Omd -EM5 lenses

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Mikashen, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. Mikashen

    Mikashen New to Mu-43

    1
    Apr 29, 2012
    Have just place an order for the Omd - Em5. Would appreciate some advice on what lens to have for both landscape and street photography.
     
  2. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    375
    Apr 20, 2011
    The obvious street lens is the 20mm f/1.7, which is a lens you should get anyway. Difficult to get, but worth the expense when you do find one. For landscape there are more options. I personally use the Olympus 9-18, because I could never afford the Panasonic 7-14, but it is still a good performer. It is also incredibly small, and can use filters unlike the Panny. I suppose there is a fix-focal Olympus 12mm also, but tbh for a prime lens, it doesn't seem to have much of a performance benefit. It's also quite expensive, unless you shoot it low light a lot I don't really see its appeal.
     
  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I agree with the 9-18 recommendation, but unless you really love the focal length, I wouldn't get the 20mm for street photography. I used it a lot when it was all there was, but I've always preferred wider. I currently use the 12mm for the vast majority of my street shooting because of the manual focus ring allowing for really easy implementation of zone focussing. To me, zone focus is the way to go for street shooting no matter how fast your AF is. If I did rely on AF, I'd probably go for the 14 instead, or the 25 if you like that more neutral focal length. The AF on the 20 is about the slowest of any m43 lens today, and I always liked either wider or longer focal lengths.

    -Ray
     
  4. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    375
    Apr 20, 2011
    The 20mm is awful for manual focusing, the ring feels scratchy and has far too much resistance. It's fine for AF though, albeit a bit noisy and it may seem slow to those of us who've been spoiled by USM designs. Never takes more than a second to lock, which doesn't seem unreasonable to me, we'll have to agree to disagree there.

    I find myself going back to the 20mm a lot, even though I have longer and wider lenses available. It was the first lens I had for the system, and I kind of find it easy to 'see' my surrounding in that FOV now. It's a very personal choice though, even though I find it ideal for street photography, others may not.
     
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Agreed. I wouldn't quibble with anyone's decision to use the 20 for street if they like that focal length and are OK with the AF. I was mostly quibbling with the characterization of it as the "obvious" street lens. I probably wasn't clear enough in that...

    -Ray
     
  6. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    The most popular street camera I remember back in the day was a Leica RF with a 35mm f/2.something lens on it. The Panasonic 20 is fairly close, so I'd say that's where the 'obvious' bit comes from.

    DH
     
  7. The two genres listed here can be quite broad. Street? For me, that would be anywhere between 9 and 50mm. Landscape? Probably a similar range to be honest. The good news is that there are more than a few good lenses that fit in that range.
     
  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Cartier-Bresson shot with a 50, Garry Winogrand shot with a 28, lots of people shot with a 35. A 40mm equivalent is certainly within the range, but my point is there is no single obvious street focal length. 35 was pretty common but mostly because its a compromise between wide and normal and was generally seen as a good general-purpose single focal length and, hence, got used a lot for everything, including street. Not that it was the best - it was kind of a default general purpose focal length. And if that IS the obvious choice, that would lead one to the 17 rather than the 20, no?

    But, as with everything, the focal length comes down to personal preference and then whether the features of the lens make it workable for your type of shooting. For zone focus, the Oly 12 is the only really good choice in m43 unless you can find a reasonable focal length legacy lens. If you don't care about zone focus, then its all down to focal length and AF speed becomes more important. I'd prefer to shoot with a 28mm equivalent, but until they come out with a 14 with a manual focus ring like on the 12, I can deal with shooting at 24 instead. Or I shoot with a non-m43 that allows calibrated manual focus with a 28mm equivalent lens.

    Again, I'm not arguing that the 20 is a BAD street lens, but with other options available at 25, 17, 14, and 12 (all but the 17 having significantly faster AF) I just don't see anything terribly obvious about it.

    -Ray
     
  9. Saizou

    Saizou New to Mu-43

    8
    Apr 29, 2012
    Do consider the Panasonic Leica 25mm f1.4 for street photography. From the first moment i mounted it onto my OMD EM5, and took the first few shots, I fell in love... it has not left the camera since. This baby performs really well in low-light situations and is really sharp wide open. It is slightly noisy (literally) in the sense that it produces a rattling noise sometimes but you'll get use to it after a while. =D
     
  10. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    It all comes down to field of view and working distance. At the same distance a wide angle lens has a wider angle of view and includes more in the frame, a telephoto lens has a narrower angle of view and includes less in the frame, and a "standard" lens falls in the middle between those 2 options. The "standard" lens focal length range on m43 is probably from 20 to 30mm so the Panasonic 20 and 25 and the new Sigma 30 would be the standard prime lenses.

    Traditionally as Ray S has pointed out, street photography has uses standard and wide angle lenses. Telephotos let you work from a greater distance and some people are more comfortable with that but the further away you are, the more likely it is that other people on the street are going to get between you and your subject, and pictures taken closer up tend to be a bit more involving.

    People often tend to think of wide angles for landscape and they can be used very successfully but it can be hard. If you're trying to capture a wide scenic vista, a wide angle is going to include a lot more foreground and give prominence to that foreground while what's in the distance will look further away. That can be good if what you're interested in is in the foreground, and a disaster if what you're interested in is in the background. You don't say what kind of landscape photography you want to do so a wide angle may be a good choice for you for landscape or it may not.

    The standard focal length range will work for both purposes and that's where I'd recommend you start. especially if you have little experience with working close up, especially very close to your subject. The 20 and 25 would be the 2 choices I'd consider as they are the fastest of the standard lenses in terms of aperture but they each have slightly different strengths and weaknesses. If you want small and light to make things easy to carry, and are prepared to accept slower autofocus, then go with the 20. If you want fast autofocus and are prepared to accept a larger, heavier, and more expensive lens then go with the 25. I think the 25 is probably the better optically (I own it but I've never used the 20 so I can't give a direct comparison) but the 20 is optically very good and delivers superb results so that isn't a reason to avoid it. On Olympus bodies both can have a chattering noise from the aperture blades opening and closing because of the way Olympus handles live view. This noise is worse on the 25 from all reports and some people find it so problematic that they won't use this lens on an Olympus body. It makes a noise on my E-P3 but I personally don't find it a problem and neither do a lot of other people. You need to make your own mind up on this issue so you probably should try both on your camera and see what you think. There are some reports saying that the noise is less of a problem if the 25 is mounted on an E-M5 instead of one of the PEN bodies.

    The only other thing I'd say is that for me, for a leave on the camera most of the time lens, my choice of the lenses I own would be the 25 if size wasn't an issue. I think it's a superb lens with a really useful focal length. I carry my camera with me most of the time and I keep it in a shoulder bag with my iPad and some other personal items, and the size of the camera with the 25 mounted on it really stretches the capacity of my bag so a lot of the time I carry my E-P3 with the 17mm mounted on it because the camera is a lot less bulky with a pancake lens mounted. I could swap to a bigger bag but I like small and light so I'm still sticking with the bag I have and using the 17 as my carry everywhere lens, even though I'd prefer the longer focal length and better image quality of the 25. Depending on how you are going to carry your camera and whether you want it with you most of the time or only when you specifically go out to take photographs, the relative sizes of the 20 and 25 may well prove to be the deciding factor for you. The easier the camera is to carry with you, the more likely you are to have it with you if you see a shot you want, and getting that shot with a lens that may not be the best is a hell of a lot better than not getting it because the size and weight of the lens you like has prevented you from having your camera with you. Much as I love the 25, there are strong reasons for choosing a small, light lens like the 20 if you are happy working with its slower autofocus speed.
     
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  11. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    Larry
    My PL 25 almost never makes noise on the E-M5. On the E-P2 it chattered all the time, but it's almost silent on my E-M5. Once in a while I'll get a little spurt of noise, then it's gone again. Strange, but I'll take it. Noisy or not, though, it's a great lens. If you like the traditional "normal" FOV for street shooting, it's the, well, obvious choice.
     
  12. Saizou

    Saizou New to Mu-43

    8
    Apr 29, 2012
    Ah... strange, my PL-25 makes noise sporadically. But you're right, noisy or not, it's great! I don't really notice the noise anymore in crowded environments.

    Another lens to recommend would be the 9-18mm. =D It's really fun to play around with wide angle lenses.