Good first lens for OMD

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by oschebell, May 21, 2013.

  1. oschebell

    oschebell New to Mu-43

    May 21, 2013
    hi guys, new to the forum and recently picked up a silver omd em5 with the 14-42mm kit lens. I am a professional photographer and have always used canon, I purchased the OMD as a backup to my main and for timelapse work. However since purchasing I am beginning to become intrigued by this camera as a walk around camera instead of my hefty 1ds3 yet the IQ is pretty dismal and as of yet I cannot tell first hand if it is the lens of the camera. Reviews say the sensor is pretty amazing so I'm curious as to a good piece of glass to start out with. I don't need to build an arsenal of lenses for it for professional work but I wouldnt mind doing it just for fun!

    I have no experience with 4/3 or u4/3 so I dont know where to start. For the veterans, if you had your time again what would be your first lens in terms of sheer IQ or joy in using.
    Thanks everyone!
  2. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I dont know how you define "IQ" - but dismal seems a bit harsh even with the kit lens.

    as for lenses to consider - well it depends on what you want to shoot.

    Personally I like the primes - 20, 25, 45 and 75

  3. Anthon

    Anthon Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 8, 2012
    for walkaround, I think I would buy the 17mm f1.8
  4. szanda

    szanda Mu-43 Regular

    It depends if you're into fixed lenses, then go for Panasonic Leica 25mm f/1,4 - awesome lens, fast and sharp, great IQ. It was my first choice after using 12-50 set lens for a while, and the moment I took my first picture with PL25 was like a new start for me. Or you can go for 12-35mm f/2,8 if you're into zoom lenses, which performs extremely well too, but I personally like fixed lenses much more, I frame my shots "in my head" and just shoot. I often found myself wasting time framing with a zoom lenses :smile:
  5. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    the 17 is a fine lens... but it doesn't have a wow factor like the others - well to me anyway - and I have them all

  6. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    The Panasonic 25mm rarely comes off these days.
  7. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Perhaps you could share a bit more about the "pretty dismal" IQ you've experienced? Some images would be helpful in this regard. While the Oly 14-42 is not fantastic (as is the case with the cheapest lenses for any system), it's certainly not horrible. Expecting a vast improvement by switching lenses seems like a stretch.

    Also, if you're looking for lens recommendations it's usually helpful to understand what sorts of subjects you are looking to shoot and how you intend to use the camera.
  8. oschebell

    oschebell New to Mu-43

    May 21, 2013
    Well its quite soft, CA is quite bad too and its a slow variable aperture lens with an IMO pointless zoom range, not quite wide and not quite tele. Kind of like the 18-55mm lenses on APSC cameras.
  9. barbosas

    barbosas Mu-43 Veteran

    May 7, 2013
    Ideal: 12/2, 17/1.8, 25/1.4, 45/1.8

    Budget: 14/2.5, 20/1.7, 45/1.8

    Personally I would start with a 20 (or 17) + the 45 .
  10. oschebell

    oschebell New to Mu-43

    May 21, 2013
    Regarding lens preferences, I'm interested in primes, and I am definitely more interested in the wider end - I would say no tighter than 50mm equivalent on full frame as a walkaround. And then perhaps a portrait lens later down the track.

    Thanks for all the responses! Such an active group! :)
  11. madmaxmedia

    madmaxmedia Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 20, 2010
    If 50mm is okay, then Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 for sure, I would say end of story. Just go buy it now.

    Panasonic 20mm is a great choice, less expensive, if slower AF is okay for you.
    Panasonic 14mm is a fine choice, inexpensive wide angle pancake with fast AF but not quite as sharp as the others.

    Oly 17 f/1.8 looks good too if you want wider than the Pana 25 with fast AF. But if it's all the same then go Pana 25.
  12. oschebell

    oschebell New to Mu-43

    May 21, 2013
    And how is the IQ and AF on the 12mm f2 Olympus?
  13. oschebell

    oschebell New to Mu-43

    May 21, 2013
    Anyone use the Voigtlander 17.5mm or 25mm on the OMD?
  14. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Based on this, I would suggest you might want to consider the Olympus 12mm f/2. It will give you a wider, faster option. As others have noted the PanaLeica 25mm f/1.4 is also quite a nice lens. I happen to like the Panasonic pancakes (14/2.5 and 20/1.7) quite a bit as well, but it doesn't sound like the P14 will be quite wide enough for your liking and you should be aware that the P20 focuses a bit slower than most (all) other native :43: lenses. The P20's performance doesn't bother me so much, but if you're used to (spoiled by? :wink:) pro-level DSLR perfomance, it might be much more noticeable/annoying for you.
  15. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    Don't forget the sigma 19mm 2.8. Cheap and good. Your kit could be faulty. I'm having a de-centering issue with a 12-50 right now. Go to the top of the page and click on " sample images". You'll see just about every lens useable on m4/3.
  16. zcd

    zcd Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 14, 2013
    Alberta, Canada
    I use the CV 25mm on my OMD. Its soft wide open, and much sharper stopped down. Beautifully made, like lenses of old. Focusing is obviously manual, but with the focus peeking hack comboned with zoom set to your programmable buttons its easy to nail the focus. You can also just set it to 8 and be there ; )

    I pair it with the 45 1.8 when dealing with moving targets. Its on my OMD 75% of the time. Great lens as long as you understand your process is going to involve a little more work / thought.

    Sent from my Milestone using Mu-43 mobile app
  17. snaimpally

    snaimpally Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2012
    17/20/25 depending on your needs, 45mm, 75mm.
  18. mring1

    mring1 Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 28, 2012
    Phoenix, Arizona
    John Taska
    Since your're in the "business", you know what focal lengths work best for you. You've gotten lots of recommendations on primes, and I can't add anything there. No one's talked about zooms, so I'll offer two thoughts:

    Most of the commenters here will pooh-pooh the 12-50, but acknowledging that it's a kit lens, it (or more precisely, mine) works very well from 12-25, stopped down half stop. Add the pseudo-macro capability, and it's worth the $250 you'll pay to find one.

    The best, reasonably priced, lens (again, IMO) right now is the 4/3s 14-54 MkII. Focus isn't blazing, but it's reasonably quick, and the lens is very sharp across its range and wide open. You'll find MkII's for about $400-$450. I have the MkI, which is definitely slower to auto-focus, but just as sharp and $250. You will need to factor in the cost of the adaptor for either of the 14-54s. The Pany 12-35 is an excellent zoom but much more expensive, and I tend to think you're probably looking for a little cheaper entry point.

    FWIW...I bought by E-M5/12-50 from a graphic design artist who used nothing but a 5D and a bag full of L glass. He bought the E-M5 because he wanted something smaller as a walk-about camera. He raved about the quality of the 12-50 and the color, but decided the camera was too small! Go figure. :rolleyes:
  19. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    My kit evolved exactly like this. Budget then saved for ideal. Then I played around a bit with the kit configuration and finally settled with 9-18, 17/1.8, 45 as the primary kit.

    I would say 17 or 25 as the first lens would be the best.
  20. Anthon

    Anthon Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 8, 2012
    That is a great combination of lenses

    and I would trade the 45mm f1.8 for the 43mm f1.2 when it arrives
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