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From a total novice: native zoom lens recommendations?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by virtualferguson, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. virtualferguson

    virtualferguson New to Mu-43

    Apr 29, 2012
    Hello all!

    First: I'm going to apologize in advance for any info I forget to include/tech terms I garble or anything else I do wrong. I'm new and I wanna get better. I'm also sorry if this question gets asked a lot. I did a little bit of browsing and couldn't find it. Please forgive me!

    Anyway, on to my question:

    I currently own an Olympus EP-1 with the 17mm 2.8 lens (aka this one)

    ...which I love for day to day stuff, but there's absolutely no zoom. I'm looking for a second lens. My wife and I go birding from time to time and would love to be able to photograph at least one or two of the birds we see.

    I'd like something that zooms to make that happen, but not so heavy that I need to lug a tripod around all the time. I know, the serious birders lug around these huge nikon cameras with giant lenses set up on tripods and I surely will sacrifice picture quality with anything less--but that's too much stuff. I love the lightness and portability of my Olympus and I'd rather not veer too far off from that with my next lens. I want to see the birds, not win contests.

    I'd also like a lens that works with the interface on my Olympus (autofocus, ability to adjust f stops, etc). I know that's probably a stupid concern. But, like: if I buy this Panasonic lens, for example, will it be "compatible" with my EP-1?

    What I don't know is how much of zoom I'd want, but I find a lot of people saying good thing about ones that top out around 100-200mm. Is that right?

    As far as price range goes I'm pretty flexible. If it's an amazing lens that's worth saving up for: I'm game. If it's a great lens that should cost twice as much, but doesn't: awesome. I'll gladly take any and all advice.

    Thanks much in advance!
  2. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Yes. Autofocus and aperture control are compatible across any Panasonic/Olympus lens/body combo.

    Depends on the size of the bird and the distance, but that's a good range to start. The Panasonic 45-200 should be enough for large or near birds, but more reach never hurts. The Panasonic 100-300 is a good option for that.

    Note that compared to your 17/2.8, telephoto zooms are considerably longer lenses (particularly the 100-300), which may require you to change you camera-holding technique, especially as with the E-P1, you're composing off the rear LCD.

  3. RDM

    RDM Mu-43 All-Pro

    Yea I say definitely buy that Panasonic lens you linked to. I was thinking to suggest it to you before i seen you chose the same one i would have. Yes all µ4/3 mount lenses are compatible with eater Panasonic or Olympus µ4/3 mount camera bodies (excluding Panasonic's new over priced Compact X power zooms which may or may not work on some older cameras).

    And you have a camera with Built in body Image Stabilization. That lens has MEGA OIS in Lens (optical image Stabilization) SO decide which one you want on , and make sure both are not on at the same time.
    And Image Stabilization means less need for a tripod :) 

    One last thing.. I know you didn't ask about this , but if you only have a 17mm lens and no others , I would consider purchasing Sigmas new 30mm lens to cover the slight telephoto/ Normal focal length range and fill that gap you have and just keep in on of your pockets when you are out with your camera; birding or not, its really inexpensive.
  4. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Look at the Olympus 40-150, or the 75-300 for some serious range. The Olympus lenses are lighter than the Panasonics by a good margin and will work fine for you.
  5. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    It's fine, and it'll work, it's just a big and top heavy, the ep1 doesn't have an optional EVF so it'll be harder to use but other than that it should work.
  6. virtualferguson

    virtualferguson New to Mu-43

    Apr 29, 2012
    Hi all! Sorry to disappear off the face of the earth. Thanks for all the suggestions! I ended up getting the next step down from Panasonic about a week ago. My local camera shop had only that, I was able to haggle a little and I liked being able to handle it before buying. So far, I love it. The 200mm makes a huge difference from 17:


    Again, thanks!
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