Should I just get the 75?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by tkbslc, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I just got my GX7 last week. Have the 20 and 45mm. I'm primarily interested in portraits of my kids. I'm used to a longer f2.8 zoom on APS-C. I really like to make pictures like this when I have the room:

    88 f2.8 on Canon APS-C = 140mm eq.:
    [​IMG]Untitled by The Wiki, on Flickr

    90mm f2.8 on Canon APS-C = 144 eq.:
    [​IMG]Untitled by The Wiki, on Flickr

    85mm f2.8 = 136mm eq
    [​IMG]Untitled by The Wiki, on Flickr

    I don't want to drop the $600+ on a used 75mm because I'm kind of a bang-for-the-buck kind of guy. I keep trying to tell myself I will be fine with the 45 and maybe a 60mm f2.8 Sigma. I've NEVER spent $600+ on a lens, even on the DSLR.

    But if I'm going to end up at the 75mm anyway, I might as well just take the quick path, right?
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  2. Matero

    Matero Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 22, 2013
    Just go for Oly 75/1.8. What you presented here, 75 looks like your kind of glass.
    • Agree Agree x 5
  3. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    With what your posting, you will like the 75mm. If money does become an issue, you can always resell it to recoup your costs (at least that's what I tell myself).
  4. Atom Ant

    Atom Ant Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 24, 2012
    Melbourne, OZ
    Real Name:
    From your posted images, you already know the answer and just need someone to tell you what you need to hear...

    So, yes, take the quick path. The sooner you get that lens on to the front of your camera, the happier you will be.:D
    • Like Like x 1
  5. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    Never spent more than $600? What f2.8 did you use? How often did you use it?

    The 75 is a great lens. But at f2.8 on APS-C you're actually in between f2.8 and f1.8 on m4/3 so the 60 Sigma is not a bad option. Another good option for you, but I'm sorry to say is actually cost more, is the Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 zoom. It is longer than the 75, but only 2oz heavier. It also has Power O. I. S. which I believe is better than the in camera I.S. of the GX7.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. EarthQuake

    EarthQuake Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2013
    The 75mm is an excellent lens, as long as you're comfortable with the focal length (which is a bit long for some people), judging by what your shots here and what you've said, it looks like you are. In that case, I would order it, as it's an exceptional lens that is pretty much flawless in every technical aspect.
  7. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Real Name:
    Mike Aubrey
    If those are the kinds of images you want to shoot, then yes, you'll need a longer faster lens.

    Here are your options:

    Sigma 60mm f/2.8
    Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro
    Olympus 75mm f/1.8
    Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8
    A fast MF telephoto (e.g. Rokinon 85mm f/1.4).

    The last three would give you the blur you're looking for. If you can sacrifices AF, then you can avoid spending $600+ on a lens.
  8. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The Tokina 50-135mm f2.8. Bought it on a whim for a bit under $500 used and it's been my go-to outdoor portrait lens. Used it for 90% of my planned outdoor portrait work for the past 3-4 years, but rarely carried it day to day.

    It's actually very small for a f2.8 telephototo, but it is still 135mm long x 80mm Dia and it's pretty heavy at 850g. It's also got an old micro motor AF and no stabilization.

    To top it off, a LOT of my shots on the Tokina are at f3.2. I would say that's kind of my default aperture on the lens. F2.8 DOF on m43 is like f3.5 on APS-C, so i'd be so close. However, I typically use it at longer focal lengths outdoors to make sure to compress and "melt" the bg.

    My worry with the 75mm is that I know I use both end of my zoom quite a bit now because kids are less predictable. I had an 85mm f1.8 for the Canon once and not being able to zoom out at ~140mm eq. was a challenge.

    I had thought about the 35-100mm, but then am I giving up all the size benefit I went through the effort to acquire by dumping the dsLR? Is f2.8 going to seem boring? Am I giving up "special" for convenient?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    After a few years of shooting almost exclusively with m43 and Fuji gear, I've recently moved to a full frame system. The absolute hardest lens to give up from either system when I switched was the Olympus 75mm. The Fuji 14mm was close, but there are good alternatives in the DSLR world without increasing size or price much. But there's nothing like the Oly 75 in the 135 or 150 area. There are pretty good alternatives at 135 but they're BIG and cost anywhere from 2-3 times the cost of the 75. And the best option is huge, $2200, and all manual focus.

    Get the 75. When I was shooting m43, I recall a number of us holding off on the 75mm because we weren't sure if the focal length would work for us. Nearly all of those people eventually bought one and I only recall one person who didn't love the lens immediately. I found that once I had the 75mm, I almost never used the 45 anymore... And on m43, 75mm at f1.8 is a pretty nice DOF to work with, narrow enough to create really nice creamy backgrounds but deep enough to keep pretty much a whole face in focus, even shot at head and shoulders distance. With the full frame alternatives (generally f2.0 lenses), anything much more open than f 3.5 or 4 is gonna give you about an eyelash in focus for those close-ish shots. You need to be at a pretty good distance to really be able to take advantage of f2, or be shooting something REALLY flat...

    Given that I haven't really solved the 135mm dilemma with full frame, I sometimes think about buying a used 75mm and a refurb EM5 or EM10 and just not use full frame for this focal length or use. It would be as cheap or cheaper and I KNOW how good the quality is...

    I rarely spend much time on this forum anymore, but as a moderator, I stop by from time to time. This is one of the few subjects in the m43 world I feel strongly enough about to comment on...

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  10. jrsilva

    jrsilva Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 1, 2012
    Real Name:
    Looking at the kind of portraits you used to do with APS-C camera, I think you will love the Olympus 75mm.

    I had the Oly 45mm (also a great lens) that I used a lot, but when I bought the Oly 75mm I rarely use the former.

    I can say also that 60mm would be a good option for portraits. I have the Oly 60mm, but Sigma 60mm is cheaper and also good.

    You can take a look at my Flickr page if you want to see example of portraits with the 75mm.
    I now shot Mostly with the 75mm, but if you scroll down you can find some with the Olympus 60mm:
  11. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Well, size-wise the 35-100 f2.8 is the smallest fast telephoto on the market by a substantial margin. It only weighs 360g. It's about 50% smaller than the Canon 28-135 f3.5-5.6, and only a bit bigger than the Canon 80-200 f4.5-5.6...

    I have no idea if it's a special lens or not - I covet it, but can't justify it, personally. But it's pretty hard to argue with the quality of the results. Take look for yourself at some of the samples out there and see if they inspire you.

    If not, it seems like it's pretty difficult to go wrong with the 75/1.8. Another lovely lens that I covet but cannot justify...
  12. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    Real Name:
    Mine was the original Sigma 50-150. It wasn't until Nikon finally release the 70-200 f4 that I found something with the range / weight that I don't miss the Sigma. The 35-100 is larger than many m4/3 lenses. But it's still over an inch shorter and over a pound lighter than the Tokina.

    Money is obviously a question. But your point about rarely carrying the 50-135 day to day points to an option if money was not an issue. The Panasonic 35-100 AND the Sigma 60 would replace your 50-135 and provide a smaller / cheaper / lighter option for day to day.

    I've owned the 75 f1.8, 45 f1.8, 60 f2.8, and 35-100 f2.8. Only the Sigma remains. But if fits the intended use for my m4/3 kit.
  13. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    It's kind of interesting to think about a "big" lens in m43 land. Here I am thinking the 35-100 is huge and then I go do a size comparison and it's exactly the same length as my old every-day walkaround - the 18-135mm STM. But it's 10mm narrower and weighs only 75% as much.

    So for the size of my old walkaround superzoom, I could have a lighter medium telephoto f2.8 zoom. Not sounding as large now. :)
  14. mrerics

    mrerics Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 21, 2013
    Real Name:
    Your first pic especially is adorable! While I also have several other photographic interests, photos of my daughter come first...I look forward to her being just a little bit older and more cooperative as with her personality I think she'll enjoy posing and really get into it as it looks like yours does!

    You do have the dilemma which I share about "special" vs. "convenient" when it comes to kids. Still figuring that one out myself. Love the look from the primes but when the subject is unpredictable sometimes the good shot that you get is better than the would-have-been-perfect shot that you miss...other times it's worth it when it all comes together using the very best lens for the shot. Hard to find the balance. The other day I was doing some shots of my daughter playing in snow, using the Olympus 45mm...I recall one shot in particular that was a great moment but framing was too tight, I didn't back up quickly enough as she came toward me; if I'd had the 12-40mm on instead, I probably would've been able to get the framing right, but the busy background was handled so much better by the 45mm.

    On the topic of the 75mm, while I've owned it for nearly a year, I have not used it very often...however, several of the shots I have gotten with it are among my all time favorites. So for me, the 75mm has demonstrated that it is worth the money, and I am excited to use it more in the future. If you are able to afford it but aren't sure if it's worth it, I'd say pick up a used copy now, and in a few months you'll be in the position to make a more informed decision. Worst case you'll be out a few bucks for shipping when you resell it. I doubt you'll be disappointed in it, but maybe you'll find you need the versatility of the 35-100. Or maybe you won't be willing to give up the 75mm but still need some more flexibility and decide in certain circumstances you're willing to carry a second body with a wider lens. (That's the approach I'm going to take this year, how well it works out remains to be seen.)

    You mention you use both ends of your current zoom quite a bit, but the shots you posted are all pretty close to 150mm equivalent. When you narrow it down to your favorite shots, do you still find them in a broad range of focal lengths?
  15. m43happy

    m43happy Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 18, 2012
    The 75 is an awesome lens. It can produce some amazing images and is sharp wide open!
  16. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I'll admit to cherry picking the ones that show why I "need" the 75mm. :)

    I'm just having the gotta-replace-my-whole-kit-all-at-once panic syndrome and trying to figure out whether I'll die if I don't cover what I had on my DSLR 100%.
  17. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Real Name:
    Generally I'd say shoot with what you have and see how it works for these types of shots and then make a decision. I will say that coming from FF Canon gear with my two favorite lenses being the 85mm f1.8 and the 200mm f2.8 and having owned the Olympus 45mm, the Sigma 60mm and tried the Olympus 75mm, the 75mm will definitely get you closest to the look you've provided examples for (as others have said) and it will do it with the least amount of effort. Any of the 45mm, 60mm or 75mm can accomplish these shots if you have control of how far away your kids are from background elements, but as anyone who shoots photos of their kids will tell you, generally you don't get that much time/control in taking photos of them - though based on your examples, yours seem much more accommodating than mine!

    I definitely don't think you'd regret purchasing the 75mm for shots like these.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    It is, but it's a slightly funny length. It's even longer than the 135mm from film days, which more or less went extinct between the 90-105mm lenses and the 180mm lenses.
  19. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Real Name:
    It's my favorite lens to use. Sharp, fast, well built. I rarely use the 45mm now that I have the 12-40 and the 75...for me it's the perfect two lens kit that fits in my Tamrac velocity 6 sling with my em1
  20. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 28, 2013
    Oly 75 is a very special lens. Another option is the Sigma 60 2.8. It's a hidden gem of a lens. You won't get quite the same shallow DOF, but you can still get some lovely isolation.
    As a lens I had both the Oly 75 and Sigma 60 and actually preferred the rendering of the Sigma 60!
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