The Right Lens for the Job?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Christilou, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. Christilou

    Christilou Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 25, 2010
    Camberley, Surrey
    I never seem to have the right lens on my camera at the right time! I photographed my daughter's wedding from too close up using the Fuji X Pro1 and 60mm macro lens, not realizing that the only place left to stand would be directly behind the couple! I wrongly assumed that I would be further away. Not a disaster because we had an official photographer but nonetheless, I was cross with myself. Yesterday we had a post wedding party during the day for all the friends who couldn't make it across to New York for the wedding last month. I put the Oly 45mm 1.8 on my EM5 and used it exclusively for the photos. Wrong focal length again. Great for pin pointing individuals but not much good for groups of two or three people interacting. I guess a zoom lens would be the best option but they are generally quite slow lenses and I really love the IQ from the 45 and PL25. Anyone else have this trouble? Just curious to see if anyone else has messed up :)
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  2. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I've messed up often :redface:. Can think of several times when I needed a wide or normal for group shots and only had a short tele.
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  3. brutto

    brutto Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 17, 2011
    I only have the 17/2.8 & 45/1.8 so whichever one is on the camera, the other is in my pocket or bag. One or the other always seems to be right. Mind you, I usually find a way to make the 45 work somehow, the 17 doesn't see much action.
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  4. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 23, 2012
    You have to take a lot of things into consideration when bringing only one lens...yesterday I went to a crowded street parade, and saw guys with huge tele couldn't possibly take any photos more than a few feet in front of you in a crowd like that.

    I'm sure we all have times when we say "damn, I wish I had XXX lens right now" though.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
    I tend to always mount up the wide lens first, you can always crop latter, other times l just bring to bodies one wide and one short tele
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  6. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    When I'm not going to carry the bag full of lenses or two cameras with me I always default to the PL 20mm f1.7. Great color, covers a full range of lighting conditions, reasonably wide angle with high resolution to allow cropping, and focuses in pretty close.
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  7. littleMT

    littleMT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 8, 2012
    Real Name:
    Lucille Sanchez
    I have a small bag that fits my 2 E-PL1's, one with the 45mm, the other with either the 20mm or 14mm, and I am good to go!

    since a refurb E-PL1 is only $129, I figured why not buy a 2nd body...
    • Like Like x 2
  8. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    Hehe... this is why I ended up with so many lenses when for the first year as a ILC user I only had 2! It's also why as much as I love primes, the zooms usually win if I don't know what I'll encounter. I suppose this is just a fact of life when using any camera with swappable lenses.

    Funny thing is, when I only had a 14-42mm zoom and the 20mm pancake, lots of times I'd just take the 20mm and make the best of it. Now that I have more choices, I feel compelled to take way more gear "just in case". :rolleyes:
    • Like Like x 1
  9. thedigitalcruiser

    thedigitalcruiser New to Mu-43

    May 7, 2012
    Playa del Rey, CA
    Real Name:
    Steven Frankel
    With post-processing you can always go longer, but no shorter

    The problem is usually, not when you're too far away (some enlarging of the image on the computer can usually take care of that), it's when you're too close and can't easily move back. That's why, with my OM-D, I'm leaning towards using wider lenses. I just got back from a trip to New York City and the crowds and even limited space in the restaurants convinced me that my lenses were too long for candid and street shooting work. Consequently I replaced my 20mm with a 14mm, and I replaced my 45mm with a 25mm. Also, for outdoor sports such as yacht racing photos, I'm using my 12-45 much more than my 45-150.

    With the OM-D, the digital doubling (2X) feature is so good, and offers so much versatility, that my lenses double their focal lengths at the touch of a button. I now reserve my 45-150 for situations when I'm always at least a hundred feet from the action.
  10. Christilou

    Christilou Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 25, 2010
    Camberley, Surrey
    It would seem like a good idea to have two bodies but then there's always that new lens that needs to be bought instead! I'm going horse racing this evening but it's already dark and rainy so even though I have the EM5 12-50 kit lens, I probably won't use it because it will be too dark!
  11. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    If it is a sun-up to sun-down stills shoot, I begin the day with my slowest (smallest aperture), widest lens on my lightest-weight body. That way I don't tire as quickly. With :43:, that would be my Oly 12mm 2.0 on my recently acquired GX1. As the sun slowly heads to the West, the GH2-25mm 0.95 combo comes out of the bag for the light gathering capability.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    Lately I've used the same 2 lenses as Brutto, though mounted on different bodies. For indoor events and walkabouts in cities like NYC, they are a great combo.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    When you are on unfamiliar ground and shooting an event (remember events only happen once), it is always better to overpack than underpack.

    • Like Like x 1
  14. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Sounds like you need the Lumix 12-35 ƒ2.8 and 35-100 ƒ2.8 :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  15. McBob

    McBob Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 22, 2012
    Rule of thumb:
    - if you're taking part in the event, choose a wider lens
    - if you're supposed to witness the event from a distance, use a longer lens.
    • Like Like x 3
  16. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    There is no such thing as the right lens. The photographer simply did not come up with the right solution.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Real Name:
    If we were on a Leica forum we could pointlessly argue all day about which fifty you hould be using. But if we were on a Leica forum we would all have a strong opinion on which lens we see as a standard.

    We all see the world slightly differently, but most of us initially frame around a standard lens (approximately) which in m4/3 terms would be 21-22mm (43mm on a 35mm camera). Consequently most prime lens shooters see the world in this range. The ones who see a bit wider will lean toward a 17mm (35mm). The ones who see slightly tele will gravitate to a 25mm (50mm). Its's rare for someone to see the world from a 45mm (90 equiv) point of view and yet, in both your examples, that's what you did.

    Try a 25mm first and move from there. If you're a 17 or 20mm person, you'll see it soon enough. And that's usually the lens to start with if you're not sure which lens to start with.

    • Like Like x 1
  18. jyc860923

    jyc860923 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 28, 2012
    Shenyang, China
    Real Name:
    I guess that's what the expensive p12-35 2.8 is for :)

    It's essential to have a fast lens during wedding shooting, with the 1.4 aperture and 25 focal length, it's easy to get what you see in most scenes imo. and I wouldn't risk taking only the 45 for a scene like that if I may not have enough distance.
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  19. acercanto

    acercanto Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2011
    SW VA, USA
    The only lenses that consistently come with me (now that I have some native lenses) are the 20mm and the 45-200. I haven't felt the need for anything in between yet, except for a faster 45-200, but that's a given. It's what I take backpacking, it's what I take to sporting events, gatherings, it's just so versatile.

    • Like Like x 1
  20. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    Yeah... that kind of problem happens to us all at one time or another, especially when only using primes. When your selection of zooms and primes grows, you won't likely find yourself in such a bind again.

    I love primes when time for lens juggling is not a problem nor inconvenience. But much of the time when I want to move and work more quickly, I find zooms to be just the right tools - especially with the quality we find in lenses like the Pany 7-14 and the just available Pany 12-35.

    The 12-35 is another likely to spend a lot of time mounted on one body; with the 7-14 mounted on another. Add a 20/1.7 or 25/1.4 for low light and the 75/1.8 for portrait and that could make up an ideal 4 lens kit for me.