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Wide angle Lenses with focal lengths shorter than 14mm.

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  #1  
Old 22nd May 2014
snerkler snerkler is offline
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Advice re wide angle for M4/3 wanted please.

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.
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  #2  
Old 22nd May 2014
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Re: Advice re wide angle for M4/3 wanted please.

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.
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  #3  
Old 22nd May 2014
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Re: Advice re wide angle for M4/3 wanted please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snerkler View Post
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.
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Old 23rd May 2014
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Re: Advice re wide angle for M4/3 wanted please.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterBirder View Post
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.
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.
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Old 23rd May 2014
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Re: Advice re wide angle for M4/3 wanted please.

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.
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Old 23rd May 2014
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Re: Advice re wide angle for M4/3 wanted please.

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
I think you should be able to pick one up for about the same price as the pany 14mm if you look hard enough.
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Old 23rd May 2014
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Re: Advice re wide angle for M4/3 wanted please.

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.
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Old 23rd May 2014
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Re: Advice re wide angle for M4/3 wanted please.

Thanks again for the replies. I'd imagine that Olly 7-14mm will be pretty pricey though?
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Old 23rd May 2014
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Re: Advice re wide angle for M4/3 wanted please.

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Originally Posted by snerkler View Post
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.
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Old 28th February 2015
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Re: Advice re wide angle for M4/3 wanted please.

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.
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Old 1st March 2015
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Re: Advice re wide angle for M4/3 wanted please.

The Samyang 12mm f2 is a great lens, manual control of aperture and focus though. I have one and the results are stunning.
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Old 1st March 2015
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Re: Advice re wide angle for M4/3 wanted please.

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Originally Posted by davidavdavid View Post
...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.
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Old 2nd March 2015
snerkler snerkler is offline
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Re: Advice re wide angle for M4/3 wanted please.

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.


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Old 2nd March 2015
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Re: Advice re wide angle for M4/3 wanted please.

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.
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Old 2nd March 2015
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Re: Advice re wide angle for M4/3 wanted please.

Snerkler, just the sort of shots I'm hoping to achieve plus a few indoor ones eg Duxford museum. Thanks.
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