Rubicon crossed - now the fun bit!!

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by pdk42, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    OK, so I picked up an EPL5 in January. The idea was to have a small high quality add-on to my Canon FF gear. But the inevitable has happened - I'm finding the IQ to be almost as good as a 5dii (to the point where it's small enough to be irrelevant for my output - which is generally on-screen and prints up to 16x20), and I'm REALLY liking the small size and weight.

    I know that FF gives better subject isolation (narrower DOF), has better AF for moving subjects and is a much better option with long lenses - but I don't do much, if any, sports shooting and the last time I used my 100-400 zoom was well over a year ago. I also reckon that with something like the 45/1.8 I can get enough isolation for portraits. So, I've crossed the proverbial Rubicon and decided to offload all my Canon gear.

    Now the fun bit starts - planning the new kit! My interests are mainly landscape, street, portraiture, low-light (gigs, theatre) and occasionally macro. My current MFT kit is an E-PL5 with 17/1.8 and the kit zoom (14-42). I'm going to add an OM-D for sure (in fact, just done a deal on one from a member here), but the lens choice is less clear to me. I'm not planning on keeping the kit zoom and whilst I'm enjoying the 17/1.8, I'm not averse to selling it if it doesn't fit into a logical place.

    So, these are my thoughts - I'm relatively new to the MFT world, so I'd really appreciate input/ideas/opinions from y'all (you can see I've been to Texas recently)!

    Wide options:
    Samyang/Rokinon 7.5 fisheye. Cheap, wide, good IQ, can be de-fished if need be. No filters
    Panasonic 8 fisheye. Twice the price of the Samyang, no filters.
    Panasonic 7-14. Expensive, good IQ, reasonably fast, no filters
    Oly 9-18. Reasonable price, not so wide as others, takes filters. A bit slow
    Oly 12/2. Expensive for what it is. Not very wide. Fast though.

    I'm tempted to go for the Oly 9-18 since it's fairly close to my 17-40L and I like the FL range and the fact that it takes filters. I tend to use it mainly for for landscapes and well stopped-down - so the f4-5.6 of the Oly I can live with. OTOH, I like some of the work I've seen with the Samyang and am tempted by that too.

    Low light options:
    Oly 17/1.8. I really like this lens. Happy to keep it.
    Pana 25/1.4. Looked at this when I got the 17, but rejected it because I was looking for a small lens. However, I might reconsider in light of my new plan and then get a cheaper and real pancake (Pana 14 or 20, Oly 17/2.8) for the E-PL5.

    I'm thinking that keeping the 17/1.8 is the best route. I quite like the 35mm equiv FOV, but that 25/1.4 is really tasty...

    General purpose fast zoom
    Pana 12-35. Seems a nice general purpose lens.

    Is there any other option without dropping to f4 or slower?

    Oly 45/1.8. Excellent IQ, reasonable price
    Pana 45/2.8. Don't know too much about it.
    Oly 60/2.8. Could double as portrait + macro, but maybe not wide enough for good subject isolation?
    Oly 75/1.8. Expensive, may be too long for some situations?

    The Oly 45/1.8 seems the best option, but the 60/2.8 might work too.

    Oly 60/2.8.
    Some sort of legacy macro lens - e.g. Nikon 50
    Extension tubes + the 45/1.8.

    I think the legacy route is interesting. I don't do a lot of macro so I like the relatively low cost of this option. Extension tubes might be a good idea too.

    Long zoom
    Oly 40-150
    Pana 45-200
    [EDIT] Pana 45-175

    I don't do a lot of long-lens shooting so one of these reasonably-priced lenses seems the best option. Looking at reviews, it seems the 45-175 might be the best option.

    OK - so maybe I've listed almost every MFT lens available :redface:, but there IS a lot of choice.

    Thanks for any and all feedback!
  2. Three completely different things being thrown into the same category.


    You've shot long enough with your Canon, you should know which one serves your eye and creativity. Its all preference... Personally, I shoot with the 9-18mm (easy with filters, smaller, lighter, cheaper than the 7-14. Some reported CA on Olympus bodies) and a 12mm f/2 (24mm on full frame is something I like).

    I have little use for a fisheye.... its a niche item.. you either like them or you don't. If I had to choose, definitely the Samyang/Rokinon 7.5 over the Panasonic.

    Answer is simple.... do you shoot more with a 50mm or 35mm? 14 and 20 are really great for their price. I hear the 17mm f/1.8 is excellent but I have no experience with it.

    Unfortunately, its your only choice at this time. If I were in your shoes, I would go primes and shoot for a while. See if you "really" need a set of fast primes AND a fast zoom. When I traveled light with Canon system, I would head out with a 24-105L + 50mm f/1.4. That's it.

    My personal choice would be the 45mm f/1.8. I found 75mm too long BUT I know a lot of photographers that would choose a 150mm equiv focal length for portraits.

    I would go with an adapted legacy lens and put the money into other things that support Macro. Macro is MUCH MUCH more than just the lens... My personal choice is the Adaptall 90mm f/2.5 with the dedicated 1:1 2x teleconverter with a powerful ring flash powered by a high voltage power pack.

    Panasonic 100-300mm or 45-200mm. I would personally lean towards 100-300mm.

    Rather than let your purchases drive what you shoot why don't you let your needs (as they occur) drive your purchases?
  3. mangomonster

    mangomonster Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 10, 2012
    SLR Magic also makes a 12mm T1.6 lens. It's a cine lens and it also takes filters.
  4. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    The only other fast zoom option I can offer would be the (non-Micro) Four Thirds Olympus Zuiko 12-60 f/2.8-4. This is obviously going to be a larger lens (particularly once you account for the adapter you'll need). However, it provides a much wider zoom range than the 12-35.

    The other lens advice I'd give is to pick up a Panasonic 20mm pancake. It's a fantastic little lens that mounted on a PEN provides a very nicely compact platform.

    One last point/suggestion: if you want to solicit more opinions then you might consider breaking this post up into bite-size pieces that are easier to digest. You've got a lot of different questions going on, and that's going to limit the audience who are going to take the time to respond.

    By the way, welcome to the :43: system. As you've found it really does provide a nice "sweet spot" of capability and compactness.
  5. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Thanks for the responses. I admit the post was too long and that I'm trying to run before I can walk. I think I need to:

    - Split the post up

    - Take things a step at a time. Buying when I have the need is probably a better idea than trying to replace my Canon lineup in 1 go. That wasn't how I built the Canon kit - it ws a case of getting what I needed when I needed it.

    Thanks to those who replied - really appreciate it.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.