What would you get for $500?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by GnedTheGnome, May 1, 2015.

  1. GnedTheGnome

    GnedTheGnome Mu-43 Regular

    I just bought a second-hand em5, and am trying to decide what lens/lenses to get. If I sell off all my canon equipment, I figure I should end up with ~$500 to spend. I already have a few vintage lenses (a 30mm f2 pentax, 50mm f1.4 canon fd, 28mm fd, and a few fd zooms in the 35 - 270 range.) I also have a canon mount Rokinon fisheye that I plan to trade out for the m43 version.

    So... given that, and given that you probably won't get to buy any more lenses for at least a year after, what would you buy, and why?
  2. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Are you happy with your vintage lenses? What do you shoot primarily?

    Just general recommendation, not counting manual lenses I'd say:

    14-42 II $90
    40-150 $90
    sigma 19mm f2.8 $130
    Sigma 60mm f2.8 $160
    (All lower end of used price range)

    If you like your manual 28, 30 and 50, then I'd skip the Sigmas and go with a good wider all around prime like the 17mm 1.8 or 20mm 1.7.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    Did you buy a body alone, or with a lens?

    What range of focal lengths do you want to start off with?
  4. GnedTheGnome

    GnedTheGnome Mu-43 Regular

    Heh. You know, I haven't been able to use the FD lenses in years because, ironically, Canon FD is one of the few lens types that can't be adapted to modern Canon bodies. Back when I was learning on a Canon A-1 film camera, I used the 35 - 135mm f3.5 a lot, and I loved it. One of the things I have really missed since switching to digital (and low-end equipment) is the clarity and contrast I got with those FD lenses. That is actually one of the things that drew me to m43 - the ability to use some old favorites, and the wider range of affordable quality lenses. The primary disadvantage to the vintage lenses, of course, is that they are manual focus only.

    My interest is in street, travel, and architechture. I tend to live at the extremes of the ranges I have available, either bumping up against the widest end as I try to get the whole scene in, or bumping up against the longest end I have available (135 on an aps-c) as I go in for the details. What I would really like is a very sharp, contrasty zoom with a 12-70+ range. Too bad that doesn't actually exist. :-/ And if it did, it wouldn't be in my price range.

    I have considered the P14-140 f3.5 for when I don't want to mess with primes or manual focus, with plans to get the P15 or the O17 f1.8 down the road.

    I've also thought about the P12-32 for a very pocketable, convenient set-up, or the O12-50mm for an all-weather option, with ... something else. Maybe a vintage macro? Maybe the P35-100? Or...
    Last edited: May 1, 2015
  5. GnedTheGnome

    GnedTheGnome Mu-43 Regular

    Just the body. I was originally going to get the kit with the 12-50mm lens, but then I came across a good deal on a barely used body. Ideally I would like to have a good, broad coverage from 12 - 100 or so. Eventually I will want a really good, really wide lens for interiors, but for now I can use the Rokinon and de-fish when I need it.
  6. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    If you're happy using your existing primes, a used 12-50/12-32 + 40-150R combination is pretty good and should easily be under your $500 budget. If you buy used those two won't lose that much value should you decide to sell them on later.
  7. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    Well, an FD adapter for sure. That's $15. These all seem to work well, regardless of cost.

    You could try a $95 FD focal reducing adapter, which will give you .71x reduction on the crop factor, and kicks the effective aperture 1 stop larger, but the build quality isn't good. I had to reset the lens carrier position so the adapter would fit inside my EM5, but that didn't seem to affect the results, which was good with my FD 50 f1.8. Getting an inexpensive 135mm f2.8 to act like a 100mm f2 has its perks.

    I'd look for an Olympus M.ED 40-150 zoom for $99 used. It's a value lens. The Rokinon in M43 mount is good, if you have a use for fisheyes. Watch the getolympus refurb page for their sporadic 20%/25% sales, and jump on the 17mm f1.8 if available. I got mine for $299. It's a fast focusing lens, but not as sharp as the Panasonic 20mm pancake, which is often less money used. However, the 20mm is one of the oldest M43 designs, and thus one of the slowest focusing models.
  8. pix530

    pix530 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 2, 2013
    - 12-70mm good zoom is a fantasy.

    Reality: 12-40, eqv 24-80 and yes not ur price range.

    My advise: get 17mm +45mm, used. Its small, sharp and give ur excellent value for money.

    If I would have limited budget, my first choose would be 45mm. Price/Quality is superb.
    For street and travel - 17mm.

    Bad idea is to buy cheap zoom lens and at the end be disappointed with results.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    There's a ZD 12-60mm f2.8-4, but it probably won't focus well on anything other than the E-M1.

  10. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    I don't know, Canon has the 15-85 and Nikon has the 16-85, both of which are quite excellent zooms that cover what would be roughly 12-65mm in an m4/3 lens. No, you probably can't have 12-70 f2.8, but a higher quailty 12-50mm replacement with a bit more zoom and sharper optics is certainly not un unreasonable request.

    Good thing for m4/3 is that most of their cheap zooms are still optically excellent! Only regret would be aperture speed in most cases.
  11. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    How many lenses do you want in your kit? One for every situation (cheaper lenses) or one or two nice native first-party lenses? The 17mm f1.8 and the 25mm f1.8, plus 45mm f1.8, are really nice. You could probably get the 25mm and 45mm pre-owned for around your budget. Or the 17mm and a zoom or Sigma 30mm f2.8.

    There are a lot of creative possibilities!
  12. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
  13. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    call me Arg
    For your budget
    Lumix 14mm f/2.5 -- kit-stripper price $150-175
    Sigma 30mm f/2.8
    Sigma 60mm f/2.8 - $200 each
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 18, 2013
    For you like, Pany 14 (used) with GWC1 (makes it a 22mm fov eq.) and the sigma 30mm. That is my minimalist kit and it really rocks. Give you 22, 28, and 60mm fov with good images.
  15. NWright

    NWright Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 13, 2014
    Since you tend for either relatively long or short it seems like the 60 sigma might work well for you (120mm effectively). Couple that with either a 14 f2.5 a 17 f1.8 or a 20 f1.7 and it seems like you'd be off to a great start.

    Whatever you do, keep us posted!!
  16. GnedTheGnome

    GnedTheGnome Mu-43 Regular

    Thank you, everyone, for your recommendations.

    I think I have decided to look for a good price on a used P14-140 f3.5, in order to have a broad-range walking around lens. From the pictures posted here, and everything I've read from people who have it, it seems to have very good IQ. Its only disadvantage is that it's slow and a little bulky.

    I should, then, have enough left over for a used P20mm. Combined with my vintage glass, that should give me reasonable coverage in low-light situations.
  17. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    For $500 on the used market you could get a Panasonic 14/2.8 and Sigma 60/2.8. Depending on your preference add either the Panasonic 20/1.7 or Olympus 45/1.8 for the middle range. You might have enough left over for an achromatic close-up diopter for the Sigma if you're interested in that area.

  18. GnedTheGnome

    GnedTheGnome Mu-43 Regular

    I find it interesting that people keep recommending the P14mm 2.8. Everything I've read has said that, in terms of IQ, it's no better than the kit zooms, and there's only 2/3 of a stop difference in maximum aperture. So, I'm curious, what makes it a worthwhile lens as far as you guys are concerned?
  19. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    well it's an f2.5, so that's a full stop. It's also insanely tiny and cheap. I could see how some might think the kit lens is close enough. But then again, the Panasonic 15mm f1.7 is only a stop faster than the 14mm f2.5 and it's $600. Those stops add up.
  20. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Yep, tiny and cheap. The GF3/14mm kits were actually a dynamite small camera system.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.