Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm - Johnsson Photo

First of all I want to state that I do not take any scientific tests on sharpness or ISO comparisons with other cameras. I just evaluate the pure shooting experience by going out taking photos.

I have own this lens for a year now and shot some of my best pictures with it. I always watched my father taking pictures with his great super wide-angle lens on his Nikon D90, the Nikkor 10 – 24 mm and knew I wanted to own such a lens for myself. For the Micro Four-Thirds system you have two super wide-angle lenses to choose from (I do not consider the awesome 12 mm f2.0 M.Zuiko a super wide angle lens. It is more of a wide angle lens with its 24 mm focal length on full frame): The Panasonic 7-14mm G.Vario and the Olympus 9-18mm M.Zuiko.
I have not tried the Panasonic lens because I could not justify the higher price but based on what I have heard it seems to be a great length with outstanding picture quality but may suffer from flaring on Olympus bodies. I know the 7–14mm is wider and those 2 mm of extra focal length can mean a big difference but the price was too high for for me for a lens which offers, based on internet reviews, marginal better image quality. Another advantage of the Olympus lens is that the front glass element is not sticking out as the Panasonic one is which allows for hassle-free filter usage. So I went with the Olympus equivalent and was completely impressed taking a few shots with it.
It is made of high quality plastic and features the collapsible design known from other Olympus lenses. This design choice however is the only big complaint I have got with this lens. Collapsed the lens feels tough and sturdy but extended it feels a bit flimsy. In addition the need to extend this lens for shooting can take one or two seconds and you might lose a shot. At least I do because I am scared leaving the objective extended all the time when I am not using my camera so I collapse it every time I turn off my EM-5.
Otherwise the Image quality this little things produces is just stunning. It is super sharp in the centre and a tiny little bit softer in the corner but at 12 mm it is even super sharp in the corners. The color reproduction and contrast of this lens are also very good and among the best of all the mFT lenses I own. I just love the results this lens produces.

I just wish it would feature a larger maximum aperture. F4.0 may not be enough for all shooting occasions. The IBIS system inside the EM-5 and the wide focal length lets you capture almost blur free images down to shutter speeds of 1 or 1/2 of a second but a maximum aperture of f2.8 would come in handy.

I am very happy with this lens and the flimsy build quality aside this one is a truly great super wide-angle lens and I did not regret my decision just a single time.
I just wish it would feature a larger maximum aperture. F4.0 may not be enough for all shooting occasions. The IBIS system inside the EM-5 and the wide focal length lets you capture almost blur free images down to shutter speeds of 1 or 1/2 of a second but a maximum aperture of f2.8 would come in handy. I am very happy with this lens and the flimsy build quality aside this one is a truly great super wide-angle lens and I did not regret my decision just a single time.

PROS

  • - very, very sharp even at 9mm
  • - small and lightweight
  • - fits normal screw-filters (no rotating or curved front glass element)
  • - cheaper superwide-angle lens than alternatives

CONS

  • - collapsible design appears fragile
  • - no lens hood included

Sample Pictures

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