New here and thinking of getting the E-M1, lens questions

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by francis_a, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. francis_a

    francis_a Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 17, 2013
    Derry, NH
    Hello everyone.

    Crossing over from the Canon forums. Used to have a 6D and in the process of selling my 24-70II f2.8 and 70-200 f4 to completely move over to m43. As much as I love FF, it has just become a little too much of a burden carrying around during vacations and trips. I've used it for paid gigs but those are far in between and I don't see me doing much of it anyways. This is mostly a hobby for me.

    I was/am thinking of getting in on the pre-order for the E-M1 but after being spoiled with the convenience of the 24-70, I wanted to get the E-M1 bundled with the 12-40 kit lens. But looks like it's not available in the U.S.

    So, I've decided to still go ahead and pre-order the E-M1 but now comes the dilemma with lens choices. I will still eventually get the 12-40 but can't wait for it that long so I've decided to find one that will tide me over.

    1. Olympus 14-42II - from what I read is not a bad lens at all and can be had cheap. If I hate it, I am out anywhere from $75-$100
    2. Panasonic 14-45 - more expensive than #1 but read very nice things about it. I figure, if I love the 14-45 enough to keep it, I might just get a longer tele and a fast prime in lieu of the 12-40 (maybe :smile:). Can be had in the high $100s

    At this point, I'm leaning towards #2. Would you say it's a good choice or go with #1 and plan on definitely getting the 12-40?

  2. khollister

    khollister Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Sep 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    First off, the new Oly lens is a 12-40 (24-80 FF equiv) and the Panasonic is 12-35. I believe the kits with the E-M1 and 12-40 are supposed to be available in the US later this year.

    Personally, while the Pan 12-35 is a very nice lens, I personally feel the Oly will be a better lens on a number of fronts (unless you are going to use it with a Panasonic body and need OIS) so that seems to be money wasted. FWIW, my biggest problem with the P 12-35 is the bokeh - it can turn pretty ugly in certain situations and the Oly seems free of that (plus the marvelous minimum focus distance - 1:3).

    You could pick up one of the cheap "kit" zooms, but you may be disappointed after the Canon L glass. Another approach would be to pick up a fast prime or two, which you might want/need in addition to the f/2.8 zoom. The PL 25/1.4, Oly 17/1.8 or Oly 45/1.8 are great lenses with beautiful bokeh that are 1-2 stops faster than the zoom. Assuming you like the 50mm FF field of view, the PL 25mm is a wonderful lens that would give up nothing to the L glass or the new 12-40 zoom. Just pretend you are HCB in pre-war Paris :smile:

    Oh, and welcome to the smaller side :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    I would pick up a used Panasonic 12-35mm lens. This will prove to be a better lens than the choices you laid out and provide you with an excellent lens to use while you consider other options. The Panasonic 12-35 should more or less do for you just what your old Canon 24-70 was doing.

    If you decide on the Oly 12-40 later, you can sell off the panasonic and consider its use as a rental. You may even sell for about what you paid for it and consider it a freebie.

    Warning... you may never feel the need for the Olympus 12-40. The Panasonic 12-35mm is a nice lens.
  4. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    I am not here to defend the Panasonic 12-35 over the Olympus 12-40 but I will make a few points to consider. I would like to try the Olympus 12-40 too. It has great promise and some excellent attributes but one should not discount the Panasonic 12-35mm too quickly.

    1. I personally have never found any bokeh problems with the P12-35mm
    2. The Oly lens is still in a honeymoon period and no serious reviews have been completed.
    3. The Panasonic is significantly lighter and a little smaller.
    4. Reviews of the Panasonic have been very good.
    5. + the key benefit of the 12-35mm is that you can get one right now.
  5. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 5, 2013
    I'd get the P14-45, but I like shooting longer than wider. I have the cheap 14-42, and it really isn't that bad a lens, but is cheaply made and feels like a toy. Coming from 2 L lenses, you may not care for the feel of it. The 14-45 is better made and will likely keep you happy.

    Of course, since you are used to 2.8 zooms, the advice to get a 12-35 is not bad advice. I would look for a used one so you hopefully won't lose much if you decide to sell it and get the Oly. Of course, if you find a decent deal on the 14-45, you are almost guaranteed to be able to sell it for what you pay for it. I'm not sure about the 12-35, as it is a more expensive lens than the new O12-40 and the used market may suffer after the O12-40 becomes available.

    Enjoy whatever you buy. I was a Canon 2.8 zoom guy myself and am trying the small light prime approach now with the P14 and O45. I do still have the 14-42 if I feel I have to use a zoom, but I'm trying to force myself to go just prime for now and see how it goes. The jury is still out.
  6. Dduval

    Dduval Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 13, 2013
    Orlando, FL
    Stay away from both Kit lens, get the panny 25mm 1.4 for speed and wait on the new Oly 12-40 2.8...the panny will more than hold you over until your new zoom gets here.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Another vote here for the Panasonic 12-35. It's a fantastic lens. Build, IQ and size/weight are all superb. The new Oly might be better, or it might not. Either way, I don't think the IQ will likely be too different either way.

    It's interesting all this talk about poor bokeh on the 12-35. I think I must have read every review of the 12-35 before I bought mine earlier this summer and I don't think I saw a single comment about poor bokeh. And my own personal experience is that I've never thought "hmm, don't like the bokeh on that shot". However, since Ming Thein's review of the Oly 12-40 last week and his mentioning of this, it seems the 12-35 now has an army of people saying it's got poor bokeh! I don't buy this at all since:

    - Bokeh is a very subjective issue
    - There's been no side-by-side tests of the 12-40 vs the 12-35 in this regard (or at all in fact)
    - Anyone looking for narrow DOF and spectacular bokeh effects on a 12-35 f2.8 zoom is looking in the wrong place!

    Of course, YMMV!
    • Like Like x 1
  8. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    If you get a used Panasonic 12-35, can use it until the 12-40 becomes available, and then you could probably resell for little or no loss. This assumes that you don't fall in love with the 12-35 and decide to keep it.:cloud-9-039:
  9. sagar

    sagar Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 7, 2012
    Assuming Olympus Lens is as good as initial reviews there are very good chances Panasonic will match price with Olympus if not lower than Olympus.

    With that, resale price for 12-35 may fall $750-800 price range in November when Olympus lens is readily available. If you are buying new today thats nearly $300-$400 loss for ~2-2.5 months. Only you can decide urgency and whether its worth paying $300-400 bucks for 2 months.

    If you don't need a best quality lens "now" and are okay to wait couple of months you can probably try Olympus refurb 14-42 kit lenses as stop gap which are available for $90-$100

    Once Olympus lens is out in the market along with more real life reviews, that time you can take a call whether you should go for Panasonic 12-35 or Olympus 12-40

  10. gotak

    gotak Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 28, 2012
    Try the primes, smaller size than most zooms.

    Personally, I think it's perfectly fine to just wait for the 12-40.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Eubios

    Eubios Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 24, 2012
    I was in the same situation and after much reading and learning on this Forum I decided to preorder the EM-1 with free MMF-3 adapter and use a 4/3 Olympus Zuiko 14-54 II (2.8-3.5) which I just purchased. I could only read good things about this lens and apparently it's almost there with the P 12-35, as far as IQ is concerned, but longer range and half the price.

    It's a bit bulky but I like it.
  12. aukirk

    aukirk Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 9, 2012
    Another vote for a prime... Doesn't make much sense to buy the kit lens or another zoom that will cover the same needs as the 12-40/12-35 that you will eventually end up using instead. However, even with that zoom, you might find good use for a prime like Oly 17 or Pana 25 (or you could get the Oly 75 for that unique lens down the road).

    Another option is to just rent the 12-35 for a few months... not sure what rentals cost, but it may be cheaper than buying and then reselling if the price goes down dramatically later this year.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. edwardconde

    edwardconde Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    I vote for a prime. The Oly 45mm is fantastic!
  14. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 2, 2010
    If you are looking for temporary solutions, might I suggest looking at 4/3 glass. The 11-22 (my favorite wide zoom I've ever owned) and/or 14-54 or 12-60 (get one of these and a 50-200 for the price of the Panasonic 12-35).

    All are weather sealed, all are very high quality optically and while bigger than the 12-35, offer more range (or in the case of the 11-22 slightly wider) for a lot less cost.

    The EM-1 and MMF3 add a whole new dimension to lens choices ...
  15. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I have O17mm F2.8, O40-150, P14-45 and CV 25mm F0.95 and a bunch of old Nikon lenses ... none of them are really considered a native prime lens so I must really be missing out on some amazing photos ... if only I had a prime lens.

    For ~ 1 year I let my wife and kids "own" the P14-45 on a E-P1 simply because the IBIS was broken and the OIS of the lens was the feature I bought it for. Lately I've been using the P14-45 on my E-M5 and feeling like a fool for not using this lens more.

    Of course, I'm just a hobby guy who likes sporks.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    I have the 12-35 on my E-M5 and it's there most of the time. I also have the Oly 14-42, which is nice and small for walking around in brighter conditions but I find myself not using that much. I bought it refurbed for about $90, so the cost of buying it and selling later is not that great. i have te 17/1.8 and 45/1.8, and both will be useful even after you get either of the fast zooms. I used the 45 today for a portrait session.
  17. huai

    huai Mu-43 Regular

    May 24, 2013
    OP - why not opt for an E-M5 and put the $800 that you saved to buy the Panasonic 12-35mm? According to reviews the photo quality difference between the two cameras is no substantial - the biggest difference is in ergonomics.

    You'll end up buying a new camera in a year or two anyway, but the 12-35mm will last you much longer.
    • Like Like x 2
  18. C6REW

    C6REW Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 3, 2013
    Devizes, Wiltshire, UK
    Chris Grew
    And yet another for the Panasonic 12 - 35 which will be a replacement for your Canon 24 - 70.


  19. francis_a

    francis_a Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 17, 2013
    Derry, NH
    :2thumbs:Wow! Thank you everyone for the advice/tips/recommendations. Very helpful bunch we have over here. And thanks for the welcome to the small side :biggrin:

    I've read through each of the posts and thought about the merit for each option. Since the E-M1 will not be released until early October (I sure do hope so, I'm camera-less right now), I have a couple of weeks to decide. Anyways ...

    Now I'm deliberating as to which route I'm gonna take. I'm the minimalist kind of guy (sort of), not much G.A.S. With my FF, I had the 6D + 24-70 f2.8 + 70-200 f4 IS + flash. That's it. I rented what I needed for a specific gig coz I don't want to be tied up with equipment I use once in a while (I use the other $$$$ for my road cycling stuff heheh). Tried out primes but I guess I'm just not a prime guy.

    So my take-away from all the recommendations posted here:

    1. Oly 12-40 f2.8 + a cheap used 14-42 ($80) or 14-45 ($170) to sell once I get the 12-40
    2. Oly 12-40 f.28 + 17 f1.8 or 25 f1.4 (to use while waiting on 12-40 and sell or keep)
    3. Pany 12-35 f2.8 (good used one is better bang for buck and I can get it now)
    4. MMF-3 + 14-54 f2.8-3.5. Read about this and it looks like a killer lens. About 1/2" or so longer and 1/4" larger in dia than the Pany 12-35. With the $$$ saved, I can get a prime or a lighter walkaround to go with it. Hmmm.
    5. Going all primes. Either 12/25/45/75 or 17/25/45/75 seem to be the most common combinations. This can get expensive :smile:
    6. Or just get a used E-M5 instead and choose any of the above lens combo. I kinda lean towards the E-M1 coz of the ergo + the new features and potentially better focusing. Plus the EVF looks like a step-up from the E-M5 along with the permanently attached grip. Considering the E-M5 but not at the top of my list. And me knowing me, I will get the E-M1 anyways, I'm pretty sure about that.

    Guess I have to do some thinking ........ :thumbup:
    Thanks everyone once again for the very helpful posts.
    Probably going to rent the E-M5 + Pany 12-35 for a few days to test out the feel and overall operation.
  20. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 2, 2010
    Be wary of the Panasonic 12-35 - not for any reason other than price.

    I would bet (already seeing more for sale as people prepare for the Olympus) that prices will change quite a bit in the coming weeks (months?) once the 12-40 becomes available.

    Normally, I'm a buy it when you need it type of person and don't worry too much about what is coming (there is always going to be something faster, bigger, better, etc ...) but in this case, unless the 12-35 is the ONLY option that works, I would wait and see where Panasonic prices go.

    Good luck, it sounds like you have a good sense about what you want out of your equipment (and I'm sure all of the above has crossed your mind).
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