Lens suggestions for E-PL5

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by pixmedic, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. pixmedic

    pixmedic Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 8, 2014
    central florida
    just got into m4/3 with an Oly E-PL5 ( i know, kinda old)
    wanted something with a little longer reach than the 14-42, so i bought a 40-150 on ebay for $110.
    it seems nice enough, for a kit lens, but now i am thinking of maybe getting a prime lens.
    something for low light and/or portraits.
    i have heard a lot of good reviews on the Oly 45 f/1.8
    I have also been looking at the sigma 30mm f/2.8 and 60mm f/2.8
    the 75 f/1.8 is more than I want to spend on m4/3 right now, and AF is a must have.

    any lenses i have missed? any panasonic options that might be worth looking at over the Oly and Sigmas?
  2. WhidbeyLVR

    WhidbeyLVR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 14, 2014
    Whidbey Island
    My first three were (in order):

    P 20mm f/1.7 -- great lens. Slowish focus, but a great FL for me, and a pancake option for pocketing.

    O 45mm f/1.8 -- my go-to lens for full to head & shoulders portraits, and I like it for indoors when I want to capture more intimate perspectives without being distractingly close. It works fairly well with inexpensive extension tubes for close up work. I also find it interesting for some landscape work, though it usually ends up stopped down to apertures similar to your kit zoom.

    Bower (Samyang) 7.5mm fisheye -- be patient, get it cheap and have fun! Zone manual focus is usually dead easy for the wide view. I use Hugin (free) to de-fish and reproject as appropriate for any particular image.

    I was pretty happy with those as the first, though I have since added a few more.
  3. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    The 17mm f1.8 is a great option too and works very well with the E -PL5 - a nice size and weight match.
  4. dylandingo

    dylandingo Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 12, 2011
    La Crosse, WI
    I second the 17mm 1.8. I had the Panasonic 20mm 1.7 and I hated how slow the autofocus was, I sold it and got the Olympus 17mm 1.8 and couldn't be happier.
  5. arch stanton

    arch stanton Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2012
    Have a look at the focal length you use most on your 14-42. If it's the wide end, get the 17mm/1.8, if it's the long end or you just love tele portraits, get the 45mm :) 
    Like dylandingo, I had the 20mm and bought the 17mm to replace it as the low-light focus just missed too many people shots for me.
    I find my 17mm practically lives on my camera after dark, the 45mm sadly doesn't get much use - though it might now I'm trying to learn more about portraits.
  6. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    The starting point is pany 20 and oly 45. Has been for a few years now. You can then decide what focal length you'd be requiring and swap/ sell/ buy other primes after if you need to. It's only after actually using these primes in the real world as a starting point that you'll truly know what primes you need and what you want from them.
  7. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    ive used many different systems from medium format to film slr to apsc and my digi FFrx1. the 45/1.8 can hang with pretty much anything ive used. im not saying its as good IQ wise as a zeiss lens on MF or a summicron 90, but for what we're talking about in price and compactness, yeah, it cannot be beat.

    having said that, i just got the oly 60/2.8, which has macro capability. i love its rendering for portraits and its resolution for macro. it has 'character', a 'signature', i just cant wait to shoot it. got mine used for $350, about the same price as the 45 new. theyre both very sharp, just one is fast and small, the other has a unique character and macro. decide whats important for you and have at it!
  8. pixmedic

    pixmedic Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 8, 2014
    central florida
    I'm leaning pretty hard towards the oly 45 f/1.8, but the 60 f/2.8 is still interesting enough to keep me on the fence with the decision.

    Sent from my SM-N900P using Mu-43 mobile app
  9. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    The 60mm macro is great if you like macro, but if not, just get the 45mm f1.8. I have the 60 macro, and still find myself wishing for the 45 at times.
  10. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    The 60mm is quite long compared to the 45mm. It is like having the 40-150 zoom attached to the camera. I owned the lens and found it to be very sharp but for some reason it seemed to miss the focus more than any of my other m4/3 lenses. I had some great keepers and many lost shots. The 45 has been more reliable for me and it is faster at f1.8. I would start with the 45mm if you want a portrait lens. It is definitely one of the bargain (great IQ to cost ratio) lenses for the system.
  11. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    I think the 60 misses focus more, I have seen this too, because it has the macro range to rack through as well as the normal focusing range.
  12. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    yes i too have had it miss focus, and in general the 60 focuses more slowly than the 45, and its certainly bigger, though its very light.

    again, as both have very good general IQ, i think its a pretty simple decision: 45/1.8 for small and fast; 60/2.8 for 'magic' and added macro feature. dont make it more complicated than it is.
  13. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    45mm 1.8 a beautiful fit. Then the 20 1.7. You will have to stop down or use a neutral density filter in the sun. Or get a polarizer. Enjoy
  14. Among your possible lenses, which are all excellent, I would recommend the Sigma 30mm. In its newest "Art" iteration - it's an incredibly compact/lightweight lens - almost but not quite pancake small - which makes it an ideal companion for the PL5's almost-pocketably small body. The lens itself is sharp as a razor --- and though it's not quite as fast as either the new Olympus 25 or the legendary Pana/Leica 25mm - it's waaaaay more affordable than both of those lenses.

    If bang-for-buck is one of your criteria, than the 30mm - like its larger 60mm Sigma sibling - should be near the top of the list too.

    But it's mainly for the IQ and the lens's compact size that I'm recommending it for your PL5. I'm a former PL5 owner myself, too - great camera.

    Good luck!
  15. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    What do you plan to shoot? 45mm and 60mm are nice lenses, but you already have those lengths covered by 40-150mm.
    And you can really do nice outdoor portraits with 40-150mm and use it for macro with converter or extension tube.
  16. Dayam

    Dayam Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 15, 2014
    I have an E-PL6 and started with the Sigma 30mm. I now have the P14 / Sigma 30 / Sigma 60.

    I'm happy with the coverage. :) 

    Sent from my LG-D802 using Tapatalk
  17. Ramsey

    Ramsey Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2013
    Zagreb, Croatia
    normal fast prime is the usual way to go. 17mm and 25mm (35 and 50 equivalents) are what is usually said as the normal field of view. Panasonic 20mm and Oly 17mm and Oly 25mm are your best bet. All great lenses, relatively cheap, light and small. P20mm tends to have slow AF on Oly bodies, especially indoors. Oly 17mm (f1.8) is, according to some people, a bit soft. Don't have it so can't confirm.

    Don't beat yourself up, E-PL5 is a great camera, even though it's a bit older. I have it too. It's built like a tank, and i'd suggest getting a bigger grip if you have bigger hands. Doesn't play a role now, but will with bigger lenses.

    Oly 45mm is a great lens but get something wider first IMHO.

    Later on, find out what really interests you.
    If you're into wildlife and similar, go tele. Your 40-150 is a good lens, cheap, reasonably sharp and light. Panny 100-300 goes much further (if you want to take shots of dangerous wildlife or don't want to disturb the subject).

    If you're into tight spaces and landscape photography, go wide (Oly 9-18 and Panny 7-14 are both great lenses, each with its own good and bad sides). There are talks about prime ultrawide lenses but i'm not sure of the reviews. Maybe someone with more info can chime in.

    Macro and fisheye are great, but the novelty wears off for some people. Rent if unsure. FE can be easily defished for ultrawide (my plan btw, Samyang 7.5 is just a superb lens). Both Panny and Oly macro lenses can serve as a really good portrait lens, although a bit slower than 45 and 75.
  18. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Kowa announced an 8.5mm which is probably rectilinear, but will be expensive.

    The only other known option is the 9mm Oly Body Cap Lens, which is toy-ish and F8 only, but is reportedly not terrible. $99, backordered.

  19. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    For something that will double as dual-purpose for both low-light and portraits, and also has fast AF, the m.Zuiko 45mm/1.8 really sounds like your best bet.... especially if the 75mm/1.8 is out of your budget (it would be better for headshots but less versatile for both general low-light photography as well as upper-body portraits... and full body would be out of the question). If you go wider (ie, like the 25mm range) then you might have a lens which works good for general purpose photography, but will lose the ability to take good cropped portraits without introducing unflattering perspective distortion.

    So yeah, I'd stick with your first choice. :) 
  20. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
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