What prime(s) to add? 7.5, 15, 25, 56, 75... etc

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Looking for some input (what I have in black, what I'm thinking of adding in gray). I have 12-35, 35-100, and soon 100-400. I'm thinking of adding 1-2 primes and having an alternative prime trio to bring around instead of zooms. Ideally would like to keep these light and compact for double usage on a GX- style body.

7.5 2.0 Laowa, could be useful for landscape and covers a length I do not have
15 1.7, thinking this maybe a touch too wide

20mm 1.7, Had this for 10 years now. love it but its slowness always keeps me from mounting it
25 1.4, loved it, found the hood and size a bit clunky, sold it in a non photo taking phase. Love the 50mm focal length. There is one on local craigslist right now
25 1.7, more compact vs 1.4, looks to be a great value

42.5 1.7, Try to use this but kind of struggle with the focal length
56 1.4, Don't know how to justify this or the 75 below but craving a super sharp bokeh monster. I rarely take portraits but if I'm leaving the zooms at home there is some justification
75 1.8


Let the games begin!
 

jimr.pdx

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I definitely went small with 7.5fishi, Lumix 14+20 and sigma 30/2.8. Adapted Pentax K (smaller smc-m series) 50, 100, and 200 take over from there. Not perfect steps but as good as many.. and settling for less exotic apertures prevents bulk and cash-flow issues. The 15 sounds great but the 14/2.5 is quite good, and the Sigma 30/1.4 is not in the cards for a while.
 

Mike Wingate

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I have the PL15mm. A great lens. My P25 is underused. The P42.5 is really good, plus the O60mm, not just for macro, but a good portrait lens as well as a medium telephoto. There are 12,14,16, 17 and 45mm lenses to consider.
 
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As you mentioned you rarely take portraits I would drop the 56 1.4 / 75 1.8. Both are sharp "bokeh monsters" but the focal length (and benefit of the fast aperture) in my opinion is most useful for portraits.

For a general prime set, I would look at the 25 mm (1.4 is great but the 1.7 could be better valued). But a prime set consisting of only the 20mm and 42.5mm would be 90% as versatile.

If you do go out for landscape the 7.5mm could be a great lens. But for landscape, I do find ultra wides the most difficult lens to use as you really need a very interesting foreground and hardly any distractions in the very wide frame this focal length offers.

Maybe the Oly 12mm 2.0 could also work. This would cover 12mm, 20mm, 42,5mm, and 12mm is useful for general photography and landscapes as well.
 

fransglans

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Go with the new pancake Panasonic 21.5 mm 1.8 with fast autofokus and beautiful bokeh. It's just 399usd!

In my wildest dreams :)
 

kinlau

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I have all of the lenses you listed except the 56/1.4. Overlap is not an issue as my wife and I share lenses.
On my GX7 and GX85 the Laowa 7.5, 15/1.7, 25/1.7 and 42.5/1.7 all fit nicely, well balanced, great AF except for the 7.5 which is MF. And I believe the three 1.7’s use the same filters too.

I prefer the G85 and G9 for longer, heavier glass. The G9’s features being especially well suited for tele’s.
 

ata3001

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I had an O 17/1.8 but wasn't happy with it optically. I struggled with what prime to replace it. I also thought the 15/1.7 might be too wide but the 20 was too close to the 25. I decided on the PL 15/1.7. I am very happy with my decision. It's now my main walk around lens.
 
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There are 12,14,16, 17 and 45mm lenses to consider.
woah woah woah you guys are doubling my options. :roflmao:

But a prime set consisting of only the 20mm and 42.5mm would be 90% as versatile.

If you do go out for landscape the 7.5mm could be a great lens. But for landscape, I do find ultra wides the most difficult lens to use as you really need a very interesting foreground and hardly any distractions in the very wide frame this focal length offers.

Maybe the Oly 12mm 2.0 could also work. This would cover 12mm, 20mm, 42,5mm, and 12mm is useful for general photography and landscapes as well.
Yeah I agree with your stance on UWA. I had a Oly 9-18 when it first came out and it was great for all of the thru hiking and crazy stuff I was doing. Nowadays I get on the trail a lot less and I'm not too inclined to the typical UWA shots anymore.

The Oly 12 isn't one I thought about at all and is a nice in-between of the 7.5 and 15
 
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I have the PL15, PL25, P42.5 and O75. They are neatly spaced a factor 1.7 apart, and I like them all. I mostly use them for low-light situations though. For outside shots in daylight, I prefer the f/2.8 zooms (but I may change my opinion in the future...).

I have not owned the P25 f/1.7, but went for the PL25 straight away because the bokeh looked much nicer in this review: https://mirrorlesscomparison.com/mi.../panasonic-leica-25mm-f1-4-vs-lumix-25mm-f1-7.

The PL15 is pretty wide, but I certainly wouldn't call it "too wide". It may actually be "too narrow", depending on what you usually shoot. On your 12-35mm, what focal lengths do you like to use? Assuming you'd get the prime for low-light situations, do you ever shoot around the 15mm length? If you usually shoot wider in those situations, the 15mm is not for you. If you usually shoot tighter, you may get away with cropping photos taken with the 15mm a little bit. Or maybe you just don't need such a wide fast prime. I personally prefer the 25mm look and tend to use the 15mm only when 25mm can't fit everything I want in the frame.

If you struggle with the 42.5mm focal length, I suspect you will struggle even more with the S56 and the O75. Those are definitely less "allround" focal lengths. What would you use them for, if not for portraits?
 
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Optically and construction-wise it's a superb lens, in my opinion. The only lens I sometimes regret selling (although the 12-40 is far more practical for my genre of photography).
Yeah for practicality purposes I love my 12-35. Also, I submitted my reply prematurely. When you said the 20 and 42.5 1.7 could suffice for 90% as versatile I agree. I struggle with justifying the 15 or 25 because the 20 cannibalizes the two.
 
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I have the PL15, PL25, P42.5 and O75. They are neatly spaced a factor 1.7 apart, and I like them all. I mostly use them for low-light situations though. For outside shots in daylight, I prefer the f/2.8 zooms (but I may change my opinion in the future...).

I have not owned the P25 f/1.7, but went for the PL25 straight away because the bokeh looked much nicer in this review: https://mirrorlesscomparison.com/mi.../panasonic-leica-25mm-f1-4-vs-lumix-25mm-f1-7.

The PL15 is pretty wide, but I certainly wouldn't call it "too wide". It may actually be "too narrow", depending on what you usually shoot. On your 12-35mm, what focal lengths do you like to use? Assuming you'd get the prime for low-light situations, do you ever shoot around the 15mm length? If you usually shoot wider in those situations, the 15mm is not for you. If you usually shoot tighter, you may get away with cropping photos taken with the 15mm a little bit. Or maybe you just don't need such a wide fast prime. I personally prefer the 25mm look and tend to use the 15mm only when 25mm can't fit everything I want in the frame.

If you struggle with the 42.5mm focal length, I suspect you will struggle even more with the S56 and the O75. Those are definitely less "allround" focal lengths. What would you use them for, if not for portraits?
I would theoretically use the 56 or 75 for landscape and possibly to start shooting more outdoors portraits. My shooting is typically landscapes or my friends doing cool things like rock climbing, surfing, etc. Looking back at my catalog I enjoy all the action shots but it's the few candids that made me realize I need to take more photos of my loved ones.

These are good questions on focal length so I dug deep to get us some answers. Using Lightroom dashboard:

All lenses for the past ten years:
everything pie.png
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Top 20 Focal Lengths:
everything.png
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Note the Olympus 9-18 I owned only briefly, and the sigma I returned after a few days. I'm leaving out the aperture data because it's downright embarrassing.

Only the zooms:
only zooms pie.png
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Top 20 focal lengths from zooms only:
only zooms.png
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Super interesting results from the zooms only:
  • Although it doesn't look like much 17-18mm are both double (~375-400 shots) the others less used focal lengths. edit: It's possibly this bump is from the 9-18 at 18mm.
  • Do I even use zooms correctly? Do I need zooms? What is photography?
Both 12-35, and 12-32:
both 12-35.png
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Both 35-100 2.8, and 35-100 3.5-5.6:
35-100s.png
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------

This is interesting!
 

bassman

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Looks like you should get the 12mm, since you seem to shoot the mid-zooms at that FL.
 

ac12

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Try thinking sets:
The old 35mm sets were: 2-lens >35 + 85/105 and 3-lens > 28+50+105 or 24+50+135
So the equivalent m4/3 sets would be: 2-lens > 15/17+42/56 and 3-lens > 12/15+25+42/56 or 12+25+75

This may or may not match what and how you shoot.
 
Last edited:

pigiron

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If you struggle with the 42.5mm focal length, I suspect you will struggle even more with the S56 and the O75. Those are definitely less "allround" focal lengths. What would you use them for, if not for portraits?
The O75 is brilliant at sports, buildings, landscapes - you name it. Check out the O75 Showcase for representative shots.
 
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Looks like you should get the 12mm, since you seem to shoot the mid-zooms at that FL.
Yeah I think that's an accurate assessment.

Though, the other eye opening thing is it appears I only think in terms of 12mm, and 100mm. I think my zoom photo diversity (or lack thereof) reflects the numbers. It's almost like I just discovered I have ~86 new focal lengths I never use!
 

sgt08

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Do I even use zooms correctly? Do I need zooms? What is photography?
LOL, I love it! It really does go to show that for many people, zooms are often used at either end of the range.

A few random thoughts - Sounds like the 20mm AF is letting you down in the action shots situations? The 20mm used to be my main prime, but if the slow AF of the 20 is bothering you that much I like the 15+25 combo as a fast replacement. I started with the PL25 and really love its look, but over time I've found the 15 is a better focal length for me indoors/social or when I bring a camera along "just in case." Only you can say if it's too wide for the way you see the world - maybe 17mm would be a better fit? Depending on what/where you're shooting at 12mm, keeping the 12-35 may be sufficient instead of adding a 12mm prime.
 

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