14/ 20or25 /45 or 12-40 f/2.8

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by dino8031, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. dino8031

    dino8031 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 27, 2012
    Boulder, Colorado
    I'm torn between these three primes or just buying a 12-40 pro. I have long covered.

    Anyone tried both combinations, made the switch, or done something similar?

    The 12-40 seems like a bit of a beast, even though I haven't mounted one on my E-M10.
    It's not as fast, and I love the IQ of these little primes, except the 14 which isn't that great.

    Any advice here?
  2. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Real Name:
    What do you shoot?

    14mm isn't very wide compared to 12mm (11mm in RAW).

  3. Harvey Melvin Richards

    Harvey Melvin Richards Photo Posting Junkie

    Feb 15, 2014
    Southwest Utah
    I have the 45 and the 12-40. If I had to choose betweent the 2, it would be the 12-40 without hesitation. I love the the 45, but for my use, the 12-40 is so much more.

    And as I have said elsewhere, the 12-40 (on an E-M10) is only big until you fall in love with the 40-150 PRO.
  4. dino8031

    dino8031 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 27, 2012
    Boulder, Colorado
    I was afraid someone was going to love the 12-40 and then mention the 40-150. Looks like it's time to start selling off the Canon gear again....

    So let me rephrase this. I already have a decent Canon kit, 10-22, 17-55, 70-200 f/4, etc. so I'm primarily interested in Mu4/3 as a compact travel kit. If I start throwing in big lenses doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose here? Trouble is, I'm big on IQ.
    Now if I throw in a 12mm instead of a 14, paired with a 20mm and 45, then I'm right around a grand on the used market. Then the 12-40 starts to look better.
    It's never easy I guess.
  5. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Real Name:
    If size is the biggest thing. I'd go with the Oly 17/1.8, 45/1.8, and 40-150/4-5.6. Great bang for the buck kit right there.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    Deciding between a great zoom and great primes...
    How lazy are you about changing lenses?
    This could very well be the deciding factor.
    A camera with a small prime is great until you need a different focal length.
    Sometimes you don't have the time to change and sometimes you might be just too lazy and either don't get the shot or don't get the framing you actually want...
    p.s. I usually carry the Oly 12-40 and the 75. When it gets darker I use the Nokton 25. I have other primes, but hardly use them.
  7. ahinesdesign

    ahinesdesign Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2011
    NC, USA
    Real Name:
    I built a nice collection of m4/3 primes at one time, but found that I was changing lenses a lot and annoying my family swapping them all the time. I sold the primes and bought a 12-35 (had a G5 at the time) but later switched to an EM5 and 12-40. The 12-40 is a fantastic, versatile "all in one" solution, as sharp as the best primes (sharper than the less expensive primes for sure) plus weather resistant. F2.8 is only two stops or less slower than most of the primes, which does limit usefulness in very low light and won't allow you to blur backgrounds as much - but in most circumstances isn't a problem. The 12-40's blur can be nice (especially on the longer end) but busy or just minimal in many cases (on the wide end). If subject isolation is very important, go with the primes. The 12-40 is large and relatively heavy, and may be unbalanced on the EM10. I think the EM5 needs a grip when using the 12-40... I ended up buying a 20mm (my third copy) to give me a light, minimal lens to use when the 12-40 is too big, too heavy, or just overkill.
  8. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    Real Name:
    call me Arg
    12-32? Meets your stated needs.
  9. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    How about the Lumix 12-32 pancake plus the M.Zuiko 45mm - plus another tiny body like e-pM2?
  10. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Real Name:
    I was a 2.8 zoom user on my Canon gear. That is one of the main reasons I tried m4/3. The 2.8 zooms were large and heavy. I have switched to primes in m4/3 except for long lenses, but I do find myself wanting a zoom when I am at outdoor events and don't need f1.4 or 1.8. But for me, I wouldn't replace my primes with a zoom. I'd like a zoom to add to my primes. I shoot below 2.8 way too much to give up the primes, no matter how good the zooms are. So, my answer is both. I can't afford one of the pro zooms at the moment, but I'm sure I'll have both at some point. Just not at the expense of giving up my primes.
  11. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    I own and occasionally use the 12 f/2, 17 f/2.8, 25 f/1.4 and 45 f/1.8. Since I bought and have gotten used to the 12-40 f/2.8 PRO, I use it for 75 % of all shots, leaving the primes for specialty stuff like low light or portraits. The PRO is big and heavy but you get used to it and it really is that good. I only leave it home in "ultra-light" travel situations.
  12. stripedrex

    stripedrex Do or do not. There is no try.

    Jun 8, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    Real Name:
    Ill throw another curve ball. Id get the new 14 to 140 3.5 to 5.6 for all outdoor use and 17 1.8 and 45 1.8 for low light and shallow dof. If you need the wide maybe olympus 12 to 50. If you insist on best quality get the panasonic 2.8 zooms. Both are smaller and similar performanve with less tele.
  13. emorgan451

    emorgan451 Mu-43 Veteran

    I had a similar dilemma last year. I already had and loved the 45 1.8 and had a 17 2.8 pancake. I was going on a Europe trip and was about to sell the 17 2.8 and get a used PL25 and a 12-32 zoom or a 14 2.5 pancake, because I thought that there was no way I could afford the 12-40 2.8. Then I found out that it could be had for about $700 as a refurb. I then knew I needed a zoom since all the tours I was going to be on didn't give me enough time to change lenses constantly. For me the quality over the whole range and the weather sealing plus being cheaper than my alternatives (12-32 was just coming out and used prices were high) pushed me towards the pro zoom. I haven't regretted it. It was fantastic on the trip and I have used it many times photographing toddlers that I would have trouble keeping in frame as they run towards and away from you. The size and weight never bothered me on the trip, but of course you could always wish for smaller. Last week I was at a friend's house and he had a D800 with a 24-70 2.8 and it was gigantic! The lens alone weighed more than the EM5 and 12-40. It's perfect with my EM5 and JB grip for my hands. Also the close focus abilities of the 12-40 are pretty remarkable (to me) for my macro purposes (just flowers) it saves me from buying a dedicated macro lens.

    I still pine for the PL25 for the extra speed, but it's next on the list to save up for.

    As a side note I would never give up my Oly 45 1.8. It is so small and optically fantastic I couldn't do without it for portraits. It's definitely better than the 40 mm end of the 12-40, but the 12-40 is no slouch.

    So to sum it up I would think that the best bang for your buck is a refurb 12-40 2.8 for the prime/near prime quality that covers the desired focal range for about $700. I've read that the 12-32 is pretty good and the above suggestion of the 12-32 + 45 1.8 is probably a slightly cheaper option, but you give up some speed and IQ over most of the range, but gain portability.
  14. Transalp01

    Transalp01 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 3, 2013
    Täby, Sweden
    With the grip ECG-1 the 12-40 is no problem at all. I stopped using my 14/2,5 and 45/1,8 on my E-M10 after I bought 12-40. But I still use 14 and 45 on my GM1.
  15. dino8031

    dino8031 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 27, 2012
    Boulder, Colorado
    I have the grip, which should help a lot.

    OK. I'm sold. What the hell it's only money. Now, where do I find one for $700?
  16. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Real Name:
    Usually the olympus outlet has them for close to that price point, but they appear to be out of them at the moment.

    KEH.com has them for bewteen $792 and $852

    Adorama has a used one for $799
    http://www.adorama.com/US 694266.html
  17. dino8031

    dino8031 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 27, 2012
    Boulder, Colorado
    I've been following them on Ebay, and there seem to be a few of them selling in the $700 range, but that's always a crapshoot. I have roughly a month until I do any major traveling, so I have time on my side. They also turn up on FM in the $700 range, but they sell very fast.
    An Olympus refurb seems like the best option. I've always had good luck with refurbished products.

    Thanks everyone for their input and suggestions. I'll just have to pry a couple of my Canon lenses away from my daughter to cover some of the cost. Does a 14 year old really need a 24-105 or a 50mm 1.4? I can hear the wailing already....
  18. NWright

    NWright Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 13, 2014
    I'm a current owner of the 14 2.5 both of the 25s (selling one soon) the 45 1.8 and a 40-140R.

    Not to throw a wrench in your plans but if size if of concern a setup that might work would be a highly compact two body system - perhaps something like the Ricoh GR (599 New at B&H) along with say a smaller m4/3 body with the 45 on it.

    The GR is supposed to have a great lens (only f2.8, however) with very usable low light capabilities and WILL actually fit into most jeans pockets (something I don't think any M4/3 setup could do).

    This is a setup I am heavily considering at the moment. (Ditching my 14 2.5)
  19. NWright

    NWright Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 13, 2014
    This would allow for a great 28mm option on the wide end (with supposedly better IQ than m4/3 can produce) that is a literal take everywhere camera - and free up the m4/3 mount for arguably one of the biggest draws to the system - the beautiful primes (25 1.8/1.4 &/or the 45 1.8/new 42.5 1.7 from Panasonic)
  20. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Real Name:
    David Dornblaser
    I have the 12-40, plus the O12, 17, 25, & 45. For a travel kit, it would be the O17 & one or two other primes.