- Well built, weather sealed lens with smooth zoom and focus rings
- Nice manual focus clutch mechanism with distance scale
- Very fast and accurate autofocus
- Excellent image sharpness throughout the focal and aperture range
- Very good color and contrast
- Decent bokeh considering the wide angle of view
- Low vignetting
- Versatile focal range
- Large for a Micro 4/3 lens
- Terrible performance against bright light
- High lateral chromatic aberration
- High native distortion, though well corrected in profiles
The Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO is a lens that a lot of shooters have been waiting for. It completes the f/2.8 zoom trinity for Olympus, and does so in a mostly convincing manner. The lens is big and rather expensive at $1299, but you get a lens with an outstanding ultra-wide angle focal range that is sharp right from f/2.8. The lens handles well in the field and is extremely versatile, while providing mostly excellent optical characteristics.
The lens isn’t perfect, with high lateral chromatic aberration and terrible flare performance. The CA I can forgive a bit, as it’s so easy to correct, but the flare is harder to overcome. An ultra-wide lens is often useful for landscape work, but the lens flares badly whenever the sun is in the frame. As such, you’ll need to either incorporate the flare into the image, or simply not use the lens when the sun is going to be out. It’s that last part that makes the lens somewhat difficult to recommend, despite the strong performance in many other areas. I will say that the ‘purple blob’ problem that the Panasonic 7-14mm experiences on Olympus bodies is not replicated with the Olympus 7-14mm, which is nice. If you can get past the flare problems, the lens is an excellent performer and a very good ultra-wide zoom lens.
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