starter general purpose lens kit

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by rc816, Mar 4, 2013.

  1. rc816

    rc816 New to Mu-43

    Feb 29, 2012
    Since getting my epm1, I have been experimenting with all kinds of photography, including landscapes, macros, portraits, and more. I currently have a budget starter kit comprised of the panasonic 14mm prime, panasonic 45-200mm zoom, and soon, the olympus 12-50mm zoom. Now the upgrade bug is itching again and I'm starting to want to get one of the top three primes.

    Consider the following (from cheapest to most expensive option):

    -buy panasonic 20mm, sell the 14mm prime (use the olympus instead for wide angle)
    -buy olympus 45mm
    -buy panasonic 25mm

    If you had to pick from one of those three options what would you recommend?
  2. kwalsh

    kwalsh Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    Baltimore, MD
    While the 20mm is a nice sharp lens and well loved for good reason I really think the 45 or 25 would be better if you are going to be spending money on a prime you use a lot. I own all three and the 20 never gets used anymore. The caveat to this is if you want something a bit more "pocketable" the 20 is significantly less bulky than the 25. The 45 while taller than the 20 is still a compact lens because it is surprisingly narrow. Counter intuitively the 45 is significantly less bulky than the 25.

    You could certainly sell the 14 in any of the cases, unless of course you want to retain it for a "pocketable" prime (it is a really cute little lens and it doesn't sell used for very much).

    Either the 45 or 25 are really "no compromises" lenses. The two decide factors really are size (25 is noticeably larger) and preferred focal length. The 25 is right in the range of a "normal" focal length lens and the 45 is great for portraits.

    • Like Like x 1
  3. rc816

    rc816 New to Mu-43

    Feb 29, 2012
    thank you, i think this all makes a lot of sense. I will keep the 14mm for its portability and go with either 25mm or 45mm.
  4. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Which focal length do you use more? If you tend to shoot at or around the normal range then the 25mm would be your lens. On the other hand if you tend to go longer than get the 45mm. I have the 45 and it is a great lens BTW.
  5. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    You have stated the following area you like to take photo "landscapes, macros, portraits"

    Landscape - You have the 12-50 and the 14 to take care of this.
    Macro - The 12-50 can handle this in any case non of the 3 will be better for macro.
    Portraits - You do not own any good portrait, the 45 is one of the best in class for portrait.

    My conclusion is get the 45 it is the only lens that can improve your kit for your needs.
  6. rc816

    rc816 New to Mu-43

    Feb 29, 2012
    Thanks everyone for your valuable inputs. At this point I'm more bias towards the 25mm, bc it's a more normal focal length and I feel I'll get more general purpose use out of it compared to the 45mm. I failed to mention I have a manual legacy lens. Its a Konica hexanon 1.7 50mm. That might never be as good as the 45mm for portraits, but will have to do for now based on budget constraints.
  7. BLT

    BLT Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 13, 2013
    20mm 20mm 20mm

    If you ever just want to grab your camera and throw it in your pocket - then there is nothing like the 20mm on a PEN. It's small, f1.7 fast and excellent IQ.

    Look at the popularity of fast fixed lens cameras - Fuji X100 - Sony RX1 . . The 20mm on a pen is pretty much the same deal (yes I know one has VF the other FF).

    But If what you really want is:

    Massive bokeh = Oly45mm

    Best low light performance = Pana25mm

    Obviously your Preferred Focal lengths are a factor, but only you can comment on that.
  8. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    If I could really really really really only have one lens and if it had to be low three digits, I might go with the original Pan 14-45. It's not all that compact, but the one I used to have was optically very, very good and it covers a useful range, albeit with relatively slow apertures.
  9. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    +1 I shot about 50% of my shot with the P14-45. The second used lens is the P20 and used mostly for low light.
  10. rc816

    rc816 New to Mu-43

    Feb 29, 2012
    I think i would consider the 14-45 had i not picked up the 12-50mm. I know its suppose to be the best one out of the basic kit zooms. Ultimately, im looking to step up and get the one piece of glass that will give me the shots that pop/scream amazing. From what I've read so far that is going to be a prime. The question for me at the moment is whether i go with 25mm or 45mm. So far the 25mm is winning me over.
  11. Ryan

    Ryan Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 21, 2011
    Id go with the 45! I use it for everything, Mostly landscapes due to its sharpness and its the sharpest lens I own, and if I need a wider image I just stitch them together in microsoft ice.
  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.