Help Me Unload Lenses for o12-40

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by stripedrex, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. stripedrex

    stripedrex Do or do not. There is no try.

    Jun 8, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    Real Name:
    I've recently acquired a p35-100 and immediately fell in love with the versatility and quality of the lens. It made me reconsider looking at the p12-35 or o12-40. Initially I thought they would not be bright enough however I found in general sharper lenses seem to do much better at higher isos. For example the o17 which I own looks terrible a iso3200+ while my p25 looks decent all the way up to iso 5000 sometimes 6400 stopped down to F2.0-2.8. Bottom line is I'm ready to put the o12-40 in the line up but 'should' get rid of 3 of my lenses (fighting hard to just unload 2, need to save money for something personal).

    Anyhow here's my lens lineup:

    Of the list above by far I use the p25 the most. However I'm beginning to learn it's too soft for my liking at 1.4 and often find it best at f2 and up which makes it 1 stop off from the o12-40. I get my favorite images from the o45 but rarely use it. It's used for formal portraits or times I need a bit of reach but constantly find myself missing shots needing to go wide. For sure I'm going to sell the o12-50. My favorite lens in regard to focal length and character is the p20 but shooting my 4 year old son and having an olympus body the focus is too slow so I rarely put it on the camera anymore =(. The o17 sees a lot more time on my camera but I very much notice the lack of sharpness in comparison to my other primes and suspect the 12-40 will out resolve it. Even so the o17 finds a lot of time on my camera because it's a 'safe' focal length for me (easy enough to walk zoom and not hit a wall as much as I do with the 25) and I find the o17 focuses the best in video with my e-m5. So far I'm thinking to keep the p25 and o45 because they're more specialized and contrast the o12-40 the most in regards to producing shallower dof and the p25 for optimizing iso / shutter for VERY low light times. But then I'd miss the versatility and usefulness of the o17 and p20 (this would be easy of the olympus focused faster with the p20). What would you guys do or have done? Of those with the 12-40 are you guys finding it fast enough indoors? I often have to push shutter to 1/125th to 1/200th to catch my son who even when I say "cheese" or "look at the camera" he's bouncing. I do use flash on occasion and generally don't like the artificial look of shots with flash and find it distracting with my style shooting (i like candids and shoot burst or many shots at a time and don't want to blind people =p) and know I need to learn more in that regard (not looking for that suggestion =).
  2. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    i could never get rid of my pl25/1.4
    it has a character to it i just love
    some other lenses are more clinically sharp and perfect seeming, but it has a creaminess or.. something... i dunno :) but i love the images it makes.

    id keep one of the pancakes just for the size factor if it ever becomes a need

    and u say you love the photos that come out of the o45.. so keep that

    id toss the 12-50, one of the pancakes (close yer eyes and pick.. making a decision can sometimes be more important than WHICH decision.. or youll never get to move on! lol)
    for you, id also toss the pl25.. itll be an easy sell(quick money towards the 12-40), and you prefer it at f2 anyways, plus its not exactly a small lens, so it doesnt lost much fstop wise, or size wise compared to the 12-40(not as drastic as a pancake or an oly tiny prime)

    how often do you use the rx100 or the epm2?
    are they considered for the chopping block?

    do this
    look in the mirror
    hold up the gear you might get rid of
    and ask yourself "do i REALLY use/need this... or am i hoarding it?" and then when you answer the first time, tilt yer head down a lil and look up with arched eyebrows at yerself and say "ok, how about some truth now..."

    • Like Like x 1
  3. Jay86

    Jay86 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2012
    I would sell the O12-50, 017, P20 & keep the PL25 & O45. There are other offerings coming soon like the 15mm 1.7 and O25 1.8 at a lower price point then PL 25mm as well that might fit in better in terms of FL & price. You said you like the O17 a lot but not its performance... maybe this new 15mm will be a better fit and then you could sell off the O12-50, O17, P20, P25 and have the 15 + 45. Just some thoughts...
    • Like Like x 1
  4. stripedrex

    stripedrex Do or do not. There is no try.

    Jun 8, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    Real Name:
    Actually I need to look in the mirror and say STOP BUYING AND SELLING STUFF AND GO SHOOT AND PROCESS YOUR PHOTO BACKLOG IN LIGHTROOM! =p Man this hobby can run you down a rabbit hole. I am looking to just have the e-m5 and rx100. I love being able to have such good quality photo / video in the pocket with the rx100. EPM2 is def out the door I wasn't clicking with it (get it, clicking) =p. Trying my best not to justify that as keeping a 3rd prime.

    Aha! That might be the ticket right there. Only downer is I think that lens is going to be expensive but I think it gives me the flexibility I'm looking for (wide enough not to run out of room and bright so I can keep my shutter fast and quick zoom for the times I'm lazy and want autofocus in video). Might be a bit too wide though maybe I'l l play around with the 12-40 or my current 12-50 at 15 see how I feel about the FL. Any maybe the o25 will be sharp wide open.
  5. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    Real Name:
    I couldn't resist a 12-40 taken out of the E-M1 kit at a good price. I tested it against my 9-18 (at 12mm), my 17 1.8 and my O45.

    I will keep my 9-18 because I like wide, but the 12-40 was better (slightly).

    Versus the 17, the 12-40 was clearly better. If you can do without 1.8, let it go to a good home (as I did).

    The 12-40 at 40 is not quite as good as the 45, and since the 45 wouldn't fetch much, I'm keeping it for now. But I'll be checking how much I use it for portraits compared to my 75, and it'll go if it loses the comparison.

    I don't have the 20 any more and have never had the 25, so I can't comment, but the 12-40 is an excellent lens. Ideal for walkaround and those (family) situations where you can't spare the time to change lenses.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. ramseeker

    ramseeker Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 18, 2013
    Grand Island, NY
    Real Name:
    I'd vote for letting the 12-50mm, 20mm and and the E-PM2 go, and maybe even the 45 if you can stomach it.

    I prefer the 25 over the 20 by far - even though it is considerably bigger than the 20. The 25 gives you a low light option when the light drops and the 45 is too close to 40. The funds from the sales should just about cover the cost of the zoom. If you miss any of these down the road you can always buy them again on the used market for about the same amount as what you sold it for.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Real Name:
    I feel your pain...I just did some soul searching with my system...I'm off loading my Olympus 8mm (already did), 12-60 50-200 ec-14 (all left over from my 4/3 days) for the 12-40 and 75...all in an effort to have native m4/3 lenses so that I can use them both my em1 and epm2. I rarely shoot over 75, and if I need to, I'll mount my old hexanon 200mm f/4 and use focus peaking or use my 75 and crop. I'm taking a huge hit on those lenses, and they're great on the EM1, but virtually useless on the epm2.

    Personally I'd keep the 25 1.4 if you can...There's just something about mounting a prime lens, and focusing on composition by foot, rather than hand zooming.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. fdifulco

    fdifulco Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 28, 2011
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    Real Name:
    Keep the Pan 25 1.4. that is what I did. kept the 25, 75 and good with the 12-40 on the EM5. kept the pan 20mm for the EP3 for a pocket camera. still have the pan 45-200 when extra reach is needed.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    Owning all of these lenses, I would say 25/1.4 should absolutely be kept, 45/1.8 would be my second choice, and I think you can comfortably sell the rest, unless you need a very small lens to pair with a smaller body, in which case keep the 20.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. chonbhoy

    chonbhoy Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 23, 2013
    Scottish Highlands
    +1 but i've never owned the 20 so can't say on that one. Also if you shoot video the 12-50 is supposed to be good again I can't comment I've never used video mode on any m43 camera yet. I wish I had the option to use the video dial as a my set instead.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I would sell everything except the PL25 and O45. If you want a nice wide and fast lens later you could see what the PL15 is like. The O12-40 is just as good as the O12-50 for video, and almost as good for macro, so no point keeping the O12-50 really.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. stripedrex

    stripedrex Do or do not. There is no try.

    Jun 8, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    Real Name:
    Thank you guys for the feedback. Just ran through some pictures and I think I'd be nuts to give up the pl25 (just published to flicker my latest set which I exclusively used pl25, p35-100 and rx100). I lied it's quite good wide open when I'm not too close and there's decent light (gets soft and a bit TOO shallow up close and in low light adds to softness). I find that I get the shallow dof I need with the pl25 and makes me think twice about the o45. However as mentioned above the o45 is relatively cheap compared to the other lenses and again the times I use it with planning it gives me some of my best shots. I hate missing shots though and I find I tend to not put that fl on the camera and feel safer with the p35-100 and likely even more so when I get the o12-40. Going to go through more of my pix to see if I should keep the o17 or o45. Leaning towards the o45. Maybe I'll hang on to it and ditch it if I find both the 12-40 and 35-100 handle the 45 fl just fine with enough dof control. Like the pl25 sometimes the o45 is too shallow as well. Man do I just go nuts and have my trifecta be the pl25, o12-40 and p35-100? I do have my rx100 in the pocket for those emergency wide angle f1.8 shots (rx100 does well even at 3200 iso!).
  13. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    They're all fine lenses, but if you definitely want the 12-40, one good thing to do would be to sell ALL of them, and buy back what you miss, which might not be any! In the meantime, buy an adapted 50mm f1.7. You'll want it for reach and bokeh in daylight. Can be had for $50.

    Since price is a factor, here are my recommendations:

    o12-50 - Unnecessary if you have the close-focusing 12-40. Do you need splash proof. $200?
    o17 - the best low-light performer of the bunch, but if you don't like the looks at high-ISO and still want something for low-light, ditch it. $300?
    p20 - Small, but for low-light, I would think the 12-40 at 12mm would be almost as easy to hand-hold as the 20 at 1.7. $300
    p25 - I was under the impression this was sharp at f1.4? Hmm. This would fetch $400 I think.
    o45 - In no category besides zoom can the 12-40 compete with this lens. But still, the 12-40 will do very well at 40mm and the 45 might be unnecessary. $250?

    If it were me, I'm happy with the adapted 50/1.7 so don't need a 45. I need the 20 for all of its greatness. 17 is meh. 25 is not fast enough to want to pick that lens over the 20 or my Vivitar 28/2 which I love. And for wide I have a 14mm with 11mm converter and just bought the 12-32 for size and sharpness. I can't afford the 12-40 type lenses. My entire kit of camera and lenses is under $2000.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Real Name:
    This is why manufacturers like Olympus and Panasonic and the rest love you guys! You guys keep buying, hoarding and then selling and then onto buying the same focal lengths and helping them make revenue! The ongoing quest for the holy grail of camera and lens.
    There is none. Just go out and shoot, improve your skills and find what is your style. And then shoot some more. If you are shooting more, you should know by now which lenses need replacing and which are keepers to accentuate your style. You don't need a whole load of lenses to make you happy either or like some others do; I need this lens because everyone has it! You don't.
    • Like Like x 2
  15. DigitalD

    DigitalD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2014
    Real Name:
    I'm in the a similar boat as the OP and I don't think what you are saying is relevant. He has stated that he wants the versatility of a quality zoom and needs to dump a prime or 2 to afford it. Not sure why that is a problem for you. Honing your 'craft' is just as much about honing your tools as it is your skill, especially when it comes to photography. And as long as manufacturers keep improving the tools I for one will be happy to try them. If it wasn't for all this revenue you speak about there wouldn't be a m43 format to begin with.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    • Like Like x 1
  16. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Real Name:
    If the OP wants versatility, he would have dumped the primes. Also convenience.. Hmmm, how many times do you change focal lengths on a zoom on a shoot? Every seconds, every minute or perhaps every hour? It really depends, because it really depends on the shoot, the style of the photographer and the subject in question. Seriously though in today's terms, most professional use a pro zoom of f/2.8 and very rarely they use primes, but this is because time is money and changing lenses consume time. If the OP making money out of this?

    What I like about primes is teaching the photographer about preparation for composition and what works best in the shoot and if the person shots primes of a specific focal length, then the photographer would know exactly what zoom to replace the primes with for convenience sakes. I think my comments have relevance because it will make the OP think if he truly need a 12-40 or perhaps he just wants it because everyone is buying it?

    Despite how good that 16MP sensor that's in the E-M1 or E-M5, a stop difference between 2 HI-ISO sensor speed can be a difference of 1 to 3 stops decrease in DR, which can actually contribute to more noise, less contrast which then translates to less acuity (less sharpness).

    A lens sharpness is NOT only dictated by its MTF resolving power, but also with its ability to allow more light in and thus allow the sensor to work at lower ISO, retain contrast and raise acuity and provide cleaner files, within the confines of the working DOF.

    For what it is, manufacturers of camera equipment make the most money on lenses and accessories. The camera body is their hook to get you to build their system, so they actually like you to buy more lenses.

    There is a place for zooms and there is a place for primes as well. Only the OP knows what works best.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. I did something similar, and unloaded a 12-50mm for the 12-40mm. I try to avoid selling any lens I like or use even occasionally though. I found the 12-50mm uninspiring, so it went.

    Having the 12-40 since when it released in the US, it has not replaced my primes, only the 12-50. The pl25 and o45 are great for portraits of your son, definitely keep those. You may still want a smaller lens at times; I'd keep your preference of the o17 or p20. I just got the o17, but am not sure if I like it yet. No experience with the 20. But perhaps the 12-40 could replace both the 17 and 20 for you.

    I find that the 12-40 is not really bright enough for indoors. It is weather sealed (rains a lot where I live) and very versatile for a single lens, so makes a great outdoor lens.
  18. I forgot about your 35-100. You have a great idea about going through your shots from each the 45 and 35-100 to see which you like best. Maybe try each side by side?