The Fragile Olympus 9-18mm Breaks
The fall to the pavement at Bryce National Park spelled doom for my Olympus 9-18mm wide angle lens. It’s plastic and nothing even close to the build quality of the metal, weatherproof Pro line of lenses Olympus is putting out for the micro four thirds cameras. My landscape photography requires a wide angle lens and this was right in the middle of the road trip through southern Utah. For the remainder of the trip I knew, after a short grieving period of 5 minutes, that the rest of the trip I’ll be dependent on my 7.5mm fisheye lens and the Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro lens.
Dream Lens for my Olympus EM-1 Camera
You may remember, in December 2013 I dumped my Nikon DSLR and upgraded my camera kit to the micro four thirds format with the super hot, Olympus OMD- EM1. Along with it I picked up two lenses; the Pro f2.8 12-40 and the plastic Olympus 9-18mm wide angle. The Pro lens is fabulous while the plastic one is now deader than Wyatt Earp holding Aces & 8’s. That’s okay, I wanted a wider lens anyway and checked into the only two possibilities available to me right now, however, neither seems just right for me. Here’s what I mean.
Olympus or Panasonic-My Only Wide Angle Lens Options
Now that my 9-18mm is broken, it’s time to look at my new wide angle options. One of the super wide angels I considered, the Panasonic 7-14mm is reported by many to having a purple artifacting issue when shooting into bright lights and used on an Olympus body. That’s not good for me. As a HDR landscape photographer, I shoot directly into the sun often. After a few of those shots I’m pretty sure the purple aurora around the sun would get old. Didn’t buy it.
The Olympus wide angle lens option is a really nice lens, at a really nice (high) price and, not ideally, it’s made for the old four thirds system. It’s a Pro lens with constant F2.8 aperture and weather & dust sealed. So it’s bigger and heavier than it needs to be for my smaller camera. It’s been tough holding off but I decided not to spend the $1,800 on a heavy lens, even though it’s weather sealed and super sharp. What I really really want is for Olympus to build me a 7-14mm super wide angle, weather sealed, metal, less expensive, Pro lens for their OM-D line. May it also please be of the f2.8 constant aperture variety?
My Dreams are Answered
In February, the Olympus website, blazed the announcement of the development of the M.Zuiko Digital ED F2.8 7-14mm Pro lens! It’s everything I want! No MSRP price has been announced. Unless my logic is flawed, my guess is it’s a lot less glass than the same lens in the four thirds form factor, so should be less money. It could be released in the last half of this year! I’m stoked! Sure would like to be a beta tester of this new lens before it’s released! Pick me, pick me!!