Olympus 9-18mm vs. Panansonic 7-14mm

Olympus 9-18mm vs. Panansonic 7-14mm is a comparism of both lenses from a practical point of view and not meant as a test 😉

Introduction

The Olympus 4-5.6/9-18mm came along with my Lumix G6 and is characterized by a compact design and pretty good optical qualitiy. But more often there was a need/wish for more wide angle because 9mm or 18mm euqivilent on full frame wasn’t enough.

The opponents

Olympus 9-18mm vs. Panansonic 7-14mmThe Olympus 9-18mm is pretty compact and weighs 135gr. only, but at 18mm focal length you only have a maximum aparture of f 5.6 . The Panansonic 7-14mm almost doubles the weight compared to the Olympus 9-18mm, but the Panasonic offers a maximum apartufe of  f 4.0 on the complete focal length range. Sometimes i missed a optical stabilizer on the Olympus 9-18mm but with Olympus and newer Lumix bodies which offer stabilization in the body this feature is not essential any more.

The curved front lens reminds on a fish-eye lens and doesn’t allow the use of filters, while the Olympus lens allows the use 52mm screw-in filters. The nearest focusing distance is identiacal on both lenses at 25cm.

Olympus 9-18mm vs. Panansonic 7-14mm

The Olympus is very compact locked in transportation mode, but if you unlock it for photographic use its almost as long as the Panasonic 7-14mm. Of course the Olympus lens is pretty slim, but the Panasonic lens isn’t that big at all.

Optical performance

Olympus 9-18mm vs. Panansonic 7-14mm

The optical performance at 7mm is very good in the center, the edges are soft at wide open aparture. You can gain a little bit more sharpness by closing down the aparture , but beginning at f 11 overall sharpness is reduced by diffraction blur.

At focla length  9mm we can do a first comparism between the two lenses. Both lenses have a very good sharpness in the center, so i can’t prefer one or another.

Olympus 9-18mm vs. Panansonic 7-14mm

On the edges there is a difference in favour of the Panasonic 7-14mm lens.

Olympus 9-18mm vs. Panansonic 7-14mm

And now we take a look at 14mm, first the center

Olympus 9-18mm vs. Panansonic 7-14mm

There are no significant differences between the 2 lenses. The Olympus lens reaches f 4.9 at this focal length. The edges have the same result as with 9mm.

Olympus 9-18mm vs. Panansonic 7-14mm

The differences are a little bit less, but the Panasonic lens is a bit better. At wider open aparture the Panasonic edges are only slightly better, but consider the olympus captures with f 4.9 at this focal length.

Angle of view

The difference of 2 mm on the shortest focal length doesn’t sound that much. But 2mm or 4mm on full frame format is a lot of difference in ultra wide angle. Lets take a look at the following example:

Quite a big difference. If you like ultra wide angle photography you’ll be happy with 7mm  😉

Conclusion

In the center areas of an image the optical performance of both lenses is on a very high level, so you can’t set a winner. The edges are slightly better even at open aparture with the Panasonic 7-14mm. But still the Olympus 9-18mm is a compact and a very good lens. For the Panasonic there are solutions for using filters with this lens and the lack of a stabalization on both lenses  isn’t that important with Olympus or newer Lumix bodies.

ciao tuxoche

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