Purchase advice

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by romasport13, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. romasport13

    romasport13 New to Mu-43

    8
    Jan 29, 2015
    Greetings,

    I am shooting with a lumix G5 and have the lumix 20mm 1.7 and Oly 40-150mm. I am traveling to Japan and I wanto to buy some new lenses.

    I love the two lenses I already have, but I miss the wide lenght and a more appropriate portrait focal lenght. The Oly is pretty sharp and decent, but too dark in most occasions.

    I travel a lot with my family (and I like to take landscape pictures) and also take a lot of pictures of my kids, so that's what photography means to me nowadays. I am satisfied with the AF speed of the lumix 20mm, but I miss a lot of shots of my kids, since they can't keep still and AF is not fast enough. :(

    I am looking for a versatile set of lens, portability and IQ quality. Some stabilization for video is a plus.

    With this in mind, my actual budget allows me the following combinations (the first two are around 200 USD cheaper than the later):

    1. Lumix 14-42 II + Oly 45mm 1.8;
    2. Lumix 14-42 II + Oly 25mm 1.8 (trading or selling the Lumix 20mm 1.7);
    3. Lumix 12-35 (trading or selling the Lumix 20mm 1.7);
    4. Oly 12-40 (trading or selling the Lumix 20mm 1.7);
    I am inclined to believe the first two options can save me some good money. But I don't know if the kit lens can stand against the pro zooms (I mean, with good light, all of them stopped down). I lose in versatility too. Number 2, in particular, brings me a focal lenght that I am used to shoot and the faster AF I need.

    Number 3 could make my set small, with just 2 lenses in my bag. But I don't know if I am gonna miss the quality of the primes and, more important, if it is good enough for portraits. I am also paying 200 USD more...

    Number 4 is cheaper then 3 in Japan. The MF clutch is great, but no stabilization for my body. Altough I always carry a small tripod to shoot videos...

    Can anyone help me out? :)

    Cheers,

    Roma

    (sorry for the big post)
     
  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I would lean toward #3 for you. My personal choice would be the Oly12-40 both for the MF feature as well as for the extra reach, but I shoot with an Olympus with built-in IBIS. The P12-35 is likely a better match with your G5.

    You'll still have a bit of a gap for a low-light portrait lens (which the Oly45 would fill), but for the types of shots you described I'm guessing the zoom lens would be appreciated.
     
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  3. budeny

    budeny Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 4, 2014
    Boulder, CO
    Would you consider Oly 12-50mm instead of 14-42? Used ones go for $160-$180.
     
  4. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    I'll throw out option #5:
    Lumix 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 + Olympus 45mm f/1.8

    Or if it's out when you go the new LUMIX G 42.5mm f/1.7 with Power O.I.S.

    The 12-32 is not in the same class as the 12-35 or 12-40 but it's also not in the same price class.
     
  5. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Since you do a lot of shooting in good light, the 12-35 isn't a necessity. I had the 14-42 II when I had my G6 (it was the kit lens), and I was pretty amazed at how good the lens was. Granted it's basically an f/5.6 lens, but that shouldn't matter in good light. I'm guess your budget is around $500 (just a guess, since the 12-53 is about $700, and selling the 20mm should net you about $200, the difference of which is $500)? Here's what I would do (budget allowing):

    • Sell the 20mm and 40-150 (say these two lenses let you $250 in addition to ~$300 you have to spend, for a total of $550). Like you said, the 20mm's AF speed is causing you to miss some shots, and the 40-150 doesn't have stabilization, which is important in a telephoto zoom lens.
    • Buy a Panasonic 14-42 II (~$125) and 45-150 (~$150). You have a very good, compact, light, STABILIZED pair of lenses that covers you from 28mm to 300mm for $275.
    • Buy a prime lens, either the Olympus 17mm or 25mm f/1.8. Did you find the 20mm FoV a bit too wide, a bit too tight, or just about right? If you felt the 20mm was a bit too wide most of the time using it, go for the 25mm. If you liked the FoV or wanted something a bit wider than the 20mm, go with the 17mm. Those lenses should run in the neighborhood of $300-350.
    All told, you're looking at roughly $600, but you have pair of really nice performing kit lenses that are stabilized, and will be much better for video, as well as a bright prime for low light shooting, but with significantly faster AF compared to the 20mm.
     
  6. romasport13

    romasport13 New to Mu-43

    8
    Jan 29, 2015
    I am actually paying less than 120 USD for a new lumix 14-42 in Japan! :)
     
  7. romasport13

    romasport13 New to Mu-43

    8
    Jan 29, 2015
    Thanks for your insight. Actually it is growing on me the idea of acquiring the Oly 12-40. I think the extra 5mm could achieve better portrait compression. It's cheaper then panasonic 12-35 and it is good to use MF (I use a lot for video). Stabilization is a plus to me, but after year using non stabilized lenses, I think I can live without it. I think it may be future proof too. I had an Olympus body before and could have one in the future, no problem at all...

    But I still not convinced that it would be so much better than the lumix 14-42 II in good light. For the 12-40 price, I could buy the kit lens + the Oly 45mm and save some cash...
     
  8. romasport13

    romasport13 New to Mu-43

    8
    Jan 29, 2015
    Interesting idea. How does the 12-32 IQ quality compare to the other zooms? The big disadvantage I see is the lacking of MF :(
     
  9. romasport13

    romasport13 New to Mu-43

    8
    Jan 29, 2015
    That's pretty good too. But I don't think I can leave the Oly 40-150 behind. Some of my best shots were taken with it! I guess I was very lucky... My copy is so sharp! It is amazing I paid just $99USD for it...
     
  10. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    USA
    Choice 1 - nice all around zoom and the 45mm is great for portraits. I'd keep the 20 for low light and general all around any time greatness .
     
  11. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    If you think you can get by without the stabilization of the P12-35 (or think it likely you may pick up an Olympus body), then I'd jump at the 12-40 at a lower price.

    As for your assertion that the P14-42II could be a close match for teh O12-40 "in good light", I won't necessarily disagree with that -- the P14-42 is certainly good enough in most cases. That said, your "in good light" caveat is a huge one. The difference between the lenses at the long end is two full stops. That's a pretty big difference.

    To me the difference between the O12-40 vs. the P14-42II as a "general purpose" lens is greater than the difference between the O12-40 (at 40mm) and the O45/1.8 as a portrait lens. The pro zoom seems like a great fit for the use cases you've outlined, and it obviates the need to carry a second lens and do the swapping. It probably weighs roughly as much as the two other lenses combined, so there's no weight savings to be had, but it wins in the convenience factor.
     
  12. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Here is a good review for you (no charts or measurements, more an in use perspective):
     
  13. datagov

    datagov Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2012
    New York
    "Pro" is marketing. The P14-42 II is a great zoom lens. I use it all the time and love the results. The 12-40 is a little sharper and a few stops faster. They both focus fast. But I prefer primes for general photography. I use the zoom for long exposures on a tripod where f5.6 to f13 matter most. And the cheap kit is great in that range at all focal planes.

    Take a look at some of my photos in the P14-42 II image showcase thread.
     
  14. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I'd go with option #1. The pro zooms are nice, but they are relatively large (in comparison with the other lenses mentioned) and 1.33-1.5 stops slower than your primes. Portability and light gathering are a big deal to me. For those reasons, I would skip options 3 and 4. #2 seems pointless unless you really want AF-C because 20mm f1.7 and 25mm f1.8 are very similar optically. Adding a 45mm f1.8 extends your fast small prime kit, so again #1 is better option.

    P 14-42 II is SHARP stopped down. For landscapes and scenery at f5.6-8 there will not be a meaningful difference between it and a much more expensive zoom or even primes.
     
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  15. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    505
    Jul 2, 2010
    Arizona
    You mentioned in the original post the 40-150 is too dark in most situations. So, if that is the case, the problem will only get worse with a wide zoom in the same aperture range. With a wide zoom, you will likely want to be shooting more inside, low light stuff with kids around and a slow zoom will be frustrating. This is a perfect situation for the faster 2.8 zoom.

    The fast zoom, either O or P, combined with your current 40-150 will provide a nice, versatile kit. Alternatively, since you mentioned the 20 isn't quite wide enough, sell it and put the money toward a 17 1.8 or 15 1.7 for even better low light performance, at the cost of some flexibility.

    I think you would quickly hit the limits of the slow standard zoom in the first two options, unless you only shoot outside in good light.
     
  16. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    Well if this thread is still going I'll second this option ;
    and add a very small body, e-pM2 are crazy cheap used and you get to play with Olympus to supplement your G5 files.
     
  17. datagov

    datagov Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2012
    New York
    Shot this one today with the P14-42 II.

    _SBA9014_01.
     
  18. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    850
    Jan 28, 2011
    USA
    I would go with option 3. I have a bunch of primes and I have the 12-35. I have to look for reasons to use the primes. The 12-35mm does almost all of the wide to short tele work that I need. At f2.8 and the longer end you can get some nice pop on your photos for portraits. The smaller size, compared to the Olympus 12-40 should not be forgotten too.
     
  19. datagov

    datagov Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2012
    New York
    I don't see the value proposition for the Panasonic 12-35. If you take a look at the ephotozine reviews of the 12-35 vs the 14-42, the 14-42 is equal or better than the 12-35 from f5.6 to f11. And if you have a couple of other primes like the P20 and/or O45, you are covered for low light and night street. I don't think I can count more than 1 or 2 opportunities to shoot low light wider than 14mm when I also didn't have a tripod with me. And the difference between 12mm and 14mm is a two steps back when framing a shot.

    http://www.ephotozine.com/article/panasonic-lumix-g-x-vario-12-35mm-f-2-8-lens-review-19240

    http://www.ephotozine.com/article/panasonic-lumix-g-vario-14-42mm-f-3-5-5-6-ii-lens-review-21563

    Save your money on zooms to spend it on primes.
     
  20. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    505
    Jul 2, 2010
    Arizona
    In regards to the above, It all depends on how and what you shoot. If you shoot everything at 5.6 to 11, then no need for a fast lens. If you need 2.8, or find yourself in situations that require 2.8, you have little choice.

    A tripod is a great tool, but so is a fast lens.
     
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