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Up grading from E-PL2?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by RobertS, May 23, 2013.

  1. RobertS

    RobertS Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Feb 28, 2011
    Not sure that I even really want to do this yet. But the thought has been occurring to me. m4/3rds is still new for me. With each outing I'm getting to know my E-PL2 a little better. So maybe I should divert my up grade thoughts to lenses rather than actual camera bodies? I like to shoot animals, and this means I'm always after sharpness over all else. I like sharp fur and feathers.....and of course....eyes. So will a camera body upgrade improve this at all, or not? And would lens upgrading do more for my sharpness obcession, then newer bodies?
    I currently have only a 14-42 II, and a 40-150mm.
    Your thoughts on this would be of interest to me.
     
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    You need better lenses, without a doubt. The E-PL2 captures can capture plenty of fine detail out of a good lens, but everything starts at the lens. Put garbage in, and you'll get garbage out (not saying the kit lenses are necessarily garbage, but compared to high grade lenses yes...). Try the Lumix X 35-100mm/2.8 or the m.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8 if you want to stick with Autofocus glass. They are the longest fast lenses available so far since the system is still so young. You weren't using anything super-tele anyways so replacing your current mid-telephoto is an easy solution.
     
  3. RobertS

    RobertS Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Feb 28, 2011
    Thanks, Ned.

    I had pretty good results shooting in MF today. So are there any manual lenses of real quality, that might work in place of AF lenses...maintaining my need for sharpness, however? This would be especially of concern in tele ranges. But, at the same time, I'd prefer not to utilize any huge drainpipe lenses coupled with my smaller camera body. So is there anything with these criteria worth considering? If so, please be specific.
     
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Without going too large, you might want to look at the 135mm/2,8 or 200mm/4 class. Those primes are still quite compact, and have a good variety to choose from. My Zeiss Sonnar 135mm/2.8 is one of the sharpest tools in my shed, and coupled with the Zuiko Digital 1.4x teleconverter it becomes a 200mm/4.

    zeiss_sonnar_135mm_2,8_web.
     
  5. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    First off, great advice from Ned. He's forgotten more about this stuff today than I've retained in a lifetime.

    While the E-PL2 doesn't have the most modern sensor, I'm confident that spending on lenses will take you closer to where you want to go than a body upgrade. However, before I even do that, I'd focus on technique. A stable platform will have a greater impact on sharpness than just about any lens or body upgrade. In terms of spending money, the first thing I'd invest in would be a decent tripod or monopod.

    If you are considering new lenses, the first thing you have to determine is what focal lengths you desire. What focal lengths are you shooting most often with the kit zooms you have? For wildlife I immediately think about tele lenses. Do you find that you're shooting often at the long end of your 40-150 and feeling constrained by that 150mm focal length?
     
  6. peter124

    peter124 Mu-43 Regular

    Interesting comment. I've been wondering why some of my shots seem slightly soft, while others with the same lens and shutter speed are pin-sharp. I suspect that I may be placing too much faith in the E-PL2 IBIS!

    I have noticed that switching IS off and using a high shutter speed seems to give more consistent sharpness. (I say "seems" because I haven't done any careful testing of this idea.)

    Incidentally, the 40-150 mentioned by the OP is quite a sharp lens, especially below 100 mm. Images in the sample threads confirm this, also test results at SLRgear.com.
     
  7. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I concur re: the O40-150 -- it's quite sharp. I just wish it weren't so cheap feeling or I'd probably shoot with mine more.

    As far as switching off IBIS, you might be onto something. I mean, you're told to turn off IBIS when on a tripod, so if you are holding the camera totally still (which is achievable with high shutter speeds), then I guess it's possible that the IBIS may be introducing some vibration.

    I'm not steady enough that I trust myself to hold the camera that still even for vanishingly short periods, but it definitely something that sounds like it might be worth investigating for you.
     
  8. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Before I got my E-PL5,
    I purchased a number prime lenses to shoot with my E-PL2 :smile:
     
  9. cmpatti

    cmpatti Mu-43 Veteran

    263
    May 8, 2011
    Berkeley, CA
    I'll offer a contrarian view. My first foray into MFT was also the EPL2 with the two kit lenses, which I shot with for about a year (using my full frame DSLR less and less). Then I decided to dump the DSLR and upgrade my MFT kit, and in short order bought a Pany 7-14mm, 20mm f/1.7, 14mm f/2.5, Olympus 45mm f/1.8 and an EM5 body. Obviously, the 7-14mm gives me some wide angle options that I didn't have before, but overall I felt the biggest upgrade was the move to the EM5. Two points: (1) I believe that the notion that lens quality is paramount is an oversimplification. Image quality is a combination of both lens and sensor quality, and the EM5 sensor is quite a bit better than the older EPL2 sensor. Also, the camera upgrade improves all your lenses. (2) The IQ of the Olympus kit lenses is really quite good, even though their build quality is rather low. After buying those primes, I still use the 14-42II quite a bit.
     
  10. ssgreenley

    ssgreenley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    509
    May 12, 2011
    I have to agree with the common wisdom. I love my EPL2, and while the EP5 tempts me, it'll probably be at least another generation before I upgrade.

    I'd recommend a good tripod and, if you have the money and interest, maybe the 75-300 for wildlife photos.
     
  11. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yup, at significantly higher shutter speeds IS is actually a bit of a detriment. We're only told to shut it off on the tripod because that's where it becomes a big problem, but if you want to be really picky then even at higher shutter speeds it should be turned off as well. At least with the older IS system... I don't know if that applies to the new 5-axis system.