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Couple questions about native lenses ...

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Dede, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. Dede

    Dede Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 10, 2011
    Hey, I got a couple questions about native M 4/3 lenses and hope you can help with them :)  (I'm using a Olympus E-PM1 with Flipbac G2 Grip)

    1. Is it possible to take good pictures with a telephoto zoom (for example Olympus 40-150) without using a tripod? Or would all pictures taken without a tripod simply be blurred? And if anyone uses one of those long lenses on a E-PM1, is the handling still acceptable?

    2. I got my E-PM1 with the 14-42 Olympus II kit lens. My question is now, which lens is perfectly shootable without a tripod and covers the greatest amount of focal length and brings as good image quality as possible. (This sounds very demanding, my basic question is, whether the kit lens is alright, or whether there is a better one I could buy, which would maybe have more focal length and/or better image quality)

    Thanks in advance
  2. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Hi Dede,
    The long and the short of it is technique and light. When the light is good, all your photos will be great. When shooting in marginal light or straight up dim situations, you'll need to up the ISO and use better technique to get crisp shots.

    I went to the zoo yesterday with a Panasonic 100-300 lens and many of the animals were inside. A lot of the environments were very dark. I propped myself against a wall to get a little extra stability and had pretty good luck. At least half the shots were duds, but considering the light and the crazy focal lengths, I was MORE than pleased.

    The 14-42 you have is a very good lens for the money and covers your basic normal to short tele range quite well. The addition of the 40-150 will cover the rest of the most commonly used ranges quite well....especially for the price. If you really get into photography and/or shoot in low light, you should consider a prime lens (or 2) with a wider aperture.
  3. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Is it POSSIBLE? Sure. As mentioned above, it's going to depend on how much light there is.

    Are you playing the odds with the 40-150? Probably not. Keep in mind, that lens is equivalent to 300 mm on an "old" film camera. Not many people would shoot that focal length without some form of help! IBIS will help, of course.

    That said, generally the solution to blur is aperture. Smaller f-stop numbers mean a larger opening for the light, and faster shutter speeds at the same ISO. Faster shutter speeds mean less blur - whether it is from camera motion or subject motion.

    For more info, I highly recommend the book "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Petersen
  4. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I'm not sure about the kit lens, as I don't have one.

    But as far as handholding the camera / lens combination, there are a couple of things to consider. The standard rule of thumb, from 35mm cameras, is that you can generally handhold a lens at the reciprocal of the focal length. So a 150mm lens could be handheld at approximately 1/150th of a second or faster. But there are a couple of things to consider here.

    Because of the 2x crop factor, that 150mm focal length is equivalent to 300mm on a 35mm camera. So the basic hand holdable shutter speed would be about 1/300th of a second.

    But, the old standard rule was based on a typical SLR body style, with eye level viewfinder. You hold those cameras up to your face, with your arms close to the body. If you're not using an EVF, and are holding the camera out in front of you, you can't hold it as steady, so the hand holdable shutter speed would probably be a little higher.

    But, the Olympus body has IBIS (in body image stabilization). Image Stabilization (IS) greatly reduces the effect of camera shake on the image, allowing you to hand hold the camera at a lower shutter speed.

    How do IBIS and the method of holding the camera interact? Hard to say, exactly, and it probably varies for each individual user. At a minimum, I'd say you could handhold the camera and 150mm lens at 1/300th or faster. And maybe less.

    Find a fixed subject with fine detail and take some test shots at various shutter speeds. I'd suggest taking several shots at each speed. Then look at the images on your monitor and see what shutter speed seems to be the slowest at which the images are consistently sharp.

    The same rules apply to the kit lens. At 42mm, the basic rule would be handholdable at 1/80th second or faster. (At 14mm, 1/28th second). But what the shortest speed at which YOU can handhold any lens, with IBIS, is hard to predict. That's why taking some test shots is the best way to find out.
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  5. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    1. I've taken photos just fine with a 40-150 on a G2 without a tripod (key point here: neither my camera NOR my lens has image stabilization). As others have said, it all depends on the light. If you're indoors with the shutters drawn, you'll have blurry pictures. If you're outside, taking pictures in the sunlight, you'll be just fine. For most normal situations, I wouldn't worry about needing image stabilization or a tripod; you'll be fine and will take perfectly sharp photos without the help of either. Your shutter speeds should ideally be at least 1/320 second, but preferably 1/500 or faster.

    2. There's no mid-grade or pro-grade zoom lenses for the mid range; only kit lens zooms in that focal length. Keep what you have for now, and either add to your collection with a prime lens collection for more demanding situations (like a set of 12mm, 20mm, and 45mm lenses), or just live with the 14-42 and enjoy it. Look at the various flickr groups like this one to see what kind of performance you should be getting out of your lens; if you aren't, then learn photography better instead of trying to get better equipment:
    Flickr: Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6
    There's a Panasonic 14-45mm lens that's slightly better than the 14-42mm, but if you already have a 14-42mm lens, then it isn't worth your money or time to spend upgrading. Put that money towards useful accessories, like more lenses, a flash, a tripod, more memory cards, or filters for your current lens like a polarizer and ND filter.
  6. Dede

    Dede Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 10, 2011
    Alright, thanks for all the replies, they helped me a lot! I just got one more question on a lens: Is this Amazon.com: M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6 Lens: Electronics, the same lens as the other Olympus 9-18mm one, just in a different "shape"? I'm asking because the description and everything clearly states it is a micro four thirds lens, but the picture doesn't really look like it.

    Thanks in advance

    Edit: What about lenses like the Lumix 14-140? Are they better than kit lenses (I mean image quality wise)?
  7. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    With the Olympus lenses, "M.Zuiko" are for micro four thirds and "Zuiko" are for regular four thirds (and will need an adapter to use on your camera)

    Generally, the longer the zoom range, the more sacrifices have to be made in the lens construction. The question here is, how demanding are you? What level of image quality do you require? How are you outputting the images?
  8. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    A superzoom like the 14-140mm will not give you an increase in image quality, only convenience. Again, there is no micro 4/3 zoom in the midrange focal lengths that will give you an increase in image quality over what you have. Both Panasonic and Olympus have decided that their resources are better spent elsewhere for now, and they haven't been in a rush to get us anything like what you're looking for.

    If you are willing to adapt a larger lens to your camera, you can get the Panasonic or Olympus m4/3 to 4/3 adapter, some of the mid or pro grade lenses made for the 4/3 SLRs. The Olympus 14-35 f/2.0 is the "best" based on what you seem to be looking for (bar-none image quality, Canon 24-70L style performance), but there are other lenses that are respectable. The Olympus 14-54, 12-60, Panasonic 14-50 f/2.8, or the m4/3 autofocus-optimized 14-54mm.
  9. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    The picture is wrong. The picture is of a 40-150mm 4/3 lens (in fact the discontinued mk1 version).

    It's not a great price either though. Try this one instead.

    Thanks in advance

    No. Better range. Equal or worse image quality.

    It's all about tradeoffs. You can have small size and medium range, decent quality (your kit). You can have smaller size, minimal range, good quality (a prime lens). You can have large size, medium range, good quality (an adapted 4/3 lens). Or you can have large size, large range and okayish image quality (superzoom like the 14-140 or 14-150).

    Until you've figured out how your current gear is holding you back, I'd hold off on purchasing, particularly relatively specialized lenses like the UWA 9-18mm.

  10. Dede

    Dede Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 10, 2011
    Alright, thanks for all the replies once again :)  I just saw that they sell wide angle converters for the Olympus kit lens: http://www.amazon.com/Olympus-WCON-...W1RQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320274035&sr=8-1. There is a macro converter available, too. My question now, is what focal length the kit lens would have with the wide angle converter, and whether can still usually zoom with the wide angle converter? Another question is, how good the wideangle and the macro converter work? I mean, does the image quality decrease when I put on the wide angle or macro converter, or not? So overall, could the wide angle converter replace a wide angle lens / macro lens? (The IQ of the kit lens is easily good enough for me in this regard ... I don't really need macro that bad, would just be useful if the converter works good and doesn't cost that much.)

    Thanks in advance

    Edit: If I would use adapted lenses, for example the olympus 12-60mm, would they have autofocus on my E-PM1? Also, does anyone use a lens like 12-60mm or 14-54mm on a camera as big as the E-PM1? If yes, is the handling still acceptable or does it pretty much erase the advantage of the small body?
  11. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    Is google down in your neighborhood or something? Maybe the search feature on this site is still up :tongue:
    It turns your lens into about 11mm, according to a quick google search.
    No, you don't zoom with the wide converter. Why would you want to? If you were zoomed in to 20mm with the converter on, why not just take the converter off and zoom out, instead of adding extra complexity and more glass in front of your sensor? The answer to your next question should be very obvious. Do you think that the performance of an $80 adapter, twisted onto the front of your kit lens, can keep up with a dedicated wide angle lens? Do you think that the $800+ Olympus 12mm or Panasonic 7-14mm lenses would exist if it did? The adapter is a fun experiment to see if you like wide angle photography, and it is capable of some respectable photos I'm sure, but an adapter fitted to a kit lens is no substitute whatsoever to an actual wide angle lens. Same goes for a macro adapter, or a teleconverter, or any other piece of glass you stick in front of or behind your lens to alter its performance.

    Yes, you would still have autofocus with 4/3 lenses, using the Panasonic or Olympus adapter. Both adapters function equally well, so buy whichever one you find for less money. The 14-54 is optimized for our autofocus systems, so it autofocuses much more quickly, if that's important to you. Use the search feature here to see how people feel about these lenses, and how big they are. Whether they're too big is up to you; many here adapt lenses very often to cameras, including me, so some obviously think that it's worth it. Oh, google probably fixed that outage in your town, so you can probably use it as well. Happy searching!
  12. Dede

    Dede Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 10, 2011
    Actually google went just back up, enjoying the use so far, it's really useful ;D
    Uh I didn't mean that the kit lens with the wide angle converter is as good as a real wide angle lens, but just whether the pictures with the wide angle converter are as good as the ones without it ...
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