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best 10 or 12 mm for less than 800 usd

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by travelbug, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. travelbug

    travelbug Mu-43 Regular

    143
    Oct 20, 2014
    im looking for a good (the best :D) 10 or 12mm to be used in both photo and video. auto focus is ideal but not necessarily important. looking for excellent image quality, large aperture, excellent bokeh, no or minimal barrel distortion and edge/corner softness, not too big - in that order.

    ive looked into the oly 12mm/2 (probably my baseline), slr magic 12mm/t1.6 (excellent bokeh, slight softness at max aperture), rokinon 12mm/2 (great value for money, not as good bokeh).

    among those three, which one would you suggest? also if there are others i should look at/consider please post them here.
     
  2. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    FWIW - I like the Oly 12mm, a lot. Take a look at the O12 image thread.
     
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  3. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    If you're using it on a Panasonic body the 12-35mm might be worth looking at due to the addition of IS.

    Bokeh on a wide angle like this is going to be negligible unless at very very close range, basically all of the lens offer excellent image quality.
     
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  4. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Yeah, I'd be surprised if any of those primes had any resolution advantage vs. the Panasonic 12-35 or Oly 12-40. The Oly and Rokinon 12mm lenses are lighter though, admittedly.

    I'm occasionally curious about the SLR Magic 12/1.6 since I really the wide, fast end of my 11-22/2.8, and I've seen a bunch of them go on eBay for $180 USD or so (albeit with $50 shipping). But it's a bit big and heavy for an M4/3 manual prime in my mind, and it's probably not as sharp as I'd be happy with for that field of view.
     
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  5. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    They do. I am getting very tired of the O12-40 versus the primes discussion. I know that that O12-40 has a lot of fans, but it really doesn't cut it for everything. I think that the lens is very overrated. The OP mentioned video, not an O12-40 nor P12-35 strong suit. The OP was also considering primes, not zooms. Short of Voigtlander or Veydra, etc., lenses which are outside of his budget, what else is there?
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2015
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  6. travelbug

    travelbug Mu-43 Regular

    143
    Oct 20, 2014
    thanks for the advice guys.

    the 12-40 is indeed compelling since its drop in price. where im from its just 50-70usd more than an oly 12/2. i was actually considering it since its just such a good and versatile lens. however large apertures and size does matter to me so im kinda on the fence with it. let me explain a bit.

    i am fairly new to topside photography, shooting mainly street photography and indoor stuff like museums, bar events, board game sessions and miniatures, etc. but i mostly shoot videos and photos underwater. at present im 'only' using an oly epm1 cause it came with as a package with the underwater casing (the em5 case was way too expensive for me). i want to bring down a wide angle, low light lens that must obviously fit into the case. the three i mentioned above will. the 12-40 will most definitely not. so thats the biggest issue with the 12-40 for me. topside, i also tend to shoot a lot of dimly lit indoor stuff and i eventually want to try out nightsky photography (not sure if the epm1 is up to it though) thus id want large apertures on my wide- and i read somewhere that the 12-40 pro isnt great at night/night sky shots - ciiw of course.

    i also prefer a light, easy to carry setup. call me weird, but i seem to find packing 3 small primes lighter packing than using a 'big' standard zoom. i could be wrong on this though as i dont really have a big multi range lens. i could also get 3 primes the oly45,25 and rokinon 12 (or used slr magic) for the price of a new 12-40, BUT i cannot deny the quality and versatility - and ultimately value for money of the oly 12-40 pro. it does seem impractical to get a (new) oly 12/2 when the 12-40 is just 50usd more, 1 stop and (slightly) wider angle notwithstanding.

    topside video-wise, id like to have manual/ring control over aperture, for some of those cinematic shots, but its not necessarily a deal breaker if i cant.

    so yeah, im still on the fence. :)
     
  7. Underwater

    Underwater Mu-43 Regular

    102
    Jun 1, 2014
    Eugene, Oregon
    Paul
    I had a similar dilemma, only I started with the E-PL2. For a while, I shot with the 9-18 as it works decently enough in the Oly flat port (I assume you're shooting the package deal that was available for pretty cheap a couple of years ago). The 9-18 is pretty slow, but it's not so much of an issue with strobes. If you're shooting ambient light, then the 12mm is probably your best bet since it's AF. I don't know how it does underwater, however.

    Going off on a bit of a tangent...Ultimately, I moved up to the E-M1 / Oly housing and 12-40 after shooting through the Zen dome with the 9-18 and the flat port with the 12-50. If I had it to do over again, I would just get the 12-40, even for underwater- it's that great of a combination- plenty wide enough, plenty fast enough, and the close focus capabilities are great for pseudo-macro. To go for even smaller stuff, I have a swing away macro adapter on order. I tell you all this to give you some idea of where you might be down the road, even if you're like me and not made of money. The other caveat is that I only shoot stills.

    One last thought and I'll stop spending your money. I also dabble in astrophotography, and for a while I had the tiny E-PM2- it was better for astro stuff than the M1 (in my opinion), and you can pick up a used body for $100. The size is nice for street stuff, too, and the 16mp sensor is a big step up from what you have now.
     
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  8. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    There's always bokeh. Even if it's not a lot I prefer that it looks good.
    Fred
     
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  9. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    At 12mm, the 12-40 is sharper wide open than the 12mm f2.0 gets at ANY aperture. And not just by a little bit.

    lenstip has 12-40mm at 78 lp/mm center and 68 lp/mm edge wide open. 12mm f2 peaks at 70 center and 54 edge 2 stops down.
     
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  10. ahinesdesign

    ahinesdesign Mu-43 Veteran

    432
    Dec 6, 2011
    NC, USA
    Aaron
    While the 12-40 is a great lens (not sure its overrated, it offers a lot without sacrificing image quality...) primes are going to have an advantage in low light, not to mention major size/handling advantage on a PM1. The 12 f/2 seems like the best choice for the underwater application; can you manually focus with the camera in the underwater housing? Manual focus can be challenging on the PM1 as the LCD isn't very high res, although I did some manual focus stuff when I had a PM1 (7.5mm fisheye, 50mm adapted, etc.).
     
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  11. travelbug

    travelbug Mu-43 Regular

    143
    Oct 20, 2014
    thanks for your opinions. my last camera was compact panasonic which was a mediocre camera but an absolute beast when it came to underwater video- thus i kinda stuck to videos more. the camera flooded and so i had to get a new one and jumped on the epm1/housing sale. but video wise panasonic is better, imo.

    if i get to enjoy topside photography more, ill eventually get an em10 or em5, but i have no intentions of ditching the epm1 for underwater use as i like to keep my u/w camera gear fairly low budget so i dont regret anything when it floods or i have to emergency ditch it (undertows, currents, etc). however, before i get a new camera, id like to build up my lens inventory a bit first and a good wide angle is probably gonna be my most used lens topside and u/w. im not sure though if the epm1 u/w housing a port large enough to accommodate the 12-40pro. if i go the 12-40 route and not find a port big enough, i could concievable use my oly 25 as my u/w lens however it wont give me those dramatic wide angle (video) reef shots; but could work well for wreck diving which i like as much as reef diving.
     
  12. travelbug

    travelbug Mu-43 Regular

    143
    Oct 20, 2014
    iirc, infinity for the rokinon and slr magic is 4 feet, so shooting anything at or beyond that will be in focus. this will work for me as i will more often than not be shooting videos and u/w landscape photos. if i were to shoot fish (which i dont really plan to do) then a manual focus lens would be out of the question.
     
  13. travelbug

    travelbug Mu-43 Regular

    143
    Oct 20, 2014
    i will use the wide angle for portraits in cramped spaces where even a 25mm may not suffice, so bokeh and isolation would be important in these instances.
     
  14. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    If you're shooting portraits with a wide angle lens in tight spaces you'll need to rely on good composition rather than shallow depth of field.
    Fred
     
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  15. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    The 12-40mm can focus 2cm from it's front element yet even focused this close it doesn't push much out of focus, I'll take a picture as an example tomorrow (it's 2am atm). I don't think much bokeh / subject isolation is really realistic at these focal lengths though.
     
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  16. travelbug

    travelbug Mu-43 Regular

    143
    Oct 20, 2014
    indeed. in whatever situation with whatever equipment, composition is always king. although, i was really alluding to the fact that at that distance bokeh can be important (mildly refuting the comment that bokeh is useless on a wide angle) but in no way did i mean it to be the most important thing.
     
  17. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
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  18. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    I've only had experience with the Rokinon 12 F2 but on an A6000.
    Very sharp and nicely sized/priced.
    Great lens.
     
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  19. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    Yes, but the OP mentioned low light and video, neither are the O12-40's strong suit. I never ever considered taking my O12-40 with when I shot video or when it was not bright and sunny. If the OP wants to shoot video he would be hard pressed to find a better set of lenses than the 12 or 17, 25 and 42.5 or 45 of whatever brand he prefers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
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  20. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    What's "topside" (aside from a cut of beef)?
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2015