Reasonably priced walkaround prime

Mark73

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As an E-PL5 owner with selection of vintage manual adapted primes (Miranda 24mm F/2.8, 135 and 200mm SMC Takumars) as well as EF Samyang 14mm, I have a question.

I also have an native Oly 14-42 pancake (not great, but portable) and a now unusable 50mm adapted EF F/1.8.

My Viltrox speed booster has now ceased to function thus rendering my 50mm inoperable. I never really got on with the adapted 36mm fov of this combination tbh (Not wide enough for my liking), but F/1.3 was great.

I'm now looking for a slightly wider fast native prime as a replacement.

I liked the look of the Panasonic 25mm F/1.7, until I saw some astrophotography shots with it. Terrible in a word, with coma, chromatic aberration, fringing and heavens knows what else. Not a patch on my adapted 50mm STM, which in itself is only a "decent" astro lens when stopped down to F/4, or so.

Along with general use, astrophotography if very important to me, so what are my options?

Thanks
 

Mark73

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Bridging the gap of general use and Astro is a bit of an ask. Probably the closest would be the Panasonic 15 1.7. It’s a great performer for a wide angle and should be decent for Astro.

Thanks for the suggestion, but I should have been clearer.

My manual Samyang does a fine job at that focal length. I'm after around 25-30mm or so, as far as an AF prime is concerned.

Thanks
 
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That's fine. It's just that astrophotographers tend toward fast and wide, not normal FL.

If a regular normal is what you want, than maybe try the other 25s. The Oly 1.8 can be had pretty cheaply. Or maybe the Panny 1.4, but that is pricey. I normally would suggest the Sigma 30 1.4, it's an oustanding lens for the price. However, you felt like 36mm wasn't wide enough, 30mm might not be as well. There is also the Panasonic 20 1.7 to consider.
 

magIBIS

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You got the fast focusing Olympus 25 1.8, the Panasonic equivalent, the totally fine but in comparison slower focusing Sigma 30 2.8 and bigger but better 30 1.4. You get all on the used market, so you can fully decide what you want to spend.
For the epl5 and walk around I would suggest the cheap but solid S30 2.8.
Best all around in this case is the O25 1.8.
For light gathering and shallow DOF get the S30 1.4.
 

JNB

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Lenstip does testing of chromatic and spherical aberration, as well as coma, astigmatism, etc. They have reviews/tests of most of the "normal" focal length M4/3 lenses. I don't do Astro, and sharpness (especially in the corners) is more of what I look for. In that regard, Lenstip's reviews have been helpful and fairly accurate to my own testing. I notice that, on their website, they suggest that the Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 does NOT suffer much from the kinds of issues you described. So YMMV.
 

Mark73

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Thanks for that.

I tend to base some of my decisions on what I see on www.Astrobin.com (for which I am a member and have many images ranging from 14mm to 1200mm focal length) and the Panny images do not impress me at all. It may all be down to the ability of the imager, but there is no way to know for sure without me trying out the lens myself. My vintage Takumars are excellent in this respect, and have a proven track record for astro, despite costing very little - but they are manual only.

Lenstip may or may not perform astrophotography tests, but long exposure tracked stars are a pretty challenging test for any lens in my book. Nevertheless, I'll look into it.
 

cjoliprsf

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My Viltrox speed booster has now ceased to function thus rendering my 50mm inoperable. I never really got on with the adapted 36mm fov of this combination tbh (Not wide enough for my liking), but F/1.3 was great.

I am curious...
I also have the Canon 50 STM and have been considering getting the Viltrox speed booster. You don't seem to have been happy with the combo...
For my part, the 70mm equivalent fov would suit my needs, but if the Viltrox isn't better than that, I will pass.
 
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DPReview has an article on the best m43 lenses and their "Best prime / single focal length lens (all-around use)" is the Olympus 17mm f/1.8... and that is NOT a bad recommendation for a walking prime. I have one kind of stuck to my Pen-F that I sell ;-)
 

ata3001

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I would say the Oly 25mm f/1.8. I, at one time, had the Oly 17/1.8 & it was, by my standard, not a bad walk around lens. However for astro-photography, be aware that it's slightly less contrasty & not the sharpest knife in the drawer. IMHO
 

Mark73

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FWIW, when i say i do astro, 99% of my work is serious tracked and stacked work.

I don't do much nightscape stuff, or else I would have gone full frame.
I am curious...
I also have the Canon 50 STM and have been considering getting the Viltrox speed booster. You don't seem to have been happy with the combo...
For my part, the 70mm equivalent fov would suit my needs, but if the Viltrox isn't better than that, I will pass.

From what I hear, adapted lenses don't operate as seamlessly as natives, all else being equal.

That said I got beautiful portrait and static image bokeh with the above combo to my eyes. But, then again I'm by no means a terrestrial subject expert. My wheelhouse is primarily long fl astro.

Forget it for video and action, though. Noisy, slow and unreliable focus hunting aplenty.

The Viltrox also doesn't work with manual lenses without physically taping over the contacts - at least with an Olympus body.

YMMV
 

magIBIS

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Off topic
You got the fast focusing Olympus 25 1.8, the Panasonic equivalent, the totally fine but in comparison slower focusing Sigma 30 2.8 and bigger but better 30 1.4. You get all on the used market, so you can fully decide what you want to spend.
For the epl5 and walk around I would suggest the cheap but solid S30 2.8.
Best all around in this case is the O25 1.8.
For light gathering and shallow DOF get the S30 1.4.
Could anyone help me to laugh with you? English is my third language and I don't get it. What made you laugh?
 

Mark73

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Well, I've gone for the Panny 25mm 1.7, as it's the perfect FOV between my FF adapted 24mm and 135mm manual lenses for widefield astro framing.

Let's hope it doesn't disappoint.

Thanks everyone.
 

3dpan

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I would have suggested the m.zuiko 12-40mm PRO lens. I realise it's not a prime as such, but you could regard it as 3 primes in one package, 12mm, 25mm, and 40mm. (or even more if you like)
If you check some of my astro pics you will see it is superb for that application, (either Astrophotography or 12-40mm Showcase forums). Sharp as, and next-to zero abberations. f/2.8 is not the fastest but I haven't found it a problem, especially with a tracking mount.
I paid $377US for a mint, used, copy of the 12-40mm PRO lens, so it's not a bank breaker either.
 

Mark73

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The newer "II" version works fine with manual focus without taping over the contacts.

I have one of each.

Can you post a link for this "II" version?

All I can categorically state is my Viltrox EF-M2 flashed with any firmware between 3.0 and the latest 3.4 does not work with either of my two E-PL5 bodies with manual lenses without physically taping contacts.

Both bodies are both flashed with the latest Olympus firmware too.

I have had email discussions with Viltrox about this, but they are no help at all.

What body have you had success with?
 

Mark73

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I would have suggested the m.zuiko 12-40mm PRO lens. I realise it's not a prime as such, but you could regard it as 3 primes in one package, 12mm, 25mm, and 40mm. (or even more if you like)
If you check some of my astro pics you will see it is superb for that application, (either Astrophotography or 12-40mm Showcase forums). Sharp as, and next-to zero abberations. f/2.8 is not the fastest but I haven't found it a problem, especially with a tracking mount.
I paid $377US for a mint, used, copy of the 12-40mm PRO lens, so it's not a bank breaker either.

Thanks for that.

All my bases are now covered as I have a full set of quality primes and telescopes at 14, 24, 50 (m43 25), 135, 200, 360, 650 and 1200mm fl and also speedboosters/focal reducers.

I've also the 14-42 EZ pancake as far as zooms are concerned, even thought it's a pretty mediocre lens and not the same class as your zoom.
 

Mark73

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Here it is, right from the horse's mouth.

Shamazon has it, but I refuse to promote them. You can find credible sellers with similar or better discounts on evilBay.

OM-D E-M1.2

Interesting.

I'm guessing the original M2 had some hardware limitations that made it impossible to make a firmware update address this issue entirely, hence the mk2.

Too bad I'm now done with the whole adapted AF lens thing, though.
 
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