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Hand-holding an Olympus 14-150 on a GF1

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by drpump, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. drpump

    drpump Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 28, 2010
    I'm planning to buy a GF1 with a couple of lenses. The 20mm pancake is my first choice, but I want a light, flexible zoom to go with it when I travel. The Panasonic 45-200 is kinda bulky and from reading reviews, is not any better optically than the Olympus 14-150. I also expect I would use that 14-45mm range much more than 150-200, especially for video.

    But ... the 14-150 doesn't have in-lens IS. Does anyone have experience with hand-holding the Olympus 14-150 on a Panasonic body, especially the GF1? Bad idea? Most of the time when I zoom in, it would be feasible to use a monopod or "string tripod", and I have reasonably steady hands.

    EDIT: Oh, and the Panasonic 14-140 is both too heavy and too expensive for my budget.
  2. 996gt2

    996gt2 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 27, 2010
    Unless you are not shooting moving objects often, it's probably not a good idea. A 14-150mm lens is equivalent to a 28-300mm lens in 35mm terms, so at the long end of the zoom range you should ideally be shooting with a shutter speed of 1/300 sec or faster. Of course, if you are really steady, you can probably get by with 1/200 sec, but it takes excellent handholding skills to get sharp shots at shutter speeds slower than 1/focal length.

    The other thing working against you is the aperture range of the lens: f/4-5.6. At the long end of the zoom range, you will need to have fast shutter speeds WHILE dealing with a slow aperture. That means using high ISO, especially once light levels begin to decrease. If you plan to use the lens mainly in broad daylight, then it is quite feasible to handhold at 300mm equiv. without IS. However, if you plan to use this lens on overcast days or at dusk/night, then handholding at such focal lengths is extremely difficult without IS.

    If you think that you will be using a long-range zoom lens a lot, then why not buy an E-PL1 or E-P2 body along with the Olympus 14-150 and Panasonic 20mm? You will save a bit of money compared to buying a GF1 with the same lenses, and you will gain the benefit of having image stabilization with every lens you mount...including the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 (which really turns it into a low-light beast).
  3. shoturtle


    Oct 15, 2010
    with the gf1 and the 14-150mm you will be limiting it to good light shooting as mention at if you follow the rule of thumb about none is lens. 1/focal length is what you will need to avoid camera shake. Some are steadier then others, and handhold a bit longer.

    As mention the 20 1.7 on a epl-1 makes it a low light beast. Adding the higher iso ablity of the epl-1 at 1600iso and 2000iso, and the ibis.
  4. drpump

    drpump Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 28, 2010
    Thanks. This is the kind of feedback I was after.

    I want a lightweight travel kit with built-in flash (for fill, and to minimise extra bits). That rules out the E-P2. There are too many compromises in the E-PL1 for my liking (buttons vs scroll wheel and video capabilities are the main ones).

    It's the other way around with current deals on the GF1, especially if you want an EVF (which I do for my deteriorating eyes, although I realise the Panasonic EVF is inferior).

    - The GF1 + 20mm is USD$600 + $530 (14-150mm) + $125 (EVF), total USD$1255.

    - E-PL1 is $550 body-only + $530 (14-150) + $330 (20mm) + $230 (EVF), total USD$1640.

    These are based on current deals from B&H and Adorama. It's even worse if I buy locally in Oz because both the 14-150mm and the 20mm pancake cost almost as much as a kit and there don't seem to be any E-PL1 kits with the 14-150mm.

    What I really want is an E-P2 with a built-in flash ... :) 
  5. shoturtle


    Oct 15, 2010
    your price for the epl-1 is cheaper if you do get the 14-42mm, it is only 480 dollars with the lens on amazon.

    The ep3 will most like have a bulit is flash, but it will be expensive.

    Shooting a long zoom without IS is limiting.

    If cost is important, I would go with the 45-200mm if you go with the GF1. Though the 14-150 focus faster.
  6. drpump

    drpump Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 28, 2010
    I haven't worked out why yet, but Amazon won't ship camera gear to my address in Oz (I've tried both home and office addresses).

    Any idea when it will be available? I'd rather pay more for the right camera. None of the GF1, E-PL1 or E-P2 are quite "right" but GF1 is closest for me. I was hoping to buy before our next holiday in December.
  7. shoturtle


    Oct 15, 2010
    rumors put the ep3 in feb time frame for PIMA. But might be a pro model, and in the GH2 prince range. It might go up against the GP1 panny is working on. But that is all rumors.

    The GF1 is a fine camera. And it is quite a deal with the 20mm 1.7, if it works for you then it is the best option.
  8. 996gt2

    996gt2 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 27, 2010
    Hmm, if you really need a camera now, I think that it may be worth it to give the E-PL1 another look. Yes, it lacks some of the ergonomics of the GF1 and doesn't have as good of an LCD screen, but the two cameras share a lot of similarities.

    In terms of video, both do 720p, although the Panny does AVCHD. But if you're serious about video, the GH1 is probably a better choice anyway. The GF1 and PL1 both record mono sound, but with the PL1 you have the option of connecting an external stereo microphone for much better sound quality (the GF1 does not have the option to attach an external mic as far as I know).

    As far as the control layout is concerned, I haven't found the buttons on the PL1 too limiting. Yes, it's slower than the two command dials on my Canon 5D, but I shoot mainly in aperture priority and the PL1 is pretty quick once you get used to which buttons do what. It is definitely a matter of personal preference, but I think that you would be able to get the hang of it after a little while.

    The PL1 does have some neat tricks that the GF1 doesn't. One of them is IS, which really important to me since it means every single lens you mount is stabilized. Another cool feature is the flash, which can be tilted back for bounce flash. It also acts as a wireless TTL commander for Olympus flash units, which is nice if you ever delve into off-camera flash.

    The Olympus VF is also much better than the Panasonic one, so if you plan to use a VF then you should consider Olympus over Panasonic.

    Of course, if you really want the GF1 body and you want IS, you can always shell out a bit more money for the Panasonic 14-140 OIS lens. It's $250 more than the Olympus lens, but if you can't live with anything other than a GF1 then it would be better to spend a little extra money upfront rather than regret your purchase later :) 
  9. akulya

    akulya Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 21, 2010

    Firstly, you can't really go wrong no matter what you choose; as all of these camera's are within a hair of each other in real world use.

    The Olympus's IBIS is a nice feature, but if you don't have it, you won't miss it - and photography worked fine for 100 years before it existed.

    I would urge you to physically handle each of the cameras, as they fit peoples hands differently - I own an E-P1, but having handled an E-PL1 I was suprised by its ergonomics, the front fingergrip was better than the E-P1's (for me), and its alleged "inferior build" is quite unjustified, it might not be as pretty a camera, but it feels just as solid. The GF1 has many fans for equally good reason, you can't go wrong trying them out for yourself.

    I don't know about the USA, but in europe the E-PL1 can be bought as a kit with the 14-150 m.zuiko, works out to $1000ish, which is cheaper than the GH1 14-140 kit, but then E-PL1 and GH1 are slightly different cameras.

    Good luck
  10. Rider

    Rider Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 14, 2010
    Careful! B+H price on the E-PL1 body only is $470. You have to add it to the cart to see the actual price. I got mine for $510 including the 14-42 foldable lens.

    Make sure to try the EVF on the Panasonic before you buy it. I found it unusable when I tried it in the store.

    On the other hand, the Panasonic does have a nice LCD and some other great features. And the price with the 20/1.7 is attractive (though today it is 690 at B&H, where did you see 600?)

    Personally, I would not use a 14-150 unstabilized handheld. I tried the Panasonic 14-140 on a GH1, and I was amazed at how quickly it focussed. I should try the 14-150 on the same camera to compare (the 14-150 on E-PL1 was fast, but not as amazing).

  11. drpump

    drpump Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 28, 2010
    Thanks for all the feedback. I will take another look at the E-PL1. I have held both but spent less time with the E-PL1 (the salesman pushed me in the direction of the E-P2). With regard to buttons, one of my major frustrations with our Canon 350D is the menus and button pressing (setting ISO is especially annoying). I picked up the GF1 and it felt right to handle.

    I also tried a few late afternoon shots at equivalent focal length and aperture on the 350D. I was able to get steady handheld shots with (just) adequate light at 1/200 with ISO 800 (or at least, steady enough that shake wasn't visible through the ISO noise). So if I choose the GF1 with 14-150, I think I could make it work for me most of the time.

    Not sure where I saw the $600 GF1: it shows up as $689 on all sites I browsed today. And there are E-PL1 + 14-150 kits in Australia it seems, but they are as expensive as buying separately.
  12. amberzombie

    amberzombie Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 28, 2010
    I'm actually in the same boat as you in deciding what sort of camera body +lens combination, and purchasing in Oz too.

    I've pretty much made up my mind to get a GF1+20mm kit to begin with, and there are heaps of ebay sellers selling them for a hair over AUD$700, with free shipping. Most (if not all) of those will come from Hong Kong, so I'm not sure if that bothers you, doesn't bother me at all.

    I'm just thinking if I should add a zoom lens to my purchase...
  13. Rider

    Rider Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 14, 2010
    I hated the fact that even with my Nikon D90 I had to go into the menus to turn off Auto ISO. On the E-PL1, I find that the things I want to access while shooting are fairly accessible. ISO and Auto ISO are on the same easy to find menu item, but it is a menu item nonetheless. Overall, I prefer the E-PL1 ISO selection more than the Nikon DSLR's ISO selection, but since this is a personal preference and it is important to you, you really should check it out in person.
  14. compositor20

    compositor20 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 21, 2010
    to the user that has both 14-140mm and 14-150mm lens could you tell us how is the focus speed in gh-1 of the olympus lens?
    af-s and af-c please

    and in video in continous focus mode please too! it would help

    and in image quality what do you think of olympus lens compared with panasonic? (i have one and its sharp but also enought contrast and good resitance to flare!)

  15. drpump

    drpump Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 28, 2010
    For anyone following this thread, someone has pointed me at a good wikipedia page on exposure: Exposure value - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. It describes how shutter speed, ISO and aperture combine to give an EV number. At 1/250 shutter speed, F/5.6 aperture and ISO 400, I get an EV number of 11 which, according to their shooting table, is sufficient for most outdoor daylight shots. A flash or tripod would be necessary indoors, but I expected that anyway.
  16. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Pick up a copy of Understanding Exposure by Bryan Petersen
  17. PetitP

    PetitP Mu-43 Regular

    Impressive handheld low speed nigth shots with 14-150 and E-PL1

    Check these two pics, I have taken them two nights ago. I have been impressed how they came out well considering the low speed (1/2 second).
    Another point, I got 14-150 as kit with e-pl1 for 680 euro here in Europe (about 950 Us dollars).

    1st one : F4.0, 1/2 sec, 14 mm, iso 200
    2nd one : F4.7, 1/2 sec, 25 mm iso 200


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