View Full Version : Digital Lenses Zuiko Digital (Olympus) 7-14mm f4.0 Super High Grade - Ultra wide

09-27-2005, 12:58 AM
Focal length: 7-14mm
Construction: 18 Elements in 12 Groups
Angle of view: 114-75
Closest focusing distance: 9.75";
Max Img Magnification: .11
Max Aperture: f4
Min Aperture: f22
Filter size: None
Dimensions: 3.4 D x 4.7" L
Weight: 27.85 OZ.
Teleconverter EC-14: Yes
Extension Tube EX-25: No
Price: 1649.95 BH (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=cart&A=details&Q=&sku=358162&is=REG) (10-1-05)

Camera Labs (http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/OlympusE714mm/)

Olympus Web info here (http://www.olympusamerica.com/e1/sys_lens_714mm.asp)

09-27-2005, 12:59 AM
43photo Review:

Over all this is a extremly sharp lens, and has very little distortion, expecially when you consider that it is at 7mm.
CA is not to bad either for such a wide lens.
The quality of the lens is excellent.
Sample pictures to follow

Post edited by: tspore, at: 2005/09/30 16:05

09-27-2005, 12:59 AM
Other Reviews on the web:

User Reviews:
In our poll in which 16 people voted, they gave this lens an average of a 4.56 out of 5.
This is the widest Digital lens on the market. But beware if you aren\'t careful you will get some distortion. However, it isn\'t to bad.

09-30-2005, 03:07 PM
(More to follow)

10-21-2005, 10:44 AM
Pros: This is a ultra wide lens, It is very sharp, especially when you consider it is at 7mm!!!! It is very usable at F4. It doesn\'t have much distortion, if you are square to your subject. It is also waterproof, and built very well.

Cons: If you don\'t want to carry a large piece of glass, its filter is around 88mm, this isn\'t for you. It is not a landscape lens. It is not a portrait lens. It is though a lens for when you need a extremely wide angles. The bit of distortion lens in the lens will mess up facial features for portrait. It will usually also bring in to much sky for a landscape. However, I don\'t know if I would call this a con, its just not what this lens was designed for, in my opinion.
Another \"con\" is light flares from the sun will be throughout some pictures, Just remember to not shoot into the sun.

Price Paid: $1650.00 new.

Other Info: Olympus says 7 mm it may be a bit wider than 14mm in 35mm terms. At its widest point it shows 114 degrees. When I put into my pano software 114 degrees it says it is 11.7 degrees... But I don\'t know for sure. Also I would say that the 11-22mm would be a bit sharper, according to the test.

12-14-2005, 11:49 AM
Thanks for the review Tspore. I am lusting after this lens. Interiors would just open up for me.

01-24-2006, 03:04 PM
I have recently bought this lens and the main reason for my action was this review.
I have just to say that i did not regret it at all it is more than i expected

01-24-2006, 03:20 PM
glad to hear.
I really love the lens. It is an incredible piece of glass. I need to put it on my camera more. :)
it doesn\'t get the use that it deserves.

02-25-2006, 01:33 PM
Pros: the only super-wide zoom available for anything except full-frame digicams. Extremely high quality. A world-class, one-of-a-kind lens. My favorite lens. Lives on the camera!

Cons: expensive, big, heavy, slow. I would have been happy with a 7mm prime, and even happier if that meant lower price or another stop. Doesn't fit in my LowePro Orion II belt back very well. Can't use built-in flash with it. (Duh!)

Price Paid: about $1650.

Other Info: This lens is the reason why I got an E-300! Until this lens, digital cameras did not particularly interest me for "serious" work. (Even though I've been playing with them since my Apple QuickTake in '95 or so.)

This lens is superb for "grab shots", particularly indoor people shots. You can hold it above your head or down at your feet, sorta get an idea for the center of your image, click, and get SOMETHING useful!

I'm about to sell a house, and am looking forward to posting pictures that make the interior look HUGE, thanks to this lens.

Although it is a significant investment, those who really enjoy super wide photography should not be without it!

This shot (http://www.ecoreality.org/wiki/Image:Shannon_writing.jpg) was taken with this lens. I was under 18" from the subject at the time. I did not sight through the viewfinder, but merely held the camera up from where I was sitting, and snapped!

03-08-2006, 10:03 PM
Pros: An extremely well made lens with ultrasmooth, silky controls. Quite massive when compared to the mid-line of lenses, such as the 14-54 f2.8-3.5 or even the 50-200 f2.8-3.5. Distortion correction is awesome and sharpness is excellent at all focal lengths. The edges at 7mm don't show any bowed/bent lines and little to no shading in the corners wide open at f4- it's really hard to convey in words how good the optical quality of this lens is. Normally a lens such as a 7mm (14mm equivalent in 35mm photography) is quite specialized and you have to go looking for subjects to take advantage of the focal length. Being able to zoom continuously from 7-14mm makes it a much more useful lens for varied subjects. The massive lens cap fits very snugly and doesn't come off easily, a nice change compared to many other super-wide lenses of this type with slip-on caps.

Cons: Filters cannot be mounted- something that I don't miss but some might. If the sun is just out of the field of view but close enough to the field of view that it can hit the huge front element, you can get some weird flare that, depending on the subject can be easy or difficult to remove in Photoshop. Expense is quite high, but considering what someone needs to do to get an equivalent 14mm lens on some other digital SLR body (buy a full frame Canon body) it isn't THAT bad!

Price Paid: $1,599.95 at Arlington Camera.

I have a folder of images from this lens on my website here:


I highly, highly recommend this lens if you can swing the price.

05-08-2006, 05:48 PM
I read a comment about the lens being slow. I intend the lens for interior architectural photos. Can it be handheld for a normally lit interiors?


05-08-2006, 11:53 PM
I read a comment about the lens being slow. I intend the lens for interior architectural photos. Can it be handheld for a normally lit interiors?
It depends on how much noise you can tolerate. If you shoot at 400 to 1600, dim interiors might be shot hand-held. With moderate lighting, you can certainly hand-hold.

Remember, the wider you go, the slower the shutter speed you can get away with. The infamous "1/ƒ" rule indicates that you should be able to shoot hand-held at 1/7th of a second and get similar results to shooting a 50mm lens at 1/50th of a second.

I've done a number of low-light hand-held shots with this lens. Sometimes they're great, sometimes they're a bit too blurry. But if the choice is between getting what you want or having a sharp image, it's usually better to get what you want!

For a particular project (training flash cards for autistic children), I had to shoot a model inside a school lavatory. I could not have done it without this lens. I did, however, have to use all the usual slow speed tricks: bracing myself against a wall, locking my elbows into my chest, pushing the camera to my face, etc. I was shooting at around 1/15th, and everything was very sharp except some small blurring of the talent due to subject movement, NOT camera movement.

05-09-2006, 02:45 AM
AS Bytesmiths mentioned All you need is 1/14th second to handhold this lens at 7 mm. So that is fine.
But at any stop faster than F4 you are not going to have a GREAT Depth of field.
Its really not a SLOW lens, for what it is. The best thing about this lens, is you don't have to stop it down. Pictures look GREAT at F4.

06-15-2006, 07:37 PM
My copy of the lens arrived yesterday and I can't get over the build quality and the sharpness of the first shots.

My next move is to cut in a tupperware tub over the flash because I can't afford any other toys or attachments for a while.

05-05-2007, 06:42 PM
I bought this lens about a month ago and have already had the opportunity to "learn" it enough to say something about it - yes, "learning" you should call it with this lens, it really is a very special one:

- sharpness: excellent, althogh I would say the 11-22 is at least as sharp and I got the impression, that the 7-14 is at it's best from say 7-10 mm and at 14 mm you would probably be better of with the 14-54 and from 11-14 more probably still you might be better of with the 11-22: please note, you buy the 7-14 really for the extreme wide angle, so it's no real downside if it's better to stop down one stop at the "long" end of the 7-14 (meaning 14 mm)

- CAs: I didn't yet find any chromatic aberrations in the sharp field of the 7-14, they only occur (in my experience) in the out-of-focus range and are the more pronounced the "more out-of-focus" any chosen section in a picture is, meaning: you really tend to see them if you focus on very close range and also have (for example) a horizontal line in the far distance in the background, with a sharp dark/light frontier (which you need if you would like to show if a lens shows CAs); anyway; the above picture of leaves (the first one from the pics of the "admin") might give you a little impression of this effect; the increasing "blur" in the bokeh-area is partly due to these (longitudinal, it seems) CAs ---> but don't you worry: it really is a minor problem, and certainly I don't know any lens as good on CAs as the 7-14 (the Sigma super wide-angle lenses for other mounts really are far behind the 7-14 both in sharpness and CAs - CAs ist just a problem for any super wide-angle, and you should consider the 7-14 great for showing them only out-of-focus)

- distortions: virtually, none, I'd say

- weight, handling: really, why would anyone consider this lens "big"? for me, at least, it's just perfect - well, certainly not as handy as the 11-22, but it feels very solid in the hand and it's weight helps getting a good grip on camera & lens, so I wouldn't say that this is a problem; BTW, the 7-14 is much handier than the 50-200 (due especially to the fact that the tubus of the 50-200 gets rather long at 150 mm and more)

- "fastness", meaning "only f=4" really is no problem - with wide angle lenses anyone able holding t=1/50 sec @30 mm should be able to use the 7-14 at least at t=1/25 sec if not even longer times without tripod (or monopod)

- usability: the 7-14 really is an effect lens; it could be put to good use for landscapes, but don't let yourself impress with the "vastness" of the 7 mm field: some motives more like "cry" for 8 or 10 mm, and if they do, you shouldn't overuse the ultra wide angle; but it certainly is also perfect for shots indoors, especially if you are working in small rooms (which begin to look huge at 7 mm, believe you me!), and then of course for all kinds of effects: therefore, you really have to "learn" this lens (which is not the case for the 11-22 - with the 11-22 you just may "start shooting", well - you may also with the 7-14, but you will need some experience to make really good shots with the 7-14, you know ;-)

- flares: it's not really flares which are the problem with this lens, but sunspots caused from sunlight reflected of the really huge front lens; interestingly, in my experience, really problematic is not shooting directly into the sun (I haven't done so already in broad daylight - I wouldn't want to damage my eyes, you know - but at sunset, and at sunset directly into the sun I didn't get them); the problem occurs if the sun is, say, 30-60 left or right of you and some rays brush the front lens; in this case, I have learned to use my hand as a "lens hood" to prevent this sunspots (this is really easy if you're holding the camera with the right hand and the sun is to the left, as your left hand then is free - and you see, through the viewfinder, exactly when the sunspots disappear, so you will know when your left hand is in the right position; but it's a bit more difficult with the sun on the right hand, you know ;-)

overall: if you want a simple, good wide angle lens - go for the 11-22! if you want a very special lens, then you're the 7-14-type, really - and it's worth every cent!
I, personally, would be both and would love to own both lenses, but alas - I only bought the 7-14, I haven't got any money left, really (I already had the opportunity of testing the 11-22 - a friend of mine owns it -, so I think I know this to be true - for me at least)

one more thing - FLASH: in-built flash would be useless with this lens, not only because you would get a "lens-shadow" on closer distances but most of all because of the wide angle (most flashes only work for mid-range focal lengths)
anyway: I tried the 7-14 with the FL-50 (with wide-angle spreading shield down, of course - or whatever it's called in English [I'm not so much in for technical English, sorry), and although this "should" work only beginning at 8 mm I can tell you that it works fine with 7 mm too (testet in a relatively dark cellar, only a little bit of light came in from the door - so you may count on the combination of 7-14 + FL-50 at all focal lengths, I would say)

05-06-2007, 01:18 AM
Great review JAWilson (http://fourthirdsphoto.com/vbb/member.php?u=1050) - now I'll definitely wait for the wide angel lens that's planned for release in 2008. I was thinking of the 7-14 for landscapes as well as "effect shots" but mainly landscapes.

05-06-2007, 05:42 AM
well, don't get the impression that the 7-14 is no good for landscapes: it's just not the main purpose for this lens, in my opinion; the 7-14 also really is a great lens for architecture, but for "moderate" wide-angle landscape pictures I personally would go for the 11-22 if it were at all possible to invest again in a prime lens, financially speaking :D
(for now, I'm quite happy with the 7-14 as I love the effect shot quality of the lens, I also like to use it on architecture)

anyway: concerning the super wide angle standard lens planned for 2008, don't expect too much from it if it really will be only a standard lens; you then may expect quite heavy CAs, heavy distortions too (or maybe it even will become a fisheye zoom - personally, I wouldn't be surprised in the least; and personally, if it were to become a fisheye zoom, I would love to have it in addition to my 7-14, because fish really is something quite different from a rectilinear lens!)

so I would say: if you go for moderate landscape wide angle, then buy the 11-22 - and buy it now! because the (again:) standard (!) wide angle lens announced for 2008 might just be a little disappointing

05-06-2007, 06:30 AM
Right now I won't buy the 11-22 as I would get more out of the 12-60 if it's a good lens ofcourse...

I'll look at the 8 mm fish eye for now then.

05-07-2007, 01:45 AM
I was thinking of the 7-14 for landscapes as well as "effect shots" but mainly landscapes.

I don't think of it as a landscape lens, unless you're real close to the landscape! Canyon and waterfall shooting -- great! But if you point it at a far vista, you're going to be disappointed.

I believe the trick to this lens is to get close, especially close to action. In this shot, the camera was about half a meter from the clump of mud that they are about to jump on. This was f4 at 1/500th, 7mm.


05-09-2007, 03:37 PM
My experience is that I prefer the 11-22 for an open view, or vista. I prefer the 7-14 if I want to include some very closeup elements in the landscape as well, and have fantastic DOF to boot. I usually shoot the 7-14 from a lower perspective than the 11-22. Just my limited experience with both high quality lenses.

05-10-2007, 01:58 PM
My experience is that I prefer the 11-22 for an open view, or vista. I prefer the 7-14 if I want to include some very closeup elements in the landscape as well, and have fantastic DOF to boot. I usually shoot the 7-14 from a lower perspective than the 11-22. Just my limited experience with both high quality lenses.

I agree with you, with the 7-14 you should be very careful of composition, there should be something rather close up, otherwise everything seems distant and not too impressive - but you can put the 7-14 to good use also on landscapes

05-24-2007, 03:55 PM
I have been using the 7-14 for about a year now, and have invairably found the quality of this optic to be outstanding. From my experience I would suggest that the issue of what minimum shutter speed you can hand-hold at, is not as simple as applying the 35mm focal length = shutter speed. I would suggest, that from 50mm downwards, but a lot less accentuated than with longer focal lengths, you are better off staying to 1/30th because the smallness of the detail on the resulting image shows signs of 'shake'.

I see people bemoaning that it is not a fast lens, but, can anyone name a lens covering the same angle of view, which is faster, and does NOT need a filter to deliver the same level of evenness of exposure (+/- 1 f-stop) across the whole image? The 12mm f5.6 Heliar (121 degrees), Hassleblad's 30mm f5.6 X-Pan (94 degrees) and Rodenstock's 35mm f4.5 Grandagon for 6x9cm are about the only other optics which come close to Olympus's product, but they are NOT zooms and are slower optics, (and 2+ f stops slower still when using correction filters to even up the exposure across the image, to deliver the evenness of exposure that the Olly product delivers!)

As for the use of filters in front of the lens, you could use Kodak's sheets of Acetate. (if you can still get it.) Having looked at the back of the lens, I would not be surprised if Olly bring out a Mk2 which allows you to attach filters on that end.

I have on a number of occasions taken shots where I have carefully ensured that the lens is perfectly level, and many people have been surprised by the lack of distortion which is usually prevailant with such ultra-wide optics, to the point that they think it is not as wide as it patently is. Interior shots are excellent, and for those wishing to use additional lighting indoors, I would suggest the use of 2 or 3 of the flashbulb lamps that can be put in conventional light sockets, (they have 100+ degree angle of coverage) but I would still suggest a tripod and spirit levelling for the reasons mentioned above. As for depth of field, even at f4, it is remarkably extensive.

02-28-2008, 09:23 AM
I went into Camera World just off of Oxford Street in London yesterday to see if they had a 50mm Macro in stock and came away with one of these, talk about spur of the moment, but I guess that what credit cards are for :-)

The guys in the store were very helpful and insisted I try it out on an E3 body to make sure I really really wanted it and was 100% happy, They also matched the price of a UK Internet store.

Anyway, I have read the advice posted here and will try and bear this in mind when I go out playing with my new baby this week end!


08-09-2008, 10:02 AM
Utterly superb. That's all I can say. Crisp, sharp, remarkably distortion free. Optical engineering at it's absolute finest.

I will echo the remarks on holding the camera level - this lens tends to magnify any lapses in camera level. However, when you do keep it level, it just loves vertical lines, and does wonderful things with them.

Also agree that it's best used with the subject fairly close, otherwise everything looks tiny. Sort of the anti-portrait. You're limiting DOF not by blurring the background, but by shrinking it.

It does flare very easily, but the flares are visible in the VF. You can usually cancel out sun flares by shading with your hand, though you have to be careful not to get your hand in the shot. Or your feet.

It's a challenging lens to use, simply because the perspective is so unique. Using it is learning a new style of composition. About as close to flawless as you'll find today.