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Struggling with Zoom Lens Selection

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Heavy Doody, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. Heavy Doody

    Heavy Doody Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Sep 17, 2012
    I'm pretty new to MFT still. Shooting an Olympus E-P3.

    What I'm looking for is a 2-lens vacation kit. With my 5DM3 I carry these:

    • 70-200 f/2.8 IS
    • 17-40 f/4

    In terms of focal range and speed I absolutely couldn't ask for anything more. I spent two weeks traveling through Greece and Turkey and these lenses literally covered everything I wanted to shoot. I wanted for nothing, other than a lighter setup!

    The replacements I'm considering in the MFT world are:

    • Panasonic 35-100 f/2.8
    • Olympus M ED 9-18mm f/4.0-5.6

    I'm guessing the 35-100 is a no-brainer, as the specs match and the user reviews seem to be good. Though I suspect I may be over-paying a bit for the O.I.S. since Olympus does it in-camera (rendering lens-based IS useless, I'm guessing).

    The Oly 9-18 is close enough in focal length, though I'd sure like the f/4 speed when zoomed in.

    Does this sound like a good match? Are there better matches out there? Are there 3rd party lenses (not Oly or Pano) I should be considering?

    Thanks.
     
  2. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror!

    943
    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Clint
    Why not the 7-14 instead of the 9-18?
     
  3. Heavy Doody

    Heavy Doody Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Sep 17, 2012
    That's a real good question. I struggled between the two. Quite a bit. I think my Amazon wish list has changed about a half a dozen times.

    As of this moment I lean toward the 9-18 because it leaves a smaller gap between the two lenses. I don't get as much width at the wide end, but I'm already a little uneasy with the gap that exists between 18 and 35. I feel like that "snap a shot at my wife sitting across from me at dinner" length is missing. Obviously I can get it with 36 equivalent, but it would be even a little less flattering than the 40 I'm used to. I felt this outweighed the speed. But, again, I will probably change my mind within the next hour.
     
  4. wallyrulz

    wallyrulz Mu-43 Regular

    35
    Jun 12, 2011
    So far, my favorite two lens combo is the 14-150 when the light is good and the 20 1.7 when it isn't. Makes a great walking around combo.
     
  5. macboy001

    macboy001 Mu-43 Regular

    29
    Jun 25, 2010
    Wairarapa, New Zealand
    I have a Panasonic 12-35 for wide (24mm equiv is really as wide as I want to go) and a 45-200. For the times where I want wide aperture and reach I have a 75mm Olympus. I can honestly say other than the 75, none of these are a patch on my Olympus 50-200 when I had an E-5, but I had to sell it, the E-M5 was like a clip on to the back of it.
     
  6. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    How many shots do you take from 17-24 mm (equiv)?

    If "not many" then get the 12-35/2.8 and don't look back.

    If "a lot, all at 17, and I wish I had wider" then the 7-14/4

    If "not many at 17, but a lot from 20-24 and I want a super tiny lens" then 9-18

    You can use either the lens based IS or the IBIS on a PEN body, but not both. I think you will find the POWER OIS of the 12-35 more effective than the IBIS in the EP3
     
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    If it's in your budget then just get the Lumix 7-14mm f/4 instead of the m.Zuiko 9-18mm alongside the Lumix X 35-100mm f/2.8, and you should be very happy. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. larsjuhljensen

    larsjuhljensen Mu-43 Regular

    34
    Jun 26, 2011
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Like you wrote, it sounds like the 35-100mm f/2.8 is a no-brainer for you. Pairing it up with the 9-18mm f/4-5.6 will clearly give you the closest match to your old setup in terms of covering the same focal lengths. But you will be having a 2x gap in focal length from 18 to 35mm, and be limited to f/5.6 at 18mm.

    As others have suggested, you should take a good look at the EXIF data of your photo collection to see how often you've been shooting wider than 24mm on your 5D. If the answer is "not very much", choosing the 12-35mm f/2.8 would seem a better choice for you. Faster and constant aperture and no gap in focal range.

    Although the 7-14mm f/4 is by all accounts an excellent lens, I would like you be very hesitant to have a setup with nothing to cover the range from 14 to 35mm. It is just too big a gap for me.

    However, II would strongly suggest that you consider an alternative a setup consisting of two zooms and one prime: 7-14mm f/4, 20mm f/1.7, and 35-100mm f/2.8. Yes it adds a third lens to the setup, but:
    • It weighs a mere 100 grams
    • It bridges the 14 to 35mm gap between the zooms
    • It gives you a considerably faster lens for low-light situations
    • The E-P3 with this pancake lens will fit comfortably in a jacket pocket
    The last point on this list is almost the most important to me. When on vacation, I really value having the option to sometimes just put the 20mm on my camera and go for a walk, leaving all other gear at my hotel. That alone makes it worth to me bringing the extra 100 grams.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Gillymaru

    Gillymaru Mu-43 Veteran

    I would suggest the 12-35 mm to go with the 35-100 mm they are the perfect pairing and if you want something wider then add the 7-14 mm later. You would then have three zooms that are easy to carry and would round out your system well.
     
  10. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    While the 9-18mm and 35-100mm matches your Canon set-up closest, the 9-18mm at f/5.6 is a bit slow for my preference. I fully agree with Gilly that the 12-35mm would be the perfect pairing with the 35-100mm.

    In my last trip, I'd say over 60% of my shots were taken with the 12-35, about 20% with the 35-100, while the 7-14, 100-300, and 25/1.4 split the remainder.
     
  11. Heavy Doody

    Heavy Doody Mu-43 Regular

    91
    Sep 17, 2012
    Lots of great food for thought, everyone. I'm really glad I posted the question. I will reconsider the 12-35, as so many suggested.

    FWIW, I am into the primes too. I have one already, and I love it for portraits. I'm just committed to a 2-lens combo for travel.
     
  12. Cederic

    Cederic Mu-43 Veteran

    212
    Nov 14, 2012
    Nottingham
    I'm still not sure whether lens IS or in-body IS is better on my E-PL5. However, the lens OIS isn't wasted: It gives me the flexibility to switch to a Panasonic body in the future.