Begginers kit

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Bull Winkle, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. Bull Winkle

    Bull Winkle Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 5, 2014
    So I took the plunge, I bought a E-pm2 kit and it came with the 14-42, 40-150, and I just ordered the Sigma 19 and 30. Should I just bite the bullet and get the Sigma 60 as well? Would I have my bases covered to get into this hobby and learn some of the craft and then when I have more experience and know what directions I want to focus in buy better lenses later? I mostly shoot when I go camping, travel, pics of hobby items (fountain pens, watches, knives). Don't shoot much portrait but I'm sure around the holidays that will happen some. I travel quite a bit a few times a year so I wanted a small camera and the price with the 2 kit zooms was incredibly affordable. I got the Sigma's for 400 bucks and the sigma 60 is just a couple hundred more. Is there something else out there I should be looking at that I can learn with that would be money better spent? Thanks for any advice.
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  2. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    Nice setup, I think you'll find the 30 is plenty for casual portraits.
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  3. Andym72

    Andym72 Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 4, 2013
    Reading, UK
    The mention of hobby items sounds like you might want a macro lens some time in the future. So I'd hold off buying the Sigma 60mm. Put that money to one side, get used to the camera, save a bit more, then check out the Oly 60mm macro.
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  4. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    A viewfinder, VF-2 or VF-4
    Olympus 45mmF1.8 lens or old manual 50mm with cheap adapter ring.
    A pancake lens for the pocket, choose from 14mm, 17mm, 20mm
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  5. Itchybiscuit

    Itchybiscuit Photon Mangler

    Dec 10, 2013
    Glasgow, Scotland
    It looks to me like you've got all the beginner bases covered - and more!

    Don't 'scunner' yourself right out of the gate. Stop where you are and learn what the gear you've got can (and can't) do before you spend any more money. Photograph the things you're interested in using the kit you have available and only then decide whether or not the images you've made tickle your fancy. Always remember (and it's not as if this hasn't been said before) to please your own eye. Sure, take technical advice to improve your use of settings but if the images you capture make you happy that's really all that matters. :2thumbs:
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  6. Dayam

    Dayam Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 15, 2014
    I'm kind of in the same situation. I have an E-PL6 + kit lens. I find myself shooting more in the 25-42mm FL with the kit lens. This being said, is it a good decision to get the Sigma 30mm and 60mm?

    Sent from my HTC One X using Tapatalk
  7. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    If you are not (yet) into portraits I'd hold off buying the Sigma 60 or Oly 45mm for now and use the 30 (or 40-150 in good light) for this until you decide which of the two would be the best option for you.

    The other reason for holding off is you seem to potentially have an interest in "macro" (i.e. Getting close to objects) judging from your list of photographed objects.

    It might be worthwhile buying a S/H Olympus macro adaptor (MCON-P01) for your kit lens (don't pay full price - I got one for £10 ~$16). This will allow you to try and find out if this is the case.

    If you then find this macro is something you enjoy then a dedicated macro lens like the Oly 60, whilst not cheap, would also cover the "portrait" use and be a better purchase than an O45 or S60.

    However you have made a very good choice for a starter kit with one of the best sensors currently available in m4/3 cameras - now go out and enjoy using it.
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  8. fritsk

    fritsk Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 11, 2014
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  9. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Wow - that's quite a plunge right out of the gates. :) I'd say hold off on buying more. Amen on using the kit lens to discover what your most-used focal length is, then go to the prime. I've used the Panasonic 20mm for a long time and I feel that is my zone, FL-wise. I then added the 45mm but mostly for portrait shots, and then a year or so after added the 9-18mm for travels. Getting comfortable (mastering?) a single FL expanded my skills, instead of limiting it. :) so go out and shoot and find your comfort zone, and add gear to your arsenal as you go along.

    Sent from my iPhone
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  10. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Think about extra batteries, and an EVF (consider Olympus's refurbished store for good deals on the VF-2 or VF-4 - or secondhand).

    Regarding lenses, I'd say that 45/1.8 gives you a better portrait option than the Sigma 60/2.8. It's also not much more expensive refurbished/secondhand. For macro, it depends a lot on the subjects and how much distance you need/want between them and the camera.

    But it's really best to use the camera for some time and get a feel for how it works and what you're missing before buying more lenses. That's doubly true when you're starting out since there's a temptation to buy a lens for every situation. Nothing wrong with that, but it gets expensive fast, and you usually find that some things just don't interest you as much as others.
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  11. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
    I'd hold off on getting the 60mm right now.

    Instead, I'd get a viewfinder -- the VF3 is on sale for $99 right now, and a refurb VF3 or VF2 can be found right now for cheap on the Olympus site:

    I would also suggest getting the macro converter - it will work with both the 14-42 and the 40-150, and will let you try out macro and decide if you want to invest in a macro lens. If you do want a macro lens, then the Olympus 60mm is a better buy than the Sigma 60mm. Refurb is really cheap right now:

    The other thing to try is a legacy prime lens from 35mm SLRs. You can find them on ebay for aroudn $30 usually, any name brand 50mm f/1.8 will do. Or check out local Goodwill or Salvation Army stores - I've picked up mint condition lenses for as little as $3 there. Once you have picked up a lens, order an adapter, they usually run $15-$20. This will let you get a feel for manual focusing, and the 50mm focal length is close to both 45mm and 60mm. It will help you decide if you one day want to get the 45mm Olympus or 60mm Sigma.

    A final lens to consider is a fisheye lens. They are something of a specialty lens that you won't use often, but they can be fun. The best one is the 7.5mm sold under the Rokinon/Bower/Samyang names, sometimes it is on sale around $200. Olympus also just released a fisheye bodycap lens for $99, though I haven't used it myself:
  12. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Right now, I would say more money into lenses is just putting you deeper in the hole, without having the benefit of what to use it for. I would also suggest extra batteries, and possibly an EVF. Then focus on figuring out what you can get out of what you have. Once you feel like you have a good grip on the main uses of the two primes, and shot for a bit with the two zooms, you will find yourself wishing for something else. That is when it makes sense to get another lens, as it would be something that fills a gap you already know you would like to have. Batteries, neck straps, etc are all things that can go from one camera and lens to the next, but will make it easier to get out there and shoot (your main priority now).
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  13. Bull Winkle

    Bull Winkle Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 5, 2014
    Thanks for the advice guys, I've already purchased extra batteries, a smallish case Lowepro 140 and I'm going to pimp one of my Rickshaw Medium Zero Messenger bags with some padding when I need or want to bring the whole kit. I've seen viewfinders mentioned several times, is the VF-3 enough or do I need to get the vf-2 for a proper tryout? I've got lens hoods, still don't know what type or what mfg of filters to get, still researching that aspect. Also I need a lens cleaning kit, any recommendations for that would be appreciated. Whew, this latest interest is very involved, and exciting. Good day to you.
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  14. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    For cleaning, just a microfiber cloth and a nasal aspriator (bulb blower available at CVS/Walgreens/etc) would be fine. For filters, if you want to get UV filters for protection, I have had good luck with Hoya UV (0)'s, not too expensive, but not cheap bottom barrel either. For NDs, grads, PLs, etc. I would hold off. Again, you want to get comfortable with what you have, before you start adding another layer of things to mess with and think about. When you get there, I have had good luck with Cokin A filters (easy to get on the used market, adapter rings means they fit all my lenses, decent variable selection).
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  15. zensu

    zensu Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama USA
    I love macro and love using the Oly 60mm f2.8 macro lens, however I also have a friend who has the kit lens you have and attaches the Oly macro-converter-mcon-p01. My photos might have better IQ than his but his photos are just compositionally better. I'd try the macro-converter first and if you really get into macro photography you might want to upgrade to the Oly 60 macro. It's one of the best macro's ever made!
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  16. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    Personally, I don't see the value of the two Sigma lenses. They're nice lenses, but they're not particularly sharp or fast and don't add a significant photographic capability over the kit zoom. (I have the kit zooms and the Sigma 30.) A lens that would give you the capability to take pictures you can't easily now, would be a fast (large aperture) normal focal length lens. A lens like the Panasonic 20/1.7 or Olympus 25/1.8 give the ability to shoot in low ambient light levels like your home, museums, street scenes at night, etc.

    When my son took a trip to Spain this past summer I gave him an E-PL5, the same two kit lenses you have and the 20/1.7. He used the 20/1.7 for many of the pictures for things like this:

    EPL53651 by b_rubenstein, on Flickr

    I think everyone should have at least one fast prime. FWIW, the Sigma 60/2.8 is an exceptional lens if you want a reasonably fast moderate telephoto lens.
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  17. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Do some comparisons under a variety of shooting conditions with your different lenses, my guess is (unless your shooting style simply demands zooms) one of those Sigmas will spend most of the time welded to your camera.
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  18. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    Save your money. More equipment for a beginner usually just gets in the way of becoming a great photographer (I still am not). I've been shooting for over 50 years, and have pared down to one body and two prime lenses. 50mm and 24mm. Makes me work for it. Which makes me think about it, which never hurts the final out come. Also when the shot is offered, you usually don't have time to dig through the bag hunting for the "right" lens. Sometimes the basic kit zoom, is all that is needed.

    Yes I'm always looking for something, that will help me get it done easier, better. But, less is sometimes better. I almost always, leave the house with one body and one lens, + an extra battery. No bag necessary. But, that's just my way. Not, for every one.
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  19. Bull Winkle

    Bull Winkle Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 5, 2014
    Well as per the recommendations I purchased the Oly macro converter, and the VF3 viewfinder. I was torn between that or the vf2. Any recommendations concerning tripods,monopod and such? A hiking buddy of mine added the 1/4-20? to a trekking pole he uses to make it multi purpose while hiking. What are some decent tripods that won't break the bank? Thanks for all of the suggestions. Here is a pic of my GSD right before she drifted off to sleep used my just arrived Sig 30mm
    P2280063 by pnfredrickson, on Flickr
  20. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Cheapest monopod is an eye-bolt, string and a washer. Screw eyebolt into tripod mount, step on washer, pull tight. Again, until you find yourself needing to take longer exposures, I would hold off. Right now, you have the "kid in the candy store" going on, as everything is new and shiny. Just wanting to make sure you maximize your spending power.