Best Lens Choice?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by SilenX, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. SilenX

    SilenX Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 2, 2013
    Well I'm stuck at a cross roads here guys. Right now I have the 14-42 kit lens that came with my G5, 45-150, and 20.

    The lenses I'm trying to decide between are the Samyang 7.5 fisheye and Oly 45 portrait lens. The 20 does ok portraits but the 45 is the obvious choice for this. But I do a lot of car photography as well as landscape and think the fisheye effect (or de-fisheyeing it in PP) would be useful as well.

    I was also hoping to use the Oly 45 for YouTube videos as well if that matters. The 20 just makes too much noise for my tastes.

    Which would you get first and why? Is there another lens I should be considering?
  2. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    The fish eye is not the easiest lens to use but it is wide. Take a look at the fisheye image threads and see what you think.

    The 45 is on sale right now for $318 I saw in a post earlier. That would lead me in that direction although it is not in the wide direction that you wanted.

    Perhaps sell the 20 and get the inexpensive 14 (used, they seem to pop up all over the place) for some extra width and then also get the 45 .
  3. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    I would try for a 14 as a first choice. The 7.5 is pretty intriguing though!
  4. SilenX

    SilenX Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 2, 2013
    I've seen the fisheye thread and really like those images but I also wanted the 45 for a proper portrait lens (and possibly video for its internal focusing).

    The 20 I plan on keeping unless the newest version of it has improved IQ or focusing speed. I keep hearing the 20 is much sharper than the 14 and I don't want to sacrifice how sharp my images are for a slightly wider lens.

    The 45 is tempting, and while I'm not ready to buy RIGHT now I just wanted to get a good amount of information prior to making my decision. I'll end up with both lenses eventually its just a matter of which lens is my first in this buying frenzy. :dash2:
  5. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    I avoided the 14 like the plague too because of what I kept hearing about it. My opinion changed, however, when I picked one up. My expectations were so low because of how poorly if fairs on internet forums that I was immediately impressed. It is a relatively sharp lens. Mine suffers from more Vignette than I would care for but this has only really become evident when shooting very light subjects at the lower f-stops.

    Your plan is solid, however, and you cannot go wrong by holding on to the 20mm.
  6. sammykhalifa

    sammykhalifa Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 22, 2012
    Pittsburgh PA
    "Much" sharper might be an exaggeration. I have noticed that people seem to overblow the "shortcomings" of most of these lenses. I will say though that I have both the 14 and the 20 now and the 20 seems to see most of the camera-time.

    People like the 14 for car shots.
  7. SilenX

    SilenX Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 2, 2013
    Seems like the debate is between the 14 pancake and 7.5 fisheye for landscape and car shots; but the 45 is a dead ringer otherwise.

    So, unless there's a good reason not to, I guess I'll grab the Oly 45 for now and that'll give me more time to decide on either the 14 pancake or 7.5 fisheye?
  8. burdickjp

    burdickjp Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2013
    What is not easy to use about it? I'd argue it's the easiest manual lens I've ever used. The infinity focus is very short, meaning that for everything further away than 25cm you set it to infinity and. The only thing to mess with then is your foot zoom and aperture.
    I'm still figuring out what I want out of the aperture: how fuzzy it is wide open, when it sharpens up.
    Overall I am VERY happy with it.
  9. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium

    So you are ignoring at least 3 stops of difference between the kit zoom and the 45. And you can't see the difference between the fov and dof of the 14 and the 20 not to mention the extra stop of speed with the 20

    You really shouldn't be handing out advice


  10. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    I used to love my Panasonic 20mm lens, but when I got the 14mm and 45mm lenses I simply stopped using it...
  11. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011

    Technically or functionally it is probably the easiest manual focus lens you can get because it is so wide. I was thinking of the difficulty (for me) to get photographs with it that were worth keeping. The fisheye effect usually became a distraction and usually is only a curiosity for me.

    I know there are great shots in the fisheye image forums. I just never got myself in a place where I could produce interesting shots like the ones I see others getting. For that reason, I found it a difficult lens to use.

    Several times I had it with me and thought I was going to get some great photos but when I got home they simply were not worth keeping. YMMV but the fisheye does take some practice.
  12. burdickjp

    burdickjp Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2013
    You, sir, have just posted a GREAT subjective perspective on this lens. We can talk objective things like specifications or how two lenses compare, but at the end of the day it all comes down to how each individual person uses their lenses; it is about their subjective perspective of how they feel. It's truly insightful posts like yours which enrich the discussion. Thank you very much!
  13. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    That's what it comes down to, for me as well. Optically and mechanically the Rokinon/Samyang 7/3.5 fisheye is a great lens at a very attractive price. But it's an impossible lens to take 'normal' looking images with - even normal looking UWA images, so unless one really does love that fisheye aesthetic enough to have a lens solely for that purpose, it's hard to justify getting.
  14. SilenX

    SilenX Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 2, 2013
    I think I'd mainly be buying the 7.5mm fisheye for the UWA effect instead of the fish eye effect. I had thought a simple de-fisheye tool in Ps would take care of this but it seems that isn't the case?

    That being said, what would be the best bang for your buck UWA lens then?
  15. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    My previous post was very confusing so I have deleted it.

    You pose several questions that are not easily answered: fisheye vs portrait lens, 20mm vs 45mm for portraits, fish-eye for car photography and landscapes, and which lens for videos.

    Fisheye vs portrait lens - which will you use the most? For me the fisheyes unique effect can be overpowering and lacks the versatility of an ultra-wide angle lens. They are also hard to get compelling photos with.

    20mm vs 45mm for portraits - the 45mm. If I don't have the room to use the 45mm then I use a 25mm f/1.4, maybe next year a 75mm f/1.8 if I can justify the cost by then.

    Car photography and landscapes - fisheyes creates a nice unique effect but I need a lens that is more versatile for the cars and landscapes I shoot. For these I use a 7-14mm and 12-50mm mostly, and longer lenses when the situation warrants. I can use the 7-14mm and Photoshop to add a fish-eye effect if wanted. I do not believe there are a wealth of UWA for u4/3s, the Panasonic 7-14mm and Olympus 9-18mm. However with an adpter there are many possiblites.

    About a decade ago when I restarted photography I did not know how serious about photography I'd get and I had lenses comparable to those in the OP. To keep myself from buying more and more gear that would sit around and get used only on rare occasions I used the following process.

    I listed likes and dislikes about my current lenses. I looked at the metadata for my current lenses to see what focal lengths and f-stops were used the most. Lightroom's metadata portion of the Library filter was a big help. Some questions I answered were -

    What are the most common focal lengths f stops used? Were wider or longer lenses needed? If so for what purpose? Were wider apertures for more DOF control or to shoot in low light situations needed?

    I combined the likes and dislikes with the data usage and listed my photo genre priorities. I then planned out a long range solution to meet the needs, sort of a personal lens road map. Based on your past usage and what I liked to photograph I also considered how often I thought I would use the lenses in the lens road map?

    I then purchased the lens that I thought I would use the most and covered the broadest spectrum of photographs I wanted to take. I tended towards pro level lenses based on past experiences, they can last a very long time, produce IQ that may be very acceptable years down the road, and provide more DoF and light gathering capabilities than consumer lenses, all of which were important to me.

    Before I'd buy another lens I reassess my previous choices and validate my lens map or change accordingly.

    With the questions posed in the OP - this might be a very worthwhile process.
  16. SilenX

    SilenX Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 2, 2013
    I suppose the 45 will be used more than the UWA but I will definitely be purchasing one after the 45.

    The UWA lens is where I get tripped up as to the proper choice though, not sure what I should end up with. If I purchase a 12-50 I'm kind of left with my 14-42 kit lens as being either sold or useless. The 7-14 and 9-18 command hefty price tags in comparison to the 7.5 though.

    That being said, you mentioned if you want the fisheye effect you simply at it via Ps. If this method works, then why no the reverse method to obtain a UWA and fisheye lens for a smaller cost? Are you losing out in IQ somewhere?
  17. manzoid

    manzoid Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2011
    I have both the 7.5 and the 9-18.

    I think there are a couple issues with defishing. The corners trend to get stretched and lose resolution, and you will need to crop. The fisheye is pretty sharp to start with and depending on your intended usage you may not need all those megapixels, but it can be difficult to compose when the finished product looks so different.that's been my experience anyway.

    As a suggestion, grab some full resolution shots from the fisheye, perform your intended defishing method and see what you think of the results.

    Also the fisheye can capture pictures that make the distortions less obvious, by doing things like keeping the horizon line center frame, but this can be limiting.

    Sent from my XT885 using Mu-43 mobile app
  18. SilenX

    SilenX Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 2, 2013
    All this discussion of how it can be rather difficult to properly frame and execute the right fisheye effect has me leaning towards picking up a Oly 12 or 9-18 used over any other UWA lens approach.

    So, I guess the question now is, would a Oly 12 or a Oly 9-18 be better suited for the types of shots I had mentioned in my OP? I know primes are often touted for having the best sharpness so should I stick with that instead of a "zoomable" UWA lens?

    Thanks for all the tips and tricks so far guys I really appreciate it! :thumbup:
  19. SilenX

    SilenX Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 2, 2013
    And I'm back to square one again, realized the 25 f/1.4 could also be a great choice instead of the 45 f/1.8.

    Which would be better of the two? Or are these two not even comparable?
  20. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Better for what? Better for who? Its not clear to me that you know what problem(s) you are tyring to solve as you have mentioned lenses from UWA to 45mm. Is this just a case of GAS? These are two fine lenses, but the angle of view that each offers is radically different. Can you be more specific about what you are trying to accomplish with a purchase? You mentioned that you shoot cars and landscapes. Do you use either of these focal lengths for these types of shots? Do you need fast glass? Generally, I do not purchase lenses unless they solve a specific problem. There is nothing wrong with GAS, but its not clear that we are actually providing you with useful information.

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