Buying lenses for New York City trip - which one?

itikhvin

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I currently have the E-PM2 with the new Panasonic 14-42 II kit lens. I'm planning on bringing that as well as a 7-14 f4 I'm buying for a New York trip... i'm going for 10 days.

Should I buy a prime or 2 or another zoom for this trip? I don't want to bring tons of lenses for this trip... I guess I need at least one other bright lens. i could get a 12-35 (bring that to the trip instead of the 14-42) and a prime. Or just the one prime? My budget is about $ 2700.... I am not necessarily looking to spend all of that on lenses though..
 

nathan_h

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Unless you are shooting candids from a distance, your focal length coverage is good for city shooting with what you plan, already, imo.

If anything, I'd be tempted to pick up the c. $250 fisheye from Samyang/Rokinon/pick your favorite re-branding. It will be fun-damentally different from the others and offer creative choices that a prime or zoom in the same range as you have will not offer.

In terms of speed, maybe a small faster prime, for street shooting on the fly, would interest you if that's your thing. Or even the body cap lens for a low pro setup -- set it to hyperfocal and fire away.

On the other hand, if you are going to be shooting with a tripod and lots of time to get precise, the 12-35 would let you get optimum image quality. But that would be a distant third place in terms of what I would choose, given what you have.

Full disclosure, I have the 12-35 and if I was trying to pack light, it would be the only lens I'd bring. And the second lens would be the UWA zoom (you have the 7-14 on the horizon, I use the Oly due to size and price and ability to accept filters and not interact poorly with Oly bodies, which the Panny UWA zoom does sometimes). And the third lens would be the fisheye.
 

Replytoken

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What do you want to photograph? The answer to this question should help guide your decision.

--Ken
 

Biro

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You seem pretty well set the way you are right now. Remember, in most urban settings you'll want wide much more than long. If you have money to burn, The only thing I can recommend would be a single fast prime for some street work and night shooting. The Oly 17mm f/1.8 and Panny 20mm f/1.7 come to mind first. But if money is a bit tight, the Panny 14mm f/2.5 isn't bad at all.
 
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I was recently in NYC with primes (12, 25, 45, and the 40-150) and during a boat trip and some other misty conditions I was really uncomfortable changing lenses.

The problem for me was that I needed a wide angle for many shots but then wanted to zoom in a little for some others. After the trip, I came home and purchased the Panasonic 12-35 due to its relatively wide end, moderate telephoto, and weather sealing. You don't really need the 12-35 for 12 since you have the 7-14. In that case, the kit 14-42 would be fine.

I would add the very small 20mm f1.7 for some low light capabilities. This is still a must have lens for m4/3 in my opinion. Especially for a camera like the PM2. It is a little wider than the 25mm which is better for places like NYC and the 20mm is no slouch on image quality.

There may be times when you want some reach. The 40-150mm Oly zoom is cheap and light for that if you need it.
 

uscrx

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For me often times, more than 1 lens is a distraction.

Often I'm too buys trying to figure out what lens to use and swap back and forth, I forget what I'm doing.

I do my best when I have 1 lens.

My DC trip, I used 1 lens... 14-45mm. And was never distracted..and just took pictures with what I had.

Less to carry too.
 

pdk42

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Personally, I find on my E-PL5 that 'big' zooms like the 12-35 don't balance well. I would think it'll be worse on the E-PM2. So, unless you want to upsize to an E-M5, then I'd suggest a nice fast and compact medium wide prime like the 17/1.8 or 20/1.7 and then perhaps the 45/1.8 as a medium telephoto. You might also consider the Pana 45/2.8 macro as an alternative to the 45/1.8 if you're into macro work. Together this won't set you back more than $800 (more with the 45/2.8 macro) - or less if you buy used. Along with the 7-14, this will give you an excellent kit for NY, or just about anything else.
 

itikhvin

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I was recently in NYC with primes (12, 25, 45, and the 40-150) and during a boat trip and some other misty conditions I was really uncomfortable changing lenses.

The problem for me was that I needed a wide angle for many shots but then wanted to zoom in a little for some others. After the trip, I came home and purchased the Panasonic 12-35 due to its relatively wide end, moderate telephoto, and weather sealing. You don't really need the 12-35 for 12 since you have the 7-14. In that case, the kit 14-42 would be fine.

I would add the very small 20mm f1.7 for some low light capabilities. This is still a must have lens for m4/3 in my opinion. Especially for a camera like the PM2. It is a little wider than the 25mm which is better for places like NYC and the 20mm is no slouch on image quality.

There may be times when you want some reach. The 40-150mm Oly zoom is cheap and light for that if you need it.
I don't yet have the 7-14, but I am under the impression that that a wideangle lens is a must for NYC... Is 12mm sufficiently wide? I do want to keep the lens changes to a minimum as well and avoid bringing too much. A prime will be necessary for night outings...
 

khollister

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Rokinon fisheye, 12-35 and 45/1.8

-or-

Panny 7-14, 14-42, 17/1.8

-or-

fisheye, Oly 12/2, 14-42, 45/1.8

I am currently a prime user and the fisheye, 12/2, 25/1.4 and 45/1.8 would be my kit for that type of trip. I will likely get the 12-40 when it ships, which would replace the 12 and maybe even the 45.

As previously suggested, the fisheye is a really fun lens and is remarkably sharp.

The 7-14 is a very sharp lens, but the cost, purple flare tendency with Oly bodies & lack of easily using ND filters has kept me from getting it. The 9-18 seems to be a love it or hate thing.

A fisheye, 12-35 and 45/1.8 is a lot less than $2700
 

itikhvin

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Does the purple flare occur when 7-14 is used on all Oly bodies or mostly the E-M5?
 

fspeur

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I'm also heading for New York (I'll be there for a week, you may recognize me as the other guy with a m43 camera) and I'm bringing three lenses: the Panasonic 14-42 II will be the main one: it's light, short, versatile, and sharp. My Olympus 17mm f2.8 for low light, and the third one, the Olympus 40-150 I'll take to the Bronx Zoo. I'll also pack the bodycap lens just in case.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/27585153@N04/
 

~tc~

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I'm going to break with all the UWA ******s and suggest a telephoto.

If the light/weather is bad, you can ALWAYS get good, interesting shots of architectural details if you have enough reach. My vote would be for the 45-200 due to reach and price, but any of them will work.
 

nathan_h

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I would add the very small 20mm f1.7 for some low light capabilities. This is still a must have lens for m4/3 in my opinion. Especially for a camera like the PM2. It is a little wider than the 25mm which is better for places like NYC and the 20mm is no slouch on image quality.
I had the 20mm on my epm2 for a while and while fast it was actually useless for me in low light because of the horribly slow hunt and peck nature of its autofocus capability.

For me, the 14mm, though slower actually focuses more reliably in darker situations, if one wants a wide pancake.

YMMV.
 
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