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.
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.
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.
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.
Words - D
Images - D & A