12-50mm or 14-150mm for new E-M5?

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by DuckWingDuck, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. DuckWingDuck

    DuckWingDuck Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 20, 2012
    For someone who doesn't care about weather and have minimal use for video. What would the community recommend for someone who's about to embark on the journey?

    Should I purchase the E-M5 w/12-50mm kit or E-M5 body only and purchase a 14-150mm lens?

    For those interested, I shall also be purchase a 20mm prime (but that's going to be purchased with either lens). Thanks!
  2. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    E-M5 body + 14-150 + 9-18 and you're all set.
  3. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    just get the 14-42 kit instead. Unless there's a specific need for telephoto. in which case, I'd still say get the 14-42 kit and then add a 40-150 or 45-200.
  4. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    I'd go for the inexpensive 14-42 kit and then add the inexpensive 40-150 if you need telephoto. Some early reviews suggest the 12-50mm kit is fairly sharp but not exceptional. Some telephoto lens reviews say the 40-150 is a bit sharper than the 14-150 if I remember correctly. I have a 40-150 and am pleased with the sharpness and detail it delivers on my E-PL1.
  5. CarlB

    CarlB Mu-43 Veteran

    On the 14-42mm - I have two, and neither inspires. It's fine, but it's not quite wide-angle enough nor does it have the reach when I've wanted it.

    A 12-50mm that doesn't need to pretend it's a near pancake until you actually want to use it, is weather sealed, and has a decent macro proposition - Now that's a bit closer to something "neat" in a kit lens. Granted, not fantastic at anything, but a little wider, a little longer, perhaps a bit sharper (?), and some "in a pinch" macro capability is darned cool.

    I pre-ordered with the 12-50mm. Fingers-crossed!
  6. DuckWingDuck

    DuckWingDuck Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 20, 2012
    Thanks much for the info so far.

    Seems to me the answer, at this early juncture, is to purchase the camera body only and mate it with a 20mm pancake for ultimate portability and then purchase the 40-150 if I have zooming needs?
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    A high quality body like this deserves some high quality glass. How about the Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux, the m.Zuiko 12mm f/2, Leica 45mm f/2.8 Macro-Elmarit, and/or m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8?

    You're buying body-only, so a two-lens prime kit like the m.Zuiko 12mm f/2 and m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 will give you a full range with no need of slow, soft zooms. This will give you much faster apertures, DOF control, sharper images, and a very compact kit which will allow you to gain the most out of the OM-D's potential.

    Or if you can just afford one lens, the Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux would be a good all-purpose fast lens which will just require a bit more feet movement and less lens swapping, but offer an average 1 stop faster aperture.

    A superzoom like the 14-150mm isn't cheap, and only adds focal range without adding any better performance than an entry-level kit lens. It's much better to spend that money on fast primes.
    • Like Like x 2
  8. RussellOlaguer

    RussellOlaguer Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 12, 2012
    Paranaque, Philippines
    Real Name:
    Russell Olaguer
    I second to this.

    I also pre-ordered E-M5 body plus 12-50mm kit. This lens will be my "rugged" all purpose lens. I am also planning to buy the 20mm and 40mm for more serious works. :)
  9. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    Agreed - if you're going to go kit or superzoom, you may as well go point and shoot IMO. I can vouch for the 7-14, 20 and PL45. Since it's an Oly body, the 45 f/1.8 might be a really good match for a short tele.
  10. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    i can see all these points being valid

    i was a zoomer before m43, and now im a primer
    i like the small fast lenses on the small bodies

    but i do like the idea of a huge ranged zoom for 1 lens travel when im unsure what i may suddenly wanna photograph

    "oh lets go to the zoo!"
    *glances down at 12/2.0*
    "DAMN! The lions gonna be tiny!"

    or "lets wander around these cool old houses"
    "grrr... stupid 45! wheres my 12?!"

    i actually do carry both with me, so its not a huge problem. but the IDEA of not having to swap has a finger hold on me still.

    tho, now that ive used the tiny amazing fast primes, i cant imagine a huge ugly lens on my pretty camera making me look like a consumer!

    i am an ENTHUSIAST! or so my price point tells me! ;)

    if they could make a 12-50, waterproof, f2.0 or faster, only twice the length of the 12/2.0, but no fatter, with a distance scale, all metal build, and charge me under $2k, with amazing IQ... id use a zoom... :) ill even settle for lots of software correction!


    disclaimer... i DO have a 4/3 12-60 and will be getting the waterproof adapter... so if i ever DO feel the need, i got the good stuff! tho... itll be huge... so ill prolly never use it... but it IS pretty sitting on my counter with my other 4/3 sized thingamabobs!
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    heh, it doesn't matter what body, that 45/1.8 is a good match for anything =)
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    And this is a good point... if you DO want a zoom lens over a prime, then a high-quality fast zoom like those found in the Four-Thirds system is in my opinion a much better choice than the slow, all-plastic zooms available natively for :43:.

    Does it really matter that much if the AF is slower? AF is a luxury and a fad of today's world. Our need for bright, high quality glass on the other hand, still remains today as it did 50 years ago... many decades before AF existed. I would never choose fast AF over brighter, higher-quality optics.

    I think Olympus understands this too, as they seem to see the Zuiko Digital lenses as a viable part of the OM-D system... despite no claims of any faster AF. The optics have not changed.

    The best choice for a standard fast zoom lens currently would hands-down have to be the Zuiko 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II. Not only is it CDAF optimized for better AF on the :43: system (compared to other SLR lenses of course, not native lenses!), but it's also the most compact design you'll find in a lens of this nature. The 14-54mm is such a classic design, and even the original is really nice to use on a PEN camera because of the perfect balance.

    If I were starting fresh though, my preference would still be fast AF primes to start if weather sealing isn't a necessity (in which case go with Four-Thirds Zuiko).

    I also was primarily a zoom lens user with the Four-Thirds system before the Micro Four-Thirds system. If all the choice I had were slow zooms though, then I would never have adopted them.
  13. DuckWingDuck

    DuckWingDuck Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 20, 2012
    Great point. I'm certainly not married to having a zoom. Just figured that it might be something nice to have, as Bokeaji mentioned. (Which I guess is something that can be bought at a relatively low price point at a later date, like the 40-150mm or even a 4/3 format zoom.)

    I think I'm leaning quite heavily towards the Leica 25mm f/1.4 option that you recommended. Price being an important issue, there is also the matter of swapping, which being a lazy person, I'm probably not going to want to swap all that often. (Not to mention I just saw a video today talking about how 50mm is the ideal lens.) And I will admit, the point about high quality body needing high quality glass does resonate with me as well.

    An E-M5 + Leica 25mm f/1.4 to start might very well be the winning combination for me.
  14. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Absolutely, I think you have a winner. :thumbup:
  15. CarlB

    CarlB Mu-43 Veteran

    Sounds like a great lens! Two that I have which I've been happy with are the 4/3 14-50mm and 14-150mm Pana-Leica lenses. Sharp and reasonably fast throughout. Would be fun to see how the 14-50mm PL fares against the 14-54mm Oly ... :)
  16. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    I'm not quite sure fad is the right word to use here. AF can be plenty beneficial and is more than a line on a feature list.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. ccunningham

    ccunningham Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    My big consideration was that the E-M5 is weather proof, but of course it will need a weather proof lens, and so I'm ordering the 12-50. But if that isn't important to you (and I know the importance of weather proofing will vary depending on the user), you should probably give the consideration as to what is more important to you. If you had the 14-150 instead, you might not need to change lenses much, and that's pretty handy. Of course, as someone else pointed out, you could just get the 14-42 and add the 40-150 if you wanted more tele, and that would be cheaper, but you would need to carry the extra lens. Of course if you wanted wider, you could get the 9-18 or 7-14, and if you expect to shoot in low-light without flash alot, you will want fast primes most likely.

    Like I said, for me the weather proofiness is one of the things I'm looking for, so I've really only got the one lens option for now(as far as I can tell). But I doubt I will use the 12-50 much unless I'm going out in wet weather though, and instead will likely use one of the m43 primes or an adapted lens on the body otherwise.
  18. DuckWingDuck

    DuckWingDuck Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 20, 2012
    @Ned or any other helpful souls. Is the Leica 25mm a good/direct replacement for the Pana 20mm? (Size discrepancies aside.)
  19. DuckWingDuck

    DuckWingDuck Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 20, 2012
    @ccunningham - that's a great point. For me the fact that the E-M5 is weather proof is really of secondary or tertiary consideration. #1 is because it's pretty!! Haha, just kidding.

    Jokes aside, it just seems that the primary selling point of the 12-50 is the fact that it's weather sealed as its performance isn't stellar. Though I suppose $300 for a 12-50 lens isn't bad (a quick glance on ebay shows that it's being sold for $400+) but I just can't think of too many occasions where that is going to be an issue for me.
  20. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yup. If you have the Leica 25mm Summilux the Lumix 20mm should be redundant unless you really need something small.