February 01, 2016
I don't think there's a cheaper wide angle AF zoom lens available in any other system to date (don't quote me on this, I just haven't found one myself). That being said, this lens does the job of lenses 2 to 5 times its price (maybe even more), but it's far from perfect.
The major drawback to this lens is its atrocious CA issues. There were times where I couldn't fix an otherwise perfect image in post. I got a bit creative, though, and now I have half of my shots with this lens in BnW, just to avoid the frustrations of dealing with it.
I never use this lens beyond 12mm. In fact, if I could have a 9mm f4.0 prime lens, I would replace it in a heart beat. The collapsible feature is a nightmare when you catch yourself reaching for your camera to catch a fleeting moment just to realize you're lens needs to be expanded in order to turn on the darn camera.
This lens is also not the sharpest in my collection, not even close. It sharpens up a hair when stepped down a stop, but not much.
As much bad as I have to say about this lens, though, it's still a huge value compared to what's out there. I can't shoot at a 18mm FOV for cheaper and this lens doesn't do a "bad" job per se, just not perfect.
Funny thing is, all of my favorite shots are with this lens. Not my long tele, my kit lens, my $500 prime, or any of my other prime jewels... nope. This lens has produced all of my personal best!
January 31, 2016
I have had many lenses over the past 30 years - mostly Nikon - from fast single focal length to large and heavy tele zooms. This is one of my favorites for many reasons. Very compact, very quiet focusing and very fast focusing (except in low light.) Of course it has a little trouble in low light and that should not be a surprise. In normal to bright conditions, this lens can't be better. It is very sharp, even wide open, and any distortion is handled via in-camera and desktop Olympus editing software.
Highly recommended if you don't need a very fast lens.
October 30, 2015
For 700 bucks I expected this little lens to last longer. Sure the images it produces look great, but even though I've treated it with respect it now fails to focus (neither auto nor manual) when zoomed in towards the 18mm range. Camera body gives a range of error messages, but requires a reboot of the camera or lens to restore operation. Apparently this is a known problem with the lens as there are a number of reports detailing this issue online.
September 24, 2015
Love this tiny little zoom lens. For anyone wanting to travel fast, light and compact this is a 18-36mm (equivalent) gem. Not fast at f4-5.6, but unlike so many other lenses it is sharp wide open and with the excellent Olympus in camera stabilization, it makes this lightweight lens more useful that it might first seem. Negatives might be a lack of a lens hood given the cost and having to extend and retract the lens is a bit slower than with a normal lens that doesn't have to be extended to be used. But the images are crisp and contrasty and very useable for larger prints.
April 11, 2015
I'm into my second year of digital photography and I find myself more and more shooting landscapes as my primary form of photography. I needed something wide and compact. The M.Zuiko 9-18mm has fulfilled my desires of a lightweight and compact landscape lens to go with my OM-D systems. Of all the MFT lenses I own, the 9-18mm sits on my OM-D EM5 MKII 80% of the time as I want to capture what I see in the moment in front of me without the need to haul large lenses like other APSC or FF systems. If need be it acts as a 36mm equivalent focal length dialed at 18mm in a pinch to take a nice portrait without the need to swap lenses. It may not be a fast lens but discreet and light is my landscape game and this lens is not to be underestimated.
April 04, 2015
Unless you desperately need the extra 4mm equivalent of a 7-14 and must have the extra stop or two (I don't), this is a very fine WA zoom. Pricey? A bit. Some distortion at full wide? A bit, but, easily corrected in post. It's light and small and the collapsing mechanism in ingenious. Unless you need the extra width or faster stops and want to spend lots of bucks and get a much bigger, heavier lens, this is the one.
April 14, 2014
I had the 7-14 mm f4 lens but I found it to be too large and unwieldy to use. I also found the optical quality at 7 to 9mm to not meet my standards. Although the widest setting is not quite that of the 7-14mm f4 I find that it meets all my needs and the optical quality on the 9-18mm to be superior to that of 7-14mm f4. A great lens.
March 14, 2014
I don't like zooms. In fact, this is the only zoom I actually own for any of my camera systems. I bought it because of the focal length and was won over by it's performance. It isn't cheap, but the range it covers means you won't be taking it off your camera very often. It's so useful I think it's a crime not to own it. Wide angles are hard enough to find interesting subject matter on both sides of the frame while keeping "clutter" out of your composition. With this lens, the zoom function is extremely helpful in this regard.
I've always jumped for the long stuff first. I would suggest to anyone going into m43rds to make this your second choice behind the 45mm 1.8. Maybe even your first choice. 18-36 is so extremely usable you shouldn't be without it. This lens is also sharpest where it counts- at the wider angle. Everytime I vacation or go sight seeing this is the one that gets the most use.
Downsides would be some corner softness and fairly pronounced distortion. But, this is to be expected for a wide angle. Have yet to own one that doesn't have some type of distortion. IQ on this lens really is stellar overall. I use it all the time and I highly suggest considering it. Build quality is very good as well. Buy it!
February 17, 2014
I was lusting after the Panasonic 7-14mm f4 zoom, but it was just a little too much money. I wasn't sure I would use a wide angle that much.. I needn't have been concerned. I've been very pleased with this lens. The 18-36 mm full frame equivalent zoom range is much more useful than I expected, especially indoors. I'm almost always at the 9mm end of the zoom. It lets you take images that include everything, without any obvious distortion. It's size lets you use it more often than the larger Panasonic and it takes filters on the front and a simple lens cap. I haven't found the smaller max aperture to be any significant limitation. I can't see why anyone with an E-M5 or E-M1 would bother having with another lens in the same focal range. I have the 17mm f1.8 but I hardly ever use it in comparison. You just have to move around too much trying to get the right view. This lens is still fairly expensive. That's the only reason for four stars instead of five.
October 31, 2013
I tried the 45mm prime and was hooked.
I had most of the zooms and sold them all - except this one.
The image quality was good enough that this lens was spared a listing on Craigslist!
There is no prime this wide (9mm) so this is the only choice, and it is a good one.
March 03, 2013
I have had this lens for a month now, and used it with an EM-5. My results have been great. Images come out sharp and contrasty.
I like using the "Sepia" setting of the Art Filters in the EM-5, and shooting railroad scenes, getting close enough to get the dramatic perspective affects... results have been really stunning!
The price is a bit high, but the results obtained with this lens makes it well worth the cost. Colors come out rich and pure when shooting in normal modes, and (as other people have stated) the lens is light weight, compact, and easy to use.
I am happy I got this lens, and I recommend it to anyone shooting the Pen or OMD EM-5 Cameras.
June 11, 2012
I did side-by-side with the another MFT lens and found the other one to be fractionally sharper, but stayed with this lens as the difference was not sufficient enough in regular use. Size is the killer app here. I read so many reviews of people with larger DSLR's who missed shots because they didn't carry the camera. Not an issue here.
I so love this lens it's opened up new angles (literally!) of shooting. It's tiny, size of baby food jar. Frankly it's far better than it has a right to be considering the size, the laws of physics and the quality. I shoot at ISO 1600 and 3200 and with the lens, yes grain is there, but the super-wide lessens the apparent appearance.
I'm now looking for a second body becasue I always want to have this lens mounted. I use it too much.
Modern software can straighten the curves with ease in super wide mode.
February 17, 2012
I'm too old to lug a 6x17 to the top of a mountain anymore. But I still want to capture the wide mountain vistas. This lens provides that in a light and compact package.
With power comes responsibility, distortion is present and must be managed. Careless shots may well look ridiculous.
January 08, 2012
I have evolved through all of the Pen cameras starting with the EP-1 to the EP-3 (my favorite to date). I am a contractor often working in confined spaces and this lens does a wonderful job...in fact my web designer wondered where I got such beautiful photos. The wide angle doesn't distort to the point of changing the photo (I know in some cases, this is desirable). Pictures are sharp, colors are great and I am able to show off my work better than anyone else.
June 28, 2011
I purchased this lens to be paired with my e-P1 for mostly landscape and architectural photography and couldn't be happier. For an ultra-wide angle zoom the body of the lens in incredibly compact, especially when retracted. It feels so natural on the PEN system and offers wonderful capability for the price.
Granted, the lens is not super sharp in low light situations but it manages distortion well and can help create some breathtaking photographs. Would definitely make this purchase again.