If you had $800 to spend...

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by stillshunter, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. stillshunter

    stillshunter Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 27, 2011
    and you had the EP3 and kit zooms (14-42 & 40-150) only what would you buy?

    1. 14mm & 20mm, or
    2. 25/1.4?

    Or something else?

    Ultimately I was thinking 12, 25, 45 meaning that option 2 would get me a third of the way there, or option 1 allows me to be 2/3 there with some compromise. My thoughts with going for 2., first was that the normal might be the most utilitarian for starters and the Imatest for the 25/1.4 is pretty spectacular...though the 20/1.7 doesn't look too shabby either...while the 14mm looks a little lack-lustre though eclipsing the 17mm which I'm discounting based on all I've read so far - even though 35mm is my strongly preferred equivalent focal length.
  2. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Real Name:
    How about 20mm f/1.7 + 45mm f/1.8. This would also get you closer to your ultimate target of 12, 25, 45, with less of a compromise, and the 20mm is closer to your preferred focal length!
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    If money is not an issue, the 12, 25, 45 is a great trio to aim for. But the 12 isn't that much better than the 14 and the 25 isn't that much better than the 20, so the 14, 20, 45 is still a VERY good kit and you can get most of the way there now. You can get any two of the three and , with a bit of a stretch, probably get all three if you're willing to look at used. And you'd have a great kit of prime lenses. You probably wouldn't need your kit lens at that point, so you could sell that for a bit to help fund the primes. Later, if you come into some money and feel there's some deficiency in one of the lenses, you can replace one later. I'd say there's no real strong reason to to replace the 14 with the 12 - there's just not that much difference in quality or speed - there's some, but its REALLY minor - the 14 is a screaming deal. I'd be more inclined to upgrade the 20 to the 25 later IF you don't mind the size and bulk of the 25. Its a nicer lens with a faster aperture and a MUCH faster AF. I see a bigger difference in quality and operation between those two lenses than I do between the 14 and 12. The manual focus "foreskin" on the 12 is really well implemented but I don't honestly find myself using it much and the difference between f 2 and 2.5 isn't huge. Both are very fast to AF.

    • Like Like x 3
  4. stillshunter

    stillshunter Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 27, 2011
    Oops I was thinking the other 45mm - from Panny. My bad....but thanks for the input - off to look at reviews and Imatests...
  5. stillshunter

    stillshunter Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 27, 2011
    Great advice as always Ray...and it proves maybe Imatests are not the be-all-and-end-all of comparisons, Must confess it's mighty hard to not rely on reviews and tests when your 100kms from civilisation and still in Australia ;) Anyway as per the tests the 12mm outstrips the 14mm by a big margin, while the 20 and 25mm are pretty close - though I hear you Ray the AF difference between the two sounds quite remarkable. So glad I posted the question here, as I still vest more in personal experience from folks who know the platform more than 'scientific' reviews and tests...
  6. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    I'd eat bread and butter for a fortnight to save the extra $100 to get the Nokton 25/f0.95.

    Why? Because, well, it's...... special

    It feels beautiful - it's all metal and glass and dense and tight... The aperture and focus ring make you want to turn them (which is good, because you have no other choice :smile:)

    It renders beautifully at f0.95 - everything has a softness and glow to it, but, like a nice softness and glow... People 'pop' and look alive and backgrounds look like watercolour...

    It render beautifully everywhere else too - from f1.4 onwards it's sharp. Like really really sharp. Like blow away my 20/f1.7 sharp, and the 20/f1.7 is sharp. I'm trying to say it's really sharp. (except the extreme corners, which suck)

    It has amazingly crisp 10-point starbusts.

    It focusses close - like, close enough to not really need a macro... And a close-focussing f0.95 can do some pretty special things...

    It's not a sensible choice, and the other's are probably more practical and you won't miss a shot and they have better corners and they make you cups of tea and scones and so on... You may even hate it for a few weeks as you get to grips with a manual focus f0.95...

    But then you'll notice how it rendered lights in that long exposure, or picked out the detail on roofing nails on that street scape, and you'll start to become friends with it, and then something special will happen - you'll start to create photos, not just take them :wink:





    (For the sake of disclosure I'm rather fond of the Nokton...)
    • Like Like x 5
  7. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    If 35 equiv is your preferred FL, why not the 17? Yes, it's the "dog" of the primes, but it's still pretty damn good in the grand view of things, and a smokin deal.
  8. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Re: the 17mm.

    Don't believe everything you read on the internet. I mean, you bought a m4/3 camera and none of them are any good, right?
  9. djonesii

    djonesii Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 18, 2011
    I'll beat a counter point .....

    The 9-18 is a lot of fun ......

    Been using it in the studio, and there are just some things that you can do with that only a wide will do!

    I got the 20mm prime first, but waited on the others till after the wide.

    If you search hard, your 800 might just cover both!

  10. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Pana 14 and Oly 45 are my two most used lenses these days and the ones I would buy first. Then either the Pana 20 or 25 (it's the 20 for me).
  11. theflyer

    theflyer Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 14, 2011
    such an interesting question since everyone's usage and "signature" look is different. personally, the 45/1.8 is a must have. it's sharp, fast, and has beautiful rendering. and between the wide prime or a medium - especially given your budget - i'd go for the 20/1.7. it's such a small and usable lens. it never fails to deliver great photos any time it's mounted. yes, it's a bit noisy, and yes, it focuses a tad slower than some of the other ones out there, but it's a very usable lens. my personal taste is such that i never liked the 14/2.5 - i found it a little soft and unemotional for my taste (i know, your mileage may vary). so if you take the 45 and the 20 now, and both can be had for less than your stated budget, you can save up for the 12 or an ultra wide zoom for your wide angle needs.

    just my .02
  12. Rudi

    Rudi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 16, 2010
    I'd go for the Oly 12mm, Panasonic 20mm and Oly 45mm. In fact, I did. I'm 2/3 of the way there, just the 12mm to go. I'm dropping hints like crazy, before Christmas, just in case. :biggrin:
  13. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Real Name:
    The 20mm and the Oly 45mm should be no brainers. I haven't shot the 12 or the 14, but my understanding is that the 14 is no better than the 14 end of the kit zoom. The shots I've seen have not been inspiring. I'm not sure i could justify the expense of the 12mm, but it looks beautiful and the shots I've seen are also good looking. I might lean towards buying the 9-18 zoom instead of either.
  14. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Real Name:
    As has been suggested, I'd go with the 20/1.7 and 45/1.8. The 14-42 covers the wide end fairly well for now until you can save up for the 12/2. You said you favor a 35mm equivalent and the 20 is pretty close. I'd prefer that myself.
  15. nseika

    nseika Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2010
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Real Name:
    The 14 is smaller than the kit. I think that's the main charm of it if quality is not so different.
  16. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Promit Roy
    Get the 20 or the 45, and spend the rest on a round trip to somewhere worth taking pictures of.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. alans

    alans Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 28, 2010
    For me, I would get a 9-18mm. I like to shoot zooms and this range of 3 lenses would give me a lot of coverage for what I shoot with m43.

    That said, I also have the 12, 20 and 45. I also had the 14 which I think is the best buy of m43 lenses, good IQ, compact and fast AF on the E-P3. But I wasn't excited about it and sold it.

    I would choose based on how and what you like to shoot.
  18. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    I have the Panasonic 14 and 20... and the Olympus 45. It's a great trio and, right now, I see no reason to chase the pricey Oly 12 and Pana/Leica 25. In fact, I haven't paid more tan $450 for any of my micro four-thirds lenses - including the Panny 100-300. Most were in the $300-350 range or came as part of a kit. The Oly 45, of course, was $400. Personally, I can't justify more expensive lenses as long as I have my Pentax DSLR kit. But if micro four-thirds is your only kit, there is no reason to not make the 12, 25 and 45 your goal. But if you're looking to keep costs down while retaining 90% performance, I'd say go with the prime set-up I have.
  19. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    Carrying just the lumix 20 and m.zuiko 45 and I've been happier than a pig in shhh...

    I've had the 45mm on for quite sometime now because it's new, and at the same time I've been reading all this internet chatter about the 20 being noisy and slow. I put it back on and wonder what everyone's smoking.

    The 20mm: versatile focal length, pancake sized, low-light, reasonably priced.
    To me, it's the definitive mu43 lens. I have friends and acquaintances who shoot mu-43 and the 20 is their ONLY mft lens. For everything else they go DSLR or P&S.
    • Like Like x 1
  20. zucchiniboy

    zucchiniboy Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 13, 2010
    San Francisco
    I'd second previous comments to get the 20 and the 45 f/1.8. I shot an entire event with just those two, and it was a fantastic combo!