First M43 - Panasonic GX85 with multiple lenses - next steps?

BlackrazorNZ

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Hi all,

Although i love taking photos, it's only very recently that I've picked up a 'decent' camera - I've just been using an iPhone etc until now.

My mate recently upgraded to a Fuji XT10, and offered to sell me his GX85 with a bunch of lenses for an absolute song.

So I took the plunge and picked it up, and so far I've been really enjoying both the jump in quality, and the fact it's a new 'rabbit hole' to go down learning how to use apertures and shutter speeds etc etc.

As part of the kit, I got the GX85 along with the 14-42 kit lens, the 45-150 zoom, and the 25 f1.7 prime.

Subsequently, I grabbed a Pana 14-140 'universal' lens (the f3.5- v2 non-waterproof) as that broad range of coverage suits me well for the bulk of my photographs I take while out and about.

I'm not an artistic type, quite the opposite - I take photos purely to remind myself of places I've been and things I've done, so I'm unlikely to ever get into artistic photography.

Along with the GX85, he's also offered to sell me his older GF7, along with the 12-32 pancake kit lens and a 35-100, for peanuts (like, $170 US-equiv for all 3).

Finally, I've already identified I would like a couple more lenses, specifically:
  • The Olympus 60mm Macro, and;
  • Some form of wider (<14mm) landscape lens.

I'm hopeful I can ask for some advice on a couple fronts:
  1. Is it worth picking up the GF7 kit and using the 12-32 as a 'walkaround' lens for where the 14-140 is too bulky? I can always gift the GF7 plus some lenses to a family member as an affordable gift, and the 12-32 is a great little lens for compactness, but functionally it would be surplus to requirements if I get a wider angle landscape zoom lens as the entire range will be well covered.
  2. Having the 14-140, is there any value at all in me retaining the 14-42 and 45-150, or should I just flick both for what I can get for them?
  3. Any recommendations for a 'relatively affordable' wider angle prime or zoon lens that will work well with this setup? (ideally as low as 8mm focal)
Thanks very much for any help offered! :) (excuse the dodgy iPhone snap of the cam and lenses...)

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BlackrazorNZ

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And a couple of my recent pics - still a long way to go but I'm enjoying the journey.

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Replytoken

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Welcome to the forum! I have both bodies and enjoy shooting with them both. My GF7 came as a kit with the 12-32 and 35-100, and this is an ideal ultra compact travel kit. Both lenses have good optical quality, especially at their price and size. The GX85 is a bit bigger and a lot heavier, but you get an EVF and a host of other features. There are a number of 14-42 lenses in circulation, and some are better than others with respect to IQ. The 12-32 compares favorably to many of the 14-42 variations.

I do not have the 14-140, but many like it ( or at least one variation of it, IIRC). The Oly 60 macro is a gem of a lens. It is one of my favorites, and it travels with me almost always. Regrading wide angle, there are many options depending on how wide you want to go and how fast of a lens you want. I use my Oly 12-40 as that is wide enough for what I do.

If it was me, I'd keep the GF7 for a bit to see if you want it in the long run.

Happy shooting,

--Ken
 

cjoliprsf

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And a couple of my recent pics - still a long way to go but I'm enjoying the journey.
These are pear tree flowers... Guess you must be in the southern hemisphere!
You have an interesting dilemna...

I would certainly keep the 12-32 and 35-100 - I have them both and they make my small kit with a GM5 body. They are certainly the best you can have for the size and weight.

I am not sure I would keep the GF7 - I need a viewfinder, and simply can't just rely on the back panel.

I would probably sell the 45-150 - I used to have it, but sold it when I got the 35-100, and I subsequently got a 45-200 for the longer reach.

As of the 14-42, you could sell it with the GF7, or keep both as a second/backup camera. You are probably in no rush for selling anything, so you can take your time and try all lenses before taking a final decision.
 

Mike Wingate

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I have had the GX80 from new. And have enjoyed using it over the last 5 years. I bought the kit, but did not enjoy swapping the two kit lenses. So I bought the P14-140, a brilliant lens. I also bought the P100-300, great on an aircraft shoot last week. The Olympus 60mm is brilliant for close up and macro, using a pair of auto tubes and a Raynox 250 close up lens that can be used on other lenses. I bought the PL15mm, amazing. Also the P7-14mm, great for architecture. The P25 and 42.5 get a bit of use photographing flowers. But the P14-140 does nearly everything very well. Enjoy.
 

Aloyz

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I think that you already have more equipment than you might need. Enjoy what you have and after some time you may know more about your equipment limitations and consequently your needs.
 

speedy

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If it were me, I'd buy a cheap, wider prime such as the Lumix 14mm f/2.5 pancake, & learn to frame up & shoot interesting shots. Or maybe even the 20mm pancake. A fixed focal length makes you think, and also work, to get interesting shots. It won't happen overnight, but you'll slowly & gradually start to visualise shots before you even take the camera from your bag, know what position you need to be in, & end up enjoying the whole shooting process a lot more. Worked for me, it's not big, heavy & expensive to get into, & you will learn something.
 

Stanga

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The GX80 plus 14-140mm combination is hard to beat for traveling. As a matter of fact my 14-140mm is now more or less glued onto my GX80. I tend to add the 14mm f2.5 in my travel bag as well instead of the PL15mm f1.7.due to the difference in compactness.
 

Toddster

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Hello and welcome!

As to your specific questions:
1. To me the 12-32 is the keeper in this package; it's a brilliant little lens. I usually have it with me when I am shooting with my 14-150 (Olympus) as an option for a lower profile and slightly wider. I do have a GF7 but I much prefer having a viewfinder. I sold my 35-100.
2. The 45-150 is also a fantastic lens; however, with the 14-140 you may never use it. Before you sell it I'd check the sharpness on the long end of both lenses to see if there is much difference. If the 45-150 is sharper and funds aren't an issue I'd keep it.
3. You will find a lot of debate here about the best wide option. We are blessed with choices. My preference is the Olympus 9-18, I like it because of its size. Another good option that is not too large is the Panasonic 7-14. It doesn't do well on Olympus bodies but it is brilliant on Panasonic. Decent prices can be found in the used market on both of thees lenses.
 

threeOh

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Consider stopping where you are. You don't need a lot of “stuff” to enjoy photography. It might even be a distraction from what caught your eye in the first place. Shoot the lens, not the kit.

I'm currently on a 3 week trip in the mountains. My GX9 and 14-140 are stowed in an under floor compartment in the car. My GM1, PL15 and 12-32 are, as usual, getting all the love. Once home, a fixed lens Fuji X100V is my default carry.
 

Glennn

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No personal experience, but the 14-140 sounds incredibly versatile. I bought a 14mm prime from a member here and had fun with it, but it sees minimal use these days as I tend to gravitate to detail shots. Unless you need the money, I would hold on to them all and try them. It takes a while to get to “know” a lens, but once it’s limitations are known the world opens up.
Enjoy the camera. I’m coming up on three years with my GX 85. It still is a far better camera then I am a photographer.
 

Variable

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We might have similar perspectives. I have the GX85, and really only use the 14-140 II (awesome), Oly 17 1.7, and the P100-300 II; 12-32 gets used but really just for the 12mm. I haven’t enjoyed it much for a walkabout street lens, just because its range is too short, it’s a bit slow, and the touchscreen manual focus is anti-joyful. But I’ll keep it, and in a year probably write another post in praise of it ;) I own but will soon sell a few other lenses like P30mm 2.8 and Samyang 7.5mm, because I just don’t like mucking around with field lens changes, and neither is that versatile. For what you’re doing, no need to keep zooms whose range is covered by a wider zoom. The m43 system market is clogged with overlapping kit lenses; best to ditch extras unless you love owning things you don’t use.

Bear in mind there is the bonkers Oly 12-200, which costs a lot, but could be a single-lens solution. Too bad you can’t use it with both stabilization systems at the same time on a Panny body.
 

The Electric Squirrel

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Late to the party, but here's my take on things...

1. You might want to get the GF7 and the pancake zoom just for the lens, but keep things simple, and just learn to fly one camera at a time. The GX80/85 is actually kind of a sweet spot for an affordable camera, since it has enough controls to keep even a more experienced shooter feeling not hindered by the camera. I know, I own one.

The 12-32 on the other hand is a very useful lens when you want to go lightweight and compact. The GX80 slips into a jacket pocket with it quite easily, so you don't even need a bag. And slip that 25/1.7 (another excellent lens) in the opposite pocket for low light situations, when needed.

2. After getting the 12-32 out of aforementioned kit, ditch the 14-42 and the 45-150. Keep the 14-140. Keep things simple. Every lens you own should have a raison d'être.

3. Wide angles on a MFT system is a bit tougher asking. Most old DSLR systems have at least one affordable option, if not more, but MFT is a bit different. The Olympus 9-18mm is the obvious answer here, but it's a bit expensive for what it is. It's not a bad lens, but comparing it to my full frame widezooms I'm a bit baffled as to why it's list price here in Finland is north of 600€. I got mine ridiculously cheap as a unused demo unit, and for that price it's a gem. There are also the Laowa primes, but generally the situation here could be better. If you don't need the fast apertures of the primes, go for the Olympus zoom. It's a versatile lens good enough for landscapes.

All in all, that GX85(/80) is a very flexible body to learn photography with. And it's small enough to fit in an army field jacket's pocket even with a suitable lens. One thing the OP might want to consider is the JJC HG-GX9 grip. It adds arcaswiss compatibility if you want to attach the camera to a tripod, and the added grip - while not truly wonderful - gives extra stability, especially when holding single handed. And it's easy to leave home when not needed, and does not cost lots.
 

speedy

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Late to the party, but here's my take on things...



3. Wide angles on a MFT system is a bit tougher asking. Most old DSLR systems have at least one affordable option, if not more, but MFT is a bit different. The Olympus 9-18mm is the obvious answer here, but it's a bit expensive for what it is. It's not a bad lens, but comparing it to my full frame widezooms I'm a bit baffled as to why it's list price here in Finland is north of 600€.
It's a bit of a shame that Panasonic stopped making the conversion lens kit. I originally bought it for my Lumix 14 pancake, but tried it out on my 12-32 pancake, & it's ridiculously good for what it is. You can get down to 13mm on the 12-32 without obvious, hard vignetting, and that gives you 10mm. There's another currently available converter lens that I've seen used on the 12-32 that gives very good results too, but can't remember where I saw that posted, or which one exactly it is. It's what prompted me to try it on my 12-32.
 

BlackrazorNZ

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Thanks all for the thoughts. Figured I'd provide a bit of an update.

The GF7 is still on offer to me and I'll probably grab it at some point (it's cheap enough that I may as well), but I haven't picked it up yet.

Instead, I bought the 60mm Olympus macro, and the 9-18mm wide-angle zoom.

Still have the 14-42 and 45-150 but they're just sitting in the closet and will eventually be sold for whatever I can get for them.

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I've got plenty enough for the moment, but in the medium term I'd like to replace the 25mm f1.7 with a slightly wider angle low light option - current tossing up between saving for the Sigma 16mm f1.4 or the Olympus 17mm f1.8. The Sigma appeals for the extra speed, but it's a big thing and not really walkabout friendly, whereas the 17mm Oly would pretty much just be a universal go-everywhere street and low-light compact option, so I'm probably leaning towards the latter at the moment.

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ac12

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Your kit looks GOOD:
9-18 + 14-140 + 25 + 60 macro
The 9-18 takes care of the short end, beyond what the 14-140 reaches down to. That makes a nice pair.
For travel, I would agree with you on going with the 17/1.8, because it is smaller than the Sigma.
 

Bushboy

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I would swap out the 60/2.8 and the 25/1.7
For the Panasonic 30/2.8 macro.
But yes, it is all good kit. Nicely done.
 
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