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Walking Around/Vacation Lens

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Biro, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    There have been quite a number of strings about comparisons between Panasonic's 14-140 and Olympus's 14-150 superzooms for micro four-thirds. But it occurs to me that most of us really don't need a 300mm equivalent in a one-lens solution for walking around or vacations.

    Now, given that Panasonic already seems to be thinking about slimming down some of their lens offerings (such as the new 45-150 as a replacement for the 45-200), I suggest that something like a 14-100 might be the perfect solution - and one that might eliminate concerns about lens balance on smaller :43: camera bodies.

    How much smaller, lighter, faster and optically superior could such a lens be compared with the hefty 14-140? Those are four points. Pick two or three. Would you be interested in such a lens? Remember, you'd still have the "equivalent" of a 28-200mm zoom range - essentially the same as an 18-135 zoom on an APS-C camera.

    Oly's 12-50 is a step in the right direction. But it's still kinda big, at least to me. And it would be nice to retain OIS for Panasonic bodies.
  2. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    I don't personally find the 14-140 unwieldy, and I love the wide range it offers for travel and walkaround photography. Ultimately, weight and size are far down the list for me. However, if they could make a faster, optically improved version I'd be on that in a heartbeat. Bonus if they could make it wider at the short end like the 12-35 instead of starting at 14mm. A 12-100 or 14-100 f/2.8 or f/2.0 as good as the 12-35 is optically would be a dream lens for me. Even a fixed f/4.0 like the 7-14 would be at least interesting.

    I like the 12-35 a lot and it's already spending a lot of time on my camera, but I'd be more than happy to live with a larger, heavier lens in exchange for a longer focal range. Even a 12-50mm or 12-60mm f/2.8 would be awesome. The 12-35 somewhat annoyingly stops just shy of prime portrait focal length. The f/2.8 aperture is great, but another stop of light-gathering ability would be fantastic for dim indoor lighting.

    To answer your question, a smaller lighter 14-100 to replace the 14-140 is nice but not earth shattering for me. I might or might not eventually replace mine if that happens. But a fast superzoom would get my attention in a hurry. Optically the current 14-140 might not be "exciting" but I don't really have any complaints about its sharpness (when using adequate shutter speed), so even if the optics weren't a huge improvement I would be ok with that.
  3. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 21, 2012
    Mississippi, USA
    Wow, a "12-100 or 14-100 f/2.8 or f/2.0 as good as the 12-35"? You don't ask for much, do you? :biggrin:

    Biro, if they made a 14-100mm that was smaller and optically better I'd take a look, but like jloden I don't think I'm the target market. I'd much, much rather have a high quality 12-60mm f/2.8-f/4. 99% of my shooting is in this range so 60-100mm and beyond doesn't interest me too much, and I'm always carrying a camera bag anyway and don't mind swapping lenses so I'd take quality over convenience in the 60mm+ range. I do think there's a market for a shorter superzoom with better image quality, but don't let Olympus know lest they rehash lenses they already have covered. Again.
  4. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    hey, if you're gonna dream, dream big! :biggrin:

    In reality though even an f/4.0 thats optically on par with the current 14-140 would be interesting to me, if not as immediately compelling as a faster lens :smile:
  5. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    I'm with Jay on this. I'd want such a lens to start at 12, even if it couldn't go as long, as a result. For general image making and travel photography I just don't have near as much need for long as I do for wide... 100 to 105mm equivalent (50mm or so) on the long end would be just fine by me.

    If Oly's rumored 12-60 materializes and it's IQ is as good or close to as good to Panasonic's glorious 12-35/2.8 (which I love!) and it's not tooooo slow, I will be happy going with it as a general use/travel lens.

    An equivalent 24-120, even 24-105 equivalent would be about ideal for me as a vacation, walk-around, travel lens. If it was f/3.5 or so to keep the size down a bit, I'm totally fine with that. But please.... give me 12mm on the wide end... 14mm just doesn't cover enough for my liking.

    I could even tolerate a variable aperture lens, as long as it isn't too slow.

    I love the results I have gotten from the 14-140 (and test charts I've seen show that it performs exceptionally well for a zoom, not even considering that it's a SUPER zoom!). It has amazing OIS allowing 280mm equiv. focal length shots to be hand held at 1/15th second, surprisingly enough. But I don't use it as much as I would like for two reasons, it's a bit bulky and I generally don't need 280mm equivalent reach.

    For now, there are two very good one-lens walk-around/travel lens solutions that meet my needs very well: Pany 14-45, when the call is for smaller and lighter (and less costly) with very good IQ and the Pany 12-35/2.8 when I don't mind slightly more size and weight and prime-level IQ is desirable.

    One thing that is very important to me in a travel lens is IQ. Snapshots of family, the dog or cat, the dinner being served, etc. are subjects that are not demanding of awesome IQ. However, getting oneself to a special place that you don't have regular access to, happening upon a special visual occasion which isn't likely to come around again, like an amazing sunset, lighting, lava flow, whatever... deserves using gear which will make it possible for me to really take advantage of special captured images.

    I hate to find myself capturing something that I really am loving visually and wishing I wasn't using less than relatively high IQ gear. Sure, there's no end to this... you could wish for FF sensor, medium format, but that's not what I'm talking about. If I've made a decision that m4/3 is the format I will use, then I want to make sure I'm taking advantage of some of the better quality optics available for those special travel places and times. Then if I decide I want to do something special in terms of large format printing, sale of images as stock, whatever, I will hopefully have sufficient IQ to do that well. For this reason I tend to shy away from the lenses that are known to perform less well optically, if I can.
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  6. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    I'm right there with you Don... it's part of why I find myself always gravitating to the high end glass even though strictly speaking for most of my purposes it makes little to no difference. The other half is I'm just a gear nerd :tongue:

    I definitely agree about the 14-140mm optical quality too. It may be a superzoom but I've been duly impressed with how sharp it can be as long as I'm providing a stable enough platform or fast enough shutter speed. I've often wished it was a faster lens, or 12mm on the wide end, but never really worried it wasn't sharp enough.
  7. arentol

    arentol Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2012
    I like my 12-50 for daily carry/walkaround, but I do often wish for something a little faster and longer. However, I am not interested in the potential IQ loss of a superzoom, even if it is still pretty good like the 14-150. I also like my lenses to be reasonably fast and wide. Size is less of a concern for me, but it shouldn't be outrageous.

    The longest zoom I have seen that still had great IQ is the 15-85 from Canon. That is a 5.67x zoom. So I figure on m4/3rds upto a 6x should be possible with great IQ.
    I would like to see a minimum max aperture of f/4.
    Focal length should be at least 14mm on the wide end, though preferably 12.

    So basically I would like to see one of these...

    12-70 f/2.8-4.
    14-85 f/2.8-4

    But I wouldn't turn my nose up at 12-60 or 14-70 either, or even just a faster 12-50.

    (A 10-50 or 60 might be nice too, an extra 2mm on the wide end is worth way more than an extra 20 on the long to me).
  8. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    In the past, for extensive photo excursions, I have taken with me 3 lenses: a kit lens (like Canons 24-105), a telezoom (like the cheap but very nice Canon 55-250) and a 50mm (f1.8 or f/1.4). The 24-105 was 95% of the time on the camera.

    This is the perfect "do it all" lens for me; wish it was somewhat faster though, and had a bit more telephoto range. I sincerely can't wait for a 12-60 f/2.8-4.0 from Olympus. If it has the same performance as their four thirds equivalent, it may be a lens I'll use 70-75% of the time, for any type of photography.
  9. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Oh yes.... I'd LOVE a 10-45 or 10-50 with high IQ. But i don't think the masses would relate to 10mm on the wide end of a "normal" zoom... I sure would, though. And for that reason, I'd be surprised (quite pleasantly) to see such an offering.
  10. bongestrella

    bongestrella Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 2, 2011
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    I wouldn't mind a faster 14-150, or a 10-100 same speed/size, maybe a smaller 14-100, or preferably a 10-150 f2.8-4.0 that is not much larger than the current 14-150. One can dream :) 
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Same here. Actually, what I really want is a sharp 12-60/2.0-2.8.

    It's not actually all that outlandish. A full-frame 24-120/4.0-5.6 is about the same size as the 45-200 (same length, slightly thicker). By no means small, but a reasonable size for a general purpose lens. Simply scaling the design to m4/3 would give precisely the range and aperture above. At worst, adding rear elements for a 0.5x wide conversion to the design would slightly enlarge the lens, but offer the same performance.

  12. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    DH... I wish you could make a 12-60 f/2.0-2.8 happen. That said, unfortunately, I doubt we'll see one come to reality. :frown:
  13. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 21, 2012
    Mississippi, USA
    Well let's take a look at FF equivalents to get some idea of size. I have a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 and had a 24-105mm f/4. The 24-105mm f/4 is smaller and lighter but not by a whole lot. Assuming the same comparison holds for m4/3 I'd expect a 12-60mm f/4 to be a bit smaller and lighter than the 12-35mm f/2.8. A 12-60mm f/2.8-f/4 could conceivably be the same size as a constant f/4 as sometimes lenses are physically capable of a larger aperture than specified on the wide end but artificially limited to f/4 to maintain the oh-so-desirable constant aperture. Crazy, I know. But a 12-60mm f/2-f/2.8? I'd expect that to be larger and heavier than the 12-35mm f/2.8--too much for me.
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