Olympus ZUIKO DIGITAL 7-14mm verdict
The Olympus ZUIKO DIGITAL 7-14mm is without a doubt an extremely impressive lens.
Not only does it offer noticeably wider coverage than any other ultra-wide zoom
on the market, it also features highly-corrected optics.
As our results pages show, the 7-14mm exhibits virtually no geometric distortion,
impressively low vignetting considering its extreme coverage, and is sharp in
the corners throughout its focal range. It's also very well-built and designed
to stand-up to professional use. There's admittedly some coloured fringing in the extreme corners at wide angle, but otherwise no other technical aspect we can fault
While owners of Four Thirds cameras like the E-410 and E-510 currently have
no choice but the ZUIKO DIGITAL 7-14mm if they're after an ultra-wide zoom with
sub-20mm equivalent coverage, it's still worth comparing the focal range, specs
and price with the options available for other camera systems. After all, if
you're an extreme wide-angle fanatic who's not already invested in a Digital
SLR, the choice and price of suitable optics will greatly influence the body
you go for.
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Nikon Digital SLR owners have the Nikkor AF-S DX 12-24mm f/4G, equivalent to
18-36mm. Owners of Canon Digital SLRs with EF-S
mounts like the 400D / Rebel XTi or 30D can go for the EF-S 10-22mm f3.5~4.5,
equivalent to 16-35mm. Alternatively, owners of
Canon full-frame bodies like the 5D have the EF 17-40mm f4.0L or the pricey EF 16-35mm f2.8L II.
Clearly the Olympus 7-14mm with an equivalent range of 14-28mm is wider than
them all, but it's also by far the most expensive. It's
more than double the price of Canon's 10-22 and 17-40mm alternatives, and slightly more expensive than even Canon's optically fast EF 16-35mm f2.8L II. In its favour,
the Olympus 7-14mm is better-corrected than the ultra-wides we've tested from
other manufacturers, but there's no getting away from its high cost.
Indeed for the same money as the Olympus lens alone, you could alternatively
buy yourself the Canon EF-S 10-22mm and throw in an EOS-400D / Rebel XTi body
to go with it. Of course this combo goes neither as wide as the Olympus 7-14mm,
nor is as well-corrected, but it's worth considering none-the-less. Existing
Olympus owners on a budget who don't demand the widest coverage could alternatively
consider the ZUIKO DIGITAL 11-22mm f2.8~3.5, equivalent to 22-44mm.
Ultimately though, the Olympus ZUIKO DIGITAL 7-14mm remains an extremely impressive
package. It may be expensive compared to ultra-wides for rival DSLRs, but sports
wider coverage and better-corrected optics.
Indeed, rather than just describing it as the only ultra-wide option for Four
Thirds owners, we'd go as far as to say it's a compelling reason to buy a Four
Thirds body in the first place. Certainly if you're a well-healed ultra-wide
fanatic looking to invest in a new DSLR system, it should sway your decision
towards Four Thirds. We particularly enjoyed testing the ZUIKO DIGITAL 7-14mm
and, reservations about price noted, can highly recommend it.
NEW: For an overview of the headline features of this lens, check out our Olympus ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 7-14mm video tour
World's widest digital zoom lens.
Excellent build quality.
Splash and dust proof.
f4.0 aperture throughout range.
Impressive technical results.
Pricier than ultra-wide zooms for other DSLRs.
Some fringing at wide angle.
(relative to other zooms)
23 / 25
23 / 25
21 / 25
15 / 25