Olympus M. Zuiko 7-14mm F/2.8 Pro Lens Review 2019

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The Olympus M. Zuiko 7-14mm F/2.8 Pro Lens was released in the summer of 2015. This ultra-wide-angled lens features a rugged, weather-sealed, metal body with a sophisticated optical construction designed for all types of professional photography.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm F2.8 PRO Lens, for Micro Four Thirds Cameras
  • 7-14Mm (14-28mm 35mm equivalent) lens with splash and dustproof construction. Angle of view 114° - 75°
  • Closest focusing distance at just under 7. 5cm, maximum image magnification: 0. 12x, focal length: 7-14 mm
  • Manual focus Clutch Mechanism and l-fan button for assignable functions
  • 3 Super ED Lens elements, 1 ED Lens element, and 2 elements to diminish aberrations
  • 60%Of the weight of 35mm full frame lens (with same angle of view and max. Aperture)

Olympus M. Zuiko 7-14mm F/2.8 Pro – Intro

Every photographer deserves a high-quality zoom lens, and for Micro Four Thirds shooters there are arguably no better options than the Olympus Pro lenses.

The Olympus M. Zuiko 7-14mm F/2.8 Pro Lens is a notable example of what a good lens can do. Officially launched in the summer of 2015, it took the company more than one year to produce this masterpiece.

And from the look of things, the end justifies the means, considering that the 7-14mm F/2.8 is widely acclaimed by pro photographers around the world, thanks to its exquisite features. This ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for Micro Four Thirds system offers an equivalent full-frame focal length range of 14-28mm.

Moreover, the lens boasts of a high-quality metal construction, full weatherproofing, and a pullback manual focus ring just like the other lenses in the Olympus Pro series.

Another major highlight is that the Olympus 7-14mm Pro is the widest rectilinear lens in its class that offers a constant f/2.8 aperture.

Considering this, you should expect to capture sharper, better images using the M. Zuiko 7-14mm even in poor lighting.

Who is This Lens For?

The Olympus M. Zuiko 7-14mm F/2.8 Pro Lens is ideal for photographers with Micro Four Thirds sensor cameras. As you might be aware, Micro Four Thirds cameras offer an alternative, from the regular full-frame or APS-C sensor cameras. These mirrorless cameras have a smaller body and sensor, hence the need for a compatible (and often smaller) lens like the Olympus 7-14mm.

The Olympus M. Zuiko 7-14mm is an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens that focuses on quality and exceptional performance, making it the perfect choice for advanced and professional Micro Four Thirds photographers.

Given that the lens offers a wider angle of view of up to 115 degrees, with a constant aperture of f/2.8, you can use it for a wide range of outdoor photography including wildlife, nature and landscape photography.

You can also use it for real estate photography, particularly when shooting dark basements, considering that the 7-14mm is a much faster lens capable of shooting at double the shutter speed of conventional lenses under low lighting conditions.

Even though the Olympus 7-14 pro is a lens intended for serious photographers, it is very easy to use, even for those who are still learning the ropes as far as professional photography is concerned. I owned it and I use it in conjunction with the amazing Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II camera to take full advantage of what this lens has to offer.

Build Quality and Handling

Just like the other Olympus Pro lenses, the Olympus 7-14mm pro continues with the company’s tradition of innovativeness, as the lens features a smart, all-black, all-metal construction that is weather sealed. As if that is not enough, the lens is dustproof, splash-proof, and freeze-proof. It also features 11 hermetic seals in multiple locations, for the ultimate protection against changing weather conditions.

Interestingly, one would assume that the metal construction makes the lens somewhat bulky. However, nothing could be further from the truth. The 7-14mm pro lens weighs 534g only, which is way below what other similar Micro Four Thirds lenses weigh.

In terms of handling, the Olympus 7-14mm pro has an outstanding feel in hand, despite the fact that the fixed lens hood and the front element are comparatively longer than other MFT wide lenses.

The lens somehow manages to remain compact and lightweight, consequently delivering the perfect balance for Micro Four Thirds cameras such as the Olympus E-M1 Mark II or the Panasonic GH5.

Olympus 7-14mm Performance

The performance of the Olympus 7-14mm Pro is in a class above the rest in terms of sharpness, chromatic aberration, vignetting, distortion, and overall image quality.

With a wide-angle zoom and a bright f/2.8 aperture, this lens does not disappoint when it comes to producing sharp images. Moreover, the central sharpness of the lens from 7mm to 10mm remains sharper than expected but falls off a little bit at 14mm wide open. Additionally, the corners become noticeably soft the wider you zoom, but you can improve corner sharpness by simply stopping down at the f/5.6 mark.

When it comes to controlling chromatic aberration, the Olympus 7-14mm does an equally decent job by reducing the purple/green fringes along the high contrast edges of your images. The chromatic aberration is only noticeable at wider focal lengths, specifically appearing in the corners of the image, while the center remains CA-free at all focal lengths.

In terms of shading or vignetting, the Olympus 7-14mm tends to form shades towards the periphery of the test images, given that the lens has a very wide aperture with the most vignetting appearing at the 7mm focal length. However, the good news is that shading even at the widest focal length is negligible. Moreover, you can eliminate the vignetting by stopping down at f/4.

Another impressive feature about the Olympus 7-14mm pro is its geometric distortion control. Even though the lens has an ultra-wide design, it is still capable of controlling the amount of distortion across all focal lengths. There is mild barrel distortion at 7mm, but you will notice a smooth decline as you zoom out to 14mm.

Considering the exceptional sharpness, minimal chromatic aberration, and unnoticeable distortion, it is not surprising that the Olympus 7-14mm Pro lens delivers extremely sharp, high-quality images at all focal lengths.

Autofocus

The Olympus 7-14mm takes less than a second to move from minimum to infinity focus. In any case, auto-focusing is not usually a big challenge for ultra-wide lenses, and the 7-14mm is one of the widest in its class.

The lens features the Olympus MSC (Movie and Still Compatible) technology, which is an advanced inner focusing system that provides for fast, smooth, silent, and precise auto-focusing.

With this mechanism, you will never miss a shot thanks to the fast focusing speed. The fact that the focus is extremely quiet means that your video recordings will not have noises in the background.

Bokeh

If you are a professional photographer, then you have probably heard the term “bokeh” in the line of duty. Well, bokeh is the art of making your shots and photos more visually appealing, by adding blur in the images. Essentially, it refers to the out of focus area’ of a photo.

We all love bokeh, and incorporating this concept in your photos can be a huge advantage in street and landscape photography. The good news is that despite being an ultra-wide-angle lens the Olympus 7-14mm pro lens is capable of producing a pleasant bokeh.

The lens features a wide aperture with seven round diaphragm, for smooth bokeh quality. You may initially find it hard getting fine bokeh consistently, but with constant practice, it would be just a matter of time before you get a grip on how to produce nice blurred backgrounds.

The L-Fn Button

The L-Fn button or the function button is a customizable knob found close to the lens mount, on nearly all Olympus cameras.

The button allows you to quickly access useful settings not necessarily related to the lens such as One-Touch White Balance, AF-stop, RAW, MF, Preview, and focus peaking. The button is conveniently located on the lens, and it is easily reachable by your thumb.

The Olympus M. Zuiko 7-14mm F/2.8 Pro Lens for Landscape Photography

Wide-angle lenses like the Olympus 7-14mm pro are the preferred choice for landscape photography. This is mainly because they offer a broader view.

The fact that the Olympus 7-14mm allows for faster shutter speeds with a constant f/2.8 aperture means that this lens is the perfect choice for landscape photography.

Price

The 7-14mm comes with very fast autofocus, ideal for producing sharper, high-quality images. The best part is that its linear distortion is negligible, and it has excellent control over chromatic aberration.

The only concern is that at $1,299 on Amazon this lens does not come cheaply. However, if you consider the benefits that the lens has to offer, it is safe to say that the Olympus 7-14mm F/2.8 is worth every dime.

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Conclusion

The Olympus M. Zuiko 7-14mm F/2.8 Pro is an excellent lens. It’s lightweight and very easy to use even by amateur photographers. It might not be the perfect choice for new starters, but it has a lot to offer in terms of build quality, handling, performance, and overall image quality.

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