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EM10 with 12-40? 14-42 EZ?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Rickf, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. Rickf

    Rickf Mu-43 Rookie

    21
    Apr 7, 2014
    Hi All,
    I've just registered as a new user after lurking for a while. After shooting with my humble Nikon D40 for a number of years I finally feel like I've earned an upgrade in equipment. A lot of research and analysis has convinced me to make the jump to micro 4/3 rather than continue with APS-C or move to FF (my investment in Nikon glass is limited to 18-55 kit, 70-300 and 35 f/1.8 so I don't feel handcuffed). After even more analysis I've decided on the EM10 based on its combination of features and price (that's about 8 months of research summarized in two sentences, it wasn't an easy decision).
    My question for you folks is regarding a lens choice. To start with I want the flexibility of a zoom so the primes will wait for a bit. By all accounts the 12-40 f/2.8 is an amazing lens in terms of IQ. My question is about the handling on an EM10. Is it too large, heavy or imbalanced? I assume the optional grip would be a necessity but even with that is it a combo that you don't mind carrying and shooting with all day?
    While I'm at it let me ask about the 14-42 EZ. I know it's not fair to compare IQ with the 12-40; they're very different lenses, but the compactness is very attractive for many situations. Again my question is about handling. The electronic zoom sounds more like a point & shoot experience to me. I always hated the way cheap P&S cameras control the zoom. Is handling the EZ more like a P&S or is it more DSLR-like?

    Thanks and best regards,
    Rick
     
  2. PatrickNSF

    PatrickNSF Mu-43 Regular

    119
    Sep 30, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Patrick
    I have both lenses. I travelled in NY (both Upstate and NYC) last week with the E-M10, 14-42 EZ, 14-150 and 17/1.8. Although the 14-42 EZ made for a convenient, small travel lens, I regretted not having the 12-40/2.8 with me. I find that the 12-40/2.8 goes from outdoors to indoors much easier than the 14-42 EZ does. I also found myself missing the extra 2mm on the wide end. If I were to only have one of these, I'd opt for the 12-40/2.8 for my needs. (But I also have an RX100, so that works in a pinch when the size of the 12-40/2.8 would be an issue.)

    As to handling, I prefer using the 12-40/2.8 on the E-M1, as it feels more balanced. If I were to only be using it with the E-M10, I'd likely get the optional grip.
     
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  3. Rickf

    Rickf Mu-43 Rookie

    21
    Apr 7, 2014
    Thanks Patrick for sharing your experience and opinions. Any chance you have a picture of the EM10/12-40 combo?

    Rick
     
  4. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    941
    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Clint
  5. Rickf

    Rickf Mu-43 Rookie

    21
    Apr 7, 2014
    Oh my, that's quite useful. And hazardous to the budget as you point out. Thanks for that. I certainly have some decisions to make. In an ideal world I'd have several lenses to choose from to suit various purposes. My budget is such that if I get this one there's nothing left for another anytime soon. I have a 2 week long backpacking trip with my son this summer that emphasizes portability which is not the 12-40's strong suit. As with everything there's always a tradeoff. Thanks again.

    Rick
     
  6. DL Photo

    DL Photo Mu-43 Veteran

    216
    Nov 15, 2012
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    Dave
    For portability, it's tough to beat the 14-42EZ for general use and a 17 1.8 for indoor use. I find that the 14-42EZ does a good job for most situations.
    The electronic zoom kind of becomes a non-issue when you use it for a while (especially when you enable fast zooming in the menu).
     
  7. MCMLXXIII AD

    MCMLXXIII AD Mu-43 Regular

    50
    Mar 18, 2014
    London
    Mahesh
    Rick, Though 14-42 EZ is very compact, I hated the quality of images it produced. It does not exploit capability of the lovely sensor EM10 has. As a result I have just bought a 45/1.8 instead and plan to compliment that with a wider prime later. Or you could just have 12-40/2.8 and settle down.
     
  8. christofp

    christofp Mu-43 Regular

    135
    Jul 21, 2012
    12-40: On my EM1 the 12-40 feels quite good. But on my EM5 it is a little bit heavy and big.

    14-42: The new pancake zoom does not make everyone happy, I have seen 4 people complaining about back-focus issues resulting from the collapsible construction. This puts some shadows over this lens which is quite interesting in many other aspects.

    There is a third option worth noting:
    Before EM1 and 12-40, I used my old EM5 with a Panasonic 12-35/2.8. Looking back, I would say the 12-35 was a perfect match for my EM5 and I guess it would fit nicely to a EM10 too.

    Optically the 12-35 is nearly as good as the 12-40, you will only notice minor difference in a 1:1 comparison.
    Mechanically it is also very nice, zoom and focus ring are smoother as far as I remember. Only the MF-switch is missing, but thats not a big thing I guess.

    Only negative issues are the color which is not really black, it has a red tone. And of course the 5mm difference in focal length ...

    Christof
     
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  9. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    678
    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Scott
    I used the 12-35 all the time on my E-M5, and now on my E-M1. I had an RRS grip on the M5. It felt just fine, and my 14-42 rarely leaves home. FWIW, I also use the 12-35 on my GX7, which has a modest grip similar to the M5, and it's ok as well.

    But ... If I was camping, I'd probably bring the 17/1.8 and 45/1.8 and call it a day. You save a bit of weight over the 12-35 (the 12-40 is slightly longer and heavier) but gain about 1.5 stops of light (think campfire pictures ... ;-) ). And either lens on the camera, hanging from a strap or clipped to your belt, will feel a lot more comfortable than with the 2.8 zooms. You won't notice the 4-5 oz. of the other one in your pack. You give up a fair amount on the wide end, however.

    Whatever you decide, rest assured you will get great images. There are no bad choices here.
     
  10. Harvey Melvin Richards

    Harvey Melvin Richards Photo Posting Junkie

    Feb 15, 2014
    Southwest Utah
    Here are a couple of quick and dirty photos of an E-M10 and the 12-40 PRO. Of my six lenses, this is probably my favorite. Great photos, and excellent versatility. It is almost as heavy as the M Zuiko 75-300mm, but it is also a very well made and solid lens. The E-M10 has the ECG-1 grip on it. I could get by without it, but I really like it on there.

    13705040393_5e1c061ce7_b.


    13705031793_053909d089_b.
    Stylus 1010
     
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  11. Rickf

    Rickf Mu-43 Rookie

    21
    Apr 7, 2014
    Lots of really great information here, thank you everyone. Crap, my decision is even more difficult than before. The 12-40 is probably what I would want for most occasions, but I really think it's going to be a burden backpacking 71 miles in 12 days this summer. My budget is about $1500 for camera and lens(es). The current lens promotion when you buy a body is a nice incentive so I just need to figure out the best combination of gear I can get for my money that addresses my needs. I have some near term needs with this upcoming trip that emphasize versatility and portability (favors the EZ, even with IQ limitations). Longer term though I need a replacement for my current Nikon 70-300 applications and some faster lenses. Putting on my thinking cap.

    Rick
     
  12. PatrickNSF

    PatrickNSF Mu-43 Regular

    119
    Sep 30, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Patrick
    Have you considered something like the Stylus 1? If not, given your need for portability this trip, the 14-42 EZ would fit the bill. You could couple it with the 17/1.8 for low light use.
     
  13. Rickf

    Rickf Mu-43 Rookie

    21
    Apr 7, 2014
    No thanks to the Stylus 1. Coincidentally I was just looking at the 17/1.8. No real experience composing with a 35mm equivalent angle of view. What I found when using the Nikon 35/1.8 (50mm equiv.) is that I never really got comfortable with it. I always wanted to step back a little further to fit something into the frame. I'm just not sure how I'd get on with the 17/1.8.
     
  14. PatrickNSF

    PatrickNSF Mu-43 Regular

    119
    Sep 30, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    Patrick
    Given your experience with the Nikon 35mm/1.8, you may like the 17mm/1.8 then. It's 34mm equiv. so will likely address your issue with wanting to step back using a 50mm equiv. I've been really happy with the 17mm, and it's my most used lens after the 12-40/2.8.
     
  15. Zee

    Zee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Go the 12-40 if you can afford it. It's large and heavy (for 4/3) but it's not bad overall. "Handling" is much nicer than a power zoom, it's more controllable, and it is just a very nice lens to use. The IQ helps, too. I use an EM-1, but on my friend's EM-5 (closer in size to the EM-10) it is still perfectly fine. Even on my girlfriend's EP-5, it doesn't feel too bad, seeing as the EP-5 seems to be very solid in it's own right.

    Get the right lens from the start, you'll save a lot of regrets later. If you really want compact, aim for the primes...

    Totally agree with above poster re the 17 F1.8. I've found it a very, very nice lens. And this coming from someone who likes shooting in the longer reaches of the tele side of things.
    Z...
     
  16. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    I have both lenses and the EM-10. I am also an avid fly fisher, camper and week-end backpacker. I don't like the 12-40 on the EM-10, it feels unbalanced to me. I would not backpack the 12-40 as it is heavy. The 14-42 EZ is a compact lenses and its main virtue is size. It is a great travel and backpack lens. For me, the O17 lives on my EM-10 and if I were backpacking I would take it, the EZ and the 40-150. And, the O12 (I know that is not within your budget). FWIW - I love the EM-10. I don't know where your backpacking trip will be but at ~ 6 miles/day you will have plenty of time to take pics. Although it is not part of your original post, I would pack the 40 - 150. It is inexpensive and feels great on the EM-10. There will be times that you will want the reach for wildlife, etc.
     
  17. Rickf

    Rickf Mu-43 Rookie

    21
    Apr 7, 2014
    My son and I will be backpacking Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico along with a group of boys from his Boy Scout troop. In addition to the hiking there will be plenty of other activities of interest to the boys that we'll partake. One of the many permutations of lens combinations I considered getting was the EZ and the 40-150. Neither of which is critically acclaimed in terms of optics but they would serve the purpose. I'll think some more about the 17/1.8. It would be a nice low light solution. More food for thought. I appreciate your sharing your outdoors experience.
     
  18. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    I'm not a backpacker, my traveling is done on a motorcycle, where size is important, but not as important as it is when backpacking I am sure. I think that if I wanted something pretty good to capture memories while backpacking I'd consider something like the Sony RX100 or Stylus 1, but since that has already been suggested and you weren't interested, my next thought would be one of the super zooms on the EM10.
     
  19. kimo

    kimo Mu-43 Regular

    98
    Dec 4, 2013
    Colorado
    kimo
    I started with a D40 as my first ILC. It's been a long time since I sold it to a friend, but I often go back and look at those photos and I feel very satisfied. The D40 images have a warm sense of character that is unique to that camera.

    Recently I started building my m4/3 system. I started with the E-M1 and 12-40 because of the weather-sealing and Ming's silly photo of the camera and lens taking a bath. I was sold. You won't regret the 12-40. It's a great lens. But sometimes I think it's a little big for a short walk in the woods. And that's where the 17mm f1.8 comes in. Together they make a solid combo. If I were doing a week-long backpacking trip to someplace beautiful, I would not hesitate to carry the 12-40. But landscapes are my thing and the 12-40 fits that bill perfectly. It may be big and heavy compared to other m4/3 lenses, but it still beats packing in the DSLR and giant lenses from the past.

    If you can't swing it now, consider the 17mm f1.8 in the future. It's a fun, neat lens with unique rendering. And it's sharp enough. I find 50mm too tight but 35mm seems just about perfect.

    I have never used it, but that 14-42 EZ does look interesting, especially for hiking if it proves to be reliable.
     
  20. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Chicago-area
    David Dornblaser
    It has been a very, very long time since I was at Philmont. It is a rite of passage. Now that I know your destination I would absolutely take the EZ, the 40 - 150 and the O17. The O17 will be perfect for the camp fire and last and first light pictures. The problem with critically acclaimed gear is it usually expensive and heavy. None of that works for backpacking. There was article about a year or so ago on this forum authored by someone who was backpacking the smokies with only a GX1 and the 14. His pics were great. We have a handful of m4/3 bodies and a bunch of lenses but I think that you are on the right track for your trip. Please post pics!

    Be sure to take lots of pics before you go to become familiar with your kit. Perhaps introducing your son to Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure or Understanding Photography might help his enjoyment of your kit.
     
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