Olympus 9-18mm f/4-5.6 ED Zuiko Digital

Lens Reviews / Olympus Lenses i Not yet tested
9-18mm $599
average price
image of Olympus 9-18mm f/4-5.6 ED Zuiko Digital

(From Olympus lens literature) Olympus has applied its optical expertise to develop the Zuiko Digital 18-36mm equivalent (ED 9-18mm Four Thirds) f4.0-f5.6, a super-wide-angle zoom lens covering a wide focal length range. This compact ultra-wide-angle zoom lens can be used on any of the Olympus E-System digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera bodies, and measures only 3 inches long and weighs a mere 9.88 ounces for greater portability.

The lens' lightweight design coupled with In-Body Image Stabilization - available in the flagship E-3, E-510 and the newly announced E-520 - makes capturing amazing, blur-free images possible even without a tripod. Olympus now offers two super-wide-angle zoom lenses (9-18mm affordable consumer lens and 7-14mm splash-proof lens for the pro photographer) that feature both a focal distance equivalent to less than 20mm on a 35mm camera and image stabilization. E-System owners also realize the benefits of Live View, which makes it possible to shoot from unique perspectives that are difficult with an optical viewfinder alone, including over a crowd or at ground-level to catch a toddler's first steps.

"Affordable super wide-angle lenses with equivalent focal lengths less than 20mm have not been widely available in digital SLR photography," said John Knaur, senior marketing manager - DSLR, Olympus Imaging America Inc. "Pairing this lens or any of the other Zuiko digital lenses with the new E-520, and its in-body image stabilization, provides a combination ideal for lower light shots like a fountain at night. This combination offers image stabilization for a super wide-angle zoom not found in camera systems with in-lens stabilization."

100% Digital-Specific Lens for Sharpness and Rich Colors
The 9-18mm lens is part of Olympus' expanding line of 100 percent digital lenses - designed specifically for digital photography. Unlike other camera companies, Olympus does not rely on old film lenses, which often result in images with soft edges or other imperfections.

Availability and U.S. Pricing / Product Configurations
The Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f.4.0-f5.6 will be available in the fall of 2008. The estimated street price will be US$599.99.

Olympus 9-18mm f/4-5.6 ED Zuiko Digital User Reviews

9.0/10 average of 5 reviews Build Quality 7.8/10 Image Quality 9.4/10
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (2 reviews)
    relatively light, low CA, smooth operation

    I've had this lens for a year and a half now, and it has become a huge favorite for taking on trips. I'm not a professional, but I am picky about image quality and very impressed with what this delivers, especially when one considers its size/price.

    reviewed February 10th, 2011 (purchased for $600)
  • 9 out of 10 points and recommended by (3 reviews)
    sharp, cheap, sharp, lightweight, sharp
    only f/4, not weathersealed

    Images are very sharp at any aperture and focal length, even out to the corners; the sharpest aperture is actually f/4. There is a little chromatic aberration around the extreme edges, but nothing too bad, and it is the type that can be corrected in post if you care. Distortion and falloff are not an issue.

    The lens is mostly plastic (to keep weight and cost down) with a metal mount, but it feels solid enough.

    reviewed February 9th, 2010 (purchased for $400)
  • 10 out of 10 points and recommended by (26 reviews)
    Excellent sharpness entire range wide open
    High geometric distortion - however, NOT unique to this lens

    This is a great Ultra Wide lens for the 4/3 system at a bargain price. DPReview tested this lens and rated it Highly Recommended which matches my personal results.

    The only concern is it is f4.0 minimum so requires higher ISO in low light setting and/or an external flash to prevent a shadow from the lens. The internal flash on any of the Oly 4xx, 5xx, or 6xx cameras is too low and results in a shadow at the widest setting (i.e. 9 mm).

    This is very light lens which makes it nice as a carry aroung provided you are limiting you shooting to the range of the lens. However, combined with Oly 14-42 or 40-150 it makes a compelling light field combination especially with the new Oly E-P1 using the 4/3 to M4/3 adapter.

    reviewed July 22nd, 2009 (purchased for $600)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by (1 reviews)
    very sharp mounted w. adapter to pana g1
    autofocus a bit slow

    At the time the only available wide-angle-zoom with autofocus-compatibility on panasonic G1 (mFT-FT-adapter needed).
    I made some architecture images - details and accuracy of lines are impressive good.
    (my german is better than than my english – sorry!)
    Liebe Grüsse

    reviewed May 1st, 2009 (purchased for $790)
  • 8 out of 10 points and recommended by (3 reviews)
    light for wide angle and sharp

    I havent tried this lens very much, but initial impression is good and sharp. Although the lens is consumer grade the results are good and it is light too. I was thinking between this and 7-14, but decided on this because of the price difference and good reviews. Would have taken the 7-14 if it was f2.8.

    reviewed December 25th, 2008 (purchased for $548)