The Olympus M.ZUIKO Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro lens has an equivalent focal length (EFL) of 14-28mm and is part of the Olympus Pro line. While I usually don’t prefer zooms I have decided that this one is a great compromise when I want to go super wide, but still be able to shoot a more normal wide angle like 28mm.
It’s a solid lens made of metal, with a rubber seal around the mount. Attached to a weatherproof body (like the new OM-D E-M1 MK II) it is weather tight.
It has super fast autofocus on the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 MK II camera but also has a manual focus clutch that allows you to instantly switch between AF and MF by pulling a ring toward the camera body. You can program a soft function key on the lens to set things like focus limit.
It’s not a small lens, but at f/2.8 nobody should expect it to be. I love the fact that it is a constant aperture zoom. Those are my favorite kind.
There is no image stabilization on this lens but being a super wide angle lens I don’t think it is necessary. The IBIS on the Olympus camera bodies will stabilize it.
Because of the large front element you can’t use screw on filters with this lens. It features a large, non-removable petal hood that is very good at reducing flare.
Things like vignetting and distortion are within expectations on a super wide lens and easily controlled in post. At f/5.6 most go away in camera.
While it’s not top of mind with me, I do know that many of you reading this will be concerned with the lens bokeh. In my limited testing I found the seven rounded aperture blades to offer a very nice (not busy) bokeh.
This lens is very sharp for a zoom. Stopped down to f/4 or smaller, it’s sharp throughout the range and offers tons of detail. Check out the sample image here. (And this is just a screen shot!) This is an image made at 10 mm focal length f/5.6 with INSANE detail and sharpness. Note the woman in the window near the bridge deck of the USS Midway. She is just a small portion of the image but very identifiable. And this is straight out of the camera RAW.
It’s not always practical to carry a bag full of prime lenses. When I want to work wide – in tight places, and need a little flexibility I will have no problem going with the Olympus 7-14 zoom. It’s super well built, focuses really quickly and delivers amazing image quality for the money.
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