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Review : Bangkok 2015 With Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm f4-5.6

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I think many of my friends knew that I recently had acquired an Olympus OM-D EM 5 Mark II. It has been a tough decision for me to give up my Nikon D90 DSLR that had been with me but the main reason for this jump is that I finally found a micro 4/3 system that suits my requirements which is great for both photo and video. Most importantly, it is lightweight. I need my camera to be lightweight as I made it a point to travel as often as I can when I am still young and a micro 4/3 camera definitely fits the puzzle.

And for travelling, I would always prefer a wide angle lens with me – and I believe you should to if you are into photography and traveling. Despite not owning a wide angle lens, I have to really thank Jackie for helping me out in loaning a wide angle lens from Olympus Malaysia. The wide angle lens that I gotten is the Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm f4-5.6 lens. At this time, the new 7-14mm f2.8 lens is not available yet but I am more than happy with it.

Pic courtesy of http://www.thephoblographer.com/2013/08/29/review-olympus-m-zuiko-9-18mm-f4-5-6-micro-four-thirds/#.Vb4VTpOqqkp

Visual and Ergonomics

Visually, I actually do not really like the design of the lens. It has a little vintage feel to it but I felt the design can be a little cleaner. However, the weight and grip on the lens is great. The collapsible lens made it easy to carry around and for storage. It does felt a little awkward handling the collapsible part during storage but after awhile, I got used to it. The lens is made of plastic but it is good plastic material. Sturdy and solid enough.

Picture Quality

I really like the results I got from this lens. To me, I felt the lens is sharp and it focuses quickly. It does the job pretty well. At aperture f4.0 where usually the sharpness is lacking, I felt it is sharp in the centre although it is not as sharp in the corners and sides, I’m satisfied with them. Especially since I’m only taking photos for social media and blog postings, it is more than enough. Here are some of the shots I had taken with the 9-18mm lens during my Bangkok trip.

9mm – f8.0 – ISO 2000 – 1/1250 sec

9mm – f13.0 – ISO 800 – 1/100 sec

9mm – f13.0 – ISO 800 – 1/100 sec

9mm – f4.0 – ISO 2000 – 1/100 sec

9mm – f4.0 – ISO 3200 – 1/100 sec

9mm – f10.0 – ISO 1250 – 1/100 sec

9mm – f22.0 – ISO 1250 – 1/250 sec

18mm – f22.0 – ISO 1250 – 1/250 sec

9mm – f22.0 – ISO 640 – 1/100 sec

16mm – f22.0 – ISO 640 – 1/100 sec

What I like about wide angle lens the most – which is also why I would prefer to have one is that you get to capture so much in a single picture. It tells a whole different story and it really brings you back to the same spot you were standing when you look back at the pictures. Like the photo of the Victory Monument above – you can definitely capture ONLY the monument but I would like to include a little more story into it which is a better look of its surrounding.

During this trip, I brought along my kit lens and also the Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8 lens as these lens are better in taking close up photos. Or so I thought. I quickly realised that this wide angle lens can take photos of subjects which are near as well, something that the previous wide angle lens for my Nikon D90 could not do. In the end, I uses this lens for about 90% of the trip die to its versatility. Here are more samples of the photos that I took.

17mm – f5.5 – ISO 800 – 1/100 sec

9mm – f10 – ISO 800 – 1/100 sec

18mm – f5.6 – ISO 4000 – 1/100 sec

9mm – f4.0 – ISO 4000 – 1/100 sec

Although the bokeh is nowhere near decent but that isn’t the purpose of the lens. It is able to capture the photos with the sharpness that I can’t complain at all. These few close distance shots impress me and although the sides and corner are not that sharp but it looked excellent on web.

Here are some unedited photos that I think most of you will be interested in rather than my edited ones.

9mm – f4.0 – ISO 4000 – 1/100 sec

18mm – f5.6 – ISO 4000 – 1/100 sec

9mm – f18 – ISO 1250 – 1/100 sec

9mm – f8.0 – ISO 6400 – 1/50 sec

9mm – f8.0 – ISO 2000 – 1/1250 sec

Now for 100% crop photos.

Building middle

Building side

Prawn 18mm –  Side

Prawn 18mm – Mid

Prawn 9mm – Mid

Prawn 9mm – Side

Prawn 9mm – Corner

As you can see from the photos above, for 9mm, it wasn’t as sharp at the sides and corner of the photo. However, when posted on web, I felt overall it still look great and sharp.

Another thing that I love about this lens is that being at 9mm – it can capture a lot of details at the side. The wide angle enables me to shoot narrow spaces in Bangkok. Here are some of the shots that I had taken with this lens at tight areas.

9mm – f4.0 – ISO 2000 – 1/100 sec

9mm – f8.0 – ISO 6400 – 1/50 sec

Absolutely love it when the lens can capture the entire shop just by standing outside the shop.

9mm – f4.0 – ISO 500 – 1/100 sec

9mm – f5.0- ISO 1600 – 1/100 sec

The alley in Chatuchak market is no joke. The alley is so tight, it probably measures only about 4 feet in terms of width. With this lens, I have no problem capturing all the details that I want.

9mm – f4.0- ISO 1600 – 1/100 sec

Without moving an inch off my butt, I am able to capture all companions for the trip. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

Distortion

This lens have noticeable barrel distortion if you are familiar with a few other wide angle lens however it is not too bad. Besides, you can always correct these images via photoshop.

Corrected

Not Corrected

Conclusion

I love this lens a lot for its versatility. This is definitely a lens I would highly consider when I come looking for a Wide Angle Lens. Of course, other than the sick Olympus M.Zuiko 7-14mm f2.8 PRO because that beast will cost the insides of my body. The light weight appeals to me although it is not weather sealed. Overall this is a great lens to carry around you during your travel. It is easy to handle, good build quality and produces high quality images. For travel, this lens fits all the requirement I need and perhaps even more.

Once again, thanks a lot to Jackie, Robin and Olympus Malaysia in making this possible for me. It has been great shooting with this lens and I had a lot of fun with it. Do check out Jackie’s and Robin’s blogs for more amazing photos taken with Olympus Micro 4/3 cameras and lenses. Just click on their blue highlighted names. They do a way better job with photography and also reviews than I can ever do.

OLYMPUS MALAYSIA
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/olympusmalaysia?fref=ts
Website : http://www.olympusimage.com.my/
Olympus Photographers Community : http://olympusphere.com/mys

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A blogger and designer with a passion to share my views and happenings to the world.




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  • nalee01

    hye…im considering to buy m.zuiko 9-18mm.
    in your opinion, which one is better, m.zuiko 12mm f2.0 or this lense in term of landscape photo. 12mm f2.0 is consider wide lenses right?

About The Blogger

I'm a digital marketeer, visual story teller and designer who is determined to live my life to the fullest.

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