The Best Avaliable Light Lens

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by BobbyD, Aug 2, 2013.

  1. BobbyD

    BobbyD Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 5, 2012
    I'm shooting a concert at the end of August. I wanted to use my E-P3 and shoot avaliable light. The only problem is the only lens I have that will fit the bill is the Panny 20mm. But I'm going to need another lens with a little more reach. I was thinking about renting either the Olympus 75mm, or maybe the Panny 30-100mm F2.8. Not owning or shooting either I just don't know which would be a better fit. I will be able to get right up to the stage just feet away at times. Other times I may be a several feet away. If you have both or have used either which lens would you take with the Panny 20mm?
  2. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    The 75 will be tight (limited field of view) if you are relatively close. The 45 is probably a good choice to consider as well and it is really small compared to the 75.
  3. Danny_SWE

    Danny_SWE Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 30, 2013
    Sweden (Gothenburg)
    I have the 20/1.7 and the 45/1.8, the 45 is my choice on concerts because the longer reach is great and also good for portraying people there. The AF is also blazing fast which is good on concert. Don't know but have a feeling the 75 or something like that is too long, better to have a little wider and crop the pics. You can't get more FOV afterwards but you can always crop :) at least I have that feeling since you say you will be quite close, on stage or "several feet away".

    /edit: too slow again :) yes the 45 is really small also, fits in your pocket, and the body in the other pocket :)
  4. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 16, 2011
    Hayward, WI
    William B. Lewis
    If you're buying or renting new/autofocus, then the 45/1.8 would be better for a single lens effort.

    Instead, I'd suggest that you try to find a nice manual focus 50/1.4 from any of the usual suspects. That plus an adapter will do as good a job for a fraction of the cost.

    I've used Nikon Pre-AI lenses to cover shows - a 24/2.8, 50/1.4 & 105/2.5 made it quite easy. Total investment for the whole pile was less than $100.

  5. optigan

    optigan Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 19, 2013
    Los Angeles
    Here is the 45 from front of stage. From that close the 20 would have been nice. The idea of manual focus lenses is good too. The Autofocus gets a workout in this environment and I found myself overriding autofocus a lot.

    Attached Files:

  6. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    If you are able to get within a few feet of the stage, then I agree that you might find the FOV of the O75 restricting. The O75 would probably be my first choice if I were going to be 30 feet (~10 meters) or so from the action.

    I also like the suggestion of an adapted 50/1.4, but that would depend to some degree on the type of concert. If it were something really high energy with a lead singer prancing about the stage, then I'd prefer the O45 due to the AF, but if the performers are more stationary, then a MF lens can work quite well.

    The 35-100 would certainly be an option, but you're giving up more than a stop of light to the primes (two full stops to the 50/1.4), and with the E-P3 you can't get away with bumping up the ISO to compensate like you could with one of the newer bodies. The application might depend on whether it's a daytime or night concert.
  7. I suggest a pair of industrial earmuffs first, then worry about the lenses.
  8. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    It's been said already, but I'd also recommend the Oly 45mm or a legacy 50mm.
  9. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    If you're that close then there should be plenty of lighting on stage. It's the focal length that you should think about. If it was me I would use the 12-35.
  10. kenez

    kenez Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 18, 2012
    My favorite lens for either concerts or theatrical productions is the Zuiko 35-100mm F2.0. It seems to have a versatile focal range and is great for available light and bokeh. Of course the problem is that you will probably need to manual focus since the AF is on the slow side when used on m4/3 bodies. I have used it on an EM-5 and it auto focused better than some but not as good as any native lens. So, my recommendation would be to go for the 35-100mm F2.8 Pany lens as it would be the closest to the Zuiko in terms of performance. If you would like to see an example of the 35-100mm F2.0 in action I have uploaded an example to the gallery. This one was done at a focal length of 100MM, F2.0, 1/320 of sec. on an E-5 body. This is a straight OOC jpeg with no post processing except a slight crop. I also shoot in RAW at concerts, just in case, but the jpeg was totally satisfactory in my opinion.

    View image in gallery
  11. wildwildwes

    wildwildwes Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    Oly 45mm f/1.8 without a doubt! FAST, light, incredible IQ.
  12. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Really? What makes it better than the Oly 75mm f1.8, the Panasonic 25mm f1.4, and the Panasonic 20mm f1.7? - Two of which are faster, and one of which is longer and sharper.
  13. BobbyD

    BobbyD Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 5, 2012
    DEEJAYK, I do have a Pentax 50mm I haven't given it a thought. Maybe I should get an adapter and give it a try.

    Thanks to everyone for you suggestions.
  14. BobbyD

    BobbyD Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 5, 2012
    Kenez that's relly nice, I like it. After doing some testing with my 14-150mm I think the 75mm and the 35-100mm will be a little tight. I think the sweet spot will be some where between 40mm 50mm. The 14-35mm F2.8 would also work. I'm going to get an adapter for my Pentax 50mm to see if the manual focus will work for me with the Ep-3.
  15. kenez

    kenez Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 18, 2012
    Well, the 35-100mm does cover that sweet spot range you refer to but another option if you are willing to try a non-native lens would be the Zuiko 14-54mm Mk II lens. It is optimized for contrast detection focusing so it will focus faster than the other non-native options. It is also a fast lens with a F2.8-3.5mm range when wide open. On my EM-5 and my E-5 this has been my favorite "everyday" lens and if I went back and looked at the exif data from the past few years I am sure that would tell me that it has gotten the most use of all my lenses. You can pick up a mint used one for around $375. This lens always gets great reviews and it is relatively compact.
  16. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    He never said "better" :smile:
  17. BobbyD

    BobbyD Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 5, 2012
    Yes the 35-100mm will cover the sweet spot. I don't know what I was thinking.:rolleyes: So that gives me a few options to think about.
  18. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    An adapted 50mm f/1.4 will give you better light-gathering while at the same time removing the autofocus that can be easily confused in a large, moving crowd of people. They're all pretty reasonably-sized and portable to boot :)

    If you're thinking the 45mm f/1.8, then a 50mm f/1.4 should have it beat on all the useful fronts. I don't know what you're paying to rent, but a top-quality 50 should only run you $80-100 to own.
  19. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    A legacy 50/1.4 may do the job quite well... IF you are at a particular distance from the stage, and comfortable with and capable with manual focus, and have a steady hand. It's economical, if not very versatile.

    Personally, I would opt for the 35-100/2.8. It is arguably among the very best choices, allowing zooming in on individual players. Especially when coupled with something shorter, like the 25/1.4, 20/1.7, or the 12-35, should you find yourself a good bit closer to the stage than you might have expected.

    The 35-100 coupled with something shorter would be all the glass you would need to cover this exceptionally well from a wide variety of vantage points.
  20. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Actually, it says "best". Right there in the title of this thread.
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