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Which standard zoom lens to get?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by Jonathan F/2, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm trying to decide which zoom lens I should get? I've narrowed it down to either the 14-45, 12-50 or the 14-42 X. All have their pros and cons. I like the 14-45 since it's the cheapest and most solid. The 12-50 appeals to me because of the 12mm and fixed barrel length and the 14-42 X I like due to it's compactness. I'll be using this lens mainly for daytime shooting, with the 17mm 1.8 as my lowlight prime. The lens will be used with an E-PL5.

    I could also just get another 14mm, but I'm worried it will just be neglected due to the 17mm 1.8. Or I could get a cheapo kit lens and leave it in my bag when I need it? :wink:

    Thanks for any recommendations!
     
  2. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    12-50 is nice lens on the em-5.... not sure how balanced it would feel on the e-pl5

    the faux macro is nice to have and it feels pretty solid in the hand

    some shots here

    Oly 12-50 - a set on Flickr

    K
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Ehud
    The 14-45 has the best IQ it is smaller then the 12-50. The 12-50 has the edge in the 12 and macro shooting.
    If you shot with the 14 and feels that you need a wider lens get the 12-50 in any other case get the 14-45.
     
  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    I'd not use the 14-42X unless you have a body with an electronic shutter. It's handy, but the shutter-induced blur cuts down a lot on its appeal.
     
  5. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Is that a lens issue or only noticeable on Panasonic bodies?
     
  6. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Dump everything except your bodies & just get the Lumix 12-35 & 35-100 :biggrin:
     
  7. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    +1

    ... but if you wanna try-out the 12-50 ... I have one with your name on it.

    Gary

    PS- The 12-50 is weather sealed. Not a big deal in LA unless you take early morning walks and want a lens that will laugh at those pesky lawn sprinklers.
    G
     
  8. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yeh.. I'm still getting used to them but the 12-35 / 35-100 combination is pretty nice. Yet, I find myself still taking the 12-50mm with me when I"m heading out the door (not specifically for photography.. family.. errands etc). Its light, a very workable focal range, macro in a pinch, etc... I don't think it would feel off balance on an E-PL5 although it is kinda of an odd size.

    WIth that said, I don't like its price point when not purchased as a kit lens of the OMD. So I would probably recommend the 14-45 and put the rest towards something else.
     
  9. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    can I request once again for the complete banning of the meaningless undefined phrase "IQ" from this and all photo forums... Image quality has nothing to do with lenses... its about photographers

    :smile:

    K
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    If this is just to complement your other big stuff then I would get the Oly 14-42 II.

    Reasons:
    1. Personally don't like the Zoom by Wire, really make me think I'm just using a P&S for some reason. (But of the options listed this would probably be my pick because of reason #2)
    2. Size matters, sure the 12mm and macro features are nice on the 12-50. But my E-PM1 & Oly 14-42 fit in a cargo short/pants pocket. Both the 12-50 & 14-45 are noticeably bigger.

    If this is more of a sneaky zoom for your candid stuff then I might look at the 14-140/150s. I personally am hoping the new Tamron 14-150 is descent or at least puts some price pressure on the Oly/Pan. A sneaky small zoom with that kind of reach on a touch screen focus and shoot body might be handy,
     
  11. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Unfortunately that won't happen unless I dump my Nikon 24-70 & 70-200!

    I'm allotting my M43 kit for personal use only. :wink:

    Naw, this is just for my general walk-around shooting. It's giving me too much of headache trying to integrate it into my work kit! Regarding the Olympus 14-42 R lens, I just don't like plastic mount lenses. Plus I don't like how you have to zoom it out to shoot.

    I was thinking about the 14-150, but I really like the 45-175 and picked one up this weekend.

    I must not be that picky, because I find most M43 lenses pretty sharp! Even cheap kit lenses are sharp to my eye. :wink:
     
  12. svtquattro

    svtquattro Mu-43 Veteran

    354
    Sep 24, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    Size: 14-42 X
    Cheap: 14-42 oly
    Value: 14-45
    Versatile: 12-50
    Versatile top flight quality but large and slow: 14-54 II
    No compromise: 12-35
    Cheap but for Panny body: 14-42 panny
     
  13. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    805
    Dec 2, 2012
    COLORADO
    14-54 MKII is large and slower focusing but 2.8-3.5 is fast for a zoom.
     
  14. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Same here with my m4/3. This stuff is just for the fun of it.

    I hear you about the plastic mount, but for me about size in the case, not in use. Here is a collection of vacation stuff, all with the 14-42 II kit. I think only 1-2 were with the little snap on flash. Nothing fancy, but a good selection of "different" stuff. Normal post, nothing crazy.
    Vacation-2012
     
  15. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I wouldn't mind the 14-42 R if it came with a metal mount and rubber focus ring. Since this will be a lens I'll be interacting with, I want something with good tactile feedback. I've owned two previously, and I found nothing wrong with it optically. :wink:
     
  16. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Ehud
    Kevin please change the Wikipedia item regarding IQ. :smile:

    Image quality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  17. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I stand corrected.... IQ is defined... but not quantified :)

    My point is that the phrase is bandied about al too easily

    I am sure if you gave a 100 photographers a random selection of jonathons choices of lens and then asked 100 regular people then to judge the results, that there would be little or no correlation between the 'best' photo and the lens with the alleged 'best IQ'

    Not saying that some lenses are better than others... but i think the differences are often exaggerated in the minds of some folk

    :)

    K
     
  18. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Ehud
    Totally agree the lens IQ is only part of the photo.
    Jonathon wants to get the best value for his money, part of the selection is which lens will enable him to get better photos. All 3 lenses are good but some have better performance, it may that this difference is subjective. I am sure that if we add to the list the P14-42 you would not recommend it unless the budget is very limited.
    Regarding your test, it is meaningless for Jonathon, since he is one photographer and his ability is the same regardless of the lens, but a sharper lens will enable him to get larger photos or better crops.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  19. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    The plastic mount doesn't bug me as much as the collapsing functionality. That's the primary reason why I almost never use my 14-42. I want a lens that I can pick up and shoot with without fiddling with it first. If I want something I can fit in a pocket I'll use the P20 and just zoom with my feet.

    I'd probably lean toward the 12-50 due to the fact that it gives you a bit extra on the wide end and also offers the macro capability.