Lens guidance please! 20mm + 45-200mm enough?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by peripatew, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. peripatew

    peripatew Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 21, 2010
    Long-story short, just moved from Nikon to m4/3 with a GH2. LOVING it so far. I just had a D3000 w/ the kit 18-55mm and a 35mm/1.8. Once we got the 1.8, we never used the kit zoom.

    I'm primarily interesting the the GH2 for video, but my wife (and I) will be using it as our family camera as well for personal pictures.

    So I've got the kit 14-42mm, and I bought the 20mm/1.7 for lowlight (and video). I'm planning on selling the 14-42, and putting the money towards the 45-200. This would give us a great lens for inside and close-ups with the family, and then the 45-200 for everything else, including school plays (when we are in the back). I'm interested in the Panny auto-focus stuff because my kids move much faster than I can focus with my MF lenses that I use for video.

    I'll have a 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, and a 135mm MF lenses as well, but swapping those during fast action family stuff doesn't seem doable.

    Is the 14-42 worth keeping at all? I've heard the 14-45 is superior, and I've got a buddy who has one.

    Thanks for the feedback!


    My son wanted me to add this: :)rofl:)
  2. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    That's what I have, and I seem to never need the range between 20 and 45.

    The only problem I see with your plan is that the aperture on the 45-200 is kinda small. This lens seems to really like bright light. Unfortunately, there aren't many bright options out there right now in native/AF mount.
  3. peripatew

    peripatew Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 21, 2010
    Thanks for the reply. And yeah, that's my worry with the 45-200. I've considered legacy zooms, but most don't get below 3.5, and I'd still be manual focusing, which for most school stuff, should be ok I suppose.
  4. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Not sure how big the auditorium is - if 45 would be enough, there's the PL45/2.8 - and it's a nice macro too.

    Olympus should be coming out with their 50/2 (@ CES next week?) and both have hinted at a "bright zoom".

    The other option are 4/3's lenses, but you're talking serious coin and "suboptimal" AF (if any)
  5. blue

    blue Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2010
  6. Danny_Two

    Danny_Two Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 30, 2010
    The 12-45 isn't superior image wise, it's just bulit to a slightly better standard with regard to mounts and material. The kit lens is the most versatile in my opinion, with a good wide end and a good zoom, I think you may regret selling it.
    The 45-200 seems the most limited of all the lenses, not outstanding in the quality department, and as said, not too bright.
  7. mzd

    mzd Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 30, 2010
    i'm in a similar situation. i just got a GF1 with the 20mm and am looking for a zoom lens to compliment it. initially i was leaning towards the 14-140mm over the 45-200mm, thinking it would minimize lens changes when traveling and sight-seeing out and about. but, some comparison reviews show that while both lenses have variable apertures, the 14-140 goes from f4 to f5 before you even get to 45mm and hits f5.8 by 70mm. so the 45-200 is a full stop wider at the lower range and has a more gradual range throughout.
    so i would be wanting to switch to the much faster f1.7 20mm when i didn't need the telephoto to gain the vastly superior low light capabilities of the 20mm anyway. that really negates the convenience aspect of the 14-140mm imo.
    here are the aperture ranges for both lenses (courtesy of slrgear.com):
    <table border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="1">
    <tr><td colspan='7'>14-140:</td></tr>
    <tr><td>Focal Length (mm)</td><td>14-17</td><td>18-24</td><td>25-31-</td><td>32-47</td><td>48-69</td><td>70-140</td></tr>
    <tr><td>Largest aperture</td><td>ƒ/4</td><td>ƒ/4.3</td><td>ƒ/4.7</td><td>ƒ/5</td><td>ƒ/5.5</td><td>ƒ/5.8</td></tr>
    <tr><td>Smallest aperture</td><td colspan='6' align="center">ƒ/22 at all focal lengths</td></tr>
    <table border="1" cellpadding="2" cellspacing="1">
    <tr><td colspan='7'>45-200:</td></tr>
    <tr><td>Focal Length (mm)</td><td>45-60</td><td>61-71</td><td>72-102</td><td>103-146</td><td>148-199</td><td>200</td></tr>
    <tr><td>Largest aperture</td><td>ƒ/4</td><td>ƒ/4.1</td><td>ƒ/4.3</td><td>ƒ/4.7</td><td>ƒ/5.2</td><td>ƒ/5.6</td></tr>
    <tr><td>Smallest aperture</td><td colspan="6" align="center">ƒ/22 at all focal lengths</td></tr>
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  8. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Real Name:
    I rarely use the kit zoom. For indoors, the 20mm is perfect. And the 45-200 is a great wandering around outside (or sitting in the back of the auditorium) lens.
  9. peripatew

    peripatew Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 21, 2010
    Thanks for the feedback. I've thought about the 14-140, but its just to expensive.

    The f-stop chart was amazing information, I hadn't even considered that. The 45-200 seems pretty good comparatively.

    Great the 45-200 will be my next AF lens. Then many the 7-14, but likely the 9-18.
  10. nseika

    nseika Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2010
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    Real Name:
    For the wide end, try using field of view calculator. Using focal length and your (estimated) distance to the scene, you could find the width covered by the lens using that focal length in metres / feet.

    Could be done using plain scientific calculator too, but specialized calculator for that purpose is a lot easier. :D
    http://tawbaware.com/maxlyons/calc.htm <== the Dimensional Field of View Calculator section
  11. tilling

    tilling Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 20, 2010
    The GH2 is surprisingly good at 3200 ISO

    At least that was zpierce's experience so far. In those pics, 3200 looks quite good, and even 6400+ may be usable for many purposes.

    I'm not sure how that affects your personal equation for lens aperture, but if those results are typical, it certainly opens possibilities.
  12. Nehda

    Nehda New to Mu-43

    Jan 5, 2011
    I also like the 45-200 because it's light.
  13. shoturtle

    shoturtle &nbsp;

    Oct 15, 2010
    That was all I took on my month long vacation in SE Asia. I only added a canon 500D close up lens that screws onto the 45-200mm and I had macro, long zoom, fast prime, and the kit zoom. And it covered everything I shot.