Advice for building an initial OM-D E-M5 kit in light of current rebates?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Jim_C, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. Jim_C

    Jim_C New to Mu-43

    Jan 13, 2013
    I've been thinking about downsizing my kit for awhile for many of the same reasons as others here.

    I rented an OM-D E-M5 with the 12-50 kit lens and the 12 f/2 over the holiday break. I enjoyed it.

    Tthe $100 instant rebate is back on the E-M5. But the bigger twist is the $150 mail-in rebate on up to 3 lenses when bought at the same time as a body.

    My plan was to buy the kit lens and either the 12 f/2 or the 17 f/1.8 (the latter doesn't have a rebate now), shoot with it for a while, and see where to go next. (And by that time I'd probably know for sure whether I wanted to trade-in my existing gear to fund something else.)

    But, given the big savings, I'm wondering if I should pick up additional lenses now so that I'm not leaving money on the table. (Yes, I realize the irony that I'd be spending a bunch more in order to save some money.)

    The qualifying lenses that list that hold interest are:

    12 f/2
    45 f/1.8
    75 f/1.8

    If you in the same situation, would you buy now to take advantage of the savings, or start small and build up the kit at the pace I originally intended? (This isn't a question about fiscal responsibility, just what makes sense from the photography POV.)

    My primary goal during the downsizing is to have a competent travel and walk-around kit. (I can fill in more specific needs later. With my current kit, I get a ton of mileage out out of the body + 35 f/1.8 combo, largely because I'm unwilling to lug everything else with me all the time.)

  2. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Well, how/what do you shoot right now (focal lengths, lenses)?

    There's certainly an advantage to saving money up-front with the rebates. That said, I think it's easier to transition and determine what works when you're not constantly switching between lenses. It takes a certain amount of time to get used to the new body and lenses and figure out how to make the most of them.

    Personally, I'd say get the E-M5/12-50 kit and the one prime that you are most interested in to shoot with first. That said, there's not much downside in getting the other primes and just not using them much in the beginning, provided you don't mind putting in a little effort later on if you decide they're not for you.
  3. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    Also, those lenses resell fairly easily (seems like the 45 and 75 especially) and w/$150 off you probably could break even.
  4. Jim_C

    Jim_C New to Mu-43

    Jan 13, 2013
    With my current kit I shoot most often with my 35 (normal on DX) and mid-range zoom.

    Primarily because that's what I have. I don't have an UWA, and while I do have a nice telephoto, I rarely use it. (Partly because I don't shoot at the focal length; party because it is more bulk and weight than I'm usually willing to carry. You pick the chicken and the egg.)

    What are my current photographic goals?

    I'm not in a huge rush to replace the telephoto range on the E-M5.

    I'm interested in building a competent travel, walk-around, and social gathering kit. (To that end, the fast Panasonic mid-range zoom, or the Olympus equivalent should it appear, might ultimately be interesting to me, but not right now.)

  5. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I have the 45 and the 75...both stellar lenses. could have bought the 12 at anytime... but didn't as its not a focal length that works for me... well not enough to have an advantage over the kit lens.

    if you can get 150 off the 45 then that is a absolute steal.. the 75 is harder call if your style isn't at that end of the scale... but it is an amazing lens... and i reckon a future classic

    75mm Las vegas - a set on Flickr

    guess the thrust of my argument is that fast and longer is to my mind of more value than fast and wide

  6. Mercurio

    Mercurio Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 17, 2012
    Bogotá, Colombia
    Real Name:
    I love the 9-18 as a UWA and I certainly would consider the 60 mm f/2.8 macro...
  7. Jim_C

    Jim_C New to Mu-43

    Jan 13, 2013
    Thanks —*but the question isn't "What lenses should I add to my kit?", but "What lenses from this list that have a $150 rebate if bought at the same time as the body are worth buying right now?"

    I don't currently own an UWA for my DX dSLR, but have rented one. Still not sure I see the world that way, but you can get some pretty dramatic shots.

  8. BLT

    BLT Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 13, 2013
    Real Name:
    What he said.

    If your already after the 12mm then I would at least add the 45mm. With $150 off the 45mm it is a steal, and you'll not regret getting it. And you would easily be able to sell it on eBay for what you paid for it.
  9. spinyman

    spinyman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 19, 2010
    San Diego
    I don't really see a distinction between the two.Unless the question is " Are they a good deal at $150 off ?" None of those lenses appeal to me so how could I decide their worth to you?

    Kevin, Terrific set!
  10. Jay86

    Jay86 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2012
    I would say if you think your going to get them anyways why not put the cash down and save while your at it. I think the 45mm is a no brainer along with the 12-50mm kit lens. The 75mm and 12mm are no brainers as well assuming you have a use for them.

    Personally Im looking to do something similar but I cant quite get myself to justify the price of the 12mm f/2 (even with $150 off) when the panasonic 14mm f/2.5 is available with similar IQ and only half a stop slower and 2mm longer. But if the extra 2mm and half stop are important to you then I would go for the 12mm as well. Obviously the 12mm is also much better built and has that really nice focus ring so it does have a few advantages over the Panny 14mm. Not sure how they compare however for video purposes if thats important to you.

    I say it would be a good decision to go ahead and put the cash down now and build your kit if you know you will be getting this stuff later anyways. This assuming you wont put yourself in some kind of financial hardship trying to do this but you said fiscal concerns werent really an issue.

    For what its worth Im coming from a FF camera and my most used lens was a 50mm f1.4 and Im thinking of getting the OMD + 12-50mm + Oly 40-150mm + Oly 45mm + Panny 25mm and then maybe consider adding the Oly 12mm or Panny 14mm if I feel the need for one of those as the kit lens at F/3.5 at 12mm might just be enough for me.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    I guess I'd say that for travel and walking around, I don't see primes as very valuable. For social gatherings, a fast normal or moderate wide are handy, but neither is on the rebate list.

    Purely in terms of value, the 45/1.8 is a steal at $250, the 75/1.8 is a pretty good deal at $750, and the 12/2 isn't especially exciting.

    Beyond that, I'd say the 12/2 is mainly interesting as a street lens, but it's not nearly enough better at that use than the 14/2.5 to be worth the premium. The 45 is a good portrait lens - the best available for the system. I'm not really sure what the 75/1.8's forte is - it's optically superb but for sports it's too short and can't zoom, and for portraits it seems rather long (and the sharpness is no asset there).
  12. feilb

    feilb Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    The 45 is a no-brainer at 250. It may be the best value lens in the whole lineup.

    The 12 is less interesting to me, partially because wide isn't as interesting to me and partly because the 14 is good enough for me at much, much less.

    I'll let you know on the 75 once it shows up and i find an use for it. I'll admit I had serious G.A.S. in that purchase.
  13. Jim_C

    Jim_C New to Mu-43

    Jan 13, 2013
    For social gatherings, primes can be tough because you don’t often have the opportunity to reframe, move, etc. I tend to use my mid-range zoom for that (and suffer, because I currently have a slow mid-range zoom for my DX kit.)

    But I often use my normal prime for a walk around lens. There are trade-offs, but so too would there with taking my slow mid-range zoom instead.

    What is your most valuable travel/walk-around lens or set of lenses?
  14. dino1891

    dino1891 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 8, 2013
    I too wanted to take maximal advantage of the rebates. However, I ended up taking advantage of only one lens deal, the 75mm. I had used the 45mm before when I was in the micro four thirds system last year. It always seemed a little too short for my liking, so I went with the 75mm which serves a similar purpose.

    I can easily use the 75mm indoors in a moderate sized room. I live in a small studio and I was easily able to take portraits (head and shoulders) with the lens. So although the 45mm seemed like an AWESOME deal at $250, I passed. If you want to try it out a little and then sell it, you could potentially make $50. I was thinking of doing that but I try to keep buying and selling at a minimum because it is such a hassle.

    Next I chose the Pan 25mm f1.4 for my normal range because the only decent lens that Olympus offers in that range is the 17mm f1.8. I like the 35mm equivalent length just as much as the 50mm equivalent, but it seemed that the Pan would give me a little boost in the low light department, and a little more depth of field control. Also, it seems that people are saying that $500 for an "optically average" lens is not worth it unless you particularly like the 35mm FOV.

    Next I will purchase the Pan 14mm for the wide end. I expect to pay $150 to $200 but I will wait for a $150 deal. I don't normally shoot in the wide end so I could wait for a good deal. I also do regret not buying the kit lens for its macro function because I wouldn't pay $350 for a dedicated macro lens (although I do feel like I would need one eventually during my dental career).

    After using the 75mm f1.8 (which arrived last night), I feel that the 45mm may be redundant for my needs. But a setup I was REaaallly considering was the Oly 17mm f1.8, Oly 45mm f1.8, and Oly 75mm f1.8. If I went with that setup, I would have been able to take advantage of two rebates.

    But the main reason I went with the setup I have now is that I am lazy and I hate changing lenses unless I particularly need to. The 50mm equivalent is perfect for that. With the 17mm, 45mm , 75mm (which in my opinion is an awesome setup), I would have had to switch lenses too often for my liking.

    The Olympus 12mm wasn't worth it to me. The Panasonic alternative is $500 cheaper even after the rebate. Note that is only if you buy the Pan 14mm used.
  15. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    if you can afford it, id buy now... youll enjoy it more with more lenses anyways

    tho i cant imagine having such a huge gap from 12 to 45, but thats just me.. i feel the NEEEEED to have like 10 lenses from 12 to 25 for some weird reason, lol
  16. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Depends on lighting. If the mid-range zoom is fast enough, then that's great. For me, it's invariably shooting ISO 1600 at f/2.0 or above, which eliminates zooms.

    But if you can get by with f/2.8 there are some zoom options, though each has its disadvantages:
    12-35/2.8 - high price, but compact and fast AF
    14-54/2.8-3.5II - slower AF, large (4/3 lens) but still f/3.1 at 35mm.

    I'd say the 12-50 has the range and the close-focus abilities that best match my travel interests though in point of fact I'm actually using the 4/3 12-60 (large, slow to AF, but wider aperture and sharper), and the 25/1.4 takes care of the low light and social situations.
  17. vcs700s

    vcs700s Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 9, 2013
    I went with the 45 and 75. I am really glad I did. Great lenses especially with the rebate!
  18. ice_man

    ice_man Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 19, 2012
    Real Name:
    I also finally got the lenses I wanted for my kit.

    P14mm + O45mm + O12-50mm.

    I will be saving up for my last lens, O75mm.

  19. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    I'm in the same boat - planning on an E-M5 and wondering which lenses to start with. It would be easier without the rebates complicating things!
    I'm thinking body + 12-50, as reviews are pretty good, it's weather-sealed and versatile; the 45 since it has rave reviews and with the rebate is only $250; and either the 17 1.8 since I like the FOV, or the PL25 1.4 since I loved my Leica glass on the M6. If I had only two lenses, they would be the 17 and 45.