Kit suggestion for Olympus E-M1

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by abhisheks77, Oct 1, 2014.

  1. abhisheks77

    abhisheks77 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 26, 2013
    I recently got my EM-1 with 12-40mm/f2.8 lens. I have couple of years experience with my old Panasonic camera. Along with this I have 45-150mm f/4-5.6 (which I have from my last kit). I am not professional but I am on learning curve and love to experiment more. I love to take landscapes, forests, mountains, river, portraits (I like a nice bokeh and I am not doing studio) of single person and sometimes two (may be, me and my wife).
    I always wanted to keep at least two or maybe three lenses.
    * Standard zoom - which I have now, i.e. 12-40mm. That will serve me as wide angle also.
    * Tele zoom - which I have 45-150mm f/4-5.6. If I think to upgrade this, I am not regular wildlife photographer, but it is nice if I can get few nice pictures. Or should I keep my 45-150mm ?
    * Prime lens - Which will be most suitable for me here ? Since I already keeping 12-40mm, which have f2.8, will it not cover 17mm/20mm/25mm/45mm ? Or I can get significant difference with my 12-40mm and one of these primes, may be 45mm ? In may posts, I read that there will be less difference between 45mm prime lens and longer end of 12-40mm, so investing in 45mm make no wise move, is it ?
    Or on another note, I should be happy with my present 12-40mm and 45-150mm and not buy any lens ?
    Please suggest and recommend.
  2. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Real Name:
    Ray, not Oz
    Use what you currently have and learn how the camera works with those lenses. It's not until you fully discover what you can and can't do, should you start to consider new lenses.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. biza48

    biza48 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 31, 2014
    If you need to ask, don't buy anything else until you actually know what you require.
  4. marlof

    marlof Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 18, 2010
    The Netherlands
    My vote goes towards happiness.
  5. abhisheks77

    abhisheks77 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 26, 2013
    Thanks. I will keep working on my current lenses.
    When I say happy with my current kit, it means I am not comparing it with other (superior) lenses. I am not expert by any mean, but just trying to understand if it will help me to learn more, if I work with better lenses.
    I will keep working and learning with my present assets, but where I would feel, OK, now I need 'this' lens ? In other words, at what point I may feel, 'that' lens should have given better results here ?
  6. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    I agree. The 45 or the 75 can give you a different look, in certain conditions, and better low light performance, but this does not mean that you are actually going to benefit from these features in your pictures.

    There is a good change that the "extra" lenses are just going to sit in the closet after a few test shots.

    That said, I would save a search on ebay for a used 45 or a sigma 60. Others would say the 20/1.7. This are great and cheap lenses that you could give a try.

    Which one depends a lot on which type of pictures you actually take and how do you like to shoot: portraits? macro? landscapes? concerts? children? wildlife? sports?

    I am quite happy with the 12-40 and the 45-150. The other three prime lenses I have rarely leave home, and when they do I rarely use them.

    Start with your lenses and maybe you will start to tell: "that bird is too far!", "this portrait is not so dreamy", etc. But you can already do a lot of "technical" tricks with your lenses. Check out the images threads on this site or the "flicker lens pools".
  7. Carbonman

    Carbonman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 10, 2014
    Vancouver BC
    Real Name:
    As Klorenzo says, use your current equipment and note when you find it lacking in some aspect. You may find yourself dissatisfied with low light performance, ability to freeze action or focus on fast moving subjects. Don't buy more equipment because others think you should - it's easy for us armchair quarterbacks to tell you how to spend your money.
    BTW, the E-M1 and 12-40 zoom is an awesome combination. It's as good as it gets in the M43 world.
  8. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    If you shoot in low light (concerts) and/or fast moving subject (cars) you could start to see that you often need an ISO very high (3200+) and that pictures are blurry. That means you probably need a faster lens (primes or pro zooms). Or a tripod, for static subjects, or a flash. The 12-40 is already a fast lens.

    Or you could find out that you take 90% of your shots around a single focal length (25, 40, ecc.) and that could be an hint for a prime of that length. Shooting with a prime lens changes the way you move and compose and can be a good exercise. But you can simulate a prime with any zoom(*) if you want to try this (like the "40mm afternoon").

    Or that those animals are too small, no matter how much you crop: and this could mean to buy a macro lens or a super-tele depending on the animal size. Or a macro extension tube. But again the 12-40 is a reasonable macro lens.

    Or that the separation/background blur is not that much and go for a 45/75. But blur depends a lot on the specific conditions of the shot (subject distance and background distance) and a faster lens cannot always do miracles while the photographer sometimes can. And a 75mm lens is quite long for general shooting (try it with the zoom) so could not be the best match for the things you shoot, and it is not cheap either.

    Edit: (*) dof excluded
  9. abhisheks77

    abhisheks77 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 26, 2013
    Thanks guys.
    I will work on my lens and will experiment more. Then will decide, if I need anything or not.
  10. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    i say spend $100 ish on a yongnuo 560iii flash, a wireless trigger for on camera, and a cheap lightstand...
    or on lightroom subscription and some nik or topaz software

    i think those ideas will do more for yer photography than another lens
  11. abhisheks77

    abhisheks77 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 26, 2013
    Mostly I will be doing outside photography only, so flash may not be needed for me as of now. I am using my iPhone to click photo through remote, which will avoid to shake camera.
    I am considering Lightroom subscription. Still reading more, what would be most beneficial for me.
    If I choose to go with Photoshop Lightroom, I can see two different option :-
    Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Student/Teacher's Edition (Academic verification is required by publisher after purchase) is 86$
    Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 - 147$

    Does first option really need a proof that I am using it for academic version ? I am not student or associated with any academy.
  12. Aushiker

    Aushiker Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 12, 2014
    Fremantle, Western Australia
    Real Name:
    I have it and IIRC correctly I have to use my work email address, i.e., with an edu domain name. In my case