Native lens suggestions

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by iso640, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. iso640

    iso640 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 13, 2013
    Hey y'all. I just picked up an Oly EM-5 but I've been shooting with a Panny GX1 for close to a year now. On that camera I've been using the Oly 17mm f/2.8. I want something in the same focal length but a bit faster since a lot of my shooting is done in low-light situations. Below are some examples of what I shoot.




    So, as you can see I shoot with mostly available light and long exposures. Now, one thing I will say about the Oly 17mm f/2.8 on my Panny GX1 is that it takes some amazing detail/macro-like photos and I'll be keeping this oft maligned lens. :)

    On my Nikon D5100 I use a 12-24mm f/4 lens--which I like a lot (that'd be 18-36mm range). So if I could find something in that range, but faster, for the Panny and Oly, I'd be very happy.

  2. photo_owl

    photo_owl Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 8, 2013
    rather obviously the answer is a 17/1.8

    but I can't see how that's really going to help much for such shooting - you still need some dof!

    however, it is sharper and faster at the same FL; as you request....
  3. iso640

    iso640 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 13, 2013
    I have larger primes I use for DOF when I want/need it, I was just looking for something for wider shots that is faster.
  4. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    The only faster lens for Micro Four Thirds at 17mm is the Olympus 17mm f/1.8, although the corner sharpness is sacrificed for the electronic correction of distortions necessary to make the lens as small as it is. At 17.5mm, there is also the Voigtlander 17.5mm f/0.95, which is the ultimate in low light performance, but large, heavy and expensive and fully manual.

    If you are happy to consider other focal lengths, the Olympus 12mm f/2.0 is likely to be useful for the sort of things that you do (interiors), and you could add a 25mm f/1.4 for when you want even more light and/or tighter framing.

    Aside from the Four Thirds 14-35mm f/2.0 zoom (which is immense and very expensive, and you will need an adapter; plus it will be slow to focus on your E-M5), those are the only options unless you start looking at adapted lenses with a Metabones speed booster.
  5. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
  6. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
    Your best bets right now are going to be either the Oly 12mm f/2 or the Oly 17mm f/1.8. You could also go for the Panasonic 20 1.7 but it is a bit less wide than what you have now.

    Keep in mind though that the E-M5 has a nice image stabilization system that the GX1 doen't when you are shooting hand held. That means you can use a slower shutter speed on the E-M5 than you did on the GX1 and still get sharp images. The sensor is also better at higher ISO settings. So you might not actually need a faster lens.

    With that in mind you might also look at the Samyang 10mm f/2.8 when it comes out.
  7. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    If you want something a bit faster and can shoot closer, the Panasonic Lumix 14mm f/2.5 lens would fit the bill. It has a minimum focus distance of 18cm as opposed to yours which is 20cm. The 17mm 1.8 is 25cm, so you loose 5cm close focus. 14mm is 28mm which gives you pretty good wide angle coverage without going overboard in the perspective and geometric distortions. The Oly 12mm f/2 others suggested has a close focus distance of 20cm. Pana Lumix 14mm is cheaper and optical pretty equivalent to your 17 f2.8 and shot closer by 2cm.

    Hope this helps.
  8. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    Like your stuff!

    Well, I'm and ultrawide junky and used to shoot micro four thirds (and before that Nikon APS-C), so I'll comment on a couple of lenses I shot. Since like me long exposures are the rule, a "fast" lens is unnecessary since you'll often be stopping down to get large depth of field.

    If you want small, use the Olympus 9-18mm f/4-5.6. It's very sharp and very good especially for such a tiny optic. It's a wonder. Here's some photos of similar subject matter (mostly) to yours that I shot with it:

    Throwing Klotz: Connections by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    The E-M5 Does Urbex: The Remains of Empire by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Throwing Klotz: Outside, the World Moved On by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    The Remains of the Monoliths by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    The Steampunk Cathedral by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Remote Weather Station by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    The other "must have" if you don't use the 9-18mm, is the Panasonic 7-14mm. Much more expensive -- but also better. I wouldn't use it on Olympus bodies for urbex though because it can create severe purple flares with the later Olympus 16mp models. The Sony sensor interacts with that lens on internal reflections in a way I find frustrating when there are like holes in the wall with sunlight behind a dark scene. Awful.

    Anyway, here's some 7-14mm shots:

    Bunyip - My New Companion by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    All Must Die Alone... by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    The Doctor Will See You Now by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Mozart's First Piano by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Flowers in the Ruins by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Now whether those shots appeal or not, note a couple of things

    • First off, both lenses focus pretty closely. Some of those objects in the foreground are VERY close to the lens.
    • Although the Panasonic is sharper corner to corner, the Olympus is still extremely good and for what it costs it's AMAZING.
    • Both lenses "paint" well and give a nice rendering.
    • Both have reasonably good flare control on Panasonic bodies (and older Olympus) and the Olympus is fine on all Olympus bodies but ANY lens can develop the purple flares on the newer Olympus bodies as has been demonstrated by many folks.
    My choice was this: The Panasonic was worth the extra money if I was willing to forgo the use of filters -- and I was willing. But If you look at the Olympus shots of water, you can see I was able to use ND's to slow the shutter enough to smooth out things on some of the shots.

    Best wishes for the choices you face. But IMO if you're doing urbex you need an ultrawide like that 12-24 you have. I currently shooting the 12mm Zeiss on my Fuji's.
  9. photo_owl

    photo_owl Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 8, 2013
    I agree with everything you go on to say, but the OP was very explicit that he wanted 'faster'!
  10. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 2, 2013
    I'd just like to compliment iso640 and entropicremnants for the excellent photographs. The style has got me thinking, something I'd like to emulate.
  11. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    The OP probably wants to keep shooting at ISO640 or lower; hence his nickname? It's going to be difficult to maintain a lower ISO when you're shooting at f/4 or 5.6 with those slower lenses and probably he does not want to lug around a tripod either to use slower shutter speeds.
  12. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Incidentally, if the OP is interested in slower lenses for on-tripod long exposures (where focussing speed is not critical), I see mention of the Olympus 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6; one might also consider the cheaper Four Thirds version with an adapter, which, although bulkier and (especially without an E-M1) much slower to focus, is still very light and sharper in the corners (by some considerable margin) than the Micro Four Thirds 9-18mm.
  13. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Not sure about the 9-18 (assume it would be the same), but I was able to hand hold the 12mm for pretty long shutter speeds with the E-M5's IBIS.
  14. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    The rumored 15mm Panasonic/Leica might be a good fit, I wish it would come out already...
  15. entropicremnants

    entropicremnants Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 16, 2012
    John Griggs
    DOH! Okay, somehow missed that. I know what he means though as I shoot my 35mm f/1.4 handheld when I have the other camera with the ultrawide on a tripod. I'm not on this board very much but saw something I thought I could add to it, lol. Sorry for any confusion -- I see urbex and get excited, lol.
  16. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    Oly 17 1.8 or the new Panasonic 15 when it comes out, are the obvious choices.
    I recently got the Oly 17 and am pleased with its output.
  17. spacedogg79

    spacedogg79 Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 9, 2013
    Vancouver, Canada
    I have to echo the recommendations for the Olympus 12mm f2.0. Fantastic lens for the interior wide angle shots you take. It gives you one step back perspective when you simply can't move back further with the 17mm. While the 12mm is covered in a few zooms...this prime at f2.0 is still relatively quick and will give some DoF if you focus on a subject up close.

    Perhaps even better though for general usage would be the Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4. If I am not mistaken...fastest auto focusing micro four thirds lens right now. You said you wanted something for low light...and this thing delivers. Might be a little too narrow for you...but if you need something autofocus and fast...that is it.

    Now if you don't mind manually focusing (which I don't prefer to do)...then that opens up some other interesting options...which others can chime in

    Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.