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OM-D for backpacking, what lenses?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by lawa222, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. lawa222

    lawa222 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 3, 2013
    Hi there,

    I'm switching from a full-size DSLR to an OM-D setup, mostly for nature shooting while backpacking. I'm going to get the 12-50 for its weatherproofing and was wondering what other lenses people would suggest. Ideally I would want a cheaper telephoto zoom to extend my range up to at least 300mm and either a wide-angle zoom or prime.

    My understanding is that there is no shortage of quality primes for the 4/3rds system, but I really don't know anything about telephoto options.

  2. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Your 12-50 is already a very good wide-angle. If you want an ultrawide, the 9-18 is cheaper, smaller, lighter and completely problem-free on the E-M5 (there are some purple blobby issues in some circumstances with the 7-14, although I love mine on my E-M5). Something like the 45-200 should provide a lightweight package with good range, or a 75-300 for full range and better IQ. Panasonic's 100-300 is slightly bulkier and slightly heavier, but also slightly faster (wider aperture). Compared to a DSLR setup, both are significantly smaller and a lot lighter, and if you're packing somewhere with wildlife, the telephoto is worth carrying around.

    My 'backpack travel kit' will be E-M5, 7-14, 12-35, 100-300, and I'll probably take take the 45/1.8 to fill the telephoto gap. Honestly, though, the 14/2.5 and 20/1.7 are so dinky I thrown them in the bag as well anyway.
  3. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer Subscribing Member

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    When you say "300mm" are you think 35mm equivalent?

    The only telephoto primes are rather short: 45mm & 75mm, but the 75mm hands down the best lens in the system in terms of IQ. Panasonic is promising a 150mm f/2.8, but that won't be here until 2014.

    Last summer I did one trip with the 9-18mm, 25mm, & 45mm that went well, but I was wishing that I had something longer than 45mm.

    I also did a day hike summitting a local peak with the 9-18mm, 25mm, and a 70-300mm zoom. That was a much heavier kit. It was only one day, but it was still a 17 mile hike with a one mile elevation change.

    This coming summer, I'm planning on a few more and am going to bring the 9-18mm, 25mm, and 75mm. I'm hoping that even with the these and the E-M5, I'll still be within two pounds of the ultralight weight limit

    Anyway, if you want lightweight and more reach, I'd go with either the Olympus 75-300mm or if you don't need that much reach the Olympus 40-150mm
  4. sugarbaker

    sugarbaker Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 6, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    Something to consider may be the newly announced tamron 14-150 zoom. Then you could get away with only carrying 2 lenses (considering you would expressed that you want an ultra wide option).

    I am in the same boat, but haven't pinned down my favorite solution. I think I'm going to start with the 12-50 that I already have, and then perhaps a manual focus tele... Probably my minolta md rokkor-x f2.8. I have found that in the past, an ultra wide angle lens has seemed like a great idea, and then not used much in practice (in regards to my backpacking).
  5. cherrywood

    cherrywood Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 17, 2010
    You, also may want to look at the p45-175, small lightweight, and in backpacking weight is everything, you really are covered wide w/ the 12-50 and the 45-175 gives 350mm EFL on the long side, there you have nice 2 lens kit that should cover almost any shot that you can find to photograph.
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