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New G2 lens - PanaLeica 45mm or Pana 100-300? Or something else?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by antifuse, May 19, 2011.

  1. antifuse

    antifuse Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Mar 9, 2011
    Ok, so my wife is heading to NYC for the weekend on a girls' trip, and has generously (haha) offered to let me squeeze a new lens into the budget for my (relatively) new G2. I'm torn as to what lens I want though, I've already got the 14-45 that came with my G2, and the 20mm 1.7. I've also got a Nikon 50mm f/1.8 (left over from my Nikon days) with an adapter that I've used on a few occasions, but I have to admit that having to manually focus means that it rarely gets pulled out of the bag.

    I *love* what I've seen from the 45mm PanaLeica lens... And I do have a serious affinity for portrait work, particularly natural light portrait work, so the f/2.8 of the 45mm would be awesome. And I'd love to do more macro/closeup photography too. However, I *would* also love to do a bit more nature photography too, so the 100-300 could be a candidate for that, though this thread on the 100-300 seems to point to at least one person who is having trouble with the 100-300 with moving targets (and yeah, this is probably something that would bother me too).

    I guess I'm torn between getting what by all respects seems to be an AMAZING fixed focal length lens, vs increasing my focal length options dramatically with a big ol' zoomer.

    I'm open to other options as well, if anybody has any suggestions (note: it should either be available at B&H in NYC, or at another reputable storefront in NYC so my wife can pick it up when she's down there... We're in Toronto). I don't do a lot of landscape shooting, though I think that's something I might want to do more of, so in that case am I better picking up the 7-14? I'm just very torn, this is the first time the wife has really given me carte blanche on a new lens (I survived with just my 50mm f/18 and 18-200 on my D300), so I want to make sure I make the best decision I can. Lol. I'd be THRILLED to have any advice at all, really, from anybody who's owned/used any of these lenses, or any Panasonic owners who can make any suggestions (or Oly users too, though your experiences will likely be different from mine what with the built in OIS of your bodies).
     
  2. antifuse

    antifuse Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Mar 9, 2011
    Ok... Another lens I forgot is the 45-200 Panasonic... But it's only $300, I'm not sure I want to blow my "wife will let me actually buy camera gear" chance on a cheap lens that I could save up for otherwise. :p
     
  3. Pan Korop

    Pan Korop Mu-43 Veteran

    479
    Mar 31, 2011
    Phare Ouest
    It's an amazingly versatile and compact "universal telephoto", with well-balanced performance. For portraits, use it wide open with confidence. If and when you're positive you miss a couple f/stops, then it's time to pick out your adapted 50...
     
  4. antifuse

    antifuse Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Mar 9, 2011
    I appreciate that... But realistically, if the wife is going to let me get a near-$1000 lens this time, I think I'd rather do that than get a $300 lens. I can save up my pennies for a couple months and pick up the 45-200, not quite the same for the 7-14 or 45 macro.

    I guess my big concern is if I pick up the 45, my 14-45 will probably never get used again. But then, maybe I could sell my 14-45 and put that towards a 45-200? :) Oh the dilemmas, woe is me! :p
     
  5. Pan Korop

    Pan Korop Mu-43 Veteran

    479
    Mar 31, 2011
    Phare Ouest
    Buy a wide zoom. Your 20 perfectly fills the gaps (field AND speed) between it and the 45-200. Leave the "standard" zoom to those who pack but one lens.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. antifuse

    antifuse Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Mar 9, 2011
    Hrmm... You make a solid point. A 7-14, 20mm, and 45-200 would be a pretty decent kit. I'm not really sold on whether or not I'd need the full range of the 100-300, I think I'd probably be happy with 400mm equivalent at the top end of my zoom range. But then, I *LOVE* me some macro photography (particularly flowers), so the 45mm PanaLeica would be a tremendous lens to get. So I guess now I'm torn between the 7-14 and the 45. Argh. I need to change the title of this thread. Lol.
     
  7. Pan Korop

    Pan Korop Mu-43 Veteran

    479
    Mar 31, 2011
    Phare Ouest
    For close-up with the 45-200, do consider the option of high quality (achromatic) close-up lenses. They're designed for long lenses, although they achieve good results with standard lenses too.
    Since the 45-200 zoom has a convenient Ø52mm filter thread, you could use a Canon 500D or 250D (some new ones still available from Hong-Kong) which bring the farthest focusing distance to respectively 50 and 25cm -- meaning the rough distance from the front of the lens you get when you set the lens to "infinity". Great for insects, while a 90mm equivalent gets too close (esp. with internal focusing design!).
    There are also highly reputed (hence a bit expensive on eBay) Nikon 3T and 4T achromats, with respective farthest focusing distances of 67 and 34cm.
     
  8. antifuse

    antifuse Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Mar 9, 2011
    Hrmm, I'll have to look up some shots using those close up lenses...
     
  9. DesertRose

    DesertRose Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Dec 1, 2010
    Colorado
    Get the 45. You'll love it.

    The 100-300 is awesome, but I think you will not get as much use from it, based on what you say you most enjoy shooting.

    I like long telephoto shooting the most, but I STILL use the 45 more. :smile:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. antifuse

    antifuse Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Mar 9, 2011
    I think I've decided on the 45. I'll save my pennies for a 7-14 eventually, but I think it's silly of me to buy a lens in the hopes of doing more shooting that I'll use that lens for, as opposed to buying a good lens that I'll actually use for the type of shooting that I love to do NOW.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. DesertRose

    DesertRose Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Dec 1, 2010
    Colorado
    You said it better, that's exactly what I was getting at. The 45 is a top quality lens and I think you will enjoy it immensely.
     
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    That would be my main reason for getting the Leica 45mm macro, is so that you CAN get rid of your 14-45mm and never use it again, lol. Then you will have two fast primes to cover that general range, the 20mm f/1.7 and the 45mm f/2.8. You will never have to deal with a slow lens within that range again.

    If you get the 100-300mm on the other hand, you'll be adding focal range but also adding to your slow lenses, making it even more difficult to tear down your system and start with fast lens speeds...

    The 7-14mm is a great lens, but I think you made the right choice on the 45mm Leica. It will compliment your pancake lens very well and improve your overall image quality in functional focal ranges.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. antifuse

    antifuse Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Mar 9, 2011
    Yeah - as a mostly natural light shooter, I think I'd rather have some nice fast sharp primes. I'm thinking I might sell my 14-45 and put it towards a 7-14, down the road... But no big rush on that.
     
  14. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I'll agree with that one. :) For telephoto you're better off to grab an adapter and mount Four-Thirds lenses, as the selection is so much better there (like the Zuiko 50-200mm SWD for instance!). Micro Four-Thirds has the best selection of wide angle and standard primes, though. The 7-14mm micro lens is an awesome deal... Very high quality lens at an affordable price, compared to the Zuiko Super High-Grade 7-14mm f/4 for Four-Thirds format...
     
  15. antifuse

    antifuse Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Mar 9, 2011
    So, decided on the 45mm... A few sample shots:

    My son:
    45mm_Macro_First_Shots_30_resize.jpg

    A Gerbera daisy in the kitchen:
    45mm_Macro_First_Shots_13_resize.jpg
     
  16. rusteel

    rusteel Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Mar 15, 2011
    Kansas City, KS
    i learned so much from you guys. just bought the 45-200mm telephoto lens at Best Buy for $300. haven't had the chance to use it yet, but i'm pretty sure i'm gonna love it.