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Which Lens 12mm/25mm/9-18mm???

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by RussellOlaguer, May 31, 2012.

  1. RussellOlaguer

    RussellOlaguer Mu-43 Veteran

    303
    Feb 12, 2012
    Paranaque, Philippines
    Russell Olaguer
    Hello guys!

    I'm in quest for for my next lens purchase. :)

    I just want to know your opinion which lens would you buy if you were on my shoes.

    This is my current lens line up -> 14mm, 20mm, 45mm, 12-50mm, 40-150mm.
    Body: E-M5

    I am shooting mostly streets on a daily basis and my most used lens is the 20mm (for general street) and 45mm (for street portrait).

    I'm looking at these lenses and they are currently almost same price here (used).

    Option 1: 12mm
    -If I will get this, I will sell the 14mm. I love the construction, sharpness and fast AF of this lens.

    Option 2: 25mm
    - If I will get this I'm thinking of selling the 20mm. But I'm hesitant because of the pancake size of the 20mm which is great in street. But the slowish AF of the 20mm sometimes makes me miss shots.

    Option 3: 9-18mm
    - Im not actually into UWA shooting but I want to expand the perspective of my photography. I like the compactness of this lens. But the photos I'm seeing here is not stellar compare to the 7-14mm.

    I know I'm the only one who can answer what I should buy but I would just like to know your opinion.

    Thank you in advance.
    Have a great Friday everyone. :)
     
  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    For street photography, wider is better IMO, which leaves out the 25mm. Next you have to decide when you're more likely to be shooting.

    If you shoot mostly during the day, I'd go for the 9-18 both because it gives you a wider perspective and having a zoom can be very useful when shooting streets when you sometimes can't "zoom with your feet". You'll still have the 20 for the occasional night shot.

    If you're more likely to shoot nights (or indoors), then I'd go with the 12mm for it's wider aperture.

    Either way, you're putting together a very nice little kit there.
     
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  3. RussellOlaguer

    RussellOlaguer Mu-43 Veteran

    303
    Feb 12, 2012
    Paranaque, Philippines
    Russell Olaguer
    Thanks Deejay.

    On a daily basis, I shoot street mostly at night after office ours while walking my way home. On weekends and holidays mostly daytime as much as possible.

    Is the 9-18mm good for night street photography? handheld?
    The reason I include this is lens in my option is I want to explore the 9mm focal length and what street pictures I can achieve using it. I want to broaden my range.

    I'm also looking at the 12mm because the price of this lens (secondhand) is almost the same as the other lenses I mentioned. And I can sell the 14mm to add funds for this.

    What do you guys think?
     
  4. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Focal length in street photogrhy is a very very very personal choice with many selecting and sticking to a single focal length...... I think you alread have your answer.... as you said you shoot with the 20mm the most with the 45mm a close second choice.... sounds like the 25mm would most benefit you.

    I much prefer the 24mm FF equivalent.... I would find anything wider introduce a bit too much distortion for my liking.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. fgbrault

    fgbrault Mu-43 Regular

    194
    Mar 2, 2012
    Since you have the fast 20mm already I would get the 9-18mm. I have it and use it an awful lot. It has a very useful range from very wide to almost normal. I always carry the 9-18mm, Oly 40-150mm and my Pany 20mm Or Pany:Leica 45mm Macro. The bulk of my photos are taken with the 9-18mm and 40-150mm.

    Here is a link to some phots taken with the 9-18mm.

    Olympus Micro 9-18mm Photo Gallery by Frank Brault at pbase.com

     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. RussellOlaguer

    RussellOlaguer Mu-43 Veteran

    303
    Feb 12, 2012
    Paranaque, Philippines
    Russell Olaguer
    Thank you for your reply.

    I think you are correct.
    Actually my preferred focal length is 35mm FF equivalent (I wish the 17mm is faster and has better IQ).

    I am really confused as to which lens to buy.
    I like all the lens I mentioned and I think they are good lenses.

    If I buy the 25mm, it is too close to the 20mm... but faster AF. However it is bulkier....

    Now I confused my self more. hahaha!
     
  7. RussellOlaguer

    RussellOlaguer Mu-43 Veteran

    303
    Feb 12, 2012
    Paranaque, Philippines
    Russell Olaguer
    Thanks! Nice sets.

    Have you shoot with the 9-18mm at night? How are the photos?
     
  8. The 25mm is great for streetwork, and unlike the 20mm the AF is fast and works extrememly well with a touch screen shutter. In the same situation with the 20mm I mostly just preset my focus distance and judge my shot based on that rather than wait for it to AF. Somewhere in between 17 and 20mm we need a fast aperture, fast focusing lens.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    That's a tough question, but for mostly street shooting at night I would definitely want the 25mm first, especially if you like the 20mm already. I have both and while I can't bring myself to part with the 20, I really love the results from the 25 so far (sharp, crisp images with pleasing bokeh), and the extra low light performance is a bonus.

    Second choice would be the 12mm... hard to pick a favorite lens but the 12 would be very close in contention with the 25... It's just a great quality lens and enjoyable to use. It's a little wide for me at times when used as a general use lens, but if I were to pick a single prime to use this might be it, just for the versatility. In low light the 25 is my go to lens with the 12 as backup if I am in a tight indoor spot and want a wider FOV.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. RussellOlaguer

    RussellOlaguer Mu-43 Veteran

    303
    Feb 12, 2012
    Paranaque, Philippines
    Russell Olaguer
    Thanks. It is really a tough decision. I want all these lens but have to choose one only. If only there's a lens rental shop here where I can rent the lens for a week to asses if I really want it.

    Thanks for your replies guys. I really appreciate them.

    I really cant decide which lens to buy. Maybe it's better to save the money instead. Hehehe! :)
     
  11. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    All of these lenses are great, but the way I see it the 9-18 gives you a focal length you don't already have, and you mentioned you want to try an ultra-wide lens, so I'd try that first.

    As far as renting, it's not a bad idea, but these lenses retain their value so well, that you can generally buy them and resell them if you don't like them for much less than the cost of a week's rental -- especially if you're buying used to start with.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. RussellOlaguer

    RussellOlaguer Mu-43 Veteran

    303
    Feb 12, 2012
    Paranaque, Philippines
    Russell Olaguer
    Thank you!
    Yeah I want to try street photography using UWA. It will give me different perspective. My concern about the 9-18mm is if I use it at night (low light). I am more of a nocturnal street shooter (shooting after office hours). Hehehe! I haven't seen many photos using this lens in low light (handheld). What can you say about night photography using this lens?
     
  13. Set your 14mm to f/4 or f/5.6 and see how it goes. I suspect it would good for the now famous "motion blur" type shots on the E-M5 but you'll struggle to get a decent shutter speed unless there is good street lighting or you use very high ISOs.
     
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  14. RussellOlaguer

    RussellOlaguer Mu-43 Veteran

    303
    Feb 12, 2012
    Paranaque, Philippines
    Russell Olaguer
    Thanks Nic.

    I will try this and see if I can get the shots that I want.

    Now I decided to remove the 25mm from the list.
    I realize that I want the size of the 20mm.
    I will just wait for the Mark II of this lens (or if there is a 25mm f1.4 pancake lens soon). :)

    SO now it leaves me to the 12mm and 9-18... decisions... decisions...
     
  15. fgbrault

    fgbrault Mu-43 Regular

    194
    Mar 2, 2012
    Sorry Russell, but i don't have any night shots, that I would consider as representing what can be done with the lens. It is somewhat slow so you would have to use higher ISOs.
     
  16. ggibson

    ggibson Mu-43 Regular

    72
    Jul 9, 2011
    Hey Russell, personally I think this is a no-brainer. Go for the 9-18. It covers the 12's focal length anyways. I had the 7-14 first, and decided to keep my 9-18 instead because the image quality is still very, very good. Here are some of my most popular photos taken with the 9-18:

    Flickr: Search Graham Gibson's photostream
     
  17. Farcanalman

    Farcanalman  

    144
    Feb 12, 2012
  18. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    If you want too shoot low light street with a wide angle, get the 12mm. The 9-18 is a really fun lens for UWA but that's not easy to use effectively for street work. The 12 is fast at f2.0, has fast AF, and has that great manual focus ring which is the best m43 lens for zone focus, which is a great street shooting tool.

    If you want UWA, it's the 9-18. If you want fast aperture and AF at a focal length pretty close to what you're already used to, go for the 25. But you keep talking about low light street shooting with something wide and the 12 is the way to go for that. Here are a couple of night street shots with the 12mm:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/6329910977/" title="PB051982 by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"1024" height="683" alt="PB051982"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/6330662876/" title="PB051898 by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"640" height="640" alt="PB051898"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/7098646607/" title="NYC 4/20/12 by ramboorider1, on Flickr">"800" height="800" alt="NYC 4/20/12"></a>

    And it's better in good light where you can take advantage of the zone focussing.

    -Ray
     
  19. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    You mentioned that you usually shoot in the evening and are interested in going wider than your usual 20mm and 45mm. Have you tried night shooting with the 14mm to see if you like a wider FOV? You might go out with it and stop it down to at least f/4-5.6 to mimic the limitations of shooting with the 9-18mm.
     
  20. Shade

    Shade Mu-43 Regular

    74
    May 30, 2012
    With your current set up I feel there's nothing left to be desired. However if you insist on getting another lens, the 9-18 will complement your setup best.