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If you had fast primes and a kit zoom, would you still be interested in the 12-35?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by gdourado, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. gdourado

    gdourado Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 23, 2012
    Lisbon - Portugal

    How are you?
    So, the topic is pretty much self explanatory...
    Image you have a kit zoom like the Panasonic 14-45 and fast primes, like the 12, the 20 and the 45...
    Would you still be interested in the 12-35?

    In good light, would the IQ be significantly different from the 14-45?
    And in low light, wouldn't f2.0 and 1.8 primes be better?

    Just curious about the placement of the 12-35 for the prime shooters out there... :) 

  2. bitmatt

    bitmatt Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 7, 2012
    I have the E-M5 with the 12-50 and all the primes you mention. I agree that there is not much I could do with the 12-35 that one or more of my current lenses isn't capable of. But- this is the primary zoom range that I shoot both personally & professionally, and the fact it is weather-sealed is extremely appealing as none of the prime lenses are. Also, f/2.8 to f/5 is sort of the sweet spot for much of what I do. I could see this lens riding on the E-M5 a lot.

    On the other hand, it is difficult to justify that cost in my mind after having purchased the 12, 20 & 45 all within the past few months. So, I don't think I'll be getting this zoom soon, appealing as it is.
  3. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    I've honestly never much seen the point of a wide, fast zoom - constant aperture sure, but speed just never made much sense - unless you're a wedding photographer, which is the only scenario where your subjects aren't static, you'll likely be shooting in lower light situations and need to be able to zoom.

    Otherwise, wide primes for compact size and speed when necessary, and the 12-50mm kit (or 14-45 if you prefer), makes the most sense to me, couple that with the 35-100 f2.8, which is a much more interesting lens in my eyes!
  4. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    I have the 12, 20, 25, and 45. And the 12-50. The 12-35 still interests me for events (mostly weddings) . I'm usually fine with primes but I find myself wishing I had a fast zoom again at times. I'd sell the 12 and 12-50 for it if I do it. I don't really need f2 at 12, just have it for IQ. Plus, it's weather sealed =)

    I should add, my priority is actually the 35-100. I always get something that is equivalent to ~135 in a prime because I love the lens, but inevitably, I find the "70-200" zoom to be far more useful for my own purposes in that range.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. zpierce

    zpierce Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Minneapolis, MN
    I completely agree. I'm much more interested in the 35-100 as well.
  6. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Yes...(edited because I didn't address the kit zoom part)...

    1. Fast/pro/constant aperture zoom vs. primes: yes, because no shots lost while changing lenses

    2. Fast zoom vs. kit zoom: yes, to permit shallower DoF, lower ISO, etc., because of larger aperture

    Less important reasons:

    3. No risk of dropped lenses

    4. Reduced opportunities to dust/dirt getting onto sensor
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 27, 2011
    Seoul, South Korea
    I'm going to save up for the 35-100 first, but I've given thought to selling some of my lenses and going with a 7.5, 20, 45, 12-35, 35-100 kit...
  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I think it all depends on how much you use the kit zooms and how much you use the fast primes. I very rarely use a zoom - I just prefer shooting with primes the vast majority of the time. When I DO use a zoom, its usually either for the wide range (14-150 - great for travel and certain types of events) or for a specific focal length (the 9-18 is a zoom that spends the vast majority of its life at 9).

    So I don't have any interest in the 12-35. Its still not nearly as fast as my primes - its the same as the 17mm f2.8, which is the slowest prime I own. Its optically much better than the other zooms but still not better than the good primes. And it doesn't have much range - nice at the wide end, but not even a decent portrait length at the long end. I like the versatility of the Olympus 12-50, and I use it from time to time, but now that I've had the camera a while and the lens has lost its novelty, its taking its place in the same part of the shelf that my other kit zooms have lived, rarely coming out except in the theoretical case of bad weather...

    OTOH, if you really LIKE shooting with zooms and only pull out your primes when you need a larger aperture, but really prefer the flexibility of a zoom for day to day shooting, then it would be a no-brainer that you'd be interested in the 12-35. I would be.

    So I think it just depends on what type of shooter you are. There are a lot of different people who might have a combination of kit zooms and fast primes and they'd look at the 12-35 very differently.

    • Like Like x 1
  9. silversx80

    silversx80 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 27, 2012
    North Carolina
    For me, no; I do this as a hobby. I quite like the 12-50 kit and its versatility. I find the range just about covers what I want without having to change lenses, but I mostly use it at 12mm, or 43mm (macro).

    I want convenience in a zoom, and 35mm just isn't enough reach for me to justify the $1300 price tag. The f/2.8 constant is great, but DoF control at that aperture, on :43:, is a wash... and light gathering isn't mindbogglingly fast. Considering how much I can push the E-M5 sensor, it makes that price tag even less appealing.

    I'd sooner go back to the 14-54 mk.II at about half the cost (less when used), lose 2mm at the wide end, about 1/3-stop at 35mm, and still have another 19mm of reach. Then, I could pick up a used 12mm f/2 and be out of pocket the same $1300.

    I have the Oly 17mm on its way, which like Ray said, isn't a fast prime, but still gets me f/2.8. The size is also very appealing. I also have the Oly 45mm, which is a fantastic little lens. If I had $1300 to burn on lenses, I'd probably pick up a used m.PL25 and would do some serious soul searching on whether I should get the Oly 12, Oly 75, Oly 9-18, or Panny 7-14 with the remaining mullah.
  10. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Matter of preference and style.

    I'd be almost just as happy with a pro-grade constant F4 aperture zoom (say 12-50/F4) without macro feature. The appeal lies in the quality of the glass - if initial reviews are to be believed, this is going to be a pretty stunning lens.

    Zoom flexibility beats out primes in a lot of conditions, not the least of which is travel photography, where light can vary from great to poor, and you're not always somewhere where you feel comfortable or are able to quickly swap out lenses. I've always been and will remain a 'both zooms and primes' kind of guy. Depends on what suits my mood.

    Yes, a good prime will usually outperform a good zoom.
    Yes, primes are lighter, smaller, more compact.
    Yes, a fast zoom with image stabilization is a fantastic addition to any kit, and incredibly flexible.

    So I'll certainly get it. Before the 35-100, because I tend to prefer primes when shooting portraiture, and 200mm FOV equivalence is still short for tele (in my book). If they released a 2x teleconverter I'd be far more intrigued. I'm not hugely impressed yet with what I've read about the (super)tele zooms for mu43; right now the 100-300 seems like the best bet, but it is slow.
  11. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 23, 2012
    I'm lazy...if I can get something with a constant 2.8 and not have to change lenses, I'm going for it. Unfortunately, the lens is not as cheap as I had hoped (well, I was praying for something closer to $1000).

    The 35-100 doesn't interest me as much, because use of that length (for me) is typically outside in daylight, so the cost of a low aperture isn't worth it. Not that I'd say no to one if someone gave it to me. ;) 
  12. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Not this.

    I would also argue that the zoom will take up less room than carrying the 12, 14, 17, 20, and 25 primes you would need to be close to equivalent.

    I argued for this lens to be faster, even if it meant variable aperture ... If it was a f/1.7-2.8, this would be a whole different conversation I think!

    35-100 f/2.8 seems reasonable for keeping the size down. I hope this lens has reasonable close focus, and x2 for the above request for a 2x TC.
  13. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I do have the fast primes, and am not interested in the 12-35.

    I do have the kit 12-50, which I only use for macro.

    I do, however, want the 35-100.
  14. TDP

    TDP Guest

    Once you get used to a fixed max f stop in a zoom and you go back to one with variable aperture it will drive you nuts - if you are a aperture priority or manual shooter.

    I like to shoot in manual (meter, set my f stop and speed, take a test shot) and forget about the camera and focus more on the shots. With variable aperture...zoom, the camera force the f stop to change (if you shoot open or near open) and your shot exposure is off.
  15. ocellaris

    ocellaris Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 12, 2011
    Possibly, but the jury is still out. Right now the 12-35 test results look promising, but I'll wait to see more tests and more user pics showing the DOF, image separation, contrast, and bokeh -- especially from 20-35mm.

    I just converted from canon. I started out with canon primes, but eventually sold most of them after buying the canon 17-55/2.8 IS (28-88 equiv). I had the canon EF 20/2.8, 28/2.8, 50/1.8, 85/1.8 -- all terrific lenses. The 17-55/2.8 was as sharp or sharper than all of them and had better bokeh than the 28 and 50. The only one I couldn't bear to part with was the 85/1.8, although I never took another photo with it! The 17-55 was just that good and versatile. It always stayed on my camera. It was also extremely convenient, especially when traveling.

    I've now moved to MFT and primes (but with two bodies, so less lens swapping). However, I'll be interested to see how well the 12-35 performs in real use (as opposed to lab tests). And it will give me time both to use my current setup more and save up for the 12-35! That said, I think the 12-35 is priced a little too high as well, so that factors in.
  16. ocellaris

    ocellaris Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 12, 2011
    FYI, mine was a reply to original poster, not TDP.
  17. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    A few people have pointed this out, but I'll repeat it, because some of us view gear as a means to an end, rather than and end in itself. For event/reception photography the 12-35/2.8 is often a better tool than carrying multiple bodies and lenses with flashes attached. If one generally shots these things differently, or don't shoot them at all, then it's whatever floats your boat.

    I already have a D7000, 17-55/2.8 & SB800 with Quantum Turbo battery for those jobs, so I don't have any compelling reason to get the zoom. Plus I also have the 12/2 through 45/1.8 primes that have the advantage of larger apertures.
  18. Kevmaughan

    Kevmaughan Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 26, 2011
    For $1300 I think I would rather snag an extra OM-D body and keep two fast primes at the ready. The e-m5 / prime combo is so small that carrying two bodies would still be lighter than a DSLR with a fast zoom. I think that I could shoot almost anything with a body +PL25mm and a body +Oly 45mm. Not to mention over a stop faster.
    Now if the new Panny zoom was 12-50mm f2.8 I might go for it
  19. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    That is just crazy talk, no way you'd need all 5 of those primes to compensate for missing the one 12-35mm zoom! Unless of course there is some all encompassing kit that comes with the 12mm, 14mm, 17mm, 20mm, 25mm and a complimentary pair of shoes that are glued to the floor :biggrin:

    For under $1200 you can have the 14mm, 20mm, oly 45mm and 12-50mm (several already sold the kit lens used for $300-350). The 12mm and 25mm are almost as niche as the 12-35mm zoom, when the 14mm and 20mm are significantly cheaper, and well received alternatives to the faster 12mm and 25mm primes.

    The only reason for a wide/fast zoom is people/event photography - if you do those, then it makes sense; the 12-50mm plus primes would be fine for travel - outside, 12-50, inside, I'd probably only take the 20mm, 14mm for wider shots.
  20. bongestrella

    bongestrella Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 2, 2011
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    If it's f2.0 all through out, and still be $1300, then maybe. But it's probably going to be too big.
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