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Time to change old habbits ? The old prime vs zoom debate...

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Steve-H, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. Steve-H

    Steve-H Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 3, 2012
    The E-M5 will be my first real digital cam (eg - other than a PS). Up until now I've always used a 4x5 for 'serious' work, and my travel photography has suffered greatly for it. I either get a 1/2 worthless photo with the PS, or don't try at all because I just cannot get out of the situation what I want when it presents itself. That being here nor there - obviously I've always used prime lenses.
    This wouldn't be too much of an issue, as the Oly 12 f/2.0 seems to be a stunner on the wide side. Unfortunately I don't feel it to be wide enough. I see the Pana 7-14mm looks like a great lens, but Im not sure it is worth the extra expense. Bottom line - I really wish there was a 7mm prime that wasn't fish-eye. So here's where Im stuck:

    Option 1 - just buy the body w/o the kit lens. Add the 12 f/2, and the 45 f/1.8. I have some vintage glass to fill the gap (28mm/50mm/135mm). This will run me ~$2200.

    Option 2 - Buy the body w/the 12-50mm, and pick up the Pana 7-14. This will give me an effective range of 7-50mm, and I can toss the vintage glass in as well. Again, this comes right in around ~$2200. But, I have the feeling the 12-50mm won't stay in my bag long due to it being quite slow.

    As Im just starting off in m43, I'd like to avoid overlaps in coverage as much as possible. Does anyone know if there's some UW primes in the works ? This would really drive me in one direction vs. the other...

    Thanks !
  2. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
  3. Tincam

    Tincam Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 25, 2012
    You've been using 4x5 for "serious" work, and you think the 12-50 will be too slow? That seems backwards to me.
  4. pharaviel

    pharaviel Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2011
    Reggio Emilia, Italy
    Daniele Frizzi
    The 12-50 is not a great iq lens, but It's pretty useful, has limited macro capabilities and it's weather sealed like the camera. If ws is important for you, it's a must-buy.
    If you don't need weathersealing and want a two zoom kit, you could buy the 14-140 panasonic or the 14-150 olympus. Iq is better, size is the same and you would cover 14-300mm (35mm eq) with two lenses.

    For wide, you could opt for the oly 9-18 if you want something cheaper, smaller or you need to use filters (eg: polarizer, infrared). 7-14 is the best wide available, go for it if you love wide lenses.
  5. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 16, 2011
    Hayward, WI
    William B. Lewis
    My E-PL1 is my first serious digital and the kit lens is the first zoom I've _ever_ used seriously. It's good - in some ways better, if stupid slow, than some of the primes I've bought over the years.

    That said, I'd give away my Leica & Summitar if I could get a 14, 25 & 45 set for my Oly in return. Those three along with my classic MF lenses would make me a very happy camper.

    Hell, honestly, I'd probably be willing to trade the IIIf & Summitar simply for a 20 or 25 prime for my E-PL1. I really enjoy using that camera and carry it out and about every day. A single good & faster prime for it would make my day. I miss a nice fast normal prime for it so if I could get my grubbies on the equivalent of Canon's 50/1.8 I'd be ecstatic.
  6. Steve-H

    Steve-H Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 3, 2012
    My point was that if I wanted to lug a tripod, I'd skip the digicam all together.
  7. Steve-H

    Steve-H Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 3, 2012
    While Im at it, here's some 4x5 shots just because :D 



    • Like Like x 6
  8. Just Jim

    Just Jim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 20, 2011
    That was my theory too.

    Now I just carry a smaller tripod.
  9. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I guess it's a matter of perspective, but $90 doesn't seem like that much extra expense to pay for what is a significantly more versatile lens (it's also sharper, though that may be less important).

    Really depends on where (and what) you shoot. I don't particularly like the 12-50, but if you're out-of-doors it's certainly fast enough for most things.

    If you need wider aperture on a budget and don't care about AF speed on the other hand, get a 4/3 adapter and a secondhand 14-54/2.8-3.5. There's no faster native zoom for under $1300.

    But if UWA is your focus, the 7-14/4 really is the best option.

    No. And given the existence of 2 UWA zooms, I doubt either Olympus or Panasonic are in much of a hurry to change that.

  10. Steve-H

    Steve-H Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 3, 2012
    Thanks again for the help. I think you all are correct, I'll get the Panny as I see B&H has it for $888.

    Thanks again !
  11. Brian style

    Brian style Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 5, 2012
    I'm in the same boat as the Op. I'm very interested in the EM5 and I'm finding I'm using primes more and more (Canon user) instead of zooms. The 12-50 kit doesn't get my blood pumping more than the 12, 20, and 45.
  12. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    For him it sounds more like a budget thing. I would advise not getting the kit lens and using that money to mostly pay for the 20 or 45. The Panasonic 14mm is another very good option at a really low cost, usually $150-180 used.
  13. Steve-H

    Steve-H Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 3, 2012
    Just to close the loop, here's what I ended up with:

    Panasonic 7-14
    Panasonic 25mm f/1.4

    I will augment this on the long side with my minolta 50mm f/1.7 and 135 f/3.5. Should get me started anyway.

    Pics when they arrive !

    Thanks again.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    That's plenty to get started. I could pretty much live with those two!
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