Street Photography Budget Lenses for EPM1

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by witchcraftz, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. witchcraftz

    witchcraftz Mu-43 Regular

    39
    Mar 14, 2013
    Vancouver, BC
    I picked up an EPM1 a while back and I'm still learning to use it right.

    After 2 years of taking pictures in all situations, with my camera (and my cellphone when I'm at work) I've come to the find out that my style is close to street photography, I love the city, industrial landscapes and interesting people going about their daily routines.

    I have 2 lenses which I've been using:
    - Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH
    - Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Zuiko ED Zoom Lens

    I'm still a beginner but I think its time for a new lens.

    Should I go with a zoom lens, a wide angle lens or a portrait lens?

    What would you recommend?
     
  2. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    The Olympus 12mm would be a fantastic wide angle for the city. It's a costly beast, though.

    EM10•GX1•EP1•GF3•9mmBCL•17mm2.8•30mm2.8
     
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  3. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you're on a budget, I'd recommend getting a 14mm 2.5 and either the 45mm 1.8 or Sigma 60mm 2.8. Primes in my opinion work best for street shooting mainly for keeping your kit small and discreet, and also to get that extra bit of light gathering since most the primes are fairly fast.

    The 14mm 2.5 is actually my favorite street lens for daytime conditions. I've compared it to the 17 1.8, 20 1.7 and 25 1.4, and it's sharpness it's pretty close to all those lenses with the added benefit of being wider and a pancake. Great for close quarters shooting or when you need to go wide (but keep small). The Panasonic 15 and Olympus 12 are better than the 14mm, but cost a lot more. The Sigma 60 is nice too, because it's a bit longer for streets and cheaper than the 45mm. Either one will suffice.

    Another option is upgrading your body to get a newer sensor (E-PM2, E-PL7, GX7, etc.). Your 20mm 1.7 is still one of the best all-around street lenses for M43 and would benefit with a newer camera with improved low light capabilities! :wink:
     
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  4. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    481
    Oct 18, 2012
    Dublin
    Ciaran Reilly
    I'd stick with your 20mm f/1.7 until you find out what's limiting you in your photography. I think many people will agree that you shouldn't buy new gear until you find your existing gear is limiting your photography development.

    I think a prime will help you learn street photography and 20mm is a useful focal length for the task and the fast aperture will allow you work in relatively low light if needed. I'd keep working with that to in order to keep your gear consistent while you hopefully improve your abilities. You will realise what's slowing you down then and be able to make an informed decision.
     
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  5. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus Loser

    941
    Nov 16, 2010
    Finland
    14mm f/2.5 is a perfect match with the E-PM1. Buy it used and you can't go wrong, you can always sell it forward with minimal loss.
     
  6. edwardconde

    edwardconde Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    I would also recommend the BCLs.. 9mm & 15mm can offer some real interesting looks. You don't have to worry about AF... I have used both for street and have come back with some good results.. Specially using the Grainy Art filter with them. . Also look at Cmounts... Some of the new CMounts that being sold on ebay fully cover the sensors and they don't have the swirly bokeh as the Fujian models... But I would also agree on keeping the 20mm for now.. The 40mm fov is nice.. The 14 is also one of my favorites that I onced own.. now I have the 12mm which was on my wish list for a long time.. That is on my GX7 with silent shutter and I can capture at very close quarters without anyone noticing...

    On the long end, I have used both the 45 & 75... the 45 is a great lens to have for street and portrait.. I would say the Sigma 60 is just as good and cheaper..
     
  7. witchcraftz

    witchcraftz Mu-43 Regular

    39
    Mar 14, 2013
    Vancouver, BC
    I really do like the 20mm, but I wanted to add to the list lenses I know how to use.

    I'm leaning towards the oly 45mm but at the same time I noticed the epl5 body is on sale for $399, epl7 $499, omd5 $599,...
     
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  8. edwardconde

    edwardconde Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you want to do street. Consider the GX7. Silent shutter. Perfect for street photography.
     
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  9. ManofKent

    ManofKent Hopefully still learning

    789
    Dec 26, 2014
    Faversham, Kent, UK
    Richard
    or the GM1 (and presumably the GM5)...
     
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  10. drjs

    drjs Mu-43 Rookie

    21
    Dec 28, 2014
    Although my main camera is a SONY A7, I take my IR converted E-PM1 everywhere with me. Size would be a determining factor on portability. I also have the 20mm 1.7 which is a fantastic pancake lens! Instead upgrading camera and adding large lens, I would get an 14mm 2.5 which is slightly slower but equally compact for off the hip shooting.
     
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  11. itoru

    itoru Mu-43 Rookie

    20
    Feb 3, 2014
    Croatia
    I have the same setup (EPM1 + kit + 20/1.7) and I would definitely go for the Olympus 45/1.8. It would give you the ability to shoot interesting portraits (at 1.8 with nice bokeh) without sticking a camera into their faces.
     
  12. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Something with a tilt screen can help you shoot from the waist or at odd angles. That can be handy.

    20mm is a nice general purpose range. So I guess if you want to go wider, the 14mm f2.5 would be perfect. If longer, the 45mm f1.8 or Sigma 60mm.
     
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  13. witchcraftz

    witchcraftz Mu-43 Regular

    39
    Mar 14, 2013
    Vancouver, BC
    Good input from everyone here. I'm going to try to get a used EM5 body to start and work with that, it will give me some more control on the pictures, the EPM1 does not allow you to modify ISO when in full manual mode, it's always at 200.
     
  14. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Surely that can't be true that the E-PM1 would lock ISO in manual mode. I have not used the camera, but that just doesn't seem likely. Have you studied the manual?
     
  15. witchcraftz

    witchcraftz Mu-43 Regular

    39
    Mar 14, 2013
    Vancouver, BC
    Aparently it's locked by default but it can be changed:

    The manual:
     
  16. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    921
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    To stay in the budget realm, the Pansonic 14mm is a good fit for the EPM1, small, sharp, and usually inexpensive if you get it used or from overseas. There are deals on the 45mm too.

    If you wish to spend money, a newer body with a tilt screen and the 16MP sensor will make your existing 14-42 more versatile for street shooting.
     
  17. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    E-M10 is also another good option if prefer a slightly smaller body and can live without weather sealing(the two lenses you mentioned neither are weather sealed).
    I use to shoot street with the 14mm and while it's great for buildings and getting more in the frame. I found taking pictures of people or a scene was harder with the 14mm. I am now shooting street with a Fuji X-E1 and a 27mm(40mm equiv) lens and really like it. I am really thinking about getting the 20mm to pair with my GF3 as like the focal length a lot for street shooting.
     
  18. PeeBee

    PeeBee Mu-43 Top Veteran

    662
    Sep 17, 2012
    UK

    Under the ISO-Auto setting (Menu> Setup> 'Gears'> Exp/ Metering/ISO> ISO-Auto), if 'P/S/A' is selected, then ISO-Auto is only available in P/S/A modes. In M mode, ISO-Auto is not available and ISO defaults to 200, but you can manually change it to any value from the camera's range.

    If the ISO-Auto option is set to 'All', then ISO-Auto is available in P/S/A/M modes or, of course, the value can be manually set if desired. I leave mine set to 'All' giving me the choice of auto or manual ISO in M mode.

    I agree that both the Panasonic 14mm and Sigma 60mm are great budget lenses.
     
  19. witchcraftz

    witchcraftz Mu-43 Regular

    39
    Mar 14, 2013
    Vancouver, BC
    I ended up getting the EM5 body for $325. I think it will allow me to push myself a bit farther with my current lenses.

    I'll be keeping my eye on the 14mm 2.5, 45mm 1.8 and Sigma 60mm in case I find a cheap one.

    I'll post up some pictures in a few weeks when I have it! :)
     
  20. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I agree that the 14mm is difficult for street photography. If you're a certain kind of wizard you can get great pictures, but most of us end up not being able to get all of the extraneous details out of the scene. I much prefer the 17mm fov. It feels wide on the street without being too wide, somehow.