Two-lens System: 17+45 or 12+45?

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by curiouspeter, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. curiouspeter

    curiouspeter New to Mu-43

    Apr 10, 2013
    I have decided to buy an OM-D. I will for sure get the 45mm f/1.8. I rented it for a weekend and loved it! That lens alone is enough reason to buy into micro four-thirds.

    To complete a two-lens system, should I get the 17mm f/1.8 or the 12mm f/2.0?

    I know they are quite different (in terms of FOV) but they may not be different enough for me to get both. I fear one of them will permanently live in the box.

    I heard the 12mm is "better" but the super-wide FOV requires a lot of work to produce non-boring compositions.

    I do mostly architecture and landscape, but I also want a general purpose lens for trips and friends.

    If I end up getting the 17mm I may be tempted to buy a Coolpix A for the 28mm FOV. :)


  2. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    Personally, I would miss normal focal length with just a wide, and I would miss a wide angle if I only had a normal. Forced to choose I would go for the 17, only because I like the focal length better.

    You can also get the 14mm on ebay for around $180 new but stripped from a kit. Its not as good as the 12, but its not far behind (just as sharp, 2/3 stop slower, and the 12 renders with a bit more contrast). Its also a tiny tiny pancake, so it can live in a jacket pocket instead of the box. 45, 17 and the 14 for occasional use would be a nice kit.
  3. Gillymaru

    Gillymaru Mu-43 Veteran

    My choice would be OMD body 45mm and 12-35 Panasonic, covers all the focal lengths and has great image quality.
    Or if primes were essential get the 25mm Panasonic and 45mm. I think this is makes a great 2 lens kit, if you want a wider prime add the 14mm Panasonic. Cost wise similar to getting 45mm and 12mm but much more versatile.
  4. curiouspeter

    curiouspeter New to Mu-43

    Apr 10, 2013
    My fear of having a good zoom is that it will never come off. :)

    OTOH, the DoF scale on the Olympus primes may become handy because I do shoot hyper-focal from time to time.

    I will take a closer look at the 12-35. It is definitely cheaper than 12mm + 17mm. Thanks.
  5. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'd go 12-50mm + 17 + 45. You get 12mm, an okay zoom and a pseudo macro. The 17mm will give you a a good general walk-around/fast wide prime.
  6. pictor

    pictor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 17, 2010
    For me that would be a tough decision, since I like both focal lengths and I am happy to have both of them, since I love to use my 9-18mm. If you don't need faster apertures, you will probably like that zoom, too.
  7. janneman

    janneman Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
    Real Name:
    Jan (John) Kusters
    My 2 lens kit is 12 and 45 mm, I carry a small bag with OM-D and these two as every day set. This, however is not sufficcient for everything, and in the end, I bought a sigma 19 mm for those occasions where something in the middle was needed. I do not carry the 19mm normaly, but if I can forsee I need it, it replaces the 12 mm in my small bag.
  8. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    Madison, WI
    Do you know what kind of focal lengths you like to shoot already? I think you might find the gap between 12 and 45 to be too much for general, walkaround shots. Jonathan's idea of 12-50 + 17 + 45 sounds like a solid plan if you like the 17mm focal length.
  9. arch stanton

    arch stanton Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2012
    Real Name:
    Off the wall suggestion, take the money you save with the 17mm (over the 12mm) and get a third 7.5mm fisheye for super-wide landscape/cityscapes.

    Have a look into defishing this lens with Hugin (free) using the panini projection and you get a very wide FoV and your walkaround 17mm.

    I'm currently toting the 14/20/45 set but about to buy the 7.5 samyang/rokinon for something properly different that I can bend back to looking normal if I want to.
  10. mrjr

    mrjr Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 25, 2012

    If I were buying an OMD kit all at once, I have to think this is what I would do. I love my 25 mm, as well as my 14 mm, but I'm utterly infatuated with the idea of having a two prime kit. For me, it's worlds easier to manage two lenses than three for some reason. And if I could only have two primes, for most of my shooting.... seems like it would be hard to beat the 17 + 45. Then having the 12-50 covers my needs for wide and macro. Not a bad idea.
  11. curiouspeter

    curiouspeter New to Mu-43

    Apr 10, 2013
    That is a good suggestion. Probably better than the 14-42mm + 12 + 45 combo.

    The de-fished-eye idea is good too, although I would love to get a 8mm rectilinear prime. I briefly considered the 9-18mm M. Zuiko, but it is rather pricey for a special purpose zoom that will be used only at the widest end.

  12. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    If there is ever a 10mm f/4 prime for m4/3 and is cheaper than the 9-18, I would probably get that and sell the 9-18. I really only use my UWA at the widest end.

    Back on topic. I think 17/45 is a better combination than 12/45. 12mm requires better discipline and technique in many situations, at least in my shooting.
  13. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    The FOV of a 17mm (35mm FF equivalent) never did much for me - quite a few years ago, I did a two week trip in Europe with a 35mm film SLR and 24mm, 50mm and 135mm lenses, which was a combination that worked extremely well - for me. YMMV, obviously.
  14. elim

    elim Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 25, 2013
    I use the 12-50, 17 and 45 combo and recently went to Yosemite with it. I find it to cover most bases. Though at times I wish I had the 25mm mainly just because I wanted it.

    Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk 2
  15. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Real Name:
    David Dornblaser
    I use the 17 & 45 plus a short telephoto combo and like it a lot. The 12 is a nice lens but it gets used less.
  16. sabesh

    sabesh Mu-43 Veteran

    17 + 45. Good combination for friends, travel, walkabout and landscapes (landscapes need not be ultra wide angle, hence you can get by without the 12).
  17. Halaking

    Halaking Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 17, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Real Name:
    I end up use them all 9-18, 12, 17, and 45.
  18. angusr

    angusr Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 21, 2011
    I have 14, 20 and 45. I have used them in all combinations at various times and the most satisfactory for me are the 20mm alone, or the 14 and 45 as a 2 lens kit.

    I have a suspicion that the 17 and 45 would work really well for me, but I couldn't bring myself to part with the 20, and having the pancakes is something I really appreciate.
  19. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    14+45 is a great compact combo. I've been using it for over a year and would't change it. I also have 45-175mm but for special purposes only. 17mm & 20mm would be more limiting indoors than 14mm.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 App
  20. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    This is what I was thinking when I read the title, except I would do the 20/1.7 instead of the 25/1.4