Oly 12-50mm and where to go from there.

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Ted, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. Ted

    Ted Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Oct 10, 2014
    Tasmania, Australia
    Theo B
    Hey guys, I have a few other things to get before I start diving into new lenses, but I thought it sensible to prepare a road-map for myself as there are times when I tend to impulse buy in a store! Right now I only have the 12-50mm Weatherproof kit that came with my E-M5, which I am happy enough with but it doesn't do everything I want (mostly, faster aperture and wider). I do like that it's weatherproof though (most of the others aren't, correct?) and the macro mode is great fun for someone who's never had anything like that before, but I'm not sure it really excels anywhere? Or maybe that's just my photography skills :redface: I am strictly a beginner hobbyist and my photos reflect that, but it's fun and I have some disposable income so why not! I mostly want something fast and wide for street photography/low light (I like the idea of getting into that), something wide and nice for landscape and something with a really nice bokeh for portraits. If one or two lenses could do all three of those that would be awesome too. I'd also be keeping what I've got for when it's raining/snowing and I think I might grab one of those super cheap Holga lenses just for a bit of fun. I think being able to cover all of those bases would give me a pretty nifty kit where I could cover anything I wanted to do. Any suggestions? Totally okay with either zooms or primes.

    Here are some examples of photos I've taken over the last couple of years. Like I said, it is very beginner so don't expect anything good!
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/flybeereligion/

    Thanks!
     
  2. Ted

    Ted Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Oct 10, 2014
    Tasmania, Australia
    Theo B
    PS- I know this is in 'Native Lenses' but I'm not against going other brands also..

    EDIT::And I just clicked that native can be any brand, it just doesn't need an adapter :rolleyes:
     
  3. lowlight

    lowlight Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Jun 3, 2014
    Norway
    What focal lenght do you use most on your current lens?
    If you are looking for some cheap great primes the sigma art lenses is something to consider (19mm-30mm-60mm).
    The oly 45 1.8 is highly recomended.
     
  4. Ted

    Ted Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Oct 10, 2014
    Tasmania, Australia
    Theo B
    Out of habit I have always kept it as low as I possibly could so I didn't have to worry so much about distracting backgrounds, I think my old Canon did a bit of a nicer job with them though. Higher f-stop for landscapes though usually and if I'm going to have a crack at some street photography I figure I'll need high apertures too? I realise I didn't do a very good job of answering your question then and it was more of a long-winded "I don't know" :tongue:

    Just looked up the 45mm 1.8, that is beautiful as a portrait lens! I figure it would work for street photography too as long as you didn't get too close? I might have to stick my current lens in 45mm and have a walk around without moving it. I will check out some reviews of the Sigma stuff too, thanks!
     
  5. lowlight

    lowlight Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Jun 3, 2014
    Norway
    Every lens works for streetshooting ;) its a matter og taste.
    I have the sigm 30 and 60mm and both are great lenses. The 30 pretty much lives on my em5 and even though it only stops down to f2.8 its a great all arounder.
     
  6. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I've found for me, that other than the weather sealing, just about every other lens I've used is better than the 12-50.

    With that out of the way, Wider options are limited, but the Oly/Panny wide zooms are regarded as good and they start at either 7 or 9mm.

    I agree with others though, and figure out the focal lengths you use most or need and go there.

    I started with the same kit and quickly picked up the Oly 17/1.8 and use that a lot for shooting street. I then needed something longer, so picked up an Oly 40-150/4-5.6 for under $100 used. Also picked up the 45/1.8 for portraits and a bit of longer reach in low light.

    I do some wildlife shooting so, the Oly 75-300mm made sense for me.

    Now, I'm trying to decide if I want the Oly 25/1.8, as I use the 50mm field of view quite a bit on my Nikon FX cameras and would like to have the f/1.8 there as well.
     
  7. sammykhalifa

    sammykhalifa Mu-43 Top Veteran

    762
    Jun 22, 2012
    Pittsburgh PA
    Neil
    Hi Ted,

    I like your shots.
     
  8. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    Hi Ted, you are being too modest because your photographs look very promising especially for a beginner like yourself.

    In regards to street photography, you might want to check out the 17mm f/1.8. It's wide enough for landscape and street people so you can get close plus its wide aperture allows more shallower depth of field. Because it's not a razor sharp lens, the bokeh rendering is much more pleasing compared to other sharper pro lenses. Therefore, I double the 17mm f/1.8 as a portraiture lens as well, though you need to be really close and friendly with your model because you need to get really close to get the waist up shot. But then you'll get more shallower DOF if you do that. For strictly portraiture work or distance street photography, either a 45mm or a 75mm would do well.. I would choose the 75mm not only because it's a razor sharp prime lens in the Oly lineup, but also because its bokeh rendering is very pleasing for a sharp lens like this as well when you get shallower DOF. With 75mm, that would be your telephoto lens ideal for candid and stealth street photography where subjects are not all too welcome to have their photos taken but you want to take them anyways. Though I always ask for permission from them before I have their souls captured.

    So yes, the 2 I would recommend would be 17mm f/1.8 and the 75mm f/1.8. They are not weatherproof. For wide angle, wider than 12mm, you can think about the 9mm BCL Fisheye. It's a rather strange lens, cause it's not a lens but a body cap lens. It's f/8, but for landscape we have a saying "f/8 and be there", so f/8 is NOT a problem. I'm always impressed and surprised a cheap lens like this can take sharp photos. Not as sharp as the Samyang 7.5 fisheye, but it's good enough for my wide taste. I always bring the 9mm with me in all my travel hikes because it's convenient, light and small and act as a body cap for my second body. Hope this helps -- ooops it's a 3 lens combo now.
     
  9. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    12-40 and the 75 if you wallet is feeling flush. But, to get a high keper rate shooting in low light street photography does require good skills, as there is usually little DOF available when you are shooting wide open.

    --Ken
     
  10. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    Which is why the 17mm f/1.8 shines in street photography because of the clutch manual focus ring. Pull it back for manual focus which comes with depth of field scale. You get the same DOF scale with the Ricoh GR. Set the distance according to your zone of focus based on your DOF and just shoot away without AF. Disable the AF RESET when power turns off so you get to keep the zone and can be programmed as one of your custom functions. I set this up on my E-PL1 for manual street shooting. Fast, light and discreet. I wish I have a GM1/5 and electronic shutter so I can be totally silent. ;)
     
  11. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    771
    Nov 16, 2012
    Emily
    There are a lot of lenses to consider -- one of the advantages of m43! You'll find plenty of information, opinions, and images for each on this forum.

    Since it sounds like budget is a consideration, take a look at the Panasonic 20mm 1.7 for a walkaround lens for lower light situations. It's a nice little lens that has stood the test of time in the m43 world, and it's relatively inexpensive. Its disadvantage is that the autofocus is slow to focus in lower light, so not the lens you want if you're trying to get inside shots of sugared-up toddlers. Because of that issue, it wouldn't stand up against the Olympus 17mm 1.8 in terms of performance alone, but it's a good bit cheaper. (Keep an eye on the buy/sell section of this forum for used copies of anything you're considering.) I know nothing about the Sigma lenses, so I can't offer any comparisons with those.

    If you want something with some more reach, look at the Olympus 40-150mm 4.0-5.6 (that's the original one, not the new "pro" one with the constant 2.8 aperture). As lenses go, it's dirt cheap, but is considered an excellent value for the price.

    If you find yourself bitten by the macro bug, the Oly 60mm macro is a sweet lens, and isn't just for macro.

    Your idea of setting your 12-50 for a specific focal length and sticking to that for a while to see how you like it is an excellent one. I wish I were that disciplined!
     
  12. Ramsey

    Ramsey Mu-43 Top Veteran

    719
    Jan 9, 2013
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Actually, from what i understand, the 17mm 1.8 is a quite sharp lens on premium bodies, such as E-M5, EP5 and the E-M1. Not sure why, but i do remember people talking about it...

    EDIT: Got it, no AA filter on E-P5 and E-M1. My bad, E-M5 not in that category...
     
  13. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Andrew
    I've no complaints with the 17/1.8 on my EM5. Plenty sharp there.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. esnift

    esnift Mu-43 Veteran

    247
    Mar 17, 2013
    Boston, MA
    Dan
    I'll put my bid in recommending the 17/1.8 + 45/1.8 combo. The 17 is a great street lens, lightning fast focus and can do landscape as well. The 45 is a beautiful razor sharp portrait lens that gives great bokeh and a great value (can usually be had second hand for 250 or less).
     
  15. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    Agree on the Oly 17mm f1.8 for street, it works great day or night.

    And I'm very happy with my Oly 45 f.18 as well.

    I use the 12-40mm most of the time during the day, but sometimes my shoulders get sore and the 17mm is definitely lighter.
    The 17mm always goes on at dusk, regardless, if I'm still shooting street/urban.

    Barry
     
  16. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    To me it's sharp enough for pro work and better than the kit lens I have (14-42), but in terms of resolution it's a tad less than say the 75mm or the 20mm Panny and thank you for that. Something about the bokeh it renders on portraits is so pleasing, so much so that I like it for street because I'm dealing with humans. Either way, the OP is getting an upgrade for sure.
     
  17. Ramsey

    Ramsey Mu-43 Top Veteran

    719
    Jan 9, 2013
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Sure, when compared to O75 and P20, all other lenses fade and appear soft.

    I don't have the lens (O17) but was thinking about it and it was weird to hear it's quite sharper on those bodies...
     
  18. Ted

    Ted Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Oct 10, 2014
    Tasmania, Australia
    Theo B
    Thanks for all the great suggestions guys, sounds the a 17mm and 45mm are a pretty safe way to go! I almost bought a second hand 17mm on eBay just before then realised at the last second that it was a four thirds lens, not micro four thirds. That would have been an expensive lesson! I love how cheap these can be had compared to Canon lenses and such though!

    Thank you for the compliments on my images too, it is appreciated :smile:
     
  19. Edmunds

    Edmunds Mu-43 Regular

    158
    Oct 16, 2012
    There is no 17mm four thirds lens. I used to shoot four thirds, there aren't really many prime lens options there.

    I recommend you look through a lens chart to familiarize yourself with what you can buy for your camera:

    http://www.four-thirds.org/en/microft/lens_chart.html

    The only thing really missing in that chart is the Samyang 7.5mm fisheye.
     
  20. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    771
    Nov 16, 2012
    Emily
    Watch out for "Zuiko" and "M. Zuiko." "M. Zuiko" is what you want for micro 4/3. Of course, this distinction is really reliable only for commercial listings where the lister is likely to know the difference (like Olympus' own site, or reputable camera stores). You can't count on eBay sellers to get it right, but if there's a photo that shows Zuiko without the M, you should probably move on. Of course, there are always adapters . . .