The W-i-d-e View: Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/4.0

Olympus’ Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/4 is a wide-angle lens that, because of the E-system’s 2X multiplication factor has an equivalent focal length range of 14mm-28mm. By incorporating large-aperture aspherical elements and a two-sided aspherical ED element, the Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm corrects the kind of distortion and astigmatism normally associated with wide-angle lenses—especially zooms.

At 14mm (in the above photograph)  the Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/4 has a 75 degree angle of view that when used indoors shows off this rare McLaren road car and some of the surroundings and other cars in The Mathews Collection. Exposure with an Olympus E-Volt 300 at ISO 400 was .6 seconds one-half second at f/20 in Aperture Priority mode with the camera mounted on a Manfrotto tripod. © 2011 Joe Farace, All Rights Reserved

It’s a hefty lens but even on the lightweight E-system body the balance is good and on the professional E-3 or E-5, it fits like a glove and will be a favorite for architectural photographers too. The wide angle of view allows you to shoot multi-storied buildings over a relatively short distance while holding the camera vertical and avoiding converging lines. Using a level to the flash shoe makes it easy to set the camera parallel to the subject. At 7mm, ultra wide-angle lenses have extended depth of field, which can be increased further by stopping down. This makes it possible to capture both the foreground and background in focus at the same time. The huge depth of field and the emphasized converging lines increase the feeling of space and give the image the impression of increased depth and width.

A second shot was made at the identical exposure without moving the camera by just rotating the zoom ring to 7mm. This shows the possibilities when shooting interiors when your back is against the wall and a “silly little millimeter” of focal length can really make a difference. © 2011 Joe Farace, All Rights Reserved

The lens isn’t cheap but every photographer has had that moment when their back is against the wall and they needed a wider angle of view. In this situation, there ain’t no substitute for shorter focal lengths. It’s in these situations that the Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/4 delivers the goods. It belongs in the toolbox of every Olympus E-system photographer.

Author: Joe Farace

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