new to 4/3

Discussion in 'Welcomes and introductions' started by LarryL, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. LarryL

    LarryL Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 6, 2014
    I am new to micro 4/3 format and looking for lots of help and guidance. I have most of my experience with Nikon DSLRs but decided to switch because I travel a lot for work, mostly overseas and the DSLR rig was getting to be too much. So I purchased an Olympus OM D EM1 and the 14-40 2.8. I need advice on wider lenses, longer lenses and all sorts of other items that go with a good kit. Thanks in advance from a frigid Colorado.
  2. Itchybiscuit

    Itchybiscuit Photon Mangler

    Dec 10, 2013
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Welcome Larry.

    There are lots of great folks on this site who really know their onions. Unfortunately, I'm not one of them - I'm the equivalent of the village idiot. :dash2:

    I'm sure you'll enjoy your time here as much as I have.
  3. NikkoExiledInSF

    NikkoExiledInSF Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 8, 2011
    Wiltshire, UK
    Hey Larry - welcome.

    I made the same journey as you, from Nikon D2Xs & pro f/2.8 lenses, to Oly em-5 & M4/3 lenses. Ask away - this is a very friendly board and its packed with excellent photographers (unlike me). When I shot Nikon, I used zooms (17-55DX, 70-200DX, etc.) but in the move to M4/3 I've embraced and learned to love prime lenses. I never really appreciated beforehand how zooming to crop the photo fundamentally changed the "look" of the shot due to the effect of focal length. Old timers will chuckle but, for me, it was a eureka experience and it was entirely driven by the desire to ditch heavy gear for a lightweight body and, especially, lightweight lenses.

    On wide, I have the Oly 12mm f/2.0 and the Rokinon 7.5mm fisheye. Both are highly recommended by me. On the long end, I use the Oly 75mm f/1.8 which is phenomenal and, according to many, the best lens in M4/3 period. I think that the weakness of M4/3 is in telephoto, with a couple of 70/300mm slow zooms from Pany & Oly. Yes, I've seem some great results here on the board, but nothing like the output we've both experienced from Nikon/Canon tele primes/zooms. Yes again, this is in conflict with the low footprint, low weight benefit set. All I will say is that I went with a legacy Zeiss Sonnar telephoto prime with an M4/3 adapter, and it's amazing. I've also seen great results from adapted Nikon AI/S and Canon FD telephoto glass. Check'em out, and welcome to the format.

  4. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    The best long choice right now is the Olympus 50-200 2.8-3.5. I suspect the 40-150 2.8 will be somewhat better when it is released but there are no teleconverters for m43 lenses yet. The 50-200 + TC is a great combo and relatively inexpensive.
  5. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Gosh, that's a rather broad question! What equipment to buy depends on your budget (which, I assume, cannot be too tight if you have bought an E-M1) and what you actually want to do with your camera. For many things, what you already have will be sufficient: the 12-40mm covers the most useful focal lengths in the (Micro) Four Thirds format.

    If you take lots of photographs of people, you will probably want a nice portrait lens or two (the Olympus 45mm and 75mm are especially good for this, but the latter is large and expensive), and you will probably want some lighting equipment, too (the FL-600R and (discontinued but still readily available) FL-50R are good flash units; if you like landscapes, you will probably want a polarising filter and some wider lenses (consider the Panasonic 7-14mm f/4, although beware of the purple flare issue on this lens, the Olympus 9-18mm (either Four Thirds or Micro Four Thirds - the former is cheaper, bigger, slower to focus, requires an adapter but has sharper corners than the latter) or the Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 fisheye (this is manual focus, but much cheaper and very slightly better optically than the Panasonic 8mm fisheye, which is autofocus); if you like street photography, you will probably want a fast wide to normal lens, such as the 17mm f/1.8 or 12mm f/2.0, or perhaps the forthcoming 25mm f/1.8; if your thing is interiors, there is much to be said for the 12mm f/2.0 or some of the wider lenses to which I refer above; if you are into indoor action photography, the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 has much to recommend it from what I understand (and see above on flash equipment); if you like macro, both the Panasonic 45mm f/2.8 and Olympus 60mm f/2.8 are good (and can double as portrait lenses, too), although my personal preference is the Olympus 60mm f/2.8 (and the FL-600R flash with a mini softbox diffuser, too); if you want to take photographs of distant things in the daylight, there are lots of options (and others are probably better placed than me to guide you through all of them), but the Four Thirds Olympus 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 is what I chose: secondhand, this lens is very cheap for what it is and the optical quality is very high (apart from some slightly less than ideal bokeh in high contrast situations), although it is heavy and bulky, requires an adapter, and is slower to focus than native Micro Four Thirds lenses even on the E-M1 (although it is not bad) - I have also heard good things about the Olympus 75-300mm for use in bright conditions; and for many subjects, a fast standard focal length lens is advantageous, and the Panasonic/Leica 25mm f/1.4 is well reputed, although somewhat large and expensive (the forthcoming Olympus 25mm f/1.8 is a lighter and cheaper option, but not as fast). The really small pancake lenses such as the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, 14mm f/2.5 and Olympus 17mm f/2.8 are probably of limited usefulness on the large Olympus E-M1, and the kit lenses are generally to be avoided, in my view.

    There are also, of course, things such as tripods and bags which are whole subjects on their own; but you will need to decide how much kit that you actually want before deciding on a bag; I daresay that a suitable bag for a Micro Four Thirds kit is rather smaller than a suitable bag for a DSLR kit.

    Enjoy assembling your equipment and then using it!
  6. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Reza Travilla
    i think u don't need any other lenses. 12-40mm f2.8 is the perfect all around. It also can do macro. One of the best zoom lenses on M43 system.
    Just focus on knowing your camera and it's features.
  7. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Welcome aboard, Larry!

    Glad to have you with us.


  8. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Welcome to the forum! There are lots of great lenses in the system, from inexpensive gems like the Rokinon 7.5mm and the Panasonic 14mm to expensive, genuinely incredible lenses like the Oly 75mm and some of the new fast zooms. My favorite (moderately priced) zoom is the Panasonic 100-300mm, it's an excellent lens.
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