Advice on buying a lens

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by prophet, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. prophet

    prophet Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    I have the kit 14-42mm and the 40-50mm for my E-PL7. I am looking for a lens for landscape and travel photography, preferably a prime lens. I am still a novice, so to match my abilities it should be reasonably priced, but not compromise too much on quality. What would you recommend?
  2. keko

    keko Mu-43 Rookie

    May 19, 2013
    What is limiting your photography?

    Maybe a good place to start could be to ask yourself how your current gear is limiting you, or what you plan to accomplish with the new lens you would like to have.

    Also, by looking at your favorite pics taken so far you could determine which focal length seems to be your preferred, that could give you a hint as to what prime options would suite you best.

    Just food for thought....
    • Like Like x 1
  3. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Oly 17mm f1.8 is great; if you want wider, Pana has a 14mm pancake but it is f2.5 or so.

    Pana 20mm is sharp but has slow AF in dim light.

    Most other choices are more expensive.

  4. prophet

    prophet Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    One limiting factor is performance in low-light situations (am hoping that a faster lens will help here). I take most of my shots at 14mm.
  5. keko

    keko Mu-43 Rookie

    May 19, 2013
    Well, I do have the P14/2.5, nice lens, fairly sharp and OK construction, really tiny and it's affordable, but it won't give you much better low light performance than your zoom.

    Other than that I'd go with Barry's suggestion of 17 or 20.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Why not try one of the Sigma siblings? The 19mm is a good travel lens, however if you want to shoot wide I'd stick with the kit lens. The Panasonic 14mm makes a nice tiny package, but in my experience is only marginally better than the kit zooms.

    Or you can go with one of the 17mm options, the f2.8 version is frankly a bargain used, the f1.8 model is a lot costlier but optically better.
  7. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    What about the panasonic 14mm plus the GWC1 wide adapter - by itself the 14mm gives you a small package, and with the wide adapter it gives you 11mm - so offers something wider than your present lenses. Optically the pair are pretty good - perhaps not quite as good as the olympus 12mm but the price is better :smile:
  8. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I like the 35mm perspective ,but some people prefer the closer 25mm. To get entire buildings in , 28mm eq is better. You have the 14-42lens - try setting it to one of those and walking around, then another . See which one you like best and go from there .
  9. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    This is really important. You already have 2 zooms that cover a huge range. Where do you shoot mostly at? Graph that out, and figure out what you would want next.

    Having said that, if I'm faced with someone who wants to try primes, if they aren't trying to shoot fast moving subjects, my first recommendation is always the P20. It's so versatile (except for focus speed).

    by the way -- shooting "landscape" can mean so many things. It's not always the widest angle possible, IMO.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    The P14 is sharper and almost a full stop faster, and more compact. Used it's about $150. It's a pretty good choice for compact and to help with lower light, if you need 28mm and you are on a budget.
    • Like Like x 2
  11. DigitalD

    DigitalD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2014
    +1 on looking at the photos you already take and decide the best focal length that best fits your needs FIRST. If you are really looking for something wider then the 14mm (28mm equivalent) then don't discount the 12mm Rokinon. Its fast at f2 and optically very close the the legendary Olympus 12mm. It is manual focus but how hard is it to focus a 12mm lens? Plus if you're using it for landscapes it might be worth giving up the AF for about a $300 savings new.

    If money is no object you can also looking into the Voightlander 17mm. Panasonic also has a 15mm f1.7 that is often forgotten about. Maybe because it can fetch a price of up to $600 new. The Panasonic 20mm is also a great lens. Slow AF shouldn't concern you if you are truly looking for landscape work.

    Lots of options. But you definitely need to narrow down to the FL and price to start with. After that the decision should present itself.
  12. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    If you shoot mostly at the 14mm end of your short zoom and like to do landscapes, you might want to look at the Oly 12mm f/2. I think the IQ of that lens varies but I seem to have gotten a good one. I don't see much if any difference in IQ between it and my much heavier and more expensive 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO. For a "walk-around" lens to replace the zoom, you might want to look at something in the mid-range - perhaps the Sigma 19 mm f/2.8 if on a budget or the Pany 20mm f/1.7 if you have a bit more to spend. The Pany 25mm f/1.4 is also very good.
  13. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    With its sensitive sensor and compact size, small and fast primes work well on the EPL7. For landscape, I like the Olympus 17mm f1.8, but the Panasonic 20mm is often less expensive in the market. I also think it's a lot sharper than the 17mm. Own both.

    The main complaint about the 20mm, which is slower AF, doesn't matter for landscape and architecture shots.

    Amother good travel lens is the 9-18 zoom, but it's more expensive. Very small, fast enough if you let the EPL7 go high ISO, and good image quality.
  14. Jermonic

    Jermonic Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 14, 2012
    I just sold the P20 and bought the O17/1.8.

    I sold it simply because of the HORRIBLE banding I saw with the P20 from ISO 1600 and up (I use the E-PL5). It was the main reason, the slow AF being the second reason.

    I think optically, the two lenses are similar, with the P20 having the edge in sharpness. I like the rendering/contrast of both lenses.