the ideal 3 lens kit (ONLY 3) for a bit of everything

Wibbly23

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so let's pretend you can only have 3 lenses. and you're not overly budget conscious.

you aren't a BIF maniac, and you don't do macro. you value absolute IQ and rendering over super compact size.

think landscapes, motorsports, people, travel, pets, mostly just general use, don't really need any specialty lenses.


right now i have the 7-14, 12-40, and 40-150 lenses. but part of me aches for a prime (45 1.2 i think, maybe?)


for those who have a lot of time with this gear, would you sell the 7-14 and buy a 45 1.2? or sell the 12-40 and buy a 25 1.2?


i know this is a stupid thread and i'll get a bunch of sarcastic answers, but part of me thinks that the 7-14 for landscape is held back completely by the need for a ridiculous filter system. i bought it on a whim when one came up for a nice price. i suspect i can just use the 12-40 with a cpl or variable ND for most of my landscape work, 7 seems pretty outrageously wide honestly (plus the 7-14 is a lot larger than i was expecting)

the one thing i'm missing is something fast. i don't really want a 4 lens kit, so i'd rather trade one for a prime.
 

Wibbly23

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a little more.

i come from pentax apsc where my absolute staples were the 50-135 f2.8 (70-189 equiv, the 40-150 does this plus a bunch more on the long end which is nice), the 15 f4 ltd (21 equiv, the 12-40 iQ is sensational, but maybe a 12 f2?), and the 77 f1.8 ltd (108 equiv, maybe the 45 f1.2 or the new sigma 56 f1.4?).


i don't think i could give up the 40-150 for a 12-100 because i use the long end so much for motorsports, and i couldn't ever justify having both (i used a 60-250 f4 for this on my old system). does the 12-100 play nice on the 1.4 tc?




i never considered the 17 f1.8, i may need to look into that.
 

RichDesmond

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Well, it's not really sarcastic, but internally my response to these type threads is, "WTF, does the guy not know what he shoots??". :)

Seriously, you know far better than anyone else what sort of photographer you are, what you like to shoot and what your priorities are. Asking someone else to opine on what lens you ought to buy seems...silly...
 

Wibbly23

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Well, it's not really sarcastic, but internally my response to these type threads is, "WTF, does the guy not know what he shoots??". :)

Seriously, you know far better than anyone else what sort of photographer you are, what you like to shoot and what your priorities are. Asking someone else to opine on what lens you ought to buy seems...silly...

Very true, but I'm new to m43 so was thinking there may be some options that I'm completely ignorant to.
 

dirtdevil

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Currently my 3 most used lenses :

25 1.4
42.5 1.2
Nikkor 400 3.5

When I need to do a panorama or need a wide angle, I stitch multiple images with the 25mm.
 

ac12

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You list your needs/requirements, and build your system from there.

There is nothing saying that you are limited to 3 lenses, or only consumer or pro lenses.
I have several lenses with considerable overlap/duplication of focal length, but the lenses each serve different purposes and cannot be replaced by the other lenses.
  • Example1, I have the Panasonic 12-60 and Olympus 12-100/4. The Olympus has all the focal length of Panasonic and more, yet I will continue to use the Panasonic. The P-12-60 is a small light GP lens, perfect for travel and when I want a small/light lens, which the O-12-100/4 is definitely not.
  • Example2, I have the O-14-42EZ, and its focal range is within both the P-12-60 and O-12-100, but neither the P-12-60 nor the O-12-100 is as small and compact as the 14-42EZ. I can easily carry an EM10 + 14-42EZ to dinner, whereas the EM1 + 12-100 would be a chore to carry.
  • Example3, I have the 40-150R and would like the 40-150/2.8. The 40-150R works fine during the day, but sucks in low light, where it is too slow, requiring ISO up at 12800. But for travel, it is great, small and light enough to stick into my pocket, which I've done. I can't stick the 40-150/2.8 into my pocket.
The 25/1.2 and 45/1.2 might replace the 12-40/2.8, but will it give you the flexibility of the 12-40? I think not. Do you NEED the lens speed of the primes over the focal length flexibility of the zoom? I contend that the primes and zoom are two solutions for two different requirements. Which is YOUR requirement?

I have first hand experience with the zoom vs. prime decision. In the early film days I went with a 43-86/3.5 over a 50/1.4, and I paid the price. The 43-86/3.5 while great in daylight, sucked in low light for indoor gym sports. The 43-86/3.5 gave up 2-1/2 stops of speed to the 50/1.4, and with Tri-X pushed to a max of ASA 1200, I did not have the 2-1/2 stops to give.

In reverse, a fixed 50 while great for low light, was very restricted in shooting indoor sports. The lens angle was just right, too wide or too narrow, based on distance to the moving subjects. I have that problem today with a 35/1.8 on my D7200.
One size does NOT fit all needs. And a "jack of all trades is a master of none."

So like a mechanic or carpenter, you should use the appropriate tool/lens for the job.

So ideally you have many lenses in your "tool box." And yes that can get expensive.
Then based on the requirements of your shoot, you select the appropriate lens(es) for the shoot.
Or you have to compromise on your lens selection.
 

Wibbly23

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Oh trust me, I'd love to have a ton of lenses. My old kit was 4 primes and 3 zooms, but I don't want to end up there again.


The reason for wanting a single prime is for the rendering. The pro 2.8s can't do it. They're amazing yes, but cannot produce the look of a fast primes even with post.

Sorry to repeat, but will the 1.4 tc place nice with the 12-100?
 

RichDesmond

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Oh trust me, I'd love to have a ton of lenses. My old kit was 4 primes and 3 zooms, but I don't want to end up there again.
Guess I don't understand this. You don't have to carry them all on any given trip/outing, (I very rarely have more than 3 lenses with me at a time) and m4/3 lens really aren't very expensive. I've got a bunch of lenses and 5 bodies (mostly bought used) and don't think I've spent $3000 total over the last 7 years that I've been using the system. All of it sits on one small shelf. So what's the downside to having 7 lenses??
The reason for wanting a single prime is for the rendering. The pro 2.8s can't do it. They're amazing yes, but cannot produce the look of a fast primes even with post...
Now we're getting somewhere! :) You've identified a need that you have that can only be filled by a certain type of lens. Go buy it!! :yahoo:
 

Wibbly23

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Well my last kit was something like 8k tied up. I'd rather not do that. So while budget IS a bit of an issue it's not a huge issue.


It's not that I want a portrait lens, I want a "pixie dust" lens, like the Pentax fa77 LTD. I think the oly 45 f1.2 or sigma 56 f1.4 would do it. Maybe...


Basically I'm a hobbyist photog with a serious IQ complex.
 

Wibbly23

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I didn't read all 6 pages no, because the OP posted 3 primes which falls well outside anything I'd be interested in. Plus that thread is simply a "post your 3 lens kit", this is more of a question about why you would select them.

But please, oh great one, forgive me for providing you a place to air your grievances.
 

RichDesmond

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Well my last kit was something like 8k tied up. I'd rather not do that. So while budget IS a bit of an issue it's not a huge issue.


It's not that I want a portrait lens, I want a "pixie dust" lens, like the Pentax fa77 LTD. I think the oly 45 f1.2 or sigma 56 f1.4 would do it. Maybe...


Basically I'm a hobbyist photog with a serious IQ complex.
IQ can mean different things, so I'm not exactly sure what you mean by that.
Personally, I'm not much of a pixel-peeper. I'm trying to take photos that have some communitive impact on the viewer, so that they feel something that they wouldn't have otherwise. Sometimes that means a tack-sharp image taken by a lens that's "excellent" in the modern sense. Other times I'm looking for something else.
One of my favorite lenses is an f1.2 75mm C-mount lens. Not sure what make. I'm certain that if I tested it that it would not fare well against the Oly 75, but it has a look on some subjects that I can't get from anything else I've used. "Pixie dust" I guess you could call it. :) I think I paid $110 for the lens and adapter.
To me, one of the great things about m4/3 is the ability to try a bunch of stuff cheaply. Buy used, if it doesn't work for you sell it for about what you paid for it.
 

Wibbly23

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IQ can mean different things, so I'm not exactly sure what you mean by that.
Personally, I'm not much of a pixel-peeper. I'm trying to take photos that have some communitive impact on the viewer, so that they feel something that they wouldn't have otherwise. Sometimes that means a tack-sharp image taken by a lens that's "excellent" in the modern sense. Other times I'm looking for something else.
One of my favorite lenses is an f1.2 75mm C-mount lens. Not sure what make. I'm certain that if I tested it that it would not fare well against the Oly 75, but it has a look on some subjects that I can't get from anything else I've used. "Pixie dust" I guess you could call it. :) I think I paid $110 for the lens and adapter.
To me, one of the great things about m4/3 is the ability to try a bunch of stuff cheaply. Buy used, if it doesn't work for you sell it for about what you paid for it.
Sure. Pixie dust tends to be found in larger aperture lenses because of the 3d pop you get. I could adapt my 77 I suppose.(I haven't sold it yet)

When I say Iq I mostly mean rendering. Lots of lenses are sharp and true to the scene, but that can make for somewhat sterile photos I think.
 
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