Wednesday, May 20, 2015

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

Robin Wong is more fun to read than dry lens tests (or camera tests). These days he works for Olympus, but it does not sound like he is writing more positively than he did when he was just a fan.
Olympus has released a super-wide edition of their PRO line, making it complete, and Robin reviews it.  The PRO line is dust and splash-proof, of the highest mechanical excellence, and optically so excellent that just ten years ago people would not have believe that zoom lenses could ever get so good. Hell, they are so good that even prime lenses would have to be Leica or Zeiss to be that good (and these zooms are a dang sight cheaper than those, even though of course they are double what a normal lens costs).

These kind of lenses (also existing in the Canon and Nikon world, but much heavier) are very popular with pros, because just one covers a lot of your shooting in top quality, and with two, say the wide-to-normal and the normal-to-longish-tele, you cover pretty much everything which does not come under specialist territory (like wildlife or architecture photography).

Robin is also fun because he very often manages, just in walking around testing a lens, to capture many really lovely photos from his native Malaysia.

[Click for big pic]

Can you believe this nice bokeh on a super-wide? That's because, as I forgot to even mention, the PRO line is also faster than normal zooms, being F:2.8 across the zoom line. This is a big part of their size and price. 


Ken said...

One of the things that amazes me is how Olympus has reinvented itself. A company that had some excellent SLR in the eighties lost that section of the market, leaving them only with some better quality point and shoots, now have a line of cameras that they can be proud of.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

And not only that; before Micro Four Thirds, there were plain Four Thirds, which still had mirrors. The cameras they made for that system were meant as pro cameras, but the image quality was not the greatest. Which was sad, because the quality of the best lenses they made for it was *outstanding*.

Fortunately, with an adaptor you can now use these lenses with the MFT cameras (like E-M5 II). Though it should be notied that they are quite big and expensive, even more than the new PRO lenses. But it can be done, and it shows that they did very serious work in the noughties too.

Eolake Stobblehouse said...

... I better clarify: the image quality of, say, the Olympus E-5 was not *bad*. It was just limited to five MP if I recall right, and the dynamic range was also a bit limited, they had a tendency to blow the highlights.