12-40 opinions vs bunch of primes...

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Zee, Mar 28, 2014.

  1. Zee

    Zee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    So... I'm a prime person. I prefer f1.x fixed length vs F2.8 and zoom. I've happily been using a EF100F2.8L on my 7D as my primary lens for... years.. Actually. I pull the 10-22 out once in a blue moon.

    So, here's the thing, I'm looking at what deals are out there re the EM-1.

    I *want* - EM-1 + 17 1.8 + 45 1.8 + 60 F2.8

    What is available to purchase - EM-1 + 12-40 + 45 F1.8 for about $2330.

    For those of you who are "prime people", but somehow ended up with a 12-40 anyway... How do you like it? Was it worth your while? Or did you just end up selling?

    I'm basically trying to figure out how hard I try to get the *want* kit for the *what is available* price, or if I just grin, accept it, sell if it's not my thing and move along....

    Thanks,

    Z...
     
  2. Stefan_SS

    Stefan_SS Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Dec 9, 2013
    Hi!

    It is a tricky choice. I had the EM-5 with panasonic 20mm f1,7 and the Olympus 45 mm F1,8 and a Voightländer 17,5 F0,95 ande the macro 60 mm F2,8. Added to that I used to have a Canon 5D MkII with five lenses, among them a 70-300 F4-5,6 L lens that I used for quite a while with an roxxon canon/MFT adapter with manual focus. My plan was to use the nifty little OM-D as a second camera but I ended up selling the Canon instead.
    When Olympus shipped EM-1 I bought it and the 12-40 lens. Unfourtenatedly I got a lemon and the 12-40 lens broke in my camerabag. However, after a month at Olympus it was repaired and returned to the shop but the shop offered me a totally new lens as a replacement (kudos to them). Now I use the EM-1 and the 12-40 lens to 80% of all my shooting and it is a wonderful combo, I highly recommend it. Together with Capture One Pro for my RAW-files I get a level of quality that i am really pleased with. I simply can not understand the focus people have on full-sensor gear when you can have this level of quality without braking your back carrying it around.
    The truth is I never use the 45 mm anymore. I seldom use the 20mm unless I really need a small camera.
    The 12-40 is my primary lens.
    The 60 mm macro is my second most used lens.
    My Viogtländer 17,5 mm is my third most used lens, I just can not let it be. I´m a sucker for the feel of it when I use it and I always marvel att the color and contrast the lens deliver.

    The thing about the 12-40 lens is that it may lack a little in buildquality, it really is not up there with Canon L-lenses in my opinion. However, the picturequality beats ANY zoom I have used to this date and that is why I gave the lens a second chance when the first sample broke. It is an amazing lens!
    If you can live with the size/bulk of it I would recommend tthat you get:

    1. The EM-1 with the 12-40.
    2. The macro 60 mm.

    Cheers!
     
  3. Stefan_SS

    Stefan_SS Mu-43 Regular

    52
    Dec 9, 2013
    Go with th 12-40.

    Hi!

    It is a tricky choice. I had the EM-5 with panasonic 20mm f1,7 and the Olympus 45 mm F1,8 and a Voightländer 17,5 F0,95 ande the macro 60 mm F2,8. Added to that I used to have a Canon 5D MkII with five lenses, among them a 70-300 F4-5,6 L lens that I used for quite a while with an roxxon canon/MFT adapter with manual focus. My plan was to use the nifty little OM-D as a second camera but I ended up selling the Canon instead.
    When Olympus shipped EM-1 I bought it and the 12-40 lens. Unfourtenatedly I got a lemon and the 12-40 lens broke in my camerabag. However, after a month at Olympus it was repaired and returned to the shop but the shop offered me a totally new lens as a replacement (kudos to them). Now I use the EM-1 and the 12-40 lens to 80% of all my shooting and it is a wonderful combo, I highly recommend it. Together with Capture One Pro for my RAW-files I get a level of quality that i am really pleased with. I simply can not understand the focus people have on full-sensor gear when you can have this level of quality without braking your back carrying it around.
    The truth is I never use the 45 mm anymore. I seldom use the 20mm unless I really need a small camera.
    The 12-40 is my primary lens.
    The 60 mm macro is my second most used lens.
    My Viogtländer 17,5 mm is my third most used lens, I just can not let it be. I´m a sucker for the feel of it when I use it and I always marvel att the color and contrast the lens deliver.

    The thing about the 12-40 lens is that it may lack a little in buildquality, it really is not up there with Canon L-lenses in my opinion. However, the picturequality beats ANY zoom I have used to this date and that is why I gave the lens a second chance when the first sample broke. It is an amazing lens!
    If you can live with the size/bulk of it I would recommend tthat you get:

    1. The EM-1 with the 12-40.
    2. The macro 60 mm.

    Cheers!
     
  4. Zee

    Zee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Thanks for your thoughts. I'll be spending my weekend thinking it over...

    Z...
     
  5. DL Photo

    DL Photo Mu-43 Veteran

    216
    Nov 15, 2012
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    Dave
    Your 7D and the 100 2.8 gives a focal length of 160mm (7D is a 1.6x crop factor)
    If that has been your go to lens for years, then I would recommend the 75 1.8 with the EM1. This will give you 150mm focal length on the M43 system (2x crop factor) and better low light capabilities.....and probably the best image quality out of any of the Olympus M43 lenses from what I've read.

    If you only use the 10-22 once in a while on the 7D (that would translate to 16mm to 35mm) and haven't used anything in between that and the 160mm FL, then why spend on the 12-40 pro lens? Seems like a big chunk of change for a lens that will only be used sometimes. The 17 1.8 will be stellar if you don't mind losing a bit on the wide end.

    To me, it sounds like the EM-1 and the 75 1.8 would be the best fit for you.....(and possibly the 17 1.8).

    Happy hunting.
     
  6. aks6674

    aks6674 Mu-43 Veteran

    219
    Jan 14, 2014
    I have the 12-40 and own or have owned most of the primes from Oly and Panasonic. For me, the choice between zoom and prime is all about uncertainty. I frankly never put the zoom on the camera if I know what I'm going to be shooting - I just like the faster primes better. But when I'm traveling or just uncertain, the zoom is hard to beat. It's pretty much all you want on the IQ front, but for the sensor size, it needs to be faster if you want the shallow option.

    If I couldn't afford one or the other (read: if the wife figures out how much I've spent), I'd give up the zoom before my 12, 17, 25, and 45. But I'd miss it.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
     
  7. jsusilo

    jsusilo Mu-43 Veteran

    233
    Aug 28, 2012
    For all of last year, I traveled with EM-5 plus 7.5 / 14 / 25 / 45 packed in TT Retro-5 bag. Neither size nor weight was ever an issue. I probably use 14 the most, followed closely by 25, then some 45 and occasional 7.5. I purchased 12-40mm this year not because it's smaller or lighter but simply because convenient. While results I get with primes rarely disappoint, I however realized switching lens is just not practical in many situation when travelling. These days I often go with (1) primes only or (2) 12-40 + 25. Cant go wrong either way.
     
  8. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    842
    Feb 20, 2013
    Personally, I would never be happy with anything knowing something "better" is available for less. Let's define better. Well, it's subjective, but for me, I don't care about weather-sealing too much, zoom is a negative because I like to maneuver my body, and the zooms are heavier, more expensive, and slower than most of the primes. If I'm getting f2.8 bokeh at 25mm and I know f1.8 is available, I wouldn't be happy personally.

    Now, on the other end of the spectrum, if the "better" product costs a lot more money, everyone in the world makes compromises!
     
  9. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Depends on what you shoot. If I'm taking photographs of people or want more DOF control, primes it is. But when I travel - which is where the zoom is used most - I take more environmental shots, landscapes, etc. where I don't need or want less DOF, I often want more. Add the fact the lens is already tack sharp wide open and it's a winner. Add a fast prime to the bag for those subject isolation moments, and you're golden.
     
  10. Zee

    Zee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Thanks for the various bits of info folks - very enlightening to see a few differing perspectives from various folk.

    It seems my decision is made for me - the shop is unable to mix and match as it's an Olympus supplied deal. I'm going to work out what a 2nd hand 12-40 is likely to get me, and then work out if it's worth getting the kit or not.

    I'm quite familiar with lens lengths and uses, and am a tele/prime shooter usually, though I will shoot wide if the opportunity presents and I have a wide lens available, though I'm happy to compose around the limitations of what I have.

    Anyway, I have 4 days in Bangkok coming up, so I may just buy the kit (EM-1, 12-40 and 45 F1.8 - I actually did want that one), and give the 12-40 a run in Bangkok (weather sealing will be handy, considering it's the Songkran festival - Thai water festival), and if I find it's not fo rme, I'll put it up for sale. At $2330 for the EM-1, 12-40 and the 45 1.8, I don't really think I can lose. Who knows, I may even find I like it...

    On a side note, I look forward to sharing the pics!

    Z...
     
  11. Mytola

    Mytola Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Feb 10, 2013
    I was a prime-guy before I got the 12-40, and well... I ain't anymore!

    In practice, you don't really lose any IQ vs primes in the same range. Yeah, it's a bit over 1 stop slower, but I don't care too much about that either. I do have a 45 1.8 and a 75 1.8 as well, but I rarely use them nowadays. The E-M1 and 12-40 combo is a splendid, weather sealed package with all the focal lenghts I usually need without having to change lenses and without any practical loss in IQ. Try it! :)
     
  12. Jay86

    Jay86 Mu-43 Veteran

    477
    Dec 26, 2012
    I feel so damn uninspired when I shoot with a zoom. Just not my cup of tea, never has been. This classic tale of zoom vs. primes only has one right answer to it really.... What suits you best. I know its such a cliche answer but the truth is everyone has there own set of needs and style. Both of those variables will dictate what works for you. I have been shooting with a 50mm prime for so long now I could practically never need another lens and be just fine with one fixed focal length. Another reason why I would love to see a fixed FL camera with a 50mm lens on the front instead of the usual 35mm or 28mm. But thats besides the point here. If you absolutely need the convenience/versatility of a zoom then nothing else will simply do. Its as simple as that. Only you know if thats what you require. People always just say oh well its just one stop faster, but sometimes and a lot of times that can mean getting the shot or not. While thats only one positive aspect of a prime among many its one of the more important ones (instead of the usual DOF considerations that are always inevitably brought up).
     
    • Like Like x 3
  13. Zee

    Zee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Well, yes, I am a prime shooter, and a long prime shooter at that (160 equive 35 is very comfy for me), so I'm totally with you, Jay. Having said that, getting this kit as offered just makes sense, even if I sell the 12-40 unused, and replace it with a 75 f1.8, it still saves me about $400 over buying the EM-1, 45 1.8 and 75 1.8.

    It has purely come down to $ and value, now. Shame there are no good prime bundles, though I guess this is where the companies know they can make money. Prime shooters will pay for a good prime...

    As for wide end, I am waiting for the Pana 15 to get some use by others before biting the bullet. Until then, I have access to a 14 f2.5 that will do what I need for now.

    Z...
     
  14. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    480
    Dec 22, 2013
    1. the prime is more than 1 stop faster than the pro zoom. not because of 1.8 is wider than 2.0, but because of transmissibility. the actual light-gathering-advantage of the omzd f1.8 is probably more like 2 stops over the 12-40.

    2. while the 75mm is optically olympus' best lens, it is for me a pretty specialty FL, that makes it difficulty to use. despite the beautiful build and design, the actual real life value (/cost) is low

    i find myself often naturally shooting between 17-25mm on the zoom. for that reason, i chose the 25/1.8 to compliment the zoom. they both get mixed usage during the day. but at night time the prime almost always comes out.
     
  15. Zee

    Zee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Well, deal is done. I has EM-1, 12-40, and 45 F1.8. I'll see how I go on my Thailand trip next week I would have liked to have the 75, but with all the water being thrown around for the festival, it's not an option. Seems the 60mm Macro is out of stock too... Oh well. I'll have fun regardless, and will, as usual, make the best of what I've got! 75 1.8 and 60 macro next on hit list...

    Z...
     
  16. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    Which costs less, takes up less space, weights less, and uses one filter size ? :wink:
     
  17. Search

    Search Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Mar 23, 2014
    You might consider a Sigma 60 mm lens as a very cheap stop gap solution ($200-$240). They are supposed to be very very sharp. I would hate to be without a longer zoom.

    PS Enjoy Thailand!
     
  18. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I guess I'm a bit late to reply, so enjoy the 12-40. It's a great lens - as good a zoom as I've ever used.

    But I'm still a prime guy. There are events and subjects for which only a zoom will do and I'm glad to have this one. But it's in addition to my primes, not replacing them... But my primes these days are all Fujis (except for the Oly 75 which will keep me in m43 even if I abandon the system otherwise), so when I go out to shoot with the EM1, it's often with the 12-40 and I like it a lot. A zoom is a nice change of pace, but I can't imagine I'll ever prefer it to primes. Primes just free my head up a lot more than zooms and I tend to come back with way more shots I'm happy with. No way lens quality trumps that...

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Zee

    Zee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Funnily enough, the more I screw around with it, the more I keep realising that I am still a prime guy. I am locked in to it, as it is the only weather sealed lens I can get hold of for my trip, but I suspect a Nocticron, a 75 and the 60 macro will be my main lenses, once I finish building my kit. A 15 f1.7 or 17 F1.8 will be in there, and then something in the 7-8mm range.

    Aaahh... GAS, and a new system... *sigh*


    But not weather sealed, as far as I am aware. Basically, anything that I would hold out under a shower will be staying in the hotel safe.

    Z...
     
  20. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 14, 2010
    Finland
    Teemu
    After the purchase of the Oly 12-40mm f/2.8, my P14mm, P20mm, O45mm and O60mm lenses have spent far more time in the lens pouches and not on the camera. Just saying... :biggrin: