New GX7, Can afford one lens. Which?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Billy B, Jul 30, 2015.

  1. Billy B

    Billy B New to Mu-43

    Jul 30, 2015
    Having had the G5 previously, with the 20MM F1.7 II, 45-200mm and Oly 45MM F1.8, I've finally been able to pick-up a new camera after a long period of saving.

    Now I am left with a GX7, and from £150 to around £300 (possible a little more at a push), for the right lens.

    I leave for a holiday to my favourite part of the world, the highlands of Scotland, on Monday, and thus I am rapidly running out of time!

    I'm primarily a nature photographer and occasional videographer, and with the Eagles, Cetaceans and other wildlife up there, I am looking forward to seeing what the Gx7 can produce.

    The 45-200MM was a generally good lens, sort-of sharp, but the autofocus issues frustrated me greatly. That may be related to spending a long time using it in the dense jungle, however.

    The 45MM 1.8 was a really good lens, BUT I found the focal length to be mostly useless for my purposes.

    The 20MM was another good lens but the autofocus on my copy was prehistorically slow.

    I've considered the 100-300MM, 45-175MM. As a complete change of tack, the 25MM 1.8 also looks like a compelling option. My budget restricts me, however.

    Does anyone have any useful advice they can impart?

    Thank you
  2. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Well I'm not sure what prices are over there. But over here for about $450 US you could get a Pan 45-175 and Pan 12-32. In a quick pinch that would give you 24-350 AoV and cover landscapes to light telephoto.

    The 100-300 would surely be better for wildlife but a 600mm AoV a tripod would be a good idea. And 0-200mm AoV is a pretty big gap if you can only get one lens.
  3. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    Also consider the Panasonic 14 - 42mm Mk2
    Very highly rated by several members here (including me)
    There is a showcase thread here somewhere
  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    So, let's see. You liked the 45-200 and 20mm, but not the AF. 45mm was not a good focal length and now you only have 300 to spend.

    I'd say maybe a Sigma 19mm f2.8 and a Panasonic 45-150mm OIS? Your budget is pretty tight. 45-175mm is a tiny bit better, and has better video features, but it's going to eat most of your budget and having 45mm as your widest lens is going to leave you frustrated.

    25mm f1.8 is a phenomenal lens, but you mention eagles and dolphins, etc and you will have no chance of doing anything useful with those subjects at 25mm.

    I don't know, maybe a 14-140mm is going to be the best fit for you right now if you want one lens. You might be able to do all used and stay under budget with a 14-42 OIS kit lens, a 45-150mm OIS and either the Sigma 19 or 30mm for a faster lens somewhere in the middle.
  5. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

  6. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    So right now you have no lenses at all? Or are you looking to replace one of those?

    Only one lens I'd go with a 17/20/25 or a zoom, 12-32 or 14-45. But this means no wildlife to me.

    GX-7 has in body stabilization so you can also consider the Oly 40-150

    A used Pana 14-140?
  7. Billy B

    Billy B New to Mu-43

    Jul 30, 2015
    Thank you all!
    I'm not too keen on the 14-140 to be honest, I wasn't too impressed when I had a play with one.
    I imagine the UK prices are a bit steeper than other the pond, but I've found some good deals on the original 14-42mm. For £50 ($78), I think that is a good price?
    The Mark II seems to push it just a little too high price wise. Thanks for the tip on that one! Assuming I get that lens, I still have £300 or less for a zoom. My options as I see it now are the 100-300 for £250, the 45-175 for £180 or the Oly 75-300 II for £230. Is the Olympus 40-150 any good in comparison do you think?
    I guess the 25mm will remain a pipe dream for now, as you said, no chance of shooting wildlife with that!
  8. DolbyDan

    DolbyDan Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 16, 2011
    The 12-32 is a good lens as a walk about, tiny, sharp and contrasty and you will use the 12mm alot!!
  9. Billy B

    Billy B New to Mu-43

    Jul 30, 2015
    The 12mm would be a really useful focal length, but in the UK it will set me back around £200- more than a 45-175 is at the moment :(
  10. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Reza Travilla
    Should try Sigma 30mm F2.8 DN Art
  11. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Given you have a Panasonic body, I would definately go with Panasonic lenses for the long end, for the in-lens stabilisation
    In my opinion, the original 14-42mm isn't really worth it. If you want something in that range then go with either the 14-42mm II or the 14-45mm, both of which are sharper. The 14-42mm II is significantly smaller, whereas the 14-45 is about the same size - see,472.374,472.32,ha,t
    The Panasonic 45-150mm is supposedly pretty good.
    By the way, which version of the 14-140mm did you try? The first version (f/4-5.8) isn't as good as the second version (f/3.5-5.6) or as small and light.
  12. Ramsey

    Ramsey Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2013
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Interesting choice, again comes down to what you primarily want it for. If I understand correctly, it's mostly wildlife and birds so telephoto.

    Regarding long range, Oly40-150 is a great bank for the buck (pound), and in good sunlight, performs great. It's IQ from 135-150mm isn't something to write home about so take that into consideration if you're a pixel peeper. Can be had used from 60-70£, and you can sell it with no loss later on. 45-175 is a phenomenal lens, reasonably light, no extending zoom, with OIS, and with great used prices. If you're looking for a zoom, i'd recommend that one. But it's around 100£ more. Just a reminder that 135mm is not that long in wildlife photography. Depending on subject, you might have to crop a lot.

    If that 135-150mm less-than-stellar-results don't bother you, it's Oly, and then you have a bit more money to decide on the other lens. I'd go with 12-32. If you decide for 45-175, then i'd take 14-42II (if looking for zoom) or Sigma 19mm (or 30mm, depending on the personal preferences) as prime. Neither of those is a fast prime, due to f stop, but with budget available, it's your best bet. A lot of people recommend the P14mm and i'm not a big fan, due to it being slightly faster than the normal kit lens. Only normal fast prime is the P20mm (used for cca 150£), you just have to see if the AF speed issues bother you that much or not (it did to me).

    Regarding those 300mm lenses, i don't have neither, but a lot of people say both Oly and Panny are mediocre performers, slightly edging in Pannys favor. Power zooms covering from 14mm up to 140 or 150mm also have mixed reviews, again Panny coming out ahead (not taking into consideration the II version of Oly, which is out of your budget anyway).

    Good luck
  13. Billy B

    Billy B New to Mu-43

    Jul 30, 2015
    Thanks for your thoughts! I'm glad to say that I've found a 14-42MM II for around the £80 mark, which is what everybody has suggested!
    I'm going for 45-175MM lens, it looks great as you say. I've found it for £180. This means that all in I've spent £240, which considering exorbitant UK pricing, isn't bad at all!

    Thank you everyone so much for your help! :)
    • Like Like x 2
  14. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    With those finds I'd add a small prime if you can. Pan 14, Sigma 19 or 30.

    No not the fastest, but small and the two zooms aren't. I've owned both the Pan 14 and Sigma 30, I wouldn't hesitate to buy them again.
  15. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Best Pana kit zooms, in order, should be: 14-42, 14-42 II and 14-45. Prices are similar, I usually check the "sold listing" on ebay as a reference.

    The Oly 40-150 is good, is not a 300mm though.

    IMO both the 100-300 and 75-300 are good lenses. The Oly is very good up to 200mm and is just good after that. And the Pana has similar performance.

    I have the Oly, almost always at 300mm, and it's good enough for me.
  16. DolbyDan

    DolbyDan Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 16, 2011
    12-32 is better than all of them imo
  17. lahsrah

    lahsrah Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2015
    If only one lens I would consider the 12-32mm pancake zoom. My favourite lens, I think most of my photos are taken with this lens. Yes it lacks speed but makes up for it with OIS and tiny size and its pretty sharp through the zoom range too.
  18. T. Rithmester

    T. Rithmester New to Mu-43

    Feb 15, 2013
    Struer, Denmark
    I know you're leaving on monday but if you should want to buy the Pana 12-32 and don't mind shopping abroad I can recomend buying it here:
    It's a dutch shop but they only charge 7 EUR in shipping, or that is at least what I usually pay for shipping to Denmark ;)
    But please note it's "bulk" meaning no box or warranty card. If you dont mind shopping used they also have som good deals in that department:
    In the last year or so I've bought several items and they are english speaking and I can recommend them :)
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Billy B

    Billy B New to Mu-43

    Jul 30, 2015
    Thanks for the suggestions again everyone. My GX7 and somehow even the 14-42MM II will arrive today, costing a little more than anticipated at around £92. Still not too bad a deal in my book.
    Sadly my 45-175MM deal fell through due to delivery times, which puts me back at square one on that front. I really need a long zoom, and I'm worried the 175 just isn't long enough, which brings me back to my original 100-300, 45-200 or 75-300 question. There aren't many good prices on the longer lenses, does anyone have any advice?
    I'll take either of the 300s at around £220 right now!
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