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Need Help with next Lens

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by tkao2025, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. tkao2025

    tkao2025 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 26, 2014
    Hi all, I'm new to the forum. I just recently purchased a Pen EP5, which came with a 17mm 1.8 lens. I also bought at the time a 40-150mm Olympus lens. My main use for this camera is for taking pictures of my kids and vacation. I find the 17mm a really nice lens, but hard to use because I have to get up and close to my kids to take a really nice photo, as I don't take many landscape pictures. Similarly, I use the Olympus 40-150 lens shooting my kids playing sports, but again I find the length sometimes not long enough to get a close up. So I'm looking at a few lenses, but finding myself very confused. Below are all the lenses I've looked at. It's a long list and thus confusing for me.

    1. 45mm 1.8 Olympus - Highly recommended by most.
    2. 42.5mm Panasonic - Although it is really pricy and I'm not a professional. Is it worth the investment?
    3. 12-40mm Olympus Pro - Concerned about low light photography, but it would be a good lens for both wide angle and portrait.
    4. 75mm 1.8 Olympus - concerned of focal length for a prime, but most shots I've seen are superb.

    4. Panasonic 100-300mm for sport
    5. Olympus 75-300mm

    For the price of Nocticron, I can get 2 lenses. At the same time a 12-40mm lens would allow me to be more versatile and not having to switch back to 17mm lens if I'm out and about taking photos, but I do take a lot of indoor low light photos. The 2 telephoto lenses are very similar, but I read that Panasonic is the better lens. I'd love a lens with great indoor and outdoor versatility and low light capability, as well as good portraiture ability (maybe asking for too much). So many choices and so confusing for me.

    If anyone can offer some advice or have similar camera needs, I'd love some input.

    Thank you
  2. My main shooting subject is my 4 year old son and in general I have found primes to be too inconvenient. Zooming with your feet is all well and good if you're taking a landscape photo, but small children don't stay still for long and by the time you've moved you'll have lost the moment! I think you need one fast, normal prime for indoor house shots (e.g. A 25mm or 17mm) but then the rest of the time I'd rather have zooms. So, my recommendation would be to consider something like the Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 zoom. The f/2.8 aperture is actually pretty fast and the EP5 can easily be pushed to ISO3200 and still retain a lot of details. I currently own the Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 (great for very low light and family photos), the Olympus 12-40 f/2.8 (great travel lens and also fairly good at casual macro photography) and a Four Thirds Olympus 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 (focuses well on my EM-1 and such a useful range, but very bulky). The 50-200 is the one I use most around the park but the weight of the lens is making me think about picking up a 35-100 instead. My tentative plan at the moment is to go for a four lens solution, which would look like this:

    1. Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8
    2. Panasonic 25mm f/1.4
    3. Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8
    4. Panasonic 100-300mm f/4-5.6
  3. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    couple of points

    1) no lens is a magical answer on its own to either shooting sports or shooting in low light. There are lenses that can help, but only in conjunction with an understanding of the basics of light and exposure, of getting oneself into the right position in relation to the subject and the light, and accepting that there maybe compromises to be made in terms of noise at higher ISO.

    2) for sport you can never get long enough... watch any sports event on TV and you will see that the pros are using 400, 600 and longer lenses, and even then I am sure the images you see in magazines are cropped. If thats important to you then the 100-300 might be a good purchase... but again there is the caveat that you have to be able to get as close as you can to the subject...

    3) for indoor work.... faster is better... though there does get to a point that the shallower depth of field of the faster lenses becomes harder to cope with , especially with faster moving kids. Also when shooting in low light, using spot metering can often work to your advantage as it allows you to expose for the important part of the picture ie the kids face and ignore all the other gloom around them. The 45 1.8 offers a very good value into the world of lowlight not in their face photography. the 25/1.8 from olympus and the 25/1.4 from panasonic are other alternatives, as is the 75/1.8 which is my tool of choice. The Nocticron is a very fine lens... but I think you need to have a solid understanding of the issues of low light photography to get the best out of it.

    just my thoughts.. I shoot mainly with the 17 and the 75 and sometimes the 25 panasonic and for long stuff use a 50-200 4/3 lens.

    You can check out my flickr page in my sig to see the kind of shots I take


    • Like Like x 2
  4. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    45 = people photos
  5. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    The only lens that you should consider getting is the 45mm f1.8. There is no other lens even close to it in terms of FL, price, and size. You already have the 17/1.8 so should not consider the 20/1.7.

    But what's this about the 40-150 not being able to get close enough yet you're looking at the 45? If 150 isn't close enough I don't know what is (although your shutter speed at 150mm will be slower.

    Get the 45. Anything else is a waste of money from the standpoint of someone having only tried the 17 and the 40-150. That's a bold statement but I doubt anyone will disagree because that's how great of a lens it is.
  6. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    I think looking ar your requirements the 45 and 100-300 would help, the 45 is a super little portrait lens and the 100-300 should get you closer if I read right and the 40-150 does not zoom in enough. I can not pass comment on the 100-300 as I have not used it and the Olympus 70-300 may be as good, I tend to prefer Panasonic zooms and the Olympus primes or thats what forms my most used gear. You may find a few bargains if you look used for the lenses as well, you may have enough left for a 3rd one or a flash.
  7. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I'll second this ;
    You have children : buy the M.Zuiko 45mm

    You already own one of the very best indoor lenses for m4/3rds : your 17mmF1.8

    As for longer lenses : they are all much bigger than your 40-150, maybe improve cropping and sharpening skills and carry on getting better with that one lens?
  8. scott2hot

    scott2hot Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 27, 2012
    west yorkshire
    sigma 60mm is the poor mans oly 75....really good output..contrast and sharpness very near the 75....120mm focal length pretty telephoto...although i just got 45 again...yep it is outstanding...such a shame zooms dont really stand up to the likes of P20..P25...OLY 12.... 45...75. I WOULD GIVE UP MY WIFES RIGHT ARM FOR A ZOOM THAT MATCHED!
  9. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    The Oly 75-300 is a great lens, on par with the Pany 100-300 and can be found cheaper.

    If the OP prefers prime lenses, the 45/1.8 makes a lot of sense, but if they p[refer zooms, you can't get much better than the 12-40/2.8 or the Pany 12-35/2.8.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. tkao2025

    tkao2025 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 26, 2014
    Thanks to all for the great information. Just a couple of clarifications.

    1. The 40-150mm is used to shoot my kids at Tae Kwon Do or Soccer/football. It's hard to get close using a prime lens and the room is large so 150 is not long enough, thus I'm considering a longer FL lens like the 100-300
    2. Using the 40-150mm indoors is difficult because I take a lot of pictures at home at night so lighting is an issue.

    Therefore with all your help, I've now nailed it down to the 45mm 1.8 and the 100-300 Panasonic lens.
  11. biza48

    biza48 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 31, 2014
    You can use your 40-150 lens indoors with flash. Nothing wrong with using a flash when needed:) 
  12. silver92b

    silver92b Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 7, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    IMHO, the 40-150 is way too long for shooting indoors. I have a very open floor plan and the 40mm FL is not ideal regardless of light. I think the 12-40f2.8 or the 12-35f2.8 would work very well for indoor shots with available artificial light. The PL25 f1.4 will work very well in low light, but believe it or not, I found it too long for shooting in small spaces like blues clubs and jazz clubs. Of course, YMMV, etc.

    For long lenses, the P 100-300 was good but it's rather large. The 40-150 can do a good job unless you are looking for pro quality IQ. I had the Zuiko 50-200 and it was a great lens but I sold it to get the new Zuiko 40-150 f2.8 and the 1.4X converter. It sounds like you want a really long reach as well as good AF and low light capabilities. I found much to my dismay that for those qualities, I needed FF camera and huge lenses :frown: I found this out trying to get motorsports images. I just could not equal or come close to what the guys with the Canikons and huge lenses could do, even with the P100-300 and my E-M5.
  13. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Those are great choices, I highly doubt you could go wrong with those two lenses. The Sigma 60mm is by all accounts an unsung beauty too, but it's a little slower aperture so if you're pushing the lighting boundaries you will like the f1.8 aperture of the 45mm. Also 17mm to 60mm seems like way too large of a gap for me. 45mm all the way.
  14. Rasmus

    Rasmus Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2013
    Stockholm, Sweden.
    One thing to consider is that the EP5 is a rather small body. This means it's hard to find a good way to use big, heavy lenses like the 100-300. While it's not impossible (basically, if the lens is much heavier than the body, you hold the lens rather than the body), it's a lot easier to use lenses like the 100-300, the 75 and the 42.5 with one of the OM-D models and the matching grip. I haven't found any add-on grips for the E-P5. The 45/1.8 on the other hand weighs next to nothing and thus is an excellent match for smaller M4/3 bodies.
  15. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    If indoor shooting is what you want the longer zooms for - they will be relatively slow and dark and may not give you the shutter speeds you need at an acceptable ISO. In which case, you are now looking at an f/2.8 long zoom, which anything outside of 100mm is not available yet.

    Having the Oly 75/1.8 might be a better option. Not sure if the EP5 has the 2x digi teleconverter like the OMD bodies, but a fast long prime with the 2x tele might be a more viable option.
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