mm are pretty pricey, so if I did save for one of these it'd need to be noticeably better than the 14-42mm for my to justify it. There's then something like the 12-32mm Panny, which I could trade my 14-42mm EZ in for, likewise the 12-50mm.

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

pdk42
22nd May 2014, 09:21 PM
I don't think there's a budget option at the wide end TBH, although the Panasonic 14-45 and 14-42 mkii are both pretty good, if a little slow. The 12-40 or 12-35 f2.8 are both good choices too, albeit at a price - but they'd handle both wide and long well.

PeterBirder
22nd May 2014, 11:08 PM
Hi,

I currently have the EM10 with 14-42mm EZ pancake zoom, Panny 20mm f1.7, and 45mm f1.8. I know the kit lens is never going to be as good as a prime, but I have to say I'm disappointed in how much difference there is between the 14-42mm at 42mm and the 45mm throughout all the apertures. There's a marked difference to me eyes.

I'm hopefully going to be taking a lot more landscapes and have my concerns about the 14-42mm EZ for this due to the above. I did a comparison with the 20mm f1.7, both at 20mm (much longer FL than I would normally take landscapes) and the 20mm f1.7 was noticeably better,..... until I had a play in Lightroom where could get the 14-42mm to just about match the 20mm unless pixel peeping.

So my questions is this, is the 14-42mm EZ actually pretty good at the wide end (based on my results compared to the 20mm which is considered an excellent lens), or is there a wide angle lens that would show the same level of difference that I see between my 14-42mm and the 45mm? I thought about the Panny 14mm f2.5 as that's within my current budget, but I've been told by many folk to save me money as I won't see much difference from my 14-42mm. Lenses like the Olly 12mm and 9-18mm are pretty pricey, so if I did save for one of these it'd need to be noticeably better than the 14-42mm for my to justify it. There's then something like the 12-32mm Panny, which I could trade my 14-42mm EZ in for, likewise the 12-50mm.

Any thoughts on this would be greatly appreciated.

The performance of most zoom lenses falls off at the "long end" due to the design compromises that have to be made compared to a prime. The 14-42mm EZ is a pancake design which I suspect introduces further compromises. The 45mm is, IMHO the jewel in the Oly m4/3 lens crown as a "budget" lens that performs like a high grade lens so comparing this with the EZ 14-42 at its weakest focal length is probably not a meaningful comparison.

I use the 12-50mm which I find quite acceptable at 12mm for my needs. It does suffer from some barrel distortion but if you shoot JPEGs I believe the E-M10 corrects this automatically. If you shoot raw (as I do) this can be corrected in raw conversion software (I use DxO Optics Pro which also does this automatically).

As Paul says if you want the best wide angle performance it costs ( some pretty exotic lens shapes are needed to get good wide angle performance). You could hire a 12-50mm from the group hire service to evaluate it for your needs and you will be able to claim a discount If you subsequently purchase one within a certain period.

Regards.*chr

snerkler
23rd May 2014, 07:08 AM
The performance of most zoom lenses falls off at the "long end" due to the design compromises that have to be made compared to a prime. The 14-42mm EZ is a pancake design which I suspect introduces further compromises. The 45mm is, IMHO the jewel in the Oly m4/3 lens crown as a "budget" lens that performs like a high grade lens so comparing this with the EZ 14-42 at its weakest focal length is probably not a meaningful comparison.

I use the 12-50mm which I find quite acceptable at 12mm for my needs. It does suffer from some barrel distortion but if you shoot JPEGs I believe the E-M10 corrects this automatically. If you shoot raw (as I do) this can be corrected in raw conversion software (I use DxO Optics Pro which also does this automatically).

As Paul says if you want the best wide angle performance it costs ( some pretty exotic lens shapes are needed to get good wide angle performance). You could hire a 12-50mm from the group hire service to evaluate it for your needs and you will be able to claim a discount If you subsequently purchase one within a certain period.

Regards.*chr

Thanks, that's interesting. So based on this is the kit not 'that bad' at the wide end then? I did do a sample test at 20mm against my 20mm f1.7 and whilst the 20mm f1.7 was noticeably better SOOC, by the time I'd PP'd both in lightroom there wasn't that much in it.

StephenL
23rd May 2014, 07:19 AM
If you can get the quality you want from the 14-42, and are happy with the maximum aperture, then it's fine for you. It's the end result which counts, not the graphs.

IainMacD
23rd May 2014, 07:28 AM
I can also recommend the 12-50mm. I have been very happy with the results at 12mm (which I use mostly) and through to 50mm, it also has the added bonus of the macro button. The downside is the size, it is quite long check it out here (http://www.four-thirds.org/en/special/matching.html)
I think you should be able to pick one up for about the same price as the pany 14mm if you look hard enough.

tomphotofx
23rd May 2014, 07:37 AM
The 12-50 is a great lens, waterproof too and a superb macro to boot, something else to consider is there will be an Olympus 7-14 released in the future which just be worth waiting for.

snerkler
23rd May 2014, 01:57 PM
Thanks again for the replies. I'd imagine that Olly 7-14mm will be pretty pricey though?

StephenL
23rd May 2014, 02:01 PM
Thanks again for the replies. I'd imagine that Olly 7-14mm will be pretty pricey though?
Without putting words into Olympus' mouth, I imagine we'd be talking in excess of 1K.

davidavdavid
28th February 2015, 10:41 PM
The Panasonic 7-14mm is a great lens, having shot with it a number of times, I shall be hiring the Olympus 9-18mm zoom this week to make an educated comparison. I do like that the latter is less expensive and more compact.

What I find truly inviting is that the Olympus takes and accepts filters.

byegad
1st March 2015, 09:05 AM
The Samyang 12mm f2 is a great lens, manual control of aperture and focus though. I have one and the results are stunning.

OM USer
1st March 2015, 10:56 PM
...I shall be hiring the Olympus 9-18mm zoom this week to make an educated comparison. I do like that the latter is less expensive and more compact.

I would be very keen to hear your views in this. I occassionally need something wider than 12mm but fear the upcoming 7-14mm will be too big and too expensive. I would be happy with a small lightweight plastic 9mm rectilinear design prime.

snerkler
2nd March 2015, 07:57 AM
I had the 9-18mm for a while and thought it was a decent performer, had no complaints really, especially considering the price I picked it up 2nd hand. The lens feels decent quality, and is very small and compact. There's some softening/distortion in the corners as you'd expect, but nothing major at all. I'm far from a great photographer and still managed some shots like this.

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5588/15178547742_70f8711bda_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/p8h2r1)
P9063294 (https://flic.kr/p/p8h2r1) by TDG-77 (https://www.flickr.com/people/99443690@N04/), on Flickr
https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3866/14831315878_1e312db867_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/oAAnuJ)
P7092340 re-edit mono 3 (https://flic.kr/p/oAAnuJ) by TDG-77 (https://www.flickr.com/people/99443690@N04/), on Flickr
https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3883/14824657477_5a03108a31_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/oA1fbH)
P6132016 re-edit (https://flic.kr/p/oA1fbH) by TDG-77 (https://www.flickr.com/people/99443690@N04/), on Flickr
https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3931/15419299751_25dece9b4b_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/puxWBH)
PA023468 (https://flic.kr/p/puxWBH) by TDG-77 (https://www.flickr.com/people/99443690@N04/), on Flickr

davidavdavid
2nd March 2015, 10:18 AM
snERKler,

I am going to be meeting up with Ian later this week and one of the lenses I want to evaluate is the 9-18mm zoom to be used on my Panasonic Lumix G5 and G6 bodies.

Its small/compact size, super wide angle and mild "softening/distortion" I see as its main advantages.

OM USer
2nd March 2015, 11:39 AM
Snerkler, just the sort of shots I'm hoping to achieve plus a few indoor ones eg Duxford museum. Thanks.

BigTom
2nd March 2015, 08:34 PM
I like my 9-18 too. I consider the IQ perfectly OK, if not stunning, but as an overall package (size, weight, ability to take cheaply sized filters) I'm very happy with it.

eg.
http://www.thomasblackphotography.co.uk/img/s10/v108/p552595747-5.jpg (http://www.thomasblackphotography.co.uk/stkilda-and-scotland/e20eff123)

http://www.thomasblackphotography.co.uk/img/s7/v163/p467298392-5.jpg (http://www.thomasblackphotography.co.uk/stkilda-and-scotland/e1bda6858)

http://www.thomasblackphotography.co.uk/img/s1/v54/p307158670-5.jpg (http://www.thomasblackphotography.co.uk/cornwall-and-jersey/e124ede8e)

http://www.thomasblackphotography.co.uk/img/s9/v17/p102472757-5.jpg (http://www.thomasblackphotography.co.uk/cornwall-and-jersey/e61b9c35)

I've also just picked up a Samyang 12mm to have a play with - build quality seems excellent and at first glance the images seem really nice, but I haven't really used it in anger yet. It's very well priced, but also relatively heavy and MF only. The Panny 14mm is also quite a nice lens IMO - I find it optically excellent and fantastically tiny (great for pairing with a small body as a walkabout kit) and it's ridiculously cheap second hand, but the focal length suffers a little from being 'neither here nor there', at least for me.

snerkler
2nd March 2015, 08:38 PM
I like my 9-18 too. I consider the IQ perfectly OK, if not stunning, but as an overall package (size, weight, ability to take cheaply sized filters) I'm very happy with it.

eg.
http://www.thomasblackphotography.co.uk/img/s10/v108/p552595747-5.jpg (http://www.thomasblackphotography.co.uk/stkilda-and-scotland/e20eff123)

http://www.thomasblackphotography.co.uk/img/s7/v163/p467298392-5.jpg (http://www.thomasblackphotography.co.uk/stkilda-and-scotland/e1bda6858)

http://www.thomasblackphotography.co.uk/img/s1/v54/p307158670-5.jpg (http://www.thomasblackphotography.co.uk/cornwall-and-jersey/e124ede8e)

http://www.thomasblackphotography.co.uk/img/s9/v17/p102472757-5.jpg (http://www.thomasblackphotography.co.uk/cornwall-and-jersey/e61b9c35)

That's it, show my images up ;):p

Lovely those, stunning in fact :)

BigTom
2nd March 2015, 08:45 PM
That's it, show my images up ;):p

Lovely those, stunning in fact :)

Haha, I don't know about that. You got much nicer shots of Curbar Edge than I did when I was there.

BigTom
5th March 2015, 01:27 PM
Oh yeah, i also meant to say not to be too afraid of talk of corner softness with the 9-18. This is exacerbated by the built in profile corrections on the lens, which are often automatically applied by software such as Lightroom and tend to stretch the edges of the frame.

However, they can easily be disabled to improve corner sharpness and I find that disabling them has very little impact on most landscape images (might be different for architecture?).

Here is an example (not very good because it's a quite soft long exposure!). 100% corner crop of an unedited RAW, profile disabled on the left, enabled on the right.

https://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/1200x800q50/673/I9Vxih.jpg

davidavdavid
5th March 2015, 01:48 PM
all good input, it is down to the Olympus 9-18 or the Panasonic 7-14
and then i must decide on a macro lens

snerkler
5th March 2015, 01:59 PM
Oh yeah, i also meant to say not to be too afraid of talk of corner softness with the 9-18. This is exacerbated by the built in profile corrections on the lens, which are often automatically applied by software such as Lightroom and tend to stretch the edges of the frame.

However, they can easily be disabled to improve corner sharpness and I find that disabling them has very little impact on most landscape images (might be different for architecture?).

Here is an example (not very good because it's a quite soft long exposure!). 100% corner crop of an unedited RAW, profile disabled on the left, enabled on the right.

https://imagizer.imageshack.us/v2/1200x800q50/673/I9Vxih.jpg
Interesting, how do you turn off corrections in lightroom. If I go to lens corrections on my images nothing is selected, and if I got to the profiles there's no olympus profiles there :confused:

http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q673/snerkler/Random%20Forum%20Pics/Screen%20Shot%202015-03-05%20at%2013.57.18_zpsce0t4ik4.png


http://i1353.photobucket.com/albums/q673/snerkler/Random%20Forum%20Pics/Screen%20Shot%202015-03-05%20at%2013.57.36_zpsrdembd7b.png

pdk42
5th March 2015, 02:18 PM
Regarding turning off profiles in LR - that's something I'd like to know too. AFAIK, LR uses EXIF data to automatically apply corrections so there's no built-in LR profile per se. I've never found a way to disable it though.

BigTom
5th March 2015, 02:24 PM
I'm using LR 5.2 and have the option to toggle profiles on and off in the Develop module, Lens Corrections section, under both Basic and Profile tabs. DXO has a similar option, not sure about other software.

BigTom
5th March 2015, 02:33 PM
Whoops, I have confused myslef. Correction incoming...

BigTom
5th March 2015, 02:40 PM
The two images above show the normal LR rendering, and one with further correction using an additional lens profile for the 9-18 that I must have downloaded from who-knows-where at some point. However, even the 'uncorrected' LR rendering above still has the the default, built in, lens profile correction applied.

Here is the same corner from DXO10 - notice even less stretching and extra information previously lost form the edges -

http://imagizer.imageshack.us/a/img537/6547/2r8hfO.jpg

BigTom
5th March 2015, 02:50 PM
So the proper comparison would be this -

LR with auto correction on the left, uncorrected DXO image on right -

http://imageshack.com/a/img540/9500/zTAvfv.jpg

So now I don't know if its possible to disable the auto profiling in LR :/

snerkler
5th March 2015, 08:00 PM
DXO one looks much better, but I'm not prepared to buy even more software :(

Beagletorque
13th May 2015, 12:23 PM
The old 9-18 4 1/3s is said to be very good too and can be had SH for a good price. My vote goes to the Panny 7-14 though.

jamespetts
1st June 2015, 09:48 PM
A good low budget wide angle lens for the Micro Four Thirds system is the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5, and it has the advantage of being a pancake lens.