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

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Real Name:
    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.