What normal range lens

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Superstriker#8, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    I am looking to get a normal ish lens for travel, I'm considering every thing in the range, except the 17/2.8, and the 25/0.95, and can't really decide, price is a factor and I would like it to be smallish.
  2. Adubo

    Adubo SithLord Subscribing Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    Are you looking for primes or zoom?

    Since you mentioned primes, im assuming it is. I havent had much time with the PL25 but maaaaan, IMO its worth the money and then some. The color rendering and the low light capabilities are stunning. Sharp and fast just the way ninjas like it! So thats my number one recommendation, but you can always go the 20/1.7 route albeit a much slower lens. But its small (not ish)

    Another cheap good one is the 14/2.5, its a bit on the wide end for "normal" but that used to be my go to lens.

    A few cheap ones are the sigma 19 and 30 2.8's.

    On the zoom category, theres not mich to mention aside from the 12-35 and the PZ 14-42 lens. But meh, id still suggest the PL25 over anything.

    Whichever you get, have fun and dont forget to post some images to share
  3. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    Yes, I did mean primes, I forgot about that.
  4. greenlight

    greenlight Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 16, 2012
    Colin B
    My most used normal-ish lens is the 17mm 1.8, but it is one of the more expensive options.

    What you most like to photograph should be your guiding factor; I like to shoot people, often indoors, so fast AF and large aperture are important to me.
  5. zap

    zap Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2012
    panny 20/1.7 is nice
  6. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    What zap said. Bang for buck, you really can't go wrong with the panny 20/1.7. Its a pancake, awesome quality and a nice price. Especially if you can snag one second hand :thumbup:
  7. Take a look at your favourite travel photos in the past and see roughly what focal range they were at, then go through the following and see what else matters:

    P14/2.5 (wider than normal, very cheap bargain, pancake)
    O17/1.8 (expensive, great f/1.8 performance)
    P20/1.7 (great f/1.7 performance, pancake, slower AF, banding issues on some bodies!)
    PL25/1.4 (larger, expensive, not so close focusing, great f/1.4 performance)

    My pick would be the O17/1.8 or PL25/1.4 for a strict normal, depending on your favoured FL. The P20/1.7 is a cheaper and more compact in-between alternative for those two, if you don't mind the slower AF and you don't have one of the dreaded banding bodies (E-PM2, E-PL5, EP-5, EM-5, GH3). For a real bargain, if you like the the 28mm equivalent FoV, go for the P14/2.5 - it's a great little lens. It's wide enough that it could even complement the PL25/1.4.

    I personally use a PL25/1.4 with my EM-5 and love it for all sorts of everyday normal shooting. The shallow DoF, sharpness, colour, and low light performance is excellent. For travel I tended to favour a 28 mm equivalent FoV, however, which I'm covering with the O12-50/3.5-6.3, but I'm VERY tempted to get the P14/2.5 for when I want to travel ultra light or when I need the extra stop.
  8. 00r101

    00r101 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 21, 2012
    Don't forget the Sigma 19 $200 list price f2.8 Nice image quality. For the price of the PL 25 you could get the Sigma 19mm AND the 30mm and get change back.
  9. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 29, 2013
    Taneytown , MD
    I never thought of it this way to be honest. I took a look at my older photo's and my newest, and found that nothing I shot was over 50mm, with a few exceptions. Makes my stupididty all the more glaring for selling my original :43: and having to buy it all over again.
  10. khollister

    khollister Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Sep 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    If size and cost don't matter, the PL 25 is the best lens by almost any IQ criteria. The real question is what focal length you are comfortable with. I have the 25, and will be selling it because I ordered the 17/1.8 - I just don't get along with the 50mm FOV, never had. I shot for years with a Nikon FM2 and a 35mm & 105mm - nothing else.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    That lens takes great pictures.
  12. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    The only reason to get the 17 2.8 is smallness and price, the 20 1.7 isn't that much bigger or expensive.
  13. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 24, 2013
    How useful is the snap focus ring on the 17 1.8?
  14. KBeezie

    KBeezie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 15, 2012
    Grand Rapids, Mi
    Karl Blessing
    I agree, I love my oly 17/2.8 and gotten great pictures off it, but 17mm is more in the 'wide' range, at 34mm equivilent (24-35 being sort of the normal wide).

    Normal to me starts around 40 to 60mm equivalent, meaning you would want to be looking at a 20mm to 30mm (~ 40-60 equiv).

    For the price of $199 the Sigma 30/2.8 isn't *bad* but if I had the money I would probably want a Panny 25/1.4 or 20/1.7 or if I REALLY had the money a Nokton 25mm f/0.95 :p
  15. KBeezie

    KBeezie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 15, 2012
    Grand Rapids, Mi
    Karl Blessing
    The 17/2.8 is plenty pocketable on the right body as well.
  16. 20mm f/1.7
    or Sigma 30mm f/2.8 would be my preferences.
  17. angusr

    angusr Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 21, 2011
    I'm tussling with a similar question myself at the moment as I am considering an EP5, which can be had as a kit with the 17mm 1.8. The kit is good value, but of course only if you need the lens... I don't as I have the 14mm and 20mm. So the question now is: would I prefer it to these lenses? Answer: sometimes. Which is useless in decision making!

    One piece of advice that has not yet been mentioned is to consider any planned kit. There may not be much point getting the 14mm (other than size, which is a very good reason to get this lens) if you are planning on getting another wide option. On the other hand, if you are planning on getting a short telephoto, like one of the 45mm options, that lens would pair nicely with one of the wider normals.

    All these lenses produce excellent image quality, though some (PL in particular) MAY have something extra special. The real choice comes down to focal length, size and in the case of the 20mm whether the focus speed is good enough (for home videos it is not, and it is also audible in the video).

    Good luck - there are no bad options.


    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Mu-43 mobile app
  18. nardoleo

    nardoleo Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 2, 2013
    Allow me to toss in another contender, the olympus 12mm f2.

    I know its not a "normal lens" but I normally end up using that as my go to / one lens solution. I have the pana 25mm but tend not to use that as my "normal view" lens, always want something wider.

    Have not tried the 17mm f1.8 but loving the 12mm so don't see the need to get one unless GAS gets me.

    Sent from my trusty Samsung Galaxy Note 2
  19. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    IMHO, not very. The whole point of it would be to use zone focusing, but the DOF scale is so compressed that even at f22, it covers very little of the focusing range. I think it suffers from two problems:

    - the focus throw from end to end is too small (high gearing)
    - the DOF estimation is too conservative

    Together these make it less useful than it should be. I never use it. Others may have their own views!
  20. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I'm gonna break into the prime love fest here and throw out a recommendation for the best travel lens in m43 - the 12-35/2.8
    - price: it is competitive with the cost of 2 of the primes being considered! especially when you consider it comes with a bag and a hood, both important for travel lenses *coughOlympuscough*
    - size/weight: it is smaller and lighter than any 2 primes
    - focal lengths: you're not trapped at certain focal lengths when you can't "zoom with your feet"
    - aperture: f/2.8 is enough to make most low light workable, but, no, it isn't f/1.4 ... That said, if you're a very shallow DOF shooter, even f/1.4 probably isn't going to do it for ya in m43 in these short focal lengths
    - weather resistant: none of the lenses mentioned above are sealed. It is easy to cut a slice in a plastic bag and protect the body if your lens is sealed. With the recommendations above, if it's raining, you're not shooting.
    - close focusing: it's no macro, but I find it very usable for flower pictures and other "pseudo macro" you're likely to encounter traveling
    - fast focusing: if taking pictures from a moving vehicle, this can be important!
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