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12-40 or 50-200?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Underwater, Mar 16, 2015.

  1. Underwater

    Underwater Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2014
    Eugene, Oregon
    I know they're completely different animals, but I have room in my budget for either one, but not both. I now have an E-M1 with the 12-50, 9-18, 7.5mm rokfish, 60 macro, and cheap 40-150. The 12-40 could eventually go underwater with me, while the 4/3 would be great for wildlife and most of the stuff I currently shoot with the 40-150. Between the two, which would give me the biggest bang for the buck?
  2. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I would say the 50-200mm and it's an extremely good lens. Most people who have this lens marvel at its quality and in many ways I regret selling mine.
  3. faithblinded

    faithblinded Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 25, 2014
    Cleveland, OH
    If you shoot much wildlife at all, get the 50-200. Bonus, when Sears photo studios closed they flooded the market with EC-14 teleconverters. They are still all over ebay for about 100 bucks shipped.
  4. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 2, 2010
    Have not used the 12-40 yet, but use the 50-200 all the time. It is a great lens and if the native 40-150 2.8 is out of budget range, it is a fantastic alternative. You have the wide and long range covered well, albeit slow, but lack of speed at the long end is wher it would likely be more helpful.
  5. VooDoo64

    VooDoo64 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 17, 2010
    Zagreb - Croatia
    Davor Vojvoda
    Buy 50-200 and than 12-60 ;) 

    I have and love that combo
  6. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    I have both and they are very high quality. I think the answer depends more on what you want to shoot most and just how you are trying to augment your current kit.

    The 50-200 will bring reach that you don't currently have and it renders beautiful detail and color.

    The 14-20 is Great too. I haven't seen great bokeh from it, admitting that I may be the problem not the lens. Indoors I like the fast primes better. Outdoors, I'm not sure it will bring that much more to the table over what you have..

    Both are high-quality lenses that bring a great deal of satisfaction with their use. Like driving a Mercedes to work, it may be the same old drive, but it will be more enjoyable.

    Might also be important to consider future finances. No question that the 40-150 Pro and the 300mm Pro will be better "fits" for m43. If you see future funding as favorable, start the march down "pro" with the 12-40. If the future looks to continue to be tight go Ruth the 50-200 and a TC. That will give you plenty of reach at high IQ that you may not get otherwise. I paid $500 for a refurb on eBay for the lens. The upside of the 50-200 SWD is that you will likely be able to sell it for close to what you paid when you're ready for change.

    Good luck making your decision. Great problem to have.
  7. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    I couldn't tell from your post what you mostly shoot. That's really the deciding factor, as others have said.

    You will also have some redundancy there, so you could sell some of the overlapping lenses, perhaps making your decision easier. I have the 12-40 and it has made a number of my older lenses obsolete, including the 12-50.

    I don't have the 50-200, so while I can't comment on it specifically, I do have the 40-150 pro and teleconverter, and I find it hard to imagine that that combo could be beaten on an m4/3 system for that FL. Of course, that is $800 more, but it could be something that influences your decision.
  8. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    For the sake of saying "hey, check this out," there's a for sale post here at fourthirdsphoto that's offering a 50-200 for an insane price of $230. It's a pretty great lens and at that price how could you not?
  9. zulfur666

    zulfur666 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 30, 2014
    you can get my 40-150 2.8 .....and MC-14... if you have a budget for it..... just saying.... :) 
  10. Underwater

    Underwater Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2014
    Eugene, Oregon
    Thanks, for the responses, everyone. I was leaning towards the 50-200, and I think this confirms it. While you're being so helpful- SWD or save a hundred bucks or so?
  11. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I would get the SWD, even though some suggest that the AF speed isn't greatly different, the body underwent some redesign to overcome an issue that caused some lenses to separate into two parts (as happened with my first one).

    I was in Queensland when this happened. One moment I was holding a camera and lens, the next it was a camera and part of a lens in one hand and part of a lens in another.

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    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
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  12. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 2, 2010
    SWD if you want fairly decent tracking. I went non-SWD, to save money, then went SWD. It is faster, and more accurate in CAF (I did a comparison in another thread in the adapted lens section), but to me the biggest advantage is I can turn the focus ring to get me close, and the let AF finish. The non SWD focus ring is dead unless in MF. It also seems there is less hunting with the newer lens, and when it does hunt, I can, you guessed it, turn the focus ring to get back on track.
  13. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2013
    As others have said - entirely depends on what you are shooting. They are used for entirely different purposes. For an amazing walk around lens , travelling etc... the 12-40's versatility as both an excellent standard pro grade zoom is hard to beat. It also doubles up as a nice macro lens.
    On the flip side, the 50-200 is a lovely piece of glass and for the type of nature photography that you do would probably be much more suitable. It's also got a little more range than anything else in your kit and for wildlife sometimes range trumps everything else.

    Another option (albeit maybe too expensive??) is to try and get a refurb 40-150 2.8 and the 1.4X teleconvertor.
  14. Underwater

    Underwater Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2014
    Eugene, Oregon
    Ended up with a 50-200 SWD and the 1.4 teleconverter, and I'm glad I did. These two shots are from my first walk around with the lens yesterday...
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  15. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Jan 3, 2014
    You will enjoy that combo, I love mine. It also works very well as a close-up lens.
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