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Buying a Lens...YOUR suggestions

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by AgentRaj, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. AgentRaj

    AgentRaj Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 18, 2012
    Vaughan, ON
    Hello all,

    I'm fairly new to m43 buying an Olympus E-PL5 with 14-4mm kit lens (move up from P&S) around Xmas 2012. I'm asking a question that has been prob answered several times already but looking for answers based on my usage of the camera.

    I'd like to buy a prime soon to practice with before a family trip/vacation in May to Vancouver.

    The three lens I'm considering are:
    PanaLeica Summilux 25mm f/1.4
    Pana Lumix 20mm f/1.7
    Oly Zuiko 45mm F/1.8

    I am/will be using it for:
    - my kids pics (indoor, outdoor, and sports)
    - family/vacation pics (indoor and outdoor)
    - property pics (for work...indoor and outdoor...I will buy a wide angle lens later)
    - Video (mostly self vids for bloG) <<< just added this option on Feb 21/13

    I would greatly appreciate all your input/feedback in choosing ONE of the above lens based on my usage.

    Thank you all m43 community...

    I ahve been thinking a bit more about this and missed out one key usage that I intend to start soon....listed as the fourth option above under
  2. I was in a similar situation last year, and bought an EPL2 with the kit lens, hoping to get some nice pictures on our trip to China. I also bought the 20/1.7 for night-time and indoor shots.

    My first comment is that the kit lens is pretty good, at least from the perspective of someone coming from a point and shoot. Check my gallery for some samples, if you wish; most of those images are from the 14-42 kit lens.

    The 20/1.7 prime is a better lens, for sure, providing the field of view is what you want for a particular shot. People do talk about 'zooming with your feet', but that's not always possible when you're on a family vacation. I also found that it wasn't really wide enough for many indoor shots, and, as many have reported, it doesn't always focus that well in low light. But with those limitations in mind, it's a really nice lens, and not too expensive. In my view it's a nice complement to the 14-42 kit.

    I can't comment on the other lenses you mention. But I should add that unless I'm on a dedicated shooting expedition, I find that swapping lenses is a bit inconvenient. Zooms are awfully convenient when you're on vacation!
    • Like Like x 1
  3. redalien

    redalien Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 23, 2012
    I would suggest the 25mm PL, its the only one I own from your list, and I know I would not trade it for either of those. I only used mine for a few hundred pictures, but its a very nice lens, and I have great family pictures. Now i stopped thinking about getting new lenses (well almost, the 75mm is on my mind a lot), instead I am debating more on the type of frames I should get to put my nice pictures in.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. heli-mech

    heli-mech Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 9, 2012
    Vancouver Island, Canada
    Suggestion, set your kit lens to each of those focal lengths, and go shooting for a bit without changing it.(go shoot at 20 for a bit, then 25, then 42) This will help "you" decide what focal length that "you" like the best.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. AgentRaj

    AgentRaj Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 18, 2012
    Vaughan, ON
    @peter124...thanks for great advice on kit lens...As a basic/beginner photographer, I concede that many limitations are due to my inexperience and not because of the lens...I'm spending time learning basics of photography and the kit lens has been good so far.

    @redalien...thanks for your input...Your comments are inline with what I've read so far on here from PL 25mm owners...I expect to hear from 20/1.7 and 45/1.8 owners as well...decision might become even harder than before...lol
  6. Zariell

    Zariell Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 28, 2012
    Bountiful, UT
    I have the Panasonic 25mm and the Olympus 45mm, I would say they are both great lenses and worth owning.

    The thing to think about with the Olympus 45mm is it has about a two foot minimum focusing distance, depending on your use that might be a plus or a minus.

    The 25mm is a superb lens, nice quality focuses closer and comes with a pouch and a lens hood, problem is the hood does not reverse for storage, which might be a deal breaker if space is a premium.

    Other than that they are both great lenses and I would recommend either of them, you might want to consider taking your camera into a local camera store IF they have those two lenses, see if they will let you mount the lenses on your body and take a few shots to take home and evaluate the pro's and con's.

    Hope that helps some.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. AgentRaj

    AgentRaj Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 18, 2012
    Vaughan, ON
    Thanks Heli-mech...I'll give that a go since it certainly would help...
  8. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    I own all three and I'd go for the 25mm hands down...unless it were possible to swing a 20mm+45mm combo.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    I have none of these lense but given the choice, I'd probably get either the 25mm or 45mm depending on what sort of focal length you prefer. My feeling between the two, is if your want an all round fairly usable focal length, get the 25mm. If you prefer tighter potraits, have more space to move, and prefer not the get too close to your subject, 45mm is the way to go.

    Considering how cheap the oly 40-150 has been going for, if you can still pick one up for ~$100, it might be worthwhile for your sporting shots.

    As your probably aware, for property shots, you might want a wide angle lens. In the meantime, just use your kit zoom until you can afford something wider.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Kilauea

    Kilauea Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2012
    I don't have the 25mm nor the 20mm, but I love my 45mm. It is my most used lens along with the 40-150mm.

    You mention sports and I feel like out of those 3 lenses, the 45mm would be the better one since it would allow you to get closer to action. If by indoor, you mean fairly tight space, then I guess the 25 would be a better choice. Another reason to get the 45mm over the 25mm would be the size.
  11. AgentRaj

    AgentRaj Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 18, 2012
    Vaughan, ON
    Thank you all so far...will pickup the lens in March...look forward to more great advice/suggestions till then..
  12. stonebat

    stonebat Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 17, 2010
    17mm 1.8
    45mm 1.8
    14-42mm kit
    • Like Like x 1
  13. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    You have stated 3 different shooting interst

    - my kids pics (indoor, outdoor, and sports)
    For this the 25 is the best for indoor because low F stop and fast AF, the 45 is the best out of 3 for outdoor because of the short telephoto but the kit lens will probably do the trick outdoor.
    - family/vacation pics (indoor and outdoor)
    You need wide the 20mm will probably the best because of low light performance plus the widest angle, the kit can replace in the event of good light.
    - property pics (for work...indoor and outdoor...I will buy a wide angle lens later)
    Here non of them is good but the best would be the 20mm because of the wider angle. A kit with a tripod can do the trick

    I think that you should put the budget you want to invest. It might be that for the same budget as the P25 you can get the P20, P14 and a tripod that will suite your need better then one premium lens.
    • Like Like x 2
  14. greenlight

    greenlight Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 16, 2012
    Colin B
    From the lenses you listed I'd pick the 25mm 1.4, for it's fast focusing (kids) and low light (indoor) performance.

    I think the new 17mm 1.8 should also be on your list, as it shares those properties and the wider angle will give you more flexibility indoors.

    Choose the 25mm if the indoor shots you like to take are more portrait-like (1 - 2 people).

    Choose the 17mm if you like indoor shots with bigger groups of people or showing more of the environment.

    Neither of these lenses are going to be very good for sports though.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Gary Ramey

    Gary Ramey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 27, 2012
    Aurora Colorado
    I own the 45 and find it sits on my camera a lot. It's fast enough indoors to avoid a flash. It's long enough that I get shots of people/kids when they're not posing :)  and it is sharp enough to crop in a lot without much comprimise
    • Like Like x 1
  16. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror! Subscribing Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    I own the 20 and 45 and love them both...but they have different uses. My 20mm is the workhorse (and it fits great inside my coat pocket), I just wish the AF was faster on it. Hence the reason I'm looking for that rare used 25mm (less than $400)

    Now for interior real estate images, ideally the 7-14 or 9-18 would work better, but you'll want to use some sort of lighting/flashes (preferably off camera) to utilize them properly.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. zucchiniboy

    zucchiniboy Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    San Francisco
    I have all three and I vote for the PL25. Great all around, and I use it all the time for family pics.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. thon410

    thon410 Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 11, 2011
    From your list, you can probably buy both the 20mm & 45mm for roughly the price of the 25mm.

    That should cover most of your requirements. Later you may like to consider the 12mm Oly for your wide angles.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. ssgreenley

    ssgreenley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 12, 2011
    These three (12, 20, 45) are what I use & I love the trio. Of the three though, the 20 is the one I like the least, and I was surprised on a recent trip to discover the 45 was the one I used most (the 12 is my favorite). Anyway, I know I didn't give you a firm recommendation, but hopefully it helps!
    • Like Like x 1
  20. snaimpally

    snaimpally Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2012
    When I am on vacation, I like to have a 12mm (effectively 24mm in MFT land) wide angle and some sort of zoom telephoto. For me, 14mm doesn't cut it, so I'd be looking for something wider than the kit lens (I would have got the 12-50mm rather than the 14-42mm). Or you could add the Oly 12mm as some have suggested. However, many find 14mm to be perfectly adequate so the kit lens may be sufficiently wide for you. I'd add something like the Oly 45-150mm zoom (recently on sale for $99) to provide a little more reach. Finally, add a fast lens for low light situations. The Panny 25mm f1.4 or the Panny 20mm f1.7 are both highly regarded, so it really boils down your budget.
    • Like Like x 1
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