New lens for USA

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by danho, Nov 12, 2013.

  1. danho

    danho New to Mu-43

    Nov 11, 2013
    Hi everyone,

    Heading off to the US in a few weeks and just bought myself a olympus EPL5 and I am looking to get a new lens for it. I'm fairly new to photography so I'm not sure what lens to get. Most of my shooting will be buildings and scenery. Currently have the kit lens on the camera. 14-42mm. Is it a good idea to get another lens?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
  3. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Real Name:
    Depends on your budget. A Pana leica 25mm F1.4 or 45mm F1.8 will really add to your photography if you have $270-500 to spend (used or refurb pricing). The kit lens does well for basic shooting in good light though and is small/light.
  4. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    The US is a really huge country, with an almost infinite variety of subjects. We can probably give you better advice if you tell us where in the U.S. you plan to be, and what you want to do. But here are my thoughts:

    If you think you'll be shooting in low light, or indoors a lot, you might want to consider a faster prime. The 25 f/1.4 is very good, as is the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7. For indoor use, I prefer the slightly wider field of view of the 20mm. It's probably a bit cheaper, too.

    The 14mm end of the zoom is probably wide enough for most outdoor subjects, unless you're shooting in crowded urban locations. If you really need wider, you can always shoot several shots and stitch them together later. But if you want wider, the 9-18 is compact and reasonably priced.

    Given that you already have the moderately wide end covered, I think you should consider something longer. Both Oly and Panasonic make compact zooms in the 40-150mm range. Combined with your kit zoom, that would give you a range from moderately wide angle to pretty long telephoto, and let you photograph much of what you'll encounter in this broad land.
  5. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    On my trips to the USA I have found a tele zoom or super zoom to be usefull, things like details on buildings people across the much wider than UK streets and so on. I never missed having a lens wider than a 28mm. The other lenses I found essential were fastish primes, something like a 20 or 25 I felt was a good compromise, lots of nice evening life in cities. If it was me and I had the spare cash I would go for the lowest cost 40-150 lens I could find and one of the fast normals, used you should get the 20mm and Oly 40-150 for less than £400. Make sure as well you have spare batteries and SD cards, I know it may sound obvious but its also the sort of thing we forget about.
  6. danho

    danho New to Mu-43

    Nov 11, 2013
    Thanks for the replies,

    I was thinking something like a Panasonic 20mm or a Olympus 17mm. I don't really want to be changing lenses that often. Lots of my shots will be street shots as i like that type of photography.

    I will be in California for 3 weeks then NYC for the other 3 weeks if that helps and it will be over Christmas. Not sure what the light will be like being my first trip to the U.S
  7. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Real Name:
    Doug Green
    I have found that the Panasonic 20mm lens focuses quite slowly and hunts noticeably in low light when used on an E-PL5. It also has a banding issue at ISOs above 1600. If you were using it on a Panasonic body, I'd recommend the 20mm, but on an E-PL5 I'd recommend either the Olympus 17mm f1.8 or if that's too pricey, the Sigma 19mm f2.8.
  8. cmpatti

    cmpatti Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    Since you're new to photography and plan to be photographing mainly buildings and scenery, my answer to your question "is it a good idea to get another lens" is "no." The 14-42 kit lens is quite capable for the type of photography you are planning to do. After you gain more experience you can decide what additional capabilities you need.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 mobile app
    • Like Like x 4
  9. Ramsey

    Ramsey Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2013
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Don't count out kit lens. It will be great for general walkaround. I doubt you will need wider than 14mm.

    For indoor and night use, skip the P20 (although it is a great lens) and go with O17 1.8. Too much focus hunting on oly bodies.

    Have fun

    sent from my Xperia Z
  10. danho

    danho New to Mu-43

    Nov 11, 2013
    I just want a lens that will be good in low light as well. I don't want to be caught out when it gets a little darker. thats really the main cancern and to have nice pics for when i get home. My other trips I've come home and were disappointed with the pics.
  11. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    Real Name:
    For low light situations, I enjoy the 17/1.8. It weighs about 5 oz. and can easily fit in your coat pocket. Right now I have the 14-42 on my camera and the 45/1.8 in the bag I'll take into NYC tomorrow.
  12. Crdome

    Crdome Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 11, 2011
    West Central Indiana
    Real Name:
    I think you would find the Oly 40-150 quite useful. I can't imagine traveling for 6 weeks without a telephoto lens. The pan 20 is a pain on my GH2. I think it would be incredibly frustrating on the OLY.

    B&H and Adorama are enormous camera stores in NYC. If you plan to visit be aware they close Friday at sunset for Sabbath reopening Saturday afternoon. I'm sure the California folks can provide you with stores. The Pan 25/1.4 is an amazing lens but is is substantially larger than the 20. If it;'s in your price range see how you like it in the store. Obviously it wont be the same as you're carrying it on the street.