What lens next?

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Kamerynn, May 14, 2013.

  1. Kamerynn

    Kamerynn New to Mu-43

    May 7, 2013

    So I have the 2 kit lenses, 45-150 and 14-24. What lens do you think would be my next logical choice?
    I am quite amateur so does not need to be a pro lens, i'd be mainly doing landscapes as everyone I know hates having their photo taken :mad: Maybe wouldn't mind trying some macro.


  2. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Real Name:
    Sean Rastsmith
    What do you find yourself wishing you had? Low light situations drive your shutter speed too high? Wishing you had more out of focus areas? Need the frame to be just a bit wider? Why the desire for a new lens?
  3. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Real Name:
    What sort of budget do you have to work with? I'm guessing that you're not wanting to spend a whole bunch.

    The kit lens is pretty capable for shooting landscapes provided you're using a tripod. The Panasonic 14mm is a good, inexpensive option which captures a bit more light which improves your chances of getting a good shot hand-held.

    For macro, the native options are all fairly pricey. To save some money you might look at using an older manual focus lens with an adapter. The Canon FD 50mm f/3.5 would be a good place to start and you should be able to find it for less than $100 (including an adapter).
  4. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Real Name:
    Caimi caimiphotography.com
    Panasonic 14mm f2.5 Sharp. Relatively fast. Fast enough for landscapes. Very compact on any Mu-43 body. Sharp. Reasonably priced.


    Panasonic 20mm f1.7 Sharp. Very fast. Best all around lens for Mu-43. I use it 80% of the time spent shooting. Reasonably priced.
  5. Loonylumix

    Loonylumix Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 30, 2012
    If you can stretch it the PL 25mm f/1.4 will make you forget the longer zoom its incredibly sharp and ideal in low light...
  6. Kamerynn

    Kamerynn New to Mu-43

    May 7, 2013
    Thanks for the replies guys.

    Do I need a new lens? probably not but you know how it is always wanting something new to spend my hard earned cash on lol

    I think i'd like something where i can get a good bit of bokeh going so the 20mm would probably be ideal and I read nothing but good reports on it.

    I would like the 25mm but it's nigh on 200 notes more expensive than the 20mm.

    If i'm going to be sensible I should just stick with what I have and actually try improving my photography before splashing out on new glass but wheres the fun in that ;)


  7. voltcontrol

    voltcontrol Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 26, 2013
    The 14mm is an excellent choice for a short focal distance/wide aspect lens. The 20mm is a bit more general purpose for stills. When I had to choose between the two recently looking at shots from both really helped me out.
    (Specific topics on native lens pictures are in this section on this forum: Native Lens Sample Image Archive - Micro Four Thirds User Forum)
    I chose the 14mm over the 20mm because of it's wider field of view and silent operation (nice for video). The fact that you can get a 14mm new for ~180USD on Ebay is also nice.

    Be aware that the 'creamy bokeh' is generally not a trait of shorter focal distance lenses.
    If you tend to shoot at only the 45mm end of your longer zoom the Olympus 45mm 1.8 also is very worthwhile to look into for good Bokeh. It's also one of the champions in terms of price/performance for mu4/3 lenses.

    It's worth looking into the focal length you shoot at in the first place.
    -Is there a preferred focal length or do you use vaying lenghts all the time?
    -Would you like be constricted to a fixed focal lenght?
    Good to know before making the choice to get into a prime lens (because of their fixed focal length).
  8. cdmicha

    cdmicha Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 28, 2012
    Real Name:
    I'll throw in another option- how about the Sigma 19mm? It just got an update, but I've got the old one, and I love that lens. It's wide but not too wide, and the price is great. There are some awesome shots on the picture thread (here), and about the only downsides to the lens are its size (although not large, it's certainly bigger than pancakes) and the start up delay. If you are ok with those two things, I think it's one of the best value m43 lenses out there.
  9. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Yes, that does sound sensible, but it's actually not. There is a major leap in quality in m43 to the fast primes over the kit zooms. Get the P20 and see what a prime can do. That's a great "next step" lens for a beginner.

    Or, get a legacy fast 50mm 1.4 with adapter and be blown away. (Stick with FD or OM or maybe Takumar)
  10. ssgreenley

    ssgreenley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 12, 2011
    I'm not sure why everyone is trying to foist their favorite prime on you. If you're just looking for a prime, look at your photos, figure out what focal length you use most, and buy a prime there.

    The 20 is a great little lens, and it will blur your backgrounds, but I suggest going out on a couple of photo walks with your kit lens only at 20mm to make sure you like the focal length/prime constraint.

    Finally, if you want macro, both Panasonic and Olympus have released well regarded macro lenses. Unlike the other primes mentioned, you'd gain a new capability that you know interests you.
  11. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran

    The two lens you have now cover a fairly wide range. To extend the coverage you have the 100-300 might be something to consider.

    If Macro is your interest, consider the Kenko extension rings. The set of two sells for ~ $149. They work great with most lens and maintain the lens communication with your camera. An adapted legacy lens would be a manual operation.

    My personal suggestion would be to look for a fast prime lens. I'd consider the 20 mm. It's small and really slims down any MFT camera.
  12. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    What I read was that the OP doesn't know what they want. "Maybe try some macro" hardly translates into "I love macro."

    In my personal experience, and from what I've seen in other's posts, trying out new lenses when you don't know what you want is a great way to learn. If you are truly a newbie, FL doesn't even necessarily mean much.

    The OP simply asked for "next logical lens" on a budget and without much sense beyond "no one lets me take their picture" and "maybe macro." The cheaper primes are the logical next step, IMO.

    Trying a prime gives you some fun, and forces you to a FL. After a while, you come to realize whether you are always stepping backwards or forwards, and that's a great hint, too.
  13. ssgreenley

    ssgreenley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 12, 2011
    That's true, I just thought it was bit odd that everyone was recommending random focal lengths based primarily on what they like and what's cheap. In any case, consider my first sentence cheerfully withdrawn!

    Nevertheless, if he's interested in macro, I still think that should be his starting point (as, unless he's going to buy the 12-50, he's getting a prime anyway to learn the love of the prime ).
  14. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    lol. no worries. I recommended the P20, and don't even own it! I just think it's a good budget lens for someone who doesn't know what they want, to explore with. And, if you can buy it used and sell it used, you will lose like $20 on the transaction.

    Another option, if you want people photos, but don't yet know how to work people to get their photo, is to go with the zoom a bit more at the long end (i.e. 150mm), taking candids.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. slappy

    slappy Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 14, 2013
    Guildford, Surrey, UK
    Sorry for jumping in. I've the 12-50 lens that came with the OMD-EM5. and the 45mm portrait lens.
    I really like the very close up flowers and insects pictures, but don't seem to be able to get as close with the macro button on the 12-50.
    Would I be better getting the 60mm macro? I don't really fancy going for adaptors and old lenses.
    Or is it more likely my poor camera technique?
  16. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    I don't know the 12-50, but in my experience zoom lenses that claim macro are usually actually only 1:2 or 1:3 (or even 1:4, which Sigma does with some frequency). Dedicated macros are usually 1:1, and sometimes only 1:2 without an extension tube.

    I understand what you mean on legacy, but honestly, a legacy 50mm macro with adapter is pretty easy, cheap and sweet to use, and when doing macro a lot of times, you end up doing MF anyway. Just a thought...
  17. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Real Name:

    The 12-50 "macro" functionality gets you 1:3, which IMHO is hardly macro at all (for comparison, the Olympus 14-42 kit zoom gets you 1:4). Both of the native macros, the PanLeica 45mm and the Olympus 60mm, provide 1:1 macro, but as I mentioned they are fairly pricey options, particularly if you don't really know that macro is something you'll enjoy.

    The previous suggestion to try out the Kenko extension tubes (or even cheaper the [thread=45521]SkyBlue knockoffs[/thread] for around $30) is a good way to dip a toe into macro without making a big monetary commitment.
  18. Which lens?

    Here's my $0.02.

    Don't get a lens. Get a printer. When you start printing the few photos you can take of these friends of yours, they'll love it and soften up on you about taking photos of them. Then you'll have their approval to take more shots of them, which will probably change what you are looking for in a new lens.

    Hexanon 2.0/40 is pretty good for portrait and candid work. Cheap too.
  19. tetzumaru

    tetzumaru Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 10, 2012
    Real Name:
    Love the 20mm. I think you can get it around $300.00 new right now. + It's a pancake.
    just took this shot yesterday. 20mm on it's closest focusing distance not a macro but almost.

    No to 12-50 not a macro and it's zzzzzzslow imho. Goodluck happy shooting

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/95640856@N02/8740667092/" title="Purple mum by tetzumaru, on Flickr">[​IMG]"320" height="240" alt="Purple mum"></a>
  20. garfield_cz

    garfield_cz Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 9, 2011
    Czech Republic
    Real Name:
    I am up for fish-eye, Samy7.5 is very good for landscapes and is producing cool looking perspectives as bonus. I grant you hours of laughing while shooting your friends from odd angles and close distances :biggrin: It is also worth for tight places or for handheld self portraits finally having complete scenery as background. Don't be afraid of de-fishing as it is not needed and rather utilize distorted perspective to complement composition. It is fully manual lens, but thanks to huge depth of field it can be operated in 'set and forget' mode, for example by focusing it close to infinity at f8 you are done for most landscapes :thumbup: