Now that I have the camera which lenses?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by gardengirl13, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. gardengirl13

    gardengirl13 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 26, 2012
    OK so I have the 12-50 kit, which even though it's one of the "lesser" lenses I find it quite nice for a kit zoom.

    So I plan on getting the 45 1.8, no problems there at all. But for my other lenses I'm not sure what to do.

    20 1.7 vs 25 1.4:
    -20 is slightly wider, I shoot with a 28 right now which equals 44/45 on FF, so it's right in the middle between 40mm and 50mm. I think I'd prefer it a tad wider
    -20 has slower AF
    -25 has that rattlesnake noise
    -25 can shoot in lower light and I hear the 20 bands in lower light
    -price is something I worry about since I'll need other lenses too

    7-14 vs 9-18 (am I getting the Fl right on these?)
    -7-14 seems sharper, obviously wider but is heavier and can't take a filter
    -9-18 seems ok to me, but I want this for detailed landscapes and worry it's too soft, but I need a filter
    -lighter is always better for me too, but will take heavier if I'm getting something worth it

    Not sure what to compare it to aside from lenses that don't go near the 300mm This one will have to wait since it's so expensive and I'd use it for birds, which I shoot a lot, but the others are more important for now.

    Anyone who has used both in a comparison which did you keep and why? I'd prefer the lighter ones, and the cheaper ones, but its it worth what I'm giving up with the "better" lenses. Of course if I can't sell my canon stuff, none of it matters, so yes budget plays a big part here.
  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Real Name:
    First off, I'm not sure who gave you the impression that the 12-50 is a "lesser" lens, but that simply is not the case. In fact, it's one of the more versatile :43: lenses available, as it covers a very usable focal range and also has macro ability. Sure there are other lenses that are faster and perhaps marginally sharper, but I'm not sure why one would simply dismiss that lens.

    As to which of the (roughly) normal focal length lenses to choose, I would suggest you try the P20. It's really a terrific little lens that I think should be a part of just about every :43: kit. The only negative is the slow AF; this has never bothered me. If possible you should borrow a P20 to see if you can live with it's AF performance. If so, I find the 20mm focal length more usable than that of the PL25 and the P20's diminutive size and more approachable price really tip the scales.

    I'll let others who have experience with the UWA zooms comment on those.

    As to the tele, you're right that the P100-300 is the only native game in town for shooting birds. Another option you might consider is an adapted lens in that long focal length. Obviously that will generally mean a bit more weight, but the P100-300 is no featherweight itself. Also, I'm not sure how you feel about manual focus.
  3. nueces snapper

    nueces snapper Mu-43 All-Pro

    It all depends on what you shoot ...

    ... and where. If you're out walking around in good day light that's one thing. The 12/50 can do a lot. Plus get wet.

    If you want to shoot indoor action with available light that's another thing. You want the best lens you can get your hands on.

    If you are nutty about shooting birds like me you get one of these:


    I've got some cheap lens that came in kits. They don't get used much unless I'm just taking snaps of family or pets. The lens is more important than the camera. :smile:
  4. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    There are some good comparison threads here on the 20 versus 25 (both excellent, different strengths, mostly comes down to size). A couple of comments about them on the E-M5:

    • PL25 does not rattlesnake on my E-M5. I was able to get it to happen once in video mode P, but haven't heard it since. It *was* constant and annoying on my E-P3, though.
    • I do get quite a bit of purple fringing with the PL25 in contrast areas... I tend to keep it stopped down to at least f2.8 during the day, which eliminates the issue.
    • With the IBIS and the f1.7, there is a good chance that you will not need to go over ISO 1600 much at all, where I understand the banding to begin. I have not seen an issue yet.
    • The 20/1.7 AF speed does seem slow coming from the newer m4/3 lenses, but it is similar in speed to other mirrorless systems I have used. It is a bit tough to keep up with younger children, for example.
    • I would have a hard time parting with either lens... but if I had to choose one, it would have to be the 20/1.7, just because it gives you such a compact carry option mounted on the E-M5 (unless you already had the 14/2.5).

    Have you considered the Olympus 12/2 for a wide angle? Obviously, it does not go really ultra-wide, but it is the sharpest at 24mm, gives you the option for faster speed (indoor architecture?), works with 46mm filters, and is compact. The snap focus ring can also come in handy.
  5. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    I'm really in no position to talk, but I think you'll find this exercise more productive after you've used your existing kit for a bit, and can assess for yourself where it falls short, and in what areas you'd most like to expand.

    It's easy to get into the 'a-lens-for-all-situations' mode, but aside from being expensive, most people generally find 2 or 3 areas that interest them, and it's more productive to concentrate one's efforts on the things one is most attracted to.

    Personally, I'd go for the 20/1.7 before the 45/1.8, since for indoor shooting I usually want a fairly normal angle of view (indoors with a telephoto, one can't always back up to encompass more).

    • Like Like x 1
  6. dre_tech

    dre_tech Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 31, 2012
    I have the 7-14 and I've never been disappointed by it.

    Having two other zooms that cover from 12mm up, I'm happy I chose the 7-14 over the 9-18. If you need filters I'd recommend you go with a replacement lens cap adapted to hold a Cokin P with 72mm ring. The other option posted on the forum was with a 52mm rubber hood which I recently bought is not quite as snug.

    I have the 45/1.8 and the 20/1.7, but since I got the 12-35 I'm not using them as much. The 45 is definitely more useful together with a fast zoom, which I find can replace the 20/25mm. The 25/1.4 isn't as sharp at until f2, therefore I skipped it.
  7. gardengirl13

    gardengirl13 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 26, 2012
    Well I want to shoot mostly with primes so it's like my old film set-up.

    I was thinking 12/20(5)/45, or 14/20(5)/45, or even 17/20(5)/45 if I decide to go with an UWA. With film I shot 35/50/85 but my style has changed slightly. I do rely on zooms a bit, but still prefer the look of primes. I shoot my husband's band in dark venues at ISO3200 or even 6400 with the 60D and a 28 1.8, some places I can get to f/5.6, but mostly it's about 2.8-4, real dark and it's wide open. I also use the 10-22 since it's fun to shoot the band with it. For birds I use the 55-250, for my garden stuff right now I'm happy with the 12-50, but that might change to use primes since they're so light I can carry more then one lens, and with how I shoot I don't need to worry about missing a shot (aside from a bug) since flowers don't move. When we walk I like shooting with a shallow DOV to get a "mystical" look to forests and whatnot, so that's why I want the 45. No kids so no need to worry about shooting fast.
  8. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    Use your Credit Card.. buy them all and try them out .. before the return policy expires, send the ones you don't like back.. keep the ones you like.. simple.. :rofl:
  9. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Shoot with the kit lens.... after a while you'll identify the limits and know where you want to take your photography next. Buy accordingly.

    Photography should drive your purchases not the other way around....

    PS> Using your credit card is not good advice. This hobby is expensive, G.A.S sets in, and credit card use isn't the habit you want to throw into the mix.
  10. scottz

    scottz Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 18, 2011
    Littleton, CO
    I just bought the PL 25/1.4 last week . The "rattlesnake" is no big deal for me, it's not loud at all.
  11. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    The 12-35/2.8 will cover all your bases. Seriously, this is a "bag of primes" zoom, and if you add up the price of the various lenses you have listed, it would be quite a steal.

    For your band shots, you might need the extra couple stops the 20 or 25 provide ... Or even the 25/0.95 ... The small size of the 20/1.7 is hard to argue with. I have been pretty vocal in my misunderstanding of the 25/1.4 ... Larger, considerably more expensive, still no OIS, marginally better image quality, faster AF - seems like a tough sell to me.
  12. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Real Name:
    For me, I like the FOV of the 20/1.7 slightly better than the PL25, but since I am trying to catch my running daughter indoor most of the time, AF speed becomes essential, so the PL25 pretty much becomes my lens cap. In your case, the 20/1.7 might offer you a bit more versatility than the PL25. I get "rattlesnake" with the PL25 on my E-M5 sometimes, but if you don't shoot video with it, it shouldn't be a problem.

    If filter is a must for your UWA lens, then you can, i) DIY and turn your 7-14 lens cap into a step-up filter ring, as someone has shown in this forum, or ii) go with either the 9-18 or the 12/2.0. The 7-14 is a heck of a lens though. Totally sharp. Ever since I got this lens (couple weeks ago), my 12/2.0 has been staying in the cabinet...
  13. 6x6

    6x6 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 12, 2011
    Thats so true, only time will tell what YOU need.

    "20 1.7 vs 25 1.4:
    -20 is slightly wider, I shoot with a 28 right now which equals 44/45 on FF, so it's right in the middle between 40mm and 50mm. I think I'd prefer it a tad wider
    -20 has slower AF
    -25 has that rattlesnake noise
    -25 can shoot in lower light and I hear the 20 bands in lower light
    -price is something I worry about since I'll need other lenses too"
    Interesting article on this subject:
    *Micro4/3 Holy Trinity: It’s not the size of the boat, it’s the motion in the ocean. « Tyson Robichaud Photo-blography

    For my kind of shooting:
    some macro

    If I had the OM-D (not yet), the 12-50 probably would be worth keeping, since its weatherproof, too.
    Nice review:
  14. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    Can only speak for myself... we're each so different in preferences and what we shoot.

    Minimalist 3-lens kit:

    7-14 (stunning lens!)
    12-35 (stunning lens!)
    20/1.7 (awesome, versatile lens!)

    This has you exceptionally well covered for everything from 7mm to 35mm... including a very small fast prime for low light, street, compact, etc.

    And, since you want to capture birds, add something long.

    Alternatively, if you prefer primes (and can forego UWA-which I can't):

    20 or 25

    and something long for the birds.

    If and when you've got the scratch... get all of these lenses (and perhaps a couple more) so you can tailor your day kit for whatever you anticipate needing for the photographic objective at hand.
  15. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I have to say I am quite tempted by the 12-35 especially as it covers off a large scale of focal lengths, although pricey it could replace a 12mm and 25mm which would be about the same price anyway!

    While the speed difference between the 12 f2 isn't much I'm not sure I'd want to give up the f1.4 of the 25mm.
  16. gardengirl13

    gardengirl13 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 26, 2012
    Not sure if the 12-35 interests me. 2.8 isn't fast enough for some of the things I shoot. Plus I'm finding the 50 too short sometimes, I think 35 would drive me nuts. I wish the 12-50 was 12-75 and be the same exact lens it is.

    For my shooting I know what I want. I've been shooting for 30 years. I just don't know enough about these M43 lenses. I know I want an UWA, I know I want 2 maybe 3 primes for my lower light stuff. I'm more so wondering the quirks and good parts of each lens.

    With the band, I'll be using the (most likely) 7-14 and a normal prime. I will shoot in very dark spots that will require quite high ISO and fast primes. I have shot at ISO6400 at f/1/4 and got shutter speeds of 1/4 at the fastest. So yes I need fast and something that won't band. Right now with the kit I've shot up to 8000 and been ok for web. But I will shoot video so the rattlesnake may be an issue at the stops of songs (they're a loud band so I will only hear it when they're quieter.)

    I'm not really asking about the FL, more so the banding issue vs the rattlesnake issue. Worse comes to worse I can use the 7-14 for the video if the rattlesnake is present. But I can't just not shoot with the 20 due to banding. But....and here's the kicker.... with my health I've been going to less and less gigs (very sadly as I LOVE going) so this may not be as important. But for those I do go to I want to get good shots as they use my photos for promotions and such.

    As for the 7-14 I'm just wondering about details in the sharpness on things like grass and leaves. I shoot waterfalls a lot and I'll need good ND filters. I'll have to see how to do that lens cap filter thing.

    Still not sure if I'll go with something wider then the 20 though. I really shoot most of my prime stuff with my 28 recently. Longer would be nice though since I like subject isolation. I said I wouldn't get the 75mm since I don't use that FL, but now I'm wondering if it'd be better then the 45. When going on walks it might be nice to do the 12-50 and something longer. But then again would the 100-300 be ok? While walking we do see a lot of things that I shoot with the 55-250, that's on the 60D until I see something I want to shoot wider. It's kind of my I need to get that heron in tree over there quickly before she flies away. But with the OMD I'm not sure I can shoot like that any more. Would the 75 be enough and just deal with not shooting birds as much.
  17. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    The 12-35/2.8 is a stellar lens and is likely to be my most used lens (along with the 7-14). But I still find good reason to hang on to my 25/1.4, for really low light and thin DOF... it provides a look of its own that I like. I can see the 12-35 as a replacement for the 12/2. Though there are times (when able to shoot leisurely and there are no issues caused by making numerous lens changes) when I enjoy just a "kit o' primes" instead of zooms, and the 12,20,45 make a nice trio.

    It's a bit extravagant, but having a kit of high quality zooms (7-14, 12-35, 35-100) and a kit of great primes (12, 20, 45) allows one to tailor just the right kit for the particular shooting needs of the day.
  18. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Personally, with the lenses out now a preferred 3-lens prime kit for me would look more like....

    m.Zuiko 12mm f/2, Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux, m.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8

    That's the perfect spread for my needs within that range (I still need longer telephotos for other things, of course). The 45mm filled the gap when there was nothing longer, but the 25mm to 75mm spread is more useful to me.

    I would also go for the Voigtlander 25mm f/0.95, but I wouldn't be interested in a 20mm lens if I forgo the 45mm. That's a little too wide.
  19. Sanpaku

    Sanpaku Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 24, 2012
    This caught my attention. Is this commercially available? All I see on BH are threaded filter step up rings.

    Or is this a home brew solution?
  20. strang

    strang Mu-43 Veteran

    May 7, 2012
    I'm much more interested in the 35-100 than the 12-35. Especially if you already have the 12-50.

    9-18, 25, 35-100 without OIS weight would be my dream kit. I'd be happy with a constant f/4 telephoto zoom too if it's longer, but that doesn't exist.

    9-18 is a nicer option for filters. It's also more compact.

    There's a pretty big gap between 25 and 100. I think you'll need something to bridge that gap even if you already plan on having the 45.