Olympus 9-18mm at Stratford-upon-Avon

Panasonic GH1 Olympus 9-18mm f/4-5.6 Micro Four Thirds Lens


Finally a day of dazzling bright light, and an opportunity to run the Olympus 9-18mm through its paces. I used it on my Panasonic GH1, for an afternoon in Stratford-upon-Avon.


First thing to say is its quite tough. An incident of thoughtlessness when I balanced the camera and lens on my leg and attempted to get the Ryder Cup scores on my phone resulted in camera and lens tumbling on to a pavement. The lens is unharmed but the GH1 has lost some of its resale value, picking up a couple of small dents. 


Panasonic GH1 Olympus 9-18mm f/4-5.6 Micro Four Thirds Lens


The lens confirmed a lot of my first impressions. Its sharp and produces excellent colour. There is a little more CA and fringing using it on the GH1 than on my E-P2 but this is far from excessive and can be easily removed in Photoshop. 


The articulated screen on the GH1 proved very useful for some low-angle shots. The more I use this the more I wish that all cameras had it. Its a feature thats just starting to appear on DSLR's and its a simple yet effective aid to composition. I've really taken to live view and screen composition and am using it more and more. Like many I was reluctant to embrace this at first, having used optical viewfinders for so long, but over time I've come to appreciate the flexibility that this adds to creating pictures.


Panasonic GH1 Olympus 9-18mm f/4-5.6 Micro Four Thirds Lens


I like using the 9-18mm very much. Its a very light and compact lens and carrying it around is a pleasure. It got me thinking about the Olympus 14-150mm. However I've not seen any samples from that lens that I like. Yesterday I took out the Leica Vario-Elmar 14-150mm 4/3 lens and there's no denying that its a remarkable lens, some of the shots I took with it were stunning quality, but it is very large and somewhat heavy. The Olympus superzoom is almost half the weight. I may be tempted.


Panasonic GH1 Olympus 9-18mm f/4-5.6 Micro Four Thirds Lens


There's not really much else to say about the 9-18mm. It does the job its designed for, and does it pretty well. It is probably the best W/A zoom I've used and I have less problems with it than I encountered with the Panasonic 7-14mm. I don't really miss the extra 2mm and as expected I used the lens at its widest setting most of the time in great light, so I haven't missed the f4 constant aperture as yet. 


I think it will be very useful and I'm looking forward to using it on a 16MP GH2.


Panasonic GH1 Olympus 9-18mm f/4-5.6 Micro Four Thirds Lens


Words - D
Images - D & A