Which is a great zoom to get?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by slackercruster, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. slackercruster

    slackercruster Mu-43 Regular

    86
    Jul 18, 2012
    NE US
    Looking for a high grade zoom for my Olympus. I like street shooting. Don't need a super zoom, moderate is OK.

    Another option is to go for a high grade Leica or Olympus 45mm if they are a lot beter than zooms for IQ. (Prob the Oly 45 unless the Leica is worth the premium for IQ?)

    Thanks!
     
  2. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    What range? It sounds like by 'high grade' you mean wider-aperture and sharp?

    If so, the only native zoom option currently is the Panasonic 12-35/2.8. The primes (12/2, 20/1.7, 25/1.4, 45/1.8 and 45/2.8) are certainly more economical and are at least as good in terms of quality.

    If aperture isn't a concern, the Panasonic 14-45/3.5-5.6 is probably the sharpest of the zooms after the two mentioned above. And of course if AF speed and size aren't an issue, the 4/3 14-54/2.8-3.5 is an excellent lens, and is available for low prices.

    DH
     
  3. slackercruster

    slackercruster Mu-43 Regular

    86
    Jul 18, 2012
    NE US
    Aperture, not so much.

    Sharpness, YES!
     
  4. capodave

    capodave Mu-43 Top Veteran

    514
    Jul 4, 2010
    Southern Cal
    Dave
    The Voigtlander 40 1.4 is a good alternative to the Oly 45.
    Very sharp.
    Also has a cool Bokeh effect.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Well, primes are almost always going to be sharper than the zooms with few exceptions. That said, I just received my copy of the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 and it is extremely sharp IMO and offers a useful zoom range. I do wish it was a hair longer range (12-45 / 12-60 would be great), even if it meant a bigger, heavier lens. I've been very impressed with the sharpness and capability of the lens so far, and don't feel like I'm losing a lot of IQ compared to my prime lenses.

    What I've been doing the past few days since I got it is carrying the 12-35mm + Oly 45mm for extra reach, and Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 in case f/2.8 still isn't enough light gathering. Based on where I'm going I will throw in another lens or two in my bag to cover UWA or longer tele range, like the 7-14 or 14-140 / 100-300.

    At the complete other end of the price spectrum, the 14-45mm has gotten some surprisingly impressive results, as DH noted. Take a look through the sample image thread for it. It's a fraction of the cost, and I don't think I'd compare it directly to a prime lens like I would the 12-35 but it's very good, doubly so for a kit zoom.
     
  6. TheBiles

    TheBiles Mu-43 Regular

    40
    May 23, 2012
    Street shooting? It seems like you'd want a fast "normal" prime like the 25 1.4. Street is much more difficult with a slow zoom.
     
  7. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    The 14-45mm is a pretty good candidate. Cheap-ish too.
     
  8. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I like the 14-54 II. Decent AF, fast aperture, incredible optical quality, excellent build. Kinda big though. Maybe look at the 14-45 or 12-50 as other very optically excellent lenses.
     
  9. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    X2 - the 12-35 is pretty amazing! Looking forward to the 35-100.
     
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    For a zoom I would look at the Zuiko 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5II or the Lumix X 12-35mm f/2.8. For a prime I would look at the Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux or the m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8, or one of the many great 50mm legacy lenses like the Konica Hexanon 50mm f/1.4 or f/1.7, the OM Zuiko 50mm f/1.4, or the Pen F Zuiko 40mm f/1.4.

    But really there are so many choices. Thise are just some of the first to mind.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    How does the focus speed compare with m4/3 zooms? (In other words, are there practical disadvantages with the 14-54mm zoom compared to m4/3 choices?)
     
  12. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I don't know the exact answer to your question, but wanted to point out the "II" is a key part here, as it is CDAF optimized.

    I have the Leica 14-50 f/2.8-3.5 (for sale BTW) and the AF is pretty slow, almost unusable on moving subjects.
     
  13. chasm

    chasm Mu-43 Veteran

    262
    Mar 2, 2010
    AF speed with legacy lenses

    Of course, no current ยต4/3 camera offers AF with legacy lenses - we can pray for focus confirmation on future models, who knows what may happen - BUT...

    On a legacy lens - or all-manual "native" lenses such as the Voigtlanders - you can set focus to wherever you like, and (given a realistic aperture opening) if your luck/judgement are good then you will effectively have instant AF. Not even the fastest AF lenses can match this - my beloved Panasonic 20mm certainly can't... :wink:
     
  14. slackercruster

    slackercruster Mu-43 Regular

    86
    Jul 18, 2012
    NE US


    Looked up the Lumix 12-35....wooeeee that thing is pricey!

    I may go for one down the road if I can get a deal on one near a thousand $$. But it looks like they are hard to find even at their high price. Sounds perfect, but like others, I wished it extended into the mid 45mm range.

    Have you used a 12-35? Is sharpness in line with high IQ primes?

    Also looking at the Zuiko ED 12-60mm

    For serious WA work, would the 12-60 replace my prime 12mm Oly for = IQ?

    (Nice stuff at your site Ned. You didn't use m43 for all that did you?)

    Thanks!
     
  15. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    Is auto focus speed an issue for you? The 12-60 focuses much slower than the 12/2.0.
     
  16. Tom M

    Tom M Mu-43 Regular

    40
    May 21, 2012
    Georgia/Maine
    Tom
    I got an Olympus 40-150mm as a second lens with my OM-D. I was unsure of the purchase at the time, but got it for 1/2 price when purchased with the camera. Surprisingly, it has quickly become my lens of choice for street shooting.
     
  17. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    For landscapes, sure (it's sharper than the 12/2 across the frame). But not for anything that moves.

    DH
     
  18. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Yes and probably.

    If you consider that it replaces the 12/2, 14/2.5, 17/2.8, 20/1.7, 25/1.4, and provides a very high quality 35 option (that is currently not available), it's a helluva bargain (and, yes, I realize nobody would use all those primes at any given time, and saying that it would replace the 20/1.7 and 25/1.4 is a bit of a stretch unless we are talking about good light)
     
  19. slackercruster

    slackercruster Mu-43 Regular

    86
    Jul 18, 2012
    NE US
    AF is not too much an issue. As long as it is nothing like the old mechanical screw drive AF.

    But the 12mm is a gem for fast focus. Very impresive. Is it the benchmark for m43 focus excellence...or is there better?