If you could only have one lense for M5 Mk11

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by DannyG, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. DannyG

    DannyG Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 4, 2016
    Tasmania, Australia
    Hi There
    Sorry for a very newbie question but as the title suggests if you could only have one lense for the M5 Mk11 for my circumstances what would it be??

    We use it primarily for Bushwalking so we love Landscape, Macro's and moody low light damp forest type shots. Even the odd family happy snaps and portraits.

    What lense would you buy? With a budget under $1000.

    Thanks for any help and advice.

    We bought 14-150 Mk11 with the camera but it wont macro and I am sure there are other limitations? As you will have worked out we are not photographers, only very amateur :)
  2. Nathanael

    Nathanael Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2015
    My most used for hiking, climbing, and landscapes is the 14mm f2.5.
    But it's not really a do it all.
    12-40mm f2.8 might be your ticket, it focuses fairly close.
    • Agree Agree x 4
    • Like Like x 1
  3. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Real Name:
    Reza Travilla
    12-40mm F2.8 is the aswer
    • Agree Agree x 4
  4. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 5, 2016
    Real Name:
    I think the O12-40 is a good suggestion (or the P12-35), but neither has macro capability significantly better than you already have (in fact the Panny has less macro capability). For a true 1:1 macro lens, you would have to add a prime. Not what you wanted to hear, but the 60mm f/2.8 might be a good complement to keep in your bag for close ups and would give you some of the reach that you'd sacrifice by selling the 14-150.
  5. Zancrow

    Zancrow Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 16, 2014
    The 12-40mm f2.8 lens would be my choice. Very versatile lens.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Funny Funny x 1
  6. Moula

    Moula Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 9, 2016
    I prefer primes, but in this case my vote also goes to M.Z 12-40/2.8.
  7. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Real Name:
    Robert (Rob)
    + 1 for the 12-40 - the closest compromise of features for what you want - it has good close focussing capability for a non macro and is compatible with Olympus focus bracketing which may also help with your close up shots
  8. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The 12-40 for sure. 0.3x magnification on a 2x crop is actually quite a bit of magnification already. f/2.8 still isn't great at night but would let a lot more light in than the f/4-5.6 that you've got for use under canopy. 40mm isn't much reach but is still enough for decent portraits. If you end up missing the reach for occasional stuff you can always pick up a cheap used 40-150R or the Panasonic 35-100/45-150/45-175 f/4-5.6s.
  9. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Hi, welcome to the forum. I would wait for the Pana 12-60 that gives you near-macro magnification (0.54x) and good versatility.
    If the 60mm reach is not enough, for wildlife for example, add a second lens like the small 40-150 or the 75-300.

    Another possibility is to add a macro lens like the Oly 60/2.9 or the Pana 30/2.8. But I suppose you do not need "true" macro, just some more magnification.

    This is a "macro" 1x magnification (uncropped):


    This is a 0.3x


    I know you asked for one lens only but there is not a macro or near-macro lens with the coverage of the 14-150.

    Or you could try some good quality adapter (Raynox?, Marumi? MCON-P01? Canon 500D?) that can be screwed in front of the 14-150 to get near-macro.
  10. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    Real Name:
    Nobody mentioned yet, but the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-50 f/3.5-6.3 may be a good choice because its not expensive, it covers from wide angle (good for landscapes) to small tele-objective and have a very nice Macro function (a button you can engage that set the lens to a fixed 43mm and 1:2 macro magnification).
    The quality of this zoom is average (compared with the PRO Olympus 12-40 f/2.8 lens), but the quality of the Macro function is very good.
    Plus, it is a weather sealed zoom.
    I think it worth checking.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    Real Name:
    If ever you need a 2nd lens, that'd be the 42.5 1.7; but one lens for all, it's either 12-40 2.8, or PL25 1.4
  12. Moula

    Moula Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 9, 2016
    Weakness of 12-50mm is f/3.5-6.3. It can be easily paired with say 25/1.8, but this solution does not fulfil "one lens only" rule.
  13. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Real Name:
    12-40...that way you'll still be weather sealed for those moody damp forests. If that's too large the p12-35 is a bit smaller and still retains weather sealing. If compact is your thing then look for a 12-32, but chances are you'll want something longer to go with it...I'd recommend the 75 or perhaps the 60mm.
  14. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    If one lens is the question, then the only answer, unless you're into specialist uses, is a wide to short telephoto zoom. We're taking classic 24-70 territory here and probably one of the most common lenses made by any manufacturer.

    In u43 and spending $1000 that means either the Olympus 12-40 or the Panasonic 12-35 f2.8. Simple!

    Neither will do macro per se, but the Olympus will do better. If you don't want another macro lens, get something like the Raynox 250 close up adapter. It's small and light and works fine on my 12-35 at 35mm. Just pop it into the pocket of your bag and you're set.
  15. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    If I wanted more low-light versatility without switching lenses, it would be the Olympus 12-40. If I was going to allow myself more than one lens, it would probably be the new Panasonic 12-60 or Olympus 14-150 for the increased range (while keeping weather sealing), and a 20mm/1.7 for low light. Both kits would cost about the same.
  16. Olivier1559

    Olivier1559 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 23, 2016
    Whitehorse, Canada
    I choose the O9-18mm cause i love wide angle, but It wouldnt be too great for a all around. As my first lens though it really got me back into the world of photography. Small lens, small body, everything i enjoy about the EM5 markII

    My recommendation would be a pancake so you really get the feeling of m43
    the Panasonic 12-42 kit zoom would probably be your best choice or the P20mm f1.7
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
  17. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    near Longview ~1hr from PDX
    Real Name:
    Jim R
    The bargain answer would be to add extension tubes or a screw-on diopter lens to your 14-150. That would bring you decent macro in a hurry. Since the 5mII is weather-resistant the 12-40 sounds like a great choice.
  18. ex machina

    ex machina Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 3, 2014
    Northern Virgnia
    ^^ This.
  19. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I have a Raynox DCR-150, and can confirm that it gives very sharp results. I've used it on my Panasonic 100-300 to achieve well over 1.0x magnification with good working distance. And it's obviously tiny, so that would go really well in a compact 14-150 kit. I do think I would want a prime for low-light, though.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I'd take back the E-M10 and get an FZ1000 or the new Sony RX10 III.

    There's not much point in getting a camera with a lens mount if you only plan to use one lens. The lenses are not designed to be multi-function because you have a mount and they expect you to buy the lenses per need. A 14-150 doesn't do macro because they sell a fantastic 60mm for that.

    Not trying to be condescending or rude at all when I say that. I really think that with the great camera options we have today there is just not that much point in buying m4/3 to use with only 1 lens.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1