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Purchased my dream camera..Olympus Pen EP2

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by quinton77, May 20, 2019.

  1. quinton77

    quinton77 New to Mu-43

    May 20, 2019
    Hello everyone,

    So the other day I bought a Pen Ep2. It was sitting in a trade-in shop window, uglified with woodgrain skin around the beautiful silver metal body. It was mine for $110.

    Memories flooded back from the days of shooting with my EPL1, loved that camera but i loved the Ep2 more just couldn't afford it when released.

    Now that I've got the EP2 i would love some ideas about which lens or lenses to go with it. Im thinking either the m.zuiko 12-50mm or a used 12-40mm f 2.8 pro, i know which one id prefer but have to think about budget.

    Thoughts anyone? I've been away from m4/3 for awhile now and their are so many lenses to choose from now.

    Thank you!
    • Like Like x 3
  2. Shadetree

    Shadetree Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2013
    Chattanooga, TN
    The 12-50 would probably be your best option given the size of your E-P2 and they are nice all around lenses, especially outdoors, would usually require a flash indoors depending on the light
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    What about a nice prime? Panasonic 20mm 1.7, Olympus 17mm 2.8, Panasonic 14mm 2.5 as a couple of cheap options. Or the Panasonic collapsible zoom 12-32. Very compact and pretty inexpensive (if that's what you are going for).
    • Agree Agree x 6
  4. fader

    fader Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 20, 2016
    Intermittent Globe Trotter
    Zooms for Oly Pens are tricky territory. I've been eyeing Panasonic's 12-35mm f2.8. It's a smaller package and doesn't seem to give up anything in image quality. I seem them pop up on ebay for as low as 400 euros. Any of the 1.8 primes fit like a glove on the Pen series.

    Spend some time in the Native Lens gallery here on the site - there are tens of thousands of photos with every lens available that will give you an idea of what to expect.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. Michael Meissner

    Michael Meissner Mu-43 Veteran

    And note, the E-P2 did not come with either a pop-up flash or a clip-on flash like the FL-LM1/2/3 flashes that came with some of the newer bodies.

    I was one of the first people in the USA to receive the E-P2 late 2009, and I shot with it until I upgraded to other micro 4/3rds cameras. I did apply the wood grain exterior to the E-P2, but I liked it better when I got a leather 1/2 case for it.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    My last shots with it were in 2015, when I had it inside of a Kodak Pony 5x7 large format body as my first steampunk camera:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    The lens that came with it was the 14-42mm mark I. The 14-42mm mark II fixed some of the shutter shock problems, but ultimately I think it wasn't until the later bodies that Olympus tamed the shutter shock problem. This means you need to watch out for shutter speeds in the range 1/100 - 1/200 or don't print large/look at it at 100% resolution.
    Besides the 14-42mm (700 shots recorded), the other 2 lenses I used with the E-P2 were the Panasonic 20mm f/1.8 mark I (531 shots recorded) and the Olympus 14-150mm mark I (1,167 shots recorded).

    I found in practice that the 20mm was a little too long for indoor shots. I have since gotten the Panasonic-Leica 15mm f/1.7 lens and I have better luck framing shots in smaller rooms. The Olympus 17mm f/1.7 lens would also be a similar option, and is usually a bit cheaper than the P-L (unless you can find a great used deal like I did in the buy/sell forum here, and I picked up the P-L for about the price I was considering buying the 17mm at). Both Panasonic/Olympus have 25mm f/1.7 or f/1.8 lenses, and they work well. The Panasonic version often times goes on sale, and you sometimes can find either of them cheap at used sales.

    I never used the 12-40mm on the E-P2, but I would imagine with the E-p2's small grip, it would make it lens heavy. I can see by my stats, that I did use three lenses from my classic 4/3rds days (Olympus 14-54mm mark I f/2.8-3.5, Sigma 30mm f/1.4, and Olympus 50mm f/2), and I imagine the first two also made the camera lens heavy. That means it might be more comfortable to hold the lens in your left hand while holding the grip with the right hand, instead of just holding it only with the right hand and just adjusting the zoom with the left hand as needed.

    I have the 12-50mm, but I never shot with it on the E-P2. It tends to be a polarizing lens where 1/2 of the people actively hate it and the other 1/2 think it is a fine consumer lens (and if you shoot with splash proof cameras, one of the cheapest splash proof zoom lenses). I tend to be in the later category. I was generally happy with the pictures it took. Sure, when I got the 12-40mm it was a better lens, but you would expect that a lens designed as a 'pro' lens at a higher price point would be better than a lower priced lens. I think some of the hate seemed to be that the lens was f/6.3 instead of f/5.6 at the long end. Big deal, 1/3 f/stop generally doesn't matter, but some people seem to go on about it. If you wanted to carry the E-P2 in a jacket pocket, the 12-50mm probably makes the camera too long.

    I don't know if you got the VF-2 viewfinder with the E-P2, but I bought mine as a package deal (E-p2, VF-2, 14-42mm lens). I was disappointed with the viewfinder when I discovered it was completely opaque when shooting in landscape orientation and using polarized sunglasses (portrait orientation is fine).

    I did pick up a Clearviewer that I preferred for using the camera in bright sun over the VF-2:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Finally I did some video recording with the E-P2. I bought the SEMA-1 microphone that attaches to the accessory port under the hot-shoe, but I didn't like it too much, since the SEMA-1 microphone is omnidirectional and I was picking up people's conversation behind me when I was filming performers. Of course with the E-p2 only recording 720p, I imagine you might not use it for video.
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
    • Informative Informative x 2
  6. Glawsder

    Glawsder Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Jun 18, 2018
    Gloucester, UK
    Depends upon you. What you can afford , what focal lengths, zooms or primes and physical size. It is a small camera so stick with small lightweight lenses. My e-pm1, before I sold it, had a sigma 30 2.8 permanently attached it cost me 75 quid and returned much, much more in image quality per pound sterling than I expected and in a small lightweight package.

    The biggest and heaviest lens I would consider for this camera would be the 12-35, and only then if best IQ is the goal and money not an issue.

    For my GX80 I have a 12-32 and 35-100 kit lens pair, both can be picked up cheaply when split from kits. They are ridiculously small and light with good IQ especially the 35-100. However, saying that, my Leica 12-60 gets used in preference these days.

    IMHO The Panasonic 12-60 kit lens is probably better than both the 12-32 and 12-50 and would be my choice of kit zoom lens if I could only afford one lens, again, new split from a kit.

    But if it was me I would get some second hand small and cheap primes such as the Sigma 2.8's (19, 30 and 60mm), Panasonics 14, 20, 25 1.7, oly 17 2.8, 45.
    These are largely forgotten about in these days of pro lens but they are small and cheap and designed to work beautifully with this type and size of camera. They produce better results than the kit lenses and give you an added dimension and fun in taking photos, that a zoom lens cannot provide. YMMV
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. I love my epl5 and the panny 12-32 or olly 17mm both in silver just look and feel so good that I just have to get out and shoot. Now that I've had something so small on a wrist strap my other bodies feel huge. I'm actually thinking of parting with my Pen F as it's being neglected since I got the e pl5 and I'd probably buy another epl in it's place. They pop up regularly on gumtree, little used with both kit lenses for around A$250. Folk buy them for vacations and then rarely use them any other time. I'm thinking white for street as it looks like a cheapo compact that nobody will take any notice of :) 
  8. fader

    fader Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 20, 2016
    Intermittent Globe Trotter
    It would be a great sacrifice, but I'm willing to exchange my E-PL7 for your Pen F...
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
    • Funny Funny x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2013
    A while back, I got an E-PL2 for the rest of my family to use -- I always loved the Olympus 12mp jpeg rendering and I wanted something cheap enough that I would never worry about it while they used it.

    At first, I had them using the Panasonic 25/1.7 on it -- a nice, cheap prime. I think it's a good option, as are other primes suggested above (the Sigmas and the Panasonic 20mm).

    But it was clear that a zoom was going to work better for them, and I was able to get one of the original Panasonic 14-45mm kit lenses really cheap. It is a great match for the purpose of the camera.
  10. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    My E-P2 is infrared converted. I bought it used specifically to have it converted and I think I might have shot a total of 2 or 3 photos with it before sending it off for the conversion.

    One thing I found is that it is a surprisingly heavy (solid feeling) camera. Or maybe more so that the full weight is more apparent with the rather minimal grip. So one of the first things I did after using it for a while was to beef up the grip using Sugru to build up both the front as well as adding a little thumb grip to the back. Of course I was concerned more with functionality rather than aesthetics.

    I last bought the Panazonic 14mm/2.5 specifically for the E-P2 and have been pleased with it. I have also had good luck with my Oly f1.8 primes (17/25/45mm) and even played around with some old film legacy (manual focus) prime lenses all with good results. And now that I am thinking about it, I don't think I have put any zooms on it. Because I am shooting IR most of my shots are therefore outside and clear sunny days and tend to be wider focal length. I think the longest focal length I may have gone is with a Canon FDn 50mm lens.
  11. Brownie

    Brownie Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 3, 2018
    SE Michigan
  12. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    Never had the E-P2, but an E-P1 (close enough, minus the accessory port). I've happily shot it with the Panasonic 20/1.7 for years. The camera is slow to focus anyway so the slow AF lens isn't as much a bottleneck as it is with more modern cameras. The P14/2.5 should also be great if you prefer a wider angle of view. The O17/2.8 I don't recommend, the processor in the camera can't correct it fully and the uncorrected chromatic aberration is atrocious. Maybe the O17/1.8 would be a better choice, but that's not a f/length I use enough to have a guess.

  13. Jae

    Jae New to Mu-43

    May 27, 2019
    San Francisco
    I still own three ep2 bodies, mainly with Rokkor manual focus lenses.

    I would suggest you get a nice prime such as 17/1.8.
  14. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Another vote for small primes. Any of the Oly f/1.8 glass will do. Or the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 and 20mm f/1.7. The Pens were made for small lenses and that's the best way to enjoy them.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
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