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Former 550D user, sold for EM5. Looking for lens suggestions

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by pmc, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. pmc

    pmc New to Mu-43

    Jul 27, 2012
    Hey everyone,

    First post on here. I recently (this week) decided to sell my Canon dslr and lenses for a switch to the EM5. Like most others who have done the same, I was getting tired of all the bulk. This is especially true for me since I will be taking a 3 week motorcycle camping trip out West this September and didnt want to be encumbered with heavy wide angles, long telephotos, and fragile primes.

    There is a heavy importance for myself to capture/document this trip in the best way possible and I'm having trouble deciding on which lenses to get for this body.

    Lenses I have been considering:
    -Panasonic 20mm 1.7
    -Panasonic 14mm 2.5
    -Panasonic 45-200 4-5.6

    The 20mm seems like a dream from what I've read and seen. This could be a lens that would rarely leave the body and has great light performance. But Im trying to decide if would be wide enough to capture the vastness of Montana, or the geology of Southern Utah.

    On the other hand, the 14mm Panasonic would be wide enough, but how well would be as a general purpose prime (If that is even a thing).?

    Additionally, I will most likely encounter situations where a telephoto zoom would be needed. I live in Philadelphia, and dont get chances to shoot wildlife or use a telephoto that often. However, I plan on seeing lots of wildlife like Buffalo, Birds, and Mountain Goats on this trip. I think I'd regret not bringing along a telephoto.

    So, basically, my question is; what would you bring? I havent even shot with this camera yet so I don't know the nuances of the EM5 yet. I keep going back and forth between the trade offs of the 14 and 20 as well.

    Ideally I'd buy all three, but I'm not sure if that is something I can afford before I leave in a month.

    Any advice or insight is greatly appreciated!
  2. MikeB

    MikeB Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 10, 2010
    Atlanta, GA
    For a motorcycle trip, I'd personally take just 2 lenses:
    Panasonic 20mm 1.7
    Olympus 14-150mm zoom.

    The Oly 14-150 would stay on the camera most of the time, and give you instant access to a huge zoom range. That covers everything from landscapes to wildlife, and you don't have to worry about switching lenses while sitting on the bike. I'd then switch to the Panny in the evenings or indoors, when faster is more useful, and you aren't as likely to want a big zoom range.

    My only other thought is that the Oly 12-50 gives you a slightly wider low end for big landscapes, a moderate zoom for wildlife, and is also weather sealed. Given the chances of hitting rain while on the motorcycle, weather sealed might be a really good idea. I keep my camera in a bag sitting above the gas tank, for fast access when pulling over at a scenic spot, but that means it's somewhat exposed to any weather I hit.
  3. gardengirl13

    gardengirl13 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 26, 2012
    Well the issue I see is, do you buy for the trip or buy for EVERYTHING else?

    I just came from a 60D and lenses from 10-250. No way can I afford to get what I want just yet as the sales of my canon stuff is very poor at best. I got the OMD since coming from bigger cameras and shooting for about 30 years now I knew I really needed what the OMD has to offer compared to the cheaper cameras. I bought the kit lens since I wanted the range (really great by the way!) and I wanted it weather proof. I liked the idea of having a "poor man's macro" on it too. I really use it a lot.

    You really have to think what you're buying for. Don't buy for the trip, buy for what you'll need and rent for the trip if they're different lists from each other.
  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I wouldn't. Primes don't really work for me for general purpose shooting - you're inevitably either too far away or too close for optimal framing.

    I'd start with a good general purpose zoom, and add as budget permits. The Olympus 14-150 is only ~$350 refurbished, and gives you plenty of range. The Panasonic 14-140 is a bit better, but also heavier and more expensive. Once you've got that covered, a fast normalish prime like the 20/1.7 makes a good option for situations when lighting isn't good.

  5. kevwilfoto

    kevwilfoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 23, 2011
    I think your choice should depend on what type of lenses you liked using on your Canon - zoom or prime, very wide or mid lengths or long, emphasis on sharpness or low light, etc. - at least in part.

    For outdoor travel, I'd take the 12-50 kit lens, 20/1.7, and 45-200, and I'd probably use the prime least of all. But that's just me.
  6. strang

    strang Mu-43 Veteran

    May 7, 2012
    If weight is a concern I'd trade the Panasonic zoom for an Olympus one. The 14-150mm and 40-150mm are the same length retracted but the 14-150 is 100 g heavier. Although the 14-150mm covers the entire 28-300mm equivalent range, the 40-150mm is brighter at 40-150mm.

    In terms of image quality, I think the 40-150mm has 14-150mm beat. There is some chromatic aberration with the 14-150mm but you should be able to post process.

    If you're starting out without any zooms, I would opt for the 14-150mm myself. I would forget about the Panasonic zooms on the E-M5. Despite what people say it is heavier with OIS.

    It is up to you if you still want the 14mm if you had the 14-150mm. I personally don't like to overlap my focal lengths too much. It's just an extra piece of gear to carry. However it is so small and light and it'll be brighter at 14mm. It also focuses a bit faster in general and focuses more accurately in low light than the 20mm.
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