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.