Andy Westlake assesses the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm 1:2.8 PRO, a fast wideangle zoom for Micro Four Thirds
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm 1:2.8 PRO review – Introduction
While compact system cameras first appeared as portable options for photographers looking for decent image quality without the bulk and complexity of an SLR, recently they’ve moved more into the enthusiast and professional realm. Models like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 and Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II now offer features, speed and build quality to rival the best APS-C SLRs.
There’s little point in having such aspirational cameras without equally good lenses, and to this end Olympus has started to build up a top-end ‘PRO’ line of optics. Launched alongside the M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm Fisheye 1:1.8 PRO, the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm 1:2.8 PRO is a premium wideangle zoom for Micro Four Thirds cameras. It’s designed to accompany the existing 12-40mm f/2.8 and 40-150mm f/2.8, with these three lenses covering a total range equivalent to 7-300mm – all at f/2.8. With an RRP of £999.99, though, it’s not exactly cheap.
The 7-14mm isn’t the only wide zoom for Micro Four Thirds, with the highly-regarded Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm f/4 ASPH covering the same range but with a stop slower aperture for around £850, and the minuscule Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4-5.6 punching well above its weight at around £460. What the new 7-14mm is designed to offer, aside from the faster maximum aperture, is Olympus’s premium optics and build quality, including a splashproof design.