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Building a system around the OM-D

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by RR76, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. RR76

    RR76 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2011
    South Wales UK
    Hi all, I'm coming into the :43: world with a pre-order of the E-M5 & need to start some research on building up a range of lenses. I thought you lovely people here could give me the benefit of your experience.

    I've pre-ordered with the 12-50mm, I know it gets alot of bashing for being slow at the long end but for the extra money it looks like a handy versatile zoom to have, especially in inclement weather. My current thinking is to add the following...

    25mm PL
    45mm Oly

    This should be a versatile high quality kit right ?
    I'm pretty set on the 45mm as it looks like a fantastic lens for the money. The others are not set in stone though.

    I'm drawn to the 25mm Voigtlander as I'm coming from FF & it would be nice to have that thin dof available, but I have an 18 month old toddler & the AF of the 25mm PL may be better to catch expressions etc. & the 45mm may prove too tight indoors.

    I also have reservations over the 7-14mm, is the lack of distortion & CA correction on Oly bodies an issue ? The lack of filter use is a bit of a disappointment too. I'm not a huge user of filters but am worried that the lower DR of :43: from the FF I'm used to may require me to use them more often to control exposure more tightly as I wont have the luxury of being able to push the shadows in post.

    On the telephoto end the 100-300mm looks to have very nice output, but having only had 300mm on FF I'm wondering if I really need a 600mm equivalent. I'm not a serious wildlife shooter but I do enjoy taking the camera along to the local nature reserve, but the birdlife is pretty tame & I may not really need the reach. I could save money with a shorter option, but is it worth trying to save here, what are the native options.

    Thanks for reading this far, if you have any advice for me or can point me towards resolving some of my queries it would be much appreciated. I'm looking forward to getting my teeth into :43: & making photography fun & accessible again. It's not fun lugging around FF gear whilst looking after a toddler too you know ! Hopefully I'll get to know you all a little better & help contribute to this great little community here.

  2. RR76

    RR76 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2011
    South Wales UK
    Forgot to mention that I'll probably add a Legacy Macro & adapter a little down the line.

    What's on the horizon lens wise, I know about the 2 Panny 2.8 zooms & the 2 Oly primes, anything else look interesting within the next 12 months ?

    I can push the budget a little but was thinking of picking up a 2nd body to tide me over until the OM-D arrives, it'll be useful as a backup too. But I could negate that to buy more/better glass.
  3. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    If you're not sure about the need for the reach of the 100-300 then the Olympus 40-150 is, in my opinion, a very good lens for the price (I think better than the 100-300 at the same lengths) that gives good reach and is far lighter then the 100-300. If you are going for portability then the 100-300 does bump up the weight and size quite a lot.
    And the 40-150 is cheaper.
  4. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Looks like a great kit to me.

    The only suggestion that I would make is that you consider either the 14mm or 20mm primes lenses. They are significantly smaller than the rest of the lenses you mentioned and would make a nice compact carry option, especially if you end up getting a E-PM1 or something else as a second, compact body down the road. I think the 14mm is an overachiever and the 20/1.7 is awesome, though, a little slow to focus compared to the latest m4/3 lenses.
  5. McDark

    McDark Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 26, 2011
    7-14 is nice but 9-18 seems more useful range to me. Consider the price too.

    Main 12-50 plus is weather seal if you REALLY need it. But there's no better all-round zoom than 14-150. It is the lens which made me choose the system. If you're not into wildlife etc that could be enough and it could replace both 12-50 and 100-300 in your list, consider the size also.
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, I think that's perfect! Very good selections! :thumbup:

    I have to disagree on that suggestion. If you have the 45mm prime, why would you want a slow lens which is so close in focal range? The 45mm can get you the same perspective as 50mm, 70mm, 80mm, etc. if you just step a little closer. If I wanted to get a little closer than 45mm allows, then I wouldn't want to swap lenses just so I can zoom in to say 70mm or 80mm. It would be much faster (and safer for the lenses!) to just walk ahead a little than to reach in my bag and swap lenses. If there's something in the way of my feet, then I'd still rather capture a wider frame using a sharp, fast f/1.8 lens (2.5 stops faster!) and crop it down in post, than to use a slow telephoto just to get that little bit of extra crop. The 100-300mm on the other hand, will give you that reach where you really need it.

    Plus... there is an m.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8 coming out this year. So if you're still finding yourself lacking in that area then that lens will fill the gap while retaining the speed (and probably the quality) of the 45mm. It would not make the 100-300mm redundant though, as that will still be your long-reach lens. It would make the 40-150mm redundant however. I think future lens purchase options should be taken into consideration as well.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. RR76

    RR76 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2011
    South Wales UK
    I owned a GF1 for several months with the 20mm but I found the AF slow, I didn't use it a great deal as I always tended to lug the DSLR with a "what if?" mentality. The DSLR has now gone of course so I wont have that issue.

    Picking up A GF2 kit with 14mm looks appealing at current prices, the E-PM1 looks more appealing but of course the cost is higher. Pity it isn't sold as a kit with the 17.

    When I get some time, I'll make my way through the lens sample threads & take a look at the 40-150 & 14-150. The weight of the 100-300 isn't a huge concern as I wouldn't carry it as part of my main kit. Only when out on family walks, I can fit it in small enough a bag to throw in the bottom of the pushchair.
  8. RR76

    RR76 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2011
    South Wales UK
    Was typing whilst you were replying Ned, that's an interesting point about the 45mm fov & zooming with my feet... I have a feeling the forthcoming 75 is going to be pretty expensive though.

    I'll need to take a look at the teles as there are some cracking twin lens deals around with the older bodies to consider as my stand-in system.
  9. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Olympus bodies wil correct distortion if the lens "asks" for it. That is part of the m4/3 specification. They do not correct chromatic aberration. That is a not part of the spec and is something Panasonic added.

    • Like Like x 1
  10. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I have to disagree with the suggestion to get the 9-18 instead of the 7-14. You've got the longer end of that range covered with the zoom already, and 7mm is dramatically wider than 9. The 7-14 is also a brilliant lens, very sharp all the way to the edges and very contrasty. One of the best reasons to buy into m43, IMHO. It is more expensive, though, but that doesn't seem to be a major concern given your plans.

    I haven't found the lack of filters capability to be an issue with this lens. It's not an f/1.8, so I haven't found the need for ND filters, and polarizers don't work very well on ultra wides anyway. And as others have pointed out, distortion correct will work with this lens on Oly bodies.
  11. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    If I were going to get a lens in the range of the 14-150, I think it would be the Panasonic 14-140. I'm repeatedly amazed at how good this lens is, far better that a 10x zoom has any right to be. It takes real pixel peeping to tell the difference between images shot with the 14-45 and the 14-140.

    But I would agree with Ned that if you're getting the 12-50 and the 45 prime, another lens covering largely the same focal length probably isn't the best expenditure of funds. If the 100-300 is bigger and heavier than you want to carry, consider the 45-200. No, it's not as sharp as the 300, but it's pretty darn good, and a whole lot lighter and cheaper.
  12. RR76

    RR76 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2011
    South Wales UK
    I was thinking more of ND grads to balance exposure & multi stop ND's for long exposures. But I can of course do that at 12mm with the kit lens.

    I wonder if the Chinese could rip off the Lee system manufactured for the Nikon 14-24 & size it to fit the 7-14mm [ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMX5p9Iwx3Y"]LEE system[/ame]
  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I agree with both points! The Lumix 7-14mm f/4 was actually well compared with the very expensive and large Super High-Grade Zuiko 7-14mm f/4 for the Four-Thirds mount.

    Plus, the overlap in focal lengths is much the same as my argument against the 40-150mm over the 100-300mm. Why not go wider?
  14. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Definitely pickup a Pancake.. 20mm or 14mm. With that kit, i'd go for the 20mm.
  15. RR76

    RR76 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2011
    South Wales UK
    Plenty of stuff to follow up on. Thanks guys.
    Any views on the Voigtlander vs PL 25mm or should I just go a searching ?
  16. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    i see them as two different beasts almost. For absolute shallow DOF, there's no question except "do i want to pay for that.." heh. The rending of the voigtlander is seemingly better to me than the PL25 or 20 (based on what I've seen here), but to me not worth the extra. I value the AF vs .95/1.4 for my work. It really just depends on your needs. That extra $4-500+ goes a long way toward another lens =)
  17. CPWarner

    CPWarner Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 24, 2010
    The 7-14 is a fantastic lens, but then I always did like a 14mm on a full frame now and then. The lack of filters is not a big deal to me. If it is, then for the same money get the Olympus 12mm. It is a very good lens.
  18. CPWarner

    CPWarner Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 24, 2010
    Had both, kept the PL 25mm. I did not feel the Voigtlander was that useful at F0.95. Some may like the razor thin DOF, but I find that the DOF at f1.4 with the PL 25mm is good enough. Central sharpness was outstanding, but corner sharpness seemed to trail significantly until about f4. The PL 25mm seemed to me to have better corner performance. So, I would save some cash get another prime instead, unless the manual lens experience is really important to you.
  19. cjlacz

    cjlacz New to Mu-43

    Apr 17, 2009
    I think you've got a pretty good kit here. The 12-50 has a few other advantages other than weather resistance. It's got a fairly decent macro mode and the motorized zoom for movies. Overall I think it's a pretty decent kit lens for the OM-D.

    The distortion on the 7-14 should be corrected in the Oly bodies. CA isn't, but that's not hard to handle in post if it's a problem. The 25mm and 45mm are both great.

    I have the 7-14mm for 43s cameras, but I went with the 9-18mm in m43s. The size and weight reduction is huge. It's quite sharp and it takes filters as you mentioned. I thought I'd miss 7mm more, but to be honest I really don't. It's REALLY wide and hard to make it look natural most of the time. I'd probably go with the 9-18 and upgrade down the road if you don't find it wide enough.

    Actually, look at it from a weight perspective. One of your main goals is to avoid lugging around more gear right? and put it in a smaller bag? Do your self a favor, save 145g by getting the 9-18mm. Skip the 520g 100-300. (It's only 200g lighter than the Nikon 70-300). Get the 190g 40-150mm or 210g 45-175 or 380g 45-200.

    Going with the 9-18 and 40-150 you are saving 475g or a pound. It's that much weight off your shoulder or back and you've saved a lump of cash for the future. That also brings your total kit down from 1381 grams to 906. That's an entire kit for less than your FF body alone.

    A good argument for the 45-200, 52mm filters to match the 12-50 and 9-18. The 45-175 takes 46mm that would match the 25mm PL (also the 12mm, 14mm, 20mm lenses)

    I know a lot of people have said it's bad to over overlapping ranges, but I must say I like that the 9-18mm goes to almost 40mm EFL. I find it's on my camera a lot more than the 7-14. Even at 14mm, it was still too wide where I can use 18mm for normal shots. Nice when your hands are full and you can't change lenses quickly.

    Good luck with your choices. There are so many good lens options everyone has a different set of lenses they prefer. I hope whatever you decide on it brings some enjoyment back to your photography.
  20. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I would pick up the following

    1) Olympus Zuiko 14-54 mm MarkII- Great walkway lens ,weather sealed
    2) Olympus 45 mm 1.8 - Bench Mark Portrait lens for MFT currently
    3)PL 25 mm 1.4
    4)Panasonic 7-14 mm
    5) Panasonic 45-200
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