Have £500 to spend on new lenses - what shall I buy?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by etphonehome, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. etphonehome

    etphonehome New to Mu-43

    Apr 11, 2013
    Hi new to the forum :)

    I currently have a G3 with 14-42 kit lens which is adequate for most situations, but I'd really like a couple of lenses that will offer significant advantages over the 14-42.

    I received a Panasonic 45-150mm telephoto today which is an excellent lens, but I'm not sure it's something I need or will use much right now, so I think I'll send that back to Amazon.

    That leaves me with the short primes. I have £500 which will cover the 20mm 1.7, and the 45mm 1.8 - though I'm unsure as to what they offer over the standard kit lens? Obviously they are faster and sharper, but is the difference that marked? Are there better alternatives?

    One final question - should I keep the 45-150 and just go with one of the lenses listed above? It's a good lens, but would the 20mm be better for me at this point in time. Most of my photo's are landscapes or family portraits.
  2. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    The 20mm and 45mm will improve on the kit lens in two ways: Better low light performance, and shallow depth of field. These two lenses will cover most of your needs. If you need to go wide the kit lens will cover that end pretty well.
  3. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Real Name:
    The 20mm is going to be more a more useful focal length than the 45, both for shooting landscapes as well as for using indoors. Then it really comes down to whether you want to keep the tele zoom or grab the 45mm. Personally, I would hang onto the 45-200 (or, more likely, return it and get the 45-175). This would give you one nice general purpose prime for low-light situations while the zooms will cover the majority of other focal ranges you'll need.

    One thing to be aware of is that neither the P20 nor the O45 (or any Olympus lens, for that matter) has OIS (image stabilization). This is a factor not only for the stabilization itself (which can help you get sharper hand-held shots in lower light), but it also means that any images shot with these non-OIS lenses will not be auto-rotated when you upload them, since the G3 lacks an on-board orientation sensor. This isn't a huge issue, but I've found that it represents a minor annoyance each time I import photos shot with the G3.
  4. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    It would be good to understand what you like shooting first and to know in what way the 14-42 is limiting you. Is it focal length? - do you need wider or longer?, or is it that you want better low-light capability?, or maybe better IQ? We need some hints to give you help!!

    With lens choices, the starting point should be focal length first, then the other considerations come into play. Primes are nice, but unless you tend to shoot the same scenes, you'll need more than one focal length and unless you like changing lenses or have two bodies, then the flexibility of a zoom is really useful.
  5. etphonehome

    etphonehome New to Mu-43

    Apr 11, 2013
    Thanks for the help guys.

    I've just ordered the 20mm Panasonic and I'm going to keep the 45-150 Panasonic in its box for a while to see if there is ever an occasion in which I need it. If not I'm going to send it back and get the 45mm Oly.

    While I wanted the 45mm for portraits, it seems a little narrow to get those nice family shots/b-day parties/x-mas so the 20mm suits my needs far more at the moment.

    Can't wait to pick it up tomorrow, but at £270 it wasn't cheap :(
  6. owczi

    owczi nareteV 34-uM

    I was going to say get the 25mm f/1.4, but too late now :)

    So you've £130 left I understand? This is exactly how much the Lumix 14mm f/2.5 goes for on eBay from UK sellers with a metal hood included. They are not boxed because they come from GF* kits but they are new. I think the 14mm is a fantastic walkabout lens and even in low light it isn't too bad.
  7. neon123

    neon123 Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 2, 2012
    I'd say keep the 45-150, unless you're really into portraits and need that f1.8 it'll cover you on the longer end.
  8. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    If the concern was making better photos, I was going to say spend it on airfare/petrol and hotel room for somewhere with interesting subject matter.

    But the 20/1.7 is a good choice. Since getting the 12-35/2.8, I don't use it as much, but I can't make myself get rid of it - it's really the embodiment of what m43 is all about.
  9. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    The 20mm is slow and noisy to focus, but only by the high standards of other lenses in the system. In reality it doesn't get in the way of shooting at all. It's a really fun combination with my GF1, a really low profile combination that can get you wonderful shots.

    I would consider the 45mm an essential purchase. You only have £130... if you send the 40-150 back, does that free up any funds? If not, enjoy shooting with the lenses you already have, you can always get it some other time. You're right to assume it is a bit less flexible than the 20mm, but it enables more creative possibilities with the shallow DOF it generates.
  10. etphonehome

    etphonehome New to Mu-43

    Apr 11, 2013
    It's the 45-150 Panasonic, and I have £230 left over. If I get a refund on the 45-150 I will have £460 so the 45mm is very attractive.

    Had the 20mm for a day and I've not really been wowed as of yet. It doesn't seem that much sharper than my pany kit lens. Hopefully it'll grow on me.
  11. memzinla

    memzinla Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    The Panasonic 20mm has been slow to focus indoors, but the house wasn't very illuminated because it was cloudy. The lens seems to be fine outdoors. I'm very undecided about the Panasonic 20mm because I'm VERY VERY VERY impressed with the image quality, and the size. It's soooo little. It makes me want to carry the camera everywhere. With this lens I've been wanting to take pictures of almost everything. I'm a bit nervous though because the reason I bought it for was for low light, and if it hunts at night then what's the point? I really do love it though. I don't think I've ever loved a lens so much as I'm starting to love the Panny 20mm. I think it's becoming one of my favorite lenses, and if focusing was fast it would for sure be my favorite lens of all time! haha.
  12. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    I just picked up a Panny 14-140mm and it is an amazing lens. It's not the fastest lens in the arsenal, but the range of focal lengths make it very usable. It's a little bulky and heavy in my OM-D, but it is a sharp lens with excellent IQ and a fine bokeh.

    The Panny 20mm was not a good lens for me. It seemed to be hard to focus in low light. I got the 25mm f1.4 instead and it is much better.

    I'd suggest either of those 2 lenses. I like them both and prefer them over other lenses I have/had.

    BTW, the Oly 40-150 is also a brilliant lens and quite inexpensive these days. But I don't know how good the Panny 45-150 might be. Anyway, the 14-140 would be a better all around choice.
  13. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    Real Name:
    why not the 25 1.4?
  14. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada