Consolidating my gear

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by tonyturley, Mar 8, 2016.

  1. tonyturley

    tonyturley Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 19, 2014
    I just purchased a gently used E-M1 to replace my aging E-M5. It should be in my hands tomorrow. Right now, the only native m4/3 lenses I have are the Panasonic 20/1.7 and the Pan. 45-175 HD. Both excellent lenses, but neither weather sealed. I hike a lot, and last weekend I hiked a bit over 5 miles in a state park with snow about at the top of my boots and the foliage laden with snow and/or ice. It was cold and gorgeous, but I was always cautious with the 20/1.7 when I had it out. I am seriously considering replacing both lenses with a 12-40 Pro or Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8. Although m4/3 cameras are small-ish, I'm working on greatly simplifying my pack. For a year or so I've hiked with a Sony A7 + a legacy 40-50mm prime, and the E-M5 with the Pan. 45-175. It worked, but I'm planning to reduce down to a single digital camera. The E-M5 and the A7 will soon be gone. The weather sealing and rugged body are prime reasons I'm letting go of the A7 in favor of the E-M1.

    While I could lose about 100g and several hundred $$ by going with the Olympus 12-50mm or not yet released Panasonic 12-60, I'm concerned I'd also be taking a hit in IQ. It is my intention to reduce my entire digital lineup to the E-M1 and a single lens. Any thoughts on the pros & cons vis-a-vis the premium Olympus and Panasonic lenses? The lens I ultimately select must be weather sealed with good performance.

  2. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2013
    I don't own one, but everybody says both the Olympus and Panasonic premium zooms are good. The Olympus lenses have slightly more distance, while the Panasonics are a bit smaller and have optical stabilization (not so relevant for you with your Olympus camera).

    It sounds like you've got the budget for any of these options. However, if I were you, I might wait until reviews of the new Panasonic 12-60mm come in. It seems like that lens with the 20mm pancake in your pocket might be a good combo for you. Honestly, you won't be able to sell the 20mm for a lot and it is so small, there's no reason not to keep it, regardless of whatever decision you ultimately make.
  3. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    I now have an E-M5 and the Oly 14-150 II. Both of which are weather-sealed. It is my hiking set-up.

    Yes, the 14-150 is of consumer quality. In good light, though, it is pretty good. I went with it to simplify. Previously I was hiking with both the 14-42 and 40-150 kit lenses. My wife mentioned how I was always swapping, or never had the right lens. That lead me to the superzoom. I also bring along the MCON to give a psuedo-macro.

    That's my solution, at least.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2013
    I think the IQ on the 12-50 is good. Might not be as fast, but I don't think you lose that much. I've printed from this lens and they look fabulous. If you're indoors or outdoors in low light you might get a bit grainy at the long end if you push ISO high (6400 where I leave my max). I think this lens is unfairly maligned because it's not F2.8.

    You can add the 45mm F1.8 for $200 or so used and not add but a few oz weight if you need ultimate sharpness at long end.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    It would be really hard to go from 175mm down to 40mm as your longest. I mean that is shorter than the wide end of the 45-175mm. If you really want one lens, and weather sealing, then the 14-150mm II was made for you.

    There's a new 12-60mm from Panasonic with sealing coming out soon, that might be worth a look.

    Also, I wouldn't be so worried about using non-sealed lenses unless you are really getting wet. A little snow can be brushed off and it's not the end of world.
  6. tonyturley

    tonyturley Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 19, 2014
    Thanks for the replies. That gives me a bit more to think about.

  7. cdmicha

    cdmicha Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Dec 28, 2012
    If the light is good, the 12-50 is a great little lens. The problem is when you have less light- over two stops on the long end (and it closes aperture quickly down the zoom range). There are some amazingly sharp copies of it, and some less than steller ones as well. I've taken mine to the beach multiple times, hiking, through a snowstorm, and it still can help create some great images. It's not as smooth as when I first got it, though.

    With that said, if you have the money, the 12-40 is simply a great lens. I use it all.the.time. The thing is- it's heavy. The 12-50 is MUCH lighter.

    Maybe rent them both and try them out? Shouldn't be that expensive.
  8. tonyturley

    tonyturley Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 19, 2014
    That is one resson I'm thinking of the Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8. The image samples from it are very nice, and it is smaller and lighter than the 12-40 Pro.
  9. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    View attachment 460665 The 14-150 does decent close-ups too. And I'll add the 9-18 sometimes. My other option is the 12-50 + 40-150. The non-weather proof lenses only get mounted occasionally. The pro lenses are nice for sure but just too big and heavy for hiking and travel IMO. I use the optech reporter clips to hang the EM5 off my pack straps and the pro lenses are just to bulky, Plus it's not the end of the world if I drop the inexpensive lenses in a creek or they get stolen. YMMV
  10. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror! Subscribing Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    You can cover a ton of ground with a 12-40mm 2.8 and 75mm 1.8 combo. To me it's the perfect 2 lens kit. Outside of the 7.5mm 3.5fe lens, I could sell the rest and be happy knowing that I could photograph 90+% of the situations I put myself into to document photographically.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  11. ahinesdesign

    ahinesdesign Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 6, 2011
    NC, USA
    I've hiked and camped with various non-sealed lenses, and never experienced any issues. I have been overly cautious not to get them wet, dusty, sandy, etc., keeping them packed away a lot more than not.

    With the 12-40 I don't worry about any kind of weather, so it gets used when out and about. The photos are completely worth the added cost and weight. I suspect the 12-50, 14-150 II, and 12-35 would be just as good.
  12. Schwert

    Schwert Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 2, 2016
    Pacific NW
    I recently bought the E-M1, 12-40 f2.8 and 40-150 f2.8. I consider this my bare minimum for hiking. I am happy these are all weathersealed, but I have taken photos in the PNW rainforest for ages with all sorts of cameras and lenses that were definitely not weathersealed and never had an issue. I actually never even heard of weathersealed until I started reading about the OMS's. I know some of my old film cameras were sealed, but most were not.

    Here is a shot of me with a Canon G9...rain was literally dripping off my hat onto the back of the camera. I worried not. Keeping your longer lens would be my recommendation as well as the excellent 12-40.

  13. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    I think the Panasonic 12-35mm/2.8 is a good main lens for what you need being light, weatherproof, and a relatively fast aperture when shooting in the shade of trees or at dusk.

    If you think you might miss the longer zoom, one thought is to pick up a (non-PRO) 40-150mm. Very light, small, good quality photos, and while not weatherproof they only go for about $90 or less second hand. So not one you would have to be too worried about it if it got wet, was dropped, you fell on your pack and it took the brunt, etc.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. tonyturley

    tonyturley Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 19, 2014
    Thanks again, everyone. I've been thinking that keeping the 45-175 may be prudent, as well as picking up the 12-35 2.8. That appears to be the best balance of weight, size, and IQ.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    I find the Panasonic 14-140 version II to be a great general-purpose lens. On a recent trip to Alaska, I took a Canon 6D with 24-85 and 75-300mm lenses and an Oly EM5 with the Panny 14-140 and Panny 20mm f1.7. After the first few days, I only carried the EM5 with the 14-140 -- everything else stayed in the hotel room! Here's my favorite shot from the trip -- Dall sheep grazing on a mountain in Denali National Park, and a 100% crop of that shot. P8318050_resize.JPG P8318050--100% crop.jpg
    • Like Like x 4
  16. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Trying to pick just one lens for mountain climbing, hiking, biking etc. provoked me to no end!!!!

    And the reason I kept the often underrated Olympus 12-50mm lens. The near macro focusing capability had a lot to do with the choice.

    While the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 is an outstanding lens I chose the Olympus 12-40 f/2.8 for its closer focusing and larger image magnification (nearly double) over the 12-35mm at closet focusing distances. For me the image magnification outweighed the small amount of size and weight increase. Since acquiring the 12-40mm lens the 12-50mm seldom comes out with me.

    Yet, because I often feel I need something longer, I’ll also take the Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  17. tonyturley

    tonyturley Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 19, 2014
    I've changed my mind a bit since my OP. I re-purchased a Zuiko 4/3 14-54 Mk II, which I never should have sold in the first place. I also took advantage of a really good deal on a Zuiko 4/3 11-22mm. My hiking and daily kit now consists of the E-M1 plus one of the HG lenses in one compartment, the other HG lens in a second, and one of my film cameras in a third, all neatly tucked in a Lowepro Event Messenger 250. It is not as heavy as it sounds. I have carried the Lowepro with 3 cameras on hikes as long as 12 miles without discomfort.

    A lighter/smaller grab & go setup for casual occasions is the E-M5 + 20/1.7 and 45-175 in a small canvas messenger bag. I think this has me set for any occasion for a long time to come.

    Last edited: Apr 14, 2016
  18. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2013
    I was just about to mention that as another option. I had the 12-40 (Twice) and for budget reasons sold them, I grabbed my 4th or 5th 14-54 MKii, which is as good, but slightly slower on the long end, but ridiculously cheap. I figured if I was going to carry the 12-40, the 14-54mm isn't that much bigger. When I need something smaller or lighter, I use primes or the 12-50 that works well with my filters.
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  19. tonyturley

    tonyturley Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 19, 2014
    The ZD lenses do have a great IQ/$$ ratio. Their balance on the E-M1 is excellent, too.

  20. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    How is autofocus with the ZD lenses on the E-M1?
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