Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm f/4-5.6 ED

Original version, now replaced

  • m4/3 lens format 
  • 12 elements in 8 groups; 2 DSA, 1 aspherical, 1 ED, and 1 HR elements
  • 62 to 100 degree angle of view
  • apertures from f/4 to f/22 at 9mm, 7-blade rounded diaphragm
  • no image stabilization
  • 10" (0.25m) minimum focus, autofocus, manual focus, internal focus; 1:10 maximum magnification
  • 52mm filter size, no hood included
  • 2.2" x 1.9" (56.5 x 49.5mm) long and diameter
  • 5.5 ounces (155g)
  • available in black
  • US$700 suggested retail price

Thom's Mini Review: Very usable wide angle zoom. I had high expectations for the Panasonic 45mm macro (above) and low expectations for the Olympus 9-18mm wide angle zoom. It's interesting how my opinion flopped in actual use. As it turns out, the 9-18mm spends a lot of time on my m4/3 bodies. The slow, variable aperture definitely makes this a bright light lens, but for us landscape and scenic photographers, that's not really a problem. Like the Olympus kit lens, this lens collapses when not in use, and it makes for a very compact carrying size, almost as small as the kit lens collapsed. Extended, the lens becomes a bit longer than you might expect from its collapsed size and modest focal range, but it still wouldn't qualify as a "big" lens to me. Optically, the lens is inferior to the Panasonic 7-14mm in the overlapping range at the widest apertures, though close to it once diffraction sets in at smaller apertures. At 14-18mm the 9-18mm is very close to the optical quality of the 14-42mm kit lens, which is a decent though not great performer. Most people will find the Olympus just fine. I personally like the extra width of the Panny, but I can also say that I shoot sometimes with the Oly since acquiring it, as the convenience of its collapsibility is nice. Focus is reasonably fast and precise. Panasonic body users should note that this lens does not have optical stabilization. Fair build quality. Does not come with hood (I found a screw-in metal hood that works perfectly at B&H, but there's no cap for the lens/hood combo, so you have to unscrew the hood to put the cap back on). Recommended (2013 to 2016)

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