Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro: The award-winning wide angle MFT zoom takes a well-deserved victory lap


posted Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 7:17 AM EDT


Wake up with IR! Here's today's cup of Caffeine Priority...

I made brief mention of the Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 M.Zuiko Pro in my Field Test for the E-M10 II, and of course we've long since given it a full technical review, but I've been wanting to circle back and shine a more direct spotlight on this lens in its natural element. In the meantime though, a much brighter spotlight was shined on it by IR, as it took home a coveted and well-deserved Lens of Distinction award in our 2015 Camera of the Year awards.

So, just consider this one more real world look at the versatile and powerful M.Zuiko 7-14mm Pro (or a first look for any of you who've yet to see it in action). Several of the shots below were taken in chest-deep water with waves around, and therefore the weather-resistance is certainly an appreciated feature when in that type environment. And given that this focal length range lends itself more to landscape shooting than anything else, the elements are very much something it will often be exposed to more often than not.

This lens is also fairly small despite the fact that it's a wide-angle zoom lens with an f/2.8 aperture -- certainly much smaller than similar lenses in the DSLR world. The constant aperture is also quite a welcome feature for the enthusiast-minded photographers among us. As we've stated in our full technical review of this lens, it's actually the widest rectilinear zoom lens for the Micro Four Thirds arena that sports a constant f/2.8 aperture.

The Natural World

1/80s / f/5 / -2.0 EV / ISO 250 / 26mm eq.

(Images have been resized to fit this page and cropped and/or altered in post, primarily to balance shadow and highlight detail. Click any image for access to the original version as delivered by the Olympus E-M10 II, and head to our E-M10 II Gallery page for access to more images, additional EXIF data and RAW files.)

1/250s / f/4 / -0.7 EV / ISO 200 / 14mm eq.

These flowers are tiny, but a wide angle lens can give small objects a lot more presence.

1/1250s / f/8 / -2.7 EV / ISO 100 / 14mm eq.

[1:1 crop from above image to better showcase the center sharpness.]

Wide angle + Wide aperture

1/250s / f/2.8 / -0.7 EV / ISO 200 / 14mm eq.

I chose my favorite and most willing subject here (who secretly likes his cameo in all of my pieces) to showcase the dramatic effect you can get from this lens when at wide angle and shot wide open. As you can imagine, this type perspective distortion can come in handy for a variety of shooting  purposes, from product advertising to simply having fun with your kids.

(Tip for achieving this effect: Move the lens closer to your subject than you think you should. It may appear that the lens is 3-4 inches from his paw, when in reality it's perhaps an inch away at most.)

Hitting the Beach

1/640s / f/8 / ISO 200 / 28mm eq.

Zoomed all the way in to 28mm eq. here.

1/80s / f/4.5 / ISO 200 / 14mm eq.

I had the Olympus TG-4 along for this trip as well, and my son doubled as gallery shooter for me
as we were trying out the eminently cool wide and tele coversion lenses.

1/80s / f/8 / -0.3 EV / ISO 400 / 14mm eq.

This is likely the single most enjoyable aspect to wide angle photography for me...
the attempt to capture the expansiveness of the earth and sky in the same image.

1/800s / f/7.1 / -0.3 EV / ISO 200 / 14mm eq.

The 14mm eq. focal length lends a sense of drama to an inbound wave. (Jump!)

Closing thoughts

If you're a Micro Four Thirds shooter planning a trip to a destination with vast landscapes or water features to capture, this is one lens I suggest to consider for your short-list. Given the relatively compact size, constant aperture, generously wide focal length, sharp test results and weather resistance, it's really a no-brainer if you can afford the price. At US$1299 it's certainly not cheap, but you get what you pay for as they say, and with this offering you certainly do get a lot of firepower if wide angle shooting in the elements is something that piques your personal photographic fancies.

1/200s / f/22 / -0.7 EV / ISO 640 / 14mm eq.


Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 Pro2015 Lens of the Year Awards

Olympus E-M10 IIGallery

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[Want another cup? ...Be our guest!]


Caffeine Priority is a new series of short photo-tidbits to ease you into your day, and give us a chance to share a bit more of what life’s like here at IR. We're more like a group of friends testing and talking about cameras and lenses than the buttoned-down, big-corporation world that some of our photo-friends at other companies work in; hopefully these little snippets will share some of that. So... grab another coffee and join in the conversation with us down below!

1/500s / f/4.5 / -0.3 EV / ISO 800 / 200mm eq.
1/400s / f/5.6 / -1.0 EV / ISO 200 / 200mm eq.

1/400s / f/5.6 / -1.0 EV / ISO 200 / 200mm eq.
1/800s / f/5.7 / -1.3 EV / ISO 400 / 600mm eq.

1/125s / f/6.3 / -1.3 EV / ISO 125 / 61mm eq.
1/800s / f/6.3 / -1.3 EV / ISO 125 / 250mm eq.

1/640s / f/8 / -2.0 EV / ISO 125 / 25mm eq.

The ZS100's 10x zoom range is highly versatile consider just how large this sensor is compared to typical "travel zoom" cameras. Most of those now reach out to 30x and beyond, but their 1/2.3" sensors have only about 25% the surface area for gathering light as the 1" sensor housed in the ZS100.
1/160s / f/5.9 / -0.7 EV / ISO 125 / 200mm eq.
1/125s / f/6.3 / -0.7 EV / ISO 200 / 250mm eq.

1/800s / f/4 / -1.3 EV / ISO 125 / 46mm eq.