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Which wide angle lens to get first?

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I shot 43rds for years but have recently moved to micro43. Currently I have the Oly EM1, 12-50 lens and Nauticam housing. I would like your opinion on which wide setup to go with first. The 8mm Panasonic or the 7-14 Panasonic. I know they use different domes, which surprises me, sine I used the 170mm dome for both lens with my 43rd setup. I will eventually acquire both lens but not now. I will be shooting in Fiji at the end of the month. All opinions welcomed.

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Not a really simple answer. 9-18 can work in a smaller port if size is important. Some people have reported good results using the 9-18 in a 4" port with a +2 closeup lens. 7-14 is obviously wider and is a superior lens overall but requires a larger dome port and due to its extreme aov, corner softness can be an issue for some folks depending on tastes and subject matter. You may already be using the 4" port for the 12-50, and if so the 9-18 would work in that same port, but also has a lot of overlap with the lens you have now.

 

As I understand it, the 9-18 also works in the Zen 170 domes, but I have never seen any results or heard any discussion of the 9-18 in the larger dome, so I have no idea of how well that works.

 

Oly will be coming out with their own 7-14 sometime within the next year, and it will be a faster lens. Both it and the current Panasonic offering are expensive lenses. Perhaps go with the 9-18 for now and then sort out the 7-14 later? Some of this depends on your goals and expectations. 7-14 is not great for cfwa, in my experience. I have not actually used my 9-18 underwater yet.

 

If you search here and older posts in the dslr forum you can find some threads discussing these lenses. Bottom line is that either option can produce very nice results and the decision may be largely impacted by economics and any issues with packing restrictions/port size.

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Thanks for the quick reply. I completely forgot about the 9-18 lens. I am using the 60mm port with the 12-50. Alex and have shown that this port works with 12-50 and 60 macro. I would like to keep the number of ports to a minimum for travel reasons. I am leaning towards the 8 mm because of port size, economics and cfwa at this time. I loved shooting with my 7-14 43rd lens but is was beast to travel with. The Panasonic 7-14 is a third the size and cost I handle. The Oly 7-14 is rumored to cost 1799.00. That's a lot for one extra stop of light. Thanks again for your response. One more thing. Can a more technically minded person why the Panasonic 8 and 7-14 can't use the same 170 mm dome. I did this with the 43rd rig I had by just adding an extension for the 7-14. I got sharp corners with this lens.

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Is it because the 170mm isn't a complete 'half' of a sphere and only a subsection of it, so the 180' view of the 8mm will vignette? Just guessing..!

 

I had an E-1 and the 7-14mm - loved it.

Edited by thetrickster

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I shoot both lenses the 8mm fisheye with a ZEN 100mm dome and the 7-14 with the ZEN 170mm dome port. The 100mm port is excellent for CFWA shooting as the lens will focus all the way to the glass. Same with Nauticam 4.33 dome. I also shot both Olympus 8 & 7-14 when I used the 4/3 DSLR cameras.

 

If you need a wide angle for a trip in one month I would go for the 8mm fisheye for one reason, Olympus will be releasing a new 7-14 F/2.8 M43 lens in the next few months. This lens will be a "PRO" level lens like the stellar 12-40 zoom and will have excellent weather sealing. I would be waiting to see some reviews on the coming lens and go with the 8mm for the time if you intend to get both anyway.

 

I lean more towards the 7-14 but find myself using the 8mm more and more for my work.

 

Image from Olympus press information.

post-2618-0-85598500-1401457771_thumb.png

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You know, I actually misread your post, and read 9-18 instead of 8mm. That's what I get for reading things at 2am. Some people really don't like fisheye perspective lenses. Given that you were considering the 8mm, are interested in cfwa and would get one eventually anyway, I would echo what others said and go with the 8mm. It is a small lens and the port is small, so space issues should not be a big deal.

 

I enjoy using the 8mm, either in the Nauticam port or a glass dome.

 

I have heard that 1799 price, but would guess the new 7-14 will probably have a list price in dollars around 1500-1600 and will be available for 1300-1400, although that make take a few months. Still not a cheap lens, and hopefully it will cost less. I think an actual selling price around 1100-1200 would make most prospective buyers feel okay with the price, and it would then be a competitor to the Panasonic, which can be purchased for under 1000.

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When the Panasonic 7-14mm F/4 zoom was announced in March of 2009 the street price was $1200.00 for the Olympus 7-14 zoom, an F/2.8 weather sealed pro level lens to come in around $1400 to $1500 US sounds about on target. The Nikon 14 to 24mm F/2.8 zoom, a like AOV range is a $2000.00 lens.

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Personally I don't like fisheye lenses unless I was shooting big animals in open water.

I have the 7-14mm & have used it on my GH4 & love it.

Plenty wide & used behind the Nauticam 6inch dome it is a very compact wide angle option with very good results.

Cheers Pete.

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I use the 7-14 mm on my Panasonic GX1 (in a Nauticam housing) with the Nauticam 6" dome port. Very compact - works great!!!

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I have the 7-14 and the 8 mm.

 

I almost always use the 7-14.

 

Excellent lens.

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