1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Is this GAS? (17mm f/1.8 or 25mm f/1.4)

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by luiztakei, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. luiztakei

    luiztakei Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2012
    Last August I bought the Olympus OM-D with the 12-50mm lens. Later I got the Oly 45mm. I use this gear for street photos (my hobby) and for family pictures.

    For a while I considered buying the Panny 20mm but that changed when Olympus released their 17mm f/1.8. Now I am also considering the Panny 25mm...

    My first question: is this a symptom of GAS (gear acquisition syndrome)?

    If not, which lens would you buy (taking into account I am just a grad student with no $$$)?
  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    First off, reading or posting on this or any other photography forum either leads directly to GAS or is a symptom of GAS (which led you here).

    With that out of the way, let's try to decide which lens is going to best satisfy your syndrome. The O17, P20 and P25 are all very nice, fast primes. Before you choose one, you want to make sure that the field of view fits your personal shooting style. One way to do this is to use your kit zoom and set the focal length at each 17, 20 and 25 and shoot with that for a while (I would recommend at least an hour with each, but a full day would be bettter) to see which FOV speaks to you.

    I personally value the pancake form-factor of the P20 so much that I would tip the scales in that direction despite the lens shortcomings (i.e. noisy and slow to focus) unless I found that 17 or 25 was obviously a more comfortable focal length for me. The P20's lower price doesn't hurt either.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    If you do not shot video get the 20mm. It is as good as the others with much lower price. You can get it at lower if you search for a used one.
    But if you just have GAS, the best cure, is to take a portrait of your bank teller or account report with the O45.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    Another good option is the Panasonic 14 2.5.
    Even smaller than the 20 and cheaper.
    Image quality is really quite good and the wide angle might or might not suit you for street photography.
    For the money you save you could get a second small Pen body and carry the OM-D with the 45 and the Pen with the 14.
    p.s. the 14 on a Pen body fits into your pants pocket without making you look too, ummh, masculine...
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Both are really fine lenses, given your current lens lineup I'd probably say go with the 17. It'll give you something vastly different to the 45 in focal length, it's relatively fast, quick to AF, is quite small so it'll be super handy when you want/need your kit to be small, and of course, it has the focus clutch mechanism that you may find very useful. The PL25 is an amazing lens and one that I think you should seriously look into at some point as well.

    Being a poor student, lol (why do I look back at my Uni days with so much sentiment, and I too was broke then?) do consider the Pana 14....really fine lens again and given you should be able to find a nice used copy for about $160 it'll mean you could then save for and possibly purchase the PL25 much sooner. Just an option !

    Either way, YES, you have GAS...you are doomed to further deepening your student poverty and suffering, at least you'll have some nice photos to show for it ;) 
    • Like Like x 2
  6. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    Wanting a full kit without duplicate focal lengths or multiple bodies isn't GAS.

    Buying expensive gear when you are a poor grad student might be!

    Get the 20mm. Great lens and not too expensive.

    Another option is the 14mm. E-bay has the 14mm at $180. They claim they are new, but from a G3 kit so no box. Who knows if thats true, but mine looked new (and works fine). Very sharp lens, quick and quiet focusing, not fast (2.5) and a bit of vignetting, but overall very good (and super tiny).

    The 20 and the 14 together are less than $500, and with your 45 would give you a good mix of focal lengths in primes.

    Then of course you will need the 75 and and some zooms.......
    • Like Like x 1
  7. luiztakei

    luiztakei Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2012
    I appreciate everyone's reply. Thanks for all the input!

    Thank you, GFFPhoto! I like the straight answer to my 1st question! :smile: It's not what I wanted to hear but maybe that's what I SHOULD hear. :biggrin:

    By the way, this community is great!!!

    (Feel free to add anything else to this thread!)
  8. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 25, 2012
    where do you feel your photography is being limited by the gear you have? If you don't know, then you probably do have a case of GAS. If you keep running into instances where you current gear doesn't suffice, then maybe its worth addressing.

    Unfortunately (as I have also discovered), photography gear can be expensive. If your a poor uni student, and spending that money is prohibitory, then I guess you should really try avoid spending it and work around what you already have. I'd even consider reselling the OM-D body, and get a cheaper body and appropriate lens... if it comes to it.

    I'm guessing one of the limitations your coming up against is the slow speed of the kit zoom for indoor and low light shots? You could address this with a fast prime (just get whatever focal length, you feel most comfortable with). Or you could also consider getting a flash that is capable of bouncing off walls/ceilings. It's been discontinued, but maybe look into the fl-36r second hand? I've seen these going for ~$150 used.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    If you're here asking if you should buy the O17 or the PL25, then it's not GAS.

    When you're back here telling us that you are buying the O17 and the PL25, then it will be GAS.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I've tried them all, they're all good!

    I like the 25mm 1.4 optics, but I prefer the 17mm 1.8 FOV, construction and closer focusing. The 20 1.7 is a razor and the 14mm is the best bang for the buck prime. I've settled with the 17 1.8 though, because it's a pretty good all-around lens, and I bought mine used at a good price. I find the current price a little high though, and would probably get the 25 1.4 if buying new.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    First off... These guys have given you very good guidance.
    I will add just a few things.

    Gas....don't ever feel guilty about buying gear. If your bills are paid, then just enjoy your gear and hobby. Hopefully your schooling will feed your wallet and your hobby will feed your soul. So....

    I checked out your Flickr stuff for a good spell...maybe 40 minutes.
    I don't see where you need any lenses. Your framing is really good and your choice of lens supports that. Getting another lens because you want to add a field of view is one thing....
    Getting a lens because you want to spend $$$ is something else.

    My thoughts are....please don't take this with any gravity...
    You need subject matter, you already have your lens... Your photos prove that...
    • Like Like x 2
  12. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 12, 2012
    As some know, I went for "one lens one camera" after this new year. And today 3 month later I feel so free. Gas was a pain for me and it took 3 month to partly get rid of. So my advice is, sell of some gear and learn to create with some constraints!
    • Like Like x 1
  13. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    I liked your street photos and after examining the focal length, I found that you shot around most around the 20mm. My suggestion is to get the 20mm because this is focal length you are comfort with and for street it is great to have a pancake lens.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Looking at your street work, you're obviously comfortable with the 45. But you shoot a lot of wider stuff too, which generally seems to be in the 17-20 range - I don't see much anywhere close to 25. So based on where you seem to like shooting, I'd say you're more inclined toward the 17 field of view of the two lenses you asked about. The 17 also has the very nice snap focus ring which is phenomenal if you ever want to use zone focus, which is still often a great street shooting technique. OTOH, if you want save money and you're ok with slower focus, the 20 looks like its right in your natural wheelhouse too. I also really liked a couple of your wider Canon street shots too, and those appear to have been shot at about a 28mm field of view. I'm biased towards that wider perspective and like the way you use it, so if you want to explore that further, you should look at the Panasonic 14mm - cheap, tiny, fast focus, not super fast aperture but you can do a lot with the OMD's sensor at f2.5 in low light. To me, field of view should trump all, so I'd say stay away from the 25 just based on your shooting history - you don't seem to go there naturally. But anything in the 14-20 range looks to suit you.

    • Like Like x 1
  15. dino1891

    dino1891 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 8, 2013
    For street shooting, I too would suggest the Olympus 17mm. I have never used the f2.8 but it would also be a very cheap way to get the 35mm FOV. For street shooting I often shoot at smaller apertures for increased depth of field so the f1.8 wouldn't really be needed.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    The Olympus F/2.8 pancake was the first prime I bought 18 months ago and I have just got the new F/1.8 lens. I'm not one of those who say only bad things about the 2.8, it's given me some nice shots and the pancake size is definitely convenient. The 1.8 is positively oversize in comparison but there is no comparison in the quality of the images the new lens delivers.

    Unless someone absolutely had to have the 17mm FOV in a pancake sized lens, I would never recommend the 2.8 now that the 1.8 is available. It is a far superior lens in every way apart from size if small is important. The 2.8 may be a cheap way to get the FOV but if the FOV is important to the buyer I think they'll end up moving to the 1.8 or some other alternative sooner or later anyway. Better to get it at the start in my view.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. luiztakei

    luiztakei Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2012
    So I finally decided which lens to get!

    I was thinking about the Olympus 17mm f/2.8 but I found a used Panny 14mm, which I decided to get. I tried taking a few street photos with it yesterday. I have to admit I am finding it a little bit too wide for street photos but I guess this is a good challenge (am I right?).

    Here is one of the pictures from yesterday. Any advice/comment is more than welcome! Thank you all for the input! :) 

    Untitled by Luiz Takei, on Flickr
  18. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
  19. Anthon

    Anthon Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 8, 2012
    I'd go with the 17mm f1.8 if you have the money
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.