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Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18 mm F4.0-5.6 Lens, Wide Angle Zoom, Suitable for All MFT Cameras (Olympus OM-D & PEN Models, Panasonic G-Series), Black

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Well 35mm sensors just perform better due to having the laws of physics behind them. However those same laws make the camera's and lenses bulky and unwieldy. m43 compromises High ISO in favour of having a smaller more nimble system. Whether one thinks it's a good trade-off is personal opinion. A focal length of around 100mm is often preferred for extreme close-up ‘macro’ photography. Due to this lens’s shorter focal length, the minimum focus distance drops from about 30cm to 20cm. However, those distances are measured from the focal plane, which corresponds to the position of the image sensor at the rear of the camera. With the more compact build of MFT cameras and lenses, the actual working distance between the front of the lens and the subject remains entirely usable, at about 10cm.

Olympus 9-18 mm f/4-5.6 ED M.Zuiko Digital (M43) Review Olympus 9-18 mm f/4-5.6 ED M.Zuiko Digital (M43)

The Micro 4/3 system has been around for a while now, and early on, each of the two main Micro 4/3 companies released their ultra wide-angle lenses. Panasonic came out with the impressively specified 7-14mm f/4, while Olympus went a little more moderate, but shot for size, creating the incredibly tiny 9-18mm f/4-5.6.Strictly speaking, the Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 9-18mm lens suffers from an appalling degree of barrelling at its wider end, but as evidenced in the above pair of images, the algorithm used to correct it in-camera is surprisingly effective, meaning most users will likely remain unaware of the issue. To Olympus' credit, we did not find a measurable difference between the corrected and uncorrected images at the 18mm end, meaning the lens is effectively free of geometric distortions at that setting. As for perspective distortion, you will get lots of it at the wide end. This is not a flaw of the lens, but has to do with the laws of optics. This, too, can easily be fixed during post-processing. Converging vertical lines at 9mm due to a steep shooting angle 9mm perspective corrected Color Rendering

Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4-5.6 review

The similarities between the Leica 8-18mm and the Olympus 9-18mm start and finish with their near-identical zoom range and centre sharpness. Everything else, from their build quality to their aperture range, is quite different.Mostly wide open, and in situations with bright light and strong contrast edges, the M.Zuiko 9-18 tends to exhibit some color fringing. But the lens correction tools in Lightroom 5 are more than capable of dealing with it. Color fringing uncorrected Color fringing corrected The lens feels good on the Olympus PEN cameras. Although a telescoping lens, there is only minimal play when extended.

Olympus 9-18, Good or bad? - Digital Photography Review Olympus 9-18, Good or bad? - Digital Photography Review

The M.Zuiko 9-18mm is as straightforward to use as any Micro Four Thirds zoom lens. Only the collapsing mechanism might be a little awkward for first time users. This being a super wide-angle lens though, the vastness of the scene appearing on the screen when the lens is set to 9mm might be frightening at first. There are situations where an extreme angle-of-view such as this is beneficial, but in other situations, even the 18mm setting won’t get you close enough. I personally find the Leica’s focus ring easier to use because it offers more resistance and extra precision when making very fine adjustments to focus. The Olympus’ focus ring moves a little too freely by comparison. At 9mm, this lens is capable of producing images with excellent resolution at moderate apertures. Wide open, the lens performs acceptably, but stopping down to f/8 produces images with excellent centre sharpness. Unfortunately the resolution towards the edge of the frame never exceeds good on our scale, and it just reaches this level at f/8.


As you can see in the samples above, corner sharpness at 9mm isn’t really stellar even at f8. But as long as you don’t pixel peep, it is acceptable. Color Fringing In general, both lenses are very enjoyable to work with in the field. The Panasonic's wider minimum focal length and slightly sharper output at the extreme edges of the frame makes it the clear choice for architectural photographers, but the Olympus will be plenty wide and plenty sharp for most casual shooters. On the long end, the Olympus's 36mm-equivalent reach was occasionally useful (compared to the 28mm max of the Panasonic), but at f/5.6 it's fairly limited in use. When used wide open (ƒ/4-5.6) the Olympus 9-18mm M.Zuiko provides nicely sharp results in the central portion of the frame, in the range of 1.5-2 blur units. There is some light corner softness, most noticeable at 9mm and 11mm: at the extreme, it's 6 blur units at the top right at 9mm. On the average, it's around 2-3 blur units in the corners.

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