Monday, May 18, 2015

Olympus M.Zuiko 7-14mm F2.8 PRO Lens Review

For those of you in Malaysia, you can Pre-Order the new Olympus M.Zuiko 7-14mm PRO lens now from OLYMPUS Malaysia! Go here to find out more. 

Important Note:
1. I am an Olympus Malaysia employee. 
2. This is a user experience based review, based on my personal opinion which can be subjective.
3. All images were shot in RAW and converted directly to JPEG (High Quality) via Olympus Viewer 3.
4. General camera settings, Noise Filter = OFF, Contrast/Saturation/sharpness = 0, White Balance = Auto (with an option maintain warm color = OFF), Gradation = Normal
5. Minimal post-processing applied to the images, with slight brightness/contrast balance tweak. All images were almost as good as straight out of camera, with minimal cropping for better presentation.

Olympus has recently launched two new lenses, M.Zuiko 7-14mm F2.8 PRO and 8mm F1.8 PRO Fisheye. I originally wanted to take both lenses out to shoot over the weekend, but decided against using two lenses at the same time, knowing it is best to fully concentrate using just one lens, so I can focus and plan my shots more carefully. I shall come back to the fisheye lens very soon.

The Olympus M.Zuiko 7-14mm F2.8 PRO lens is highly anticipated, and with the official launch Olympus has now completed their "holy trinity" of PRO lens line-up, consisting full coverage of focal length with constant bright aperture from ultra wide angle all the way to super telephoto range (7-14mm, 12-40mm and 40-150mm). Many working professional photographers I know, have sworn by the importance of having the "holy trinity" equivalent lenses from Canon and Nikon counterparts, and many arguments have been made against mirrorless interchangeable lens camera system for the lack of serious, constant zoom lenses. This argument is no longer valid!

An ultra wide angle lens is not for everyone. The lens exhibits high chance of getting perspective distortion (nothing to do with lens flaw, this is a characteristic of a super wide lens), which will stretch and elongate subjects, looking disproportionate and unrealistic in many occasions. Nonetheless, ultra wide angle lens are must haves in many photography needs as well, especially for landscape, architecture, night sky (milky way) interior and even some street photography shooters. There are times when the standard wide angle coverage is just not wide enough and wider coverage is needed, in general shooting conditions. This is where the extra wide angle comes in to do what other lenses cannot. 

Here are the highlights of the Olympus M.Zuiko 7-14mm F2.8 PRO lens

1) It is a PRO lens
That means, the lens has a constant F2.8 bright aperture, a desirable capability of any zoom lenses. Also, all Olympus PRO lenses are fully weather sealed against water splash and dust, complementing the OM-D camera bodies such as E-M1 and E-M5 Mark II very well. 

2) Super Sophisticated, Superior Optics
Olympus may not be ahead when it comes to camera race (high ISO performance, megapixel race, etc), but when it comes to lens technology and optical quality, Olympus is never short of excellence. Olympus has included 3 super ED, 2 HD, ED, EDA, and DSA lenses into the 7-14mm PRO lens to minimize all technical lens flaws (chromatic aberration, distortion control, etc). 

3) Close Focusing Distance
The new 7-14mm lens also boasts superb close up shooting performance of 20cm, which is quite incredible for an ultra wide angle lens. 

For full specifications, kindly visit official Olympus page here (click)

Over the past weekend, I have made a road trip to Kuantan, Pahang (East Coast of Malaysia) to find photography opportunities to test the new Olympus M.Zuiko 7-14mm F2.8 PRO lens. I used the new OM-D E-M5 Mark II for this series of test. 


Ok, lets jump right in and get the obvious stuff out of the way. I know we all want to find out how sharp is this lens. The short answer: I am extremely impressed. 

The Olympus 7-14mm PRO lens is VERY sharp, and the sharpness matches the other two PRO lenses, 12-40mm and 40-150mm. There is a minor increase of sharpness when stopping down from F2.8 to F4, but the difference is quite small, I am perfectly happy at what the lens produces at F2.8. The sharpness is also very good all across the range from 7mm widest all the way to 14mm. 

There is almost no noticeable corner softness, and images taken, as shown below are sharp from corner to corner (edge to edge as well) even shooting at F2.8 widest aperture.  I do not see light fall-off (vignetting) effect at any point of my shooting experience last weekend. 

The sharpness of the 7-14mm PRO lens can benefit both the images taken of far away subjects (landscape, scenery, cityscapes), as well as near subjects. I have included plenty of samples covering both landscape as well as close-up shooting. 

The ability of the lens to resolve good amount of fine details makes this lens highly suitable for use of the new OM-D E-M5 Mark II's High Res Shot feature to create 40MP images. 

7mm, 1/20sec, F2.8, ISO200 High Res Shot

Crop from previous photograph

7mm, 1/20sec, F2.8 ISO500

7mm, 1/1250sec, F5.6 ISO200 High Res Shot On Tripod

Crops taken with various F-number stopped down, same image from previous. 

Corner crops comparison

11mm, 1/10sec (handheld), F4, ISO500 

100% crop from previous image

13mm, 1/80sec, F4, ISO200

100% Crop from previous image


One of the most annoying trait of any ultra wide angle lens is the excessive amount of chromatic aberration present in the images, which may occur in a few specific scenarios such as shooting a subject placed directly at the strong source of light (shooting against the sun), and areas in the frame with high contrast (light against dark background). 

To torture the Olympus 7-14mm F2.8 PRO lens, I went to the beach during sunrise and shot boats and people against the direct backlit condition of the strong sun. 

I did not observe any chromatic aberration (purple fringing), which was almost too difficult to believe. I understand that the lens may have superb optics and glasses included, to combat and minimize chromatic aberration, but the OM-D E-M5 Mark II may also apply some processing to completely eliminate any traces of chromatic aberration, hence the perception of chromatic aberration free image. I do not care how the camera and lens did it, I only care about the end result, and to have a full ultra wide angle shot, taken at widest angle 7mm and widest aperture F2.8 with no chromatic aberration was something unthinkable before this!

7mm, 1/15sec, F2.8, ISO200

14mm, 1/5000sec, F2.8, ISO200

100% crop from previous image

7mm, 1/1000sec, F5.6, ISO200

9mm, 1/1000sec, F5.6, ISO200


One area of photography that an ultra wide angle lens is a must have, is night sky photography. The main reason I went to Kuantan was to capture some nice night sky images, and I was lucky to be able to shoot the Milky Way as well!

The 7-14mm F2.8 PRO lens is just the right too for Milky Way shooting, with the wide coverage of 7mm it is easy and flexible to compose the sky with good foreground. The F2.8 wide aperture is super crucial to ensure that ISO numbers are not boosted too high, keeping at the range of ISO3200 highest (obviously to control noise), and able to gather sufficient light to achieve a good exposed image. 

The common flaws of ultra wide angle lens resulted in a few undesirable results in night sky photos: 1) Chromatic Aberration - lots of purple fringing, since the lenses are normally used at their widest open aperture. 2) Comatic/Spherical Aberration - the appearance of "stretched" stars, which should look round or circular in reality, but in photographs, due to common flaw of ultra wide angle lenses, they appear ovul or out of shape. 

I have shot a few photographs of Milky Way and night skies, battling the cloudly sky (waited for the sky to clear) as well as light rain earlier in the evening! 

So how did the Olympus M.Zuiko 7-14mm F2.8 PRO lens perform? Again, NO trace of chromatic aberration, and the stars appear as round as they could be! The sophisticated Super ED, ED and Aspherical lenses used must have done superb job in countering all the chromatic and spherical aberrations. 

7mm, 30sec, F2.8, ISO2500
Crop from previous image (Noise Filter was set to Standard for this image)

7mm, 30sec, F2.8, ISO2500

7mm, 30sec, F2.8, ISO2500

A side note on the night shooting  with the OM-D E-M5 Mark II as well as the E-M1 (after the latest V3.1 firmware upgrade), there is a "Live View Boost 2" function, while enabled, the camera's live view has high visibility even in near darkness situations. I find this to be extremely helpful, and I was the ONLY one who can clearly see what I was composing out under moon-less night, in a group of a dozen photographers all using other non-Olympus cameras. This Live View Boost 2 feature is a life-saver, it was a breeze shooting night sky on the OM-D. 


Another big problem shooting with ultra wide angle lens is barrel distortion, where lines which are supposed to be straight will be slightly bent to a certain degree, depending on how severe the barrel distortion of the lens is. 

Much like the chromatic aberration, Olympus cameras do apply correction digitally to minimize the barrel distortion in the captured images. I do not know how much the correction is applied, but as I have mentioned, I shall only inspect the final images. 

In all my test images, straight lines (at any part of the frame) were all straight and I do not notice any barrel distortion. To test this, I have purposely sought after images with plenty of lines, as well as shooting interior of a restaurant. I believe the distortion control is especially important for interior and architecture shooters. 

7mm, 1/25sec, F2.8, ISO500

7mm, 1/20sec, F2.8, ISO640

7mm, 1/10sec, F2.8, ISO640

7mm, 1/13sec, F4.5, ISO640

7mm, 1/40sec, F2.8, ISO640


One of the highlights of this new M.Zuiko 7-14mm PRO lens, is the ability to shoot close up, as close as 20cm (measured from the image sensor of the camera to the subject). While the magnification is just a mere 0.12x, which is nothing special in comparison to many other Olympus lenses, for an ultra wide angle lens, this is very respectable. 20cm may found far, but if the measurement was taken from the front of the lens, it was actually just a few cm away. 

Zooming in to 14mm (longest), going in close allowed me to do some simple close up shots, and I was amazed by what I could shoot with this. At F2.8 I could still render shallow depth of field, shallow enough to isolate my main subject and throw the background into blur. The bokeh (quality of blur) was quite good, smooth and pleasing, without being messy and harsh. 

14mm, 1/25sec, F2.8, ISO200
Check out the BOKEH!!

14mm, 1/160sec, F2.8, ISO200

This was how the previous image was shot

14mm, 1/20sec F5, ISO800

7mm, 1/13sec, F2.8, ISO640

14mm, 1/200sec, F2.8, ISO200
Oh great news for Instagrammers this lens takes great coffee photos.

8mm, 1/50sec, F4, ISO200


The flare is very well controlled. Yes, I do see flare from time to time, particularly when I was pointing the M.Zuiko 7-14mm PRO against strong light source (sun, strong spot light). The flare was minimal and not distracting. In fact, I had to move the lens around until I find the flare, and it can be easily avoided by choosing a different shooting angle or standing position. 

7mm, 1/15sec, F22, ISO200

14mm, 1/400sec, F4, ISO500

7mm, 1.6sec (handheld), F2.8, ISO200

100% Crop from previous image

Referring to the above crop, the image was taken hand-held at 1.6sec, hence having  roughly effective 5 steps stabilization. This is a crucial benefit of using Olympus OM-D system, the 5-Axis Image Stabilization helps greatly, and with wide angle lens, there is no need to use very high ISO. In some situations, a tripod can be left behind, and hand-holding is possible with the powerful built in camera stabilization system. 


The Olympus 7-14mm PRO lens, though smaller and lighter than competition (about half the weight and size of Full Frame equivalent counterparts), is still rather large and heavy by Micro Four Thirds standards. I have used the lens on the E-M5 Mark II without the HLD-8 grip, and I have immediately regretted this decision. The lens is larger and heavier than the 12-40mm F2.8 lens, hence the extra grip can greatly aid in balancing the lens on the camera. 

The lens is well built, as expected from the PRO line of Olympus M.Zuiko lenses. The other photographers present with me during the Milky Way shoot at Kuantan have all commented positively on the lens build, and how robust and solid the 7-14mm PRO lens felt in their hand. 


Generally I find the Autofocus to be very fast, on par with all other current M.Zuiko Olympus lenses, and there really is nothing to complain about the focusing at all at this point. The next point of improvement would be on continuous AF with tracking which has more to do with the camera, and not so much on the lens. Focusing was almost instantaneous and I can even shoot in very dim conditions with no hunting issues. Considering that this is an ultra wide angle lens with very large depth of field, chances of miss focus is almost non-existent. 

7mm, 1/250sec, F2.8, ISO200

14mm, 1/200sec, F2.8, ISO200

100$ crop from previous image

14mm, 1/200sec, F2.8, ISO200

7mm, 1/1000sec, F6.3, ISO200

7mm, 1/6sec, F2.8, ISO200

7mm, 1/25sec, F3.5, ISO200

100% crop from previous image (notice some moiré pattern on the sleeve)

9mm, 1/4sec, F5, ISO500

Seeing is believing, do not take my words for it, download the full resolution images and do your own comparison and judgement. All images included for download are completely straight out of camera with no additional post-processing. 

(M.Zuiko 7-14mm F2.8 PRO)


What I like about the Olympus M.Zuiko 7-14mm F2.8 PRO lens:

1) Excellent Sharpness
I am confident that this is amongst the sharpest ultra wide angle lens out there

2) Miminal, Nearly Non-existent Wide Angle Flaws
Any technical flaws you can think about an ultra wide angle lens, Olympus somehow found their way to counter and mitigate the issues (perhaps including software correction in camera, but we are looking purely at the final image output here for this review). I notice minimal if no Chromatic Aberration, Comatic Aberration and Barrel Distortion

3) Surprisingly good close up shooting
I can do some superb close up shooting, even with an ultra wide angle lens!

What I wish could be improved:

1) No Filter Attachment Options
It was almost a let-down to many landscape photographers when they found out the Olympus 7-14mm PRO does not accept any lens filters at all. There has been a sharp rise of filter use popularity in the past several years, especially Neutral Density filters for long exposure shooting. At this moment there is no way to attach any filters and I wish Olympus could have come up with some kind of solution, like an attachment on the front of the lens to accept some kind of filters. 

2) Lens Cap
I find the lens cap somehow detaching itself while the camera and lens were in my bag, and this happened a few times.  This is extremely dangerous, considering the front end of the lens is completely exposed with no filter to protect it. What if there was a foreign object gliding (eg, the camera lens strap) and rubbing on the front of the lens?

3) .... could not think of anything else at this moment. 

For Micro Four Third shooters, rejoice, the ultra wide angle Olympus M.Zuiko 7-14mm F2.8 PRO lens is indeed a stellar performer. The lens delivers sharp images, with plenty of detail resolving power. All technical flaws you can think of about a wide angle lens are well controlled and suppressed. There really is nothing much to not like about this lens. If you need a high performing ultra wide angle lens, there is currently no better option than this M.Zuiko 7-14mm F2.8 PRO lens. 

If you currently own a 12-40mm F2.8 PRO and 40-150mm F2.8  PRO lenses, you already know what to expect from the similar range 7-14mm F2.8 PRO lens. Getting it will complete your set of "holy trinity" lenses, allowing you to have a super wide coverage from 7mm all the way to 300mm. Olympus is indeed making a very bold statement now with their complete series of amazing PRO lenses, and competition has lesser and lessers reason to attack the Micro Four Thirds system. 

I shall work on the M.Zuiko 8mm F1.8 PRO Fisheye lens review next. 

After that, I wish to have extension for both the 7-14mm and 8mm F1.8 fisheye PRO lenses, to answer any questions from you beautiful people. 

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  1. Nice review Robin. Very posioning lens.
    Borrow ur link to share.Thanks ya.

    1. No problem! I wish to bring the lens to you. Will update you when I can.

    2. Wah. That will be great.
      Unfortunately I will go Indonesia lombok this coming saturday. That will be good if the 7-14 pro can come out earlier, now only rely on my 9-18 and 12f2 liao. Hehe.

    3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    4. You're very much mistaken! That is exceptional flare control. You can't compare the flare control of a standard zoom or tele zoom lens with that of a wide angle lens.
      And that picture was taken shooting right into the sun. Check the superb Canon 16-35mm f2.8 II lens out, in this regard:
      Especially take a look at the pictures where the flare of the Canon vs Tokina is compared, there you can see bad flare control (Tokina) vs good flare control (Canon). This Olympus lens is not only very close in price to the 16-35 from Canon, but delivers at least the same kind of performance, if not better!

    5. JJ, you commented the same thing THREE times. That is considered SPAMMING. Please be warned or ALL your comments will be deleted

    6. xtj7 I have a feeling JJ Sands is trolling us. He has written that exact same comment three times. Let's ignore him unless he explains himself.

  2. Really like the flare control!! the Holy Three......

    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    2. Repeated comments will be deleted. IF you continue to do so, ALL your comments will be bannned. Take note JJ

  3. Very detail and nice review Robin. Always feel great and happy saw your review and i believed that everytime Olympus intro new camera or lens will make many people deeply fall in love with plus the amazing review from master Robin. From Kay Hong. (Kuching fans) :)

  4. Amazing lens. It's already my most wanted buy!
    Thanks for the effort RobinT

  5. Thanks and congrats, Robin! Impressive lens! After the holy-trinity I hope to see the PRO-primes soon for a smaller two lens combo. Almost unbelievable what Oly brings to us, indeed!

    1. Thanks! PRO primes sound like a great idea!

    2. But the 8mm f/1.8 is a prime PRO lens.

    3. I hardly consider the fisheye lens to be in any ordinary category, because it is such a specialized lens. But why dont we have faster primes (brighter than F1.8) with weather sealing and PRO build?

    4. I don't necessarily need the lenses to be faster (nonetheless, always welcome if there isn't a huge trade-off in weight), but weather sealing would be fantastic. Would love to see 17mm weather sealed prime :)

    5. Agreed on the weathersealing!

  6. Loved the review, thanks Robin, as always! Could someone please point out the differences for me when comparing the landscape pictures at various apertures? I can't quite see it myself and have always wondered about how to utilise different F-Stops for landscapes. I understand that lower F-Stops give shallower depth of field and take in more light but I can never quite see the differences in depth of field when it comes to landscapes. Thanks for the help!

    1. Generally, lenses are sharper when stopped down a little. This is true for all lenses. I provide full size samples, so it is easier to see from the original size than the small size in my blog.

  7. Great review as always. Looking forward to your next review/thoughts on the 8mm f/1.8.
    I'm in a situation where the 7-14/2.8 might be overkill for me as I find I don't need a lot more than the 12mm from the 12-40/2.8. When I do thought, I wonder if a defished 8mm f/1.8 might be worth the price as it would be faster/smaller/lighter.

    I already have the 9mm/8 bodycap and find it fun to use, but would love to have something faster than that for when the light is really low and I need to shoot handheld.

    Anyway, thanks again for your thoughts and have a great one! :D

    1. Thanks for the kind words. I look forward to do some defishing myself soon too!

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

  9. Replies
    1. I have not done any comparison yet. I would think it is similar, but that is just my guess

  10. Any comparison with OM 4/3 7-14 f4 ? thanks

    1. I do not have the time to do so at the moment, but if I have the chance sure.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. want to see more about interior and villas shooting ... but i'm very suprised with this wide angle (super wide angle lens) that can do potrait photos very well and food photography very good .... ... hope can buy this lens when the economics in indonesian better than now

    1. I can only do so much in one weekend, but if I have opportunities to visit I shall shoot more interior shots.

  13. Thanks. Glad to see that it's so good. I wanted the Four-Thirds lens for years, but the f/4.0 maximum aperture was not good for me. Now, I'm debating between the new fisheye lens or this ultra wide angle lens. The fisheye lens is more likely but having both is likely.

    1. I'd think that the ultra wide angle lens would be used in more occasions than the fisheye. However the fisheye does provide very interesting perspective

    2. Since I mainly photograph at skate parks, a fisheye lens is desired by most. I've been switching between the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 and the Panasonic/Leica 15mm f/1.7 for stills and video but having the 7-14mm f/2.8 and the 8mm f/1.8 fisheye would make things more interesting, as well as more dramatic.

    3. Oohhh that Panasonic 15mm F1.7. I should give it a try some day.

  14. Great stuff, Robin--I enjoy your blog tremendously and am also a dedicated Oly user. The pro lenses are completely out of my budget range but look very nice indeed. I find it hard to believe how Olympus could fail to include a filter ring on a pro lens, however. For those of us who want to be a little more creative with filters (and not using PS), that's not a good choice on their part. Still, I do like the fact that they are going full steam with the wide array of pro lenses, it proves they're taking the format seriously.

    1. I agree, they should have considered a solution to the filter problem. I understand the design of the lens was to ensure small size but surely there is something that can be done to attach the filters externally. Lets hope we have something coming from third party manufacturers.

    2. There was actually a filter solution for the old FT 7-14 F4 (findable on the DPreview Olympus DSLR forum) which I and others implemented. It essentially consisted of prying the front cap out of the felt-lined slip on hood, inserting the resulting approx. 90mm (external) diameter by 26mm long cylinder in a 90mm (internal diameter) Lee filter holder, and slippin the combination over the end of the lens. It was a nearly perfect fit.

      After much trepidation I have just, ordered the new lens. (We are going on an extended trip and the old, though superb, is just too big and heavy for carry-ons and hikes. Also, I do a lot of night and astro photography)., I will be consulting a lutinist friend and a Goldsmith/jewerly-maker friend on the best way to adapt this contraption to the new lens. Will no be easy.

      BTW, for those who don't already know this, because of the extremely wide field and resulting wide range of angles of incidence of lightr admitted by such a lens, some filters -particulalry polarizers are very problematic with such lenses.

    3. You could try my solution. It works pretty well with Lee. Same as you, I was a lens-cap-adapter user with old 4/3 7-14 :)

  15. Great review! I want this one little jewel.
    I think one of the Olympus greatest decisions is they was hire you.
    Compare to dpreview samples that are dull and boring.
    Keep moving your project.

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Boris! I try my best to get good photos every time I do reviews and tests

  16. Very good and helpful review :) Thanks.
    Greetings Halina

  17. Hi Robin,
    Wonderful set of photos. There's nothing like an ultra wide to get you to think outside the box.
    I especially like the image of the cart and boat on the beach. If you don't mind me asking, where was this taken?
    Looks like a great lens.

    1. Bjorn!!! Where have you been?
      I went to Kuantan last weekend, and I shot that image at Berserah Village during sunrise. I was with a group of crazy photographers chasing the milky way.
      We MUST catch up soon! I cannot wait to show you the lenses.

    2. Ah, Kuantan; I have to make an effort to get out there.
      Would be great to catch up although I fear being introduced to the new lenses could be dangerous to my budget :-)

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

  19. Love the review. Would do even more so if the review is in context with the panasonic or at least the olympus 9-18mm. Reviewed in terms of sharpness all the way to f22, flare and distortion. So I can decide if the extra costs are worth investing in the 7-14.

    1. For technical reviews I am sure many other reviewers will do so. My focus was on images, and piratical shooting conditions. And nope, no more comparisons from me, could not deal with all the fanboys. It is a lose lose situation for me if I do comparison of any sort.

    2. I can imaging. Love the images though! We should not listen to fanboys/girls .... oh well. Keep up the good work and enjoy photography and this blog.

    3. Indeed! We keep shooting and doing what we love

  20. Thanks for the review. Very nice.
    100$ crop? (the young boy) That's funny. ;-)
    3.1 firmware for the em1? What dit I miss?

    1. A friend of mine pointed out that typo but I decided to leave it there for now haha.
      Yes. There is Firmware 3.1

  21. Awesome review Robin! I really like all the photos you took. Your low light photos seem very clean with very little noise. im looking forward to your review of the 8mm F/1.8 PRO fisheye lens. I wish I could bring both the 7-14mm and the 8mm with me but the weight seems pretty high on the 7-14mm. I'm guessing the lens feels more front heavy and hence more unbalanced on an E-M5II. Would you be able to do a small comparison between the 7-14mm and the 8mm when you do the review?

    1. Thanks for the kind words. I am looking forward to using the fisheye lens too. I don't think it is practical to do a comparison between the 7-14mm and 8mm fisheye, after all both are very different lenses, with different characteristics.

    2. After thinking about it, you are completely right. Now I want to get both the 8mm and the 7-14mm. They are two very different lenses with different usage cases. I'm looking forward to your 8mm review. Cheers!

  22. Dear Robin,
    Thank you for your excellent review. I'm glad I already have my 7-14 lens on pre-order from B&H!
    But I wanted to mention what an outstanding photographer you are. I find your photographs inspirational. You're one of the few who knows how to use an ultra-wide lens.
    In addition, you are also a very good writer!
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful images.
    Joe H.

    1. Dear Joe,
      It was my pleasure to shoot and write about the lens! Glad to know that you have pre-ordered!
      Thank you so much for the kind compliments, you are being too kind. I am not very well versed with the wide angle but learning and improving here.

  23. really bad flare control on images especially:

    You need to compare this lens to the Panasonic.

    1. I will do no such comparisons. I will be burned alive if I did.
      The flare is a rare case, and I had to try very hard to get it. It can be easily avoided.

  24. great photos! ...didnt read a text though as dont want to get gas :-)

    1. No worries! You can always read them some other time.

  25. Hi Robin, excellent pictures! Have you heard anything from Olympus, if they are going to come out with their own lens filter system, specifically designed for their PRO lenses with built in lens hood?

    1. Thanks. Nope, have not heard of anything at this moment.

  26. Robin,
    Olympus did a very smart thing hiring you!
    You make every one of their products shine!
    Thanks for another great review.

    1. Thanks for the kind words David! Appreciate them.

  27. Hi Robin Stella review as always and i can not wait for my 7-14mm pro lens for my EM1 my question do you know of any adaptation to allow filters on pro lens at our own risks of course ?

    1. Thanks for the kind words. I have not heard of any news about filters at this point. lets hope there is

  28. A stellar review of a stellar lens. Oly is on a roll! A pleasure to read & view, too. Great work!

  29. Olympus do not know how lucky they are to have your talent to show how good are their bodies and lenses !

  30. I notice an ugly diffused colored moiré everywhere on the fabric of that gray jacket, not only on the sleeve, where is only more evident.

    1. Not true. I am not sure if our screens are showing the same thing. If you are referring to the resized image (not the 100% crop) then the moire may be something that shows up on your screen. It is not in the full resolution image.

    2. No Wong, sorry, you are wrong!
      The moirè spots and the micro moirè is on the whole fabric and is not caused by the screen.
      This can be seen with clear evidence in your 100% crop, but color areas are noticeable, obviously much less, in the resized image that you posted.
      Why you have not put this image downloadable?

      Watch at the top pocket.
      For example, on the upper part of the pocket and around it, on the left, there are clear spots of color moirè.
      And the whole plot of the fabric is as contaminated by light colored spot-areas (mainly magenta and blue) which ruin the purity of that light gray fabric.
      In addition, the moirè is present everywhere at a level of few pixels.

      If you do not see this, or you have a poor screen, or you have a poor (temporary?) color perception, or perhaps you have not paid enough attention, that i think more probably.
      I see all this on 2 different calibrated monitors, Eizo and iiyama and with a little greater evidence on the Galaxy Tab 8.4 Pro and Huawei Honor 6 (this latter has an excellent screen with very good and natural color representation even in highlights).

      Try to over saturate the picture and perhaps you will begin to see all this, more easily.
      Obviously I have not over saturated your picture, I immediately seen it, the first time, on my Honor 6.

      Fortunately we see the same picture ... even if we have different native languages.

    3. Yes Claudio, what you describe is in fact there, (I see it also upon close examination), BUT... I would venture to say that it is more a common problem with how certain fabrics reflect the visible spectrum under differing lighting conditions and not a result of how well lens performs. I would go out on a limb and say that similar results would happen with many other manufacturers lenses (without mentioning names), and you are being unfairly critical concerning Robins image ;-)

    4. I am not going to further this conversation as this is getting pointless. I do not agree and I do NOT see the moire other than on the sleeve. I do NOT see the point of having this picture downloadable.

    5. Please David, try to understand using the logic.
      I have not criticized this new spectacular zoom lens and not willing to be critic on a wide spectrum about Wong's blog.
      I have recently discovered it, by chance, I appreciate what he does and how he does it, I immediately put it among favorite bookmark.

      Yesterday I was looking at these nice pictures made with the 7-14mm and reading his notes.
      Arrived at 100% crop of the jacket, I did not liked that thing and Wong's note is patently out of tune.
      I stopped it and wanted to point out, nothing more, nothing less.

      I love the truth and I am critical first with myself, it is an attitude in a scientific sense.
      There is a chorus of "as always" which praise Wong.
      I said mine, excessive or not it is the truth, what is wrong?
      Is it offensive? No.

      David, it's more than obvious and well known that the color moirè is not caused by the lens and therefore not even from this new 7-14mm, but is a Bayer artefact, Olympus here, as in all other brands, Sigma-Foveon excluded.
      It is also well known that fabrics are, among the items, some of the most to risk for this aspect and someone today tries alternative ways to an antialias filter to limit the moirè, moving the sensor ...

      It is true that the fabric, especially if it is very clear, can create colorful dots, caused by multi micro diffraction of the wires of tissue, but, as I said before, in this picture there are also bands or colored spots, faint color, superimposed to the gray fabric, throughout the 100% crop.
      It is faint moiré, here, as in many other cameras of all brands.

      I have the E-M5 II, in addition to the previous E-M5 and can see on my complex paper test (which is not a fabric) the difference obtained between a traditional single shots and the HighRes mode: higher resolution, but also clear reduction of moiré and color details that are more faithful to the original, less bayerized.
      Not perfect, but better.

      Wong, you work in Olympus as employee and you don't see that moirè?
      Hmmm, I hope not as an engineer, would be dangerous.

      For all ;-)

    6. Claudio,
      when you have to post such lengthy comment to defend yourself and prove yourself right, you have done something which I have tried very hard to prevent for many years on my blog: become like a forum. Please be reminded (not just you but myself and everyone here) that this is NOT a forum (there are many outside for such debate/endless arguments/everyone knows best arguments) and I do not intend for discussions to get out of control.
      Therefore, I was putting a cap in my previous comment.
      Everyone will have their own opinion, and to what is right and wrong. You have already said what you wanted to say in your first comment. If others choose to disagree, please let them and do not engage in an endless loop of pointless "scientific" battle.
      I beg your understanding.

  31. As always Robin, a very informative review.
    I gather from your text that you were allowing the camera to process the images so distortion was managed, I wonder what RAW images are like?

    Re: Filters I suspect if there is nothing, it will still be possible but fiddly. I have a 4 3rds 7-14 and use HiTech filters with it. I purchased a second lens cap, took off the front and fitted it to an appropriately sized lens adapter that attaches to the HiTech 100mm filter holder. It isn’t screwed in but is fairly secure (as is the 43rds lens cap). It is fine at 8mm or more but below that vignetting is a problem., this is because the frame for the 4/3rds lens is probably too small… 150mm filters would be better……. But with the smaller m4/3rds lens (if the lens cap is secure!!!) it may be more promising at 7mm.
    I will experiment as soon as the lens arrives!!

    1. I opened my RAW images in Olympus Viewer 3 so the correction is already applied even when I view the images in RAW (same with white balance profile).
      I'd be interested to know about third party filter attachments as well, this would benefit many landscape shooters!

    2. Hi,

      I did the same thing for my ZD714, on a Lee holder!

      And for MZD, it works!

  32. Hello Robin
    Thanks for such a detailed and practical review.
    I have an E-M1 and a FTs 7-14 lens. Leaving aside the one stop faster, how do you think that the new lens compares optically with the (stellar) FTs version?
    Weight doesn't bother me, as I have a whole lot of HG and SHG lenses from my FTs cameras (which I still use, and will keep).
    Regards, John

    1. I'm in the same camp John, I did purchase the 12-40 pro with the EM-1 and I might eventually get the "holy trinity" m4/3ds glass if I ever get to travel and need a light kit, but for the time being my 4/3rds HGs and SHGs are MORE than adequate. ;-)

    2. Hi John,
      Optically the new F2.8 7-14mm is superior. As mentioned I cannot tell if this is due to better in camera processing tricks but the results I get is better controlled when it comes to CA and flare. I'd think the old 7-14mm has very good distortion control as well as corner sharpness, similar to the new F2.8 7-14mm, if not better in the new one.

    3. Hi David,
      Surely the SHG and HG lenses are still superb! I was half hoping that we would have a micro 4/3 version of the 14-35mm F2 lens!

    4. Thanks, Robin.

      David, the unloved 12-50 came with my E-M1. The kit at a 'shoplifting' price that was around AUD$ 150 less than wholesale. Great buy, long story ...
      Not about to spend AUD$ 5,000+ on lenses when all my FTs lenses work better on the EM-1 than they do on my E-30. Not sure, but I seem to recall reading somewhere that the E-M1 also has f/w correction for FTs lenses??

      Regards, John

    5. John,
      Of course, Olympus did not leave behind their 4/3 lenses. The in-camera correction processing also applies to them in newer Olympus camera bodies like E-M1 and E-M5 Mark II

  33. Hello Robin,

    I hope this is not a repost, but as usual, a wonderful review and wonderful images. I wonder, as you have shot so many other wonderful images with the OLY 7-14 F4.0, how would you compare the two, let's say if you were to shoot them both at F4.0?

    1. Hi Greg,
      Thanks for the kind words. I have not had the chance to compare both lenses side by side and I have a feeling this won't happen anytime soon looking at my busy schedule ahead. But from my experience using both lenses separately I'd say the new 7-14mm is superior in almost all aspects.

  34. Pity about the filters that is a no purchase for me until it is resolved.

    1. Fully understand. Some photographers just cant live without filters!

    2. Thank you for reply. You make a great job of it with this review and images you have taken so it is tempting!

  35. I don't see walking around much with ultra WA on body. Does it come with a protective lens case? I walk around with 12-40 pro zoom. It came with a very nice case for when I'm using 25 mm f1.4 on EM1 body. Bob G for wife Cathy

    1. Yes it does come with protective lens case of course, like all pro lenses.

  36. Very impressive. Several times on my recent trip to Spain I was wishing I had this wider angle lens. Once DxO comes out with a module to correct the wide angle distortion for Optics Pro it will be even better.

    1. Thanks. I am sure the lens profile will be made available very soon.

    2. Thanks for another excellent review Robin. You mentioned the "Holy Trinity" as 7-300mm with the MFT lens. Do you mean 7-150 or am I missing something (7-14,12-40,40-150). Incidentally I am using the 50-200 SWD with the MF3 converter on my EM1. Is it worth changing to the 40-150 with the 1.4 multiplier?

  37. Great Review as always Robin :-)

  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

  39. Hi Robin. Do you have any chance to make some comparisons between the new 7-14 lens with the 12mm 2.0 prime lens? I am in a dilemma where I long for the new pro lens much, but may have to trade out my 12mm prime lens first. Thanks and kudos to your wonderful reviews and photography.

  40. Well i do come here for sparkling photography and because i have a very soft spot for Southeast Asia, including KL – and this post didn't disappoint me at all!

    As for quality judgements, you say in your introduction:
    "1. I am an Olympus Malaysia employee. (...)
    5. Minimal post-processing applied to the images, with slight brightness/contrast balance tweak. All images were almost as good as straight out of camera, with minimal cropping for better presentation."

    So one should see other serious commentators as well.

    Another quote from your review:
    "Many working professional photographers I know, have sworn by the importance of having the "holy trinity" equivalent lenses from Canon and Nikon counterparts."

    Two thoughts:
    1. Super wide angle has been available at F4 or so with focal lengths of 7 and 9 mms for a long time, so the change now is perhaps not that dramatic (of course, the new F2,8 is one stop faster).

    2. I wouldn't use "holy trinity" here. I am not even especially religious and certainly open to all kinds of jokes and paraphrasing, still it makes me uncomfortable.

  41. ops.. went to the olympus site but item is no longer available.

    where else can i get the item?

  42. Hi Robin. I posted on 26th May with a serious question. Any chance of a response please?

  43. Thanks for a great review Robin - as always. Great images to showcase the lens too!

    After the fuss with the 25mm comparison, I can see why you don't want to get into another A vs B review. So, for those of your readers who want to know how this new lens compares with the Panasonic 7-14, here is a link to Gordon Laings review (Cameralabs). Gordon's review is very detailed and provides an excellent comparison of these two lenses:

    The summary?

    - Oly is slightly sharper (but not by much)
    - Oly is SIGNIFICANTLY better at flare control (but we all know how bad the Panasonic is!)
    - Oly is faster
    - Oly is bigger and heavier

    I have the Panasonic lens at the moment but I can see me upgrading to the new Oly lens - sometimes those purple blob flare issues on the Panasonic are just too painful to bear!!!

    Thanks again Robin!

  44. This comment has been removed by the author.

  45. Hi Robin,

    What a very informative review. Always love it. Just for suggestion can you add a photo that compare the size between this lens and 12-40mm pro? have been to HK and i saw the real size of this lens which is quite small enough.

    From the heavy i think it's normal since the elements on it so many and honestly speaking i too feel the performance is outstanding for ultra wide angle lenses. Thinking to buy this lens but still wait for better currency because the lens's price in my country depend on the it.

    Thanks again for your wonderful and helpful review.



  46. Knowing how bad the Panasonic is with flare, I've been lusting for this lens ever since I got my EM-1 a year and a half ago. It arrived last week and this week I've been shooting Milky Way and landscapes to verify how good I trusted it would be. Love it! Like you say, it's a bit awkward on the EM-5mkII, but on the EM-1 it rocks.

  47. Knowing how bad the Panasonic is with flare, I've been lusting for this lens ever since I got my EM-1 a year and a half ago. It arrived last week and this week I've been shooting Milky Way and landscapes to verify how good I trusted it would be. Love it! Like you say, it's a bit awkward on the EM-5mkII, but on the EM-1 it rocks.

  48. Some ask about a possible comparison between this lens and f/4 one.

    Not which is better, but I would bet that this, same quality but f / 2.8 !! It's easy :)

  49. All images were shot in RAW and converted directly to JPEG (High Quality) via Olympus Viewer 3.

    why not shoot Jpeg directly?

  50. As a em-5 owner it seems to me that our cameras actually give sharper edge to edge wide angle photos than a FF camera will do. Maybe I am crazy but maybe not.

  51. Hi Robin! Thank you for sharing... Just got this lens two days ago and haven't got the opportunity the explore more. I just have a question on lens noise that quite noticeable during my first test. This noise was louder than 12-40mm pro lens. Do you notice this noise also? Any explanation? Thanks -Ivan
    Em10 mkii

  52. Nice review wih great photos, as always - gotta love the 3 gents.

    I had always thought i would need a 7 mm lens, but actually your (excellent) pictures have cured me from that desire. I thought most of the 7 mm shots looked almost dizzying and tended towards crass when there was important detail around the edges. I felt relieved each time the focal length went up a little and the images gained a much more natural, yet breezily wide, look..

    This makes me wonder about a comparison with Oly's 9-18. And it makes remember my old wish for a 9 mm prime, which now - with a 7-14 from both manufactures and a 9-18 as well from Olympus - seems very far away.

  53. Robin, came across discussions of these oversize holders

    btw there is a spam post a bit above this post.

  54. Hi Love your review :)) Can I make a suggestion? Why don't you try Dorimon Optical review on :) They are good and highly commendable too hehe


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  57. Hi Robin! Awesome review! I'd like to know your opinion when comparing the Olympus 7-14mm 2.8 vs the Fuji 10-24mm?

  58. How can I avoid lens flare from head on lights?

  59. This comment has been removed by the author.

  60. This comment has been removed by the author.

  61. HI Robin: You sidestepped a very serious problem with the lens: "The flare was minimal and not distracting. In fact, I had to move the lens around until I find the flare, and it can be easily avoided by choosing a different shooting angle or standing position." re: this image of yours -

    First off in your own image you admit that that flare is extremely distracting. And simply put that's totally unacceptable for a $1200 "PRO" lens. I can get better results on my manual focus $400 rokinon 14mm. Your solution to "choose a different viewing angle" is both incredulous and impractical. Photographers are artists - not technicians. If they choose a specific viewing angle it for artistic purpose first - adjusting to help out the limitation of the lens begs the question of who the photographer takes photos for - himself or the gear?

    And unique to the super wide nature of a 7mm lens is it takes in so much real estate you simply cannot avoid the consequences of the sun. If that was true - then your super flarey purple monster of an image simply would not have been taken. But yet you even couldn't out resolve this lenses handicap.

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  63. Nice review. Am wanting a ultra wide lens and was thinking of something much cheaper, Rokinon 7.5 fisheye. Maybe I should save up my pennies for much nicer and more versatile lens like this. Your reviews seem to be unbias. Have you tried the Panasonic wide angle zooms? TY