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Lens review

Olympus Zuiko Digital 9-18 mm f/4-5.6 ED

14 May 2009
Arkadiusz Olech

3. Build quality

Olympus ZD 9-18 mm is really small, taking into consideration the aperture range. The chart, comparing its parameters with the competitors having the same angles of view, is really worth consulting. Olympus is less fast than Tokina or Nikkor but it is also remarkably lighter (Tokina is twice the weight of Olympus, in fact) and smaller. Olympus surprises us pleasantly here, as we didn’t expect it – a smaller matrix of the Four Thirds system is a big advantage if you want to construct a fast telephoto lens. With a wide angle of view we have to have extremely short focal lengths but the dimensions of such lenses are not so small. Olympus ZD 9-18 mm proves that where there’s a will there’s a way.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 9-18 mm f/4-5.6 ED - Build quality

Although the lens is moderately priced, it is very well-made. When held in your hand, it makes a good impression of a small, solid, compact instrument. It has a metal bayonet mount after which you can find a broad focus ring. It moves smoothly but with a due resistance. Its movements change the dimensions of the lens but the difference is slight. The lens is physically shortest midway between the 13 and 14 mm settings and the biggest by the end of the scale; the front element extends about 0.5 cm on zooming to either 9 or 18 mm.

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After the focus ring you’ll find a manual zoom ring. It is relatively narrow and there’s no distance scale. As in many other Olympus models, the manual focus system is not purely mechanical but drives the focusing group indirectly via the lens's autofocus motor. You must get used to such a solution. The lens ends with a non-rotating filter thread, 72 mm of diameter.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 9-18 mm f/4-5.6 ED - Build quality


Inside Olympus 9-18 mm we will find 13 lenses in 9 groups. The producer added a special kind of elements too – there’s one ED glass element, two aspherical elements, and one with DSA (Dual Super Aspherical). Between the lenses you’ll find a 7 blades diaphragm, which can be closed to f/22 independently from the focal length.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 9-18 mm f/4-5.6 ED - Build quality
The buyer gets front and rear caps and a lens hood in the set.

Olympus Zuiko Digital 9-18 mm f/4-5.6 ED - Build quality