Lens recommendations

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by foosion, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. foosion

    foosion Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Feb 29, 2012
    I'm trying to figure out which lenses to get.

    I'm planning to buy a Panasonic G3 or GH2 (because I want a viewfinder and the Oly E-M5 would be overkill for my needs).

    I'd like to cover UWA to about 100mm (200mm EFL). I tend to shoot landscapes, cathedral interiors and general travel. I sometimes shoot close-ups of flowers, etc.

    For the most part, I shoot with lots of DOF, rather than portraits, street scenes or rapidly moving subjects, so don't really need the speed of primes.

    1) UWA. I'm leaning towards the 9-18, as it's smaller and lighter than the 7-14 and very close in optical quality.

    2) Longer.

    - Panasonic 14-140. Would cover the range, but is heavy. People seem to like the optical quality, but I worry about a 10x zoom

    For close-ups, I could get a close-up lens. From some reports, this combination works well.

    - 14-42/45 and 45-175 or 45-200.
    The p14-42 may be preferable. The p14-45 seems better build quality, but only a bit better optical quality. The 14-42 X seems to have issues with blurring at the longer end with medium shutter speeds. I'd like IS for the longer end, so that rules out Olympus lenses (although 12-50 is a nice range)

    These lenses don't seem great for close-ups. I don't do enough close-up work to justify a native macro.

    The 45-175 X would be a nice range, but it seems to have blurring issues similar to the 14-42 X

    That would leave the 45-200, which is a bit heavy

    Would these two longer lenses work for close-ups, either as is or with a close-up lens?

    - 14-42 or 12-35 and 35-100
    The 35-100 would seem ideal, but it doesn't actually exist and will likely be rather pricey.

    3) Primes. I'm well aware of the advantages of primes, but don't usually need the speed (prefer lots of DOF) and I like the flexibility of zooms, especially for landscape work. There's no existing prime longer then 45mm (although a 75mm seems on the horizon, but it would lack IS). I'll likely get a prime, but this is not an immediate priority.

    I'm somewhat leaning towards the 9-18 and 14-140, but worry about the weight and optical quality of the 14-140. It could be a long wait for the 35-100.

    Any thoughts, corrections or suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. runner girl

    runner girl Mu-43 Regular

    192
    Nov 26, 2011
    I have the G3 - my lenses:

    45-200 - I use only occasionally but I'm glad I have it. However it does not do that well in low light as it is a slow lens.
    Only 45mm - I use this the most. I get extra zoom by using the "Ex. Tele. Conv." mode which does not degrade images as much as digital zoom.
    Pan 20mm - this is also a great lens. Great for city shots at night and landscapes. Extra zoom as above as well - for all lenses Every time I use it, I wonder why I don't use it more often.

    I take most of my photos while on a run - each of these fits into one of my fanny packs - worn with pack in front and camera across my chest.

    BTW the Click pack is great for toting a camera with a big lens ?

    I never use my kit lens...

    I do like the G3 a lot - the EVF was mandatory for me in my choice.

    image-3972475949.

    Here is one I took this week with the 45mm
     
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    How about getting the m.Zuiko 9-18mm with the Vivitar (Samyang/Rokinon) 85mm f/1.4 in Four-Thirds mount? Then if you find you still need Autofocus you can wait for the m.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8 to show up.

    At those lens speeds btw, like f/1.4 and f/1.8, you won't require IS. These lenses are 2 stops (for the f/1.4) and 1 1/3 stops (for the 1.8) faster than the Lumix X 35-100mm f/2.8 will be, so you will not miss the OIS (assuming the X lens will have it). They are both smaller and should both be more affordable than the fast zoom, which seems to answer your concerns.
     
  4. foosion

    foosion Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Feb 29, 2012
  5. foosion

    foosion Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Feb 29, 2012
    I usually shoot with lots of DOF, so I end up stopping down, which reduces much of the benefits of fast glass (and makes IS more useful than wide open). Also, for landscapes I like the ability to zoom.
     
  6. sin77

    sin77 Mu-43 Veteran

    243
    Dec 9, 2011
    Singapore
    Well, for what he shoots, he may need IS more than wide aperture. The narrow depth of field may not be that suitable for buildings and landscapes anyway.
     
  7. sin77

    sin77 Mu-43 Veteran

    243
    Dec 9, 2011
    Singapore
    Stopping down a wide aperture does produce sharper image. But whether is it worth to buy such an expensive lens is then subjective. I would rather get a zoom lens, and then sell it off to get 12-35x or 35-100x when they are launched.
     
  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Ah sorry, I missed that part of your post.

    Well, you won't get IS on the 9-18mm either, so how about the m.Zuiko 14-42mm and m.Zuiko 40-150mm?

    You said the Lumix 14-45mm might be a little larger than you want (though to me this is a very small lens) and that you're concerned about the softness of the Lumix X 14-42mm powerzoom. The m.Zuiko 14-42mm retractable lens would be a good option then, delivering great image quality with fast, smooth performance, but in a light, compact, retractable form. In fact, I consider it to be more portable than the Lumix X powerzoom as the powerzoom lens, even though shorter, is beefy and bulky. The m.Zuiko retractable is comparatively light and sleek.

    Then the m.Zuiko 40-150mm will of course cover that mid-tele range. Personally, I think you can get away without the 14-42mm if you have just the 9-18mm and 40-150mm, as a minimalist kit. The distance between 18-40mm could be more easily accomplished by walking forward or backwards with the lens you have mounted, rather than wasting time swapping lenses just to fill that small gap. That's how primes get away with using one focal length to cover a full zoom range, and zoom lenses are no different.

    I know none of these lenses have IS so they may not fill every desire you have, but I think they'll provide you a very good working set irregardless, or at least give you some options to look at. The 40-150mm is significantly smaller than the 14-140mm which seemed to be a concern for you.
     
  9. foosion

    foosion Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Feb 29, 2012
    I should be able to handhold UWA at much lower shutter speeds than I would be able to with a telephoto.

    Any advantage to the mz 14-42 over the pany 14-42?

    The main problem with the 40-150 is the lack of IS.

    The old rule of thumb with 35mm was 1/FL. I'd guess you'd need a bit higher shutter speed with a smaller sensor? In any event, this is why I care more about IS at longer focal lengths.

    The Lumix 14-45 seems like a fine lens. However, it's only real advantage over the Lumix 14-42 is a metal mount, which raises the price but not the image quality.

    That has a certain appeal. I recently shot with a 28-105 P&S and did an analysis of focal lengths. Almost half of the shots were at 28, with the rest pretty evenly distributed and somewhat of a spike at 105.

    As mentioned, the issue is IS for the telephoto. The alternative is the Panasonic X 45-175, which has similar specs.
     
  10. foosion

    foosion Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Feb 29, 2012
    I wish I knew when these will be out, their specs and pricing. I'm likely not the only one.
     
  11. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The difference between the m.Zuiko 14-42mm and the Lumix X 14-42mm would have to be in quality and control. The m.Zuiko produces consistently sharper images, but it also has real focus and zoom rings. I don't know if you've tried the power-zoom and power-focus on the Lumix X yet, but they are a nightmare in my opinion, particularly the focus. The zoom is usable but is slow and tedious, just like using the W-to-T switch on a point-and-shoot. Not my cup of tea, when I could snap to where I want instantly with a zoom ring. The focus switch I wouldn't even consider usable.

    The whole point of them making that lens with all power-switches was to make it compact. In that aspect they only half succeeded. The lens is certainly short, but it is also beefy as I mentioned. The m.Zuiko juts out more, but gives a lighter, less cumbersome feel.

    Now, the difference between the Lumix 14-45mm and m.Zuiko 14-42mm on the other hand, is a little tougher to put down. The Lumix is heavier with a metal mount. If you're very picky about quality, then you might notice sharper images out of the Lumix 14-45mm. It's considered the sharpest of the 14-42/45mm kit lens class. But the Lumix 14-45mm has OIS... so that's right up your alley, right?

    If it were me, I would go either for the Lumix 14-45mm for OIS or the m.Zuiko 14-42mm for compact size and weight. I wouldn't really consider the Lumix X powerzoom.

    As for the Lumix X 45-175mm instead of the m.Zuiko 40-150mm, I'd say go for it. Like you say, you will gain the advantage of OIS. Plus the power-zoom function on this lens is an optional feature - you still have a zoom and focus ring as normal.

    As an aside, some people say the power-zoom is for video functionality, but I'm still not sure I understand that concept. I have used both professional video cameras and camcorders in my days as a videographer, and never once would I have preferred the powerzoom of a camcorder over the manual focus ring of a pro video camera. The focus ring provides smoother, cleaner transitions with more finite control and no shake on start and stop. Plus, a camcorder uses AF tracking while a pro video camera uses manual focus. I'm not sure I could pull focus along with a power zoom. Being able to use all manual controls in video is one of the big reasons to step up to a professional video camera, and this advantage a naturally inherent when using our interchangeable lens system. So why not take advantage?
     
  12. runner girl

    runner girl Mu-43 Regular

    192
    Nov 26, 2011