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Best 4/3 general use lens?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by yamark, May 23, 2012.

  1. yamark

    yamark Mu-43 Regular

    May 23, 2012
    Hey folks,
    new here and very excited to find this forum. I'm new to the micro 4/3 world.

    After reviewing 1,000 websites for what camera would work for me best, I picked up an Olympus E-PM1. I like it quite a bit.

    I'd like to get a nice lens ~$400.00. I can really only afford one lens so I'd consider it a general use lens. I'd like the possibilities of a large aperture.

    Can you offer some advice?
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The Lumix 20mm f/1.7 should fit under your budget, while a Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux would be slightly over. Maybe compromise and buy a used Summilux? :)  If you want to also keep a really small package then get the Lumix 20mm, as it is a pancake lens and with the E-PM1 Mini will offer an extremely tiny system!
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Hi and welcome! I agree with Ned :smile:.
  4. Redridge

    Redridge Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 17, 2012
    I have a 7-14mm, 12mm, 45mm, 20mm 14-42mm..... The 20mm 1.7 gets used the most. Why? It's pretty versatile IMHO... Plenty fast, iq is awesome and it's compact. You can focus as close to 6". So you can use your feet to zoom in and out.... But this is just me. My other lense gets used on special occasions, But the 20mm is a good all a rounder for daily driving.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Welcome...my first thought is the P20/1.7 since I assume the E-PM1 came with a kit lens. That said, I think the best general use lens is probably the P14-45.
  6. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    The 20mm has been a really useful lens, much more than I expected it to be. Alternately you may want to consider a telephoto. Depends on your style.
  7. suoersta

    suoersta Mu-43 Rookie

    May 23, 2012
    Does physically feet zooming with primes bothering ??
  8. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    Super zoom. 14-140 Panny or the Oly equivalent. Not quite wide enough for good interiors and not quite long enough for wildlife but wide enough and long enough for lots of stuff. Not fast enough for all situations but fast enough for most. Maybe a little more money but you won't regret it.
  9. mgr

    mgr Mu-43 Regular

    If you are limited on budget you only have 2 choices: the 20mm or the 14-42 / 14-45; Consider what you prefer: more flexibility with a zoom or a fast lens for low light pictures.
    I suggest to start with a zoom. Go with the 14-45; it's quite sharp, light weight and you have a good range of 28mm to 90mm for all day shootings.
    Sooner or later you will miss the wide- and the long- range !

  10. RussellOlaguer

    RussellOlaguer Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 12, 2012
    Paranaque, Philippines
    Russell Olaguer
    I think for starters, zoom is better choice.
    According to people here, the Panasonic 14-45mm is the kit to get.
    Then you can pick the Panasonic 20mm later for low light photography.
  11. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    Maybe I misunderstood, but I thought the OP was asking about 4/3 glass? If m4/3 was the intent, Id say the 20 or 45 for a prime, and the 14-45 for a zoom. Although if I watched I'm sure I could find a 14-150 oly used for that budget. Then you could experiment with a large range and find what you really use, and sell the zoom for close to what was paid and buy the lense(s) you really want. This is what I did when I first bought a m4/3 body, and shot with it for a couple of months to get a feel for what was the most desirable FL.
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    That's what I thought too when I read the thread title, but when I read the first post I didn't see anything about Four-Thirds. :) 
  13. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    I'd strongly recommend the Lumix 20/f1.7 over a zoom (over anything actually, for what you're talking about).

    It's cheap, sharp, fast and has a fantastic focal length for general use.

    Use nothing else for a year and it'll make you a better photographer to boot :smile:
  14. yamark

    yamark Mu-43 Regular

    May 23, 2012
    Wow, thanks for all the replies. I am pretty active in other various forums and get annoyed with new guys at times. I made two very crucial new guy mistakes here...I am completely new to the micro 4/3 thing.

    1. It should have micro in my thread title as I am looking for a drop in micro 4/3 lens.

    2. I failed to mention that I have the 14-45 kit lens. I'm not really interested in telephoto shots as of now. So, a small 20mm or below would be great...especially if its good with low light.

    I'll check out all these lenses and keep em coming if you have any other suggestions.
  15. Brianetta

    Brianetta Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    North East England
    Brian Ronald
    A kit-split 14mm is something to consider, perhaps even as a second lens. Very inexpensive right now.
  16. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I think then you would like the pana 14 or pana 20 since you cannot afford the oly 12 for your budget!
  17. The Minimalist

    The Minimalist Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 19, 2011
    +1 for the 20mm lens for general purpose use, it is on my camera 80-90% of the time. The others I use if I really need to use them.
  18. CUB

    CUB Guest

    +1 here.
  19. yamark

    yamark Mu-43 Regular

    May 23, 2012
    Anyone have experience with the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm f2.8 Lens?

    I wouldn't have to worry about filter adapters or buying new filters as it accepts all my 37mm filters unlike the panny which accepts 46mm.
  20. yamark

    yamark Mu-43 Regular

    May 23, 2012
    Another question, since I already have the 14-42 lens I've been questioning whether or not getting a 17mm or 20mm or the likes is just futile. I generally only shoot wide angle and am generally only concerned with image quality. Will the panny 20mm or oly 17mm give me that much noticeable quality?
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