M43 Perfect Lens Selection? What have you?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Bl0at3r, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. Bl0at3r

    Bl0at3r Mu-43 Regular

    May 21, 2012
    Essex, UK
    Real Name:
    I'm currently having an internal debate with myself regarding the best selection of lenses to acquire so that my M43 will give me a full coverage of focal lengths.

    So far I have P14, P20 primes and P14-42. I also then have 2 lenses for my D5100 - N18-55 and N35 prime (btw - I am probably selling DSLR and moving exclusively to m43 - again!).

    The trouble is with having 2 different systems and lenses that are very close in the focal lengths that they cover, is that they overlap and I am lacking in ultra wide and telephoto.

    What is your perfect lens line up? Is the 45-200 more popular/better IQ than the 100-300 for example? How about the 14-140mm? What about the 7-14 vs the 9-18?

    For info I shoot anything and everything so don't have a particularly speciality and want to cover as much focal length as possible.
  2. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    On a regular basis I carry the 14, 20, Oly 45 and the 100-300. I used all but the 45 at a race on Saturday and all but the 14 taking photos of a building for the owner yesterday. Perhaps not the perfect set, but a great working group for me.
  3. Bl0at3r

    Bl0at3r Mu-43 Regular

    May 21, 2012
    Essex, UK
    Real Name:
    Thanks Bob - I value your input.

    What body do you use the 100-300 on? is it well balanced?
  4. scarbrd

    scarbrd Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 1, 2011
    Houston, TX
    I've been revamping my lens collection looking for good mix.

    I had the 14-150 Oly zoom. Great range and good optics, but I need something faster. I sold it and bought the Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8. This lens will be the one I use 75% of the time. My other zoom is the 9-18mm Oly.

    For primes, I have the 25mm 1.4 Leica, the 45mm 1.8 Oly, and a Rokinon 7.5mm fish eye, and the 45mm f2.5 Leica Macro.

    I picked up a Nikon 300 f4.5 ED-IF and an adapter for telephoto work, but the jury is still out on it. If something native comes out in the 150mm to 300mm in a prime I will take serious look at it.

    I will mostly likely get the Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 when it is released.

    For travel, the kit will be the E-M5, the 12-35mm, and the 35-100mm. and maybe the 7.5 fish eye.

    the 25mm and the 45mm for studio, portraits, and whenever critical sharpness is required. The 300mm for wildlife and some sports.

    Possibly on the selling block is the 45mm Macro and the 9-18mm.

    I would love to see something native in an ultra wide rectilinear, in the 8-10mm range.
  5. shizlefonizle

    shizlefonizle Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 21, 2012
    I have both the 45-200mm and 100-300mm and I can say that the 100-300mm is definitely sharper but it does start at the long end and it is pretty big and heavy (for a m43 lens that is). I have to use it with the HLD-6 or its quite unwieldy. The 45-200mm will defnitely get replaced when the 35-100mm is released though.

    So far I have the zooms listed above and
    Oly 12mm
    PL 25mm
    Pl 45mm

    Im happy with the lenses I have but Ive been eyeing the 12-35mm as a walk-around/events zoom and selling the 12mm since I dont use it very often.
  6. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Real Name:
    I use the 100-300 on my E-P3. The balance is fine to me - I cradle the lens in my left palm, elbow tucked in to my chest and work the camera with my right hand. I use a wrist strap, not a neck strap, and that helps.
  7. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    Aberdeen Scotland
    I've currently got 7-14,12-35, 45-175, 25 and 14-150.

    The 7-14 is a great UWA, I used to have the 9-18 but when I got the 12-35 decided to get the 7-14 as I didn't think there was enough difference from 12mm to 9mm to justify an extra lens but there is between 7mm and 12mm, the 9-18 is a great lens though.
    The 12-35 is simply class in glass, a great lens with excellent IQ and a constant f2.8 aperture which is nice. Likewise the PL25mm is f1.4 so great for shallow DOF and low light plus it's a very good lens with excellent IQ.
    The 14-150 is a very good superzoom and good walkabout lens when convenience is more important than absolute IQ and speed.
    I have just got the 45-175 as I wanted a lens that has better overall clarity than the 14-150 and so far it looks promising, although to be honest I see it as a stop gap measure untill the 35-100 comes out.

  8. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Real Name:
    I carry the 7-14, 14mm, 25mm, 45mm Oly with two bodies in a Thinktank Retrospective 5. Don't use the 14mm prime too much recently, but its nice and small for a bag. Sometimes I thin down and grab my 100mm or 135mm Minolta for the extra reach. I used the 100-300 a bunch this weekend with my EM-5+grip and thought it handled very well. I would like having that lens, but with the two Minoltas and a 2x convertor, I can't justify the expense.

    The 7-14 is an amazing lens. Very sharp and not too large. Easy to handhold into low light with good results even on the GX1 (no IS). The 9-18 is a good choice too, but after having that extra 2mm for a while, I can say 9mm would be too long. I use it as a 7mm prime and it works fantastic for that.
  9. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 24, 2010
    I like to shoot everything too but my setup mostly consist of primes.

    7.5mm fisheye, Oly 12mm, Pana 20mm, CV 25mm, Oly 45mm, Oly 9-18mm

    Canon FD 50mm f1.4 and Canon FD f3.5 macro.

    The lens I use most often is the CV 25mm, Oly 12mm, and Oly 45mm.

    Dream set up:
    Add Oly 75mm and Pana 25mm (replace my CV 25mm for vacations).
  10. wildwildwes

    wildwildwes Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    My current kit consists of the following:

    OM-D & E-P3 bodies

    Pany: 14, 20, 7-14 & 14-45 / Oly: 45

    All of the aforementioned lenses are superb when used correctly. Naturally there are a few in the list that offer world class image quality -- namely the Pany 7-14, 20 and of course the Oly 45. With the exception of the Pany 7-14, I use a lens hood on all.

  11. Mijo

    Mijo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 23, 2012
    San Francisco, CA
    I have two zooms, 14-42X and the 12-50, but I don't use either that often. in fact I'm planning to sell off the 14-42X b/c it's one of the first ones that were available and the IQ isn't as good (IMO) as the ones released later.

    I much prefer primes so the 3 lens I take with me most of the time are; 8mm fisheye, Oly's 12mm and the PL 25. I also have the PL45 but it's pretty rare that I take that with me. If I'm not going to bring any additional lenses then I just use the 20mm. my next purchase will probably be the 75 as I don't find the PL45 long enough when I have taken it out.
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I have a GX1 with PL25, PL45 and soon a P14-45. I'd say I'm close to my perfect m43 setup. I may pickup a Panasonic WA adapter for the rare times I want something wider. About the only lens I wish I had that I do not is something like the 45-200 or 100-300 but I am not sure how wel a big lesn like that would balance on the GX1 body. The 45-200 was really sweet on my GH2 but I sold mine when I sold the GH2.

    I think a perfect setup really depends on your needs. For instance I have had 2 O45's and while I thought it was a terrific lens I ideally wanted something that could close focus. The PL45 (although considerably more expensive) is a much better fit for what I like to do.
  13. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    My whole m43 system fits in a small bag: E-PM1, Panny 14, 20, Oly 45 and Panny 45-175, FL-300R flash, filters. I am now considering getting Sony RX100 to substitute both Panny 14&20 and use m43 for shallow DoF/portaits and telephoto only. I find my current P&S setup E-PM1 & Panny 14mm inadequate: flash can't be bounced, poor low light ISO1600, poor IS, poor video especially in low light. But it was still much better quality and much sharper low light pics compared to LX5, S100 or XZ-1 compacts. RX100 changed all that in a smaller size. Most of my photos include family members or friends in the frame so I don't care much for UWA and 28mm is enough for group shots and enviro portraits.
  14. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    Real Name:
    I bought the E-M5 with the 12-50, but since I'm a wide-angle type I added the 9-18 right away: I'm very happy with it, but I would prefer a 7, 8 or 9mm rectilinear prime. Following the great reviews, the Oly 45mm followed and will certainly stay in my bag.

    That's when I noticed I wasn't using the 12-50 much, so I swapped it for the Panasonic 20mm and a Sigma 30mm. The Sigma was good, but I found I didn't really miss the gap between 20 and 45, so out it went.

    And I couldn't resist a good deal on an Oly 40-150!

    My advice would be to use one of the many EXIF analysis tools out there to look at your photos. Find the focal lengths you use most. Check the shots taken with a zoom: if they're all at one end (short or long), think about replacing it with a prime.

    That's what's keeping me from looking at the Panasonic 12-35: I would prefer an 8mm prime with my 20mm. And I think the 40-150 would go if someone brought out a good 135mm prime to complement the Oly 45.

    OM-D E-M5, 9-18, 20, 40-150, O45, X100, Small Hadley, big grin!
    Sent using the Mu-43 App
  15. Qwerty

    Qwerty Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 15, 2012
    My current walk around kit includes:
    Panasonic 14mm f2.5
    Sigma 30mm f2.8
    Olympus 45mm f1.8
    Olympus OM 100mm f2.8 MC (manual focus)

    I'm looking to add (in order of priority):
    Samyang 7.5mm f2.8 fisheye
    Olympus 75mm f1.8
  16. strang

    strang Mu-43 Veteran

    May 7, 2012
  17. whatisinthebag

    whatisinthebag Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 23, 2011
    Central California
    Real Name:
    Aren't we all just constantly tempted to buy lenses in this community?:smile:

    Currently I use:

    Wide 7.5mm Samyang 14mm Panny
    Normal 20mm Panny 75mm Oly
    Zoom 12-50 Oly PZ

    Looking to get:
    Sharp telephoto (zoom or prime)
    Something akin to the new Panny 12-35. (I kind of miss my 16-35 Canon lens sharpness and range. would love something comparable.)

    Hoping we get to see some good announcements -- or even new roadmaps for the future from Oly and Panny at Photokina.
    Not making any choices until closer to year's end. It will give me time to save money. :thumbup:
  18. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Real Name:
    Jerry Jackson Jr
    My current native m4/3 lens kit is the Oly 12mm, 14-42mm R II, 17mm, 45mm and most recently the 75mm. I also own the Pana-Leica 25mm (I just grouped it differently since it's not an Olympus lens).

    I used to own the Panasonic 20mm, which is a great lens, but I felt like it rendered edges too "harshly" and compared to the 17mm and the 25mm (TOTALLY a personal preference) so I sold/traded the 20mm.

    I have other lenses that I use with my m4/3 cameras via adapters but since they aren't "native" lenses I don't think they should count.
  19. cmpatti

    cmpatti Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    After quite a lot of thought, I believe I've settled on my MFT lens collection:

    • Pany 7-14
    • Oly 14-42 II
    • Oly 40-150
    • Pany 14
    • Pany 20
    • Oly 45

    My basic philosophy has been to cover the focal length range I need with zooms. In my experience their quality level meets my needs (sharp 15x20 inch prints)--in some cases they are actually better than the corresponding primes. I then fill in with primes where I have a significant need that can't be filled with one of the zooms. Thus, I bought the 20mm for low light, hand-held photography and the 45mm for portraits. The Pany 14 acquisition bends my rules (it doesn't really do much that the Oly kit lens can't do), but I had a hankering to put together a classic three-prime kit and it was cheap so . . . .

    For a while I was considering the Pany 12-35, but I've decided that it doesn't do much that I can't do as well or better with my current kit, so (for me) it's simply not worth the extravagant price.
  20. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Real Name:
    I use the following


    On its way

    Soon to come
    P7-14 / O9-18 im still deciding.