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A "Which lens" question...

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Ritualnet, Aug 8, 2012.

  1. Ritualnet

    Ritualnet Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 21, 2012
    UK - West Midlands
    I'll get down to it rather than waffling like I normally do. I own the E-P2 (and the GF1 still, not got round to selling it) and the 20mm F1.7. I do have the original Oly kit lens, but to be honest I dislike it, and will end up selling it when I get around to it.

    I take an eclectic bunch of photos, from flowers, insects and nature, to my dog, to street work, textures, and finally landscapes and architecture. In theory then I need something wide, something portrait-ish, and something that maybe can do close ups (Macro, or telephoto).

    I'm after a lens combo that works. The 20mm is great for landscapes, but not so great for other aspects. I also find that while I can manual focus for a closer picture, I'm not too great at it. I'm also not tied to the 20mm, so if people recommend say the 14mm, I can just replace the 20mm.

    I will also say that although this is native, I am open to adapted lenses, but I have *no* idea how to start there. I've gone through posts, I add various lenses to my "this is supposed to be good" list, and then never do anything with them, as I am not even sure how they would work, how well manual focusing will work etc. I've used split rings for manual focusing for a while, but this is a whole new kettle of piranhas.

    So what do people think? I am on very limited funds, after spending an obscene amount on what I have, so things like the Oly 12mm is out of my league. I also want to keep size down a bit, as to me it feels like the moment I start messing with lenses of the same size as my D40s, then I should just grab that instead.

    Thanks! (and yes I did waffle. Darn it! I can't help it!)
  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    For wide-angle you really want/need to stick with native lenses as adapted wide angle lenses are just not available (due to the :43: crop factor), at least not at prices where it makes sense to choose them over the very good native options. I love my P20...can you elaborate on what it is about this lens that isn't working for you?

    As far as an inexpensive portrait lens, that's a great place to look at adapted lenses, particularly if you're already intrigued with the prospect of trying that. Pretty much every mount has a good, fast 50mm available which make very good portrait lenses on :43:. You should be able to pick up these lenses for US$10-50, and an adapter can be had for an additional US$10-30. You'll find lots of recommendations on particular brands and lenses, but my experience has been that any of them can be really decent.

    However, you state that you feel you're "not so great" at manually focusing the P20. Obviously, any adapted lens (except for some Four Thirds lenses) will require manual focusing. Do you feel your trouble with focusing the P20 is due to that particular lens or to something else? Having an EVF can make focusing more precise, but many of us are using manual lenses and focusing via the LCD screen (zooming in helps immensely) so it can be done. Like anything else, you will find that you improve the more you do it.
  3. Jaffa1975

    Jaffa1975 Mu-43 Regular

    May 26, 2012
    I have just picked up a Pentacon 50mm 1.8 for £10 and for the money I really cant knock it, I have also ordered a reversing ring and 52mm adapter for it so I can use it for Macro if the desire takes me, for £20ish all in I get 2 lenses, I guess neither have the IQ of thier equivalent native lens, budget is always a question when it comes to lens choice..
  4. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
    How about selling the 20mm and getting the Panasonic/Leica 25mm. Better for portraits, faster to focus. You can stitch a few shots together for a wide angle, even crop a little for a pseudo zoom. I'm sure you could net at least £200 for the 20mm.

    I didn't forget what you said about funds - even if it looks like I did - but I think it's a decent "compromise". Sell the kit lens you don't like to help. And there's £50 off Panasonic lenses at the moment (via cashback).
  5. larsjuhljensen

    larsjuhljensen Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 26, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    If I were in your shoes, I would keep the Panasonic 20mm. I consider it one of the defining lenses for Micro 4/3, and I think you would regret not keeping it. Pancake lenses are also a great match for PEN cameras in my opinion.

    Regarding wide-angle, DeeJayK is right - there are really no good alternatives to native lenses. If you are on a budget, there is really only one obvious option i my mind: the Panasonic 14mm pancake. It is supposedly surprisingly good, it is absolutely tiny, and it is one of the cheapest native lenses you can pick up because it is a kit lens.

    Another native lens that I consider to be a real bargain is the Olympus 40-150mm. It is surprisingly sharp, can do decent close-up photos as-is and fantastic close-ups if you later snap on a high-quality diopter such as the Raynox DCR-150.

    If you are curious about adapted manual focus lenses, the obvious choice would be to pick up a good, cheap 50mm lens and an adapter for portraits. I would personally pick a Konica Hexanon 50mm f/1.7, which is very sharp. It also very cheap because it was sold as a kit lens and because the Hexanons cannot be adapted to DSLRs due to the short register distance. The latter also implies that the AR adapter is one of the smaller adapters.
  6. Ritualnet

    Ritualnet Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 21, 2012
    UK - West Midlands
    what do people think of the 45mm 1.8 oly?
  7. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I have only the p20 and o45 at the moment and i love both, i totally hate the af on the p20 but i can live with it mainly its be ause the o45 it fast, like awesome fast and quick! The o45 its just an amazing lens, construction af speed and iq its awesome, maybe bit big compared to the p20, considering i came to m43-landia in search of small size big image results, and though is smaller compared to my 5dmkii with any lens, i think somehow mu43 is getting "big" to what it is. Anyway, the o45 as the p20 i think are musts in any mu43 shooter, specially if you like primes
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Ritualnet

    Ritualnet Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 21, 2012
    UK - West Midlands
    When Pancake was selling his 45, I did some research and realised it was a pretty decent lens for cheap, so tried to get it, but problems ensured. However, it still didn't remove the fact that the lens is highly rated. The only problem I see is, if I got a manual nifty 50 lens, it would in theory fight for the same roles, but at the same time, I could do street work easier without having to sit and focus in the camera (or the whole roll-the-focus-on-burst-mode thing) The price for the 45 is £200-ish, which means my budget is pretty much gone. But.. it's a great lens!

    I was looking at the 14mm pany, and thinking maybe it was a replacement for the 20mm (as they have similar ranges), but not sure.

    The 20mm's "problems" are me trying to use it out of it's role. It's like taking a car and trying to use it as a boat (without Top Gear's bodge jobs!). I want to take pictures of flowers, and while it can handle them at a set distance, as soon as you get too close it loses AF. You can manually focus, but I'm still learning, and not doing a great job at it. Also, when used in the street, you need to get closer and closer to people, which brings you into their "bubble of awareness", and ends up with strange looks or harsh words.

    The 25mm pany is beautiful, and I'm currently reading reviews now for it, but while I can see the logic of investing in it, I do wonder if one lens (as that's all I'd be left with) would be fine for everything. Then again, I'm only using the 20mm now! Cost wise, it's around £440 here in the UK, while in the US it's cheaper, at around £350. I'm not sure if the cashback offer is valid in the US, and as I'm heading to the US in Nov, I doubt it will still be running, which is a shame. However, shaving off £90 is not bad.

    The 40-150 is a contender. I was originally looking at the 45-200 pany (Argos by me has them in for £200, minus the cashback, is £150) which if it works, works well. It's just there seems to be so many that are returned due to issues. The 40-150 though seems to be around £200, but has much more reliability, but I'm not sure if the size will be an issue. The reach though is welcome, as it would replace my D40's 55-200mm.

    With native lenses, I'll check out the ones recommended. I've noticed that specific lenses are going up in price (I visited a flickr group who use c mount lenses, and they refuse point blank now to mention which lenses are the 'best', as the moment they do, the prices of them get jacked up on ebay!) so it's not as easy to get the £10 bargain anymore. Saying that, I have an old Nikon 50mm somewhere (not sure what F), and if I can't find a buyer, a A-mount Minolta 11-18mm fisheye too.
  9. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    I most often use the 20mm and the Oly 45. I had a 40-150mm and it was a nice lens but I really like telephoto as opposed to wide so I traded up to the Panny 100-300mm. Lots of good lenses available - often at good prices here on the forum. On a budget you can't go wrong with the 20, 45 and 40-150. :cool: 
  10. johnc

    johnc Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 20, 2011
    Like RevBob, I tend to shoot (much) more tele than wide. My solution for when I want/need a wider view than afforded by my 20mm is to use the Panasonic DMW-LWA52 wide-angle conversion lens (in conjunction with a 46-52mm step-up ring). It's .75x magnification factor (and no appreciable light loss) gives me the equivalent of a 15mm f/1.7 (for about $100 less than the 14mm f/2.5). You could take that money and put it towards the 45mm f/1.8, which IMO is a must-have (of course, YMMV).

    Here's a few shots taken with the 20mm/LWA52 combo (on an E-PM1):

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    It works for me.

    Panasonic 0.75x Wide-Angle Lens for Lumix DMC-LX5 DMW-LWA52 B&H
  11. Ritualnet

    Ritualnet Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 21, 2012
    UK - West Midlands
    That's not a bad idea at all Johnc.

    It's amusing that the deeper you go, the more you find. I've been reading reviews of the 30mm Sigma, and although one review mentioned how it was inferior to most lenses, most other reviews or people experience seems to say it's actually sharper than both the 20mm and even the 45mm at times! Not bad considering how cheap it is.

    The other thing, us while the Olympus kit lens is dire (imo!) I hear the 14-45mm is divine as a kit-lens. Maybe that's a good 'always on' lens, until I switch to the primes for something specific?
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