somewhat a newbie to whole m43 & photography... need some help :)

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by scho047, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. scho047

    scho047 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 20, 2013

    I am wanting to get more involved and learn more about photography... especially in architecture side of things...
    and now having plunged myself into the world of m43 cameras.... what type of lens would be an ideal set to have as a starting point of view for architectural and street photography....

    the kit i will have in couple of weeks hopefully is the panasonic gx7 with standard 14 to 42mm lens... i needed a lens that has zoom to start learning and hence went for that option... but over the course of learning and time, i will hope to get more lens that is ideal for the situation...
    so if some of your experienced photographers out there could share some tips and advise, it would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
  3. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    So are you wanting to take architectural shots? Or will you be looking for more general-purpose lenses?
  4. verbatimium

    verbatimium Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 17, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario
    Architecture: Panasonic 7-14mm F4, Olympus 12mm F2

    Both great lenses, ones a zoom, ones a prime. The Oly 12mm has outstanding IQ, and also works well with low light photography because its very sharp even wide open.

    On a budget: Panasonic 14mm F2.5

    Cheap, small pancake prime that offers very good IQ, but you may find yourself wanting a wider angle for architecture.

    Street: Panasonic 20mm F1.7, Olympus 17mm F1.8

    Both great lenses. Main difference is the focal length. The Panny is a bit sharper, however, has noisy/slower autofocus compared to the Oly.

    On a budget: Olympus 17mm F2.8, Panasonic 14mm F2.5
  5. scho047

    scho047 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 20, 2013
    well it will involve general photography of some sorts.. but it is intended as a learning curve to take architectural i work as an architect.. and it would be good to take good photos of my own works and also of what is out there already..

    and yes budget is something i have to be considerate of! so thanks for some tips and options to start with... and will also read up on the other thread you have listed!

    cheers and more help is welcomed and appreciated.
  6. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    Welcome to the forum Scho047.
    The best lens for your architectural photography is going to depend on how close you can get to the architecture you want to photograph. Generally I would recommend a wide prime or a wide zoom and the selection will also depend on how much you have to spend.

    I am an advocate of the Panasonic Lumix 12-35 f/2.8 (a wide-portrait zoom) which would give you a fairly broad range for architectural imagery, but there are many others available as long as you are photographing in good light and don't need a fast lens. Second to a fast prime, I am an advocate of primes. Both Panasonic and Olympus make great primes that prevent optical distortion and aberration. Examples of good primes include the Panny 14mm f/2.5, 20mm f/1.7, 25mm f/1.4, Oly 12mm f/2.0, and the 17mm f/1.8. Of course there are a number of wide zooms to consider too.

    You will also want to consider investing in a good tripod so that you can use slower lenses and get good detail in your photos. Tripods can be deceiving in that their support while substantial for a fixed mass, even relatively good strong tripods can become unstable with resonances that cause vibrations and ruin photos employing shutter speeds. Along with the tripod you will want to be aware of the use of a remote release (to prevent movement of the camera while you are triggering it). There are a number of options there too.
  7. scho047

    scho047 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 20, 2013
    also how good is 14 to 42mm kit lens i am getting? is that decent enough to learn as a starting point??
  8. verbatimium

    verbatimium Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 17, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario
    The new Panasonic 14-42 kit lens is actually a very good lens. I think its by far the best zoom kit lens out of all comparable zooms that Pany and Oly offers. Center sharpness is great across all levels of zoom, even wide open. At 14mm, the edges are a bit on the soft side unless stopped down 5.6-11. After 20mm, center and edges are quite sharp even wide open. It is more than adequate to have as a starting point. However, if you are interested in shallow depth of field or low light photography, primes would be your best bet.
  9. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I second the tripod recommendation.
  10. beanedsprout

    beanedsprout Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 13, 2013
    north central Ohio
    M43 is kind of a terrible platform for architectural photography, as you'll want to use a shift lens. There are no native lenses, and the ones that are adapted effectively double the focal length, so you can't get any wide shots. However you could make a panorama from multiple shots, but that involves a lot of post processing. The 14-42 will work as a starting point since you're just learning, and since you should be stopped down anyway, any softness attributed from wide apertures won't be relevant.

    Definitely get a tripod, but make sure it's something light and handy, preferably with a hook on the bottom to hang stuff off to stabilize it a bit.

    Street photography is an entirely different animal. Supposedly the 20mm 1.7 is amazing, but I don't have it so I can't give a personal opinion. But I know it's the favorite of a few people for just such a thing. The GX-7 will be great for street photography with it's electronic shutter, too. Sadly it's not weathersealed, but the camera companies don't want us to have everything in a single package so you'll (we'll) have to suffer.
  11. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Is that exterior or interior?
  12. RajC

    RajC Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2013
    Tripod yes. Remote shutter release? No

    Look for a tripod that's easy to set up quickly, especially if you will be shooting from busy sidewalks. I use a Slik compact which is great for hiking but probably doesn't got as high as you want (it does fit in my backpack). Under$30
    A great feature to look for is leg locks that flip, rather than twist. Your wrists will thank you.

    You don't need a remote shutter release. Just use the camera's self timer.
  13. scho047

    scho047 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 20, 2013
    Has anyone used or have any thoughts on Sigma 19mm F2.8 and/or 30mm F2.8 lenses??
    They are considerably cheaper in comparison to other prime lenses that are out there... and also would this be needed or worth it if I am going to be having 14-42mm kit lens as part of GX7.... ? (which i will mainly use it for architectural photography both internal and external but also hoping to learn more about photpgraphy in general including some street scenes etc..)
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