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A question about multiple lenses that seem to serve the same purpose to a novice

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by gengo, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. gengo

    gengo Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    May 12, 2014
    So I'm just getting started in photography as a hobby.

    I have a PM2 with the two kit lenses and the P 14mm f/2.5.

    As I am looking to add new lenses, I read a lot of what people have to say about various things on this forum.

    I recently saw someone with my camera another MFT camera, along with the following lenses, which to my novice self seems like overkill:

    - Oly 12-40 f/2.8
    - Pan 14-42 F/3.5-5.6
    - Oly 12-50 F/3.5-6.3

    I understand that the first one listed above is the fastest, and I understand that it has less length than the last, but why keep the middle one?

    I also can see how having two bodies might encourage / necessitate redundant lenses to minimize switching.

    Again, I am a novice to photography in general. My curiosity is because I'm looking to add lenses in the most efficient way possible for my limited budget.

    Thank you all for your time.
  2. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    Having all those lenses might not be all that redundant, but carrying them at the same time sure is.
    The 12-40 is clearly the best in terms of image quality, but it is also the biggest and heaviest, gets the most attention and might be to expensive to carry / use in certain situations.
    The 14-42 is the most compact (there is more than one with the specs you mentioned) which makes it more pocketable.
    The 12-50 is a bit of a poor mans 12-40, weather sealed with a decent 12mm performance and pseudo-macro.
    So each has its uses, but again, I'm not sure why anyone would want to carry all three at the same time.
  3. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    I would think the 12-40 would be badly balanced on the PM2, that being said it has a higher standard of image quality. What do you want from a lens, it would be good to look at what focal lengths you use the most on your lenses. Then if you find you are using one or more it would be better to improve that area or if you need to go wider or longer consider lenses that fulfil that need. The other lenses on your list are basically similar to your kit lens except for built in IS on the Panasonics and a weather sealing and slightly extended range on the 12-50mm, not worth changing what you have for unless you want a slightly wider field of view. If you do a lot of portraits the Olympus 45mm is a bargain.
  4. gengo

    gengo Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    May 12, 2014
    I don't do a lot of anything in particular now. I'm still in the "figuring it out" stage.

    Of the next lenses I am considering, the Oly 45 is the highest on the list.

    I would LOVE to have the 12-40 f/2.8, but in addition to being a bit out of my price range, it also seems like it would be comically large on my PM2 body.
  5. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Do remember that when people list their gear, their list may possibly reflect orphan lenses that came in kits, so it is quite possible to have redundant focal lengths without much effort.

    • Like Like x 1
  6. Etude

    Etude Long Exposure Addict

    Jun 24, 2013
    Just my opinion and experience. I think it will be better to stick with your current kit lens for a couple of months as you mentioned you just started and "figuring out".

    I got into m43 as a beginner too and I shot exclusively with a kit lens (12-50) for 5-6 months before I knew what I need and bought my 1st lens. I think it will be more cost effective this way. :) 

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43
  7. zensu

    zensu Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama USA
    Very good advice. I've been an amateur photographer for 40+ years and only you can determine what your needs are.
  8. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    There are lots of reasons to keep the 12-50 IMO. Weather sealed, light, electric zoom and some lightweight macro capability all in one lens. Add to this the ability to fit in the Oly U/W housings and with a little hackery work as both a macro lens and a general purpose zoom lens under water and you have a very versatile lens.

    The 12-50 has to be on the list of "if I would only have one lens".
  9. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2012
    I don't want to admit to how many redundant lenses I have. In my case, it's a combination of not yet having made up my mind which ones I really like, and of not having gotten around to selling the ones I'm pretty sure I don't want/need.

    It's also the fault of the Buy/Sell section of this forum. I'm a sucker for a good price, and GAS is highly contagious.
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2013
    I can relate to that.....happens sooner or later...beware.
  11. gengo

    gengo Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    May 12, 2014
    I've been warned about the GAS with this hobby (well, for me it's a hobby) and I'm trying to avoid it by making the best choices based on the information I can find.

    Since I'm new, I don't really know what my "style" is, so I'm thinking I can maybe mold my style around the lenses I have available and not the other way around.
  12. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    I've got two of the middle 14-42 lenses. One is the older version that came with the EPL1 and the other is the newer one that came with the EPM1.

    Some of us don't like the bother of listing things for sale. I could give these to my son or another relative who are active on ebay and they could be sold. What would I net, maybe $60? On top of that, I still have the EPL1 and EPM1 bodies. I suppose I should find the original boxes, dig up the chargers and cables and sell them with the lenses. Just a task I don't feel like doing.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 27, 2013
    gengo, sell everything and use only two lens :

    17mm or the new 15mm


    the 45mm... That's it. And learn to shoot what you want with that two lens combo. Zoom are bad and you will stagnate a long time with that.

    Or the best way is to use only ONE lens combo, a 25mm of your choice.
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    If you think macro would be your thing, then the 60mm macro lens is also very good value for money (also weather sealed for when you end up getting a weather sealed body too :wink: ).
  15. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I hope you were being sarcastic when you posted that.
  16. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yes, I would hope so too! :rolleyes: 
  17. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 27, 2013
    I would say the same to you. :smile:

    That's the best way to understand what focal length strenghts and downfalls
  18. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 18, 2012
    Ciaran Reilly
    It's also a costly and potentially frustrating way...
  19. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 12, 2012
    I would and used to give the same advice as orfeo does here. And my newbie friends are celebrating both their prolooking photos and my advice to them. Primes are sweet. Especially indoors where a zoom would struggle without a flash
  20. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    When I studied photography and was staff in a photography school, it was never about the lenses, it was always about the subject. The best advice to give someone is to get them to see the scene/subject and think about what in that scene/subject attracts your eye and needs to be highlighted/emphasised, and then use your camera and lenses to best capture what you see. Consider the light, move around and consider the angles and light, assess the best perspective, think about what would highlight the subject to its maximum. It doesn't matter squat whether you have a zoom or prime.

    I've been telling my friends who are interested in photography this concept and it makes them think about what they plan to photograph, before they ever raise the camera to their eye. Most that I know get a camera and it comes with a zoom, the last thing I want to tell them is that they have the wrong lens and can't take professional quality photos as a result. Good photography starts with the head and heart, not the equipment.
    • Like Like x 9
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