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Lens line-up: can you give me a hand?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by stillshunter, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. stillshunter

    stillshunter Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 27, 2011
    OK what I currently have in the bag is:

    Now the GF1, LVF1 and 25/1.4 are the foundation stones and are going nowhere! I don't do much long lens work any more so I think the 45-200 is plenty good enough to see me through the occasional need.

    So my main absentees are a WA and Macro. I've been contemplating cashing in the 20/1.7, 14-45 and FL-360 and maybe getting the 14/2.5 and PL45.
    This would give me a WA, normal, macro and long (ish) tele.
    Does this sound a sensible option?
    Otherwise, which way would you go?

    My main driver is a strong preference for primes. So I'm thinking these three lenses (14,25,45) will cover most of my requirements. I know many would think me crazy for parting with the 20mm, and I'd be more than happy to hold onto it - as it takes up little space - but the PL25 is virtually welded on my body and makes a comfortable normal for me. And, yes, the 12/2 would be sweet in the bag, but I fear if I sold off the 20/1.7, 14-45 and FL-360 then it would be all I walk away with. :frown:

    Finally I have heard much talk about the wide end of the 14-45 equalling the IQ of the 14/2.5. So does this mean my only gains are a stop and a bit of light gathering and about a third of the size and weight?

    Having said all this, I'd not be devastated if I kept it all intact, but would be interested in opinions on my options.
  2. zerotiu

    zerotiu Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 13, 2011
    14mm perspective is fun! It's fairly cheap. I found the used one only $180. You can consider SLR magic 12mm f1.6 but it's a manual lens.

    For macro, I like to have a lens that dedicated for macro use only. Like this : YASUHARA/NANOHA . It's like in the middle if you buy PL25 macro. But both have great results with different area of strength.
  3. For macro the PL45 is currently the only way to go in native m4/3 land. For wide-angle the choices are greater. In primes you have the inexpensive 14mm (wide), and the expensive 12mm (almost ultra-wide). There are the ultra-wide zooms as well (which I find indispensable), being the not unreasonably priced 9-18mm (ultra-wide to almost standard), and the expensive 7-14mm (uuuulllltra-wide to wide). If I was carrying around a bunch of lenses all the time (which, I mostly do :blush:) I probably wouldn't get the 14mm, but if I was travelling very light (one body, two lenses) it would be that one and the 20mm. Sadly I find it hard to justify the 12mm even though it is a lens I would very much like to own.
  4. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    I have the 14/25/45 trio, having sold the 20 and 14-45 kit lens to fund this in part and have no regrets. I'd love a native macro so will see what happens with that. The big pluses of the 14mm pancake for me were it's size, much closer focusing, better contrast and a stop and a bit faster...it's a fun lens and i use it more than the wide end of the kit lens I had.
  5. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    After mucking about with several lenses, including some legacy glass (the SMC Takumar 50/1.4 is the only one I've kept) I think I've settled on a set of lenses that completes my kit in a way that suites how and what I want to shoot.

    My lenses.............9-18, 14, 25 & 45.
    In the process of selling the Pany 14-45.

    The 14 for me is that compact, portable go anywhere lens that I can tuck into my cargos or coat pocket and shoot away at just about everything....landscapes, urban environment, street, backyard gatherings of friends/family. Its relatively bright, very fast to AF and sharp. And given I will probably never sell my PL25....the 20 I feel didn't offer enough of a differentiation in terms of FOV. And at about $180....WOW....you'd have to beat me with a stick to fork out the dough for the 12/f2 !!!

    The 25 and I will grow old together.

    The 45 is awesome....but is waiting patiently until me and 25 decide we need some time off from each other :) 

    I'm not really into the long focal lengths although the Pany 45-200 does seem to be a really decent lens at a fair price. I prefer the wide to normal side of things and although the 14 generally covers that in an everday pocketable way......I still feel the need to go wider, my life outside of work is spent in the great outdoors rather than in the city cafes so an Ultra wide was a must eventually....was looking at the 7-14 but leaving for Nth America in 3 weeks so cost was a factor....as a result, have grabbed a 9-18. Relatively compact, reasonably priced, very wide and as far as I've seen, really solid optically and usually well enjoyed by its owners.

    Try a few things out if need be, anything surplus you can always sell on at hopefully only a negligible loss.
  6. stillshunter

    stillshunter Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 27, 2011
    Guys, each and every one of you "THANK YOU! :2thumbs:

    @ zerotiu - Thanks for the vote on the 14mm. Yep the price is right. I looked into the YASUHARA/NANOHA macro lens, but with the limited apertures - I think starting at f11? This would lose a little in versatility.

    @ Nic - Mate if the universe were kinder to me then I'd have both the 12/2 and the 7-14mm. But things being as they are I have to keep costs contained to what I can achieve by cashing in what I have. I was looking at a legacy macro to adapt to the GF1, but think it easier and I'd gain more utility from the native PL45.

    @ manju69 - Encouraging to hear that you are happy with your, similar, line-up....and bizarre that you sold what I might be to achieve this. I assume when you're talking the 45mm you are referring to the Oly45/1.8 rather than the PL45?

    @ Livnius - Mate I knew that you and I would arrive at the same kits, albeit you are more than a few steps ahead of me on the road. :blush: As per my reply to Nic, Would love the 7-14 as I shot a lot of landscapes and this would be just the ticket. That lens sort of taunts me actually, as it makes me see sense in having the 7-14, 14-45, 45-200...I mean that's perfect continuity! But my focus here is on the macro and the wide....I agree, mate, the 12/2 is pretty steep and I reckon the 14mm would suffice for what I want. Hey, like manju, are you talking the PL45 when you say the 45 or are you in the Oly camp there?

    I'm with you mate, me and that PL25 will be collecting a pension together. Even if I went FF years down the track I'd probably keep the GF1 (or GX1 by then :wink:) just so we can keep fast company.
    • Like Like x 2
  7. stillshunter

    stillshunter Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 27, 2011
    Yeah thanks Nic :confused:  Mate I see it, and I certainly respect Livnius's and your opinion...oh she does look mighty nice...

    Apologies all. I don't know where my heads been, as I thought the PL45 was 'affordable', just did a little window shopping and can see that this little piece of PL goodness is out of my league :frown: Not sure why I thought it was sub-$500 :blush: Oh well, I'll browse mu43 for macro workarounds from legacy glass to filters and extension tubes.

    Meanwhile, so I'm not at a complete loss:
    if you had my line-up and were entertaining the 14/2.5, would you consider trading out the 14-45 or the 20/1.7?
  8. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    Having both the 20 and the 25 seems redundant to me from a FOV standpoint. I would swap out the 20 for either the 14 or the Oly 45 (if you do portraits). A zoom always comes in handy, and given their low resale value, not worth trading in.
  9. manju69

    manju69 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2011
    Stroud, UK
    Yep, I have the Oly 45, though I have been tempted by the PL45, if I win the lottery, I might get it.
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I would get rid of both the 14-45mm and 20mm/1.7, and reach for both the 14mm/2.5 as well as the 45mm/1.8. Those two paired with your 25mm/1.4 will give you a nice complete set.

    Aren't the retail values for the 14mm/2.5 similar to the 14-45mm, and the 45mm/1.8 similar to the 20mm/1.7? Of course your lenses are used but maybe if you bought used you could swing it, or else put in the extra to buy new.
  11. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Dublin, IE
    Mark, mate, in my opinion having both PL25 and 20mm pancake is completely redundant.

    As for macro, you have to ask yourself: do you really need a true 1:1 macro lens? If no, then you should consider Oly 45/1.8. It uses the same bayonet mount for additional accessories as the Oly kit lens and accepts the MCON-P01 macro converter. It won't give you 1:1 magnification, but it will be enough for small flowers and large insects. Unlike screw-in macro converters, it's also very quick to mount and unmount, making it significantly more practical when used in the field.
  12. In Australia the 20/1.7 can still sell for over $350 used and the 45/1.8 can be had (via China) for as little as $330 new. 'Tis no macro, tho.
  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    True this is! But at least for a dedicated macro you always have the option of legacy lenses, as AF is not required. I prefer macro lenses longer than 45mm anyways (like 100mm is perfect for me, or 60mm works as well), so I would rather have a fast portrait 45mm with a legacy macro.
  14. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Well, I hope I think that is sensible (see gear list) :biggrin:
  15. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    This is just my shooting, of course. YMMV.

    I was able to snag a used PL45 at US$500, but it took some shopping, and some rationalization, but if all I had was the 14/25/45, I'm all set. I have two kit 14-42 lenses. One I have listed FS, the other will go up soon (I have it only because it's the EPM1 kit, and still in the return window, just in case). I have an all-rounder, 14-150, but it sees rare use, and then two legacy 50s (FD and Takumar) and a legacy 100 (2.8 OM).

    For the last 2 months, my picture distribution is:
    • 160 shots with the 14/25
    • 119 shots with the 25/1.4 (only had for 6 of the 8 weeks)
    • 56 shots with the takumar (all from a photo shoot of the kids for the Christmas Card)
    • 38 shots with the 45.
    • 15 shots between the three kit lenses, 8 of which were test shots for comparison purposes, so 7 keepers

    In comparison over the last two years, I've had:
    • The 20mm 1.7 since April 2010 with 533 keepers. About 30/month.
    • The PL25 I've had for 1 1/2 months, and have 231 keepers or 154/month (though it's the new kid on the block, so it gets the most work)
    • The 14mm I've had since July 201 and I have a total of 350 shots, or about 70 per month.
    • The 14-42 kit I've had (one type or another) since July 2009, or about 2 year 5 months, and I've done 221 keepers, or about 8 per month. Out of those 221 shots, 119 were at 14mm and 54 were at 42mm, a total of 73% were shot at either 14mm or 42mm.
    • from the 14-150, purchased in Aug 2010, I have 490 keeps, 87 at 14mm, 159 at 150mm, or 50% at either 14mm or full tele.

    So, for me: 14mm is the #1 focal length, though if you add the 25 and the 20 together, then "normal" is my #1 focal length, followed by 14, then full zoom (I have had other systems, and I do a good amount of work at tele) and the 45. But a lot of my full tele use is "semi-macro" (flowers, etc.) so I'm going to see if the 45mm macro replaces that.

    Zooms are nice, but they are so slow on m43 that I prefer the quality of the primes.
  16. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    The 45/2.8 is a fantastic lens, and has recently broke through the $600 mark on the used market - been seeing them regularly for $525-575. I think the close focus ability (never mind true 1:1 macro) and the f/2.8 make it quite a versatile lens, though one does have to mind the focus distance and background separation to make a bokehlicious portrait.

    That said, if the new "bright zooms" coming out in the next few months have reasonable close focus ability and are f/2.8 or faster, I will probably get rid of the PL45. I don't do enough true 1:1 macro to need it at that point.
  17. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Just to clarify, the 45 i was referring to was the Oly45. Like I said, fantastic lens that I haven't got around to using so much as I'd picked up the PL25 at pretty much the same time, but one that I immediatly recognized as a long term keeper.

    There seems to be somewhat of a consensus, if you feel a strong connection with your PL25 yet need to offload something to make room for other lenses, then the 20mm is perhaps the most obvious first cab off the rank. Essentially then, it leaves you without a pocketable prime and as I stated, I think EVERY kit needs atleast one pancake lens. That leaves either the Pany14 or the Oly17 and as far as I can see/read....the Pany is the hands down winner.

    I reckon that leaves you with a sensible point to start off with in terms of determining your kit because the Pany14 happens to be the cheapest of the lot....finding one for about $180AUD is no problem, maybe even less. Give it a crack for a few weeks and you'll be able to answer some questions. Does it offer you enough of something different to your PL25 ? Does the focal length appeal to you/ is f2.5 bright enough/ is AF fast enough.....to become your pocketable 'all-rounder' ? ....and in your case perhaps most importantly.....you'll be able to gauge how much wider you will need/want to go.

    Cost is of course a factor for most of us, myself included.....that's why I am happy I was able to pick up the 14mm and the 9-18mm for less than the price of the 7-14mm alone and with enough spare change to pick up a top notch B+W CPL filter and a step-up ring. Talk about options and versatility !! Something to consider.

    Take your time though Mark, you're posting some fantastic shots with the gear you already have.....but I do think before you invest in some of the pricier lenses you are looking at consider picking up the 14mm...I think it's the most affordable first move to get the ball rolling and begin answering some of your questions.
  18. stillshunter

    stillshunter Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 27, 2011
    Jeez I love this place! Thanks to all you guys for your opinions and help. I realise you must all get sick of the relentless "what lens should I buy" posts. But you have provided well considered replies.

    So there's some consensus and after more research I am in agreement that the 14/25/45 line-up would be a great one that would attend to more than 95% of my shooting needs. The 45/1.8 would be a wise choice either way - as it appears to make a superb portrait lens (and I'll look into your suggestion Pavel). I'll start keeping an eye out on the Marketplace and auction sites to see if I can snag some used bargains. I was going to post an FT post in our Classies, but fear I'd need some serious planet alignment to find another member wishing to part with their 14 and 45 in lieu of a 20 and 14-45.
    Thanks mate, but if you look at the EXIF it will betray the fact that this is all down to the PL25. There really is something between that lens and I :love: Since is arrival both the short zoom and 20mm have languished. I know neither will replace my 'normal', but agree that the 14 and 45 might complement it far better than its other bag companions.

    Again, to each and every one of you...THANK YOU!
  19. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Just post piccies after you get your new lenses :) 
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