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Lens Recommendation for Panasonic GX7

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Sean1216, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. Sean1216

    Sean1216 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 22, 2015
    Sean Wang
    Just ordered the GX7 body from Adorama upgrading from the Olympus EPL1. I have the Zuiko 14-42 mm kit lens that came with EPL1. I plan on spending about $400-$500 on 2 more lenses. One for portrait and one for landscape. Any recommendations for a beginner? I don't mind getting used ones.
  2. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    If you want AF I think the Olympus 45/1.8 is any easy pick for high value portrait lens. $225 used. If you really want to save some cash and don't mind MF you can look at a variety of 50/1.8ish vintage lenses, many of which are sub $100 with a basic adapter. If you like a longer FL for portraits and don't mind losing a little speed the Sigma 60/2.8 is very good. Sells for less than $200.

    Not sure what you want for landscape, but wider than 28 and exceptionally sharp can be an issue on a budget. I like the Panasonic 12-32, but I've read a lot of comments about it where users don't consider it to be very sharp. They sell for $225 or so used.

    Welcome on board!
  3. snaimpally

    snaimpally Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2012
    The Sigma lenses are excellent lenses at bargain prices. I suggest the Sigma 60mm f2.8 for portraits and the Sigma 19mm f2.8 for landscape. You may be able to find the older model Sigma 19mm for a lot less.

    If you can pay a little more, I'd look for a used Panasonic 20mm f1.7 pancake lens as an alternative to the Sigma 19mm. For portraits, the Olympus 75mm f1.8 is a little pricey, but worth every penny. Get on the Olympus mailing list as they periodically offer 20% off their refurbished lenses.
  4. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    When your budget is tight, Sigma lenses are your friend! I'd recommend the 19mm and the 60mm, and use your kit lens for wider landscape needs... Or go a different route and maybe pick up one moderately expensive lens and one cheap one. Maybe also consider the Panasonic 14-42mm ii lens for better in-lens stabilization.
  5. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    P20 and O45 is a good 2 lens kit. I often go out with my GX7, those 2 lenses, 2 extra batteries, a couple SD cards, and a lens pen in a small mirrorless mover 10 bag. Both are small, fast and sharp. You should be able to get both used for less than $500.
  6. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    For portrait you can pick either Olympus 45/1.8 or Sigma 60/2.8 and for general zoom Olympus 12-50mm is most versatile under $200 used. Other choices are Panasonic 12-32mm or latest Panasonic 14-42mm II.
    The first version of Olympus 14-42mm that you have worth probably nothing.
  7. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    What about the Panasonic 14mm for the wide landscape lens - wider than the Sigmas and pretty cheap used. Plus if you want to go wider on a budget there is always the Panasonic GWC1 wide converter for it, which gives you 11mm.
  8. riverr02

    riverr02 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    New York
    I second the P20. It's on my GX7 most of the time, and it creates a nice sized camera with great IQ. Only negatives there are the slightly slow AF (which truthfully isn't a problem for most things) and lack of OIS for video. The O45 would also be a great bet, but I suggest holding off on that till we see how the new P42.5 1.7 fares. Looks to be about the same size, and if the IQ is comparable, video (and possibly stills) would again benefit from OIS.
  9. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    I also own a GX7 and and E-PL1 with the 14-42mm kit lens. As far as landscape goes, there is nothing wrong with the wide end of the kit lens you have apart from not being able to easily use a polarizer. If you typically don't use a polarizer in your landscape photography, for a little more versatility I would go with a lens that offers you better low light capability as well as something that offers an easy way to isolate subjects. I think the 20mm f1.7 recommendation as the pancake lens also makes the camera more portable. As a second lens, either the 45mm f1.8 or the Sigma 60mm f2.8 would be my choices. As always, its difficult to make recommendations unless we know exactly what/how you like to shoot, but I think the kit zoom you have, a 20mm and the 45mm/60mm would make a fairly versatile kit.
  10. Benzy

    Benzy Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 18, 2014
    If under $500, like others my suggestion is the P20 and Oly 45. The Gx7 was definitely designed with the P20 in mind.

    If you can spend a bit more I highly recommend the PanaLeica 15mm in place of the P20.
  11. xxjorelxx

    xxjorelxx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 11, 2012
    MD, USA
    A lot of good suggestions so far. You can't go wrong with the 20mm 1.7, 45mm 1.8, and the 14mm 2.5... Another lens you could consider for landscapes is a Rok/Sam/Bow 7.5 fisheye . Of course you'd have to be comfortable with manual focus but its a great, sharp, inexpensive lens if you dont mind post process defishing
  12. Sean1216

    Sean1216 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 22, 2015
    Sean Wang
    Thanks for all the suggestions. I can spend another $1000 on lens, but I just feel as a beginner I should learn with the low end stuff :) . The sigmas sound like the best way to go.
  13. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2013
    Since you've got a kit 14-42mm, I think the Sigma 60mm definitely adds a bit of value for you, since you don't have anything that long. At the wide-angle end, I'd agree with the consensus that either the Sigma 19mm or Panasonic 20mm would be good options for you. Another option, if you wanted an all-purpose lens, could be the Olympus 25mm, which you could probably find for about $300.

    My day-to-day kit is the Panasonic 20mm and Sigma 60mm and that offers a lot of versatility in terms of distance and the ability to do indoors, low-light photography.
  14. Sean1216

    Sean1216 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 22, 2015
    Sean Wang
    http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-Aspherical-Pancake-Interchangeable-Cameras/dp/B002IKLJVE This is the P20? Looks like there are multiple versions. Any difference between them? This looks like a good combo to have.
  15. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2013
    As far as I know, the two versions of the lens are extremely similar in terms of performance and design. They just look a bit different. I own the older version, which tends to cost between $200 and $250 used. The newer version costs a bit more.
  16. Sean1216

    Sean1216 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 22, 2015
    Sean Wang
    How about the Panasonic Lumix 14-140mm instead of the Sigma 60? It looks like a good lens for about the same price, but does give me zoom and OIS.
  17. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2013
    "I plan on spending about $400-$500 on 2 more lenses. One for portrait and one for landscape."

    I am not familiar with the 14-140mm lenses (there are two Panasonics and an Olympus that are all significantly different), so I can't speak to them. I do have a Panasonic 45-150mm lens which I carry around when I think I might need it and I like it.

    I quoted you above, because you specifically noted you wanted a portrait option. The Sigma 60mm and Olympus 45mm are probably your best relatively cheap bets for that.

    By the way, the GX7 is the one Panasonic camera that actually has some built-in image stabilization. It may not be as good as the stabilization they build into their lenses, but I'd imagine it makes the need for lens-based stabilization a bit less of a priority. For what it's worth, I use the Panasonic 20mm and Sigma 60mm on a G5, which has no stabilization.
  18. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    The new version has a different coating along with some cosmetic changes. I remember reading some reports of very small differences in the images they made, but they were insignificant enough to where I don't remember what they are. I have the old version, and it renders fantastically. That lens and either the O45 or Sigma 60 is a great combo.
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
  19. davidzvi

    davidzvi Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    The 14-1#0 zooms (pick one, Panasonic/Olympus/Tamron) are all in one zooms. Good at being all in one zooms, otherwise just OK. The 30 and 60 Sigma lenses are good lenses and not just good on a budget, they're good. Also if you see a 14-140 for under $200, as the Sigmas are, then something is probably wrong with it.

    Sigma 30mm / Olympus 45mm / Sigma 60mm, pick you portrait focal length from small group to individual head shot. I have the 30 & 60.

    Landscape? Something that to at least 12mm or the 14mm + the wide converter. I have the 12-50 + 9mm body cap fisheye. I've own the 14mm in the past and liked it though I find the 17mm focal length fits me better. But with the converter it would give you wide or without it something that will fit in a jacket pocket.
  20. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    I agree. I have only owned the 60mm, but that Sigma 60 is one of the sharpest m4/3 lenses regardless of price. A rather strange looking lens, but a total bargain. If you are doing mostly indoor portraits, however, then the 45mm (another of my favorites) would be more versatile in lower light and you can get closer to your subject. Used price is not too much more than the Sigma. Both are great lenses.

    I was a relative beginner only about a year ago, and I would argue that you should get a good fast prime as a beginner, because it really helps you see and understand the effects of changing aperture much better than a zoom with a much smaller range of apertures does. The Sigma 60 is only a 2.8 vs. 1.8 for the 45mm, but at the longer 60mm field of view aperture changes produce very different results.
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