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Help me choose between primes

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by RVJ, Oct 13, 2015.

  1. RVJ

    RVJ Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 19, 2015
    Saint Louis, MO
    I've been shooting mostly with my GM5 w/ 12-32 kit lens and a 35-100 for zooms. Most of my shooting focuses on our daughter (16 month old), indoors, maybe a visit to the park or zoo, or some sightseeing in a city in that order, eventually leading to some nice portraits of the little one when she decides to stand in one spot (fat chance). I think I am ready to move to the next step and start using primes. Here are my choices
    Sigma 19
    PL25 (Maybe the new P25/1.7?)
    Panasonic 42.5/1.7

    I would like to have a set of 2 at most, could pull off 3 if required. I am also thinking if switching to a GX7 will open up the Oly lenses for IS?
  2. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    If you want one: 25mm
    Two: 15/42.5

    For your purpose, 25mm is awesome for indoor portraits and the 2 zooms are great outdoors. I'd start with one of the 25s.
  3. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    15/1.7 and the 42.5/1.7 would be ideal. Your daughter is going to be out and about more now that she is getting older. We shot a lot indoors in our home until ours got to about 18 months. In the house we used the 25mm a lot. Since we get out a lot more now I've had the 15/1.7 almost welded to my GM1 and I only take it off to swap on the 45/1.8 when I want a tighter FoV in a crowded spot. I don't find the 25 nearly as useful in public places as I do the 15 and 45. Answered similar question just a few days ago, see more details here:

    • Like Like x 1
  4. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Have a look at what focal lengths you have used the most on your 12-32. This way you will see what you naturally like and use. Then decide. I have had many primes over the years and keep coming back to the 25mm (currently the Oly 25 - which is the smallest of the lot and would work well on your GM5. The wide primes are lovely (and i have tried a few) but for me they are too wide for my style and especially for kids where getting in close looks distorted with wider lenses. Even the 25 does this a bit. Some folk love their wide primes and that's fine too. For portraits you cannot beat a 45mm or equivalent and the Oly 45 is dirt cheap new at present (at least in the UK)
    • Like Like x 1
  5. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Good advice. If you find you tend to use the zoom at extremes, then go the 15/42 route.
  6. RVJ

    RVJ Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 19, 2015
    Saint Louis, MO
    Thanks! I shot with the 12-32 this morning and found myself using FL closer to 50mm for most of my shots and then switched to the PL25 for another set of shots which came out really well. This is probably a small sample size, so I will continue this over the next few days/occasions to see what else I use.
  7. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Take a look at all your photos and pick the ones you like the most. If you have Lightroom or DXO Optics Pro, you can flag them and then list them in a category. Make note of the focal lengths shot. And then select the primes that would match your favourite focal lengths. What you are asking here is really a personal preference. Yours will be different from mine and others. Don't think you can re-train your composition just by buying a prime based on someone else's recommendation because that's not how you shoot. That's how they shoot.

    Look at the examples below of my primes and my zooms and how they relate to each other..

    Hope this helps.
  8. JoFT

    JoFT Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 11, 2014
    First of all: If you love the form factor of the GM5: stick with it, it is exceptional. For this tiny little camera the PL15 1.7 is a really great lens - I use it mostly almost.... And for the longer range: yes the 42.5-45mm focal length is really great - but one modification: include the Elmarit 45mm f2.8 into your consideration. It will open the macro range and it is a wonderful lens.

    The GX8 may open you not only IS for the Oly´s but it gives you the possibility for shooting off camera flash using shutter speeds <1/50s which is a limitation of the GM5 - but it hurts rarely...
  9. dissembled

    dissembled Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2013
    A. Alabanza
    Is bokeh possible on the PL15 with further backgrounds? I'm interested in this little lens as well. :popcorm2:
  10. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Indoors?, people? - it's got to be a 25! Pick any of them - they're all good.
  11. barry13

    barry13 Mu-43.com Editor Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
  12. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    I'd download this program here http://www.vandel.nl/exposureplot.html
    It allows you to check the most used FL, apertures, ISO and so on. Speaking from personal experience with my daughter, the biggest the aperture the better, as for kids you really need to keep over 1/100. The other option is flash, but it's not always practical. I went for the PL25, no regrets.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. RVJ

    RVJ Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 19, 2015
    Saint Louis, MO
    The program is very useful. Thank you!
  14. Janez

    Janez Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 12, 2015
    What about the Panasonic 20 f/1.7. It is a great lens, although focusing is a little slow. I went through quite a number of iterations trying to find most suitable lens for photographing my children indoors and Panasonic 20 suits me the best.

    Focal length 15 should also be fine for more environmental portraits outdoors.

    When I was still on APS-C format I used a 58 mm manual lens for longer shots and I found it quite useful for making portraits of my children. This focal length corresponds to focal length of 45 mm on 4/3 format so it also should be great.
  15. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    I would go with the 17 or 19, the others are not based on prime numbers and thus only pretend to prime lenses.

    May as well get the real thing. :2thumbs: (They're all fantastic lenses)
  16. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    • Like Like x 1
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