Olympus 12-40 Pro to primes

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by selway89, Oct 5, 2017.

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  1. selway89

    selway89 Mu-43 Rookie

    20
    Dec 5, 2016
    York, UK
    James Selway
    Hi All,

    I am looking to get 1 or 2 new lenses for my Lumix G7.

    Reasons for this are I needed to free up some cash in my Olympus 12-40 PRO as it just wasn't getting used as much as it should and couldn't justify keeping it. Having recently got engaged any spare cash I can get hold of is going to be handy!

    I also found I was getting a bit lazy with it, so wanting to further my photographic skills I'd like to go to primes.
    Having used the 12-40 for 2 family weddings of late and many other outings I am understanding what focal lengths I primarily shoot at.

    From my picks in LR I can see most of those that are picked are around the 20-25 mm range and 40mm. Few in between but mostly those areas.

    Question becomes what lens or lenses, new or used would you recommend in these focal lengths.

    Budget of around £300 or less would be better as this leaves some cash over from the sale of my Olympus 12-40 and can go to the wedding kitty.

    I am torn between spending the £300 on one do it all prime, or getting something cheaper to perhaps fit 2 lenses in to budget. May stretch to £350...

    Lenses I have looked at are:

    PL25 f1.4, P25 f1.7, P20 f1.7, O45 f1.8, P42.5 f1.7

    Out of these I am concerned of the P20 for its speed in AF and I am not sure how a pancake will handle with SLR style G7. The O45 seems a bargin but is without OIS.

    Sorry for a rambling post but thought I would set the scene first. Any suggestions would be welcome.

    Cheers

    James
     
  2. TheDestroyer

    TheDestroyer Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Aug 5, 2017
    Given your budget I think the only option in that range (which is also cutting it close) would be the PL25 f1.7 and the PL42.5 1.7. You might have to find a used copy of the PL 42.5mm to fit it in. The PL 25mm 1.7 is on sale in the US for $147 right now, not sure if its on sale over there.

    If money was no object I would consider the Oly 25mm 1.8 over the PL 25mm 1.7, its much more compact and has a better build. The PL25 1.4 is out of your budget I believe.
     
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  3. Mountain

    Mountain Mu-43 Veteran

    377
    Aug 2, 2013
    Colorado
    I don't see any reason in your case to choose the O45 over the P42.5 (except maybe price on the used market). FWIW I have the 25 f/1.7 and 42.5 f/1.7. I prefer the quality and output (and focal length) of the longer lens to the normal lens. You could pick up a Sigma 19mm for next to nothing, I personally sold one for $80. Output is good, if you're ok with the 2.8 aperture. It's wide enough that OIS isn't a big deal. Then you can pick up a telephoto option to complement it. Having said that, the 20mm 1.7 seems to be a perennial favorite of many. Personally I prefer the 19/20 FOV to the 25. The Sigma 30 f/1.4 splits the difference between 20 and 42.5, and seems to be well reviewed.
     
  4. selway89

    selway89 Mu-43 Rookie

    20
    Dec 5, 2016
    York, UK
    James Selway
    I can get hold of a PL25 for £330 which I can stretch to. But it would be the only lens.

    Interesting about the Sigma, I'll take a look.

    Strangely I can barely find any used P42.5 in the UK.
    I have a feeling I would use the 20-25 range more over 40 if I were to have just the one lens. At least for now....
     
  5. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    917
    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    Simon
    If you follow my posting history, you'll know that this is where I normally suggest the sigma 30mm f1.4. And indeed, it's a great lens (yadda yadda yadda) and you'd love it.

    But in your situation, I think I'd do one of two things:
    Be sure how much you'll get for the 12-40, especially I'd you want to put some away for your wedding (congrats BTW). I paid £430ish for mine second hand through mpb.com about a year ago, which doesn't leave you much for the wedding kitty especially after sales fees. It'd be impossible to replace the versatility and quality of this lens - maybe find something else to sell?

    Or, if your heart is set on selling, get yourself set up as cheaply as possible. Second hand Panasonic 25mm f1.7 or sigma 19mm and a converted helios 44-2, you should be able to pick the lot up for around £150.

    And if you're looking for a photographer for the wedding, clicky clicky below - my website is in my signature :D
     
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  6. selway89

    selway89 Mu-43 Rookie

    20
    Dec 5, 2016
    York, UK
    James Selway
    ionian I have already sold the lens for £500 so say £450 after fees so no changing my mind on that even if I could! Plenty of other stuff is heading on eBay over the coming weeks.

    Had a quick look at the Sigma 19mm and does look rather good for the money and is very tempting.

    My only lens at this moment in time is a Canon FDn 50mm f1.8 which is a potential candidate for the longer end I shoot at. But AF would be preferable.

    However I am happy to loose the zoom ability to make me think a bit more about my shots, as I mentioned felt I was getting very lazy and think I can push myself to get new and creative shots on a prime.

    Am I right in thinking the Sigma would have quicker AF over the P20?

    Cheers for the offer I will keep you in mind once we get round to thinking about the big day. :)
     
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  7. RAH

    RAH Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    518
    Dec 1, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Rich
    I can tell you that the Sigma 19 has faster AF than the P20. But I stopped using my S19 once I got the P20 because the P20 is so much sharper. Do you really need such fast AF? I have never had any problem with the P20, even in low light.
     
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  8. selway89

    selway89 Mu-43 Rookie

    20
    Dec 5, 2016
    York, UK
    James Selway
    Having not used the P20 before, I am just concerned having read various bits about it being slow.
     
  9. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    917
    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    Simon
    I've not tried the sigma 19mm myself, but I had the p20 for ages. It's not THAT slow at AF unless you are in poor light. I sold mine only when I started to need low light performance for weddings.

    In that case, as you've sold it already, I'll default back to suggesting the sigma 30mm f1.4. Seriously. £269 brand new right now. Best lens I've ever owned.
     
  10. RAH

    RAH Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    518
    Dec 1, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Rich
    Yes, everyone complains, and it IS slow and kind of noisy, but as I said, it has never given me any trouble (no hunting, failing to find focus, etc). It's just a little slow. We are talking a sharper lens than the S19, and, oh yeah, the P20 is faster - 1.7 - too!
     
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  11. alextravels

    alextravels Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    38
    May 16, 2017
    I have some experience with the pana 20 1.7 and the oly 45. Both really, really nice. The oly 45 (or pana 42.5 for that matter) will however limit your angle of view. You can go ahead and stitch photos for a wider perspective but it's additional work and I would only do it for frames i really care about and whoch i plan in advance (no tripod necessary though). I found that the pana 20 is a little gem that deserves all the praise it's received.

    Yes, it's focusing motor sounds like a miniature coffee grinder, it does the job well. Misfocusing? Possible. Happens only in decidedly low contrast or low light situations. Be reasonable with your focus point and it will get the job done.

    I use it on my em10.1 with no issues of any sorts. With a more dslr-like body, it would only keep the entire package even more compact. Overall, wholeheartedly recommended.

    However, my heart is still set on the sigma 30 1.4, so do some research on that, too. Have fun!
     
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  12. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Can you explain what this means? Usually people refer to a do it all zoom, not unlike the 12-40 you have sold.

    --Ken
     
  13. selway89

    selway89 Mu-43 Rookie

    20
    Dec 5, 2016
    York, UK
    James Selway
    Hi Ken,

    I suppose there isn’t a do it all. I was meaning a single prime that would fit my focal lengths as closely as possible.

    I’m hoping I will get chance to pop in to a local camera store this weekend and see if they have the p20 to try.
    Shame the sigma 19 is only f2.8 as I can get one open box for £100.
     
  14. damianmkv

    damianmkv Mu-43 Veteran

    498
    Nov 7, 2014
    Surrey, England
    The p20 is great BUT ( as others said ), it can hunt in low light. And by that, i mean getting dark..not even dark
    The Sigma 30 1.4 is fantastic
     
  15. RAH

    RAH Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    518
    Dec 1, 2013
    New Hampshire
    Rich
    I continue to recommend the P20 for you, but judging by the focal lengths you mentioned in your initial posting, the Sigma 30 1.4 would also be a good fit. The S30 gets much better reviews (here and elsewhere) than the S19, so I think you should strongly consider the S30, as others have said. As far as the inexpensive cost of a used S19, you can get used P20s cheap too. I wasted my money on a new S19 and then later bought a used P20 and never looked back.
     
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  16. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    First off, congratulations on the future nuptials.

    Regarding lens selection, I own the P14, PL25 (the 1.4), and the 045. Of the three, the PL25 is by far my most used prime. I am also very pleased with the results I get with it. However, if I had the choice of just the PL25 or the P25 and O45, I'd pick the two lens combo for the versatility. And even though I rarely use the P14, it is so small, inexpensive, and good, that I'd consider one for the times when 25 isn't wide enough.
     
  17. Huey

    Huey Mu-43 Rookie

    15
    Dec 27, 2016
    If you're main focal lengths are 20-25mm and 40mm and you're looking to possibly get away with just a single prime lens to save some money then I'm in favor of the 20mm or 25mm (non leica) Panasonic. The 30mm Sigma is supposed to be a great lens but that's a fair bit a way from 20mm.

    Try cropping some of your 20mm-25mm shots with the Oly 12-40mm to 40mm to see if that could be a workable solution for when you want to be a little tighter on the subject. If you are printing large images from your photos you should be able to still maintain a decent quality. Although this may be getting back into 'lazy' territory.
     
  18. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    The 20mm is noticeably faster to AF on Panasonic bodies, so given you've got a G7 that seems fitting. A note on primes though, if you only have one prime all your shots will start to look kind of similar, unless you force yourself to move back and crop intentionally to get a different perspective. I found this when I had the PL25 as my only prime lens.

    I'd get two, one wide/normal and one telephoto. The old P20mm Mk1 and O45mm can usually be found used, there's also the cheap but good Sigma 60mm which might be a bit big of a jump from 20mm.
     
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  19. Trankster

    Trankster Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Jan 19, 2013
    Irvine, CA
    Michael
    FWIW I did just the opposite after several years of primes 14mm, 25mm, 45mm, 60mm and one zoom the 40-150mm f4.0 for longer reach, I switched to the Oly 12-40mm Pro. The multiple daily lens changes were a chore especially traveling with wife and kids; the final straw was dropping the 14mm while on a boat watching it roll away. I decided to go with the 12-40mm which has since traveled around the US, Europe and Peru including backcounty hikes and treks, and has been a solid all-purpose performer with very good IQ in my experience. I have also found the majority of my street, hiking and travel photos to be in the wider range. I have one prime now, a 17mm f1.8 in case I need a backup. My suggestion would be to keep the 12-40 as your walk-around lens and then pick a prime.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2017
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