Last minute decision on 12-40 and 14-140 II

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by londonfire, Aug 2, 2015.

  1. londonfire

    londonfire Mu-43 Regular

    74
    Mar 18, 2014
    Western NC
    Hi, guys. I leave in 2 weeks for a month long trip to Asia and I'm sorting out my stuff. I have an EM-5 with the stock 12-50 and it gives me decent shots. I'm considering a last minute purchase of one lens and I'm between the Olympus 12-40 and the Panasonic 14-140 II. I have the original 14-140 and it works for me but I'm reading the version II is sharper at most focal lengths. It's also a decent amount smaller which would be nice. In a nutshell, is the 12-40 really a big improvement over the 12-50? Can it be compared to putting an 'L' lens on a canon? Some things in favor of the Panasonic are going out with one lens and also can be used on my G6/GH3 if I want. Right now I'm leaning toward the EM-5 because it seems to be giving me the best IQ in test shots. Thanks in advance for your thoughts...
     
  2. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
  3. ashburtononline

    ashburtononline Mu-43 Veteran

    394
    Jan 21, 2015
    New Zealand
    Get the 12-40 .... f5.6 ? Always take quality over quantity!
     
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  4. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    I would hands down go with either the Olympus 12-40 or Panasonic 12-35.
     
  5. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    949
    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Clint
    Think f2.8.
     
  6. londonfire

    londonfire Mu-43 Regular

    74
    Mar 18, 2014
    Western NC
    I'm taking it all in, guys. Klorenzo, thanks a bunch for that link to camera size. Very helpful. And that lens review was one I missed. After a while I get blurry eyed.
     
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  7. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    So a prime, then? :)
     
  8. rkris

    rkris Mu-43 Regular

    48
    Jun 15, 2013
    The 12-40 is now my most used lense. When I need reach I usually use the cheap 40-150, which I think is great, or the 75 f/1.8 if the light is not optimal.
     
  9. ashburtononline

    ashburtononline Mu-43 Veteran

    394
    Jan 21, 2015
    New Zealand
    The 12-40 is as good as most primes in that range :)
     
  10. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Ignoring the 1-2 stops of aperture, maybe.
     
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  11. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    If you have a 12-50 then you'll know how the 12-40 will work so far as FOV is concerned. So, do you feel the need for something longer or faster? If the former, then the 14-140 would make sense, if the latter then the 12-40.

    Personally, I'd never go for a super zoom - don't like the size, weight, handling, narrow aperture or IQ! The 12-40 is superb - could be the only lens you need!
     
  12. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    It depends on what kind of pictures you take. My One Lens To Rule Them All for travel is the 14-140 II. Say what you like about IQ, but cropping an animal out of the middle of an image shot at 40mm with the best prime on the planet will not result in a better image than that animal filling the frame at 140mm with the 14-140mm II. On the other end, though, 14mm/28mm equivalent is IMO not really wide enough to give a sense of space inside buildings, caves, tunnels, etc. For that I carry a 9-18mm, but I think 12mm/24mm equivalent is acceptable.

    So for one lens, will it be animals or interiors that are more important?

    Re aperture, a current sensor (GX7 in my case) with a monopod is very adequate for me as a supplemental tool to use my 14-140mm in low light.
     
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  13. Jfrader

    Jfrader Guest

    If your goal is to go as light and small as possible, then your decision is already made. A one lens solution in the 14-140 or 14-150. Either will give you fine travel photos with no need to ever change a lens.

    On the other hand, IMHO the best light travel solution balances small/light and image quality. Since my most used lens by far is the 12-40mm PRO, that goes even though it is pretty big. The (old) 40-150mm gives adequate IQ and it is very small so it also goes even though it gets used only rarely. The 25mm f/1.4 gives really good low-light results for interiors and flash-less areas so it goes. If I am going to be doing much landscape work, I may toss in the tiny 9-18mm for ultra-wide shots. That is it. Some extra cards, batteries, a filter or two and a table-top tripod and my total kit fits in a tiny bag insert in my everyday backpack. It all fits under the airplane seat in front of me and doesn't fatigue me to carry.
     
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  14. lahsrah

    lahsrah Mu-43 Regular

    48
    Jul 6, 2015
    The 12-50mm will do you fine for general purpose. If I were you I would instead take a fast prime, say the 20mm f1.7 or 17mm f1.8 and a telephoto zoom 40-150mm if needed longer reach.
     
  15. londonfire

    londonfire Mu-43 Regular

    74
    Mar 18, 2014
    Western NC
    Great info, guys. The best part is that they're just honest answers without the snobbery I see on other sites. Thanks for that.
    An update... I have a Panasonic 14-140 II on the way. It was a great deal I just came across and bought it before I had a chance to talk myself out of it. Hoping that it will feel good on the EM-5 and give me some nice shots. I love the fit and feel of the 12-50 and especially the size. My biggest question is whether I would see a noticeable jump in IQ with the 12-40 for the same shots? Our trip is taking us to SE Asia on a grand tour (private) of Siem Reap and Anghor Wat, a week long cruise down the Mekong, Cambodia, Brunei, Singapore, etc, etc. Even though we travel a lot we're not getting any younger and this could be the last time in some of these spots. I also like to make some large prints for my office so some of these could be 16 x20's. I know I could do that with some keepers because I have a 20 x30 I shot with a Pentax Q a few years ago in Berlin and it's gorgeous. The stars were aligned for me that day.
    I need to mention that I forgot about some other lenses...I have the 20/1.7 and should probably pack that for the room it takes. Also, a Rokinon 7.5 fisheye. I got some great shots with the 7.5 out West last year in canyons and when I needed a little more reach I engaged the teleconverter function and it did pretty well. I also have to bring a small laptop and backup drive so I guess the only thing off the table is a second body. I have to have faith that my EM-5 with 3k exposures will be sturdy enough.
    Sorry to be wordy but I just got up and have a lot of thoughts.
     
  16. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    The 14-140 II is smaller and lighter than the 12-40, so you must really dislike the size and weight of your 12-40!
     
  17. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Technically the 12-40 is a much better lens, on par with most primes, including the P20/1.7. And is from 1 stop to 2 stop faster then the 12-50. This means less noise in situations where noise would be present (low light) so this is another IQ advantage. Closeup capability is very good but less then the 12-50. The weight (382g) is almost twice the 12-50 (211g).
    Whether this difference is relevant for you (or me or anybody) is completely a different question: do you normally notice the difference between the 12-50 and the P20/1.7? Do you have pictures took with the 12-50 that you find soft, dull or with something missing?

    If you are going to buy this lens eventually my advice is, obviously, to buy it before and not after. You can get a used or refurb copy and see how do you feel about it (and maybe reselling it).

    Pictures are more about content then resolution, at the same time some pictures looks much more vivid and real with a better lens. I have the 14-42 EZ and the 12-40 and is quite a struggle to understand what I really need.
     
  18. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I don't have a12-40.
     
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  19. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    I have both.
     
  20. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    If I was going on a vacation and didn't know exactly what I was going to see, I'd take the 14-140 with me. Having a telephoto always with you means that you'll get pictures few other people will. You'll find more interesting perspectives, and have more fun than just shooting with the (very restrictive, in my opinion) "standard" zoom range. The Angkor Temples in particular have a ton of really interesting details that are screaming out to be framed in an interesting way with a long zoom. You will never get these, nor the same sense of perspective, with the 12-40mm zoom range.

    If low-light is a concern, I just throw the 20mm/1.7 in my bag. It is so small and light as to be non-existent, and has 1.5 stops advantage over an f2.8 lens. So the difference between ISO 6400 and ISO 2250. That's makes a big difference with an M4/3 camera.

    In my opinion, the right tools for the right job are a compact, versatile superzoom that can do anything in good light, and a compact prime that can do better in low light rather than one fast standard zoom. Same price and weight for the two lens kits. Just my opinion though - I do not own the 12-35mm/2.8, or 12-40mm/2.8, so take it with a grain of salt.