Super wide angle questions (OM)

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by matthew_newton, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. I recently bought a Sigma 14mm f/3.5, so I was just curious what other options there might be in super wide angles in OM mount. I do really want to try out a Zuiko 18/3.5 one of these days, but the price is a few hundred more then I can 'splurge' on right now. The Sigma ran $250 as it was. An excellent lens though, some distortion, but not overly bad and pretty sharp. Anyway, I wrote something up on it
    114.5 degrees is wide, wide, wide. My next widest is a Zuiko 24/2.8 and it is a heck of a jump to 14mm.
    It seems to be a pretty rare lens in OM mount as this is only the 2nd example I've run across, the first I missed out on about a year ago.
    Out of curiosity what are the choices for super wide angles in OM mount? To the best of my knowledge for rectilinear lenses your choices are the Sigma 14mm f/3.5, Tamron 17mm f/3.5, Tokina 17mm f/3.5, Zuiko 18mm f/3.5 and possibly also Sigma and spiratone 18mm f/2.8, 3.2 and 3.5 lenses.
    Does that about cover it? Or am I missing something obvious?
  2. if you can afford it, the zuiko glass would be well worth having. i personally own some vivitar and sigma rubbish. actually, the sigma is not that bad but had used borrowed zuiko in the past. the results were very pleasing.
  3. Matthew, you are officially a Zuikoholic.
    I have the 16/3.5 fisheye. Now that is a wide optic. Something like 170 degree coverage. But for my money, my favorite "super wide" is my single coated Zuiko 21/3.5. I love that lens. Super sharp, tiny, fast enough. I have not had a chance to use it nearly enough. 21mm is a good bridge between the 24mm and the wider than 18mm category. Eminently useable for snapshots and environmental portraits, with minimal distortion. I hear the Zuiko 21/2 is a real humdinger of a lens, but it's out of my tax bracket.
  4. That's what I've been thinking. Sigma 14/3.5, Zuiko 21/3.5, Sigma 28/1.8, Zuiko 50/1.4, Zuiko 85/2, Zuiko 135/3.5 for my travel collection for exotic destinations (IE Europe where there are plenty of low light cathedrals and castles). Course that means getting a 21/3.5. Maybe next Christmas.
    If the Zuikos were only just a wee cheaper, sigh. I am really thinking of replacing my Tamron 28/2.5 with a Zuiko 28/2.8 one of these days when my wife allows me to open the purse strings again. Might be my only Zuiko purchase for awhile, but I am also eyeing a 100/2.8 as well as a backpacking lens.
    There is just something about 'em that I can't get enough of. If only there had been a Zuiko 14/3.5...course it would probably forever live out of my budget if the zuiko 18/3.5 is anything as a guideline.
  5. I had a 17mm Tamron SP Adaptall II lens for a while and it's actually very good. It has a HUGE 82mm filter size, IIRR, so it's a beast, but the lens was pretty sharp stopped down a couple of stops before diffraction becomes an issue. The advantage with the Tamron lenses is that you can buy any one you find and fit the OM adapter, which makes them easier to find. If the Tokina is an ATX lens, I'd expect it be good, but hard to find. I wouldn't touch the Spiratone. Sigma? Usually middle-of-the-road vs. the others.
    The Zuiko 21/3.5 is really my first choice UWA. How can you not love that little jewel, sharp, bright, tiny. Not that much wider than a 24, though. It's not quite the equal of the 21/2, but also nowhere near as expensive or hard to find.
  6. Ah you guys with your ultra wides. Now me, I'm a real cheapskate. My ultra wide is a 24mm f2.8 Zuiko with one of those cheap 3 element .42X fisheye adapters I got for $20 about 22 years ago. Not too bad for 5X7 snapshots If you stop it down to F11 or f16. Circle image at 10mm EFL, woo hoo!
  7. Having had both the 21mm and 24mm, the 21mm is noticeably wider than the 24mm. That said, I sold my 24mm because I felt that it was too close in focal length to the 21mm. So now I go 16mm, 21mm, 28mm, 50mm, 85mm, 135mm. Sold off my 24mm, 35mm, and 100mm lenses as I didn't use them as much and found them redundant.
    Matt, the 21/3.5 is a real winner. I sold off some lenses to raise money to buy a good condition copy and do not regret at all buying it. Easily a favorite of mine. But it's not going to be such a drastic change from your 24/2.8 as your 14mm Sigma is, and you might actually find for your shooting style that you like your 24/2.8 more.
  8. Matt I know it's pricey but when it comes to prime lenses Olympus OM Zuikos primes will always remain the king, no third party prime lenses [OM mount] you will ever find will come even close in quality to a Zuiko prime. Zooms lenses like we talked about in the previous thread is a different story as hi end third party zooms are actually better than nearly all Zuiko zooms.
    As for ultra-wideangle lenses, I have owned and shot with both Olympus OM Zuiko 18mm f3.5 and the OM Zuiko 21 f3.5 UWA lenses and both lenses are excellent for the ultra- wideangle shots. You really can't go wrong with either one of those primes. IMO they are two of the best UWA primes ever designed for 35mm SLR cameras. Especially the OM Zuiko 18mm f3.5 is really a true rectilinear lense design it will reproduce straight lines as straight with fantastic razor sharp images even wide open. The smallest aperture is only f16 but the DOF is so deep that this is plenty for any landscape and the AOV is a sweeping 100° ! Up close is beautiful as it has a close range optical correction. If you ever do get to aquire the OM Zuiko 18/3.5 the first thing you will notice is just has tiny it is and this is part of the beauty of a Zuiko lens... it's compact size. The second thing you will notice is the bulbous glass front. If you want to use filters on the OM Zuiko 18/3.5 you will have to use a 49-72mm step up ring. The 21/3.5 is tiny as well but it will accept one (and only one without vignette) 49mm filter! I know because I tried to stack more than one fiter on the 21/3.5 and it vignetted! Even then your best bet is to get a 49mm ultra thin filter to really make sure there isn't vignette. I included two photos here below that I shot of architecture with the OM Zuiko 18/3.5 lens. Again I know it's pricey but if you want the best UWA primes there is, go with the either OM Zuiko 18mm f3.5 or OM 21mm (f3.5 or f2.0) versions.
    More info on Olympus OM Zuiko 18mm f3.5:
  9. Another shot of the temple up close with the Olympus OM Zuiko 18mm f3.5.
  10. Matthew,
    The widest lens I have is the Zuiko 21mm F2 and it's stunning performance makes it my 'go to' lens when I travel. Even at F2, the results are very acceptable, although a tad soft at the corners. It is a very small lens considering it's bright aperture, and takes 55mm filters like many other Zuiko's. I have a 24 F2.8 Zuiko as well, but since aquiring the 21mm, it does not see much use. It really is a remarkable lens.
    Based on what I have read (no personal experience), the F3.5 version is every bit as sharp and even smaller - similar in size to the 24 F2.8. If it were my choice, I would stay with Zuiko. The 18mm has become a bit of a rare beast on the used market. If I could not track one down, I would seriously consider one of the Zuiko 21's.
    Best Regards, Steve.
  11. *sigh*, I think the 21/3.5 is probably going to be topping my list of next most wanted lenses once I have to spare money to spend more then a couple of hundred on a lens. The 18/3.5 I really want, but it probably is a few years off at the soonest.
    From what I can see the Sigma 14/3.5 is razor sharp in the center and decent at the edge/corners. Some distortion, but not really bad. Vignetting isn't really noticable. The Zuiko 18/3.5 is probably better, but it is also well out of my price range for a few years and still not quite as wide. I think the 21/3.5 is a better choice because it slots itself between the 14/3.5 and a 28/35 much nicer then a 24mm lens does. It is also so tiny it would take up almost no room in my camera bag. 14/21/28/50 probably would work for me a bit better then 14/24/35/50 which is what I have now (well I have a 28 in there, but unless I need speed my 28/1.8 stays at home and my 28/2.5 just doesn't see any use anymore).
  12. I got a 17 mm Tamron about a year ago as 'new old stock'. It is pretty good and it was cheap for a new lens! As Skip says, anyone will do as you can change the Adaptall mount if needed. I would like a Zuiko 18mm, though.
    I also have the 16mm fish eye, but sadly it is pretty poor for flare on an overcast day, possibly because of a little scuffing on the front element (it was cheap).
    I love the 21mm f2 and think it is a great focal length.
    I am sounding pretty Zuikoholic and I am, but Olly has tarnished their reputation with me of late with some mediocre offerings, such as the Tough cameras.
  13. Nick, my 16mm fisheye flares pretty badly as well. Surprise surprise, I got mine for a bargain price also. But I think it's also somewhat unavoidable with such a huge front element. That said, it's a whole lot of fun to use! Not useful as an every day lens, but fun nonetheless.
  14. Despite the bigun front element on the Sigma 14mm it doesn't flare that bad. Really just seems to flare if things are just out of the frame and then very little veiling flare and the flare itself is relatively minor. I am going to have to do a couple of pictures as an example of just how little there is, I am very impressed by it. That said I have a couple of lenses that don't seem to flare no matter what I throw at them (my zuiko 50/1.4 MC seems to have a hint of veiling flare, but nothing else same with my 85/2)
    That element is a good 70-72mm across and projects out almost an inch!
  15. This is the only real shot I've taken with the 14/3.5 so far other then test shots, but man this thing is going to be great for architecture photos for selling my house later this year. The bathroom is 5x9 including the tub that I am standing in for the shot. Ignore the missing vanity top, that was installed last night so it wasn't in the picture.
  16. I have been using my Vivitar 17mm f:3.5 since 1976. Yes, it is a very fun lens
  17. Might I blaspheme here and suggest the Vivitar/Phoenix 19-35? I find it to be an excellent travel lens, being small, light and sharp. It might fall apart but what the heck, they don't cost that much. My credentials for this opinion is that I have a 16/3.5, 18/3.5, 21/3.5, 24/2.8 and 28/2 Zuikos.
  18. If we are to lapse into blasphemy, please also consider the Zenitar 16mm, which *may* be available in OM mount, and the Samyang/Phoenix 18-28mm zoom, which is sometimes seen in other guises such as Exakta Varioplan (yes, in OM mount, as well as several others, but almost certainly not in Exakta mount).
    I only have experience with the zoom, which was cheap, and good value for the money. But not a patch on the Tamron 17mm, still less the Zuiko 18mm. Do not underestimate the size of the Tamron compared to the Zuiko (even with the "hood" on the Zuiko).
  19. Do what It takes. Second mortgage. Sell your children into slavery. Pimp your wife. Get the Zuiko! You won't be disappointed.

    Every time I buy a third-party lens, I wished I'd bought the equivalent Zuiko, instead. So now, the only non-Zuikos I have are things Olympus doesn't make.

    (Yea, I know: old thread, discovered while looking for Zuiko ultra-wides.)

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