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Best 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-lens kits for your Micro 4/3?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Amin Sabet, Jul 14, 2012.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Thought it would be fun to get some perspectives here on what members consider to be the best 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-lens kits for Micro 4/3. For the sake of this discussion, assume you were picking a kit to use for an extended period of time.

    I'll start. All of the following are my personal, subjective preferences, not an attempt to say what's the best.

    1-lens kit: Panasonic 20mm f/1.7. My only hesitation is the banding issue when used with the OM-D E-M5. Runner-up: PL25. A bit long to be my only lens but a fantastic lens which I don't hesitate to take as my only lens for a particular day or shoot.

    2-lens kit: Panasonic 14/2.5 and Oly 45/1.8. The focal lengths are just right to cover 90% of what I'd want to shoot, and these are both exceptional lenses IMO. It helps that you can get the Pana 14 for such low prices on Ebay, but this would be my 2-lens kit even if price were no object. In fact, this is exactly how I plan to roll most days now that I got my Gold Box GX1:


    Above: Left: GX1 with P14/2.5 and Ricoh GV-2 viewfinder. Right: E-M5 with O45/1.8 and Gariz soft release.

    3-lens kit: Pana 14/2.5, Pana Leica 25/1.4, Oly 45/1.8. This was a tough choice for me. I nearly picked the Oly 12 in place of the Pana 14, but I like 14mm more.

    4-lens kit: Pana 14, PL 25, Oly 45, Oly 75/1.8. Again, this wasn't easy for me. I thought about Pana 100-300 instead of Oly 75, but in the end I went for speed/size/performance over reach/versatility.
    • Like Like x 13
  2. capodave

    capodave Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 4, 2010
    Southern Cal
    Here's mine:

    1) Panny 20mm
    I use this lens the most for the FOV and brightness.

    2) Oly 12mm.
    Close second for the same reasons above.

    3) Oly 45mm
    Just a very sharp lens. Sometimes a little long for my tastes.

    4) Oly 17mm.
    This lens is not used as much as my 20mm, but in daylight conditions is a very good performer.

    My two favorite adapted lenses are my Voigtlander 40mm F1.4 and 75mm F2.5 respectively.
  3. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    For my shooting style... All would be paired with an OMD.

    One lens - Nokton 25mm - does what it does very, very well and has a character/personality that never found with the Lumix 20mm. For the last year this has basically been my 'one lens kit'.

    Two lenses - Nokton 17.5mm and m.ZD 45mm. I just love working with these two focal lengths. I'm also a big fan of the two-prime kit - one can be limiting and three just muddy's the water :smile:

    Three lens - Lumix 7-14mm, Nokton 25mm and m.ZD 45mm. Same as above but adds the ultra-wide as a dedicated landscape lens.

    Four lens - Lumix 7-14mm, Lumix 12-35mm, Nokton 17.5mm and m.ZD 75mm.
  4. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    1. PL20mm f1.7 - Small, Versatile, Great Images ($315)
    2. Adds the Zuiko Digital 70-300mm f4/5.6 - Long Range ($265)
    3. Adds the Zuiko OM 50mm f1.4 - Outstanding Images ($97)
    4. Adds the Hexanon AR 135mm f3.2 - Outstanding Images ($46)

    I have many other lenses I really like, but those are the ones I keep coming back to over and over again.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    So I am assuming we're also taking cost into consideration right?

    On the GX1...

    1 lens kit - PL25
    The camera is pretty small and I think I'd want the extra speed, better AF and slightly better IQ if it were my only lens.

    2 lens kit - P14 and O45
    The kit I use now (just sold my P20 in fact) and I am surprised how well it works.

    3 lens kit - P14, P20 and O45
    If Olympus does bring out a 25/1.8 I could see substituting that for the P20. The PL25 would also been a good choice but I think cost would play a significant factor in my choice.

    4 lens kit - P12, P20, O45 and P100-300
    When you need a BIG zoom nothing else really will do
  6. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    For me, it's.......

    One lens - The Panasonic 20mm (well this is a bit ridiculous......if I was only going out with 1 lens, I'd be taking my Fuji X100)

    2 lenses - Add the Panasonic 45-200

    3 lenses - Add the Sigma 105mm f2 8 DG Macro Lens EX in Olympus mount with a 4/3 - m4/3 adapter (It's my favorite lens, but too specialist to be in the top 2)

    4 lenses - Panasonic 20mm, Super Takumar 50mm f1.4, Sigma 105mm, Panasonic 100mm-300mm
  7. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    1 lens - 20 mm. Why wouldn't it be?

    2 lenses - 20 and 45. One would go in my pocket easily.

    3 lenses - 7-14, 25, 45. Many DSLR folks use a similar FL setup.

    4 lenses, 12-35, 35-100, 7-14, 25. Many rich DSLR folks use this equivalent FL setup.
  8. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
    For me with the OM-d it would be

    one lens setup, 12mm F2

    two lens setup, 12mm F2, 45mm F1.8

    three lens setup a, 7-14mm F4, 12mm F2, 45mm F1.8
    three lens setup b, 7-14mm F4, 12-35mm F2.8, 35-100 f2.8

    four lens setup a, 7-14mm F4, 12mm F2, 45mm F1.8, 75mm F1.8
    four lens setup b, 7-14mm F4, 12-35mm F2.8, 35-100 f2.8, 100-300 F4
  9. Conrad

    Conrad Mu-43 Veteran

    1 lens: 14-45
    2 lens: 7-14, 14-45
    3 lens: 7-14, 25, PL45
    4 lens: 7-14, 25, 35-100, 100-300
    • Like Like x 1
  10. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    For my generally travel photography on a G3)

    1 - 12-35/2.8 (used to be 20/1.7 on the GF1, but with the better high ISO, I can live with the 2 stops)

    2 - add the 45-200 (will likely be replaced by the 35-100, especially if they come out with a 2X teleconverter)

    3 - add the 20 back in for "stealth" carry or super low light

    4 - hard to say, add either the 45/2.8 or 8/3.5FE (or both, and remove the 20/1.7)
  11. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    1. PL25
    2. PL25 and 9-18
    3. PL25, 9-18 and 100-300
    4. P14, PL25, 9-18, 100-300

    This is based on my shooting habits right now -- I'm carrying two bodies in a Domke 5xb bag. If I was still trying to put stuff in my pants or jacket pockets, then the P14, P20 and 9-18 would be more critical.

    But for me, I see my 7.5, 14 and 50mm lenses as "specialty" lenses. The 9-18 is a walk-around, the PL25 is just gorgeous, and I just really like telephoto work.

    my only complaint on the 9-18 is the CA. I'd like a 9-18 ii that doesn't collapse and does a little better in the corners and with CA. I don't want the 7-14, as I want to get out to 18, and I don't need to go as wide as 7.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. gugarci

    gugarci Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2012
    Lyndhurst, NJ
    Just got my E-P3 recently and right now all I have is the 14-42II. For a kit lens it's pretty sharp. But here's what I would do and plan to do as soon
    as I start selling off Nikon gear I no longer use. Also I made this list in mind with me keeping the cheapie but good kit lens.

    +1, Lens Olympus 12mm 2.0
    +2, Lenses add the Panasonic 20mm 1.7
    +3, lenses add the Olympus 45mm 1.8
    +4, lenses add the Panasonic 12-35mm 2.8

    Other lenses that also interest me is the Olympus 75mm 1.8. I would love to mainly use primes in the future. But that Panasonic 12-35 2.8 is too tempting.
    Now if I didn't have the kit lens I would change the order of the first 2. The Panasonic 20mm would be 1, and the Olympus 12mm would be second.

  13. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 23, 2012
    1 lens - 12-35
    2 lens - 12-35 & 45-175
    3 lens - 12-35, 45-175 & 25
    4 lens - 12-35, 45-175, 25, 7-14
    • Funny Funny x 1
  14. Kingsfan

    Kingsfan Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 22, 2010
    highland park, CA
    1 - panny 14mm, my favorite street lens on m43 plus it's pocketable
    2 - add the panny 20mm, images have such a great look but focus is slow so this is not #1
    3 - add CV 25mm, AMAZING lens but huge and i already have a CV 50mm nokton so i sold it
    4 - hoping to add the oly 45mm, mostly for my gf who i've noticed uses the long end of her kit lens the most, this should be better for her
    • Like Like x 1
  15. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    Here we go...

    (1) PL25mm f/1.4.
    This was a tight competition with the 20mm, but the PL25 does better portraits than the 20mm, which makes it slightly more versatile for my interests.
    (2) mZ. 9-18mm and the mZ. 45mm f/1.8.
    Both are tiny and cover just about everything, except for low light wide angle shots, for which I can depend on the OMD's rather good high ISO.
    (3) mZ. 9-18mm, PL25mm f/1.4, and the Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4
    The 58mm gives nicer portraits than the 45mm with very nice blurred backgrounds. This lens may very well be replaced by the Olympus 75mm f/1.8, which looks like it'll be much sharper at f/1.8 than the Voigtlander...or maybe I'll keep both. I enjoy manual focusing.
    (4) mZ. 9-18mm, PL25mm f/1.4, and the Voigtlander 58mm f/1.4, Canon FD 135mm f/2
    Angle of view coverage from 90 degrees to 8 degrees for under 3lbs.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. McDark

    McDark Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 26, 2011
    1. 14-150. Sounds kinda lame but I never regret having this lens bought as a kit with E-PL1. For travel it's a gem, there is no anything close IQ-wise in any other system. I've chosen :43: because of it.
    2. Add 20/1.7
    3. Add 45/1.8
    4. Replace 20/1.7 with 14/2.5 and 25/1.4 or maybe add 9-18 instead. I ended with both but it does not fit this topic :smile:
  17. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    1 lens - 14-150
    2 lens - 9-18 & 14-150
    3 lens - 9-18 & 14-150 & mZuiko 60/2.8 macro
    4 lens - 9-18 & 14-150 & mZuiko 60/2.8 macro & 75/1.8 -OR - mZuiko 25
  18. RaZZ3R

    RaZZ3R Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 19, 2011
    I really don't have any native lens except the kit Panny 14-42mm but this is what I use for my G2:

    1- Revuenon 50mm f 1.8, really long for what I am used to but I manage plus it's really fast (compared with the kit lens) and good sharpness
    2- Above + Makinon 135mm f 2.8, really nice lens for wildlife and really sharp
    3- All of my 3 lenses above, but I can't even remember the last time I shot with the kit lens
    4- It's more of a wishlist but what the hell: Panny 7-14 (love landscaping), Panny 25mm (love portraits also), Oly 60mm Macro (big fan of macros) and Oly 75mm f 1.8 (damn that's such a wonderfull lens).

    Now all I can do is get some money (in about 2 milenia :eek: ) and buy those suckers ...
  19. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    One lens: Oly 12-60 f2.8-4 (if they release it in M4/3 form).
    Two lenses: The 12-60 and the Oly 40-150 f4-5.6
    Three lenses: the 12-60, the 40-150, and the 20 f1.7.
    Four lenses: add the Oly 9-14.
  20. dre_tech

    dre_tech Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 31, 2012
    For the E-M5:
    1 lens - 12-35
    2 lens - 12-35, 7-14
    3 lens - 12-35, 7-14, 45-175
    4 lens - 12-35, 7-14, 45-175, 45

    For a more compact package with the GX1 I would probably bring the 20 instead of the 45 for its compact size and good all-purpose FOV.
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