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OK, prime lens fans: convince me.

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by tanngrisnir3, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    My personal holiday wish list has been fulfilled early (GH2, 14-45, multiple Rokkor/Minolta legacy lenses), I've decided to sell my entire, beloved LX5 kit (white, w/EVF, LWA52 adapter and v2 of the software) locally to help fund one, new and modern AF prime.

    I've heard great things about the PL 25/1/4, the PL 45 and the Olympus 45/1.8 (and have some reservations about the Oly 12/2 after reading about it).

    I shoot landscapes, most out and up in the Sierra, UT, AZ, that sort of place.

    Low light capability is fun/nice, but I usually don't shoot in it all the time. It's rather the quality and utility of the glass that I'm interested in and how it would apply. I spend a lot of time up on rocks, hanging from funny angles, etc.... so the AF is key, which is why legacies aren't always the best.


    ** On Edit ** Sorry, make that I 'had' a 14-45, but there was a particularly unfortunate incident at the beach where said lens was dropped into a sand/water mix w/no rear cap on it.
  2. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    How about the Panny 14?? Cheap, so no worries as you are hiking around. Fastest AF as far as I know. Good angle of view. Pretty fast when needed (f/2.5). Super small.

    Maybe it overlaps too much with your kit, and when stopped down, I'm not sure it would be that much better, but size and AF is a pretty big help, and it is faster (2.5 vs 3.5) if needed.
  3. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    You have 14-45 which is very sharp at 14mm (I used to have this lens). Great for landscapes and stiching panos. Panny 14 is too small for GH2, you are not gaining much
  4. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011

    Thought about it for a bit, but I thought the benefits of the IQ in the other lenses outweighed any difference in speed of AF.

    What I meant about AF being key is that if I'm hanging by a harness, or at an odd angle off-trail on some scree field, the time/care needed to MF isn't an option.
  5. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Yeah, sorry. Missed the GH2 part.
  6. driftingbunnies

    driftingbunnies New to Mu-43

    Nov 25, 2011
    It really depends on how you want to take the picture. I agree with the 14mm. I returned my 12mm to get the 14mm and I don't feel like I'm missing a whole lot. I can tell a difference between the two but it's not worth the price difference to me. I would also recommend the PL 25mm because it would be a great lens for regular shooting also.
  7. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    20mm! Compact, sharp, and it has a great perspective.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 App
  8. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    I have the 14-45 and the I think of it primarily as a wide angle because the long end is too slow. Back in the the day 90mm was my all time favorite, most used focal length.

    If I were you I'd go for the Oly 45/1.8. Unless macro is really important; then the Panny 45/2.8 macro. One stop is worth giving up for the close focusing.

  9. For landscapes, I'd suggest the 14mm. I don't have it yet, but often wish I did. It's good enough, fast enough and wide enough for most WA needs, especially outdoors. Depending on how much you get for the LX5, you might also be able to get the 20/1.7 if you get them both used. You'll certainly have a compact kit now that you've lost the zoom!
    And after not too long you'll get the 45/1.8.....that will be a complete classic set of primes.
  10. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    Look at the EXIF for your images shot with the 14-45. See what focal length's you use the most. THEN decide what prime(s) will work best for you, or if another 14-45, or maybe the forthcoming 12-35 are better choices.

    If most of your shots are at or near 14mm, then there's an answer. But if your shots are evenly distributed throughout the 14-45 range, any IQ benefit you might get from a prime will be lost in cropping the images to get what you want.

    Based on this statement "... I'm hanging by a harness, or at an odd angle off-trail on some scree field..." I'd suggest sticking with a zoom. Changing lenses in those situations is no better than trying to MF in those situations. Typical landscape shots (I don't know what yours are like) don't require ultra shallow DOF, so the fast apertures of some of the primes might not be worth all that much anyway.
  11. TonyB

    TonyB Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 6, 2010
    get another 14-45mm...

    For the type of shooting you are doing I'd get another 14-45mm. I have the tri-umvirate of primes, the 14mm, 20mm and 45mm but for the versatility, OIS and allround performance you can't beat the 14-45mm. Mine is incredible for the price I paid for it and I love all those primes.
  12. John M Flores

    John M Flores Super Moderator

    Jan 7, 2011
    If you're going to be hanging from rocks and in other places where taking a few steps forward or back to change the composition may have disastrous consequences, then maybe you are not a prime shooter after all.

    I've got the 14/20/45. But in your situation I might check out the new collapsing Panny 14-42 zoom, preferably attached to the G2 or GX1. The GH2 is grand, but the others would fit more readily in a pack and take equally good photos.
  13. bobbywise

    bobbywise Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 23, 2011
    Nantes, France
    I would say go for the pany 14mm/f2.5 for landscapes. It's small and has a great fov for landscapes.
  14. Bill

    Bill Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2009
    Brisbane, Australia
    Bill (really)
    The 20mm and GF1 combination was what sold me on M43 in the first place. It was a combination that I was abel to carry all the time. I've since moved to the G3, and lately I switched from the 20mm to the new X 14-42mm zoom. The 20mm is fast, sharp and small. The 14-42 is slower (but makes up for some of that with stabilsation), sharp (at 14 anyway) and small.

    I had moved up to M43 from an LX3 and I did miss that bit longer zoom end that helped with portraits.

    The only prime that I use regularly is now the 45mm 1.8. I just cant get that speed with a zoom.
  15. capodave

    capodave Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 4, 2010
    Southern Cal
    I second OdBm
    I love my 12 for landscapes, and it is very well made.
    Besides fast AF it also has a great manual feature.
    My favorite, with the 20 being second.
    I don't think you get the same IQ with the kit in many situations.
  16. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    Oh, sorry, brain fart. Typing while not thinking. What I meant was I had reservations about the 45 1.8, NOT the 12 2.

    And those were based on this: Micro 4/3rds Photography: Olympus vs Panasonic @ 45mm
  17. Z-man

    Z-man Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 16, 2011
    I took me a while to get sold on primes..but I feel they are a must to any kit. I just didn't like the feel of the 20mm 1.7, so I opted for a PL 25. Great Lens! Could be a bit wider some days. Someone else told me to take a look at a 9-18 for wide angle. Much less than the 7-14 and less distortion..
  18. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    Likely because most any lens can (and is) used for most any purpose.

    I've seen some really great landscapes done with the PL45.
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