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Purchasing dilemma

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by fastglass, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. fastglass

    fastglass New to Mu-43

    Jan 8, 2013
    Hi guys. Newbie here, so try not to be too hard on me :smile: I finally decided to get serious about photography after a couple of false starts. I have been lurking around here for quite a while trying to gather as much info as possible. This place seems full of very knowledgeable & amicable people who happen to take great pictures, so the decision to register wasn't difficult. Hopefully, I won't bog you down with my neophyte questions too much :wink:

    Having said that, I plan to sometime in the near future go on a vacation where the subject matter I will be shooting will consist mostly of landscapes, buildings (architecture), museums (low light conditions) and general street photography. I recently purchased a GX1 and the only lens that I have for it is the 14-42 zoom kit. After countless time spent here (as well as review sites) reading & rereading threads and articles I think that I've narrowed down my choices to the following three lenses:

    Panasonic 7-14mm (For land/cityscape shots)
    Panasonic 25mm (Will be my primary lens. Low light & Bokeh. Not much concerned about size issue in comparison to the P20)
    Panasonic 45-175mm (Basic zoom lens)

    I think that I'm pretty much set on the standard lens option (P25). The wide & telephoto options are up in the air though. Should I get a P14 if I already have the 14-42? Or an Oly 75mm instead of the 45-175? Decisions, decisions...
    I know that questions such as these have been beaten to death around here, but anyone who wants to contribute further to my purchasing indecisiveness is more than welcome :) 

    P.S. Sorry for the long rant. Thanks in advance for your replies/comments :thumbup:
  2. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2011
    Looks like you have 14mm covered between that 14-42 and the 7-14. The 14mm is a great lens for size and weight though. I've been using it for landscape purposes recently. It's very inexpensive too. If you want indoor at that focal length it's a good solution. So you need to balance your need for wide, light, small and indoor.

    The 75mm is the king of 4/3 lenses for quality and sharpness, no doubt. It's a specialty lens though. Great portraits from across the room or fantastic mid-length landscapes. If you want the best landscape lens at that length that's it. OR if you need a low light portrait lens.

    I think what you already have is a great start. You have all of the focal lengths covered. You can dabble into primes once you figure out what focal lengths you admire the most.
  3. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I love ultra wide angle for vacation, so I'd go with the 7-14, though I actually prefer the FL of the 9-18. IMO, a zoom is always essential. A lot of good landscape can be done with zoom, and cropping never gets you close enough. So, my vote would be the 7-14, 25 and 45-175. All the bases are covered, and I'm very easy with spending your money ;) 
  4. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Welcome! I would suggest that you look at the 100-300 for the telephoto option. It's a very nice lens. :cool: 
  5. fastglass

    fastglass New to Mu-43

    Jan 8, 2013
    Thanks for the replies! Hadn't considered the 35-100. I guess I have more research to do...

    Unfortunately for my bank account, so am I :smile:
  6. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Fastglass, each of us has its favorite glass and needs.
    In order to narrow down the choices you need to tel us your budget and your primary shooting subjects.
    If you are willing to invest 2k dollar the option are different then if your budget is 800$.
    It might be that two lens combo will fit you better then 3 set combo.
    I found for museums the best the combo for me is of P20 and OM 50mm F/1.8 legacy lens. The P20 is also a good street lens.
    If you want to shot blue hour architecture subjects then your kit plus a tripod will give a good solution.
    There is a wide array of options and any you choose will make you happy, and if not you got the GAS.
  7. fastglass

    fastglass New to Mu-43

    Jan 8, 2013
    My budget seems to fluctuate between the $1500-1700 range. I plan to shoot wide landscapes, buildings/statues, and inside museums/low light conditions.
    I've been debating back & forth between the P20 & P25 but ultimately decided that the 25 would be a better fit for the following reasons:

    -Better Bokeh (Although that is a subjective decision)
    -Faster focusing in low light
    -Better field of view (Again, a subjective issue here)

    I noticed quite a few people around here using the term GAS, and since I'm a noob, had to Google it. It's good to know that at least there's a name for my terminal affliction :smile: According to the article I read, I'm also suffering from a strong case of LBA
  8. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Welcome! Love seeing new people here.

    My advice: Buy the PL25 first, you have your wide covered with the 14-42.

    Go out and shoot. I think people are overly focused on acquiring gear when they should focus on perfecting the art of photography.
  9. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    I'd definitely go for the 7-14mm, 25mm, 75mm combo personally. The 75mm is an incredible lens, and the 25mm is a no-brainer if you don't care about the larger size (I don't) and you like that FOV.

    The 7-14mm is a bit different. If you can get used to and make good use out of an UWA lens, it's phenomenal. The 14mm pancake lens is an excellent lens and a great bargain, but won't gain you any new perspective over the kit lens. The 7-14mm on the other hand covers 14mm but also gives you an enormously different perspective and array of options from 7mm on up. Here I'd recommend taking a look at the 7-14mm and 9-18mm image threads on the forum to see examples of what can be done with an ultra-wide view. If it looks like something you can work well with then I'd have no hesitation about recommending the 7-14mm personally.
  10. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    The lenses you have chosen are all of high grade and will give you great results.

    Another option that fits your need and budget are the P12-35, P45-175 and the Rokinon 7.5 as your UWA.
  11. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    dump the 14-42, get the 14-45, 45-150 or 175( are the issues resolved?),20mm, and maybe the rokinon 7.5 fish eye. All less than $1000 if you grab some used ones Then adjust from there. The 14-45 is the sharpest kit and can be had used for under $200. The 20mm will work fine on stationary( used $300), slow moving lowlight shots. The zooms, well they zoom. The rokinon( I paid $235 from Overstock recently) is just fun! Now that's a lot of lens changes, or.....

    If you're loaded with extra money, 12-35 and 35-100 2.8 would be all you'd need. Wide to zoom with crops being as good as or better than the cheaper zooms.
  12. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    That almost my kit.:smile:

    When traveling I usually use the P14-45 as my city walk around lens and the P45-200 for nature walk.
    Upon entering a museum, building or during night walk, I switch to the P20 with the OM50 for short tele. The R7.5 is used when ever I need UWA.
    In case I am in a cold weather I put the lenses in my coat pockets, that way the lenses are in short reach and I can travel lite.
  13. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    I had a similar kit with me recently for a similar type of a trip. I had Panasonic 20mm/1.7 though. I have since bought the 25mm as well, but I am not sure if I would take one on a trip if space is limited. 20mm is wider so better in tight quarters like museums and dark buildings because it's wider. I could be wrong but I think 20mm may have closer focusing distance so it's better for things like food photos in dim restaraunts :smile: Unlike you I also much appreciate the compactness of the 20mm. For nighttime walkarounds , 14mm/2.5 is also very good for architecture. For daytime architecture I used the wideangle Samyang fisheye quite a bit, but 7-14 would be even better of course.
    45-175 worked great as a telephoto option. Sometimes I found myself struggling to think of things to use it for on that trip. I did get some pictures of things like gargoyles but I would say it's not essential for that type of trip. Very light though, so nice to have, just in case.

    If I were you, I would skip the 7-14 and put the money toward the 12-35 fast zoom, which would allow you to leave the kit 14-42 behind. 12-35 is more than wide enough for me, YMMV.
  14. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Sounds like for your purpose an ultrawide and a fast prime would work better than a longer telephoto zoom. If I had to pick between those two, I'd go for the fast prime for the opportunities it affords in terms of shooting in different lighting (indoors, in the evening, etc.).
  15. fastglass

    fastglass New to Mu-43

    Jan 8, 2013
    Wow..thanks for all of the feedback guys! Much appreciated. The 12-35 definitely looks like another interesting option. I'm even starting to reconsider the P20. I guess that it's back to the drawing board for me :smile:
  16. fastglass

    fastglass New to Mu-43

    Jan 8, 2013
    Thanks! Good advice I might add
  17. Shade

    Shade Mu-43 Regular

    May 30, 2012
    I would get the 7-14, the 20/1.7 instead of the Panaleica (I admit the 25 is a nice lens, but the 20 is much cheaper and no slouch either). Then I would get the 35-100/2.8 and it's all settled. I would rather get an extra 45/1.8 instead of the 75/1.8 if you must have a longer prime.
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