Looking for a pancake/small zoom.

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by TheBiles, May 31, 2012.

  1. TheBiles

    TheBiles Mu-43 Regular

    40
    May 23, 2012
    I'll be getting an OM-D as soon as I can get my hands on one, but the kit lens is quite large for my tastes. I've had a hard time finding reviews of MFT lenses in one location, so I figured I'd ask the users. I mainly want to use my OM-D on the street, so I'm looking for an effective focal length between 24 and 50mm. I'd be interested in one of the pancakes or a good zoom that doesn't protrude too much (thinking around 2 inches or so).

    Sent from my Galaxy Nexus
     
  2. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    Five choices in primes, of which three are pancakes:

    Olympus 12mm f2.0 - non-pancake
    Panasonic 14mm f2.5 - pancake
    Olympus 17mm f2.8 - pancake
    Panasonic 20mm f 1.7 - pancake
    Pan/Leica 25mm f 1.4 - non-pancake

    Highest quality are the 12 and the 25
    Most popular are the 14 and 20
    Ugly stepchild is the 17

    Remember that all MFT cameras have a 2x crop factor, so multiply each FL by 2 to get 135 equivalent.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The Olympus 45mm f/1.8 also falls within his criteria, Chuck.

    The smallest of those lenses are the pancakes, the Lumix 14mm/2.5, m.Zuiko 17mm f/2.8, and Lumix 20mm f/1.7. The next smallest are the m.Zuiko 12mm f/2 and m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, which both resemble rangefinder lenses. The largest is the Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux.

    Another small lens is the retractable kit zoom from the PEN cameras, the m.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6. That lens is too slow (small aperture) for me, personally. I would stick with the primes, which are both faster and sharper.
     
  4. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I'd start with the 20mm to see if that fits your needs. It's a small, fast (wide aperture) lens and I personally don't think any :43: kit should be without it. The biggest negative is that it's a little slower to focus, but that may not be as noticeable on the E-M5.

    Ned and Chuck did a great job of giving you the lay of the land. You could do the exercise of taping the zoom on your 12-50 down at each of the focal lengths you think you might be interested in acquiring and do some shooting to see how comfortable/useable each focal length's angle of view is for you.
     
  5. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Mu-43 Veteran

    240
    Dec 16, 2011
    Hayward, WI
    William Barnett-Lewis
    How good/bad is the 17 in a real world sense for someone like me who only has the 14-42 kit lens? It'd be a bit faster than even the wide end (and much faster than the long end). But I do hear lots of laugher regarding it. OTOH, I've been considering trying to find a used one since I might actually be able to afford it. Unless someone wants to trade a 50/2 Summitar for a P/L 25/1.4 Summilux? :rofl:

    Pointers to threads with info is great too. I'm just trying to figure out what to get for my first native prime since my budget is pretty much close to non-existant...
     
  6. RussellOlaguer

    RussellOlaguer Mu-43 Veteran

    303
    Feb 12, 2012
    Paranaque, Philippines
    Russell Olaguer
    I had the 17mm and I think the image quality is almost similar to the quality of the kit lens.
     
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The m.Zuiko 17mm f/2.8 pancake is definitely better to have than the m.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 retractable zoom. At least, for my purposes it is. It's faster, sharper, and smaller. It's also nicely built with smooth, quiet operation.

    The only reason people diss the lens is in comparison with the Lumix 20mm f/1.7 and the Lumix 14mm f/2.5. Really though, the m.Zuiko has its own advantages. The Lumix 20mm is faster and a little sharper but the m.Zuiko is better to focus, with either auto or manual. Which is a little ironic, because the faster aperture of the Lumix gives it superiority in low light... but that is partially negated by poor low-light AF.

    All these lenses are good. :) If you feel the m.Zuiko 17mm f/2.8 pancake will fit your budget, you should try it out. It's a fine lens.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. jon595

    jon595 Mu-43 Veteran

    229
    May 2, 2011
    PA
    Don't forget about the Sigma 19mm f/2.8 and 30mm f/2.8. They are small, cheap ($200 new) and seemed to have gotten some pretty good reviews.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Theres the pancake zoom too ...
     
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I was trying to forget that one existed. :biggrin:
     
  11. Monza76

    Monza76 Mu-43 Regular

    98
    Mar 22, 2012
    I have both lenses and I can say that, for me at least, I like the 17mm f2.8. This is not a great leap ahead of the kit lens (which is pretty decent for such a cheap lens) but it does render images a little nicer than the kit lens and it is a prime which means that you can learn more by using it.

    What I mean is that shooting with a prime lens makes you think, about composition, camera position and "zooming with your feet". They all work together to force you to try harder. I love zooms but I always seem to come home with better shots when I stick with a prime.

    Do I wish I had a Lumix 20mm f1.7? Sometimes, but it would have cost me about 75% more than this M.Zuiko did. That exceeds what I would call a reasonable budget decision on my part so I am quite happy with that decision and I don't think my images have suffered much because of it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. TheBiles

    TheBiles Mu-43 Regular

    40
    May 23, 2012
    Thanks for all of the quick info, guys! I'll probably go with the 20/1.7 for now because the 28mm equivalent for the 14 seems like it might be too wide for most uses. Now I just wish they'd get some OM-Ds in stock!
     
  13. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    I probably shouldn't haven't referred to the 17 with a derogatory name - sorry about that. It just doesn't seem to travel in the same exalted circles as the rest of the lenses in this group. But for someone who wants the ultimate in compactness, it's tiny and fast.
     
  14. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    SLR Gear and DP Review both have reviews and test data on many m4/3 lenses.

    The Native Lens Sample Image Archive here has lots of images from every lens and body combination you can imagine.
    Native Lens Sample Image Archive - Micro Four Thirds User Forum

    Fred
     
  15. TheBiles

    TheBiles Mu-43 Regular

    40
    May 23, 2012
  16. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Mu-43 Veteran

    240
    Dec 16, 2011
    Hayward, WI
    William Barnett-Lewis
    Thanks for the information. I'll have to keep an eye open for a used 17 then. While that's wider than I tend to prefer (give me a normal prime any day :smile: ) it'd still be a step in the right direction, I think.
     
  17. wetterberg

    wetterberg Mu-43 Rookie

    17
    Mar 31, 2012
    I would really want something like a 30-35mm for street - I only just learned about the sigma right now, I really should try to read up on the scene, hehe.

    The 45mm is a bit too long, in my opinion, and for "properly framed" sub-20 you really have to get right up in peoples faces (which will always be part of the exercise, I know).

    I personally LOVE the 14mm 2.5. It renders beautifully, but man, shooting street with it is more of a psychological challenge than a photo-technical or artistic challenge :redface:
     
  18. SimonL

    SimonL Mu-43 Regular

    97
    Apr 15, 2009
    NW England
    Don't forget that the OM-D when used with the 20mm under certain circumstances has banding issues. Oly have acknowledged that it's a 'characteristic' of the OM-D - no word on any solutions to it yet.
     
  19. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    345
    Jan 24, 2012
    There is a review of the Sigma 30mm here (and a few more reviews around the web): Sigma 30mm f/2.8 EX DN Lens Review

    60mm equivalent is a bit of an 'odd' focal length for me, so I will probably get the Nex (e-mount) version (45mm equivalent) although I must admit at only £132 the m43 mount is very tempting!