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Advice on a cost-effective, lightweight lens setup

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by drone, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. drone

    drone Mu-43 Rookie

    19
    Jan 25, 2013
    I'm the owner of a E-PL1 with a 14-42 kit lens (first model).

    I'm very pleased with the overall image quality that cheap combo gave me, but now I have a monkey on my back telling me it's time to upgrade.

    Loooking back at the photos I took, I noticed that most of my pictures were taken at full wide angle (14 mm) or at full tele (42 mm) and that, in the latter case, sometimes I missed the reach that I liked with my Lumix FZ superzoom camera (architectural details on cathedrals and so on)

    So I started thinking about a change in my lens setup, stripping it down to:

    1) Buy a Panasonic 14/2.5 as my default lens (used or stripped from a kit) for (slightly?) better IQ at 14mm and better indoor pictures (I know, it's only a stop, but that's also the difference between 800 and 1600 ISO...)

    2) Sell the original 14-42 and the FZ camera to get the funds to buy a (used or refurbished) 40-150 M.Zuiko and swap lenses only where I need the extra reach

    For the 14-40 range, I think that my feet should zoom enough

    What do you think about? In your opinion there's a most cost-effective setup I should try?

    I'm also tempted by older lensed as the Zuiko 14-54 RII (with adapter) but at the moment it seems to me a less flexible option (also heavyweight) and I dont't know how it compares to the 14mm + 40-150 in terms of IQ

    I Thank you in advance and I apologize if my english is less than stellar (I'm from Italy)
     
  2. Strick

    Strick Mu-43 Regular

    128
    Jan 8, 2013
    Columbia, MD
    Rob
    Your english is fine! :smile:

    I think that is a good plan. The 14mm with the 40-150. The 14mm is a wonderful lens.

    You can find a refurb 40-150 for a reasonable price online.

    Another option is to sell your current lens and get the 14-150.

    Good luck with wahtever you choose and happy shooting!!:biggrin:
     
  3. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    I highly recommend the 14-150 in combination with the Panasonic 20mm f1.7.
     
  4. wallyrulz

    wallyrulz Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Jun 12, 2011
    +1

    There have been some spectacular deals on the 14-150 and in good light it is very capable. The improvement I made going with the 20 over the 17 2.8 and kit lens almost made me cry.
     
  5. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I love my 14-150mm and it would make a very nice overall lens, bit big sometimes however. Image quality is the same as the kit lenses and no gain in aperture{slower from 40-75mm}. It just makes things easy when you need multiple focal lengths at a single event.

    The 14mm is a super lens especially considering the price. I got mine from a striped kit and love it to death. It out-performs the kit lens at 14mm in several ways. It has closer focus, better color rendering, faster AF, larger max aperture and small/light for easy use.
     
  6. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    That is a much more expensive option than either of the alternatives the OP mentioned. Fine if he wants to spend the money. But being on a budget myself, I added the 40-150 to my kit lens and can get good results. I do plan to add a fast prime, but I can do alot with what I have. And its small.
     
  7. drone

    drone Mu-43 Rookie

    19
    Jan 25, 2013
    The proposed combination (20 + 14-150) is way ahead of my budget; at the moment I think I'll stop for a moment and continue shooting with the kit lens.

    In a near future I''ll try to choose among cheap prime ( the Lumix 14mm, the old Oly 17mm and the Sigma 19mm ) or the more expensive Pana 20mm (it depends on my future savings rate :smile:)

    BTW, I haven't found yet a comparison between the 14 and the 19
     
  8. gsk3

    gsk3 Mu-43 Regular

    124
    Jan 29, 2012
    My suggestion is to ditch the kit lens, buy a 14/2.5 or 20/1.7, and shoot with it for awhile. Your shooting will improve, and when you do finally expand your kit, you'll be able to pre-visualize that focal length's look (wide angles tend to decompress, telephotos tend to compress). You may even find yourself taking the next step (pun intended) towards visual mastery: rather than choosing the angle of view by changing lenses, choose the look by changing lenses and change the angle of view by changing your position. In short, take the plunge towards better glass, even if you can only afford one prime. You won't regret it.
     
  9. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus Loser

    931
    Nov 16, 2010
    Finland
    The 14mm is a great performer, trust me. My initial setup was 14-42mm + 20mm.
    After I realized that I used the 14-42mm almost exclusively at the wide end I sold it and got the 14mm prime. As you said: The one stop difference means sometimes the difference between ISO 800 and 1600 and that is a critical step with the 1st gen m4/3 bodies. I think with 14mm and 40-150mm you are not very limited, you are only challenging yourself to be a better PHOTOGRAPHER with what you have. And the time comes when you have the opportunity to expand your lens collection. By that time you have probably come to know what you are missing in your lens line-up.
     
  10. JLphoto

    JLphoto Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Jan 27, 2013
    San Francisco/Marin County
    Jack
    I also have the E-PL1 and notice the same thing. I recently acquired a Nikon 50mm f/1.8D and an adapter. It is manual focus, but much cheaper than the Oly 45mm f/1.8 ($120-150 vs. $350-400)(Nikon Normal AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Autofocus Lens 2137 B&H Photo). I am keeping the kit lens, and am thinking of getting the Sigma 19mm f/2.8 and the Sigma 30mm f/2.8 (only $199 for both in a kit from BH photo: Sigma 19mm f/2.8 EX DN Lens and 30mm f/2.8 EX DN Lens Kit B&H). Before I get the Sigmas, I am going to get the Panasonic 45-200mm lens (instead of the 40-150, due to the extra 50mm the Pany affords), which is $229 new at BH or Amazon, but can be found cheaper used or refurb on the web.
     
  11. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    926
    Nov 6, 2012
    Canada
    How much is the 20/1.7 for you locally? Are there any used deals you can find?
     
  12. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The angle of view between the 14mm and the 19mm is significant! I doubt there will be any comparison. I think your best bet if you are on a tight budget is to get the two Sigma primes since they are on sale right now. The European deal isn't quite as good as the USA deal but it is still worth it. At the very least get the 19mm.

    I had that same thought. I got the 45-200 and optically it is as good as the Olympus but it is larger and heavier. In fact it is almost the exact same size and weight as my Nikkor 55-200mm. I got rid of mine because I bought into m4/3 to save on weight and size. In the real world that extra 50mm was not a big deal BTW.
     
  13. JLphoto

    JLphoto Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Jan 27, 2013
    San Francisco/Marin County
    Jack
    Hi again--

    I would get the two sigma primes to cover the low to mid range (19 and 30mm, respectively) and either the Oly 45 f/1.8 or a legacy prime like the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D I mention before. Then get the Pany 45-200 or the Oly 40-150 to cover the rest of the spectrum.
     
  14. JLphoto

    JLphoto Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Jan 27, 2013
    San Francisco/Marin County
    Jack
    How would you compare the Oly telephoto vs. the Pany, Speedandstyle?
     
  15. JLphoto

    JLphoto Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Jan 27, 2013
    San Francisco/Marin County
    Jack
    Also, Tamron announced today the development of a 14-150 lens for M4/3, although I don't know cost or release date specifics.
     
  16. drone

    drone Mu-43 Rookie

    19
    Jan 25, 2013
    I'm still in doubt, mainly because of sigma current prices.

    But the real problem is that I cannot decide what will be my future setup; I'm evaluating the following options:

    Sigma 19 + Olympus 40-150
    Lumix 14 + Sigma 30 + (announced) Sigma 60
     
  17. JLphoto

    JLphoto Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Jan 27, 2013
    San Francisco/Marin County
    Jack
    I just ordered the 40-150 today. It is only $99 bucks through Olympus until 2/16/13. Eyeing the sigma 19 or 30. Can't decide which one. The 30 is about $50 bucks cheaper now (150 vs 199)
     
  18. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    Don't be tempted down the wrong path just because the prices look good. Think seriously about what you need and let that dictate your purchase, not the latest sale...

    If you've already decided that you're a wide-angle fan then the Lumix 14mm is a fantastic budget option - cheap, tiny, fast enough and decent quality. The Sigma 19mm is good, but as others have said, it's not really a wide-angle - more of a wide-normal. Likewise, the Lumix 20mm is fantastic, but certainly not a wide-angle.

    In terms of future-proofing your lens choices, this is how I'd go:

    - Lumix 14mm
    - m.ZD 40-150mm

    In a little while when you have a bit more money and a more defined style with more specific needs, you could sell the 14mm and potentially get the m.ZD 9-18mm ultra-wide, or alternatively the Lumix 20mm or PL 25mm fast-normal primes.
     
  19. drone

    drone Mu-43 Rookie

    19
    Jan 25, 2013
    Update: I thank you all but, in the meanwhile, I changed my mind about my future setup.
    Now I planned to get the 45/1.8 in the future (I started saving!) and I just received the 19 (for 99€).

    Now I'm playing with my new toy wich, BTW, seems to me a lens way beyond its price: sharp, fast enough in many occasions, great natural colours with my E-PL1.

    My best regards
     
  20. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I would go:

    14/2.5 & 45/1.8 or 14-42 & 20/1.7