Skip to main content

Wrapping up

I'll be packing up the M.Zuiko 9-18mm this weekend to send back to B&H, and writing a full review of the lens. It's going to be tough, as the M.Zuiko 9-18mm has been out now for some time and there are a good selection of reviews already on the web. I need to come at this from a different angle.

The µ4/3rds version of the Zuiko Digital 9-18mm has been a solid performer on the E-P2, and shows what a good quality lens designed to work with the E-P2 is capable of.

Sky Shot/Star Flair Check

I deliberately shot into the sun to check out the flair qualities of the lens. My original 9-18mm star flared magnificently; when it broke, it was replaced with another copy that had rounded aperture blades and didn't flare nearly as nicely. The M.Zuiko seems to fall between the two regular 4/3rd copies.

Red Z

9mm doesn't always work. Sometimes you have to go to the other end (18mm) to get the point of view you're looking for. Besides, I didn't realize the Nissan Z was up to 370. The last time I drove or rode in a Z car was a 280Z my dad owned. I'll let you figure out how long ago that was.

Surreal Scotter

But then sometimes 9mm does work, especially when close focusing. That, and a little dramatic tone shifting, and a pedestrian scooter takes on a surreal look.

Would I buy a copy for myself? I don't know. The current price is $600, and that's a bit of a stretch for my budget at the moment. Do I think it's worth $600? Again, that depends. The Panasonic 7-14mm for µ4/3rds is $950. From what I've read in reviews and seen in photos it looks to be a pretty awesome UWA, with a much wider angle of view than the M.Zuiko. I'd have to review that lens to make any kind of judgement call.

The bigger question is should I buy anything from Olympus. And that's an even harder question to answer than selecting between the 9-18mm and the 7-14mm.


  1. Bill,

    "The bigger question is should I buy anything from Olympus. And that's an even harder question to answer than selecting between the 9-18mm and the 7-14mm."

    That's the same question I'm asking myself. I have the E-520 DZ kit, plus an additional OM 1.8 50mm and ZD 2.0 50mm Macro. I'd love to have a 9-18mm and 70-300mm, or to replace that kit lens with something like an 11-22mm.

    But once you start thinking and calculating, there are so many nice alternatives which come to mind, like a D7000 for instance.

    The real dilemma between these thoughts: I'd give up (or put aside) a system which has perfect dust busting, in-camera vibration control, and which is known for its superbly made lenses, which don't need much correction in post processing, and which are usable wide open.

    So for the moment I keep asking myself whether it's all worth it, and use my E-520 where it's best: at ISO100 for studio work, and in scenes without too high contrast or too dim light.

    Love that Nissan photo - I also didn't know they're up that far. But wow, the Japanese Porsche; very tempting. I keep telling myself: "a car is only a thing", like detective Crews in "Life" ;-) If I had his 50 million, ...

  2. The grass isn't always greener...

    About 2 years ago I persuaded myself I needed to "upgrade" my E-510 and 12-60mm to a Nikon D300.

    So I spent lots of money on the camera and a AF-S DX VR Zoom-Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED (don't you love those Nikon lens names!) and for 5 weeks I used the camera every day whilst travelling in Mexico and Ecuador, and I read the D300 manual from cover to cover more than once.

    After 5 weeks the camera was stolen and I had no choice but to go back to my E-510. To my surprise I found I liked the Olympus better and I still use it today having added the 9-18mm and 35mm Macro lenses. That particular Nikkor lens doesn't compare well with the Zuiko lenses in both build quality and optics.

    The D300 is undoubtedly a very capable camera but I prefer the ergonomics and relative simplicity of the E-510, and in the two years since I've realised that there's nothing wrong with the camera I have, and improving my photography is much more about improving me as a photographer than changing the equipment I use.

    To Wolfgang I would say, buy the Zuiko 12-60mm, it's a superb lens that just produces fabulous results time and time again and is a substantial improvement on the kit lenses, unless you do a lot of interiors, in which case the 9-18mm is fab.

    Bill, the photos you post of your blog are excellent in terms of both artistic and technical quality.


Post a Comment

All comments are checked. Comment SPAM will be blocked and deleted.

Popular posts from this blog

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…

vm networking problem fixed

Over the weekend I upgraded to Windows 8.1, then discovered that networking for the virtual machines wouldn't work. Then I tried something incredibly simple and fixed the problem.

Checking the system I noticed that three VMware Windows services weren't running; VMnetDHCP, VMUSBArbService, and VMwareNatService. VMware Player allows you to install, remove, or fix an existing installation. I chose to try fixing the installation, and that fixed the problem. The services were re-installed/restarted, and the virtual machines had networking again.

Once network connectivity was established there was exactly one updated file for Ubuntu 13.10, a data file. This underscores how solid and finished the release was this time. Every other version of every other Linux installation I've ever dealt with has always been succeeded by boatloads of updates after the initial installation. But not this time.

Everything is working properly on my notebook. All's right with the world.

sony's pivotal mirrorless move

I'm a died-in-the-wool technologist, even when it comes to photography. I have always been fascinated with the technology that goes into manufacturing any camera, from the lenses (optics) through the mechanical construction, the electronics involved, and especially the chemistry of the film and the sophistication of the digital sensor. It's amazing that the camera can do all it's asked of it, regardless of manufacturer.

Of all the types of cameras that I've really taken an interest in, contemporary mirrorless (again, regardless of manufacturer) are the most interesting because of the challenging problems the scientists and engineers have had to solve in order to build a compact but highly functional camera. In particular I've followed the sensor advances over the years and watched image quality climb (especially with μ4:3rds) to exceed film and rival one another such that there's very little difference any more as you move from the smaller sensors such as 4:3r…