Lenses for E-PL5

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by prophet, Sep 19, 2014.

  1. prophet

    prophet Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014
    I am looking for lenses and wanted to ask some advice which ones to get. I am aiming for lenses that are not too expensive, but also not crappy, so something in the mid-price-range.

    1) A prime lense for landscape photography.

    2) A mutli-purpose zoom.

    Any suggestions?
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  2. Jazz80

    Jazz80 Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 27, 2014
    Hi prophet,

    1. Primes for landscape can be any focal length depending on your personal preference. Generally they tend to be wider and there's a large range depending on your budget. Some choices are for the wide:
    Panasonic 14mm 2.5, Sigma 19mm 2.8, Panasonic 20mm, Olympus 17mm 1.8, Olympus 12mm 2, Samyang 12mm 2

    2. I'm not too familiar with the zooms but the 2 most popular (also larger) and high quality ones are the Olympus 12-40mm 2.8 or the Panasonic 12-35mm 2.8. Most of the kit zoom and these zooms can double as landscape and general purpose use zooms. The kit lens which comes with the epl5 should do well for landscapes in good light and at the wider end of the zoom range.

    Good luck with your search!
  3. prophet

    prophet Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 10, 2014

    2) How about larger zooms, say up to 150mm?
  4. Ramsey

    Ramsey Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2013
    Zagreb, Croatia
    adding to what Jazz said, all lenses can serve as landscape lenses, even short to long telephotos. That said, wide angle lenses have that pop that comes from field of view different from what we normally see with our eyes.

    As far as i've understood in the short time i've been in photography, quality=price is pretty much a justified argument (as far as lenses go) so there's compromises to be made, depending on your needs/desires and willingness to part with your money :). However, even kit lenses can produce magnificent results.

    While 20mm by Panasonic is known for its price/size/sharpness/quality characteristics, it's one of the lousiest autofocus performers (probably not a big deal in landscape photography) and some copies are more prone to banding on Oly bodies. I'd recommend that lens, but it being a 40mm equivalent, do take into account it lies in the middle of the normal field of view (35-50mm equivalent). Olympus 12mm is a great performer and perfect for landscape photography but it's (unreasonably, IMO) expensive.

    as far as zooms go, the ones that Jazz said are best normal zooms currently avaliable. They come with a price tag (and additional weight). UNfortunatelly, our system is not developed in the measure Canon and Nikon is, so after those, you're only left with kit lenses. Oly 14-42 II and Panny 14-45. While not necessarily bad, they are producing lower quality results as oppose to primes. They will do for most of your needs, but don't expect superb IQ, sharpness and (naturally) ultra shallow DOF. Additionally, you have 12-50 Oly kit lens (came with E-M5). It is a bit more money, and the quality is still not up to the quality in prime lenses, but you get that 12mm (24mm equiv.) and 50mm (100mm) FOV. Bad side is that it's a bit more $$ than other ones, but the good side is weather sealing (take in mind you don't have a weather sealed body) and faux macro capabilities (at 43mm if i'm not mistaken). I'd recommend the latter.

    Have fun and welcome to the forum

    EDIT: longer zooms, same thing, more choices (especially on Panasonic side). Not gonna name every single one, but there are options, cheaper and more expensive, lower quality ones and better quality ones. Definitely think if a power zoom (14-150 Oly and 14-140 Panny) would suit your needs more appropriately.

    EDIT 2: i forgot two pancake kit zooms, 12-32 Panny and 14-42 EZ Oly. Heaftier price, solid quality.
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  5. Aushiker

    Aushiker Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 12, 2014
    Fremantle, Western Australia
    Real Name:
    A couple of resources which may be worth a read are the Wirecutters suggestions for your "first micro four third lenses" and micro 4/3rds Photography list of all [?] micro 4/3rds lenses.

    I have used the Wirecutter blog post as my starting point for refining the lenses I want.

  6. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    I have the Olymous E-pl5 and mostly use the Panasonic 14-42 MkII zoom and the Panasonic 45-150 zoom, I get great results from these. sometimes I will use the Panasonic Leica's 15 & 25 and the Olympus 45mm with great results, now and again I have used the Olympus 15mm Body Cap Lens, I like how that lens work too for what it is. Other lenses I have used in the past are:
    Panasonic 14mm, super small, very fast focusing, sharp but contrast is sometimes lacking.
    Panasonic 7-14, only used it a couple of times, you will sometimes get colour fringing using this lens on Olympus 16mp bodies, purple blobs in bright lights and sometimes a green cast in the background.
    Panasonic P20, while this lens maybe slower in AF than most M43 lenses, I've had plenty of digital cameras that were a lot slower to focus than this lens. I have never missed a shot with this lens. another issue is banding at high ISO's, this also varies and I think the light source has something to do with it as well. I got it photographing inside my home at ISO800, but I once went to concert with the E-PL5 and just the P20 lens, took over 250 photo's at ISO1600 and only had one photo that showed banding. Sharpness and colour rendition of this lens is superb, one of the best.
    Olympus 17mm f2.8, smaller, faster focusing, but noiser than the P20. It is not as sharp as the P20, but it is sharp enough in it's own right. I also liked how this lens rendered colours and it had it's own character.
    Olympus 14-42 MkII, sharper than I thought it would be, not a bad lens, but not as good as the Panasonic P14-42 MkII.
  7. Dayam

    Dayam Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 15, 2014
    Real Name:
    I don't have he EPL5 but I have the EPL6. For my landscapes, I use my Panasonic 14mm f2.5. It's a cheap pancake prime whih gives decent results. Though sometimes I can get away with using my Olympus 25mm for landscape.
  8. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Pany 12-35mm is my favorite lens in terms of IQ. But I often go to hike with 12-32mm for it's compactness.
    As for primes.. I'm kinda missing my Sigma 60mm, even though I have Oly 75mm - 60mm was just right focal length for me.