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EPM1 for outdoor family portraits....

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by jettilton, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. jettilton

    jettilton Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 5, 2011

    Finally back into M4/3 again...found a used Epm1 with kit lens, and trying to get used to the minimal controls!

    Really want to make this work, since it has great image quality and the size is so portable, but need a decent lens for outdoor portraits and I'm extremely short on funds. Cannot yet afford the 45mm f1.8 or the Panny 20mm 1.7, have a family photo shoot this Tuesday afternoon, and only can possibly spare around $150 for another lens.

    1. Get the 40-150 zoom for outdoor portraits?
    2. buy an adapter and find a good manual focus 35mm or 50mm lens
    3. Use the kit lens?

    Can find a used Oly e420 for around $300, and the original 14-42 kit lens gets
    4 stars at photozone.de....

    Any advice would be welcome

    Jet in Dallas/Fort Worth
  2. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jan 5, 2013
    I just purchased the 40-150, but I haven't been able to use it too much. It does seem pretty sharp. Not like the 45 or 75 primes I don't think, but still not bad. I don't think you necessarily need the sharpest lens in the world for portraits anyway, as often too much sharpness is not flattering. I would probably prefer something that will blur the background better in outdoor portraits, but that can be managed somewhat with focal length and distance to subject. With budget in mind, it's probably what I'd do.
  3. savvy

    savvy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 28, 2012
    S.Yorkshire, UK
    The 40-150 is a very good lens, much underrated. It will never be as sharp as the 45mm or super-sharp 75mm, but is more than sharp enough certainly from about 55mm to about 125mm.

    If you are looking at this one Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/4-5.6 II R MSC, i.e. the MkII R MSC, it is the newest version.

    There is a dedicated image thread on here, and and also some threads where people have been using it for some great tele landscapes.

    I don't think you will be disappointed, and as for bang for buck, can't really be beat for a native zoom.
  4. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    I usually shoot landscape and urban wide-angle, and I have the O45 for portraits.

    I bought the 40-150 to give me more options, and, hey, it was cheap.

    I am very impressed by its value for money: it takes excellent photos in good light. My gallery here has a candid portrait of my father taken with it. He hates having his photo taken, so I wasn't able to get a good background, but you can see it's sharp enough. The beach at North Berwick shot is also from that lens.

    Take a look at the sub-forum Native Lens Sample Images, that should help you.
  5. greenlight

    greenlight Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 16, 2012
    Colin B
    For an outdoor shoot I would have thought the kit zoom you already had would be ok.

    You could consider the Sigma 30mm f2.8 which should be fast enough to
    allow some blurring of the background for head and shoulders type shots - may be sharper than the kit zoom too but I don't own either so really don't know if that is the case!

    Edit: and of course there is a deal on the Sigma 19 + 30 for $199 at the moment; a bit over your budget but... 19 for group shots and 30 for portraits...
  6. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    Apologies to the OP -- don't mean to hijack your thread but I was reading this and suddenly had a question. Does anyone know if the MkII 40-150 still has a plastic lens mount or did they upgrade it to metal? Thanks!
  7. savvy

    savvy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 28, 2012
    S.Yorkshire, UK
    Still plastic, I'm afraid :frown:
  8. mrjr

    mrjr Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 25, 2012
    The kit lens will serve for family portraits, but it won't isolate your subjects very much, as you know. If you are careful about your backdrop (keep some distance between it and subjects), I don't think you'll be disappointed.

    I'd suggest you also consider the Sigma 30 mm f2.8. It fits your budget ($149 on Amazon, $99 if you shop around) and it is well-liked. It's definitely the cheapest native, portrait-ish prime--a very good value.

    The 40-150 would work, too, for the roughly the same price, and the kit lens could cover any wider, group shots.

    Good luck, and be sure to share your results!
  9. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    The sigma 2 lens deal would be perfect. Or buy a 50mm adapted lens with adapter ~$60-$90 for individual portraits, and use the kit lens for group shots.
  10. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    A used 40-150 is a good buy as a "next step" but the EPM1 IBIS is not great, so you'll need to be very mindful of the shutter speed when shooting at 150mm (will need a minimum of 1/300 second, so good light!)

    A fast 50 (OM 50/1.8 or 1.4, or FD 1.4) would also be a great choice. Shoot them at 2.0, and they are really very nice lenses. Sharp and good color (I prefer FDs over the OMs, but they're both good). Nikon MF lens at 50mm 1.4 is also a good choice, but the OM and FD lenses tend to run cheaper. But MF on the EPM1 can be a challenge. Still, I'd look for a good quality 50mm before the zoom, because you don't have to be as mindful of the shutter speed.

    Another option is the Panasonic 45-200. The lens gets weaker at 200, but is very good just shy of 200 AND you can use the lens IS, which is pretty good.
  11. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    If you're doing an outdoor photoshoot you shouldn't have any problem with the kit lens. Save your $150 and eventually put it towards a lens like the 45mm or 20mm that it seems you really want. With enough distance behind the family and tight framing you can still get subject separation with the kit lens at 42mm and f5.6.
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