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EM5 lens advice (12 or 17...)

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by chrism_scotland, Sep 29, 2013.

  1. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland

    Looking for some advice regarding the 17mm f1.8 v the Olympus 12mm f2, does anyone have both and can compare... trying to build a lens lineup from scratch following a recent move back to the EM5 from a Nikon D600 and not sure what to get!
  2. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Do you prefer Apples, or Oranges?

    Or, let's put it this way: When you used a D600, did you shoot more at 24mm or at 35mm?
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011

    Starting from scratch, I would start with the 17 or 20mm primes before getting the 12. The 12 is more of a specialty lens for me but that is just my opinion based on my shooting needs. I have had the 12 and 17 and like them both but the 12 is just too wide for many of the "normal" photos I take.
  4. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    If you can afford it consider the Panasonic 12 - 35 f2.8 constant aperture zoom
    This is very highly rated, weathersealed ? and covers both the focal lengths you are looking at plus several more into the bargain
  5. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I like 12mm as part of a zoom, I don't love it enough to want a 12mm prime. On the other hand I'm really fond of the 35 EFL focal length as a sort of "eased normal", so 17mm would be my top choice.
  6. F/Stop

    F/Stop Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 9, 2013
    West Virginia
    Brian Y.
    First off. Welcome back! I have both. The 12 mm is fantastic and sharp for landscapes or up-close portraits. The 17 was used mainly for walk around use. Which I don't do much of, so I never use the 17 all too often. The 25mm is easily my go-to lens for everyday use.

    So I don't see you using the 12 all too often unless you're doing a lot of landscapes , then personally I crop to 3:2 which you'd be very familiar with as the d600 is 3:2 format. I think it gives a "wider" look than 4:3

    It's all up to you. Both are great. Personally I'd pick the 25mm
  7. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    Doug hit the nail on the head.... they are 2 very different lenses

    to me 12mm is really wide, and borders on a specialist lens... too much exagerated perpective for people shots. I have passed on buying the 12 several times... the 14 is as wide as i feel comfortable with.

    On my current trip to LA I have shot almost exclusively with the 17 and am finding its depth of field, its field of view and its fast focusing perfect for my needs

    your mileage may vary... the photos in these Flickr sets are pretty much exclusively 17mm




    • Like Like x 2
  8. hrsy1234

    hrsy1234 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 29, 2013
    East London
  9. Edmunds

    Edmunds Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 16, 2012
    I couldn't get used to the 35mm focal length. To me it seemed neither here nor there. Not enough telephoto for closeups. Not wide enough to shoot indoors, or landscapes, or groups of people.

    My only pet peeve about the 12mm f/2 is the price, and completely unnecessary manual focus ring. I would have much preferred if it was the same build quality and price as the 45mm f/1.8
  10. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Thanks for all the advice folks.

    I decided to start with the 17mm f1.8 (Black) to go with my EM5 mainly as the 35mm was my favourite length on full frame.

    So far very happy with it, particuarly considering the price (£370.. the equivalent lens on FF cost me £700!)

    Looking for next steps, quite tempted by the 25mm f1.4 and the 12mm f2 to give me a full range of equivalence to my old FF lineup (24, 35 & 50 - roughly).

    Also quite intrigued by the 12-35 f2.8, seems a good buy used (but very pricey new) and I'm quite impressed that its said to be even better than the 12mm prime is, feel it might cover off a couple of lenses for me )12 & 25 for now) rather than me having multiple primes.
  11. hrsy1234

    hrsy1234 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 29, 2013
    East London
    Good call, I just ordered a £370 black 17 f1.8 this afternoon as well, from SRS.

    The 9-18 and the 100-300 and I'll be done.
  12. zensu

    zensu Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama USA
    You've shown me that in the right hands (yours) the 17 is a fantastic lens!
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