Gear recommendation

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by judystowell, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. judystowell

    judystowell Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 24, 2013
    We're visiting some of the National Parks in south-western US in early February. I have an E-M1, and am wondering what lens recommendation(s) you have. I already have several lenses, but want to get unbiased suggestions (am willing to spring for a new lens if highly recommended)

  2. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    What kind of photos do you like to shoot? If landscapes, then a good wide angle lens. Do you like close-ups, how about one of the macros? For wildlife, something like the 35-100 or 40-150 will serve you well? And, most importantly, what is your budget? Folks here could spend you to the poor house on recommendations. And will you bring a tripod?

  3. DMLarson

    DMLarson Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 19, 2014
    If you don't have it already the Olympus 12-40 is a great all around lens that is very sharp and produces great color and contrast. If I were to take only one lens on a trip to national parks, that would be my lens.
  4. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    Dan has the obvious answer.

    Though if you dislike using a zoom as much as I do, you could simply take a 14 / 45 combo.

    You should really mention your budget and what lenses you already enjoy using.
  5. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror! Subscribing Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    12-40, 9-18, or 7-14. I find that the 12-40 and 75mm are the perfect two lens kit for me.
  6. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Zoom lens is overlooked. wide angle for landscape is good, but so is a zoom lens. Also, a zoom lens can bring in distant backgrounds for portrait work better than a wide angle, which can make the person in front of a landscape look out of proportion compared to the background
  7. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    It is hard to make recommendations without knowing what you already have. I shoot a lot of landscape and find I use the 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO more than any other. If you prefer primes, the 12mm f/2 is very good, if not quite as versatile as the zoom. For longer lenses, the 45mm f/1.8 is superb. One of the 25mm lenses would also be a good choice. I like the Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 but others prefer the Olympus 25mm f/1.8.

    For the wide open landscapes of the west, make sure you have a polarizing filter for your most used lens and a decent tripod is a must.
  8. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I would ideally want to bring the Oly 9-18, Oly 25/1.8, and Oly 45/1.8. Small, light, great performance, and covers what I would want to shoot. Alternatively, Oly 9-18 and Oly 12-40.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. lrlebron

    lrlebron Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Apr 8, 2013
    Huntsville, AL
    Luis R. Lebron
    I also vote for the Oly 9-18. I love doing landscapes and that is my favorite lens. I would also take a fast prime for low light situations. My favorite prime for landscapes is the Oly 17 1.8.
  10. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    • Like Like x 1
  11. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    If I'm going to a national park where large landscapes, waterfalls, rock features, etc. are the main attraction, then the ZD 9-18 is about all I'll worry about having. If I'm going to a park where there's wildlife every 20 feet and I'm going to focus on them then I'll take a long zoom (40-150, 50-200). For either situation, a good travel tripod is more important to me than the lens though.
  12. judystowell

    judystowell Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 24, 2013
    Thanks everyone. We're going to Zion, Bryce, and possibly the Grand Canyon. I don't think I'll be seeing much wildlife.
    I will be taking my MeFoto tripod.
    The lenses I have are as follows:
    Oly 12-50
    Oly 14-150
    Oly 17, 25, 60 (macro), 75 primes
    Oly 75-300
    Oly 9-18

    I was thinking about the 9-18, the 12-50 (for its macro capabilities) and the 14-150. I almost always take the 75-300, but it's so big/heavy, and I'm just not sure - ????

    I don't have the Pro 12-40 that most of you have recommended. Is it really that good of a lens?
  13. rjl1246

    rjl1246 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 18, 2013
    Robert Lietz

    We did a thirty day, twenty state driving tour (not the ideal way to do anything like that really, but necessity imposed,) from 4/1614 -- 5/16/14. I had E-M1, 5, 10, e-P5 with the 25, 60, 75mm lenses, the 12-50mm, but shortly before leaving I had also added the 12-40mm. In addition, I had a GX7 with the P25mm and two inexpensive zooms, the 45-150mm and the 45-175.

    While the 12-40mm was by the far the most used lens, all got worked pretty well during the trip, since we came home with about 12,000 images to edit. I have just begun printing, maybe a few weeks ago, and am quite pleased by a lot of the work, printing no larger than 18X12 and mostly 9X6, given display limitations and so many images.

    You have a bit of an advantage over on the wide end with the 9-18mm, since I had to rely on the zooms for anything near that. I think you're in great shape for the trip. If you could add the 12-40, it would be great addition, for its capabilities but also for its resistance to adverse conditions, which you might well experience. We had snow at the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone, and some snow mix on Mt Rainier, which made me especially happy to be using the E-M1 with the 12-40. As we started home to Ohio, after Yellowstone, with a few stops left on the way, we headed toward Laramie, where I taught in the early Eighties, and found Rt. 80 closed by eleven inches of snow. I reached Laramie after some harrowing miles to find there were several inches of snow in the city itself. You'll be much further south, of course, so you might have been fortunes, but weather-sealing, again, was very important.

    I hope this has been somewhat helpful. We discussed the trip for about eight years and we're so pleased that we're thinking about trying another, sooner, from a north to south route. We never got to Zion or Antelope and want to. Bryce
    was wonderful.

    Enjoy! Be well. Get some great pics.

  14. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    I'd keep it simple.

    Oly 9-18, 12-50(for the rainy days), 75-300 - for wildlife - you'll always want to get closer.

    I'd also bring 25 f/1.8 primes for low light stuff.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Hi Judy!

    You've gotten some good recommendations and already have some great gear :2thumbs:.

    Just for fun, tho - I'd add a 9mm body cap lens to the kit. They're (relatively) inexpensive and easily fit into a shirt pocket so if you're away from the car (bus, motorcycle, F15 fighter jet) and aren't carrying a full kit you can have a wide angle that weighs next to nothing. (For when you may not want to schlep the 9-18mm).

    Obviously optically great it ain't - but the fun factor can be 'way up there.


  16. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 5, 2013
    This for me if I was using an Oly camera and had what you have.
  17. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    The 9-18 and 12-50 would have covered most of the shots I took at those parks. I'd add the 17 for evenings, or the 25. All depends on your favorite perspective. Given your kit, I'd bring the 14-150 as your tele and also if you want to walk around with one lens and no bag. Your chance (or at least my experience!) of seeing any wildlife at those parks is small, so I wouldn't bother with the 75-300.

    I have the 12-35/2.8, which is my favorite and most often-used lens. It's up to you as to whether it's worth spending the money for one of the 2.8 zooms. You won't see that much difference in most pictures. With my Nikon DX kit, I mostly used a 16-85/3.5-5.6 zoom, which is comparable to the 12-50. It rarely felt limited by the aperture. Especially with landscape, you are often on a tripod and can just extend the shutter speed.

    Dont forget a polarizing filter.
  18. judystowell

    judystowell Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 24, 2013
    Thanks everyone. One further question - most of you have recommended the new pro 12-40. Since I have the 12-50, is it worth having both? One thing I like about the 12-50 is its macro capabilities, which the 12-40 does not have. But the 12-40 is better in low light. ?????
  19. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    How close do you need to get? The 12-40 focuses somewhat close at 40, but that is probably not the strongest suit of the lens. If close is important, and IQ is important, I would bring the 60 if you can fit it into your budget and camera bag.

    Good luck,

  20. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    Agree w/Amin. A simpler, cheaper option would be the P14 (or Oly17) and the Oly 45. I can't imagine what I'd want but couldn't get with those. Maybe a longer tele, maybe. But if you've already sprung for the E-M1, you may want the Oly 12-40 Pro and the 75.
    Have a great trip and post some pics here.
    • Like Like x 1
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