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Panasonic G3 - My first Lens purchase

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by knightsy, Jun 13, 2012.

  1. knightsy

    knightsy New to Mu-43

    Nov 9, 2011
    Now that I have got to grips with my G3 (love it!) and its kit lens (14-42mm for me) I've decided to get a new lens to practise/play/learn with.

    This is spurred on by a recent trip up a mountain and a coming trip to Japan. Based on the latter my thinking is to get a wide angle lens.

    From what I read I have 3 choices, but I would be interested for any other suggestions. Quality without going ridiculously expensive is the thought here...

    1. Panasonic Lumix G 7-14mm f/4

    2. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 9-18mm f/4-5.6
    - Seems hard to get in the UK, maybe about £500, but could be more

    3. Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12mm f/2
    ~ £600

    The panny lens is dubbed ultra wide angle, I am relatively new to all this - should that worry me - or actually I imagine I will enjoy such a different lenses to the one I have?

    Any suggestions very much appreciated, near £900 is alot of money but then if I want quality I guess it's worth it!

  2. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    From all my research so far I would pick the Oly 12 out of the bunch. The fast aperture and manual focus snapshot focus system make are big pluses for me, many would agree it's one of the best m4/3 lenses. My second choice would be the 7-14, but the cost is a bit deterring.

    I bought my GX1 with the 14mm lens and for how cheap and great that lens is I'm not going to focus on the wider angle lenses at this point. I am addicted to the fast prime system though, it really depends on your style of shooting.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. kevwilfoto

    kevwilfoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 23, 2011
    If you're new, wanting to experiment, and don't want to spend too much, the 9-18 is for you. Light, small, sharp, and the lest expensive of the three. Get a used copy, or rent one, to see what you think.

    Better yet, rent all three. Test the handling, feel, and IQ and then judge for yourself.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    I have a G3 and GH2, with 7-14, 25 f1.4 Leica LUX DG, 14-45 and a 45-200.

    My two favourite lenses without a doubt are the 7-14 and 25 f1.4.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Ultrawide perspective is a bit of an acquired taste - I do like it, and found a good deal on a second hand 7-14 (about 600 quid in as new condition, should be here tomorrow!) so I figured I didn't have much to lose on that - there's an eBay seller in scotland selling a few new 7-14 lenses for 695 quid, which is a very good price.

    The other issue is size - the 7-14 is significantly bulkier and longer (when collapsed) than the 9-18. The two zooms are a bit more flexible and may suit your shooting style a little better. Hard to say.

    By all accounts the 12mm is a stunning lens, and it is on my shortlist of primes to eventually get (small, sharp and fast is good), but not everyone gets along with primes immediately. There's a bit of a learning curve, but it's well worth it. I do recommend getting a 14/2.5 anyway to 'test the waters' in terms of prime glass, since they're crazy cheap these days...
    • Like Like x 1
  6. chasm

    chasm Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 2, 2010
    I had a 9-18mm but sold it - my wide-angle combination is now the Panasonic 14mm f2.5 (which can be ridiculously cheap if you look about a bit, especially in the UK) plus the Samyang 7.5mm fish-eye, which is proving more versatile than I imagined and of course can be "de-fished" by various PP methods if wished.

    I would love a 10mm prime but nobody's come out with of those yet. I'd be interested to try the Panasonic 11mm conversion lens....

    Another to consider is the SLR Magic 12mm f1.6 - see Steve Huff's review on his site. AF is over-rated in my view!
    • Like Like x 1
  7. knightsy

    knightsy New to Mu-43

    Nov 9, 2011
    Thanks for the replies, given the price of the 14mm f2.5 (£130!), I may give that a go anyway initially, hadn't thought about it at all that will let me continue playing and then I can make a decision on the above suggestions :) 
  8. CUB

    CUB Guest

    If what you want is something "to practise/play/learn with" (your words, not mine) it would be silly to spend £860 on a 7-14mm lens.

    I originally had the same 3-lens shortlist as you but I spent £360 on a used Olympus 9-18mm and haven't regretted it at all. I bought mine from Ffordes in Scotland. I waited, checking daily, until one came in stock then bought it as soon as I saw it. I have dealt with Ffordes for over 30 years and rate them very highly. All used equipment comes with a warranty and descriptions of condition are accurate.

    Other dealers worth watching for used items include CameraWorld in London and Chelmsford (cameraworld.co.uk, not .com which is a different, US-based company) and SRS Microsystems in Watford (srsmicrosystems.co.uk).

    The Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 is not worth bothering with IMHO because it duplicates a focal length you already have without offering much in the way of lens speed as it's only f/2.5. If you value compactness and a fast maximum aperture, the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 is an outstanding optic and one that I think should be included in every m4/3 outfit. But it would still duplicate a focal length you already have. Expect to pay £200-220 used.

    At the telephoto end there is the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 with its exquisitely good optics at an extremely good price. It is one of the finest portrait lenses I have ever owned, and I must have owned more than twenty over the years! It is another lens that I think should be included in every m4/3 outfit. Expect to pay £200-220 used.

    Good luck.
  9. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    You'll like the 14 it has near-instant AF and is really sharp when stopped down a little bit. As chasm mentioned above there is a WA converter for that lens also that runs about $130 USD or so. That will get you to an effective 11mm. The 14 plus the 7.5 fisheye are still going to be cheaper than most other options also.
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