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First prime lens

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by MartinP, Jul 12, 2018.

Which one do you reccomend

Poll closed Jul 23, 2018.
  1. Olympus 45mm f/1.8

  2. Panasonic 17mm f/1.7

  3. Olympus 25mm f/1.8

  4. Panasonic 20mm f/1.7

  5. Other

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. MartinP

    MartinP Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 7, 2018
    Hello guys,

    currently I own Olympus OM-D E-M10 with Olympus M.Zuiko 14-42mm II R lens.
    I am perfectly happy with it :) 

    I am think to buy prime lens
    I did some statistics and most of time I shoot about 42mm or 15mm.
    I am shooting family photos outdoor and indoor.

    There are no issues when using Olympus M.Zuiko 14-42mm II R lens outside as there is always a plenty of light (sure there could be better bokeh ;)  on 42mm)

    I am thinking to buy Olympus 45mm f/1.8 but I am bit afraid that it is too long for indoor shooting.
    What do you think?
    Does is someone using as his only one lens?
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  2. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Kiillarney, OzTrailEYa
    as I voted "other" I'll say 20f1.7 (as I always do)
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. BleedingGumsMurphy

    BleedingGumsMurphy Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 19, 2017
    And I shall say Sigma 30mm f1.4 as I always do too.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  4. AMcUK

    AMcUK Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 26, 2018
    Set your kit lens to 42mm and try framing up some shots indoors. The 45mm will be slightly longer but not much. This will show you what you can and can't get in frame indoors.
    The Olympus 45mm f1.8 is a lovely lens and takes a great head and shoulders shot but mine doesn't get a lot of use because it is too long for indoor use.

    The Panasonic 25mm f1.7 is a great, cheap lens. I would buy one over the 20mm which is more expensive or the Olympus 25mm.
    Again 25mm is quite long for indoor use. Set your zoom and see how it feels.

    My most used lens is the Olympus 17mm f1.8 - before that I had the f2.8 version (I've never seen a Panasonic 17mm f1.7).
    It's a great length for general use and indoor work. If I had to choose just one prime lens then I'd choose this.
    Again - set your zoom lens to 17mm and see how you like the framing.

    These are links to the images I've taken with the 3 lenses I've suggested.
    Olympus f1.8 17mm
    Panasonic f1.7 25mm (LUMIX G 25/F1.7)
    Olympus f1.8 45mm
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  5. wimg

    wimg Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 10, 2016
    A lens for shooting family photos outdoor and indoor depends on your preferences of the types of photos you like to shoot.

    Portraits: 45 or 42.5 mm (you should also consider the Panny 42.5 F/1.7, just set your camera to lens IS preference; I personally think that at larger apertures the OOF fall-off of this lens, or bokeh, is way amazing )
    Small groups: 17 to 25 mm, although personally I would tend towards 25 mm
    Larger groups, overview: 17 mm or even shorter (Panny 14 F/2.5 maybe ?)
    Environmental portraiture: 17 mm or 14 mm

    HTH, kind regards, Wim

    P.S.: it is lens (single) - lenses (plural). Lens just happens to end with an "s", but still is single.
  6. Alexlotl

    Alexlotl Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 15, 2017
    York, UK
    The 45mm f/1.8 is a great lens for getting photos of kids, but as it's quite a long focal length, you're usually looking at head & shoulders style pictures when indoors, unless you've got heaps of space. Outside, you've got more space for framing, and it's great for taking pictures of kids playing without getting in the way. It's a fantastic lens - cheap, tack sharp and with great colours. I used to have it as my one prime, alongside the 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro, and it's the only lens that's survived about three overhauls of my camera gear.

    If you're regularly shooting at 42mm and want better bokeh, it's probably a no brainer, TBH. It's cheap enough new, I'd imagine there are bargains to be had second hand.

    Other options (P15, S16, O17, P20, P25/O25) all sit within the focal range of your current kit lens, so I'd suggest setting that to a set FL and seeing how you can live with it - what's a good match for your brain?

    Personally, I found the O17 f/1.8 lacklustre, lacking the sharpness I'd expect from a prime. Nice colours, though. The O25 (which I got free with my Pen F) has characteristics a lot like the O45, but I don't really get on with the focal length - just a little too long for general purpose use. I'm toying with replacing it/complementing it with a second-hand P20, which is a more comfortable focal length for me.
  7. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Kiillarney, OzTrailEYa
    one thing you can be sure of, we respondents all have our personal favs (which may have changed over the years). These are shaped by many factors, but can be boiled down to personal experience.

    go get your own personal experience (take that 100,000 images and percolate over it over the years, wax and wane and change your mind a few times.

    Only then will you know for you ... to hell with what we think
    • Like Like x 1
  8. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Kiillarney, OzTrailEYa
    This was taken across a table on a "back deck" one summer day with my O45f1.8. Shooting distance is about "indoor"

    I love this lens (even though its not my fav)

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    This was taken with an OM50f1.8 back in 2009 before there were any native lenses of that focal length

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    This is indoor at a christening (the little girl pictured) ... the same could be done with the O45f1.8

    so basically I think your poll asked a different question to your post
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  9. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jan 5, 2013
    I guess I tend to frame tighter than most folks here. I went through much the same process you are going through now when I first started using a m43 camera. I used the 14-42 lens that came with the camera and was generally satisfied with it. But I often did not have enough light inside. I looked at the focal lengths I used most and found that like most people I tended to use the lens at its extremes of 14 and 42. So I found a good deal on a used Panasonic 14 and bought it along with the least expensive Olympus 45 I could find. I later added the PL 25 1.4 as I found I rarely used the P14 and found the O45 limiting indoors. The PL25 quickly became my most used lens by far. It is still my most used prime lens. You may find that the focal length you use most in a prime is different than the most used focal length of your kit zoom. I did. That is because you will use it in different places (indoors). I find the 25mm focal length very versatile. I can move in and get a fairly close up shot or I can move back and get a shot that includes more of the surroundings or includes more people. If I was only going to have one prime lens, it would be a 25mm lens.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. MartinP

    MartinP Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 7, 2018
    I kinda tend to Oly 45mm f/1.8.
    Just thinking ... most of time I would shoot head & shoulders style indoor as there is usually to many other non interesting subject in the frame (chairs, tables, ... :) 
  11. Dave Lively

    Dave Lively Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 16, 2014
    I currently have the Olympus 45mm, 17mm and 60mm primes. The 60mm gets used for macro and little else.

    Of the three the 45mm is by far the most commonly used. It normally gets used for pictures of people and pets, both indoors and out. It is too long to take pictures of a group of people indoors but there is a reason FF portrait lenses have always been 85 - 90mm. The perspective works very well. While the longer focal length can be limiting for some I tend to stand further back from people regardless of whether or not I am holding a camera so it works well for me. Outdoors the longer focal length creates shallow depth of field that better isolates your subject from distracting backgrounds. Indoors f1.8 is fast enough that you can get good results without a flash. When taking pictures of dogs you can stay back far enough that they do not get up to smell the camera you are pointing at them. Focusing is quick and almost silent.

    I bought the 17mm specifically to take pictures of grand kids (plural) indoors. It does a pretty good job of that but I found that when I try to take pictures of them playing I end up with photos that are 95% room and 5% grandchildren so I do not use it as much as I thought I would. Before I bought the Olympus 17 I tried the Panasonic 17 and Olympus 25. Both were sharper than 17 but unless you pose people and have them stand still motion blur is a bigger problem than lens resolution. The 20mm had slow and noisy focusing that caused a lot of missed shots. The 25mm focused as quickly and quietly as the 45 and 17 but the focal length always seemed too wide for pictures of a single person but too tight for group shots.
  12. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    While I tend to like using my Oly 25/1.8 more, I voted for the 17/1.8 because it most closely mimics the classic 35mm lens on 35mm cameras. While most film SLR cameras came with a standard "nifty-50"mm lens, the 35mm has always been a go to for things like event photographers as it offered a focal length that you could get close to people for portraits while still being able to step back for a small group shot or a full length shot of someone without needed a lot of space. Basically a nice focal length for general purpose use.
  13. ac12

    ac12 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 24, 2018
    17 f/1.8
    If you are indoors, you don't have the space to back up to get a wider view, so go with a wide lens to begin with.
    Use the 14-42 outside, where you have more light.

    But IF I had only ONE lens, it would be the 25 f/1.8, normal lens, for indoor/outdoor use.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
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  14. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    25mm is a great indoor portrait length. Long enough to avoid the worst kinds of perspective distortion, yet not so long you can only take tight portraits. 20mm is a bit too wide to say the same.

    For more general indoor photography, including group shots, just use the wide end of your kit lens at f3.5.
  15. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I voted the 25mm f1.8, because once you get it, it'll likely be the only lens you use for a long while. It is a little bit tight, but manageable, and has just enough of a telephoto "look" to straighten out lines and perspectives. Plus the rendering is beautiful and gentle, while sharp.
    • Agree Agree x 2
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  16. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    I'd go with 25/1.8, as it is the most versatile of the bunch. All good choices though.
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. speedy

    speedy Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 27, 2015
    I voted the Panny 20mm pancake , as I reckon it's about the most versatile as an all round focal length. It's not too wide that you get horrific distortion when used for environmental portraits, yet wide enough for indoor usage, where you can take advantage of the f/1.7 aperture Which is why you buy a prime in the first place. Easier and more useful to use than the 25mm.
  18. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Oh, don't get me wrong, I think the 20mm is phenomenal, but it is legitimately worse to use on an Olympus body. I used it on the original EM10 and sold it.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  19. speedy

    speedy Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 27, 2015
    Good point. I’ve only ever used it on DFD capable Panasonic bodies, so I’ve never really understood the slow, inaccurate focus bit.
    In that case, I’d probably go the Oly 17, as I personally find myself using a wider FOV than narrower, more often. Not saying that I don’t like my 25 & 42.5, as I do, very much so, but when combined with a zoom, it would be the way I’d go
  20. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Also the high-ISO banding was a real issue, especially if you tried to recover shadows.
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