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3 Recommendations needed: Fast, Macro & Zoom lenses

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by digital_grrl79, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. digital_grrl79

    digital_grrl79 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 27, 2011
    Chicago, IL
    So I've had my GF1 for over a year now. I love using my legacy glass with it but am looking to get some native lenses too. Here are the recommendations I would like:

    1. Native Macro (I like to get in close and shoot small toys and tiny details like flowers)

    2. Native Zoom (I want something that has a decent zoom on it but is not too heavy or slow)

    3. Fast Lens (what is your favorite fast lens regardless of focal length?
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    First of all, I'll start off by saying that with "Native" lenses I'm including both Four-Thirds and Micro Four-Thirds. Otherwise, there's really not much to suggest for all fields.

    Leica 45mm f/2.8 Macro-Elmarit, Zuiko 50mm f/2, or Sigma APO 150mm f/2.8.

    Zuiko 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II

    Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux or m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8
    • Like Like x 1
  3. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Recall that Four Thirds lenses don't AF very well with the GF1.
  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Leica 45mm f/2.8

    I LOVE the Olympus 14-54 mkII but it's a 4/3 lens so it needs an adapter (and you DID say native zoom)...so the Panasonic 14-45/3.5-5.6. It's not the fastest lens but it does have stabilization on the lens, is pretty compact and sharp.

    Fast lens
    Panasonic 20/1.7 (small and great) but based on the images I have seen the Olympus 45/1.8 could take that spot
  5. ggibson

    ggibson Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 9, 2011
    You could combine 1 & 2 with the new Olympus 12-50mm. It has a dedicated semi-macro mode. It's not fast glass, but it seems like a good all-around outdoors/walkabout lens.

    My pick for fast lens is the 20mm, which pairs perfectly with the GF1.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 23, 2012
    I can only comment on #3, and take my input as merely coming from a novice, but the Olympus 45mm has blown me away. I've only compared it with the oly kit lens (14-42 iir) and the Pany 14mm, but it puts them both to shame. Good price too!
  7. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia

    I'm with Ned on this one, but leaning towards towards the 25. That may be because I've just got it and I'm still in discovery phase but I do like the field of view and it's delivering great image quality. All I need to do is to shoot some better images with it.
  8. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    I'll chime in on the macro side. Just wondering how much macro do you do? Because that PL45 costs almost $700. That's a big chunk of change. Since most people use manual focus for macro anyway, have you thought about just buying a legacy macro lens?

    Of course I am a big fan of legacy glass so I might be a bit biased. :wink:
  9. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    I'll second spatulaboys' recommendation for an adapted macro lens. Most of the time with macro, because of the depth of field, you end up either making micro-adjustments using manual focus, or the way that most macro shooters attain focus is just to rock your camera/head a few millimeters forward or back. Otherwise, if you want a native macro lens, there is exactly ONE option: the Panasonic 45mm f/2.8.

    For a native zoom, there is really nothing for our cameras yet. Everything is slow :(  I'd say to go to Amazon and buy yourself the Panasonic 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 that is being sold for $135. The lenses are all about the same, barring minor differences, so save your money until Panasonic or Olympus release something more reasonable.

    For the favorite lens bar-none, I only own the 14-42mm and 40-150mm native lenses, but I've had the chance to use/rent/test many more. I'd say that the 14mm and 17mm are rather disappointing, and while the 20mm is rather impressive for the price, it has some serious drawbacks. The coolest m4/3 fast lenses are:
    -Olympus 12mm f/2.0
    -Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 (this is a cool cool awesome cool amazing stupendous lens)
    -Olympus 45mm f/1.8: - also very cool, mighty impressive. Shows that m4/3 is really coming into its own
    Panasonic 7-14mm f/4.0 - f/4 is pretty fast when you consider the focal length

    And, if you don't mind manual focus, I would put good money on the Voigtlander 17.5mm f/0.95 and 25mm f/0.95, although the Panasonic 25mm is so good that I'd rather have that.
  10. jim_khoo

    jim_khoo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 9, 2010
    Kuala Lumpur
    to add to Ned's list for #1... zuiko 4/3 35mm/f3.5
  11. fdifulco

    fdifulco Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 28, 2011
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    1) if you want m4/3 then pan 45 2.8 or in the 4/3 mount the oly 50 f2.0 which would require an 4/3 to m4/3 adapter. since most of my macro shots are manual focus i use my existing 4/3 50. it will auto focus but is a tad slow.

    2) so far none of the m4/3 strike my fancy. i hope this summer or fall there will be a better selection. i had hopes for the pan 45-175X but reviewing post and reviews suggest there are problems with this lens with the current firmware. if i can get my 4/3 14-54 mk2 from my daughter i use it with an adapter.

    3) the pan 25 1.4 ! it is one nice lens! 2nd place would be the oly 45 1.8

    hope that helps
  12. Qwerty

    Qwerty Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 15, 2012
    1. AF is pretty useless for macro work. Depth of field is so thin that you usually achieve focus by moving the camera backwards or forwards ever so slightly at these high magnificaitons.

    2. Don't know, I like primes

    3. Easy one, Olympus 45mm f1.8
  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    If you wait until later in the year, then we can also add a few more lenses to the suggestions....

    1. m.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro
    2. Lumix X 35-100mm f/2.8
    3. m.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8

  14. flaxseedoil1000

    flaxseedoil1000 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 10, 2011
    FYI, the 20mm can get fairly close, closer than the 25mm, may be fine for your needs.

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  15. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    1) Panny Leica Macro Elmarit. 45/2.8
    Superb native macro with in lens Image Stabilization that doubles as a very decent portrait lens.

    2) Panny 14-45 metal mount kit zoom
    Excellent performer, relatively small and again with in lens Image Stabilization.
    (for a little more bulk you may want to consider the 14-140, quite popular too but be certain that it balances nicely with your camera for your tastes)

    3) Panny Leica 25/1.4
    Fast, bright, sharp, contrasty. Has a tendency to attract pests though !
    (the 20/1.7 is another stunning option. A little slower and wider than the PL25. Given recent price spike only about $150 cheaper...BUT...is a pancake lens so will give you a bit in terms of portability)

    Tack sharp native macro with IS that is a useful portrait lens, a very highly regarded and inexpensive 'normal' focal length zoom also with IS, and a stunning fast prime in a classic 50mm(eqv) focal length.

    ....you could wait for the Oly 60mm macro, but I imagine with that focal length you would want IS of some sort which your GF1 doesn't have. It may be worth waiting to see at what price point it is released.

    I think it would be good planning to have some seperation between your primes(20-45 or 25-45) and a zoom to cover everything inbetween (and then some) :) 
  16. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
  17. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I disagree. I'd recommend against the 4/3 lenses for macro use. The autofocus is awful (slow, inaccurate). And if you use manual focus, legacy MF lenses are much easier to use (they don't have the focus-by-wire of the 50/2, and they have nice long focus throw). The 150/2.8 is discontinued and basically impossible to find. Ditto the Sigma 105/2.8.

  18. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

  19. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Hi Digital Girl
    I will make it less complicated
    1) fast - pick up PL 25 mm 1.4, fast AF , very good low light performance but a bit bigger so if size matters then 20 mm 1.7
    2) Macro - Panny 45 mm 2.8 - magnificent lens
    3) Zoom - Nothing will beat 4/3 14-54 mm Mrk II but newer lens 12-50 may suit ur needs as well .
  20. digital_grrl79

    digital_grrl79 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 27, 2011
    Chicago, IL
    Thanks for the recos everyone! I am going to keep saving up my $$ and will also wait to see what is on the horizon for the zoom category.

    I have the 20mm 1.7 but didn't want the recommendations to be biased by stating that. I'd still be open to buying another fast lens. The Panny 25mm 1.4 looks amazing!

    I agree with the macro recommendations on going for the legacy lens. I have one and it's been great. I didn't even think about how it would be to have auto focus and figured it would be helpful but it sounds like it's not so useful with macro shots anyway.

    Thanks all and keep them coming if there are more :}
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