Which cheap zooms?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by tkbslc, Jan 27, 2016.

  1. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    I decided last summer I was going to go all prime and sold even my kit zooms (P14-42 II/P45-150). I have honestly missed them pretty much since they left. Quite often, I have a scenario where I don't really need the fast aperture and get really sick of swapping primes every 3 minutes. I also need some stabilization for basic family video (on GX7) so I could use some OIS zooms.

    I know all the options, I just can't decide. I liked the two lenses I had, but a few of the other options have gotten really cheap lately. This thread is mostly me thinking out loud and fishing for any feedback on my thoughts.

    12-32 vs 14-42 II. I think the 14-42 II is a little sharper at the edges and is definitely built better. It's also a little cheaper. I know it's a good lens. But the 12-32 is tiny and goes to 12! I don't have another lens that wide except the 7.5mm Fish. It's gotten really cheap as a kit pull on ebay.

    45-150 vs 45-175mm vs 35-100 5.6. I liked the 45-150, but the prices on 45-175mm have come way down and I think the latter is better for video, isn't it? And then there is the 35-100 5.6 is so tiny! I think it is about the size of the 14-42.

    And of course there is the 14-140. But I'm not sold on the IQ and weight of the f5.8 version and the f5.6 version still has a lot of user reports of horrible video OIS jitter and video is a main goal.

    TL;DR - Which cheap OIS zooms should I get to supplement my nice prime lens collection?
  2. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2013
    I got the 12-32mm about 6 months ago. I don't use it much, but it is so small that it's always in my bag. Just really useful to have around, if only for peace of mind. The size is the main reason I went for it and it replaced my 14mm/2.5, which I just didn't ever really bond with. Also, the fact that my other zoom lens (the 45-150mm) already covers 45mm meant that I didn't need the extra length that the 14-42mm would offer. Essentially, in my kit I have a gap between 32mm and 45mm -- I can live with that, especially since the 12-32mm has the extra wide angle versatility.

    As for the 45-150mm, I continue to like it. I do dream of getting a 35-100mm 2.8 at some point -- it'd replace the 45-150mm as well as my Sigma 60mm 2.8. But I don't anticipate that happening anytime soon and I've never been tempted by the other cheapish zooms.
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  3. carlosfm

    carlosfm Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 3, 2015
    Lisbon, Portugal
    IMO the P14-42 II which you already had.
    I find it quite good and a pleasure to use, it is very well built for a kit zoom.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. I've got both of the lenses that you sold and I just pulled the trigger on a "white box" 12-32 on eBay. There are times when a certain lens is just what the situation wants. I like the smaller 12-32 and it will be good for winter, or inclement weather, shooting because it has a small profile when the lens is in the stowed position. I can keep it inside a heavy winter parka and deploy it quickly. I'm also partial to the wider end. So will I sell the 14-42 II? I doubt it. I've learned to not sell lenses..unless absolutely necessary. I have a tendency to run into situations that want that departed lens soon after it's gone. I hate it when that happens.
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  5. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    I'm not a video shooter, so my recommendations are based on stills.

    12-32 would be my first pic. 12mm and size. I'm not sure 14mm over the 15mm you have would be noticeable, 12mm would be. Then add it's smaller than anything else you have and it's a nice addition.

    Telephoto? Range or size? Personally 100mm isn't enough, so I would rule out the 35-100. It's not a bad lens, just to short, that's why I sold the one I had. I'm not even sure the 150mm I have is enough, but it makes a good weather sealed combo with my E-M5 mkII. My personal picks would be either the 45-175 or 45-200. I know the 45-200 doesn't have the best reviews, but I'm not really a pixel peeper and have enjoyed the ones I've owned. As for the 45-175? I've owned that as well, nice lens, good range, doesn't extend when zooming, and power zoom is said to be a plus for video. I'm not a fan of power zooms, but the 45-175 has probably the least annoying power zoom I've used.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    To the OP: For telephoto work on the GX7, I'd say go for the Panny 45-150. Do you really shoot that much video in this focal range? If you really do, perhaps the 45-175 power zoom might be better but I understand that lens has its issues.

    Re: the 12-32... by all means... especially if it's attached to a GM1 or GM5. You already have a GX7, so look for a deal on a GM1. Body and lens will slip right inside a jacket pocket.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Generationfourth

    Generationfourth Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 11, 2015
    The 12-32! I was reluctant to use it but was amazed with the results I got from it. The only reason why I use the 12-35 is for 2.8 and ergonomics otherwise I feel the 12-32 can produce sharp shots. I haven't tried the 35-100 f4-5.6 but I will probably pick it up this summer for backpacking season.

    by Alan Galura, on Flickr

    Bachar Left
    by Alan Galura, on Flickr
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    • Winner Winner x 1
  8. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Thanks for the feedback. I think I'm leaning 12-32 and 45-175. I honestly wish the 12-32 was built like the 14-42 II because I don't need the pancake. I'm not a fan of having to extend it to power it on, or the build issues I've seen. But the 12mm end gives me capabilities I do not have now and the 14mm does not.

    The 45-175mm seems like the winner for 3 reasons - It's longer, it doesn't extend when zooming, and it takes 46mm filters like my other lenses. That was one annoyance with the 45-150 when I had it - 52mm filters.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  9. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Nice 12-32 samples! I have the lens, but having so many other great lenses covering that range, I have not put my 12-32 to the test yet. Your images suggest to me that I really need to break it out and that I may wind up really liking the images from it.

  10. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Bought a 45-175m off ebay tonight, so waiting for that to arrive.

    I'm sold on the 12-32, but deciding whether I want to buy it alone or with a GM1 attached! :)
  11. Petrochemist

    Petrochemist Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 21, 2013
    N Essex, UK
    I'd personally find the 175 a little limiting. I have a 45-200, and find the extra reach useful in many places. It's definitely still in the cheap zoom range. When I want more than 200 I have to switch to adapted lenses al the native ones are well outside my price range :(
  12. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Yeah, if only it wasn't 2x the weight and a little better optically.
  13. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    I tend to go back and forth between the two of these options.
  14. NoSeconds

    NoSeconds Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Yep, never sell a lens or a rifle - you will always regret it...
  15. NoSeconds

    NoSeconds Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    A few weeks ago at Retravision I saw a 35-100 kit zoom for $459 AUD, bundled with a 12-32 and a free GM5...

    Even though I just picked up a GM1 and 12-32 I still regret not snapping it up... :shakehead:
  16. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    I have the 45-200 as well, but while good up to about 150 or so, it softens up past that. I rarely shoot telephoto, and I paid $99 US for it, so it meets my needs, but it is not anything special optically. If video is the main use, you might want to consider the PZ14-42X. Its the Panasonic pancake power zoom. About the size of the P20, pretty decent optically, and is stabilized. I remember it being a really popular option with the video guys a few years ago, and its a good compact travel zoom as well. You may have to go to eBay because I think it is no longer available. I just looked, there is a Korean eBay vendor that has them new but separated from a kit for $199 or a few used for around $150
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