Lens help again, please.

Discussion in 'Help and Feedback' started by Sunflower, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. Sunflower

    Sunflower Mu-43 Rookie

    May 7, 2013
    Susie Kelly
    I'm trying to find the perfect lens for my Olympus Pen Mini. I have the kit lens that comes with it, and a Panasonic Lumix 45-200 mm. lens. Have also tried using Canon lenses with the adapter, but really don't seem able to get any decent results with manual focusing.

    The Panasonic does produce some good photos, but it's heavy and a bit cumbersome on the body of the Pen Mini.

    In another thread, Spatulaboy recommended the Panasonic Lumix 20mm f1.7. So I was about to buy one, when a friend came over and was playing with my camera. He pointed out that the maximum aperture on the Pen Mini is f3.5, so what would I gain by attaching a lens with an f1.7 aperture?

    Could some kind person explain, please, because it's all a mystery to me. :eek::eek:
  2. kreegah bundolo

    kreegah bundolo Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 25, 2013
    Sweden, north of the dalälv
    Your friend is blonde huh? ;)

    No, I´ve got a Pen Mini(PM1) and theres no maximum aparture, thats controlled by the lens. Your kitlens got a max ap of 3,5.
  3. alan1972

    alan1972 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jun 23, 2012
    Malaga, Spain
    Alan Grant
    I'm not sure how your friend got the idea that the maximum 3.5 related to the camera rather than the lens. I use the Panasonic 20mm on the E-PM1 and I can confirm it can definitely be used at f1.7.

    If you like the focal length range of the 45-200 but find it too heavy as you suggested, maybe look at the Olympus 40-150mm. Obviously you lose a bit or range at the long end but weight certainly won't be an issue, it's a very light lens (although not compact when extended for use). And it can often be found quite cheaply.
  4. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 18, 2012
    Ciaran Reilly
    OP, please don't be put off by the dismissive attitude of the previous poster.

    "Aperture" is a property of a lens design. All micro 4/3 cameras will allow you use the full aperture range of all micro 4/3 lenses. The aperture setting is controlled by the camera for the mainstream lenses, such as the Panasonic 20mm, while some special micro 4/3 lenses have aperture control on the lens barrel itself. (For adapted lenses, some have an aperture control, while others rely on electronic communication with their own type of camera body to set aperture, and this can't be changed on a micro 4/3 body (at least with any adapter currently available that I know of)).

    It certainly is a very confusing area, and for me the only way I learned about these things was by reading far and wide.

    There probably isn't really such thing as a perfect lens, and even if you think you've found it, you will eventually want something else! :smile: Each micro 4/3 lens has its good and bad points. The best advice I've received is to only consider buying new gear when your photography is constrained by the limits of your present gear.
  5. Sunflower

    Sunflower Mu-43 Rookie

    May 7, 2013
    Susie Kelly
    Thanks to you all for your feedback and for clarifying.

    I think the reason my friend (male, black hair!) assumed that the camera was controlling the aperture was because we could not get the Panasonic to go lower than f3.5. We were in bright daylight, set on Aperture priority. I've never been able to set the aperture lower than f3.5. Is that something I'm doing wrong, or a setting inside the camera that I've missed?

    Please bear with me. I'm trying to learn!
  6. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    You have this lens right?
    It's a 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II

    Which means the aperture will never open more than f/3.5 coz the lens' maximum aperture is only f3.5 at the widest focal length (14mm) and f/5.6 at the longest focal length (42mm).

    If you get a fast lens like the 20mm f/1.7 then that's the time you can open the aperture all the way to f/1.7.

    As has been pointed out, aperture size is a property of the lens not the body.
  7. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
    No worries! If you have a Panasonic or Olympus lens attached the camera will automatically detect what the lowest aperture the lens is capable of, and won't let you set anything lower than that. So if you have a lens that can only do 3.5, that's all the camera will let you set it at. If you put the 20 1.7 on there it would let you go down to 1.7.

    On manual focus lenses without any electrical or automatic components you would have to set the aperture on the lens itself, usually by a rotating ring.
  8. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
    The 20mm is a great lens, but it serves a very different purpose than the 45-200.

    The 20mm is considered a normal lens -- the view it gives is similar to what you see youself without any distortion. And it is a fixed lens so you can't zoom it. Typically fixed lenses are sharper than zoom lenses, physically smaller, and have wider apertures allowing better shooting in low light and more control over depth of field.

    Zooms on the other hand are a lot more versatile and replace multiple fixed lenses, but at the cost of being larger, slower, and less sharp.

    The 45-200 is a telephoto zoom, and is basically intended to capture images from a distance. This lens is one of the larger ones, I had it myself and ended up getting rid of it because of that.

    If you want a smaller telephoto zoom, the Panasonic 45-150 is probably the smallest and lightest out there right now. There's a picture of the two next to each other on this page: Panasonic Lumix Vario 45-150mm Sample Photos

    I haven't used the Olympus 40-150, but it is another good option. You can get it for about $50 less new: Olympus M.40-150mm R f/4.0-5.6 R Silver | Lenses | Olympus at Unique Photo
  9. Sunflower

    Sunflower Mu-43 Rookie

    May 7, 2013
    Susie Kelly
    Again, thank you all for your time. :smile:

    I've now learned what I need to know, and realised what happened as soon as I took a photo of the lens in question, the Panasonic Lumix 45-200 mm.

    My friend had said that it had a maximum aperture of f1.4. But when I took the photo of the lens to post here, I saw straight away that he had misread the lens information. The maximum aperture is f4.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/yellowblackberry/9124299693/" title="Lens by Susie Kelly, on Flickr"> View attachment 286410 "500" height="497" alt="Lens"></a>

    So the mystery is solved and I can stop :dash2:

  10. alan1972

    alan1972 Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jun 23, 2012
    Malaga, Spain
    Alan Grant
    That certainly explains it! I guess the ratio sign ":" could be mistaken for "." at a quick glance. (I don't even want to think about how much a lens of that range would cost and weigh if it really had a 1.4 aperture).

    Just to be make sure there is no further confusion, the other zooms mentioned by myself and other posters as possible alternatives to the 45-200 have the same or very similar aperture ranges - they are alternatives in the sense of being lighter, but they won't get you any further if low light is your problem. The 20mm on the other hand genuinely has a significantly larger (brighter) aperture than the kit zoom. It also makes a nice compact pairing with the E-PM1.
  11. sammykhalifa

    sammykhalifa Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 22, 2012
    Pittsburgh PA
    For a while all I had was your 45-200 and the very small Panasonic 14mm, and I thought was a pretty nice combo. The wide angle and the zoom went pretty well together, I think. You can get the 14mm for about 150 bucks if you look around a bit, and I imagine that it would make for a pretty awesome small package with your e-PM.

    Now I have both the 14 and the 20mm you've already been talking about, and I like them both.