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Help with picking next lens

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by AG_Alex2097, Mar 15, 2016.

  1. AG_Alex2097

    AG_Alex2097 Mu-43 Regular

    154
    Dec 18, 2015
    Alex S.
    Hi everyone, i've been wanting to purchase a new lens for a while now, the problem is, i'm not sure which one, i currently own the E-M5 Mk. II with the Oly 14-150 f4.0-5.6 II
    The problem i'm having with this zoom is that it is too slow, i often find myself in situations where my shutter speed has to go below 1/20 to get a properly exposed picture, but that does not allows for sharp, blur free pictures
    So i've been looking at other lenses to buy, there's a couple:
    Olympus 8mm f1.8
    Olympus 12mm f2.0
    Olympus 25mm f1.8
    Olympus 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 SWD + MMF-3 adapter

    All of these have a problem though:

    The fisheye i would love for astrophotography, but apart from that, i'm not sure if i would use it often enough to justify the purchase. I've never shot fisheyes in the past either, i see quite a few stunning images with them, but i'm not sure if i can see these kind of shots when walking around :/

    The problem with both the 12mm & 25mm is that they simply aren't weather sealed and i couldn't find much information on how well these handle harsh environments, are they okay with -20°C temperatures? can they handle a couple of rain drops? What about snow?
    The 12mm isn't exactly cheap either, so it worries me if i were to take them in harsh conditions

    Lastly, the four thirds lens, this one seems stellar from what i've read, although it is rather big, the relatively fast aperture for the zoom range is incredibly appealing and the sharpness seems to be up there with the Oly 75mm f1.8, the only problem with it on OM-D is focussing speed, although i've found that on the E-M1 it works pretty well, i wasn't able to find any information for its performance on the E-M5 II however, only on the E-M5, where there are a lot of complaints about terrible AF speed :/
    What i also wonder with this lens, does it allow for peaking when using manual focus? (As in the MF assist feature automatically turning on when twisting the ring)
    What about the adapter? Apparently it's a really plastic-y build, how will it fair holding 1kilogram? Should i always hold it by the tripod collar, or can i still safely hold it by the camera when walking around?
    I do already kind of have the focal range of this lens with my 14-150 though, but it's just much faster (and if i'm at the 200mm end, i'm pretty sure i won't be indoors and thus should have enough light for a 3.5 aperture), so i suppose this one isn't an urgent purchase, but it is still one i am considering.

    As an extra note, i'm going up in the alps beginning next month and would like to purchase it before the end of March so i can take it with me, i think the Oly 8mm fisheye would be nice to take some action shots of skiers & snowboarders, but how will it fair for just landscape & mountain trails, and what about the city in the valley? Tough decisions >.<

    Any input is highly appreciated!
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
  2. dogs100

    dogs100 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    965
    Nov 12, 2011
    N Devon UK
    Geoff
    I hope this helps despite being negative ... I have the 50-200 swd which I use on my e-m1, but focussing isn't quick enough on my e-m5ii for wildlife or action shots, although that isn't an issue for other things.
     
  3. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran

    633
    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    siftu
    I think the 50-200mm will perform the same on the em5ii as the em5. The em1 has PDAF and thats why it is faster with these lenses. If you are looking to replace the 40-150R with something faster then the obvious choice is the 40-150 PRO. I'm not sure what ISO you push your cam too but I would start there to get more shutter speed with your current 40-150

    The 8mm,12mm,25mm are totally different focal lengths, all of them good for different jobs.
     
  4. dogs100

    dogs100 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    965
    Nov 12, 2011
    N Devon UK
    Geoff
    I would put the 50-200 swd as being better at af on the 5ii than the 5, but that is a subjective assessment.
     
  5. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Hi,

    1. The 50-200mm ZD will not AF well on any mu43 body but the E-M1.

    2. Focus peaking can be used with any lens. You need to assign a button to it or set it to come on when you turn the ring on AF lenses.

    3. At least one poster says he has to replace the MMF-3 annually due to fatigue from heavy lenses.
    The MMF-1 might be stronger, but I don't believe it's sealed.

    4. If you can't decide on a single FL but want faster and sealed, consider the O 12-40mm or P 12-35mm

    5. There are much cheaper fisheyes if you're not sure you want to commit... E.g. the Samsung/Rokinon 7.5mm. Not sealed though.

    Barry
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Your list included fisheye to super telephoto with several steps in between. I have no idea what to recommend! What kind of pictures are you trying to take with the lens you want to buy?

    If you don't have a specific idea of what you need, other than faster aperture and sealing, then have a look at the fast standard zooms - Olympus 12-40mm f2.8 and Panasonic 12-35mm X f2.8. Those cover wide to normal to short telephoto.
     
  7. AG_Alex2097

    AG_Alex2097 Mu-43 Regular

    154
    Dec 18, 2015
    Alex S.
    @dogs100@dogs100 That's insightful, thanks! Might have to go search for a place that rents it to see if i can live with the AF speeds
    @siftu@siftu Yes, i've looked at that one, but i've read that it isn't very consistent across the frame, however i might be pixel peeping too much
    @barry13@barry13 I realise that, but was wondering if it was beyond acceptable or not, the adapter fatigue is good information, although unfortunate, thanks! And indeed, only the MMF-3 is sealed, glad to know about the focus peaking as well! :)
    It's not so much deciding on the focal length though, more a compromis of size, max aperture and performance/sealing, i like shooting wide, but also see the need for a nifty fifty when out on the streets so i don't have to go up in people's face with the wide ones, i can do that with the 14-150, but i shy away from taking pics with it because of its size, lots of people give me weird looks when shooting them with it, which is why i want a prime for those focal lengths instead (the 50-200 (or 40-150) wouldn't be used out on the confined space of the streets/city)
    Finally, for the fisheye, the main reason i want this lens is astrophotography, i'm moving to Finland in 5 months where i feel i will have lots of opportunities to shoot the night sky (unlike light polluted Belgium), so the slow aperture of a cheaper fisheye is somewhat conflicting with future plans (and the oly 8mm 1.8 is pretty much the only astrophotography lens for µ43 (very well controlled aberrations))
    @tkbslc@tkbslc In this piece above i explain, but short: love shooting wide, would like small primes for indoors/city/street, 40mm and above would be for when i need it (hiking, portraits, ...)

    Thanks for all the insight so far! Feel free to bombard me with more! :)
     
  8. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran

    633
    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    siftu
    You read the 40-150 F2.8 PRO isn't consistent across the frame? I have owned/used both 40-150's and can tell you without a doubt the PRO is sharper across the frame as you would expect given the price/size/speed difference.

    Also many people do astro with the rokinon 7.5mm FE with great results. Lots of examples in this forum under astrophography.

    I guess you just have to try these for yourself. If you wanted a smaller telephoto for street maybe look at the 45mm or 75mm.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. MetilHed

    MetilHed Mu-43 Regular

    59
    Aug 30, 2015
    Jeff
    You'll be able to see the kinds of shots to take with the fisheye once you start looking through the viewfinder while it's on the camera.

    A lot of stuff becomes obvious then :)

    Sent from my SPH-L720 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The 14-150 is NOT a big lens. It's the size of a DSLR kit lens!

    Honestly, if I were doing Astro, I'd probably pick up a cheaper Sony camera with the Samyang/Rokinon 12mm f2.0 (see review: http://www.lonelyspeck.com/rokinon-12mm-f2-0-ncs-cs-review/). That's an outstanding Astrophotography bundle that can be had for less than the 8mm f1.8. You get a little more noise headroom on Sony APS-C, too.

    Really, none of the primes in the system are sealed, except for the ones at the extremes (8mm/300mm). They should handle cold and snow pretty well if you use care (see link below), but I wouldn't let them get rained on.

    Reference on shooting below zero: http://www.adorama.com/alc/0008151/article/Winter-photography-tips

    I think a couple of small primes to pair with your 14-150 or, again, a 12-40mm f2.8 are your best bets. If you want a smaller street lens, I might go 45mm f1.8 or Sigma 60mm f2.8, because 25mm is still going to require you to get close. You would be less than 3m away for a full person.
     
  11. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 Veteran

    286
    Mar 18, 2015
    I really feel, that you should just go for one of the PRO standard zooms. It will give you a decent one lens option with a fairly wide aperture and weather sealing. 12mm/f2.8 is absolutely usable for astro landscapes although the PRO fisheye will deliver amazing results if you know what to do. I would love to have one eventually myself, but I think that this lens is not the one to get if you don't already know you like fisheyes and if you are still fleshing out the basics of your kit.

    Try to get one of the Samyang/Rokinon fisheyes used if possible. I know the used market in europe is pretty terrible, but that way you could try it without a big investment.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. JNB

    JNB Mu-43 Regular

    160
    Dec 11, 2014
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    I've never had a problem with unsealed lenses in a light sprinkle of rain or snow. If the precipitation gets heavier, I use the longest lens hood available for the lens, and a camera/lens "raincoat". This can be as simple as a plastic bag with a hole, taped around the hood (there are more professional solutions, of course). I do this even for weather-sealed bodies and lenses. I've never had a problem with lenses not operating in cold weather. At least, not before my batteries started to die (-35C and high winds).

    As for focal length and speed, you'll need to decide what your priorities are in the short term as well as the long term.

    8mm 1.8 fisheye? For the price, you could pick up the 7.5mm Rokinon/Samyang f/3.5 and the 25mm Olympus and have money left over. The 7.5 fisheye might not be "the" choice for astrophotography, but it would give you an interesting perspective for the Alps/skiing. The 25 would be a good general purpose lens for low light situations (more than 2 stops faster than the 14-140 at 25mm).
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. AG_Alex2097

    AG_Alex2097 Mu-43 Regular

    154
    Dec 18, 2015
    Alex S.
    Bombarded i am :D
    Thanks everyone!

    @siftu@siftu Ephotozine says the edges aren't that great on the wider end of the zoom range (where i'll most likely be using it most), but i also keep reading that ephotozine's tests aren't all that reliable either, so i'm not sure. As for the fisheye, i think those are tracked though, losing 2 stops of light for a tiny bit longer shutter duration seems like a bad trade (although i guess price difference makes up for it), however, with astrophotography i'm looking at landscape astro, not pure stars :)
    @MetilHed@MetilHed I thought that to be the case, but i guess i'm still a little scared to find nothing interesting, although you're probably right when saying i should use one in order to start seeing fisheye :p
    @tkbslc@tkbslc You're right, it is not big, in fact it is smaller than my (now sold) Canon DSLR kit lens, but apparently it is still intimidating enough for other people out on the street, which has a big impact on the pictures due to the expression on their face changing, i'd love to shoot people as is, without them worrying "what is this creep doing"
    I'm not sure how i feel about buying into a new system just for 1 sort of photography, the combo would most likely just remain laying around for most of the time, where if i would get the Oly fisheye, i would most likely still use it on a regular basis outside of astrophotography to get interesting new perspectives with a body i am familiar/ enjoy shooting with (i really love the E-M5 II)
    And thanks for the street tip, didn't realise a 25mm still requires a distance of ~3meters. I do find that when browsing street photography pictures, the focal length is usually around 25mm or below, the wider ones being more appealing to me personally :/ (lots of stunning 12mm shots, which honestly just kinda pushed me towards that one) Maybe i should work on myself being less obvious/shy when taking pictures out on the street
    @Hypilein@Hypilein Thanks for the input, it might indeed be a better idea to get a cheaper used fisheye first to see if i enjoy using them, although i don't see the 12-40 working out for landscape astro though, pushing ISO to 3200 for 20 seconds sounds like asking for trouble on µ43, i'll have to do some tests on that with my current lens
    @JNB@JNB Aaah, information on the weather resistance of those 2 primes is what i was still missing, thank you for the insight, i won't be going out in a downpour with them, so they do sound more appealing now, especially since you say you have no problems with temperatures, great to hear that!

    I might be coming down to a final decision at last, a prime and cheaper fisheye seem like a very tempting solution right now.
    The telephoto zoom can wait i suppose, as i won't be using it as often (they're also the most expensive)
    And albeit the praise for the 12-40 PRO, i think having that extra bit of speed on the primes would help for evening/night walks and perhaps also training my photographic eye by moving myself around to get the shot i want instead of zooming

    Thanks again everyone! :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2016
  14. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    TBH, that is probably more the fact that you are holding a "real" camera and likely putting it up to your eye while facing them. A lens that is 100mm long, vs one that is 50mm long isn't going to change that much, I'm afraid.
     
  15. AG_Alex2097

    AG_Alex2097 Mu-43 Regular

    154
    Dec 18, 2015
    Alex S.
    Hmmm, possibly, would you suggest shooting from the hip instead then? And if so, blind, or using the lcd screen (which has to flip out for that), then again, i do enjoy the perspective from eye level more than the one from the waste
     
  16. siftu

    siftu Mu-43 Top Veteran

    633
    Mar 26, 2015
    Bay Area, CA
    siftu
    I wasn't talking about tracking I was talking about landscape astro

    Tekapo - Image Heavy

    Landscape Astrophotography with m43 - The shoot and Post Process (Image Heavy)

    and many more.
     
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  17. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    Olympus 45mm.
    Lumix 20mm.
     
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    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. AG_Alex2097

    AG_Alex2097 Mu-43 Regular

    154
    Dec 18, 2015
    Alex S.
  19. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran

    284
    Jan 5, 2016
    Andy
    Although I only own primes, for your trip, I think the O40-150 f/2.8 + the P20 would be a good combo which would serve you well after you return, too. I know that's one lens more than you want to buy, but the 20 will serve you well indoors and out.

    I wouldn't spring for the fisheye or the O12 unless you're certain you can benefit from those focal lengths frequently. The O25 is one of my favorite and most-used day to day lenses and I really like its sharpness abs color, but I find the P20 is more useful indoors and at a lower price point.
     
  20. AG_Alex2097

    AG_Alex2097 Mu-43 Regular

    154
    Dec 18, 2015
    Alex S.
    Well i've decided to hold off on the zoom for now as i don't see myself using it often enough (although i will probably get it in the hopefully not so distant future)
    I went with a cheaper fisheye to get a feel for it first before going full out with the oly 8mm f1.8 (got the 7.5mm f3.5), the prime i'm still deciding on, but i'll have a look at the 20mm Panny, thx! :)