Advice needed - Olympus 75mm f1.8 or upgrade E-PL3 body to GX7/E-M5/E-P5?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by eddy999, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. eddy999

    eddy999 New to Mu-43

    Nov 14, 2013
    Hi all,

    I currently own an Olympus E-PL3 with the Pan 20 1.7, Oly 45mm 1.8 lenses (plus some legacy Canon FD with an adapter). I mostly take portraits of my family and friends, and love the 45 1.8 - it takes a great portrait and I love the shallow depth of field. I've been looking into the 75mm 1.8 which i've read is very good, although I have a couple of issues... Firstly the focal length - i'm wondering whether it will be a bit long for indoor use, alternatively it may make my 45mm redundant.. Anyone with both lenses that can comment on whether they go well together or whether you use one or the other?

    The next issue is the price - for around £700 I've realised that I could opt to upgrade my camera body instead. The Panasonic GX7 is well in range, as is the OMD E-M5, with the E-P5 a bit more expensive but just about doable..

    I like the integrated EVF on the GX7, whereas the VF4 on the E-P5 looks a bit bulky (but could obviously be removed).. I also like the sound of the wifi features on both, which the EM-5 doesn't have. The 5-axis stabilisation looks great on the Oly bodies, and i'm disappointed that the GX7 doesn't support stabilisation during video (although I don't take videos much anyway). The focus peaking of the GX7 and E-P5 would be useful with my manual Canon FD lenses. I also like the look of the 1/8000 shutter speeds on the E-P5 and GX7, which I believe should help shooting wide open at 1.8 in bright sunlight, without resorting to using an ND filter like I currently do.

    I do like my E-PL3, although manual focussing is a pain on the screen with no focus peaking or viewfinder.

    Any advice? 75mm or a new body (or something else)?

  2. boostin

    boostin Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 21, 2013
    The cheaper route would be sigma 60 f2.8 1/4 of the price olympus 75.
  3. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    I have both the 45 and the 75. There is no doubt that the 75 is the better lens as far as image quality goes even though the 45 is really quite good.
    However, it is also turning your very small and compact Micro 4/3 system into something less Micro.
    I don't know how much you value compactness, so this might not be an issue.
    As far as the focal length goes, you will need some more distance to your subjects for portraits, good for fashion, not so good in a small room. Since you are mostly shooting friends and family being a little closer shouldn't be a problem so there is not much in it for you.
    My lens suggestion would be the 14 f/2.5, super small, cheap and decent quality. It's so light (2 oz. / 55g) you won't even notice it.

    A new body would mostly make sense if you want better controls than what the EPL-3 provides. The newer sensors will also give better low light performance if you find yourself shooting at higher ISO a lot.
    Out of the three the EM-5 will be the least expensive at this point if bought used. Just look in the buy and sell, where it feels like everyone is getting rid of theirs...
    If you don't need the manual controls then the EPM-2 is a really cheap way to get the newer sensor.
  4. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    The 75 is a significantly longer focal length lens than the 45, and will not make it redundant. The 75 is good for taking tight shots from across a room. It is not worth buying it to to get sharper, better IQ versions of the pictures you are now taking with the 45. I think a used E-M5 would be the best bang for your buck. The Sony sensor is significantly better in several ways, and the 5 axis IBIS will let you shoot at very low shutter speeds with the lenses you have. (I have both those lenses and an E-M5)
  5. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    I'd definitely go for the E-M5 in that scenario. Great camera and now at a good price.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. totohdyt

    totohdyt Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 18, 2012
    i love my epl3 , and I'd safe for an upgrade to the new sensor on m4/3,could be ep5 or em1, cos I like the wifi in it, but I will safe again for the native lenses that I ever want, I have oly 45, pana 45-200, and several of adapted lense, I guess better an upgrade for the new sensor(16mp)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalki
  7. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    Another vote for the E-M5. I just picked up one from the "buy/sell" forum on this site to supplement my GH3's and they are priced very affordably here. Then start saving for the Olympus 75mm for where you have the room to use it.

    Keep your E-PL3 and be on the lookout for a used or refurbed VF-2 viewfinder. Makes using the Pen's a lot easier.
  8. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    The 75 is a fantastic lens for sure. Every time I look at the images from it I'm amazed once more at its sharpness. However, it's often too long for indoor use, unless you've got a mansion.

    Given your setup, I'd go for a body upgrade - the 16mp Sony sensors on the E-PM2, E-PL5, E-P5, E-M5 and E-M1 are a big improvement on the E-P3 generation. Depending on what you shoot, I'd also look at getting a wider lens than your 20. I personally love going w i d e, so I've got both a Sammy fisheye and a 9-18.
  9. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    The O75 was the most GAS-inducing lens, until I got the O45, which I'm very satisfied with for portraits. I think I'd find the O75 too long to be practical for what I like to shoot.
  10. mcumeda

    mcumeda Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 25, 2011
    That is a tough decision. I always lean more towards investing in lenses, and the 75mm is just beautiful. It is one of my favorites lenses in any system.

    I have both the 45mm and the 75mm. I don't think they are necessarily redundant. I do use the 45mm more just because there isn't always room for the 75mm. However, the 75mm is so good that I often look for reasons to take it out and use it. It really is special.

    Having said all that, a new body with peaking or an EVF would allow you to use cheaper legacy glass easier...
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