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Thinking of returning my 12-42mm EZ... Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by WendyK, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Wendy
    I am relatively new to interchangeable lens world. Even though I was shooting with a very old Canon DSLR before i bought my E-M10 I never went beyond the kit zoom. I knew once I picked a new camera I would add a few more lenses. I picked the EZ pancake for my "pocketable" take everywhere lens as well as Oly 25mm/45mm primes and the 40-150mm zoom.

    Well, as a new prime shooter I've been so blown away by the shots I've been getting from the primes that I find myself rarely using the EZ, and the shots from the EZ just don't compare. I also realized that when I use it, it's at 14mm when I really need that width.

    so...I'm think of returning the zoom and getting the Panasonic 14mm instead (can't afford the Oly 12mm, and it's bigger anyway). I have never not had a "normal" zoom, though, and am a little worried I'll miss it. Besides going through my old photos' EXIF data to see how often I'm using focal lengths that couldn't realistically be replaced by the primes (I'm in the process of doing that) is there anything else I should consider? The 14mm would then become my take everywhere lens, though I would likely bring the 25mm instead (or as well) on occasion depending on where I'm going. I know the 14mm isn't as fast as the 25/45 and that's OK but I presume the overall sharpness/performance would be quite a bit better than the EZ zoom, correct?

    Anyone here go prime only and regret it? Any comments on the Panny 14 as a take everywhere lens? Are there any other native prime lenses I should consider to complement the 25/45 in a similar price range? I know the 12-40 would be great, but if it won't fit easily in my purse I'm not likely to bring it. Too $$$ and too big for what I'm looking for.

    Thanks!
     
  2. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    967
    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    Steve
    I'd trade you the "regular" 14-42II R kit zoom for it. Maybe a little cash if necessary. Or buy it outright if reasonable. I just want it BECAUSE it is pocketable. Black lens, right?
     
  3. fortwodriver

    fortwodriver Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Nov 15, 2013
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    Frank
    I've bounced back and forth over the years between primes and zooms on a number of different formats. I always tend to enjoy primes more. Zooms make me lazy and make it a bit more difficult for me to visualize before I look through the viewfinder.

    Also, with primes I walk around WAY more. For me, it's more healthy to slap a prime lens on the camera and go through the day "zooming" with my feet. My most-used lens is the Oly 17mm 1.8.

    My wife is the opposite. She loves her zooms.

    With that 14mm lens, you can get a little closer to things and make more dynamic images without distortion that's too gross, or step back and take it all in. 28mm (the equiv.) is a classic wide-angle focal length.
     
  4. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Wendy
    Hi, thanks, but if I give it up it won't be for another zoom. My EZ is silver, BTW.
     
  5. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Wendy
    Interesting perspective, and gives me a lot to think about! I might try walking around with the EZ this week set only at 14mm to see how it feels.
     
  6. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    850
    Jan 28, 2011
    USA
    The 14mm is a great little bargain lens. I recommend it.
     
  7. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    The Panasonic pancake is a nice lens, but it has no particular optical advantages over the kit zooms, other than the ability to open one stop more (f/2.5 vs. f/3.5). IMO, the reason to get that lens is the form factor.
     
  8. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Wendy
    hmmm...since the EZ has a similar form, if there is no real optical advantage to the 14mm perhaps I am better off sticking with the EZ? How much of a practical difference is that extra stop likely to make given that I'm most likely to be shooting wider angle outdoors (mostly gardens) and not looking for shallow depth of field in that type of shot? That's probably a newbie type of question, but I qualify. I also would be shooting my son's marching band and some concerts with this lens and band/concert shots would be at night on a football field or in an auditorium, though. For most concerts, if I choose my seat well, the 25mm will work better, but I would need wide angle (probably UW, actually) for his 275 member marching band.

    Another question...is the Panasonic 12-32mm generally considered to be better sharper than the EZ (on an Oly body)? I could exchange for that and get an even wider view in a similar form factor.
     
  9. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    Personally I would save for an Olympus 12-40 or Lumix 12-35 OIS, because either of them will give you superior optical performance compared to the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 or even the EZ. My 14-42 mark I @ 14 f/3.5 perform better than the prime pancake (I optically tested it already), so that's why I've been holding out for the 12-40 or 12-35 zooms and treating the 14-42 lens as a 14mm prime @ f/3.5. I find that the Oly 12 f/2 is pricy; albeit for a few hundred more I can get a 12-40. With a newer body like the E-M5, you can probably tolerate a little higher ISO with f/3.5, but with my E-PL1, every faster f/stop I can get the better. My vote is to keep the EZ because it has similar form factor as the 14mm Panasonic prime.

    For a 28mm FF prime, I use my Coolpix A which has one of the most sharpest Nikkor glass I have ever used. And I have the best FF glasses for work.
     
  10. marcl

    marcl Mu-43 Regular

    184
    Jul 8, 2012
    I've been trying to find the answer to that same question but I haven't been able to find a direct comparison. Tough, generally, the Panasonic seems to receive lots of praise while I've found less for the Olympus. Maybe it's Because the Oly was released after. I ended up getting a GM1 with the 12-32. I am very pleased with the results so far.

    If you shoot mostly around 14mm, you should like the extra width of the 12-32.
     
  11. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Wendy
    Just what I was thinking! I agree about the difficulty finding comparisons.
     
  12. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Wendy
    Oh, I know those are great lenses (might get one eventually) but right now I'm looking for form factor/portability as well as the lower price point.
     
  13. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I am sure you can find some detailed comparisons out there, but I really like the little zoom on my wife's GM1. Really nice to have the 12mm... from memory, I don't think the corners/edges are as good as the Olympus 12mm, but the center 2/3 to 3/4 is pretty dang sharp.
     
  14. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Canada
    David
    Well, as the late Ernst Haas would have proudly said to 2 Leica ladies who at the time were incessantly gear nuts and fixed with the best wide angle lenses at his workshop. They asked him; what's the best wide angle lens hoping that he would endorse their beloved Leicas. Instead, he basically told them with a firm voice -- best wide angle lens; just take 2 steps back and you're done! After that, no one dared to gear talk on the remaining seminar.

    The difference between 14mm and 12mm is not much; simply taking a few steps back can get you the same FOV of a 12mm with 14mm. Like I said, it's best to save the money towards the 12-40 or the Lumix 12-35. They are a much better set of lenses or the 12 f/2 prime. Consumer lenses are designed for price in mind; not necessarily for optical performance. The Panasonic 12-32 is a consumer lens and while it is optically sharp, it's not as great as say the 12-40 because it is still a slow zoom lens. You need to use a higher ISO, which means that's cutting into your dynamic range and hence the ability to resolve detail. It doesn't matter if your lens is so sharp and cuts like a knife that the sensor can not help resolve because it needs to work 1/2 to 2 stops harder.

    What you are noticing with the 2 primes you use are a combination of better optical performance and low ISO usage which increases dynamic range and hence able for the sensor to resolve more details the lens can deliver.

    When the sensor is stressed to work harder in higher ISOs, you are basically sacrificing more gain with less dynamic range. You can not re-create detail when the sensor's reduced dynamic range did not record in Photoshop or in any other software. Those details are gone, because they weren't there to be recorded. You need to think in terms of these 2 factors when you buy a lens, not just fixated on optical performance and form factor alone.

    Hope this helps.
     
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  15. Theo

    Theo Mu-43 Veteran

    318
    Aug 26, 2013
    Canada
    Theo K.
    If you compare the P14 with the 14-42 IIR, on my copies of these anyways, the 14mm end of the 14-42 is inferior to the P14. Maybe my copy of the 14-42 is a bad one, the P14 is a lot sharper from edge to edge.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I727 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  16. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    I have the 14-42IIr and the P14 and to me the P14 is superior at 14. Like you, I have always been a zoom shooter and find comments like primes are better because they make you work harder untrue for me. I do a lot of candid, event type shooting and I don't always have the luxury of taking a step forward or backward or repositioning things. But, when I came to u4/3 I decided to give primes another try and I have pretty much fallen in love with them. The 14-42 stays home and I take the P14, PL25, and O45 with me in a small bag almost all the time now. I have missed a few shots from needing to change lenses, but overall, the quality improvement of the PL25 and O45 especially are great enough that I just deal with it.

    I say trade the lens in on a P14. If you find you don't like not having a standard zoom, you can pick up a 14-42 really cheap to replace your EZ. Or sell the P14 and pick up another EZ used. You shouldn't really lose any or much money doing that and you'll know for sure which you prefer.
     
  17. WendyK

    WendyK Super Moderator

    Feb 28, 2014
    Northern Virginia
    Wendy
    Many thanks, everyone. Even though you had different perspectives, each of you made valid points. After reading them all I realized I was jumping the gun because I was only going to be within my return period on the lens for about another week.

    I've only had my E-M10 for a little over a month and have never used primes before a few weeks ago, so I recognize I still have a lot to learn about my own preferences and shooting style and how it feels to carry multiple lenses and change them on the go vs. just putting the E-M10+EZ combo in my purse. I decided to keep the EZ for now - I purchased it for $100 off with the E-M10 body, so if I decide it's not right for me at some point I can most likely sell it for what I paid for it and buy (or trade for) the P14 or 12-32 or even put the $ toward the 12-40, which I suspect I'll get eventually (especially if I can find an Oly refurb during one of their 20% off sales). I just need to be patient with myself.
     
  18. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    Oh dear, I know you really want to spend loads of cash, but the one I recommend is far too cheap ... M.Zuiko 17mmF2.8

    I guess if everything needs to be new and cost a lot ... the new Lumix 12-32 pancake is doing a decent job and goes wide to 12mm ... buy one!
     
  19. Theo

    Theo Mu-43 Veteran

    318
    Aug 26, 2013
    Canada
    Theo K.
    I feel one should decide either zooms or primes is for you before laying out tons of dough on both.
    Go borrow or rent a few for a couple of weeks on each.
    I found that I am a prime shooter and figured that out early. I proceeded to assemble my 14/25/45 trinity and never looked back. Still have my kit 14-42 and 40-150 for travel convenience.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I727 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  20. DL Photo

    DL Photo Mu-43 Veteran

    216
    Nov 15, 2012
    Richmond, BC, Canada
    Dave
    I love my 14-42EZ. it does a pretty good job in good lighting conditions. Don't think you can expect it to do a great job in low light. I also use it with the FL-600 indoors and that extra light from the flash definitely helps.

    Yes, the primes are sharper, but the EZ lens is so compact and having the zoom is a plus.

    I think that we've all become too accustomed to pixel peeping. Sometimes, just being able to zoom a little extra makes all the difference to the composition of the picture......without having to move your feet last minute and possible missing the shot.

    I recommend keeping the EZ and shooting with it a little more......give the little guy a chance :)
     
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