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Olympus ZUIKO lens review
Dennis Hissink : May 26th 2010 - 10:00 CET
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OlympusOlympus ZUIKO 9-18mm wide angle lens review : The great thing about Micro Four Thirds System lenses is that the dimensions can be made so impressively compact. Just take the new Olympus m. ZUIKO Digital ED 9-18mm f/4-5.6 wide angle lens. In combination with one of the PEN cameras, this is an ideal lens for making shots in the middle of the action, or to capture dramatic landscapes. The Olympus 9-18mm zoom lens is a lens that you would like to have with you as a photographer. There is some competition in the form of the Panasonic 7-14mm f/4.0, but the difference in format is clear. The focusing of the Olympus ZUIKO ED 9-18mm f/4-5.6 lens happens internally and is experienced as fast.

Olympus Zuiko lens review

Olympus ZUIKO lens review
The Olympus ED 9-18 mm lens (35mm equivalent focal length: 18-36mm) forms a nice addition to the standard lenses that are often used. The very compact wide angle zoom lens weighs only 155 grams and has, thanks to a handy extendable mechanism, a total length of only 49.5 mm. There is a clear decrease in volume and weight in comparison with the existing Olympus wide angle zoom lenses. The volume has decreased by approximately 50% and the weight by 40%: that’s quite an achievement.

Olympus Zuiko micro four thirds lens

Olympus ZUIKO Micro Four Thirds lens
This Micro Four Thirds lens is optimized for video recordings, so that you hardly record any focusing noise. That’s a big difference with the lenses that are not optimized. The focus distance of the Olympus m. ZUIKO Digital ED 9-18mm is 15 centimeters, which is ideal for shooting dramatic close-ups. The zoom lens has 12 elements in 8 groups, of which 3 are aspherical elements and 1 ED lens with which chromatic aberration should be kept under control, among other things.

Wide angle lens

Olympus ZUIKO wide angle lens
The construction of the Olympus 9-18mm lens was made so that when you want to take pictures, the lens is first extended completely. The compact dimensions are then definitely less, but it still remains a compact lens for photography. Zooming is pleasant and smooth enough, manual focusing with the manual focus ring is also pleasant in practice. The lens mount is made of metal, but the remaining material is synthetic. That, of course, is part of what makes the combination so lightweight.

Olympus lens reviews

Olympus ZUIKO technical test
The technical test of the Olympus m. ZUIKO Digital ED 9-18mm f/4-5.6 is carried out in the DIWA Lab run by Kai Thon. A part, on which the lens is tested, is distortion. The camera does correct the basics with software in the camera, which the photographer does not notice. Still, distortion is clearly present in wide angle; but it is not that bothersome and fair for such a wide angle zoom lens. When we zoom in to ‘tele’ 14mm, we clearly see the distortion decrease.

Lens review

Olympus 9-18mm lens review
What the Olympus 9-18mm ZUIKO lens is clearly affected by is chromatic aberration. Throughout the range of focus, the corners of the images are clearly affected by this phenomenon. Especially the middle focal point is quite affected by chromatic aberration, which is a disappointment, and some images may require further adjustments with photo editing software. The image sharpness is excellent to good at f/4 to f/11; especially the centre sharpness is fine. The wide angle is affected a bit by vignetting, but this is hardly a problem in practice. In general f/8 is most optimal as a ‘working aperture’.

Olympus Zuiko review

Olympus ZUIKO Digital ED 9-18mm f/4-5.6 test photos
The Olympus m. ZUIKO Digital ED 9-18mm f/4-5.6 test photos are taken in the centre of Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. The Olympus 9-18mm lens test pictures in this article have been reduced to enable correct reproduction and compressed to ensure a faster loading time. To download the original Olympus test photos, simply click on the link below the photos. Enjoy the Olympus 9-18mm ZUIKO lens photo gallery!

Olympus lens review

Olympus lens review
The Olympus m. ZUIKO digital 9-18m test results are certainly satisfactory. There are some points of criticism, for example the chromatic aberration, but in general the quality in combination with the very compact format of the lens, leaves a good impression. This is a typical lens for photographers and the prize example of the characteristics for which you actually chose a Micro Four Thirds System camera.

Olympus Zuiko test photos

Download original : Olympus Zuiko test photo (Warning: 6.32MB)

Olympus Zuiko photos

Download original : Olympus Zuiko photo (Warning: 6.21MB)

Olympus Zuiko test pictures

Download original : Olympus Zuiko test picture (Warning: 5.91MB)

Olympus Zuiko pictures

Download original : Olympus Zuiko picture (Warning: 5.83MB)

Olympus lens photos

Download original : Olympus lens photo (Warning: 6.01MB)

Olympus lens pictures

Download original : Olympus lens picture (Warning: 5.99MB)
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