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E-M1 + 12-60, or E-M5 + 12-40, or...

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by dhazeghi, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    As I wait for my E-M1 to be delivered, I've come to the realization that I'm essentially spending around $800 ($1400 minus whatever resale my E-M5 has) for the ability to autofocus well with two 4/3 lenses - the Olympus 12-60/2.8-4.0 SWD and 50-200/2.8-3.5 (non-SWD). Of course, the E-M1 has other advantages, but none of those are pressing enough that I'd otherwise be interested in upgrading. Indeed, to my eye, the E-M5 is actually a nicer package - smaller, lighter and I daresay prettier.

    Since the 12-60 is my primary walkaround lens, responsible for something like 75% of my images overall these days, the main issue is making it usable for subjects that aren't stationary and avoiding another premature AF motor death (and associated $170 price-tag).

    So it occurs to me that instead of exchanging for a new body, I might instead exchange for a new lens - the m.ZD 12-40/2.8. From what all the early reviewers says, the 12-40/2.8 is as sharp as any Olympus zoom in recent memory so presumably I wouldn't be losing anything in image quality. The 12-40 is also a lot smaller and lighter than the 12-60. Significantly, the net cost of the 12-40 would be around $500 for me ($1000 minus the proceeds of selling the 12-60).

    On the downside, I'd lose 40% of the telephoto range for my walkaround lens, and I'd still be out of luck when it comes to using my telephoto in anything other than MF mode.

    So, what do you folks think? Am I overthinking this, or is old camera + new lens perhaps the smarter way to go? Particularly interested in feedback from anybody with experience with 4/3 lenses and the E-M1 and/or E-M5.
     
  2. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    713
    Sep 24, 2011
    One Amazon reviewer said this about the E-M1: "The files pop more and I feel they also have slightly different color that I prefer. Crisp. Beautiful. The exposure metering is fantastic, the AWB is fantastic, the out of camera colors are beautiful." That and some of the image samples I have seen posted on this forum to date lead me to believe the images of the E-M1 are significantly more appealing as compared to the E-M5. So if I were in you're shoes I'd go with the E-M1 + the old 12-60 and then swap the 12-60 for the 12-40 at a later date if finances allow.
     
  3. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    713
    Sep 24, 2011
  4. humzai

    humzai Mu-43 Veteran

    410
    Apr 17, 2012
    Upgrade to the e-m1 and then sell your 12-60 and then using the rebate buy the 12-40mm. I upgraded and am really impressed with the af speed difference of the 50-200mm non swd lens compared to the e-m5. I have a thread with thoughs on the e-m1 from the viewpoint of an e-m5 user.
     
  5. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    I guess we must be looking for different things because after loading the RAW files in dcraw and Lightroom, I'm seeing almost no discernible difference in detail and the color differences I see look mostly like bugs with respect to handling the E-M1 files.

    I definitely can believe that the 50-200/2.8-3.5 is better on the E-M1, but as my least used lens (by far), it's hard for me to justify the E-M1 on that alone.
     
  6. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    713
    Sep 24, 2011
    I downloaded the E-M1 iso 100 jpeg and the E-M5 iso 200 jpeg and looked at them in Olympus Viewer and I agree with you there is virtually no discernable difference. In fact, the fine detail in the E-M5 jpeg looks a hair clearer!
     
  7. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Actually, that surprises me. I'd have expected differences in the JPEGs since that's where most of Olympus's efforts have been recently - in particular they're boasting about some selective sharpening system in the E-M1 that sharpens more or less depending on the lenses. Unfortunately that doesn't do me much good, as JPEGs are really what I'm interested in.

    I'd expect the RAW difference will be at the level of the D800E vs. the D800 - in other words it's there but it's very hard to see in anything other than ideal test conditions!
     
  8. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    Did you ever consider an E-M5 with the beautiful little 'kit' lens the P14-45.

    Perhaps you may think it's going 'down-market' a bit.

    Not so, I have today, returned a P12-35 in favour of my P14-45.

    The P12-35 just does not justify it's huge price tag/IQ improvement for the sort of stuff I take.
     
  9. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Haven't really considered it, no. I had the 14-45/3.5-5.6 some time back and never found it more than adequate. More to the point, I'm pretty hung up on having 24mm EFL at the wide end. That really is where most of my shots are from and giving up 2mm makes a considerable difference. I do have the 12-50/3.5-6.3 kit and while it is quite versatile, it's just too slow at the long end and too compromised in the corners.
     
  10. humzai

    humzai Mu-43 Veteran

    410
    Apr 17, 2012
    I don't think there is any point in going with anything but 12-40mm considering your needs and wants. You will also be able to take advantage of the $200 rebate and your net purchase price will be less then $200. You really have no better option available to you. You could also sell the accessory to reduce your final expense.
     
  11. TetonTom

    TetonTom Mu-43 Regular

    Just me, but with a camera/lens combo of that size and weight (EM1 w/12-60), there are a lot of options in the market with larger sensors. Anything bigger than EM5 w/ the current f/2.8 zooms, and I'd start looking at that new FF Sony...
     
  12. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    I took a really hard look at EM-1 but passed, we do have legacy glass. I am a huge fan of the EM-5, I think that it is a perfect camera. The only negative has been Olympus zooms, the 12-40 and pro 40-150 changes that. With the new zooms, I think that EM-5 and already nice primes is a perfect system.
     
  13. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    Yes, sadly I think this is an accurate summary.


    Here is a comparison of the 12-40, 14-54, and 12-60. If you do the math, the lenses are exactly proportional given the maximum reach. It is actually uncanny. This is including the adapter length!

    attachment.php?attachmentid=23048&stc=1&d=1381427699.

    If you look at the MFT charts, the 12-40 does better than the 12-60 at 12 mm and likely won't have the distortion issues, but 12-40 does not do as well as the 60 @60 at its maximum of 40. If you look at a source like SLR gear the 60 does better at 40 than at 60. So on the tele side I think the winner is likely the 12-60. At wide angle the winner is clearly the 12-40.

    I think the 12-60/12-40 debate is really about reach and no one can answer that for you. However, the 50-200 is really really good with the E-M1, and both the 12-60 and 50-200 work with the existing high quality TCs for even more flexibility. As a three "lens" kit the 12-60, 50-200 & 1.4 TC gives you a range from 24 to 566 full frame with great focus performance and light gathering. This was what I was shooting with yesterday from a boat, I left my non weather sealed lenses on shore as I saw no point in risking damage.

    From yesterday with the 50-200 wide open at 200 and E-M1 (JPEG OOC)

    PA200044.
     

    Attached Files:

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  14. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    BTW we could save pages of blather :wink: by simply saying:

    If you want/need PDAF then get the E-M1 if not stick with the E-M5.
     
  15. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    That's a good point, although the extra cost of sticking with the E-M1 is a lot more than the $200 I'd save on the lens!

    I guess the way I look at it, the E-M1 + 12-60 is about the same size as my old E-620 + 12-60 was. It's a workable combination for me. True, there are APS-C kits that are nominally close, but the lenses aren't as good (I've tried both the Nikon 16-85 and Canon 15-85), the cameras are either stripped down or significantly larger (e.g. Nikon D7100/D5300 vs. E-M1) and other key pieces are missing (IS on primes, effective anti-dust).

    As to the Sony, they don't even have a 24-xx zoom that goes anywhere close to 120mm for FE mount, good or bad, so I'm not sure why that would be a viable alternative.

    That is interesting and a little frustrating actually. A 12-60/2.8-4.0 should really be very close in size to a comparable quality 12-40/2.8. So to me this picture suggests that they could easily have made a native 12-60/2.8-4.0 that was significantly smaller. Oh well...

    I wasn't able to see any review data for the 12-40/2.8 there.

    Nice shots! If I was more of a telephoto shooter, I think I'd be in the same boat (figuratively speaking). But the 50-200 is not likely to ever be more than 15% of my shooting.

    Now that my E-M1 has arrived, I'm finding that S-AF isn't really as bulletproof as I'd hoped. I've seen a number of cases where the system got flummoxed and failed to lock focus, and a few more annoying cases where it confirms focus even when it hasn't really got it. Granted no AF system is perfect, but this seems to be a significant step back compared to the native m4/3 lenses (or other DSLR systems, for that matter). I'll have to think on this some more...
     
  16. humzai

    humzai Mu-43 Veteran

    410
    Apr 17, 2012
    I was kinda of having similar thoughts about the new sonys but I think it was just gas. I realized that I already have exactly what I need with the E-M1 and soon the system will have the 12-40mm available and that is a lens I am very interested in. It seems that it will be great for my general use and I could be happy using that range 90% of the time. The bodies of the nex system have always been small but the lenses have not and that will be the case with the A7 and A7R. The 24-70 and the a7 size is something that is beguiling but your forgetting that the rest of the lenses will not be so comparable in size. Look at the 70-200 F4, that thing is a beast.

    Someone mentioned that they were thinking about how they have been through the growing pains of the m 4/3 system since 09 and they have no desire to do the same with a new system.

    If like me you went with m 4/3 so that you actually bothered to take your kit with you, then your options are clear. M 4/3 was sufficient then, yes it had limits, what system does not? It is more then sufficient for most people now, unless you have specific needs that the A7s will fulfill, don't fall into the shiny new system trap.
     
  17. humzai

    humzai Mu-43 Veteran

    410
    Apr 17, 2012
    Sell the 12-60 to amortize the cost of the 12-40mm with the rebate. You already have the E-M1 might as well go for broke. I am not saying this as a gear hound, I have been using the 12-50mm for the past year or two and had planned on getting the 12-35mm but never got around to it. I am so happy at the current state of M 4/3. It is exactly what I was looking for when I got my e-p1 quickly replaced by the gh1 then the E-M5 last may.
     
  18. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    I'm very attracted to the 12-60, but have some doubts about its durability/reliability.
     
  19. bcaslis

    bcaslis Mu-43 Veteran

    302
    Jul 3, 2011
    Wilsonville, OR, USA
    Brian Caslis
    Where are you seeing the misfocuses? With 43 lenses or m43 lenses?
     
  20. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    4/3 lenses. With m4/3 lenses I've not see seen anything unexpected.