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question on 12-35 and low-light

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by greenmuzz, Aug 14, 2012.

  1. greenmuzz

    greenmuzz New to Mu-43

    2
    Aug 14, 2012
    Hello,

    I'm considering augmenting my current suite of lenses (7-14, 14-45, 20, 45-200) with some more low-light capable glass. I really like what's possible with the 20 1.7, but am often frustrated that it's not quite wide enough (some rooms just aren't big enough to get far enough away), and sometimes frustrated that it's not quite long enough. The 14-45 should be the obvious go-to lens to fix that, but it's simply not fast enough and rarely if ever makes it into my camera bag for that reason. So, the question is, can anyone who already has the 12-35 do a test to see just how slow an exposure they can handle hand-held for low light at both 12 and 35mm, and in particular, can they test how much of an advantage the power OIS is? Can the stabilised 2.8 match the unstabilised oly f2 at 12mm, or the oly 45 1.8 for low-light hand-held shooting? (I use a gf1, so no IBIS). Basically, can I get good enough low-light performance with the new panasonic lens that I won't feel compelled to want three unstabilised primes?
     
  2. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    945
    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Joe
    I'm curious to what type of low-light shooting you're going to be doing? More information about that would be helpful in determining whether it would work for you.

    I've thought about this topic concerning this lens quite a bit recently. And I plan on getting one at some point for the weather-sealing and for use as a general walk-around lens.

    With the EM-5 I can shoot to ISO 4000 comfortably, but in really low light I'm still dropping down to 1/30 of a second with the PL25 wide open (f1.4). If we call the EM-5 IBIS and the 12-35 OIS equal, you're still left with quite a bit less ISO headroom (2 stops or more?) with the GF1 and two stops less of light gathering from your lens.

    It all comes down to your confidence and technique in low-light settings. I generally shoot people and street scenes at night and most of my best shots are 1/25 sec or above. I can get clear non-blurry images below this, but I need to freeze some subject motion.
     
  3. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    579
    Jan 11, 2011
    Finland
    Harry
    Oly 12/2 would give you wide angle without being dark...

    That zoom being one stop darker BUT with OIS might give you one stop advantage but it doesn't stop the subject movement.
     
  4. longimanus

    longimanus Mu-43 Regular

    63
    Apr 29, 2011
    Madrid (Spain)
    For less than that lens cost you can get am E-M5 body.
    I upgraded also from GF1 and believe me you will have a incredible improve in IQ and low light capable (ISO 1600 on e-m5 is really better than ISO 400 on GF1) and IBIS is really amazing.

    I own also all your lens and for example e-m5 with 14-45 will be better than gf1 with 12-35.
     
  5. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    945
    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Joe
    While what your saying adds up math-wise (only at the wide end), I don't think I would recommend the 14-45 as a low-light shooting set-up. You're working with a variable aperture that hits f4 @ 18mm and f4.9 @ 25mm. So if your at 25mm you have something like, F2.8/800 ISO (GF1/12-35) vs F4.9/ISO3200 (EM-5/14-45). Not really a big advantage there.

    Even a GX1 has a very noticeable improvement in higher ISO settings than the GF1. With some of the deals out right now, you can pick up a GX1 for essentially 1/3 the price of the EM-5. Granted this doesn't give you IBIS, but I've done quite well shooting low light stuff with the GX1/PL25. Together those two are less than the price of the EM-5, something to consider if you're prepared to throw down over a grand.
     
  6. longimanus

    longimanus Mu-43 Regular

    63
    Apr 29, 2011
    Madrid (Spain)
    I agree with you on equivalent at long end. But greenmuzz ask for the wide end. Also for the 12-35 cost you can have e-m5 body and oly 45 1.8 or for a little less pany 14 2.5.

    For medium focal he has 20 1.7.

    GX1 is great but if you add viewfinder there is less diference on cost. Maybe for IQ and for the 80% shorts e-m5 has a little advantage also for high ISO.

    E-M5 has a great viewfinder. IBIS (great also for 45-200), movible LCD screen, splash protection.
     
  7. zapatista

    zapatista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    668
    Mar 19, 2012
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    Mike
    The 45-200mm has effective stabilization, but I favor the OM-D IBIS too.
     
  8. longimanus

    longimanus Mu-43 Regular

    63
    Apr 29, 2011
    Madrid (Spain)
    And don't forget add stabilitation to the excelent 7-14 UWA
     
  9. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Looking back at my low shutter speed photos in LightRoom taken with the 12-35mm, I'm seeing a few fairly clean shots at 1/10s and above but those are the exception rather than the rule. Somewhere around 1/30s or 1/40s pics look more consistently clear as long as it's a relatively still subject. FWIW, I've noticed similar results from OIS on the 14-140, 45-200 and 100-300mm so it's proportionately more noticeable of an improvement with the longer focal lengths.

    The 12-35mm f/2.8 definitely isn't replacing my primes, but it does mean I can use it in lower light and with less DoF than a standard kit zoom. If it gets down to really low light I'll still go to the prime lenses for the extra stop or two of light, especially since most of my low light photography involves human subjects that tend to move around so stabilization isn't nearly as useful as a faster shutter speed due to a larger aperture.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    945
    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Joe
    As quoted, Greenmuzz mentioned he wanted both wider and narrower, hence the reasoning behind my quote.

    By my math, a GX1 with an EVF is still half the price of an EM-5 (with the deals to be had, currently). I didn't originally add in the cost of the EVF. You could own a GX1/EVF and almost a PL25 for the same price as an EM-5. I for one have both cameras and do notice a ISO difference at the high end (3200-4000).
     
  11. longimanus

    longimanus Mu-43 Regular

    63
    Apr 29, 2011
    Madrid (Spain)
    Because with e-m5 you can improve the complete greenmuzz lens set.

    The only real advantage for GX1 over the great GF1 is a slight improve on dinamic range and better high ISO management. Olympus is a bigger step forward. IMHO.

    Anyway I think we miss the point here for greenmuzz.

    12-35 is sure!!! a great lens but I also think is overpriced. 800-900$ will be a more adjusted price.

    GX1 is also a great camera, but not a big step over GF1. I agree it is cheaper half than e-m5 cost with viewfinder but you miss a lot of other things. Maybe G5 will be better option.

    I actually use both cameras but GF1 is dedicated to underwater shots where there are complete different requirements and for that enviroment is a very capable camera and I only miss e-m5 DR.
     
  12. longimanus

    longimanus Mu-43 Regular

    63
    Apr 29, 2011
    Madrid (Spain)
    http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Ca.../Olympus/(appareil3)/632|0/(brand3)/Panasonic

    You can see DXO sensor test side by side. E-M5 is not tested jet, but every ep3 onwer agree em5 is a great improve over ep3.

    12-50 oly lens is just and average lens I prefer 14-45 by far and I have and tested both. I agree none kit lenses are good for low light, primes are the best election but when I see greenmuzz lens kit I see a zoom guy.
     
  13. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Since the GF1 and the EP3 use the exact same sensor, consider any variability there to be a result of the test itself, and everything washes out except the high ISO which is a 50% improvement. Reports from users are that EM5 and GX1 are too close to call.

    Moving from a GF1 to a G3 (same sensor as GX1), allowed me almost 3 stops more ISO. On the GF1, I would never use >ISO800. On the G3, my limit is 6400.

    Long story short, I feel moving to one of the newer bodies will be better bang for the buck on increasing low light performance than the 12-35, and I am one of the few on here that doesn't think the 12-35 is overpriced. F/2.8 just doesn't seem that "fast" to me, not on the zoom and not on the PL45, nothing like the "see in the dark" of f/1.7
     
  14. greenmuzz

    greenmuzz New to Mu-43

    2
    Aug 14, 2012
    cheers everyone for a very good discussion, raised a few very good points about the reminder that image stabilisation won't compensate for folks moving, and giving me pause to think about the advantages of a new body - I hadn't really thought the ISO improvements were quite that large (given the DxO mark of the gf1 is 513 and the gx1 is 703, I didn't think that would mean I'd be able to happily use 3200 instead of 400->800). If they'd managed to make the 12-35 f2 I don't think I'd really hesitate (apart from the even further increased cost that would no doubt result...).

    As for being a zoom guy, I wouldn't say so - I appreciate their convenience certainly, but the only reason the 7-14 is pinned to my camera is that I just love the width and that's the only way to get it, much the same as the 45-200 - I love the length and that's the only way to get it. The 14-45 is somewhat dusty.... The 20 works as a lovely take the camera out in the evening in the smallest possible way, catch nice candids in the pub, on the street, at a wedding - I'm just aware that sometimes it's not always possible to zoom with my feet :)
     
  15. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    579
    Jan 11, 2011
    Finland
    Harry
    And as always, the next body announcement will be even better, and the next one and...

    I have found out, as a prime guy, that I might be a zoom guy also. BUT, I just love available light, even when there's not any. So many times I have been in a situations where bright lens is kind of only option. Of course you can manage with one or two stop slower lens but...

    Usually the top end sharpness is there also with the primes and that one stop can be THE thing to stop the motion. Either yours or the subjects ;-)

    Then again, I just hate the situation where I have WRONG (but bright) prime on and the situation goes by while I'm changing the lens, of course to the wrong prime first...
     
  16. Zanr Zij

    Zanr Zij Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Mar 10, 2012
    As I tested with 14, 20 and PL25 @ f/2.8, I think I need faster lens on m43. Of course OM-D's images are good @ iso 1600 but I want more quality, comparable with DSLR ( same price like D7000 ) so I also want faster lens.

    Instead of f/2.8, I think f/2.0 or Leica look/brand/quality will make this lens be must have combo with OM-D and next Pana GH3 :).

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using OM-D E-M5 + Leica 25/f1.4 + T*
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. String

    String Mu-43 Regular

    107
    Jul 9, 2012
    Canada
    Brian
    I can only speak for myself here, but here is my reasoning behind the 12-35 purchase:

    New to the whole m43 world (former Nikon shooter, tired of lugging around a large body and 2.8 glass), I was looking to get the same (or better) quality out of a smaller body. Loved the OM-D the first time I held one so I purchased it with the 12-50 kit lens. While I liked the results, I wasnt that impressed with the 12-50 so the quest for better glass started.

    I was planning on buying the Oly 12, Pany 25 and the Oly 45. In pricing things out, the Pany 12-35 was cheaper than the combo of the 12 and 25 and (for me) much more versatile. The constant 2.8 was all I really needed and the focal length matched my Nikon 24-70 perfectly. I ended up with the 12-35 and the 45 and I couldnt be happier; love the combination of the OM-D and the 12-35; it really is a first class lens and capable of some amazing results.

    Now with that being said, if I already owned the 12 and the 25, I wouldnt feel a need for the zoom at all.

    Now, I just need Pany to release the 35-100 and I'll be set. And please release it before my local shop gets the Oly 75 in stock as I hear one calling my name... :)