1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

One, Two, Three or even Four lenses (and which)...

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by JoepLX3, Jun 17, 2010.

  1. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 13, 2010
    Hi All,

    I am pretty determined to buy a Panasonic GF2 (I own LX3 so not in real hurry), I don't expect it to have IBIS like Olympus and need fast Auto Focus on my core lens(es) - so native :43: lenses (available or on the available roadmaps) will determine my direction (and I go for this format given balance between compactness and IQ at affordable price levels, so native lenses sounds logical to me).

    But which lenses set should I aim for?
    - I saw many threads on single lenses, but didn't find one what is the right set.

    One complication / background information:
    - For my analoge Canon SLR I initialy went for 28-80 + 75-300 (10 years back), but soon I bought Tamron 28-200, because I didn't want to change lenses every time.

    My main applications will be kids outside (street, holiday), kids inside (playing, party) and for sure some dedicated kids portrait.
    - Currently I am thinking of 20 mm F1.7, 45 mm F2.8 and 14-140 mm, but that all together is going to be pretty expensive for me... (and external flash?)

    Two Questions / Requests for advice:
    1. How many set combination are possible (within total reasonable budget, assuming above example being the upper limit or even just beyond)?
    2. Which set would you advice me (and why)?

    PS: Almost sounds like forming of government after recent elections in the Netherlands requiring at least three parties to get over 50% of the seats.
  2. f6cvalkyrie

    f6cvalkyrie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 12, 2010
    Brussels, Belgium
    Hi, Joep !

    I would go for a simple set to start with !
    Maybe the body, and just a 14-45 and a 45-200 ? Or a 14-140 if you don't need the extra reach of the 200 (or if you don't want to shoot on tripod)

    Later, when the needs that have to be filled in are more clear in your mind, you can certainly find the lenses in the actual and future portfolio.

    OK, I admit it, I started that way 1.5 years ago, and find myself with 26 different lenses today. Most of them MF :biggrin::biggrin:

    C U,

    PS : if you think formation of a government is difficult in the Netherlands, then, think again ! Or, even better, try Belgium ....:rofl:
  3. Letrow

    Letrow Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 16, 2010
    Joep, are you going to use the LCD screen with the lenses you mentioned? You might consider the GH1 or G series in that case.
    I am not sure how the combination GF1 and bigger lenses works, but some other members might have opinions on that.
    Keeping the camera stable might be an issue though I would think.
  4. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 13, 2010
    Hi Rafael,

    I understand your direction, but I want to buy the GF2 to make a big jump on IQ compared to LX3 and maintain as much of the compactness as possible at a "reasonable" price. This remark is not to delay investments, but if the right gear is not yet available then I can/should wait. And I strongly doubt to become a collector of lenses (by wife is the big spender, not me...).
    In other words, with young kids, time is more important than money, the time is always ready to take better pictures. But I don't wanna make "stupid" investment, then I better show them something more of this planet.

    Is that still an independent country, I thought half became part of France and the other part of Holland :sorry:

    I am waiting for GF2 with build-in EVF - the tiltable version...
    - GH1 is too big for me, then I prefer to stay with my LX3, I tried the bridge camera of my father and hardly took it with me, because of the size. That is size in ready-for-action-state, arround me neck during a hike in the mountains alone with two young daughters, can you imagine? (but 1-2 additional lenses in the backpack is OK)
  5. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    Not sure these are the right questions to ask when considering the purchase of lenses or any camera equipment for that matter.

    First I always stick within my budget, I alway buy good glass and I only buy the glass I need as apposed to want.

    So my advice it is stick within your budget. I use my lenses and they do get into harms way. If I can't afford to loose it, break it or have it stollen it is too expensive for me.

    Ask yourself what glass do you really need. If you can't answer that then you don't need anything and keep shooting with what you have until you do need something.

    Once you have decided what lens you want, buy the very best you can afford and if you still can't afford it wait and save until you can.

    Remember buy a new camera or new lens will not, in itself, grant you better images. More advanced equipment at best it makes it easier to take pictures. Most of us don't take pictures as well as Henri Cartier Bresson yet we have equipment 100 times better than he had.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. ajramirez

    ajramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 16, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    I have always thought that lens selection is a highly personal choice, and very dependent on the type of photography you do.

    Having said that, one of the things I have enjoyed the most about shooting with the E-P1 is rediscovering fast and light primes. To that effect, my current setup comprises three lenses: 20mm 1.7 Lumix, 45mm 2.8 Lumix, and 9-18 M.Zuiko. 90% of my shots are taken with the first two. I also have the 14-42 M.Zuiko kit lens, but no longer use it.


    • Like Like x 2
  7. retnull

    retnull Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 12, 2010
    After sorting through about 20 lenses, I settled on two for my Panasonic GH-1: the Panasonic 20 / 1.7 and a Fuji C-mount 75 / 1.8. This has suited my needs (which sound similar to yours) for the past 6 months.
  8. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 13, 2010
    Hi All there,

    First of all thanks for all your structural feedback, really appreciated and also helping me to make up my mind.

    Grant, That are good points and smart words, but my budget is actually not as limitted as it might sound (my wife yearly spends more money on less useful things :eek: ) and because I don't have a lot of photography experience I want a gear set that gets me going. I never owned a single prime, but are determined that I NEED 1 PRIME FOR PORTRAITS with blurred backgrounds (compared to my decent LX3). Your view helped me to become more aware of that need (which any way will fit within my budget).

    Dear Antionio, For somebody with as little experience as me such mirror feedback / input as you provide helps me to make up my mind, but in the end it will indeed be "my highly personal choice". I find it very interesting to read you mainly use your two primes and also that you utilize the 9-18 mm zome more than the 14-42 mm kit zoom.

    On my LX3 the zoom is unhandy to use, small button in stead of ring around the lens and I remember how the 28-200 mm Tamron on my SLR did feel. But by buying the 14-140 mm zoom, I might risk not using my primes.

    Somebody else adviced me to first go for the kit-zoom lens and later buy the 45-200 zoom :dash2:, but I already learnt from my mistake with my SLR :cool: , after I bought that Tamron I never used the 28-80 mm & 75-300 mm zooms. So that is a clear nogo (for me).

    On top of that I am also a little scared that I am going to miss-out on the width of the 24 mm on my LX3 if I would go for the 14-140 mm Panasonic zoom. But on the other side 24 mm start to show distortion and for extreme panorama's I could go for stitching (although I am not a fan of post-processing, so Panasonic should come with in camera functionality on this).

    Antoino, may I ask what are you main applications for the 9-18 mm lens?:blush:
    - Architecture, Art, Outdoor panorama or Indoor people

    Another prime fan!!! :2thumbs: I am pretty determined I need AF on my lenses, but have my doubts on the shallow depth of field capabilities of the 45 mm F2.8 and therefore kind of jalous to see the F < 2 on your longer prime.
    - Is 75 mm not too long? How far do I need to be away from my kids to make below kind of portraits?:blush:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    View image in gallery View attachment 146323
    View image in gallery
    My daughters, taken with by a colleague of me owning full frame DSLR (but having no kids)).

    Hmm, questions are becoming more clear:
    1. Should I buy the zoom or not (to ensure/force myself that I utilize the strength of the primes) - (and is 14-140 wide enough)
    2. Should I buy the 45 mm F2.8 (Marcor lens) or wait for a faster native prime optimised for portrait (at which length)
  9. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 13, 2010

    Because I live in Japan, the country of Panasonic, Toyota and the rising sun, I thought it might be intersting for you to show the following price comparison of the non-kit lenses (based on internet shop info)
    • 45 mm F2.8 prime - 735 Euro - 75,390 YEN = 670 Euro
    • 14-140 mm zoom - 735 Euro - 73,400 YEN < 670 Euro
    So about 10% cheaper

    The kit I will have to buy in the Netherlands (or Korea, because my Japanese is not good enough):
    • GF1 Body only - 500 Euro
    • GF1 Body zoom lens kit - 630 Euro
    • GF1 Body 20 mm F1.7 prime lens kit - 730 Euro
  10. ajramirez

    ajramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 16, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    The 9-18 sees use mostly for architecture, indoor and outdoor. The 45mm I mostly use for portraits, and the 20mm is my all-around lens.


    • Like Like x 1
  11. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Joep, these are all good questions. Can you go to a camera store and try out the lenses you're interested in on the camera you think you'll buy?
  12. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 13, 2010
    I think I should...
    - But in a shop you don't have a lot of time, all experiences right on top of each other, so I have to be prepared and know what to test and how to look at the result. Maybe I should bring a memory card to look at the results afterwards to give me time to draw conclussions.

    Yeah, just take an indoor kid playing on the ground / family eating diner photo with all three lenses (note down distance & handling experience) and "pixel-peep" at home.

  13. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 13, 2010
    Dear Antonio,
    Thanks for yourr input. Personally I am not that interested in architecture or in other words I would be OK to accept a 14 widest angle instead of 9 (and/or keep the longer 140 range on the camer by 14-140 lens without having to change lenses).
    1. But I am curious how often you can't handle the other (=people) indoor / outdoor photo opperunities with the 20 mm prime and you feel you have to switch to the wide angle zoom, or can you go out for diner/party and stick to the 20 mm all night?
    2. And if you have the zoom lens on, how often do you actually take pictures of people in the wide angle range (< 12-14) of the zoom lens?

    I can of course kind of try to test this out in a shop, but real life input is for me very valuable.

    Best regards,

  14. ajramirez

    ajramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 16, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico

    For the type of photography I do, I could (and do) go out with the 20mm and not need or miss anything else. When I first bought the E-P1 I used the kit zoom exclusively (14-42) and found the range to suit me perfectly. I enjoy the primes for their speed and ease of use.

    For indoors, the 20mm is particularly appropriate because of its speed. Unless you need to shoot large groups of people, or the locale is very cramped, the 20mm is an appropriate focal length. 14mm is, in my opinion, more than wide enough for social snaps.

    If I may make a suggestion, maybe you should just purchase the camera with the kit lens (14-42) use it for a little while, and then decide whether you need a wider range or faster lenses. If you decide that you do, you can always sell the kit lens for not much of a loss.

    Hope this helps.


  15. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 13, 2010
    Antionio, I don't think the kit zoom lens is the right lens for me. So I think I will go for the GF2 with 20 mm F1.7 and see if I need a zoom (14-140) and/or a real portrait prime only (40-50 mm F < 2, with AF).
    That means: 1. Can I handle having no zoom, 2. is 20 mm wide enough for my applications. If two times "yes" then I will go for a portrait prime, otherwise the zoom and maybe later also the portrait prime.
    By this approach I push my self to utilize the aperature of the fast pancake prime instead of zoom. Isn't that the best way to learn photography? In a certain way zooms sound like "lazy" holiday photography tools to me...

    So when the GF2 is released I will try to get some shallow depth of field portraits out of that 20 mm lens!!! :horse:

    Hmm, a wider prime (12-14 mm) might also be a good companion of 40-50 mm prime...
  16. ChristopheG

    ChristopheG Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 4, 2010
    prix photographe mariage

    It's all about which camera you choose and which type of photo you should capture whether there should be one, two or three lenes putted in the camera,the quality of pictures should be known by you.
  17. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Hi Cristophe,

    which camera did you choose, what type of photo do you capture and how many lenses do you recommend for that combination?


    • Like Like x 1
  18. Charles2

    Charles2 Mu-43 Regular

    May 17, 2010
    Legacy prime for portrait

    You could meet this need with an inexpensive manual focus "legacy" lens. A Yashica ML 50mm f/1.9, for example, cost me US$25 (plus about the same amount for an adapter). Portrait image quality is very good; I got all the skin detail of an elderly relative I wanted, and blurred background is smooth. These lenses have a lush quality that is absent in today's middle-market lenses.

    Beware, though, you might discover the aesthetic pleasure of manual focus primes at different focal lengths for landscapes and street shooting.
  19. Bokeh Diem

    Bokeh Diem Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 14, 2010
    Yes, you might

    Minolta MD28/f2.8, shot on the fly as this little guy was moving very quickly...

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    • Like Like x 1
  20. JoepLX3

    JoepLX3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 13, 2010
    Sounds interesting if mount would be for free and especially if fast auto focus would be supported (given my main applications is kids):frown:.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.