New Gear Day!

11GTCS

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Jan 25, 2020
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After much looking at information on here and some FB groups, I did a pretty big shakeup of my MFT kit. I had originally gotten into MFT from a D750 setup because FF lenses are so expensive and the kit so heavy that I wasn't taking pictures anymore. I hadn't shot digitally in a few years in fact, and only shot film, but since I move with the military so much having a darkroom isn't really feasible anymore.

I got an EM1.1 with 12-40 2.8 and 40-150 2.8 originally, but almost immediately dumped the 40-150 because it was everything I didn't want from MFT, and quickly grew frustrated with some of the more long-in-tooth features of the EM1, but loved shooting with it once I got some small primes, the PL 15 and the Oly 45 1.8. that seemd more like what I was looking for, but the EM1 didn't feel like a match with its more DSLR-type layout dwarfing both lenses for manual use, and I didn't like that the aperture ring on the PL didn't work. So I sold the EM1 and the two PRO lenses and got a GX9 and have moved to a GX9, PL15, PL25, Oly 45, and Pana 35-100 4-5.6.
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The GX9 arrived today and I couldn't be more impressed! The build quality is excellent, the menu layout and touch interface are refreshing compared to Oly or Nikon menus I'd used in the past, and the couple of quick grab shots I made with the PL25, which I hadn't tested yet, left me very happy that I picked it up! the 35-100 focused a little slower than the two PL lenses, but still acceptably fast even in very dim (0 to -2 EV dim hallways) light, which I assume speaks to the DFD working. I'll be going to SLC for a few days to do some hill training on the bike, so I'll definitely be testing this setup as much as possible with some landscape and city shots.

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First grab shot with the PL 25 and GX9

I think next step would either be a Laowa 7.5 or an Oly 60mm, but I'm open to suggestions! Aside from those lenses I've definitely been eyeing the Kamlan 50 1.1 as a fun lens, and I'd like to get a GX850 or something like that with a 12-32 that I can run with the 35-100 for an ultra light setup and second body. I'm very excited to get out and shoot a bunch with this setup.
 

ac12

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Glad you found a kit that WORKS for you.
I was lucky with my first m4/3 kit, EM1-mk1 + P-Lumix 12-60. Almost 2 years later, and with more gear, it is still a favorite kit.
My only stubbed toe was the compact Olympus 14-42EZ lens. The lens is good, it is the EZ/Electronic Zoom that my fingers cannot get used to. Same problem that I have with P&S zooms. Make that lens with a manual zoom, and I would buy it.

I don't know WHY, but Olympus makes all their Pro lenses HEAVY. That seems contrary to m4/3, where you want smaller and lighter.
Olympus needs to seriously put their Pro lenses on a diet, and use technology to reduce the weight.
 

Bushboy

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Nice choices. That’s what M4/3 is all about. I’d simply Swap out the Olympus 45 for Panasonic’s 45 macro.
 

Moula

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Mar 9, 2016
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I had Sigma A 60/2.8 in hand for a short time. Great one, if you are not searching for macro, but just tele close to classical 135. And quite OK for some close-ups (50 cm distance is not bad for this FL).

7.5 mm may be a bit too wide. I'm still watching Laowa 9 mm. But for 3× what I payed for 17/1.8 and without el. contacts...
 

11GTCS

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Jan 25, 2020
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I think the 60 macro is the most different, for CLOSE UP photography. So if that presses your button, I would do the macro lens first.
Yeah I'd love to try macro, I think the springtime is the best time to test macro too with all the beautiful tiny things coming to life. I think it'll come down to whichever I find at a good deal first ultimately.

They do make heavy lenses! It's a strange thing. They're amazing optically, but only just smaller than an APSC lens in size and weight, which is kind of a bummer.

Most folk seem to love the Laowa but I got 2 consecutive bad copies which put me off it so I'm waiting for the Samyang 7.5........................ OK, it's a fisheye but at as low as AUS$300 here so it's worth a go.
I've definitely heard about the Laowa issues. I think I'm fine with taking the punt, as long as I order from a reputable place like Adorama or from a user on here I'm not worried, because with Adorama I'll just rotate through till I get a good one, and with user here I can trust that they're being honest about the lens, at least within reason.

Nice choices. That’s what M4/3 is all about. I’d simply Swap out the Olympus 45 for Panasonic’s 45 macro.
I love the 45 for portraits so I'd not do that unless I got a killer deal on the 45 macro, the 60 macro seems to have a much more usable working distance, which is something I'm interested in.


I had Sigma A 60/2.8 in hand for a short time. Great one, if you are not searching for macro, but just tele close to classical 135. And quite OK for some close-ups (50 cm distance is not bad for this FL).

7.5 mm may be a bit too wide. I'm still watching Laowa 9 mm. But for 3× what I payed for 17/1.8 and without el. contacts...
I think the 60 would be a fun one to test and it's cheap enough to easily do that at some point. 7.5 to me is about perfect, midway through the UWA range and awesome for travel in europe or light astro, interior shots etc.
 

jimr.pdx

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Maybe the Laowa plus a set of extension tubes for the 25mm would be a good start. I don't know the %mag on my 20/1.7 or sigma 30/2.8 with 10mm x-tube but it's mighty good, and it will give you a feel as to how macro would be useful. I don't shoot that way enough to justify a dedicated lens myself, but really the :mu43: macros aren't all that expensive.
 

11GTCS

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Maybe the Laowa plus a set of extension tubes for the 25mm would be a good start. I don't know the %mag on my 20/1.7 or sigma 30/2.8 with 10mm x-tube but it's mighty good, and it will give you a feel as to how macro would be useful. I don't shoot that way enough to justify a dedicated lens myself, but really the :mu43: macros aren't all that expensive.
Perhaps! I do enjoy shooting what I'd called "Macro Light", aka shooting long tele's at their minimum focus to get large shots of small things, so I think the couple hundred dollars of a 60 used isn't too absurd, I just need to be patient. It seems like tubes get very... mixed reviews on here, mostly because they're most cheap ones that aren't the greatest quality
 

Brownie

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7.5 mm may be a bit too wide. I'm still watching Laowa 9 mm. But for 3× what I payed for 17/1.8 and without el. contacts...
I went through the same debate with myself, but after poking around in this forum I ended up with a Samyang 7.5. Not as expensive as the Laowa but has a good reputation in it's own right. I was surprised how easily I could de-fish the 7.5 if needed, and the usable area beyond 12mm, which is my current wide lens, is significant. There are several threads in here about that focal length. In one, someone showed the difference in area between the raw 7.5, the de-fished usable area, and a 12. That pretty much sealed it for me.

If you're not sure, maybe try the Samyang. You can get them new for about $220. I paid $168 for mine used. It's certainly worth that much to give it a shot!

@11GTCS Nice! Have fun! If you want to save money, abandon this forum forever!
 

ac12

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Perhaps! I do enjoy shooting what I'd called "Macro Light", aka shooting long tele's at their minimum focus to get large shots of small things, so I think the couple hundred dollars of a 60 used isn't too absurd, I just need to be patient. It seems like tubes get very... mixed reviews on here, mostly because they're most cheap ones that aren't the greatest quality
I like that idea myself, because the issue is light. More specifically lighting the subject. With a short lens, you have a small amount of space to use to light the subject. AKA working distance. A longer lens gives you more working distance. This is more important for folks like me, who do not have dedicated macro lighting gear. A desk lamp needs a LOT more working distance to use, than a fiber optic light. And when outside, my camera or I will block the sunlight more with a short working distance.

Another low cost alternative is, an adapted 35mm/full frame macro lens. I use the old 55mm Micro Nikkor as my macro lens. And it cost me less than $50.
As someone told me, at macro distances, you are probably going to be manually focusing the lens anyway, so you don't need autofocus.

Tip, at macro distances, I highly urge you to get an XY macro platform. Like this:
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Put it on a tripod, and it allows you to move the camera in the X and Y axis; forward/backwards to focus the lens, left/right to slightly reposition the lens. The left/right adjustment is a LOT easier than picking up and moving the tripod an inch to the side.
 
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Your choice, we can't help you, what comes first depends on your needs: small or wide?
Reading between the lines I think you will get both lenses, you need to decide which one you can make do without in the meantime.

If the 35-100 is good enough for you taking close ups of small things then the Laowa, if you are happy using panorama or stitching to get your ultra wide, then get the macro.

You could consider a cheap fisheye (I have the £50 no-name 8mm fisheye) to cover the L7.5 role for a while until you get it.

I don't shoot macro very often and use a set of £6 extension tubes (which I had to paint with black paint to stop reflections) and the lens from my old KR10. It is a bit of pain, but does work for very little cost. If I shot more though I would buy a proper lens for the job.

My Laowa 7.5 arrived on Monday, so just getting to grips with it. My initial reactions was that it was bad, but once I sorted the focusing and DOF I realised it was me and not the lens (phew!). I am really looking forward to using it in anger as I know it will test my (very limited) compositional skills.

The Laowa gives me what none of my other lenses could especially as I never have had much success with de-fishing, stitching or panorama shots.
 

11GTCS

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Jan 25, 2020
Messages
52
I went through the same debate with myself, but after poking around in this forum I ended up with a Samyang 7.5. Not as expensive as the Laowa but has a good reputation in it's own right. I was surprised how easily I could de-fish the 7.5 if needed, and the usable area beyond 12mm, which is my current wide lens, is significant. There are several threads in here about that focal length. In one, someone showed the difference in area between the raw 7.5, the de-fished usable area, and a 12. That pretty much sealed it for me.

If you're not sure, maybe try the Samyang. You can get them new for about $220. I paid $168 for mine used. It's certainly worth that much to give it a shot!

@11GTCS Nice! Have fun! If you want to save money, abandon this forum forever!
My bigger issue with the Samyang is that if I want to tinker with light astro stuff it's a big slow, if it wasn't for the possibility of astro I'd just go with a 12mm of some kind that's small, probably the 12-32. Don't worry, my wallet was crying long before I joined this forum xD

I like that idea myself, because the issue is light. More specifically lighting the subject. With a short lens, you have a small amount of space to use to light the subject. AKA working distance. A longer lens gives you more working distance. This is more important for folks like me, who do not have dedicated macro lighting gear. A desk lamp needs a LOT more working distance to use, than a fiber optic light. And when outside, my camera or I will block the sunlight more with a short working distance.

Another low cost alternative is, an adapted 35mm/full frame macro lens. I use the old 55mm Micro Nikkor as my macro lens. And it cost me less than $50.
As someone told me, at macro distances, you are probably going to be manually focusing the lens anyway, so you don't need autofocus.

Tip, at macro distances, I highly urge you to get an XY macro platform. Like this:
View attachment 799250
Put it on a tripod, and it allows you to move the camera in the X and Y axis; forward/backwards to focus the lens, left/right to slightly reposition the lens. The left/right adjustment is a LOT easier than picking up and moving the tripod an inch to the side.
Adapted is definitely an option, probably more of an option if I get heavily into macro, but for "walking around" macro, I think the native lenses are hard to beat. If I get seriously into macro, a dedicated setup with an XY head, lighting, etc would make sense! I'm starting to consider snagging a GM1 or GM5 with the 12-32, if that's the case that would mean no laowa anytime soon, and macro lens would be next on the list!
 

ADemuth

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Jan 27, 2017
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Great Bend, KS
You could consider a cheap fisheye (I have the £50 no-name 8mm fisheye) to cover the L7.5 role for a while until you get it.
I had one of those cheapo fisheye lenses. I loved shooting with it, it was just so much fun. Also, it was so small I could keep it in my bag all the time. After taking several of my favorite shots with it, I upgraded to the Samyang FE. Despite the Samyang being optically superior, I haven't been able to knock anything out of the park since then.

You really should give one of the CCTV fisheyes a shot. My copy had some serious purple fringing, and they're all a bit smeary at the edges but it's a fisheye - there's tons of distortion even in technically superior lenses, and the fringing is taken care of with a bit of post processing. I just had one of the [cheapo lens] pics at printed at 18" x 24" and it looks great. If you decide to upgrade, or you don't like it, you can probably sell it for a very small markdown. I think I "rented" my lens for 6 months at a cost of $11. Heck, I might even buy it off of you :)
 
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ean10775

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I've have had both the Samyang 7.5 and the Laowa and, for my money, the extra spent on the Laowa is worth it.
 
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