45/50mm and Macro decisions

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by tkbslc, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    I'll fully admit to being neurotic when it comes to certain lens decisions. That and having a lot of free time late at night to make impulse purchases... :blush:

    So here's my (admittedly ridiculous) history over the past year-plus - I used to have a 45mm f1.8 and 60mm f2.8. But I do more portraits than macro and decided to get a 75mm f1.8. I then found that 60/75mm were too close in focal length and sold the 60mm. While I had the money for the 60mm sitting in my paypal, I stumbled across a dirt-cheap PL 45mm macro and bought it on a whim. I then sold my 45mm f1.8. I like the 45mm f2.8, but I wasn't doing much macro and I had convinced myself that f2.8 wasn't fast enough for portraits (Even though I have plenty of nice ones with it). In the meantime I found good deals on old OM 50mm f3.5 Macro and OM 50mm f1.8 primes and ended up with those too just to try them out. Then last week, I bought a used Rokinon 50mm f1.2 for a great price and I had always wanted a hyper-fast prime. I love the bokeh, but can't reliably focus the lens at f1.2 and it's heavier than my 75mm, so I am probably sending it back. And on top of all this, I still want to try the Panasonic 42.5mm f1.7. :doh:

    So right now this very second I have a 50mm f1.2, 50mm f1.8, 50mm f3.5 Macro, PL 45mm f2.8 Macro and eyeing a 42.5mm f1.7 with the refund if I send the 50mm f1.2 back.

    My PL15, O25 and 075 are firmly cemented in my kit. I want some macro capability, but I am a very casual macro user. Mostly coins and bees and flowers. I like having a lens in between the 25/75 so I can take it out as a 2-lens setup with the 15mm for travel/walkaround. Money is not a huge issue, but I'm not willing to spend enough to get the 42.5mm f1.2.

    So if you managed to get through all of that, thanks and what do you recommend I keep/sell/swap? I obviously can't be trusted to keep making decisions here by myself. :coco:

    TL;DR version - what prime lens(es) around the 45mm length should I pair with the 15mm for travel and light macro? Which ones should I sell?
  2. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    I shouldn't have posted this, it makes me sound half insane. I'm just frustrated that I can't find a favorite in this focal length while I love all my other lenses.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  3. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    It won't have fast AF on the GX7, but...Olympus 4/3 50mm/f2 Macro?

    Realistically, if you want something faster than your 45/2.8 and you're casual about your macro and can do with "close focusing" the 42.5/1.7 seems like your best bet. Small, light, relatively inexpensive, sharp across the frame, splits the difference with your FLs, and will AF quickly and reliably with your camera.
    • Like Like x 2
  4. palombasso

    palombasso Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 31, 2014
    If you want closeup and not necessarily macro (actual 1:1) people seem to think the Olympus pro 12-40 focus quite close.

    It would be a lens quite different from what you have, more versatile (obs I don't have one).

    Sent from my SM-G900M using Tapatalk
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    The 12-40 is a really versatile lens, though I suspect the price may become an issue. Why not get a set of Neweer or similar automatic extension tubes and use them with your 75mm lens. They are cheap, compact and easy to carry.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Thanks for humoring me with the replies! Sometimes it helps to think 'aloud'.

    12-40 I have thought of, but If I decide I'm fine with f2.8, I'd probably rather keep the 45mm macro. I prefer the 15mm for the wide end.

    I have used extension tubes and close up lenses in the past. They work fine, I just hate how fiddly they are and you get locked into a very short range of focus. I'd probably just use a manual macro if it came down to that.

    I don't think I'd be interested in the 4/3 macro, especially since there is no mechanical override for the poor AF.

    Probably the 42.5mm f1.7 and keeping my 50mm f3.5 manual macro makes the most sense if I'm going to change anything. Or just getting over myself and being happy with the 45mm f2.8 macro (since it actually takes great pictures when I am not overanalyzing my kit).
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
  7. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I would say "we all do it," but that's probably just to make me feel better, since I'm pretty sure most people don't.

    I think I've basically convinced myself at this point to buy a Pentax K-S2. I just want something cheap and cheerful and weather-sealed with a fully articulated screen. The cheapest option to do that in the M4/3 camp is either an E-M5 II or a GX8, neither of which are cheap, and then I'd need to get a weather-sealed lens to go with it. The E-M1 would focus my WR 11-22 better, but it's not cheap yet, either, and only has a tilty screen. I've also never had a DSLR, so I think that might be kind of fun just to play with, and I get some advantages in terms of battery life, not to mention I keep hearing about how wonderful and intuitive Pentax cameras are to use. Auto ISO in M mode with exposure compensation, here I come. The only downside is that it doesn't have a touchscreen, and the fancier Pentax weather sealed lenses are pricey.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Why not get macro from a completely different focal length like Tamron 90/2.8? And get the Pana 42.5

    Or forget macro: sell everything except the three and just get the Nocticron :)
    • Like Like x 2
    • Winner Winner x 1
  9. Listener

    Listener Mu-43 Regular

    Get yourself an Oly 60mm macro and just keep it. The longer working distance relative to a shorter macro will be useful for photographing bees. Try that lens out for other things and see how much it will do for you. Then decide about the other lenses that you need.

    You've bought and sold all this stuff and you are still thinking about more churning. Time to be honest about what hobby you are really pursuing.
  10. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Another vote for the Oly 50,f2 if you have an e-m1. It and a set of ext tubes will give you the best of both worlds for few dollars.

    Oly 60,2.8 otherwise. Then wait patiently for a legacy 50,1.2 or 1.4 for cheap to dedicate to portraits.
  11. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Wow, a much needed slap in the face! :thumbup:

    My problem has always been that I have more time to spend online than I do out shooting, so I am sure there is a lot of brutal truth in your statement.

    Fortunately I am also a master deal-hunter, so I'm not out any money yet for all this churn.

    You have to know I've already thought about it....
    • Funny Funny x 1
  12. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Next step is the k1!
  13. Listener

    Listener Mu-43 Regular

    I did not mean to give offense but I was rather appalled by your OP. I am a buy and hold sort of person rather than a day trader. I do a lot of thinking and consumer research before buying. Then I try to live with the result until it breaks or my needs change substantially. Your way of approaching the hobby is foreign to me.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    No offense taken. I called my own behavior neurotic!
  15. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    Your words, not mine! :whistling: I'm not quite sure why you aren't happy with the PL 45/2.8 - it seems to meet your requirements for providing access to macro in a 2-lens walkaround kit (with the PL 15). In your OP you said you weren't happy with f/2.8 on the 45 for portraits but you do have the O75 for portraits as well. How often have you actually been in a situation where your existing lenses stopped you from taking the picture you wanted? Is this more of a "theoretical" problem rather than a real need? If it were me, I would probably stick with your existing kit and sell off the OM and Rokinon lenses.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    If I am answering honestly, rarely if ever.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
  17. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    It's certainly the only FF DSLR I would ever buy and have ever seriously lusted after!

    Maybe in a few years when a used one is in the $1000 range.

    That all said, the GX85 announcement has reminded me of just how amazing M4/3 is at improving the fundamental usability of ILCs and just getting out of your way and letting you shoot...
  18. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    I returned the 50mm f1.2 today and I'll sell the 50mm f3.5 macro. I think I'll just keep the 45mm macro for my primary usage and 50mm f1.8 just for fun or if I'm desperate for f1.8. It was cheap enough it is barely worth selling.

    Please continue to make fun of me so this kind of post and thinking is as painful as possible for me and I won't get sucked into a prolonged bout of lens OCD again! :)
  19. Listener

    Listener Mu-43 Regular

    So get out and take some pictures with those lenses.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    near Longview ~1hr from PDX
    Jim R
    I've become a retired caregiver who needs to stay near my wife, so becoming a gear-swapper extraordinaire like you has not been my choice. I've owned nearly every Pentax body from K-200 to K-5s (9) and most of their lenses twice, as medical bills leach the kit away only to rebuild again. I also had G1 GH1 and GF2 here during that span, so I know a bit about redundancy :confused:

    My latest :mu43: kit mutation is going with extension tubes for macro - for $30 that could make a 15 or 25mm lens into a fine macro. With the ePM2 body it's great to have small lenses, so that 45 macro would appeal to me more than the 60 from Olympus. Personally my prime kit is 17/2.8, 30/2.8 and a Pentax 50/1.7 - so I managed to skip the '40s conundrum that you are stuck in. Other than thinking you need a cure for greener-grass syndrome :) I believe you already own the answer - plus a lot of extra cash sunk into near-miss lenses. I would look at image quality less and lens qualities more: how does it feel in hand/on camera, can it fit easily in the current bag , fast to focus and easy to override, &c &c. And good luck, I don't know how to do it so I advise others :eek:
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