Kit lens replacement - advice requested

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by maflynn, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. maflynn

    maflynn Mu-43 Regular

    99
    May 7, 2012
    Well, as I posted here in a few threads, my original OMD EM5 died a horrible death, and attached to camera was the 14-42mm kit lens.

    I've been reading, searching and I'm stuck on indecision.

    Do I get the pancake version - Oly 14-42mm EZ flavor, or another 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II R?

    I like the idea of the pancake lens being so small, I find the form factor alluring given how I typically travel, but complaints/reviews about it being less sharp as the other 14-42mm leave me thinking I should go back to what I had.

    I also have the 12-50MM F3.5-6.3 which is a nice lens, but its a but too large for my liking. It was hardly used and stays in my bag the majority of time.

    A dark horse in this, is the panny 12-32, but I find myself typically shooting closer to the 40mm range then the 30mm range. I also own a the Oly 45mm prime, so maybe a combination of 12-32 and the prime. I love the 45mm prime, its tack sharp and its great, so I'm also kicking around just getting a 17mm prime.

    so you can see I'm talking myself in circles and indecision ;)

    One of the uses for this will be family trips to places like DisneyWorld and while I'm fairly quick in swapping lenses, I can see this being possible problematic in highly crowded places like that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  2. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 Top Veteran

    982
    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    Simon
    I'd recommend the f/2.8 zooms but they are pricey and comparitvely large. The sharpest kit lens I have had (and bear in mind that they all suffer from some sort of variation, and I've only tried a couple) is the Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH. MEGA O.I.S.

    I bet you can pick it up for less than $100. Make sure to get the mark II version. There is no disadvantage to using a panasonic lens on your Olympus camera.

    Some samples with this lens on a GX7:

    P1030497-Edit-2.

    P1030385-Edit-Edit.
     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  3. maflynn

    maflynn Mu-43 Regular

    99
    May 7, 2012
    Given how it matches the Oly's specifications, is it much better, i.e., sharper?
     
  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I really like the Panasonic 14-42 II, also.

    One other option if you like the pancake-ness of the 12-32, is to pair it with the tiny Panasonic 35-100 f4-5.6. That gives you 12-100 and both lenses stacked are probably slimmer than the 12-50mm. Compact Camera Meter
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 Top Veteran

    982
    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    Simon
    Yes. Sample variation allowing, and bear in mind that my info is based on photos and opinions online, the P14-42ii is sharper than the same specced olymous lens.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I also like that it has a metal barrel and is essentially internal zooming. (It only extends about 1-2mm while zooming). It also has OIS, which makes it a bit more versatile in terms of using it on any m4/3 camera. If you wait for a good used deal, it is not much more expensive than the Olympus.
     
  7. Christop82

    Christop82 Mu-43 Veteran

    494
    Sep 10, 2016
    If you really want pancake, I would recommend the Panasonic 14-42pz. Great build and sharp.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. maflynn

    maflynn Mu-43 Regular

    99
    May 7, 2012
    Yeah, I noticed that lens as well. I'll have to put that on my short list
     
  9. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I went through the same thought process. I just ended up with with standard 14-42. I do like the 12-32 because of the wide, and compact design but I also want longer. The EZ lens just does not test strong enough.

    The 14-42, used (and even new) is dirt cheap.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Not sure what the difference is (I never owned any of the kit lenses) but the 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II (Non-R) version is available refurbished from Olympus America for $90.
     
  11. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    506
    Nov 18, 2011

    The 35-100 is an amazingly good lens. And not just sharpness or any other objective criteria, the rendering and "look" the images have is special too, IMO.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. twigboy

    twigboy Mu-43 Veteran

    250
    Sep 10, 2016
    Virginia
    How does one zoom on an Olympus body? I was under the impression that it only zooms on Panasonic bodies.
     
  13. Christop82

    Christop82 Mu-43 Veteran

    494
    Sep 10, 2016
    Works fine. Ming Thein reviewed it on an OMD.
     
  14. BleedingGumsMurphy

    BleedingGumsMurphy Mu-43 Regular

    139
    Mar 19, 2017
    Thailand
    The 14-42ii is officially the sharpest kit zoom. Generally the kit Panasonics are better than those from Olympus. I would get the 14-42ii or Oly 17mm 2.8 for $100. I agree with the above about the 35-100 having character. The 12-32 has its ups and downs but is generally awesome, the 12-60 costs more.
    Chart souce Photozone.de
    54f8b4bd35304741a4471640dea4c06e.
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • Useful Useful x 1
  15. maflynn

    maflynn Mu-43 Regular

    99
    May 7, 2012
    I've been obsessing over this, and no doubt, I'll continue, reading reviews, researching, videos, looking at prices via used, gray and standard retail. Thanks to Four Thirds | Special Contents | Matching Simulation I can compare the sizes. Below is my very unscientific size comparison

    I do think the 12-40 is a great lens, and tempting, though its quite pricey and to be honest too large for my needs.
    The next lens is the kit lens and its there to show size/scale.
    The following lens is the 14-42 and its hard to beat, the price used is under a hundred bucks.
    The EZ version is next to that and shows something that is very small and compact, though it comes at a sacrifice to IQ
    The Panasonic 14-42 is next and its about the same size as the Oly 14-42 but from reviews and this thread it produces a better result then the oly. Buying new, the Panny is cheaper it seems.
    Finally is the 17 prime f2.8, I'm still kicking around the idea of going with a 17 and 45mm prime lens setup, and maybe supplement that with the EZ lens.
    olly_lens_compare.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  16. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Keep in mind that this lens is now listed as discontinued. So unless you can find some existing new stock kicking around, you may be left with only second hand copies, which I personally have no problems with, but some people only like to buy brand new. While much more expensive, the 17/1.8 would make a nice pair with your 45/1.8.
     
  17. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    One caveat if you're using either the Pana 12-32 or the 35-100 f4-5.6 on an Olympus. You have to turn Lens IS Priority ON in the menu. Both lenses have OIS and there is no switch to turn it off as in some other Panasonic lenses. On my Olys, I got IS conflict between the body and the lens. Since you can't turn the lens IS off, you have to give the lens priority. Otherwise, they work fine.
     
  18. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    USA
    I thought Olympus automatically uses IBIS? if OIS is not turned on.
     
  19. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Walter
    Well, yes, but these two Pana lenses have IS turned on permanently, so if your Olympus body has Lens IS Priority OFF (default setting, I think) you get a conflict.

    Lens IS Priority OFF means that the IBIS is always on. I got some really weird motion artifacts with some shots I made with the 12-32 and it took me a while to figure out what was going on. The IBIS was fighting with the OIS. Nobody wins.

    When Lens IS Priority is ON, IBIS will defer to the lens if OIS is active. If the lens has OIS switched off (some Panasonic lenses have an OIS switch), or doesn't have it at all as in most Oly lenses and manual lenses, IBIS works as usual. So, I have all my Olympus bodies set to Lens IS Priority ON. Works fine.

    From EM1 manual (pg. 94), Gear C menu.
    Lens I.S. Priority: If [On] is selected, priority is given to the lens function operation when using a lens with an image stabilization function.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2017
    • Informative Informative x 2
  20. BleedingGumsMurphy

    BleedingGumsMurphy Mu-43 Regular

    139
    Mar 19, 2017
    Thailand
    maflynn said:
    Finally is the 17 prime f2.8, I'm still kicking around the idea of going with a 17 and 45mm prime lens setup, and maybe supplement that with the EZ lens.
    Just got a new 17 2.8 for $110, so they were obviously clearing out their stock. Only the 14mm is smaller, marginally. Got a perfect refurbished 45 for an extra $140 from a leading UK cameras store. The 12-32 was just under $140 new (white box) on eBay. Therefore, approx $400 for 3 good compact lenses if you find good deals too.

    For a zoom and as you want a pancake, the 12-32 makes more sense to me as it is smaller than the 14-42 PZ. I guess it depends whether you want the extra width or length. I would take the width every time, especially if owning the 45.

    The 12-32 is unnoticeable in my short/trouser pockets. I took 172 shots with the 17 yesterday and didn't even consider switching to the zoom once, nor did I feel it as I walked around a big mall for hours.

    Having no manual focus is a big problem for me on a kit zoom. Not sure if the lever on the PZ would satisfy my wanting a focus ring.

    The 12-32 looks best when turned off, but the 17 is far more compact when in use.
    images.
     
    • Sad Sad x 1