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2 Prime Lens setup

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Dayam, Nov 11, 2014.

  1. Dayam

    Dayam Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 15, 2014
    Hi Guys,

    I just want to share my recent observations with my current setup:

    - E-PL6
    - P14
    - O25

    I've had the O25 for more than 2months now and I have to admit, the IQ on this lens is very nice. However, I honestly haven't quite "Jived" with it. I'm having quite a hard time getting used to the 50mm equivalent focal length and in most cases, I find it a bit too long for a walk around lens. I do have the P14 which I use for some landscapes, but when I use it for general purposes, I find it too wide.

    Do you guys think I'm better off doing a 17mm + 45mm setup? I'm quite limited to just having 2 lenses as I really don't like changing lenses too frequently. I could probably trade my 25mm to a 17mm and then sell the P14 and get myself a used 45mm.

    Is anyone else using this kind of 2 prime setup? Since I'm limited to just 2 prime lenses, am I better off with getting rid of my m43 gear and go for the LX100?
  2. darcius1

    darcius1 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2013
    Sandwich Isles
    I started out with P20, O45

    More recently have been using

    P20 or O12 with O75
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Ropes4u

    Ropes4u Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 24, 2012
    My prime lens set up will be the 17 and 45, but I will add the 25 later. I don't think you can go wrong with the 17mm.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. sfmurph

    sfmurph Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 4, 2013
    San Francisco
    There's an interesting post at The Online Photographer that came out today. His P.S. is interesting with respect to the challenge that comes with a 50mm-e lens. I have the Olympus 17 and 45 f/1.8s and recently borrowed a 25mm, and had a hard time with it. His point seems true to me: "There's something unique and challenging about the range where the angles of view transition from 'wide-angle' to 'telephoto.'"

    • Like Like x 2
  5. mazg

    mazg Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 20, 2013
    The 45 1.8 is an excellent lens especially if you think you might shoot portraits or candids. Tack sharp with excellent bokeh. I've also been using it recently for some ice hockey shooting as it's the longest, widest lens I have with autofocus.

    The lens is quite expensive and I've debated whether I would have been better to invest the money into the 35-100 2.8 instead, but if you want a prime you can't go wrong because it is pocketable, lightweight and fairly large aperture at f/1.8).
    • Like Like x 1
  6. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    Two of the most popular Olympus film cameras of the past, the RC and XA series, were 42mm and 35mm respectively. If you find it hard to get used to the 50mm equivalent, you're not alone, but you don't have to force yourself to any particuar norm either.

    Try a 17mm or 20mm if you wish. Switch to the LX100 if you know you will never want to play with fisheyes, long lenses, and old lenses in the future. Great solution for people who hate changing lenses.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    My current two-prime setup is the 17mm f2.8 and the 30mm f2.8 Sigma. I can tell you, the Sigma doesn't see much use, which is sad because I like it a lot, but 17mm is so dang versatile I use it for almost everything. You would be well served by that focal length, and in many cases it works even for landscapes, in ways that the 14mm could get frustrating, like not being able to avoid unwanted elements of the scene.

    The 45mm might be a better fit than the 30mm just because it is somewhat more telephoto, while the 30mm inhabits an odd no man's land between normal and telephoto...
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Picking primes, if you choose or need to have limited lenses, is a very personal decision. If you have shot a lot over the years, it is an easier question to answer. If you have not, you find yourself in situation like you have just described. If you have given the two primes that you are using a reasonable amount of time, and you are still not happy, then, yes, a change is not a bad idea. And, the two alternate lenses are not a bad idea, although it is not clear that you have a preference for the 45 (but you just may not have stated it in your OP). Just remember that your tastes may change over time, and that there are certain situations where you will want a certain lens. Visit a dense urban environment, and you will probably want that 14, if not something wider. But, if you are not using a particular FL in your normal routine, then unless you want to force yourself to use it, make the change. I used to shoot with a 35 a lot when I shot film, but I am mostly shooting longer lenses these days, unless I specifically need something like a wide angle for events (and I prefer a 24 equiv. over a 28 if possible).

    Good luck,

    • Like Like x 2
  9. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa
    Panasonic 20mm f1.7?

    I honestly didn't expect to like the slightly wider look (having preferred a 50mm for decades) but am finding that it works really well.
    • Like Like x 2
  10. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    I'm definitely a 17 + 45 guy. I loved the images from several copies of the 25/1.4 that I owned, but that FL was just a tweener for me.
    • Like Like x 3
  11. edwardconde

    edwardconde Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Right now my 2 prime kit is the Olympus 12mm & Olympus 45mm… Perfect wide and tele… Not counting the BCLs (9 & 15)… I am keeping these lenses even tho I am selling my camera bodies.. My oldest has an emp2 and I will be using from time to time..
  12. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2013
    Actually I use 2 lenses P14 and P25 with my E-P5 and I love it! I also have a O17 1.8 which I use as single walk around lens and then use DTC to get 34mm with pretty good results @4MP. LX100 is very appealing if you can get a straight trade!
    • Like Like x 1
  13. darrellc

    darrellc Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 21, 2012
    If you're really going to limit yourself to two primes, then the LX100 may be worth considering if it covers the two focal lengths (and perhaps max aperture) you'd choose if you go the 2 prime route.

    If I took one lens, I'd do 20/1.7. Two lenses, either 12/25, 12/45, 15/45 or 17/45 (I like the IQ of the PL15 more than the Oly 17 so I'd probably take it) depending on subject, location and my mood. Three lenses seems a lot more flexible - like 12/25 and the 45 or maybe a 60. Still very compact.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. janneman

    janneman Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
    Jan (John) Kusters
    I used a 2 prime set up as my regular daily bag for the first year I came to M43; I had a 12mm and a 45mm. The 17 and the 25mm oly were not available back then. If I had to pick a 2 lens set now, I would indeed go with the 17 and the 45mm oly.

    The 12-45 combo worked ok, but the gap between those two was rather big. Occasionally I would use the 12mm and digital 2x zoom from my E-M5 to bridge the gap. I now usually carry a 3 lens set up, 12-25-45mm or 7.5-25-45mm, which covers most of my work. Or I go out with just one lens on the camera, and adapt my pictures to just that.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    I tend to use either a 1 or 3 prime set up, though if Im shooting upstairs at Esquires Bedford I will use the 25 and 45 Olympus lenses and I will go out with a 25 and 12 or 14 or 45 combo on occasion but it seems the 25 only gets used as I end up in a groove. I have used a 17/45 set in the past the 17 gets used most of the time but its not the same as the 25 which just works for me. I don't know about swapping for an LX 100 it all depends on what the user feels they need and many can just roll with a limited range and never be bothered by it.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    In the op's position, keep the 14, sell the 25, buy the 20 + 45. After that you really are set. The 75 will always be there if you want to go crazy and indulge yourself at a later date.
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Dayam

    Dayam Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 15, 2014
    Thanks for all your inputs..

    Isn't the 20mm notorious for it's slow AF? I'm assuming that the AF on the 20mm is okay when lighting is good, but what about for indoors? Does it really hunt a lot?
  18. darcius1

    darcius1 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2013
    Sandwich Isles
    Even though I've missed some indoor nighttime shots of kids or at social gatherings. I found myself coming back to this lens time and time again for its qualities. I have shot a graduation and some celebrations with only this lens.

    Sent from my D5303 using Mu-43 mobile app
    • Like Like x 1
  19. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    As someone already said, lens choice is a personal thing, we are all different types of photographer with different needs.

    My journey in micro 4/3 has gone from E-P1, through a GH2 to an E-m5 and now a EM-1. Along that journey I have picked up most of the usual suspects in terms of primes. I started with the 17/2.8 that came with the E-P1, quickly added a 20/1.7 and used that a lot. I think I got the Olympus 45 next and then the Panasonic 25/1.4. and then the 14mm. I went through phases of using them, but the 20 remained my goto lens. Then came the 75 and things really changed... it was a lens that I fell in love with... its so much more than just a portrait lens, but something I found remarkably versatile.

    you can see some of my shots with 75 here


    My last lens purchase about 18 months ago was the Oly 17/1.8. When I bought it I wasn't sure I would get much use out of it, but I was wrong, it became my go to lens and shot it a lot, and still do.


    Maybe it was just where I am at with my photography, but over the last couple of years I have found that I can do a lot of what I want to do with just the 17 and the 75. I still carry the 25 and the 14 in my bag when I go out, I use the 14 rarely, the 25 sometimes, but its the 17 and the 75 that I keep coming back to.

    I travel quite a bit, and enjoy the freedom of a simple prime lens set up

    here are some more albums of the kind of work I do with basically the 17, the 75 and occasionally the 25



    Los Angeles

    Ghent, Belgium, low light concert work

    At the end of the day it is very much a personal choice, but for me I have found a set of focal lengths that work for me and I am a happy photographer, who can concentrate on trying to be a better photographer and not fret about the equipment


    • Like Like x 3
  20. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Personally I find the 50mm length (25mm on MFT) to be a slightly uncomfortable length, it's not telephoto enough to be useful however it isn't a normal lens so the perspective it gives can sometimes feel wrong.

    It took me a while to get used to it at all and I doubt I'll ever be completely comfortable with it, it just seems like an unnatural focal length. 28mm feels pretty good to me, 24mm is just too wide.

    Everyone is different I guess, I disliked the 45mm f1.8 at first in normal usage however the more I use it the more I like it's rendering when used out of place (it's rendering at f/22 at shorter distances is amazing, there's something unique about the background to me).
    • Like Like x 1
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