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Oly 12mm or Panny 14mm?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by thearne3, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    807
    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    I haven't seen a discussion on this topic, so I thought it might be useful...

    I have the Panny 20mm and it's my 'go to' lens for low light street and casual use (among other things!). A great lens.

    I have found that I often want something wider. The situations where I want something wider often are also low light, so the kit zoom just doesn't cut it (nor does it go to 12mm)

    Finally, I want a lens that is worth developing an 'eye/world view' with. This has been the case with the 20mm.

    Here's my dilemma: the new 12mm Oly seems to be a perfect combination of speed, manual focus feel (mechanical connection), and 'old world' style (Ok, I'm a romantic - I love my Pen F 38mm more than any lens I've got...). But at 24mm equiv. is it too wide for street/people/candids, etc?

    At this price, it's gotta be a 'no compromise' lens for me. The Panny is half the price, though not as fast. Size isn't that important in this case.

    (I have the 12mm on pre-order: the final test has to be with lens in hand...)

    Anyone else facing this issue?
     
  2. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    Generally speaking, 24mm (EFL) is a bit wide if you want to take close ups. But for environmental portraits at a distance of say 12+ feet, 24mm seems workable, in my opinion. I had the Panasonic 14/2.5 for a few days, and didn't think its image quality performance was anything to brag about. However, it's also small, light and cheap (relatively speaking). BUT, because size is not important to you, but low light is important to you, it would seem like the new Oly 12/2 is a good fit for your needs. I read somewhere that the 12/2 in combination with the new Pens auto focuses pretty fast even in bad lighting conditions. Not sure how the 12/2 would perform on the older Pens though.
     
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I am always hesitant to declare a lens great as everybody's taste in different but my in my experience with the 14 I was pretty impressed. I thought it had very good IQ and the focus speed was very fast (and quiet). Also, f2 and f2.5 isn't really that big a difference speed wise. The Olympus certainly looks to be a great lens...and it should be for $700.
     
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  4. turbodieselvw

    turbodieselvw Mu-43 Veteran

    321
    Jun 29, 2010
    Ottawa
    I agree. I like my 14 but it would be more useful (for landscapes) if Panny had made it a 12. That being said, I won't be spending that kind of money on a 12.

     
  5. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I have the 14, and have to say I am very impressed with the results. If the Oly is as good as claimed, in all likelihood image quality issues won't be part of your consideration: either would be a good choice.

    Instead it will come down to the things you have mentioned. Of course I have not held the Oly, but clearly from an aesthetic point of view it's way ahead of the 14. The Oly looks great. The 14 is tiny, very light and utilitarian - attractive enough characteristics but it ain't gonna set the heart a-pounding... :smile:

    One thing you might want to consider. My understanding (happy to be corrected) is that both companies apply auto-correction for their lenses in camera, but, for example, Oly does not correct the 20/1.7.

    I am happy with the 14. It is very effective, and easily wide enough for my uses (landscapes and environmental street). It focuses very, very quickly. The 12 is beautiful, but is unlikely to enhance my results in any way.

    I hope this is helpful, but I recognize I have most likely provided more confusion. Sorry.
     
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  6. Kade.Sirin

    Kade.Sirin Mu-43 Regular

    47
    Sep 23, 2010
    Las Vegas
    The oly 12 will have very fast AF with the new (I almost wanna call the new Olympus bodies the "3 series" or third generation) bodies, and slower with other m43 bodies. I feel that the 12mm might be a tad too wide for casual and street use; the distortion from it being such a wide angle might not work to your advantage.
     
  7. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    807
    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    Yes. Wider is better for landscape. But, for me that is not a high priority. How do you like your 14mm for street/people/candid/social(bars or restaurants, etc)?

    Good point. I'm using an E-P2, so that would give the edge to the 12mm. Luckily, I've never been too bothered by the 20mm - it's very good even w/o the CA correction. Is that more of an issue w/ the 14mm?
     
  8. scarbrd

    scarbrd Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Jul 1, 2011
    Houston, TX
    On the lens correction issue, my understanding is it only applies on the JPGs, not the RAW images. So, if you shoot RAW (as I do) the in camera correction is a non-issue.
     
  9. turbodieselvw

    turbodieselvw Mu-43 Veteran

    321
    Jun 29, 2010
    Ottawa
    I find the 20 more useful for social situations but the 14 complements the 20 nicely. I haven't had the time to try the 14 for street photography since I purchased it.
     
  10. For these purposes listed I think the 14mm is the better option. Think Ricoh GRD III for an equivalent field of view.
     
  11. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada

    I think there may be a nuance here. from what I know, in RAW files the data needed to apply the correction is contained in the RAW file, and then is applied by some RAW converters: for example LR and ACR apply it, while Bibble does not. So if you shoot RAW the distortions will be taken care of if you use some converters, and then it does not matter which camera you use with the lens.

    Good news for me, because I shoot RAW and want a 45mm, and need to choose between the Oly and Panasonic models.
     
  12. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    The angle of view is great for documentary photography, almost a classic focal length. Eugene Richards did great emergency room images with an equivalent lens. And being able to zone focus is just a bonus. I am also hoping there is less curvilinear distortion in the 12mm compared with the 14mm--the 14mm needs significant lens correction applied to it. But the 12mm is not for the faint of heart. You are going to have to throw yourself into the fray.

    BTW, wider is not better with landscapes. They tend to make the foreground too small.
     
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  13. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    807
    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    Thanks for the references, Hikari. I will do some homework!

    I really like the perspective of the shots in Robin Wong's blog: Robin Wong: Olympus E-P3 Review: Pudu Wet Market

    He notes the challenges of using care when composing shots at this focal length.
     
  14. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
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  15. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    807
    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    Thanks Pelao. I had seen (and forgotten) that article some time ago. A very good description of a study in discipline that sometimes/often eludes me!
     
  16. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Yes, me too. I re-read some articles like this from time-to-time to hep avoid a rut, and/or try new stuff.

    Last weekend I used my 14 quite a bit while wandering around Toronto with my family. It's great to use, and like the 20 I have confidence in it's abilities, less so in mine.
     
  17. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    ,

    I'm just getting a 14mm and hope it is fine. What I don't really understand is what difference is there between a 12 and 14 view. I mean it's only a couple of steps backwards or am I going wrong?
     
  18. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    FWIW the angle of view for the 14 is 75 degrees and the 12 is 84 degrees. I think the difference is significant. In my film days I preferred 24mm to 28mm.

    One other thing, indoors a couple of steps back with a 28mm often meant walking into a wall or piece of furniture.

    Fred
     
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  19. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    Not if you're Superman.:biggrin:

    Thanks, now I understand.
     
  20. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    For the price of the 12, you can just about get the 14 AND the 9-18. I'd say the 14 is a better every day walk around focal length and then you still have the 9-18 to play around with REAL wide angle. I had the equivalent of the 12 FOV in the Nex 16 and it's something you can adapt to, but for an everyday lens, I personally much prefer the 14.

    -Ray
     
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