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New 7-14mm and 8mm PRO lens Hands-On at Pen And Tell

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Bildschirmfoto 2015-03-14 um 10.48.43

Pen And Tell had the chance to “Play” with the upcoming two new Olympus PRO lenses. I will translate some of the key findings for you:

8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO lens:
– Compared to the Four Thirds fisheye lens the new MFT version is much smaller and lighter.
– The focus ring works wonderfully light
– Bokeh is good
– The lens is very sharp straight from max aperture

7-14mm f/2.8 PRO lens:
– Compared to the Four Thirds version lens the new MFT version is again much smaller and lighter.
– Autofocus is very fast and silent
– Focus wheel runs very smooth
– Close focus is impressive. I’ts 2cm from the end of the lens.
– Bokeh is very good
– No flare issues

The tester said “Both lenses leave you with a smile on your face“.

Reminder: Two of the future PRO lenses are listed here:
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO Lens (here at BHphoto).
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 300mm f/4 PRO Lens (here at BHphoto).

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  • Trinavi

    Sounds like this is going to be a great year for all you UWA guys out there. :) Enjoy!

  • TheTree

    “Both lenses leave you with a smile on your face“.

    Yeah, until your wife/girlfriend finds out how much did you pay for them :)

    • digifan

      What dense comments again about the wife/gf.
      But I guess you mean wife, because gf normally means you’re not financially attached legally.
      And in case of wife, one would be a total @ss and egoïst, not to communicate personal spendings if this is critical to the household budget.
      Better get divorced so you are boss of your personal budget, and are the sole responsible for your spendings.
      People who complain about the wife having problems, shouldn’t have gotten married in the first place.
      IMO a (modern) mariage involves trust and partnership iso egoïstic motivations.
      These days one can rent a housekeeping company and go places for the other needs.

      • Flavio

        Actually TheTree’s comment made me smile…have you noticed at all the very obvious fact that it was a joke? My, was this sermon needed at all? O.o

        • JamesD

          No kidding. Wife jokes are standard fare on equipment forums. Digifan, take a deep breath and relax. you must have more important things to rant about. Let’s at least try to keep this upbeat.

          • digifan

            I know it’s a joke but it’s just silly.
            And many times it’s even truth. Man and womaen who keep it secret what “extra” income they have just to spend it for themselves, while being bancrupt due to credit card spendings etc.

    • SharpPhoto

      What if it’s your wife/girlfriend is Annie Leibovitz? Women have been know to become great photographers.

  • AJC

    Can’t wait for the 7-14. Got it in FT native format. It’s great but the AF can be really slow is situations…
    And yes, it’s feels heavy when mounted on the EM-1 compared to the E3, more well balanced.

    • AJC

      …can be really slow *in some* situations…

      Sorry.

  • poopchute

    “Bokeh is very good”, on 7mm and 8mm lenses?

    • ayuen100

      Sounded strange to me too but it probably can work at 14mm and getting close up to the subject (2cm).

    • juurikas

      Such focal length does have our of focus areas. Everyone should know that! And “bokeh” is just a japanese word to blur look/character, but not the look/character itself.

      • The Real Stig

        Bokeh is not just a Japanese word for ‘blur’, it references the quality/characteristics of the blur.

        • juurikas

          I said that… No need to repeat.

    • Vlad
  • I’m tired of reading about the 7-14mm. Please start to sell it! :)

    • Espen Braathen

      Tumbs up

    • speltrong

      or at least price it!

  • FM

    “Both lenses leave you with a smile on your face“.
    And a gigantic hole in your pocket… That’s why I’d have been happier with a compact 9 f2.8 prime for cheap (a few hundred EURs). For what this would cost (I’m sure it’d be >1500 EUR, maybe more than 2000), you can buy a FF body, the Samyang 14 f2.8 and still have money left over for some more primes…

    • Apples and oranges. The only common thing is that you can use them to take photos..

      • Doc

        Both are right. Price matters and if the 7-14 is expensive, Oly gives the sign that future m43cameras will be better than current FF combos. Everything else does not make sense. I will keep my 12mm m.zuiko and wait for the next step in m43 sensortech.

        • miburo

          a 14-24mm 2.8 with AF and Weather Sealing (i’m guessing) for 1000~ and that’s not cheaper??? Where else do you get that?

          • Doc

            1000$ only…. We are talking in dimensions of about 1500 to 2000 and that is quite a bit of money already in FF price territory

            • miburo

              Full frame 14-24 2.8
              Nikon 14-24 $1800
              Canon 16-35 $1700

              Price hasn’t been released but I doubt it’ll be more than the 40-150mm

              • juurikas

                Both 12-40mm and 40-150mm Pro were are are still very reasonable priced. A 899€ and 1399€ for thosethose is nothing for what they deliver.

                I expect 7-14mm Pro to be around 999-1299€. Not over 1399€ as then they have a problem before dropping price.

      • FM

        “The only common thing is that you can use them to take photos..”

        Well, what else do you want it to do, make you coffee? If m4/3 can’t give me a damn UWA prime with reasonably fast aperture at a reasonable pricepoint after all these years, I’ll have to look elsewhere. I only wrote FF to emphasize the cost issue. There’s the Samyang 12 f2 for APS-C: a compact, sharp eqv. 18mm lens, and it’s only 300-350 EUR. With a small APS-C body, it’s red apple vs green apple, at a fraction of the cost. Why can’t Oly or Pana make something like that already…

        • Olympus1974

          The Rokinon/Samyang 7.5mm f3.5 Fisheye for MFT has been around for several years, about $250 US. Compact and works well.

          • FM

            Now that’s the real apples and oranges, or apples and carrots. It’s a fisheye, not a rectilinear lens. You have to defish and crop a lot off the corners. Been there, done that. I like mine a lot, but it’s just no replacement for a rectilinear lens.

            • Olympus1974

              The article is about a fisheye but if you want an inexpensive, compact, UWA, rectilinear prime lens then you will have to bend a little. The Kowa you mention is a good choice for under $1000. There are many other lenses that will fit some of your criteria. Personally, if I’m going UWA the fisheye look suits me, otherwise I use the excellent m.zuiko 12mm.

              • miburo

                You’re comparing a manual 7.5mm 3.5 lens to a
                Autofocus / weather sealed, 7-14 zoom range, non fish 2.8 lens?

                Who is to say that Olympus isn’t releasing cheaper or other primes after. I’m really happen they’ve covered the zoom trinity with high quality weather sealed lenses

                Even if you are looking at the 8mm it’s a 1.8! i mean there is a world of difference between 3.5 and 1.8. You could also easily say if it was that easy to make a 8mm 1.8 then why didn’t samyang do it?

                • Olympus1974

                  What? I’m not comparing anything. All I’m saying is that there are many choices in UWA lenses depending on what the buyer wants. Every choice involves tradeoffs. Fortunately there are many choices with MFT.

              • FM

                What we are talking about here is not the fisheye but the UWA rectilinear.

                “There are many other lenses that will fit some of your criteria.”

                Well, “some”… None are fast and rectilinear ultra-wide-angle at the same time. I have
                to resort to using the fisheye de-fished, but the edges are distorted
                and soft, unless I crop a lot. I sometimes do starscapes, star-lapse photography. I’ve also used the 12 in the arctic for aurora time-lapses, and I was frequently wishing it’d go wider.

                • Olympus1974

                  The Rokinon 10mm F2.8 is rectilinear and comes in a MFT mount although I have not tried it. If no native lenses suit you then the best bet is another mount with an adapter; many choices from Nikon, Canon, etc.

            • Juurikas

              You said UWA and rectilinear AND fisheye are both UWA. You whined and you got called out with a option and you moved goal posts as you noticed your argument didn’t hold water.

              • FM

                Troll moar… You know perfectly well that we are talking about rectilinear lenses. If not, then there are some issues with your reading comprehension.

            • AMVR
        • Tron

          Gotta agree, a 9mm f2.8 prime @ $300-$400 would make a lot more sense. Smaller, faster and sharper than the overpriced 9-18mm which rarely gets used beyond 11mm anyway.

          • speltrong

            What would make sense to me is the the announced 7-14 AND a cheap 9mm f2.8 prime AND an expensive, fast high quality 7, 8 or 9mm prime, and, and, and… options for everyone :)

        • Samyang lenses for aps-c and m43 systems are “universal”, only the mount changes. This alone let them keep the price lower.
          I would not enter the premium feeling of handling these lenses.
          I already know this zoom will cost more than 1000 euros, I’ve been told around 1300, but I hope it will be a little bit lower.
          I know it’s too much for many people, but the fact that there are cheaper alternatives around does not make it mandatory to have only cheap lenses.
          Developping a brand new lens is costly, and obviously Companies need to gain money.
          M43 system has really improved, and in good hands it can rival other bigger sensor cameras.
          I have never smiled taking pictures with a DSLR. Nor with a Sony A7. Or a smartphone. I did it with a Leica M.
          I did it with a Polaroid, I did it with my m43 cameras: what I wanted to say is that also the experience of using gear means a lot.

          • FM

            “I know it’s too much for many people, but the fact that there are
            cheaper alternatives around does not make it mandatory to have only
            cheap lenses.”

            You talk as if there were cheaper alternatives. Show me a single native mirrorless lens that’s wider than 10.5 mm and faster than f4, and is not a cine lens priced in kidney-equivalents like the new Kowa. That’s exactly my problem with m43: in 6-7 years, there’s not a single UWA prime at a reasonable price. Especially more painful since the cheap and excellent Samyang 12 f2 is available for E- and X-mount. I know a couple of other former m43 shooters who left the system exactly because of this.

            • As I wrote above as reply to Flavio, a 7mm lens is a 7mm lens. On m43 it “looks” as a 14mm on a FF because of the crop sensor. I could ask you: find me a cheap 7mm on FF.
              The advantage of the cropped sensor is that it can keep lenses smaller. And tele zooms are easier to do (compare the upcoming 300mm to a FF 600mm).

              No system is perfect, for several (and personal too) reasons, but dumping a system because there’s an excellent Samyang 12mm f2 somewhere else, seems exagerated. If I was looking for that kind of product and photography I would have looked for it immediately and never bought an m43 camera hoping for a good, cheap, fast future lens.

              People are never happy. And the simple fact that photography has become a medium available to everyone seems a good reason to ask (as usually) for the best product at the lower price.

              I ask myself if I can make good use of new gear, if it can be worthy and help me. If the answer is positive, then I start saving to buy it, or buy something similar but different. No need to complain or point my finger to a system that’s different to Aps-c, full frame or medium format systems.

              • FM

                “As I wrote above as reply to Flavio, a 7mm lens is a 7mm lens. On m43 it
                “looks” as a 14mm on a FF because of the crop sensor. I could ask you:
                find me a cheap 7mm on FF.”

                Your reasoning is skewed and I’m sure you know it. It’s not just focal length, it’s also field of view, image circle and other parameters. If they designed 9-18 and 7-14 zooms before, what’s stopping them from making a much simpler 9 f2.8 prime?
                It’s as if they were running on a maraton, and just before crossing the finish line, they just stop and wait for everyone to pass. And when you say “just cross the finish line dammit”, they just turn around and moon you.

                “No system is perfect, for several (and personal too) reasons, but
                dumping a system because there’s an excellent Samyang 12mm f2 somewhere else, seems exagerated.”

                I’m not dumping the system. I’ve had it before the Samyang came out, and have been hoping for a long time to have an equivalent field of view in this system. It looks like this system does not want to give it, so for UWAs, I’d have to keep a second system, (unless I fork out €1300-1500 for this one lens). Wouldn’t you find this annoying?

                • My reasoning is not skewed: it’s not that easy to build a good wide angle lens, that’s a fact. And many people seem to think the contrary.
                  I know there are older version of the same wide angle lens, but honestly I would not even try a new, cheaper version with low quality IQ. If you were in Olympus, would you try again to sell a lens let’s say like the old 17mm f2.8? How do you think the internet reviewers would treat it? Remember what happened with the more recent f1.8 17mm: thumb down in the first reviews made it a “crappy” lens, but it’s still miles ahead of the old pancake (and its price reflects its premium building, and AF is blazing).
                  Really, today everyone pretends the higher quality at the cheapest price, if not for free, and that’s absurd.
                  Also, I don’t think that an “average” lens is something that would turn heads in its direction.

                  I personally would invest in a great lens, just to show what IQ we can have.
                  Then, if there’s such a big need/request of cheaper UWA lenses, Olympus could offer a more cheap sibling (though I doubt it).
                  In my opinion, those who don’t want to spend that much on this new Pro lens can buy the Panasonic 7-14mm, me I’m going to sell it, or will stick with the 12-42mm zooms or with the great 12mm f2.
                  1500 euros is a kick, for a lens, but if I think about how many times I had to put my Panasonic away because I could not control its purple flares, I would probably still seriously keep it into consideration.

                • AMVR
                  • FM

                    Man, would you please start thinking and reading? A 12 mm lens has an equivalent focal length as an 18 mm on APS-C, but just 24 mm on m4/3s. A completely different field of view. To match it, you’d need a 9 mm on m4/3. I’ve written that at least half a dozen times. Eqv. 24 mm is not even considered ultra-wide. Posting this 3 times won’t make it any less irrelevant.

            • juurikas

              “Show me a single native mirrorless lens that’s wider than 10.5 mm and faster than f4, and is not a cine lens priced in kidney-equivalents like the new Kowa.”

              1) native
              2) designed for mirrorless
              3) wider than 10.5mm
              4) faster than f/4
              5) not a cinema lens
              6) doesn’t cost a kidney

              Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 for 229€

              Hah, do you want that I show you a picture of it as you have not heard about it?

          • Otto Rascon

            Marco, you are absolutely right. I miss shooting with my GH3. I now have a Sony A7ii and really don’t enjoy that camera much. The Panasonic cameras and I click and its a joy using them. That’s something that review sites hardly ever mention. Thanks.

            • DouglasGottlieb

              I’m curious to hear more about what you feel is missing from the Sony A7ii in terms of user experience. I’m considering one with a Loxia lens, thinking it should be stellar IQ and great, old school user experience, what with the Loxia’s manual everything operation and tiny, Leica-esque size.

              • Otto Rascon

                Douglas. If you are entending to use the A7ii with Loxia manual lenses then you’ll love it. I’m using it with the Sony 35mm f/2.8 lens and its slow to focus. I just really enjoyed the super fast AF of the Panasonic’s. I’ll trade you if you have a GH4 :)

                • DouglasGottlieb

                  I’ll likely not part ways with M43 for the foreseeable future owing to the great glass, ultra portability and amazing autofocus. :) I don’t yet own a GH4 but likely will own more Panny gear in the future. I love my EM1 for its speed. The Sony is something I’m considering as a second, and secondary system, for slowing down. I’d hear great things about the 55mm and very good things about the 35mm, but these Loxias have great appeal. But I’m basically waiting for a portrait lens, since the A7 sounds a bit loud for street and discreet shooting.

                • Thinkinginpictures

                  Which is why I haven’t bought the A7II. I have the A7 and the EP5. I have ZERO Sony glass outside of A mount Zeiss primes and a few minoltas. If only I could get an olympus body with A7 sensor performance. Maybe A9 will come soon.

                  • Otto Rascon

                    My dream camera is a GH4 body with a Nikon D750 sensor ;)

        • miburo

          there is a huge difference between 14mm and 18mm

        • Sakaphoto Graphics

          You’re talking about a lens that isn’t designed for any specific equipment, and that doesn’t have any electronic connections because the mount is just added to the lens. Why shouldn’t it be cheap?

          Olympus and Panasonic are dedicated to making format-specific lenses and for high image quality, that will cost more.

          You want high image quality in a segment for which it is difficult to design and you want it cheap. It isn’t really possible, unless the companies are willing to lose money.

          • FM

            It’s not the electric connections that make it expensive or cheap…
            I don’t care if it doesn’t have AF – it doesn’t matter as much at the UWA end, the 7.5 fisheye is also fine without.
            If they were able to design 9-18 and 7-14 zooms, then what’s the obstacle to a much simpler prime? The 9-18 is not even expensive either (though considering the image quality at the longer end, it’s price-performance ratio is not great either, and unfortunately it’s just too slow for night photography), if they had a 9 f2.8 slightly under that price, I’d take it.
            Samyang are making some excellent MF primes for quite cheap – and I doubt they are losing money.

            • Sakaphoto Graphics

              You seem to imply that research and development has no cost and doesn’t contribute to the price of products. That’s interesting.

              The 9-18mm and 7-14mm zoom lenses are merely re-designs from their Four-Thirds equipment.

    • tripper

      There’s a huge difference beetween “I’m sure” and “it’s a fact”. Seeing how 12-40 costs 1000 EUR and 40-150 costs 1400 EUR, I doubt that 7-14 will be more than 1500, or even 2000 as you assume.

      So maybe let’s wait and see, before discarding those lenses based on unannounced price, hmm?

      But in general, I share your sentiment on pricing in MFT world. It’s pretty off-putting. I wanted to get a 25mm for quite some time, to get rid of the kit zoom and do some shooting exclusively at “standard” focal length. But I ended up buying a whole new camera (Sigma DP2 Merrill) just for that. It cost me roughly the same as Oly 25/1.8 and a lens hood. I haven’t been using my E-M10 for almost a month now.

  • Hibernator

    Wow, the size and speed difference in this picture really makes an excellent point why mirrorless will eventually kill dslr:

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-0HldjbYYl4Y/VQNpaSRdVmI/AAAAAAAAFsY/Ld8fEpT0D9I/s1600/P3130868.JPG

    Admin, anything on the 300 f4?

  • leo

    It must be cheap or it won’t sell, very little glass compared to 35mm sensor so if it costs in the 1000$ or 1000 Euro range then it’s dead, to me at least.
    Right now, a speedbooster and a cheap tokina 11-16mm gives you 16-22mm focal range on a m43 at constant f 2.0, focus is the least of problems being so wide.

    • MGuarini

      I’m sorry leo, I guess it would be dead for you and also for me. It´ll be over US$ or Euro 1000. It is a very complex lens, with lot of sophisticated glass types and glass forms.

    • Flavio

      Camera lenses don’t sell by the pound…there is more than materials quantity to the price! I hear UWAs are complicated to design for smaller sensors (don’t ask me why though)…this must have a bearing on R&D costs, as well as very high image quality, which Olympus and Panasonic are achieving time and again with their non-kit lenses.

      • Because a 7mm lens is a 7mm, and acts as a 14mm on FF because of the crop factor of the smaller sensor. That’s why it’s more difficult to build an ultra wide on crop sensor systems.
        And still there are those asking for a 299$ 7mm f1.8 pancake. :)

        • Jono

          I wonder if Oly ZD also employed any exotic glass to maintain a sharp F/2.8 max aperture.

      • juurikas

        12-40mm f2.8 Pro is KIT LENS for Olympus.

        Kit lens doesn’t mean a bad quality, and non-kit can be high quality too!

    • speltrong

      Cheapest speed booster I could find was $400 new, and the tokina is $480. So that gives you a massive rig (defeating one of the important aspects of m4/3 in my eyes) for $880 that only goes to 16FF instead of 14FF (every mm counts down at this end + who knows what the actual angle of view will be after all that juryrigging). I’m also very skeptical that the IQ will match the native lens – when I rented the tokina for my D90 back in the day, I wasn’t super impressed with the image or build quality, and that was before adding extra distance and glass between the lens and the sensor with an adapter.

  • Robbie

    Reinhard Wagner seems to be someone trustworthy in his assessment…saving up now

  • Dario

    No filters. Sigh!

    • ED

      I think the trend now is to place the filters before the lenses. There was a post about it a while back:)

      • juurikas

        You mean those adapters for third party lenses?
        Not possible with native ones, unless using a gel sheets clued at rear.

        • speltrong

          I hear Sharpie works too

      • Dario

        I use ND filters. For me it would be ideal lenses better than 9-18 who can mount the filters

  • tripper

    Anyone knows if those lenses allow for rear mounted filters? That’d be nice.

  • fandilatiffsg

    release date and price.

  • JohnH

    For me the usefulness of these lenses has a lot to do with how they handle ghosting & flare when the sun is in the frame (or other bright light sources) – so far I’ve not been impressed with m43 wides in their ghosting/flare characteristics. These could be great lenses for carrying around the mountains on an EM1.

    • juurikas

      12mm is awesome against flare and ghosting, 12-40 Pro basically superb compared anything, 7.5mm samyang… Best UWA you can get for any system…

      So stop joking.

  • Robin

    Both lenses leave you with a smile on your face and left you in debt.

    • BdV

      Then i guess the debt is still worth it.

  • Thinkinginpictures

    Price on the 7-14 please.

  • Jono

    It seems like there is no filter turret on either the 8/1.8 or 7-14/2.8 PRO lenses. That’s a slight disappointment. It would have been nice to have a circular polarizer, a strong UV, and two strengths of ND filters included in a turret. These filters are very hard or flat out impossible to emulate in software.

    I am very pleased with the minimum focusing distance (MFD) of the 7-14/2.8 zoom. This will allow great close-up & macro UWA photos.

    The F/1.8 max aperture for the fisheye bodes well for Olympus’ plan to release fast primes. If the patents for the 12/1.0 and 14/1.0 medium WA duo come to fruition, they can produce a 20/1.0 and 25/1.0 subnormal/normal duo even more easily. In fact they can possibly go even faster with a subnormal/normal lenses.

    • Dario

      I agree. I hope filters manufactures make an adapter for these lenses m4/3. LEE for example

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