Another "What Lens" Thread!

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Kpfeifle, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. Kpfeifle

    Kpfeifle Mu-43 Regular

    Hello All:

    So its been close to a year since I've dumped my Pentax SLR equipment and went Micro 4/3. Absolutely no regrets! I was able to purchase a Lumix GX7, and this camera fits me like a glove. But I think it's time to consolidate (and then add) to my lens collection. I tend towards primes, my current holdings:

    Bower 7.5: Fun lens, don't use it often, but I plan to keep it as it was not a lot of money.
    Olympus 12: Very nice lens, but I don't often shoot this wide. I'm thinking this is just taking up room.
    Olympus 17: Really wanted to love this lens, but its very average. It's a shame because 35mm is my favorite focal length.
    PanLeica 25: Love this! Probably my most used lens.
    Olympus 45: Great lens, very sharp and quite compact...use this the second most.
    Olympus 40-150: Cheap, works well, gets me further when I need it.

    So here are my thoughts. Missing is the fantastic Olympus 75, it's on the "to buy" list. I'm also thinking (on the tele side) of adding a cheap 135 and adapter. I can't see needing much more then this on the long side.

    Wide side is more interesting. Thinking of selling the 12 & 17, and then what? Maybe the Panasonic 12-35 2.8? Or wait and do nothing until the PanLeica 15 is out and see how that is? Third possibility is the Voightlander 17.5, I can live with the manual focusing (great peaking in the GX7) but this is a huge lens (compared to other Micro 4/3 offerings).

    Since this is a forum of like minded individuals, I look for all input. I know that focal length is an individual preference, but I would like to hear some ideas different then mine. For what it worth, I value resolution over convenience.

  2. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    If 15mm is going to be a good FL for you, I would wait for the Pan Leica. I'm very happy with the Oly 17/1.8.
  3. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    If you find the 12mm too wide and the 17mm not good enough, had you considered the 14mm f/2.5? It would go well with your GX7 and make it a delightfully compact package. It is also a good lens (sharp, has some chromatic aberration, but this should be corrected automatically on your Panasonic body) and very inexpensive.

    (Incidentally, you did not mention which Olympus 17 that you had - the f/1.8 or f/2.8?)
  4. Kpfeifle

    Kpfeifle Mu-43 Regular

    Sorry, I have the 1.8 17mm

    Sent from my SPH-D710 using Mu-43 mobile app
  5. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    17.5 Voigtlander fan

    It's good if you like manual lenses, surely large and quite heavy for a m4/3 lens, but I'm loving my Voigtlander 17.5.

  6. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 2, 2012
    If you like the Oly- 45 the Oly- 75 is the 45 on steriods
  7. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    curious to know what you find 'very average' about the 17/1.8.

    I know initially I wasn't blown away by it , as I was with the 25 and the 75, but I have found that over the last 9months its has become my go to lens.

    Maybe it just suits my style of photography at the moment, but i would certainly rate it as being well above average

    <a href="" title="P9270052 by kevinparis, on Flickr">[​IMG]"682" height="1024" alt="P9270052"></a>

    <a href="" title="P9240015 by kevinparis, on Flickr">[​IMG]"768" height="1024" alt="P9240015"></a>

    <a href="" title="PB250019 by kevinparis, on Flickr">[​IMG]"768" height="1024" alt="PB250019"></a>

    • Like Like x 3
  8. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    If I were you I would sell the expensive 12/2 and lackluster 17/1.8 and put that $1200 towards a 12-40 or 12-35 (I don't have expensive lenses but neither the 12 or 17 are on my list). If you still want a fast prime near that 35mm FL, get the 20/1.7. But since you have the 25 already you might wait to get the 15/1.7 first.

    The Voitlanders seem nice but if you wait you might see those Kodak branded Sakar lenses for $500 each: 25/0.95 and 50/1.1. The 75 is a no-brainer if you have the money but as I already said the 12, to me, is lack-luster. You can get nearly as good as the 12 for a quarter of the price. You can't get anywhere close to the 75 for any price and the only reason people buy the (also wonderful 45 or Sigma 60) is because of the 75's price. I guess to each his own and my explanation is bad but the photos from the 12 don't make you say wow and the 75's do.

    Me personally I am astonished how the Sigma 30/2.8 blows away my other lenses in terms of sharpness. $150 new is not hard to find. If you get this (or the 19mm version) maybe it will help ease the wait time of the 15/1.7 :)
  9. Kpfeifle

    Kpfeifle Mu-43 Regular

    kevinparis: very nice! I really had a problem with edge sharpness (or lack of) and none of the pictures really "popped" (like with the 25), but your images have that pop...maybe I should pull it out and shoot with nothing else for a week and see how it goes!

    tdjean01: Still thinking of the small Panasonic zoom, however I don't believe I could get anywhere near 1200 for a used 17 & 12. Kodak 50 might be interesting, but the 45 is such a great lens I don't see how much better it could be. Think I need to really budget for the 75 at the beginning of next year.

    RoadTraveler: Do you find the 17.5 heavy after a full days use? Ever find yourself missing the auto-focus, or is it one of those great lenses that just seem to snap into focus? Might spend some money and rent one from lensrentals and give it a go...just hate to spend a tenth of the lens price to try it out...

    • Like Like x 1
  10. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
  11. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Voigtlander 17.5 details

    Yes, I did/do find it heavy, but I wouldn't say too heavy. Let me explain…

    The 17.5 is only one month old, and at the beginning of last month I took it to a weeklong convention where I was on my feet all day. It wasn't the ideal tool nor my only tool, but I carried it because it was new and I want to try and use it where I could to gain some experience. Along with the 17.5 mounted on a GX1 with a LVF2, I also carried two other GX1s with at least two additional lenses, a few magazines, a water bottle, in a shoulder bag. So the 17.5 felt heavy after several hours partially because of all the other stuff I was carrying. I can easily see using the 17.5 around my neck and the 42.5 on my right shoulder as a great two-piece-combo when all I have to do is shoot pictures and those two lenses are what I want for the project.

    I find the 17.5 excels at DOF control, whether shallow, or deep, it's easy to see the immediate changes resulting from changing focus or the aperture.

    I've not missed auto focus with the 17.5, and for me "it is one of those great lenses that snap into focus". While I've used manual lenses in the recent past, I've been impressed with how easy and fun the 17.5 is to use. I've liked the angle of view provided by a 35mm (on FF 35) lens for over a decade.

    Of course it's not as fast as autofocus (when autofocus works), but I like the way Voigtlander focuses so much that last week I purchased a 42.5 f/.095 as well. I'm a middle-aged guy with middle-aged eyes and need glasses to see small or close stuff. But I use my camera viewfinders without glasses, just the LVF2 diopter adjusted for my eye. The GX1 doesn't have 'focus peeking', and I often use the whole (unmagnified) viewfinder image to focus, or an enlarged/magnified section if I need more precision. I'm surprised and pleased how well this is working for me.

    In the past 12 months I've purchased several autofocus, zoom Panasonic m4/3 lenses, and I want/need most of them for many of my projects. However, the artistic potential of the fast, manual Voigtlander lenses, along with the pleasure of using them is clearly worth it for me. Over Thanksgiving I used the two Voigtlander Noktons and made some good family snaps that I'm very happy with, mostly in B&W.

  12. biomed

    biomed Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 22, 2013
    Seattle area
    Real Name:
    Invest in a quality adapter and try some of whatever flavor film lenses. I use both Voigtlӓnder "M" mount and Nikkor "F" mount lenses on Voigtlӓnder adapters. Most of these are ones I have owned for a while. I picked up a mint 300mm lens a couple of weeks ago for $160. Even mediocre lenses can be good on a u4/3 camera because only the center of the lens is used. This is the sweet spot on most lenses. Avoid heavy telephotos that don't have a tripod collar. A heavy lens can put a lot of stress on the camera body when it is mounted on a tripod.
    The tripod collar takes the load off of the camera and makes for a more stable setup.

  13. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Real Name:
    If you don't use the 12 that much, I'd sell it along with the 17 1.8 and pick up a used 14. You can find them used pretty inexpensive and I've really enjoyed mine. You can put the rest of that money toward the 75.