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Lens Decisions for new 4/3 kit

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by jgmankos, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. jgmankos

    jgmankos Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 9, 2012
    Slatington, PA
    Hi all...I'm planning to order an E-PM1 and am making some final decisions on my lens kit.

    I do mostly people/portrait/candid type photography and dabble in a little birding. On an APS-C system my most used lenses were a 55-300 type telephoto lens....and generally 2 primes...a Fast Fifty and a 70mm/85mm fast prime (depending on what system I was using)

    Basically this is what I'm thinking as a lens kit, and I welcome any input.

    1) 14-42 - Kit zoom...no brainer
    2) Olympus 45 1.8 - Looks like a fantastic portrait lens
    3) Here's the first one I'm stuck on....either the Panny 20mm 1.7 or the Sigma 30mm 2.8. I like the wide aperture on the Panny....but 20mm on m4/3 seems a bit wide for a 'standard' prime when I'm used to a 50mm. The 30 seems alot closer but only opening to f/2.8 is a bit of a drawback.
    4) Second dilemma I'm running into is deciding on the Oly 40-150 or the Panny 45-200. I like the reach of the Panny but I've read some reports that it gets really soft at the long end. I would like as much reach as possible. I did a quick search and couldn't find a discussion comparing these two and I kinda want to make a decision on this tonight as it will depend on which camera kit I order.

    Basically I am ordering an E-PM1 and Cameta has two kits, one with the 14-42 for $349, and also a 2 lens kit with the 40-150 for $465. Can't decide if I should get the single lens kit and get the Panny or just jump on the 2 lens kit. Any thoughts on these two? I'd like to get some input although I may not be patient enough to really gather some input and just might make a decision and fly with it.

    Anyway....thanks for reading!
  2. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    I definitely recommend the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 at some point. It is a slightly wide normal, but is an amazing lens. If you pass up the 20mm, I'd go for the Panasonic/Leica 25mm f1.4, expensive but still a better value for the money (in my humble opinion) than the 30mm Sigma. Can't speak to the 40-150, as I'm using the original 4/3 40-150 f3.5-4.5 with an adapter on my E-P2. Basically, though, I'm with Songs 2001; get the two lens kit and sort it out from there.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    I have the 20 1.7 and the 40-150. The really only reason to get the 20 1.7 over the 25 1.4 other than price is the form factor.

    A 20 1.7 makes most sense when you are out and about with one lens, one camera, but if you are bringing an odd assortment of lenses, the size advantage of the 20 1.7 is negated.

    So I would get the 40-150, and use the money saved to get the 25 1.4, it's faster, has the focal length you want, faster AF and apparently sharper and has better bokeh.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. capodave

    capodave Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 4, 2010
    Southern Cal
    It's pricey but my 12 rekindled my love for my Pens
  6. jgmankos

    jgmankos Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 9, 2012
    Slatington, PA
    Thank you everyone, for the input. I decided to go ahead and order the kit with the 40-150. I figure for an extra $115 I really can't go wrong...plus when i had an Oly E510 I had the 40-150 and it seemed to give decent reach with this format (although sometimes did leave me wanting more). I also took into consideration that if I want more reach there's more to consider than just the Panny 45-200, as I might want to consider some regular 4/3 lenses as well since I plan to purchase one of the adapters anyway.

    Still trying to decide for right now either the Panny 20 or the Sigma 30....as I want to try and get the Olympus 45 as well.
  7. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    You really can't go wrong with the Panny 20mm -- it's a great little lens. If you're in doubt I would suggest that you try to find a used one (with some luck you might find one under $300) and if it turns out you don't like the focal length you can re-sell it and recoup your investment (or even make a buck or two).

    Good call on getting the two-lens kit. The Oly 40-150 is a surprisingly good lens, but if you find you want more reach you should easily be able to get your $115 back on it.

    Have you considered the Panny 100-300mm? I don't have any experience with that one, but it would certainly give you more reach. I've seen it available for around $350.

    Or, if it's reach you're after maybe you want something like this. 5200mm (in 35mm terms) would allow you to do your birding from you couch. :wink:
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    When you get into the Four-Thirds lenses, definitely pick up the Zuiko 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 SWD. You won't find another lens like it in the Micro Four-Thirds lineup yet, at least not this year for sure. It's a really good balance between easy-to-wield size, relatively fast speed, and wonderful sharp resolving power.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    When you pick up a Four-Thirds mount adapter, get the new MMF-3 which is weather sealed. That way, if you upgrade to or purchase an OM-D body (you haven't said which body you're getting), the entire system will be weather sealed as long as you stick with High Grade or Super High Grade Zuiko lenses. There's not much point in adapting Standard Grade Zuiko lenses anyways, since you will be able to find Micro Four-Thirds equivalents to all of them.

    Definitely pick up the m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8. It's the lens that suits your criteria the most out of what lenses are currently available. You seem to like the long focal lengths, as do I. Unfortunately, most of the longer lenses are still waiting for arrival later this year, such as the m.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8, m.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro, and Lumix X 35-100mm f/2.8. I think the m.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8 would be right up your alley, but you'll have to wait on that one... If you don't mind manual focus though, then you might want to look at the Rokinon/Samyang/Vivitar 85mm f/1.4 for Four-Thirds mount.

    PS, when you're comparing focal lengths you can pretty much pick the same focal lengths you were using on your APS-C system. APS-C (especially Canon's version) gives you about the same view as Four-Thirds except extended on the long ends because of the wider aspect ratio. The difference in vertical height and image magnification is unnoticeable.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    APS-C crop:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Four-Thirds crop:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Notice how you see more of the bee's legs in the APS-C image, but it seems to be just as "close" as the Four-Thirds image? You will have to learn to adjust yourself to the new aspect ratio, but don't worry about the changing the focal lengths from what you're used to.

    If you're one of those who shoots in APS-C then crops your image to 8x10 before exporting it... then you'll get nearly the exact same framing natively from Four-Thirds.
  9. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    If you are considering four thirds lenses there some other options.

    There is also the Olympus 25 2.8 for regular four thirds. Not very expensive.

    The Sigma 30 1.4

    Somewhat expensive

    The Leica 25 1.4, very expensive for four thirds.

    If you can deal with manual focus

    The voigtlander 25 .95, for m43 manual focus very very expensive.

    Adapted lenses

    Nikon 24 1.4, very very very expensive.

    Leica 24 1.4, very very very very expensive.
  10. c5karl

    c5karl Mu-43 Regular

    May 31, 2011
    Fairfax, Va., USA
    I think you'll like the 40-150. It's much more compact than the Panasonic 45-200, and at that price you can't go wrong.

    In terms of 45-200 softness on the tele end, my own limited experience with the lens is that it seems more like an issue with focusing errors than with optics. But I need to make another couple of outings to see what's really going on with it. Lots of people get great photos with the 45-200, but if you don't need the OIS, I'd say save your money.
  11. bedojo

    bedojo Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 14, 2011
    I would go, (i am going) 25mm f 1.4 pana leica, and 45mm f1.8, those would be great portrait lenses.
    20mm, it is good, i used it a year ago, but i would only get it if you wanted a single walk around lens.

    Keep an eye out for the 75mm f 1.8 :)  the fast primes for these cameras are amazing!
    12mm f2 ( <3 <3 <3) 20mm 1.7 (af is a little slow for me, dont really like the 40mm equiv, but very loved lens), PL 25mm ( want this one next), 45mm f 1.8 (amazing portrait lens, check out my flickr last 5 photos or so were that lens), once they release the 75mm! i will have to get it :D 

    If you are not a prime guy, then donno what to tell ya :p 
    I hear good things about 1 of the kit lenses, I would love to see a high quality f2.8 zoom for m4/3
  12. jgmankos

    jgmankos Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 9, 2012
    Slatington, PA
    Thanks for such a detailed response, Ned. I hadn't even considered how the aspect ratio and the final image really may negate the crop difference more than I had considered. Very interesting take....I appreciate that information and I'll definitely keep that in mind.

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