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Lens Set Up

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Jazz80, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. Jazz80

    Jazz80 Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 27, 2014
    Hi everyone,

    First off I want to say this is a great forum for the information and in particular it's friendly members. Been reading posts on this forum for a while and decided to sign up due to the community here. My interest in photography has only sparked in the past few months and this forum and other online reading has aided greatly in building my knowledge. Decided on m4/3 due to the size of the gear and image quality.

    Looking to build my prime lens set up and interested to hear how others set up looks like and why they have chosen so. Currently own the Sigma 30mm and use this lens the most, purcahased to test if I felt comfortable using a prime lens and worked well with it's budget price and shallower DOF (compared to the kit lens). I am thinking of adding 2 more lens to complement my 30:
    1. Oly 45mm 1.8 – I'm thinking of using this for portraits, when I need a longer reach and for subject separation (more so than my Sig 30). Great quality lens, not too expensive, and produces a nice shallow DOF when required. All reviews I have read have all been positive.
    2. Oly 17mm 1.8 – I'm thinking of using this for landscapes and when I need a wider angle of view particularly indoor shots (sometimes the Sig 30mm is a little too narrow and I don’t have the space to step back). Read mixed reviews about the 17mm but from what I read from this forum many people who own it seem very happy with the lens but a bit expensive.
    I’ve tried walking around with the kit lens and trying out those focal lengths, and think I’m happy with these focal lengths but difficult to say until I actually have the primes. Will be using these mostly to photograph family and the occasional landscape and may print up to 16 x 20" size.

    Being new to photography I am keen to hear if my decision on the lens above is sound, what others experience with a similar set up is, what people use each of the their lens for, how much usage each of their lens gets (i.e. any redundant lens in their set up?).
    I know I'm going to receive different views from each person but I guess that's what I'm after as it may provide something I haven't considered before I make any purchases.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Hi, I use zooms mostly and I often go all wide. So, for myself, I'll consider the 12 from Olympus, but it costs too much. The Pana 14 is not so great in the reviews (good but not great).

    You could check the 14-42 pictures to see what focal you used more and if they were long/wide enough. Some image management tools can also display a graph of the used focal lengths. Also try this: next time you take this lens count how many foot steps of difference there are from 17, 30 and 60. It gave me a practical indication of how much these lenses differ (and how much willing to switch lenses I'll be).

    Again I'm not a prime shooter, but I loved to shoot with a 28/50/135 (equiv) set for a while, and I was on the 50 most of the time. What I liked is that it was obvious when you had to use a different lens. If you have too many similar lenses you'll end up with confusing choices like: it's better the 17 and move one step forward or the 30 moving one step back? The point of primes, IMO, is to forget about all this micro gear choices to concentrate on the scene. Sometime you wont have the perfect lens and this "problem" will force you to try a different (better?) shot. Also the more you use the same lens the more you learn to "see" with that focal length.

    The 45 being good, long and fast, will give you a good blur and I think should be fun to use. It has a clear purpose to me. The 17 against the 30? Not so clear (almost same dof, blur, perspective).
    • Like Like x 1
  3. fransglans

    fransglans Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 12, 2012
    I have 14 2.5 and 45 1.8.

    In my humble photo philosophy I need great distance between the focal lengths. 14 and 45 is perfect in that matter. I cannot hesitate when in comes to choosing the right lens. Go for details and portriats; 45! Going for storytelling and environment; 14. Both is small, 14 is 55g and smallest. And its sharp anf with great colours.

    I will not add any more lens to my setup.

    Good luck with your further thinking

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Mu-43 mobile app
    • Like Like x 3
  4. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    I have ended up with the equivalent of what I used for 30 years (28, 50 & 90) of film with the P14, O25 and O45 for my EM-5. This is probably because I feel comfortable with these after all this time and they at all very good for the price.

    However my wife (who has 20+ years with 35mm) would go for 12, 17 and 30 to match her original set up.

    As you can see lens choice can be a very personal thing which is the reason for suggestions of analysing your own shots.

    The 45mm is very good as is the Sigma 60 which could be another option at the long end.

    Some prefer wide angles and might suggest 12mm rather than 14 or 17 and I am starting to get used to this POV with the 12-50 lens but not enough (yet) to justify one of the 12mm.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2013
    I have the Olympus 17 1.8 lens that came with my E-P5 and it is sharp enough for a 16x20 print. Printing is a more accurate judgement of the lens performance rather than incessantly judging and pixel peeping at 200 or 400% using a computer monitor. This is my 2nd most used lens; 25mm Pana Leica being my first and then the 14-42 kit lens @ 14mm to get me wider coverage.

    The 17mm is a pretty versatile lens. Here are a couple of my rough sample shots using the lens with my E-PL1 and E-P5. It's also a fine astrophotography lens; but it's just not wide enough as a 14mm f/2.5 with the DWM-GWC1 11mm converter.

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    Notice especially the middle photo. With creative framing, some people thought I used a fisheye to grab that shot when in fact it was from the 17mm!
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Jazz80

    Jazz80 Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 27, 2014
    Thanks for responding Klorezo. Good tip I will give it a try. Will also look over my collection to see what I often shoot at when I get a chance. Agreed the 12 is out of the price range and the lens is a little larger also. However I will reconsider the 14 though. The 45 looks like a winner.
  7. Jazz80

    Jazz80 Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 27, 2014
    Thanks for posting your experiences Gus, Paul and BikerHiker

    Gus --> great to hear you've settled on your lens set up. Good point about the distance between focal lengths. I may end up selling my 30 down the track... But will see how I go first.

    Paul --> You are right about personal chose. Will take a look at the lengths I've been shooting with. I had glanced over the 60mm but felt it was a little long for my needs though it appears to be a great lens.

    Bikerhiker --> Nice shots! At first viewing I did think the 2nd pic was shot with a fish eye. I am leaning towards the 17 for its versatility and as you've mentioned could use the kit lens when I need to go wider in good light.

    I'll consider the advice provided and come to a decision.
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