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Soon to be Oly E-M5 user seeking some purchase decision and lens advice...

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Jay86, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. Jay86

    Jay86 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2012
    First off, I just wanted to chime in and say hi to you all as this is my first post. Naturally its a "question post", lol.

    Some background....
    I ditched my entire Canon 5d kit (17 -40mm 4.0, 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.4, 200mm 2.8) about 8 months back and I will without a doubt be joining you peeps in here soon with an Oly EM-5 & PL 25mm 1.4.

    As much as I love the 50mm FL (speaking in 35mm terms) and can do 75% of my shooting with that FL I still need a good general purpose zoom lens(es) as I will only be able to get the PL 25mm 1.4 for now as my only prime (will have to make do with it alone for 6 months or so) and I would still like to be able to cover my wide angle and telephoto needs with one (or two) zoom lens with a decent IQ and aperture.

    Any recommendations since I could save some coin by getting the body only and bypassing the kit lens offerings. New to all this m4/3 stuff so I dont know which of the zoom lenses have decent IQ either!

    I suppose what Im trying to ask is should I get the 12-50mm kit lens and pair it with an Oly 40-150mm


    Should I skip the kit lens and pairing it with another zoom lens and just get the Oly 14-150mm (or Panny 14-140mm, not sure which is the better lens).

    Im not sure which route would provide me better IQ since I have no experience with any of these lenses. Aperture limitations seem to be about the same no matter the choice (the Panny f2.8 zoom lenses are too much $$$ for me atm). Other considerations are build quality and AF speed/accuracy. Obviously getting one of the latter lenses would be more convenient since it would be just one zoom lens instead of two paired together but I would be willing to forgo the convenience factor if the Image IQ and AF would be better between two paired lenses instead.

    Not sure if anyone will follow me here, lol, but thats about the jist of my confusion.

    Input, advice, thoughts for a soon to be EM-5 user? Thanks a ton in advance as Im not sure this was the most relevant place to post the thread on the forum but I figure Ill get the best advice and input from Oly EM-5 users in this area of the forum.
  2. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    Hey Jay, welcome to the camp...

    Your question makes perfect sense. Many of us have gone through the same thought process.

    I like the 12-50. It suffers from not being what folks hoped Olympus would pair with the E-M5, but it is still a pretty good lens. What sells it for me is the weather sealing and the macro mode.

    But, if you really want the extra reach, and prefer to spend less and not deal with lens changes then the 14-140 and the 14-150 are nice choices as well. I did not own them at the same time or use them on the same camera, but I think the 14-140 is a little better all around in terms of IQ. Seems like the 14-140 still sells for $550+ brand new, but you see them used for $400 (or less, if you are patient). The 14-150 refurb sells on Cameta for $330. Based on price/performance I'd go with the Olympus 14-150 if I valued the reach in one lens. Otherwise I'd go with 12-50 + Panasonic 45-200.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. ghetto

    ghetto Mu-43 Regular

    slrgear has reviews of a slew of lenses from all manufactuers

    Olympus Lens: Zooms - SLRgear.com!

    You can look at the nifty little graph of the m.zuiko kit lenses and compare them to your old canon lenses so you get a sense of what you're going to get .
    • Like Like x 1
  4. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    No zoom of any format or any brand will 100% satisfy your expectations if they are framed around 50mm f/1.4 and 85mm f/1.8 (don't think Canon 85mm f/1.4 exists) as your two primary lenses.

    Keep that in mind... You are now not only changing camera systems (and format) but you are now trading in prime lenses for all around general use zooms.

    My recommendation, Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 and the Olympus 45mm f/1.8 to start out. Or the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 and Olympus 45mm f/1.8
    • Like Like x 1
  5. runner girl

    runner girl Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 26, 2011
    I really like the 12-50 - especially the macro option and the fact that it gives you an additional Myset option. Also - the weather sealing is such of an advantage for the OMD, why not use a weather-sealed lens? My other lenses... Olympus 45 and Panasonic 45-200 and 20.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Gary Ramey

    Gary Ramey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 27, 2012
    Aurora Colorado
    I'm in the same boat...sort of. I'm coming from Olympus 4/3 and finding the transition harder than expected. The 4/3 glass options were outstanding. However, unless you change your use model to manual focus, the AF with those legacy lenses leaves you frustrated. I own the 12-50. I think its a great family lens for outtings, quick shots etc. I think you'll be disappointed if you're a pixel peep who loves looking at contrast in 100% crops etc. However, it has excellent focus speed and does a good job as a walkaround lens.
    Unfortunately the best pair of zoom lenses on the market are both Panasonic. 12-35mm and the 35-100mm. The saving grace is there is a variety of prime lenses. If you're okay with the speed of the AF on legacy 4/3 glass you can find some fairly cheap, good zooms. The 50-200, f2.8 is a great piece of glass. Get the non-swd version as the new SWD lenses have even greater difficulty with the contrast focus detection of the OM-D.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    I think before anything you have to know what you are shooting and in what conditions etc.. and what did you shoot with before ?
    birds nature ? or your kids in the park ? then on those two is it raining and wet a lot or not ? might matter on what lens since you would want it sealed
    or street stuff in fair weather or just in the home of family life :)  no sealing needed
    this might help you decide do I need sealing ? do I need fast focusing lens ? and other things but its a start :) 

    if you have a program like LR load up your image and in grid view look at the metadata area on top to sort
    check how much you used each lens and how did you use that lens ? and the settings of that lens

    you should see some pretty solid trends of what you shot and how you shot it

    and make some notes about those

    do you tend to shoot wide open but low iso ? chances are you can bring up the iso to compensate for a slow kit lens ?

    shoot wide open high iso chances are a kit lens is going to be to slow

    I really think people should do this first and know how they are using the gear they have

    examples or ideas of what I mean by thinking :) 
    once you have done this you might decide WOW I was going to buy that 7-14 panny for M4/3 but I realize I never shoot wide that much ?

    or you might realize WOW I hardly shot in that 80-90 range as much as I did super wide maybe better to buy that 7-14 than the 45 prime
    • Like Like x 1
  8. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Having jumped from 35mm Film to an OM-D I would comment as follows:-

    The 12-50mm kit lens is a good all rounder as a starting point for the EM-5 with good AF speed from 12mm (24mm equiv) it is as wide as my widest prime from FF was and 50mm makes portraits reasonably flattering and it focuses close enough for detailed work. Yes the best primes will outperform it if you are pixel peeping but only the best and at most display options it's close.

    Similarly having used my Daughter's 40-150mm (R) from her EPL-3 kit this is a underrated lens capable of very good results particularly for the cost you can pick these up for.

    So for around the cost of a single prime you have a wide angle, portrait, macro and telephoto lenses that cover most options then go take some photographs. Once you get used to the camera and find the lens combination lacking something for your particular style of photography then buy the best prime for that task eg Panasonic 20/25 for street, Oly 45 for portraits 75mm for indoor sports or one of the very wide zooms for landscape.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Jay86

    Jay86 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2012
    Ok so I just wanna start off by saying wow, thanks for the great reply's. I read this thread earlier in the day and had to really think about all the reply's in here and what was being said before commenting now.

    ^^ Thanks for the welcome demiro. I dont mind having a two zoom lens setup over just a single zoom lens if the two lenses individually will provide better IQ over the single since realistically there isn't much to be gained in terms of aperture.

    ^^^ thanks, ill check it out

    ^^^ No I fully understand the zooms will not be on par with fast prime lenses. So my expectations are certainly in check. I hope to eventually just have a couple zooms to compliment a well rounded lineup of primes :) 

    I think the PL 25mm and Oly 45mm will def' be my first couple primes when I get muster up the $$$ for em'!

    ^^^ I do like the fact the 12-50mm is weather sealed. It can come in handy where I live as we get lots of rain but its not a must as I hardly like to go out and shoot when its raining. Its just one of those nice to have features in-case you get "caught" in rain while your out.

    ^^^ Im not a big pixel peeper but I cant say I dont do it from time to time :tongue: I think the big thing is that I do have me expectations in check in what to expect from slow-ish aperture zoom lenses so I certainly wont complain if I take a pic with one of em' and it doesn't turn out 135L sharp (sorry for the Canon reference, lol).

    ^^^ I have a pretty good understanding of what I will be shooting. To be honest I know this sounds pretty generic but its just about everything. Street, cars, people (events, at home, etc.), portraits, travelling, some artistic stuff experimental stuff. Something I have not shot before but I do have an interest in getting into is landscapes. I can tell you however I just about have zero interest in macro stuff.

    Based on the past I would say most of my shooting is done (in terms of full frame focal lengths) 24-28mm, 50mm & 85mm. <<< Those focal lengths probably occupy about 70% of my photography. That being said I still need a handy-dandy zoom(s) to cover other focal length needs on occasion (like the occasional zoo visit or auto-track visit, sports game, etc.).

    Obviously the preference is to shoot low ISO when possible but I don't mind pushing it up to 3200 in low-light. I avoid 6400 (had a Canon 7D for a little while) if I can but maybe the Oly E-M5 will be better at ISO 6400 and I wont mind so much.

    ^^^ Cool, thanks for the input about the 40-150mm. Im seriously considering at the moment going the route of kit lens + 40-150mm to pair with it.

    Now if I can get this lens situation sorted then the hardest decision of them all.... Silver or Black body? :biggrin:
  10. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 8, 2012
    no idea of budget you have ? but the 12-35 panny 2.8 is a killer lens and has replaced my 24-70 L which I dont even take on jobs anymore
    if close to that range is %70 might be worth spending a bit more and have that one killer lens ;) 

    last two jobs I quit taking my 70-200 2.8 L cause I am happy enough with my 75 1.8 still want to try the Panasonic 35-100 2.8 :) 

    whats strange is I am not using my panny 25 1.4 at all really ? might put it on a few times to try

    if you can swing the 12-35 the nice thing is the constant 2.8 inside is really nice and of course the contrast and color on the lens is top notch and focus is very quick

    I have this cheap panny 45-200 or 70-200 ? forgot what it is but for $199 I paid I am impressed and I take it camping etc..
    still use it even though I have the 75 1.8

    in some ways buying at least ONE really nice lens is something I say people should do cause more than likely that lens will also carry through to your next M4/3 setup

    about 5 of my FF L glass are pushing 10 years but performing flawless and have been on at least 8 different bodies :) 

    glass tends to move forward with you if its good :) 

    with about ten cameras at my disposal and multitude of lens options I have etc.. I can say the one I used all through the holidays was my OMD and the 12-35 put my panny 25 on for one short video and that was it
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Jay86

    Jay86 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2012

    ^^^ Nice to hear the Panny 12-35 is an awesome lens. Its a bit too much for my budget at the moment sadly so its a pass on that lens or I would all for it.

    I hear you.... high end glass and tripod is forever! Body's come and go but good glass always sticks around.

    I do have a quick question here for anyone that knows... I know the 12-50mm is weather sealed but how about the Oly 40-150mm & Oly 14-150mm ?

    I think I have seen enough samples, info, input/feedback here to say Im pretty close to deciding which zooms to get (for now) but am curious about the weather sealing situation of the last two lenses I mentioned.
  12. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I am pretty sure those two are not weathersealed.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    just pointing out that some of you considerations add up to almost the same price as a Panny G5 with 12-35 F2.8. Just pointing out another option you may have overlooked.

    I just acquired the 12-35 and 35-100 a couple weeks ago..... I have not had much time with them but so far I am happy.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Jay86

    Jay86 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2012
    Ah K I see. Just as I thought. Thanks for the reply!
  15. mf100

    mf100 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 26, 2012
    Sawbridgeworth, England
    Niether the Oly 40-150mm or Oly 14-150mm are weather sealed. I think it's only the Oly 12-50mm and Panny 12-35mm that are weather sealed.

    My vote would be for the Oly 12-50mm + Panny 45-175mm.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    Yep. $1450 for the both @ Amazon, G5 + 12-35mm!
  17. Jay86

    Jay86 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2012
    Thanks for confirming the weather sealing info.

    How does this Panny 45-175mm lens compare to the Panny 45-200mm, Panny 45-150mm or Oly 40-150mm in terms of build quality, af speed/accuracy and image IQ?

    Never noticed this Panny 45-175mm until you mentioned it just now! Will have to read into it a bit more.
  18. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    I probably couldn't distinguish one result from another. These are the entry level zooms from both companies. With the Panasonics, you have the cost/weight tradeoff for in lens IS, which is needed for a Panasonic body. The 40-150 is less weight.

    If you come across the occasional sale when the 40-150 is $99 when purchased with an EM5, those are no-brainers. Mine cost $109 and is worth every bit of that.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Jay86

    Jay86 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2012
    Thanks for the input. More and more it looks like I will be getting the Oly 40-150mm then for its smaller size and less weight and pair it with the 12-50mm kit lens. I checked some samples from the Oly 40-150mm to the Panny 45-200mm and the Oly 40-150mm actually looks ever so slightly better in image IQ. I can live without the extra 50mm on the Panny. Not sure about the Panny 45-175mm however in comparison to the Oly 40-150mm but the price difference of almost $180 between the two makes the decision pretty easy.

    Ive seen that deal for the $99 40-150mm... it seems to be only available in the US only on the Oly website only? Is that right?
  20. Jay86

    Jay86 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2012
    Quick question... What are the best IQ wider angle lenses (prime or zoom) for M43 and popular on the Oly E-M5?
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