Building a lens collection?

Leo_B

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I'm returning the M10-II with a defective EVF sensor and going to get the M5-II with the 14-150 lens. I've got a 12f2 coming from KEH from their 20% off sale. In for a penny, in for a pound, even if I'm not British. So I'm debating what other lenses would complement these two and make a nice collection. My suspect list in no particular order includes:

9-18 zoom for things like the car show etc. when it's going to be a lot of close shots in tight spaces
60 macro for when you want to play really close up with a big image
17f1.8 when you want an all around lens that's also fairly fast
14-42R for lightweight all around and because I've got a high quality Hoya UV and lens hood for it
75-300 because sometimes you want to really reach out

So if you had the two lenses mentioned and PRO lenses are out of the budget and also beyond my shooting level, what lenses would you want next in what order?
 
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I'd get the first two and skip the last three. Instead of the 75-300 I'd get the panasonic 100-300ii because it's a bit faster at 300, and would get the 20mm panny because it's a pancake and instead of a slow standard zoom I'd get the Oly 12-40 pro. I'd also add the oly 45mm for a good portrait lens. I know these are my personal choices but you did ask a personal question.
 

wjiang

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12-40 - this lens doubles as a near macro and is just as sharp as the 12mm f/2 when at 12mm f/2.8. I would not have gotten the 12mm f/2. Wouldn't get a 14-42R either.

Take a pick of fast prime depending on focal length preferences - I would start with a 25mm.

9-18
100-300 II
 
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Bushboy

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12/2 is my most unused lens.
I also think it is overrated and was expensive to boot.
The big zoom you bought, is a good choice. I could get by with just that and a macro, any macro, all of them are good.
Pretty weird that EVF screen going out like that. Good choice with the M5ii, a very cool cam. :)
 
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Bidkev

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I agree with Bushboy, I had the 12mm and sold it within a couple of days as it wasn't as sharp as my 12-40. The Olly 12-40 is a cracker of a lens but if you don't want to spend that much the Panny 12-32 is going here for less than Aus$200 and is vastly under-rated as being "just another kit lens". Another lens for less than $200 is the panny 25 m 1.7 which I consider to be the sharpest of all my lenses after the 75 1.8. The Olly 45mm1.8 and 60mm macro also go at bargain prices less than $300. I'd stick with the panny 75-300 as I switched to the panny 100-400 but missed the 75mm end of the Olly so switched back.
 
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Keep what you have and take loads of photos first before spending more money. You will benefit more by learning to use what you currently have to the best of both the technology and your ability than you will trying and buying new lenses (as fun as that may be).

Start taking photographs, and you will discover a number of things:
how to use your camera and the various settings and capabilities
the more pictures you take the better the images you will take
what type of images you like taking
what you and your existing kit does well
what you and your existing kit does not do so well
what your existing kit can't do.

Don't buy a new lens until you know why you want to buy it.
The reasons for buying new lenses is to take images your existing kit can't or to improve on your existing kit. For example The 14-42 gives you no benefit over the 14-150 other than size, but a pro lens will give you better IQ.

One of the beauties of the system is the huge number of lenses, but you don't have to buy them all. When you are ready for a new lens look at the image showcase on this site it gives a very good indication of the sort of images you can expect and what images are best suited to the lens and whether that is the sort of images you will enjoy taking.

I don't have a macro lens because I don't have the time, or the desire to faff about with the complex set-up and the additional kit required to get good macro images. The shots per £ with a macro lens for me just wouldn't make it worthwhile When I have tried macro, I simply used an old manual rikenon lens I had lying around with an ebay set of extension tubes and adapter (< £10). The IQ was surprising good, but I also found out that I preferred taking real photos :)

Despite your reluctance, if I was you then (a year and thousands of photos later ) I would buy an Oly 12-40, Pan 12-35 or PLeica 12-60 as the next lens (I have the PL and when I got it, it blew me way)

However saying that I'm about to buy a Laowa 7.5 and Pan 15 these will be used alongside my existing Oly 25 1.8, Sigma 56 and 8mm fish-eye. I will also buy an em5 (not sure whether it will be a ii or iii) for use only with these small primes. This is because I really enjoy the challenge of going out with a small camera and a prime lens and looking for photos.
 

mauve

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Can't speak for everyone, but I have basically two systems I combine depending on circumstances :
- zoom system : O9-18, O12-40pro, O40-150R, O75-300 (the 75-300 is my latest, I don't know yet if it will completely supersede my 40-150 of if the latter will still prove useful)
- prime system : P14, O25, O45

I've had in the past the P20 (AF too slow), the P25 (prefer the O25 rendering), the O17/2.8 (worst native MFT lense, dreadful), the O17/1.8 (tried to love it twice, too soft, too expensive), and the O12-50 (sold it when I got the 12-40, but as far as kit lens go, this is a brilliant lens to have in your bag). And the O14-42 mk I kit zoom of the E-P1, but I think I may have used it for less tan 20 pictures over 8 years ;-)

For travels and holidays, I pick mainly zooms, but for everyday street photography, a couple of primes take no space in my pockets...

OTH,
M.
 
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ac12

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I would start with these two lenses
  • The Olympus 14-150
  • Olympus 17/1.8 for low light indoor shooting.
This 2 lenses should get you through 90+% of the average shooting.

Do you really need something wider than 14mm? Or can you stitch the shots together to make a wider image.

My light (non pro) kit are:
  • P-Lumix 12-60 - My light/travel GP lens. It is smaller and lighter than the Olympus 14-150.
    • When I went on vacation, this lens was on the camera 99% of the time. I used the 17/1.8 and 40-150R less than 15 times in total.​
  • Olympus 40-150R - Got this to give me more reach than the 12-60. But since getting the 75-300, it has not been used.
  • Olympus 75-300 - For baseball, softball, and tennis, where I need the reach.
    • I would think real hard if you really need the extra reach of the 300, your 14-150 might be "good enough."​
  • Olympus 14-43EZ - For a compact lens for smallest carry size, like when I go out for dinner and casual family events. But I do not care for the power zoom, so I put up with the power zoom to have the compact lens.
  • Olympus 17/1.8 - For indoor low light
One caution. The zoom ring on the Panasonic and Olympus lenses turn in opposite directions. Depending on what you shoot, this may or may not be an issue. For me and average shooting, not an issue. BUT when shooting sports, I want ALL my sport lenses to turn the same direction, as I use muscle memory to turn the zoom ring. I've lost MANY shots when I used a setup with an opposite turning ring, and I turn the zoom ring the wrong way.
 
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Bushboy

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With the m5ii you can select which direction focus turns, I think.
Panasonic’s lenses work fine on my M5ii. Autofocus speedily and accurate.
 

ac12

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With the m5ii you can select which direction focus turns, I think.
Panasonic’s lenses work fine on my M5ii. Autofocus speedily and accurate.
Yes, with focus by wire, you can change focus ring direction, which is pretty neat.
But I meant the zoom ring, which is mechanically fixed in its turning direction.
 

archaeopteryx

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Do all Panasonic lenses work fully with the M5-II as far as focus speed etc.?
Not quite fully as DFD and dual IS require a Panasonic body. The extent of the differences has been discussed extensively in other threads here but the succinct answer is their importance ranges from insignificant to substantial depending on lens and photographer.

(Olympus was also slow to completely implement CA correction in SOOCs from Panasonic lenses, so you'll see some discussion of that as well in relation to earlier bodies.)
 

ac12

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Not quite fully as DFD and dual IS require a Panasonic body. The extent of the differences has been discussed extensively in other threads here but the succinct answer is their importance ranges from insignificant to substantial depending on lens and photographer.



Olympus version of "dual IS" is "sync IS" and as @archaeopteryx said, it requires an OLYMPUS lens. Unfortunately sync/dual IS is not part of the m4/3 standard.
And as of now, there are only TWO Olympus lenses with OIS, both pro lenses; 300/4 and 12-100/4.
So you are stuck with either IBIS or OIS, NOT Sync IS for any Panasonic lens on an Olympus camera.

Warning. Sync IS with the 12-100 and EM1-mk1, SUCKS battery power. My continuous ON, run time was 4 hours with the Panasonic-Lumix 12-60 (IBIS), went down to about 2-1/2 hours with the Olympus 12-100/4 (sync IS).
The EM5 has the same battery as the EM1-mk1, so I would expect a similar impact to battery life.
 

Leo_B

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That is good to know. I'm still trying to learn and absorb all this 4/3 information. I guess my question has as much to do with focusing as quickly and accurately and/or having any of the issues frequently discussed regarding Canon/Nikon vs. 3rd party lenses.
 

ac12

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That is good to know. I'm still trying to learn and absorb all this 4/3 information. I guess my question has as much to do with focusing as quickly and accurately and/or having any of the issues frequently discussed regarding Canon/Nikon vs. 3rd party lenses.
Depending on what you are shooting, the EM5 may not be the best choice for fast action. The EM1-mk1 or mk2 would be a better choice, because the EM1 has PDAF, which the EM5 does not.
 
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To throw a wrench into the works… how wedded are you to automatic focus?

I get a kick out of using old film camera lenses via adapters. That can be an inexpensive way to "try out" a focal length before spending big bucks on a modern native autofocus lens.

If you have been involved with film photography, and if you have any of that kit left, that is a good place to start with the appropriate adapter. If not, you can pick a system and get an adapter, then get manual lenses for that system.

I've been using Olympus OM lenses since the 1970s, so it was a no-brainer to play with lenses in that system, which are generally pretty darn good. But the result is that I've spent more money on OM lenses for digital use than I ever did when I was shooting with an OM film body!

If you aren't already interested in a particular system, Canon or Nikon probably have the biggest range of used film lenses available, but some of their high-end lenses are much more expensive than comparable lenses from lesser-know camera companies.

Welcome to µ4/3rds!
 

Leo_B

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I'm probably not going to be shooting any fast action stuff. I'm thinking more of O17f1.8 vs. say P20f1.7 if I've got those two right. If I'm at the Friday night car show at sunset so I'm taking shots at the fastest aperture, and if the P20 lens, on whichever P camera will focus in 0.x seconds, will it also do that on my O camera or is it going to take 1.x seconds to achieve focus, all else being equal. I've seen several recommendations for various P lenses with an O camera and want to be sure they don't perform less than 100% due to being on a "foreign" body.
 

speedy

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The Lumix 20mm pancake is one of the lenses that focuses much better on a Panasonic DFD equipped body. I've read lots of complaints from Olympus owners about hunting etc with the 20mm, but never noticed it on either my GX8, or G9
 

Michael Meissner

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I'm returning the M10-II with a defective EVF sensor and going to get the M5-II with the 14-150 lens. I've got a 12f2 coming from KEH from their 20% off sale. In for a penny, in for a pound, even if I'm not British. So I'm debating what other lenses would complement these two and make a nice collection. My suspect list in no particular order includes:

9-18 zoom for things like the car show etc. when it's going to be a lot of close shots in tight spaces
60 macro for when you want to play really close up with a big image
17f1.8 when you want an all around lens that's also fairly fast
14-42R for lightweight all around and because I've got a high quality Hoya UV and lens hood for it
75-300 because sometimes you want to really reach out

So if you had the two lenses mentioned and PRO lenses are out of the budget and also beyond my shooting level, what lenses would you want next in what order?
It really depends on what you want to shoot. You list a scatter shot of possibilities. You have to decide what's important to you. Some comments on the particular lenses you listed (note, I do have two f/2.8 zooms, so it colors my usage, as more often I use those lenses):
  • I have the 9-18mm lens, and I find I'm not as drawn to things wider than 12mm. In fact, so far, I haven't shot with it all year. As fall comes up, I tend to like to put the 4/3rds classic 9-18mm lens on my E-1 and shoot some fall vistas with it. Because it is a light weight lens, I often toss it into the bag. In general my use of it has typically been when I just need a wider space and can't back up. For example, we were on a cruise around Boston harbor to see the tall ships that had gathered there, and sometimes to capture the shot, I needed the 9-18mm.
  • The 60mm macro is a specialist lens. While I've used mine about 4-5% of the time this year, I really haven't used it for serious macro shots.
  • Like you, I got the 12mm lens from keh.com, and when I tried it out in the house, I was reminded how wide 12mm really is. I suspect for you it will become more of an active lens, since your normal lens will presumably be the 14-150mm lens, and the 12mm will give you access to a wider vista.
  • I don't own the 17mm f/1.8 lens. At the time I was looking for something a bit wider than the 20mm Panasonic f/1.7 I've had for several years, a forum member offered up a Panasonic-Leica 15mm f/1.7 at about the same as the refurbished Olympus 17mm f/1.8 lens I was looking at. Since getting it, the PL 15mm has been a favorite low light lens for photographing people in smaller rooms.
  • As I mentioned, I've had the 20mm Panasonic lens for some time, and it was my primary low light lens. But I find the 20mm focal length to be a little long for photographing people in smaller rooms. In addition, being one of the oldest micro 4/3rds lenses, it tends to be on the slow side, and you can hear the lens focusing in movies. There was a second version (I have the mark I), but I've heard it was mostly cosmetic.
  • Unless you really need to put the camera where the size is an issue, I don't see the need for the 14-42mm lens. For other cameras, I suggest people who have the 14-42mm lens from a kit to keep it, as with many of the cameras, the 14-150mm causes a shadow when you use the flash (due to the size of the lens). But with the E-m5 mark II, the FL-LM3 sits high enough so in theory it should not be an issue.
  • The alternative to the 75-300mm is the Panasonic 100-300mm. I bought the 100-300mm mark II used. The mark II version is claimed to be splash resistant, but I had an incident with salt water, where it didn't seem to be as splash resistant as my Olympus lenses. One thing to note, is if it is your first Panasonic lens, all Panasonic lenses rotate their zoom and manual focus rings in the opposite direction of Olympus. Now, I have a mixture of both lenses, and I have to mentally reset gears when I switch between the two. As you mention, sometimes you want to photograph something further away. It depends on how much you want to photograph things far away. A lot of time, when I'm packing my camera bag, the 100-300mm stays home because of the weight.
  • I spend some amount of time photographing performers from the audience, and I find the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 to be about the right focal length to capture them. Other people like the 45mm, because it gives nice separation of the subject from the background (I don't do formal portraits). But for both use cases, it depends on how often you want to take those type of shots.
  • If you are seeking to buy multiple lenses, I would say instead get a used Olympus 12-40mm lens. While the f/1.8 lenses are 1 1/3 stop faster than the 12-40mm, you can do many indoor shots with the 12-40mm. Combined with the 14-150mm, it makes a nice 1-2 punch. It is 1-2 stops faster than the 14-150mm lens, and the 12-40mm focal length tends to where I get a lot of shots.
 
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