Best overall Olympus kit lens?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by dissembled, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. dissembled

    dissembled Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2013
    A. Alabanza
    I'd like it to be sharp but also be under $300. I'd also like the auto focus to be dead on and work in all but the most difficult situations. It would primarily used for travelling and general purpose. I am going to couple it with my OM-D camera. I'm curious as to what your suggestions are.
  2. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Does it have to be Olympus? My vote goes to the Panasonic 12-32mm and 45-175mm as the best kit lenses that can be had around or under $200 a piece. Both work great on a Olympus bodies.
  3. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    If you shop around, you should be able to get both the 14-42mm and 40-150mm R for $300USD or less... The 40-150 sometimes goes on sale for $99, and either 14-42 is $199 or less.

  4. nublar

    nublar Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 22, 2013
    14-42A is the best kit lens.
  5. dissembled

    dissembled Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2013
    A. Alabanza
    Thanks for the suggestions. I forgot to mention in my original post that I definitely require wide angle.
    Would you guys recommend the Olympus EZ 14-42 lens? How does it compare with the Panasonic 12-32?

    The 12-32 is my number one choice at the moment, but the build quality issues make me somewhat wary. Curious though how the AF on the 12-32 is like on Olympus bodies? Accurate enough and suitable even during more difficult situations?
  6. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    I like our 14-42 II R, although I don't use it. I think that it is pretty nice for a kit lens. My wife uses the 14-42 EZ, I prefer the 14-42 II R. We don't have the Panasonic.
  7. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
  8. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    There is one in Buy/Sell forum here for just $120 shipped.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    A used 12-50 is a good choice and only weather sealed in price range. Or a 14-150 series I, I don't think it came as a kit lens but sure is a versatile range.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2015
  10. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Pana 12-32 or Pana 14-45 (45, not 42). Otherwise 14-42 R II.
  11. Halaking

    Halaking Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 17, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I second Panny's 12-32mm, very compact and nice build for it's price.
  12. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    If I was gonna get a standard zoom other than the 12-35/2.8 or 12-40/2.8, it would be the 12-32, due to it being quite a good lens and it's exceptionally small size, plus the 12mm which I find more useful than the extra on the long end with the other kit lenses, as you can always crop a bit to make that difference up but it's harder to get wider when you can't step back.
  13. dissembled

    dissembled Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2013
    A. Alabanza
    Thanks, guys. P12-32 it is. You've convinced me!
  14. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Yes, 12-32 would be my pick. One note are the 12-32. Some do come apart. Here is a thread about it.

    Pansonic 12-32 Came Apart

    Mine has this issue, I added a little double sided tape and slipped the cover back on. No issues and it doesn't stop me from recommending it.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. aphasiac

    aphasiac Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 18, 2015
    I vote for the 12-50, it's great at wide and middle, long end is ok, macro mode is amazing and weather-proof. Also the switchable power and manual zoom I thought was a gimmick, but ive used it for video with nice results.

    Only if you don't mind a big lens though.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. Johnny The Greek

    Johnny The Greek Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 19, 2015
    If the OP wants an Olympus specific kit lens, I have to vote for the 12-50mm. Optically the 14-42mm lens might actually be better, but the versatility of the 12-50mm makes it way more useful.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. Starfleet

    Starfleet Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 14, 2015
    Michigan, USA
    I had them all and I vote for the Panasonic 14-42 II. Sharper than both the olympus and panasonic 12-32. Smaller than the olympus and has a focus ring, which the 12-32 does not. The 12-32 is very good too, if you do not care about manual focus and accept the annoyance of having to extend the lens before using it.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    The 12-50 has a great range and the macro feature is really handy. But it's not as sharp as the 12-32 and personally I've always found is length a little awkward.
  19. A few months ago I would have voted for the 12-50. Great range and macro. However, I found the size not ideal... kinda odd. I don't do enough macro really either.

    I've long since sold that lens for the O14-42EZ. I considered teh P12-32 but I wanted something more midrange of a zoom. At the time, I also couldn't find the P12-32 lens only being sold. I also looked at the P14-42 power zoom. I didn't like the ergonmics of the zoom switch versus the zoom ring of the olympus.

    It is not uncommon for me to have the 14-42EZ as my one lens sans bag with maybe the 25mm f/1.8 in my pocket. Both together is still easier to carry than the 12-50mm. (PS: the P25mm f/1.7 is on sale for $99. Keep the kit lens purchase under $200 and you have a great two lens kit for travel while still in budget)

    In the early days of micro4/3rds the original P14-45mm had a great following for its ability to deliver sharp results. I don't think it is made today and how it compares to the newer offerings.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
  20. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Late to this thread but will throw in that once you go to 12mm you simply can not go back to 14mm. You will miss that extra 2mm. So any of the 12-xx lenses are a good choice simply from the standpoint of focal length.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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