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Lens consolidation: 6 to 3

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by dhazeghi, Jun 26, 2012.

  1. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    So I've gotten a bit carried away this last month, and my m4/3 lens collection has now swelled to 6 lenses, which is 3 more than I'd like it to be.

    In order of use they are:
    • Olympus mZD 14-42II R/3.5-5.6 - walkaround
    • Olympus ZD 12-60/2.8-4.0 (with 4/3 adapter) - quality walkaround
    • Nikon 55/3.5 micro (with m4/3 adapter) - macro
    • Panasonic 20/1.7 - low light
    • Olympus 45/1.8 - portrait
    • Panasonic PL 45/2.8 - macro/portrait

    I shoot primarily landscapes, and I mostly do it on the move (hiking) so I do need something that can focus quickly but otherwise stay out of the way. So far, that's why the 14-42II, despite it's flaws, is getting more use than all my other lenses combined. But I do miss the sharpness of better lenses, and on overcast days or indoors I'm forced to crack up the ISO fast (not a good policy on the E-PM1). I also do a fair amount of flower and plant shooting, so close-focus is valuable. I guess that's how I ended up with 2 macro lenses! But I do enjoy shallow DoF from time to time too.

    I'm leaning toward selling one of the 45s, the Nikon 55 and the 14-42II, but I'm hardly decided, and I'm particularly open in terms of what to replace the 14-42 (and hopefully the 12-60) with. So I'm curious about any suggestions folks may have.

    Of course given the latest Olympus rumor (native m4/3 12-60), it might be a better idea to wait until Photokina, but my vacation is in August and early September, and I'll be doing several other trips in July...

    Thanks,

    DH
     
  2. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Vassilios
    That makes sense. How is the adapted 12-60 regarding AF speed? Because I'm not sure the rumored native 12-60 would be that much smaller.
     
  3. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    AF speed is fine if you're prepared to spend to wait 2-3 seconds to focus, and to possibly have to do this 2 or 3 times should it miss focus. Which is to say, no good if you need to keep up with other people on a walk, and also no good if your subject is moving. My second concern is that the SWD motor has to work very hard and makes a lot of noise and I suspect that the longevity of the lens will suffer substantially (I've had 2 SWD motor failures with other samples of this lens over the years).

    DH
     
  4. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    593
    Feb 23, 2012
    Toronto
    In order of use they are:
    • Olympus mZD 14-42II R/3.5-5.6 - walkaround
    • Olympus ZD 12-60/2.8-4.0 (with 4/3 adapter) - quality walkaround
    • Nikon 55/3.5 micro (with m4/3 adapter) - macro
    • Panasonic 20/1.7 - low light
    • Olympus 45/1.8 - portrait
    • Panasonic PL 45/2.8 - macro/portrait

    I would ditch the ones in red. I know you say you get a lot of use from the 14-42, but I would personally keep the 12-60 in its place.

    Otherwise, the Nikon can go, as can the Oly 45.

    My 2 cents.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I essentially agree with @Dane. First the relatively easy decision: keep the PL45/2.8 macro in place of the Nikon and the O45 (since you didn't say that you're doing much portrait work where the shallower DOF of the O45 would be very useful). Second, keep the 20/1.7 for it's small size and low-light ability. That brings you down to 4 lenses and we've got the two zooms to consider.

    If you need to get down to three lenses, I think I'd normally side with the native 14-42 over the 4/3 12-60 just due to the faster AF, but since you say that you shoot a lot of landscapes (where AF speed is not critical), then the extra bit of wide angle you get tips the decision in favor of the 12-60.

    However, long-term I'd be looking to replace the 12-60 with either the O12-50 (O-MD kit lens), the P12-35/2.8 (if you can spare the $$) or the rumored native 12-60 (due to your longevity concerns).
     
  6. blue

    blue Mu-43 Veteran

    280
    Jun 1, 2010
    UK
    I'd keep the PL 45mm, the 20mm and ditch the rest. For lens number three: get the Pana 7-14mm.

    You will then have a set that covers a good range of focal lengths, good sharp glass, lightweight kit if you want to take all three out, or carrying just one any of these can work as walkround or landscape.
     
  7. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    If Oly indeed comes out with a m43 version of the 12-60mm the price of the 4/3 version is going to sink like a rock (IMO). So I'd sell that one while you can, especially since it's not really compatible with shooting 'on the move' and hiking.

    ALSO: I'd consider the value of each lens before you decide to sell. The kit 14-42mm, for example, is only worth about $100 so IMO it's worth keeping. The PL 45mm on the other hand is worth a lot more--about $500-600--so it's a lot bigger decision to keep it if you don't use it much.

    In other words, there's nothing magical about the number 3; it makes more sense (to me) to consider a budget you feel comfortable with. If a lens is cheap, keep it, even if you don't use it much. If a lens is expensive, then you'd better use it a lot in order to justify it. By that logic the PL 45mm ought to be the first to go because it's expensive and seldom used.
     
  8. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    I'd wait until the 12-35 is readily available and sell almost everything for that one lens. Keep the 45mm macro until the 60mm Oly comes out and swap them over. Then you've got a two lens kit. If you want three keep the 20.

    Gordon
     
  9. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 Top Veteran

    500
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oak Harbor, WA
    I'm in a simular predicament where I have too many lenses that I really just don't use anymore, and I'm also planning to buy the 12-35 and 35-100 2.8's, and maybe down the road add the 7-14 or the 100-300. So when I get back home next week I'm planning to put some things up for sale.

    Planning to keep:
    7.5/3.5 Samyang fisheye
    14/2.5 Panasonic (this may go pending how good the 12-35 is)
    20/1.7 Panasonic (great pocket/night lens)
    45/1.8 Olympus (small and light)

    Planning at to put up for sale soon:
    9-18 Olympus (my least used lens)
    14-45 Panasonic (only used for events, will be replaced by the 12-35)
    45/2.8 Panasonic Macro (I don't take enough macro to justify it over the 1.8)
    45-200 Panasonic (don't use the long end enough to justify both w/ the 35-100)

    This is my current plan... Any reason to keep the Pany 45 over the Oly 45 if I find myself almost never shooting macro? How about the 14/2.5?
     
  10. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Objectively, those are certainly the best lenses of the lot. Subjectively though, I don't think I can use the 12-60 as my everyday lens. The main reason I got it was to have a sharp zoom, but it hasn't really worked out like that (most useful for testing other lenses against)!

    The width is very very nice! But the AF is actually fairly important. The landscapes may not move, but I need to, and having to babysit (and retry) the sluggish AF makes that difficult.

    Yes, those 3 look like the most logical options. I'm half tempted to give the 12-50 a shot. It's no 12-60, but if I can get a good deal on it, maybe it would be a worthwhile stopgap (like the 14-42II has been)? If it replaced both the zooms, that would be quite helpful...

    Interesting. So you're saying for a walkaround, one can use the 7-14? I admit to being a tad skeptical. I had the Olympus 7-14/4 once upon a time, and while it was fun, it was by far the least used of my lenses (I also had a 12-60, 40-150 and 25/1.4). Landscapes wider than 12mm or so never seemed like a good fit to me.

    Agree on the second part. Not sure about the value though. They already sell for 50% (half!) of the retail price. How much lower can it realistically go?

    Good points. On a bang for the buck basis, I guess I'd be using the 14-42, 20/1.7 and 55/3.5 macro. But sometimes it is nice to have good gear, even if it's used less often. At least that's my justification for the 12-60 so far!

    That's certainly a thought. The range (long end) is my only practical concern. But I guess compared to the 14-42 I'm using now, it's certainly no great loss. I wish they had some sort of 'intelligent zoom' option where I can just opt to crop to 6MP. That'd allow me to frame with a 50mm AoV which seems like a sufficient range. Beggars can't be choosers I suppose.

    DH
     
  11. 6x6

    6x6 Mu-43 Regular

    173
    Oct 12, 2011
    How about:
    keep the 20/1.7
    keep the 45/1.8
    Sell everything else and get the 12-35/2.8
     
  12. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    593
    Feb 23, 2012
    Toronto
    Well it's easy to pick out the best of your collection...gets more complicated when you factor in what's most convenient for you. Naturally, the size/weight of the 12-60 is cumbersome, so I understand why you'd grab the 14-42 instead.

    Curious though - what focal length do you often use when shooting with the 14-42? If you use Lightroom, you can sort through the metadata filter to see what's most common.
     
  13. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    14mm (roughly 1/3) followed closely by 42mm (a little less than 1/3) and then in much smaller numbers 17mm and 40mm.

    But when I was using 4/3 and the 12-60, it was the same pattern - the most at 12mm, nearly as much at 60mm, and the rest scattered in between with more toward the two ends than the middle.

    I'm sure that says something, I just don't know what!

    DH
     
  14. Repp

    Repp Mu-43 Top Veteran

    500
    Jan 27, 2011
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Except for keeping the fisheye, this is what I'm currently considering... which means new filters and probably a new bag to hold things in better. lol
     
  15. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    505
    Jul 2, 2010
    Arizona
    Seems to me judging by your use pattern the kit 12-50 would be a perfect one lens solution. Fast AF, good macro mode, good range, and probably slightly better than the 14-42 optically.

    Obviously you have better lenses in the kit, but the 12-50 is actually quite nice in day to day use.
     
  16. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    593
    Feb 23, 2012
    Toronto
    You could, in theory, have a lighter load and smaller kit if you ditch both the 12-60 and 14-42, grabbed an el-cheapo panasonic 14mm off ebay to replace the wide end, and use your 45 for the long end. More changing lenses though, but using your 45 more often will result in better quality images. Having the 14mm will allow you more flexibility in low light situations.
     
  17. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Vassilios
    I was more than sceptical for the 12-50, but I've come to admit that, at least as a kit option with the OM-D , it is somewhat of a bargain.

    It is bulky and goofy looking on any :43: camera, but, come to think about it, it is perhaps the best overall kit lens available in any system; non considering Canon-L and expensive Nikkors offered as "kit" choices, of course.
     
  18. kevwilfoto

    kevwilfoto Mu-43 Veteran

    294
    Sep 23, 2011
    Colorado
    I'd wait and see what Olympus does in the next few months. You could lose both zooms, the Nikon, and the Oly 45/1.8 in favor of either the new Oly 12-60 or the Pany 12-35. Based on how important the walk-around lens is to you, I'd plan on getting the new Oly 12-60.

    You could swap your Pany 45 macro for the Oly 60 macro, or not. You could swap your Pany 20 for the Oly 25/1.8, or not. If you got the 12-35 instead of the 12-60 you could keep the Oly 45/1.8 and swap the Pany 45 macro for the Oly 60 macro.

    It's the new faster native zooms that should probably key your decision. It seems all paths will lead to a very nice kit, though. :)

    I'm in roughly the same predicament of too much stuff, so I'm having a firesale and going to get one of these two new zooms.
     
  19. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I would logically expect most usage of a zoom lens (particularly a fairly narrow zoom) to be at one of the extremes, which is the case with your analysis. If you think about it, you'll use the 14mm end for any time you want to frame a shot at 14mm or any wider focal length and you'll use the 42mm for shots that you would like to frame at 42mm and anything tighter. Because of that, I don't think you can read too much into your usage pattern, especially because it's quite balanced.

    If you found that you were using one end much more than the other, that could indicate that perhaps slightly more reach in whichever direction gets more use would be something you would appreciate.

    I suspect this type of analysis is more likely to yield usable results if it were performed with a lens with a broader range like the 14-140.
     
  20. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    I've been thinking about this and realize I'm always at the extremes on all of my zoom lenses except the old Zuiko 35-70mm CF where it's at 50mm most of the time. :confused: