Building a lens collection?

mauve

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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.
The Panasonic 14/2.5 and 25/1.7 are very good performers on Olympus bodies ; the 20/1.7 not so much. The Olympus 17/1.8 is fast to AF, wide aperture and beautifully built, but it's softer than most other Olympus primes and is IMO overrated. The opposite is true for the O45/1.8, a vastly underrated blob of ugly plastic that delivers stunningly sharp images.
OTH,
M.
 

archaeopteryx

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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.
I feel like the several posts preceding the quoted one got missed. So let's back up and try a somewhat different approach:
  • Autofocus speed results from the combination of lighter focus groups, greater available motor power to move the groups, and the body's speed and skill in determining where to move the focus groups.
  • Among Olympus bodies, the current autofocus technology leader is the E-M1X. The E-M1 II with current firmware isn't too far behind but, like the rest of Olympus' bodies, is slower.
  • Panasonic rarely discloses DFD changes but has published documents distinguishing between DFD and DFD2 and has dropped enough hints I'd be inclined to refer to the G9 as having DFD3. The G90 is new enough it's unclear where it fits in but, for stills, it's probably reasonable to look at the G9 as Panasonic's autofocus leader.
If you want 100% autofocus performance from a given lens within the μ43 system an E-M5 II or E-M10 II isn't going to deliver it no matter what.

Perhaps what we're trying to articulate is that, for this thread, something like 70-80% (pick a number) of maximum is OK but 5-10% (pick a number) is not. If so, the most structured analysis of μ43 autofocus performance and its determinants I'm aware of is in this thread.

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.
There is also the Panasonic-Leica 10-25 f/1.7. Big, expensive, and heavy like all fast lenses. But, like any zoom, also eventually smaller, lighter, and cheaper when compared to a sufficiently large number of primes. ;)
 

angusr

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While I don't disagree with the assessment that the 12mm f2 is less sharp than the short end of some of the the zooms, sharpness isn't everything. If you want a small, fast 12mm with decent build quality, it is the only option - I like mine a lot.
 

wjiang

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While I don't disagree with the assessment that the 12mm f2 is less sharp than the short end of some of the the zooms, sharpness isn't everything. If you want a small, fast 12mm with decent build quality, it is the only option - I like mine a lot.
Olympus were charging a crazy amount for it though. If it was priced like the 17mm f/1.8 it would make more sense.
 

Bushboy

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$1200NZ!
Crikey! OMG!
Mine is lack lustre, but sometimes really good. Stopping down might improve it, but I haven’t played with it enough yet. I do like how small it is, and it does seem to focus very quick, which is not surprising given Archaeopteryx’s helpful post.
 

Bushboy

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I got mine used for NZ $450. That’s about $250 American...
Might be a casualty of the trade war...
 

Leo_B

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Oh, I thought they were talking about the 10-25 mentioned a few posts up. I got my 12f2 used for just over $300. It's $800 new on Olympus USA site and on sale there for $650 right now.
 

demiro

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Oh, I thought they were talking about the 10-25 mentioned a few posts up. I got my 12f2 used for just over $300. It's $800 new on Olympus USA site and on sale there for $650 right now.
Did you buy the 12/2 because you got a good deal? Seems like an odd choice for someone trying to put together a kit with no hard and fast priorities.
 

Leo_B

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I bought it for the combination of a good deal and the pretty wide and pretty fast combination for car shows when there may only be a few feet of room at most for taking shots between cars and any indoor areas where the same benefits apply. Maybe also for just walking around with a really light kit on day trips or whatever.
 

oldracer

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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. ...
+1

Collection? I have a whole workshop full of tools, but not a "collection." Each tool was bought to serve a need. My photography tools have been acquired in the same way.
 

Egregius V

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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?
I acquired my 14-150 II lens with an E-M5 II. It's a great combination and a good way to get the lens at a reasonable price. Very sharp in the center and becomes more evenly sharp across the frame as you zoom in past 20mm. It might help to be aware that decentering can be a problem - that is, asymmetrical focusing across the image. It shows up in detailed reviews and is noticeable in some of my photos. Most zooms have some degree of decentering, but you don't want it to be too bad. I've recently started using the Lumix 12-60 instead and find it to be a much better lens at the wide end - but you have to hunt to find a vendor who sells it cheap and accepts returns if it turns out to be a dud.

I think you've found a good reason to get an ultra-wide zoom like the 9-18: close shots in tight spaces. It's compact, cheap, great for landscapes and for casual, walk-around photography, very useful for close-up work - and it takes filters easily.

The 60 Macro is a specialty lens and is very good. The 30mm and 45mm macro lenses from Olympus and Panasonic are also worth considering. I don't know which is best for focus stacking, if you ever want to do that; the 60mm is fine in my experience, but be aware that it exhibits what is called "focus breathing." You need good software (e.g., Helicon Focus) and technique to overcome that.

I suggest skipping the 14-42 R. With the 14-150, you won't need it - and I found it to be much less reliable than other options.

The 17/1.8 is fine - but do you already like to take photos at that focal length? There are many good low-cost options in the 16-25mm range, so it's worth thinking about. I agree with having at least one fast lens in this range.

I only occasionally use a 45mm/1.8 - mainly for close-up photos of people and tight landscapes. The Panasonic 42.5/1.7 is better for some uses and worse for others and not much different in price. Worth considering if you know you'll need something like this - otherwise, only if you have the money.

The 75-300 II is a great complement for short zoom lenses, but maybe not the 14-150 II. While the 75-300 can be found at a price that's hard to beat, the Panasonic 100-300 II is a better lens and can be found on sale sometimes. Version I of the Panasonic is not a better lens. The 75-300 does autofocus quickly, but not all that accurately on the E-M5 II and similar models. You'll need a steady hand and manual-focus assists (which are very good on the E-M5 II) to get the most from it. Same with the Panasonic lens, but that one has built-in stabilization, a faster aperture, more reliable focusing, and can be sharper at the long end.

To answer your question - which lenses and in what order:
1. 9-18.
2. 17/1.8 or similar.
3. 100-300 II or 75-300 II.
4. macro lens.
5. Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 fisheye lens.
6. 45/1.8.

That's just about the order that I acquired my own lenses and I wouldn't change it. :)
 

Leo_B

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I wound up buying an M10.3 body only because it was about half the cost and will be more camera than my needs or talents require. I've got the 12f2 and 14-42R lenses to use with it and will add to those. Of the lenses mentioned by E-V I can see acquiring 1-4 and maybe eventually 6 but don't see myself ever wanting a fisheye lens. At first thought I might be inclined to go 3, 1-2 or 2-1, 4.

I got the 14-42 for $50 to have for when I want just a light, one solution walk around. If I find an almost too good to be true opportunity I might pick up a 12-X00 or 14-150 or 12-40. I want one fast lens in the 17-20 range to supplement the 12. Somewhere down the line, on the part of the line that can't even be seen because it is way out there, I may want one or two more fast lenses further up the reach scale and maybe one or both TCs. I may research if there's a good grip and/or battery grip as well.
 

PakkyT

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I wound up buying an M10.3 body only because it was about half the cost and will be more camera than my needs or talents require. I've got the 12f2 and 14-42R lenses to use with it and will add to those.
Sounds like a great start to me. As you mentioned, the 12f2 will come in handy for those car shows where you often can not back up far enough with less-wide lenses and the 14-42 is pocketable to bring along with an extra battery without requiring a camera bag if you want to travel light.

I would say get those, use them for a month or two in situations you will normally be shooting. It should become obvious fairly quickly to you were you wish to expand your lenses based on what you had trouble shooting. You may need something sharper, longer, faster, etc. but likely not all of them right now.

As we often talk about here, if you like m43 and want to stick with it, then start looking at the best lens you can afford. The camera body is not nearly as important and over time you may upgrade or buy whatever the newest model is at the time. Bodies come and go, but if you invest in great lenses they will continue to move along with you saving you a lot of money in the long run if you buy the best now instead of 2 or 3 iterations to get to that great lens. I am still using my two high end 4/3rds lenses (I use an E-M1) which I bought over a decade ago, so while they seemed very expensive to me at the time to buy them, I have certainly got my money out of them with 10 years of use while the bodies (E-520, E-1, E-3, E-300, E-30, E-P2 & E-M1) come and go.
 
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start looking at the best lens you can afford. The camera body is not nearly as important and over time you may upgrade or buy whatever the newest model is at the time. Bodies come and go, but if you invest in great lenses they will continue to move along with you saving you a lot of money in the long run if you buy the best now instead of 2 or 3 iterations to get to that great lens. I am still using my two high end 4/3rds lenses (I use an E-M1) which I bought over a decade ago, so while they seemed very expensive to me at the time to buy them
Worth repeating!

But also, many of those older lenses have become really cheap, relatively speaking! I got my ZD 35-100/2 and a 150/2 for only about $1,200 for the pair! (For some reason, the 300/2.8 still is pretty expensive… so I went back even further in time, and found a nice OM Zuiko 350/2.8.)

Life is too short for crappy lenses.
 

Leo_B

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Yes, in a money is no object world my acquisitions would likely be in this order, with maybe even an M1X somewhere in the second half.

12-40f2.8
40-150f2.8
17f1.2
PEN-F
7-14f2.8
12-100f4
45f1.2
25f1.2
 
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