3 Lenses Only

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by travisennis, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. travisennis

    travisennis Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 27, 2010
    I've made it a goal for myself that I will never own more than three lenses for my GF-1 at once. Mostly I've done this because of finances, but also because three lenses should be enough to get a variety of shots and still be very portable. I've also added the restriction for myself that my three lenses could only be primes, but I like shooting with them the best.

    My likely three lenses as of right now:
    Panasonic 14mm f2.5
    Panasonic 20mm f1.7 (only lens I currently own)
    Panasonic 45mm f2.8

    I would choose these three because they would give me fast primes that cover wide, normal and short-tele.

    If rumors hold true, then I might like to find a place for the Panasonic 25mm f1.4, but I'm not sure where it would fit as it is close to the 20mm and I really like that lens and would find it hard to part with and two normal lenses wouldn't be very useful. Also, if Panasonic or Olympus come out with a wider or brighter lens than the 14mm, then that might be a consideration depending on price. So far I haven't seen any rumors of a lens that would replace the 45mm, but I would like to see a 40mm to 50mm in the f1.4 to f1.7 range and I would be surprised if one didn't show up sooner or later.

    If money were no object and it were easier to find, I would be very tempted by the Voigtlander 25mm f0.95 just because it is such a nice lens, but the possibility of a 25mm f1.4 probably would still make me hold out to see what the latter cost.

    I've considered adapted lenses but so far none have made my short list.

    So, after a long introduction I'm finally to a question that I hope will elicit some interesting answers and provide some food for thought:

    If you could only own 3 lenses for your m43 camera, what would they be? And for added fun, why those three?
    • Like Like x 5
  2. Ben

    Ben Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 16, 2009
    I'm with you on the principal - don't get the point of huge quantities of (zoom) lenses with a micro four thirds camera.

    Definitely agree with the first two, yet to be convinced by the 45 2.8. Really expensive for a very slow prime. My third is a Pen F 42mm f1.2 (bought on this very site). Nice build and lovely to use, but soft as hell until you stop it down a bit.

    Of course the spiritual ancestors of M4/3 - Leica/Minolta CL/CLE - came with a 28mm, 40mm and a 90mm. You're definitely in line with that!
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Richmond, VA
    Richard Elliott
    I have my three already:

    14-45 kit zoom (general purpose)
    45-200 zoom (wildlife)
    20/1.7 (low light, indoors, sharpness)

    That said since I have two cameras I would make two kits! ;)

    GF1 - Indoors and urban shooting
    50/1.4 Pentax-M

    G1 - Hiking and everything else
    14-45 zoom
    45-200 zoom
    100/4 Micro-Nikkor macro
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Warren T.

    Warren T. Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 10, 2010
    San Francisco
    I prefer prime lenses too, but since there weren't many to choose from, I have my current 3 lenses:

    20mm, 14-45mm, and 45-200mm

    They go with my G1 or GF1.

    The 20mm is my preferred walk-around, general purpose lens, and it keeps either the G1 or GF1 nice and compact.

    The 14-45mm covers the 14mm wide end, so I do not feel a strong need for the 14mm prime.

    On special shoots where I need to work fast and do not wish to do too much lens swapping, I carry both bodies, GF1 with 14-45mm and the G1 with 45-200mm, to cover the entire range from 14-200mm. Fortunately, M43 gear is so compact that it's possible to carry the two bodies without too much physical stress.

    • Like Like x 1
  5. sparkin

    sparkin Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 18, 2010
    Lexington, KY
    My jacket-pocketable kit for EP2 is similar, but with Oly zooms:

    9-18 wide
    14-150 general
    20/1.7 Panasonic for inside etc.

    I'm also on a quest to rebuild my old OM Zuiko collection, which I stupidly sold for a song a few years ago.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    If it had to be three it would probably be those you have. Similarly, I would like to have something like a 40-50mm 1.8 or so instead of the 45/2.8.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. DesertRose

    DesertRose Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 1, 2010
    I only have two - 14-45 and 20, and I could live w/o the 14-45. :) I'd like a 90, esp. if it had macro capability.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    For the time being, it's only 2...
    20 & 14.
    I have the 17, 14-45 but they just sit and don't get used.
    The 17 (35) is my preferred FOV but I'm getting old and really liking the Panny lenses.
    I have my eye on the 45 2.8 but it's been over a year since I started thinking about it and haven't seen the real need for it....
    so.....that's my story and I'm sticking with it...
    • Like Like x 1
  9. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    While I applaud your fiscal responsibility, I don't see why you would want to limit your options. I guess I could survive with my 20/1.7 and 45/2.8 but it wouldn't be nearly as fun.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Dublin, IE
    The idea of a '3-lens kit' is great. Actually, when I still used my Pentax DSLRs, my dream kit consisted of Sigma 10-20mm zoom, Pentax 40/2.8 Limited and Pentax 77/1.8 Limited. Unfortunately, I had only first two - the last one was too expensive so I had to live with a 85mm Super-Takumar.

    Right now I have only Panny 20mm and 14-42 kit lens. For now 14-42mm will do as a cheap and relatively wide solution - until I can afford buying Oly 9-18. I never shoot sports, most of my pictures are landscapes, cityscapes and family portraits, that's why wide angle is more important for me than telephoto. I feel that Micro 4/3 really needs a moderately fast prime lens in 60-70mm range. 70mm f/2 or even f/2.4 (like Pentax 70 Limited) will be great.

    So my dream lineup for stills consists of:

    1) Oly 9-18
    2) Panny 20mm f/1.7
    3) imaginary 60 or 70mm f/2 lens

    Regardless of everything else, I will probably keep my Panny 14-42 for video: I absolutely love its silent focusing and rock-steady IS.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    tc, I'm not doing photography for fun. I'm doing it because it's my lifes work.
    The forum and members are what I do for fun.
    I spent the better part of 40 years with an M4 & 35 Cron or Lux working.
    I never missed an image I wanted because I SEE that FOV.
    So, working with 1 or 2 lenses keeps me in a comfort zone that the camera does not interfere with my vision.
    It's a symbiotic relationship.

    Everyone has their method of madness and I have mine well under uncontrol.
    The beauty in art is in the simplicity of design.
    • Like Like x 3
  12. Cerebus2

    Cerebus2 Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 12, 2010
    I like fast primes. Unfortunately these are thin on the ground for m4/3. My ideal kit (in 35mm equivalent):

    85/2 or 100/2.8

    What I can't decide is whether i prefer the FOV or the perspective better at these lengths. The Panasonic 20/1.7 is a great lens, and while the FOV is right the perspective feels all wrong to me.

    OTOH, shooting with an adapted 50/1.4 just feels like the utterly wrong working distance.

    My problem could simply be I've not worked enough to make either option 'feel' right.

    That said, I'd snap up a 25/1.4 if released, and I'm currently toying with picking up an old M39 50/2 (mainly for the size--other mounts tend to moot a lot of the size advantage I like about m43).
    • Like Like x 1
  13. PeterB666

    PeterB666 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 14, 2010
    Tura Beach, Australia
    That's an interesting set.

    One thing of note is that you don't have a proper portrait lens in there. While the 45mm is the right sort of focal lenght, it is probably a stop too slow but would make do.

    I will be disposing of my 45-200mm Panasonic in a few weeks time. I just don't use it.

    My 3 lens kit would be the following:

    • Olympus 9-18mm f/4-5.6 zoom (I already have)
    • Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95 (I already have)
    • Either the new Olympus 14-42mm kit zoom (I have the old one but don't like the rotating filter ring) or the promised 12-50mm fast Panasonic (we will have to see what the price of that one is before going committing to that one).

    Of course I won't be chucking away my Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 too soon as if makes a reasonable walkabout lens with AF and is very compact so I cannot see me joining the 3-lens kit too soon.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. wyip

    wyip Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 17, 2010
    San Francisco, CA
    Interesting you posted this. I'm doing this for my m4/3 lineup as well as my DSLR lineup.

    For m4/3, I'm currently using a 14-45mm, 20mm, and an adapted Tamron 60mm f/2 Macro. I'd sell Tamron if Olympus releases the 50mm f/2 Macro in m4/3 mount. I've also considered selling the 14-45 for a 14mm pancake.

    My Sony Alpha line up is an a900 with ZA 24-70/2.8, ZA 135/1.8, and I'm planning on getting a ZS 35/2 once I sell some more unused gear.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. markitos

    markitos Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 9, 2010
    Durham, NC
    My plan is to only have the 20 f/1.7 and the 45-200 and be done with it... but I have DSLRs if I need the other stuff, so I guess I'm sort of cheating. So far I only have the 20mm and don't feel like I'm missing out on much.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    then you are certainly the exception here.

    Besides that, why not make work as fun as possible?

    Anyways, my photography is mostly travel, and mostly because work is getting me there. I don't have a whole lot of choice in times or locations, and have to have maximum flexibility - coming back tomorrow morning is not an option. Hell, a lot of times even changing a lens is not an option. So I'm pretty excited about the new fast zoom announcement and then would carry:
    12-50 f/2.8-3.5
    20/1.7 (indoor - IMHO this is the greatest museum setup ever)
    45/2.8 (outdoor - unless the close focusing of the 12-50 is good)

    Since "zoom with your feet" is not a reasonable option in these circumstances, I would prefer to carry zooms. IMHO, the optical tradeoff is going to have less of an impact on the image quality than the likely heavy cropping would.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    The different perspectives are fascinating. While I have the 14-45 (and respect it's performance) and some nice legacy lenses, I rarely use much but the 20. I would like to add the 14.

    What's interesting to me is that this limited lens selection actually gives me more flexibility. The limitation really only exists in terms of long range. In terms of creativity, this selection opens my mind to different composition options of any single point of interest. Most often I am pushed for time and as a result have become very swift in assessing targets and making several photographs from dramatically different perspectives. My photography has improved considerably.

    I agree that the 20 is a great museum lens. But I would never dream of limitings it's possible applications, in my mind or in practice.

    These different approaches by photographers are a big part of what produce endless creativity in photography.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. russell

    russell Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 28, 2010
    Victoria, Australia
    Could you explain that a bit more? I'm still trying to get my head around the sensor size effect. But I would have thought both the FOV and perspective would be the same as you would get from a 100 mm lens on a full frame camera in the same location. So surely if one's 'right', so is the other, if 'right' means matches what you're used to with a given full frame lens.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. I have an E-P1 for nothing but fun, and I don't see myself spending any serious money on it. In Australia m4/3 is sold at premium prices, and second-hand lenses like the 20/1.7 can sell for more than the new prices I've seen from the US. If I was to have a wish list of three lenses however it would definitely include the Oly 9-18mm, and probably the 14-150mm. The third would be a toss-up between the Panny 20/1.7 and the CV 25/0.95. On specs I would prefer the 25mm but for a prime lens the 20mm is more my ideal focal length.

    Choosing three of my current lenses it would be the fairly pedestrian combination of the Oly 4/3 9-18mm, Canon FD 24/2.8, and Oly OM 50/1.8.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. I think you're right. Perspective (the relative size of near and far objects) is directly proportional to the FOV, so should be the same for a 50mm lens on a full-frame camera as a 25mm lens on a m4/3 camera. It's depth-of-field that is directly proportional to the focal length of the lens, regardless of the format size.
    • Like Like x 1
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