All-Around Zoom: 12-50mm, 14-42 or 14-150mm?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by RobDMB, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. RobDMB

    RobDMB Mu-43 Regular

    May 12, 2013
    I have a new EP5 on the way with the 17mm lens. I would like to get a good all-around zoom to go with it. Specifically, as I am going to Hawaii this summer and would like to have a zoom with me. Any suggestions as to which is the best option? Thanks.
  2. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 29, 2013
    Taneytown , MD
    Real Name:
    For an all around zoom, the 14-150, the other two lenses are too short IMHO to be considered all around...maybe walk around zoom?
  3. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Real Name:
    Having access to a wide angle is pretty important to me on a trip as you will be shooting landscapes. As a GP lens the 12-50 is pretty good.

    I keep waiting for someone to produce a 12-60 FT clone, until then the choices are the 12-50 or the 12-35 which is pricey and does not have the reach.

    Ideally I'd like to see a 12-60 mft lens and a tele converter. This gives you a lot of options in a compact package.

    If you are not pixel peeping the 12-50 works. Here it is next to the 12-60 (certainly a benchmark lens).

    12-50vs12-60 by pelicaneng, on Flickr
  4. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    In terms of range, I agree with you. But, in terms of versatility (weather-resistant, macro mode), I don't think that the 12-50 can be beat.
  5. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Real Name:
    I would miss the wide angle and the power zoom (movies) for walking around.

    It depends on your POV of course, for travel I take more wide angle.
  6. metalmania

    metalmania Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 19, 2012
    I think 14-45 (not 14-42) is better unless you really like the 100mm and above focal length.
  7. judywisconsin

    judywisconsin Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 25, 2013
    I just got back from a week in Utah, shooting the National Parks. For at least 90% of my shots (maybe more) I used the 12-50 and loved it!! I bracketed most of my shots because of the great variations in rock colors and shading, and couldn't be more pleased with the results. Plus it's very lightweight, and weather sealed.
  8. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    If you carried a 12-50 or a 14-42, you may also want to carry a 40-150.

    If you carried a 14-150. You're done with zoom unless you want to go past 150 mm.

    40-150 is sharper than 14-150 in the 100-150 range, but 14-150 is just as sharp as 12-50 and 14-42 in their ranges. Of course 14-150 doesn't do 12 and 13 mm.

    14-150 is not bad as a macro due to its minimum focusing distance and its zoom range, but it isn't as good as a dedicated macro lens. It's slightly faster than 12-50 at 43 mm (its focal length for macro mode) but can't get as close.

    As soon as you're considering a zoom, it's going to be a compromise. I think your choices should be between the 12-50 and 14-150. 14-42 is the only choice if stored size is critical.

    How critical is the weather sealing? E-P5 isn't weather sealed so it's something that would only be useful for you if you had a second body like the E-M5 or GH3.
  9. peterpix

    peterpix Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 8, 2010
    So. Maine
    Real Name:
    Peter Randal
    Based on what's available, hard to beat the 14-150. It and a fast prime for really low light might be all you'd need.
  10. Anthon

    Anthon Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 8, 2012

    Weather sealed
    Good IQ
    Macro mode
  11. elim

    elim Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 25, 2013
    EP5 isnt weathersealed so thats a moot point

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2
  12. Tilman Paulin

    Tilman Paulin Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 10, 2013
    Dublin, Ireland
    For a camera like the EP5 - which is held at arm's length - the powerzoom of the 12-50mm might be convenient. You can zoom through the entire range in one go, while still holding the camera still.

    (Not sure if I explained that right. On a non-power zoom you need 2 or 3 "twists" of your "lens-hand" to go from one end of the zoom-range to the other. Something that never felt natural to me with a camera at arm's length. Maybe it's just me though :) )
  13. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Real Name:
    Another vote for the Panny 14-45mm. Best kit lens I've used.
  14. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Optically, I agree. In terms of overall usefulness, I'd give a nod to the 12-50, though. (I've owned both, although I own neither at present.)
  15. RobDMB

    RobDMB Mu-43 Regular

    May 12, 2013
    Thanks for all the suggestions. Seems like the 12-50mm has the edge.
  16. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    The 12-50 checks a lot of boxes nicely... I just wish Olympus had built a little better IQ into it and made it a bit faster... then it would have really been a slam dunk top choice lens.
  17. zensu

    zensu An Old Fool

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama, USA
    Real Name:
    I also vote for the 12-50 because it's super versatile. It's not as sharp as the primes but you won't have the hassle of changing lenses plus a major factor for me is that it's weatherproof! You never know what you'll run into traveling.
    PS, with a great camera like the OM-D you can crop from 100mm to 140mm. Good luck with your decision.
    Sorry the 12-50 eq. full frame focal length is 24-100mm and the 40-150 eq. is 80-300mm so that would be a huge crop. Sorry, I had a senior moment!
  18. Andym72

    Andym72 Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 4, 2013
    Reading, UK
    My vote would be for the 14-150mm. I have one, and it along with a a couple of primes covers most situations (you didn't say if you are getting the 17mm 1.8 or 2.8).

    If there was such a thing as a 10mm prime, I could take 4 lenses with me everywhere (10mm, 20mm, 45mm, 14-150mm) and I don't think I'd ever want for something else.
  19. Spanjaart

    Spanjaart Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 6, 2010

    I vote in favour of the 14-150. It's just as good as any kit lens in the same reach, including the 14-45mm panny lens. Also, the 14mm on this lens seems a bit wider compared to others.
  20. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Agree with these. I used it as the "walkabout" lens on my EM-5 in the UK last August. The 12mm end was perfect inside buildings, the 50mm end was long enough outside, and since we invariably got caught in showers each day, the weathersealing was definitely a plus.