Prime time, but no I/S?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Trigger, Jun 11, 2013.

  1. Trigger

    Trigger Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 11, 2013
    I have a Panasonic G3, with a 20mm/1.7; 14-45, and 100-300. I've been happy with the 20, but not so much with the other two. It's been recommended to me to just use primes to get the most out of the camera. As the price of the Panny 45 is way up there (and touted as a macro), I'm lead to the Olympus 45/1.8 and/or the 75/1.8 lenses. But I'm wondering about the reality of those lenses leaving me with no Image Stabilization - what's the reality of that in day to day shooting? I guess I fear finding out after the purchase that every shot requires an incredibly steady hand or a tripod, with little to no forgiveness.

    Any experience with that?
  2. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    OIS gives you one to two stops improvements the low of thumb is to set the shutter speed not bellow the FF focal length i order to get good picture. That means that you can safely shot with the 45 at 1/90 and with the 75 at 1/150 shutter speed. If you have steady hands then you can even get lower.
    You can test that using your 14-45 at 45 and turn the OIS switch off.
  3. LowriderS10

    LowriderS10 Monkey with a camera.

    May 19, 2013
    It really depends on what you shoot...with the 45, you should be okay in most situations. But the 75 (150mm equivalent) is starting to get pretty long for a lot of scenarios.

    It took me a while to get used to the fact that even though I have decently stable hands, my 135mm prime on my full frame body needed much quicker shutter speeds than I've been used to with my UWA for night time street photography.

    If you're doing well-lit portraits in a studio or outside or whatever, either one will be fine...but if you're planning on low light photography, the 75 will be a challenge if you're trying to keep your ISO down (which I generally do).
  4. Kilauea

    Kilauea Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 9, 2012
    IS will help if you are taking pictures of static subject. If you take pictures of people, it might not be so great. With that said, bare in mind that at F1.8, your lens will give you about 2 stops improvement in shutter speed compared to your 100-300(vs the 75mm) and 3 stops vs the 14-45. So, the argument in favor of IS is nearly irrelevant in this case.

    What you need to figure out is if you need the faster shutter speed, the better bokeh, the lighter lens. Or if you prefer the versatility of a zoom lens.
  5. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Having used a 90mm lens on FF (OM3) with no stabilisation for 30 years on fixed ISO's (100/125) without any issues using a 45mm on m4/3 with no stabilisation with the option to increase ISO should not really be an issue providing, as advised, you keep above 1/90. After this you need to used fixed objects to help, fence posts, walls, door frames, etc could get you down to 1/2.

    I tend to find the opposite problem more often and run out of fast shutter speeds trying to keep mine at f1.8!! (Note to self - sort out a good ND3 for next session).

    Have a look in the 45mm gallery and you will find lots of people using the Oly on panasonic bodies.
  6. greenlight

    greenlight Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 16, 2012
    Colin B
    Very happy user of the Oly 45mm & Panasonic GX1 here.
  7. Trigger

    Trigger Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 11, 2013
    Thanks for the various replies. I think we all love the versatility of zooms, but I'm not satisfied with the IQ, and thus the consideration of primes. It's maddening that the Oly & Panny approaches to I/S isn't the same. I'll keep the 100-300 for those occasions when needed, and I think I should get one of those German-made lens collar-mounts.

    It's especially maddening for me, as I've recently been tempted to get a FF Canon (6D) with 40/1.8 prime, the 24-105L kit, and 100-400, but that's a lot of money (4K), and right into the size (& more importantly)...weight issues, which is why we love our M4/3 in the first place.

    So now I feel like I’m back to square one with the "apparent" road-block of no I/S, and thinking again of the 6D option. Gah.

    Holding the 6D in my hands at the store didn’t seem too bad, but when I then picked up my G3 again, wow – it really felt light. And I'm not gettin' any younger!

    Head-spinning sequence……re-initiated.
  8. STR

    STR Mu-43 Veteran

    May 16, 2013
    I've taken pixel-perfect shots with the 12-35mm @ 35mm with shutter speeds as long as half a second with pretty good keep rates. I haven't deliberately stretched it out to a full second, but I think I could get a keeper if I took enough shots. The IS on that lens is amazing.
  9. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Image stabilization is great and useful - but not mandatory. Many of us got along for decades before it came out. Also, remember that faster prime lenses will allow you to keep the shutter speeds up - making IS less critical anyway.
  10. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    If you're considering spending $4000 on a new system, how about $750 or less on a used EM5? Everything becomes IS then.
  11. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I'll hop on the bandwagon are re-state that IS is not a fundamental element of good photography. It is a good tool, a very good tool, but it can also be a crutch used to circumvent the need to learn good low light shooting techniques, good low light metering and how to utilize all the camera settings in order to capture that low light image.

    Good low light shoot technique will make IS just that much better and give you even more stop(s) beyond rule-of-thumb shutter speeds. In other words, if you're getting two stops advantage using IS with poor low light shooting techniques the with good low light shooting techniques you can get an additional stop or two more.

    Instead of spending $4K on a Canon plus lenses maybe you should spend $1K on an Olympus OM-D EM-5. You will not see a difference in image quality up to ... I dunno probably a 20x30 and under ISO 3200. The OM-D has In Body Image Stabilization (IBIS) so every lens, Panasonic, Olympus, legacy glass, et al, will be stabilized. Additionally, it is this unique 5 axis stabilization which people are hand holding for times of one second + and still end up with good clean images. (YMMV)

    OM-D w/ O45mm, 1/6, f/2.8, ISO 1600

    Assuming µ4/3 45mm = 90mm FF - this is four stops under rule-of-thumb

  12. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    You beat me to the punch as I was keyboarding, lol.

  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Hey, stop dating us!! :redface:

    Anyways, it's been said in here that IS can give you up to two stops - on STATIC objects only. The f/1.8 primes you're looking at are about 3.5 stops faster than the zooms you're replacing, and that's 3.5EV for static OR moving subjects. So what are you worried about? It's 100% improvement in every way.
  14. Trigger

    Trigger Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 11, 2013
    Again, thanks for the various replies. I'd rather not get a whole new body, I really like (and am used to) the Panny cameras & their navigation/menus etc. On a minor point, I really like the DSLR look of the Pannys, and dislike the retro look. Perhaps a G6 would be in my future.

    I considered the FF route, as it is a definite leap to better IQ for very large prints which is my need. See here. Click on "Measurments", then "Dynamic Range".

    Perhaps I should just get a 45/1.8 for now (in black of course) and see how that goes.

    I appreciate the input. I always strive to consider others' points of view, especially when they have more experience and depth of knowledge than myself.
  15. Trigger

    Trigger Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 11, 2013
    BTW, while I think we'd all agree that it's cheezy of Oly to not include a hood, and exorbitant what they charge for one, how critical is it to have one for the 45 and 75?
  16. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Depend entirely on the lighting of what you shoot. Most of us shoot all kinds of stuff in all kinds of lighting in uncontrolled environmental conditions. So there is no easy answer to your question ... but, (the big but), I've never seen an image compromised by using a proper lens hood, specifically designed for that specific lens. I have seen images compromised by shooting without a lens hood in uncontrolled lighting conditions.

    A hood improves metering, reduces flare and adds a level of protection to the front element.

    You can buy excellant 75mm Oly knock-off hoods for approximately $30, EBay ($75 - $80 for OEM).


    PS- Hoods up the sex appeal quotient of any lens.
  17. Trigger

    Trigger Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 11, 2013
  18. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    For something in between on cost but better quality than both try eBay for

    LIM'S SAH-SE37S1 Aluminum Metal Lens Hood for OLYMPUS M ZUIKO DIGITAL 45mm f/1.8

    $47.50 inc postage made from pieces of Aluminium

    Sorry for no direct link but iPhone playing up.
  19. Trigger

    Trigger Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 11, 2013
  20. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I have the P35-100
    I have the O45
    I have the O60
    I have the O75

    To my eye not significantly sharper. The O75 is easily the sharpest of the bunch, for what I shoot and how I shoot, there is not a significant impact between the resolving power of the O75 and the P35-100.

    Yeah, you can see the dif on the computer cropping to 100% or more. But if need a computer to see a difference then there isn't any difference. Unless you routinely print 20x30's.

    The P35-100 is equal to my Canon 70-200L f/2.8.

    The O75mm


    The P35-100


    @ 60mm


    @ 100mm