Which walkaround zoom?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by brutto, Jun 9, 2012.

  1. brutto

    brutto Mu-43 Veteran

    221
    Feb 17, 2011
    I've recently acquired an E-P3 with 17mm f2.8 and will be adding a prime or two but would like to add a walkaround zoom. The options seem to be:

    1. 14 - 42 mm II 'R' (Cheap option.)

    2. 12-50mm (Middle option.)

    3. 14-150mm (Costly option.)

    I understand the differences in spec and capability but is one of these lenses significantly better optically?

    I've only really considered Olympus, is there a Pana option I should go for?

    Many thanks in advance for your advice and opinions.
     
  2. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    When I started out in :43:, I only had the 14-42 kit zoom, which I used when I wanted more versatility than shooting with one of my legacy lenses. Since then, if I choose to use one lens on a walkabout and I want the variety of FOV of a zoom, and know I'll have sufficient light to shoot hand held at higher shutter speeds, I take the Oly 14-150. I know it's a costly option, but it's great to have one lens to shoot everything from wide angle to a longer tele. It's small enough and light enough to carry around the whole day mounted on any of my E-Ps. It's a very balanced lens to hold, even at the full tele end, focus speed is okay, and by and large is very sharp. If you can afford it, I would go for the 14-150.
     
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  3. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    Apr 12, 2011
    OK, first, those kitten pictures you have on your flickriver are amazing.

    As far as lenses go I think the 14-150 is a great choice if you need the reach. I bought one recently for an upcoming trip - I got it for new for 400 euros with an E-PL1 "thrown in" (it was a kit from Amazon.de, shipped to me here in the UK). It's light and fairly compact - and a far better choice for a Pen camera than the heavy 14-140 from Panasonic. There's no image stabilisation on it though. Olympusmarket on ebay.de sell refurbished 14-150's for around 329 euros + 14 shipping and they ship to the UK (you're in the UK I assume from the pictures?)

    You might also consider the Panasonic 14-45 - that's a nice little lens which does have IS.

    The 12-50 seems rather big unless you really want the wide end.
     
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  4. tdekany

    tdekany Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 8, 2011
    Oregon
    I'd get a 10x zoom for sure.
     
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  5. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    The 14-140 has served as my walkaround zoom, rapidly blowing past most of my other lenses as the go-to option. Optical quality is average in most cases, but for me it matters more that I'm able to capture what I see.

    The 12-50 strikes me as a bit niche, hitting a couple unusual needs. It's useful because you need 12mm, or you need weather sealing, or you need power zoom. Optical quality probably isn't anything to write home about, but it fulfills these specialty quirks.
     
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  6. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    813
    Jan 9, 2011
    Canada
    Despite what was said about the 12-50, those who have it and the shots I've seen it's seems pretty damn sharp.I do have the 14-150, and for convenience it's pretty good, and on my new OMD it even gives decent lower light shots at high ISO. It is light, smallish compared to others, and better build quality than the panny options(no lens creep) although I think the 14-140 is a bit sharper, but to the average shooter I don't think it makes a real difference. Downside it doesn't come with a hood as is par for olympus( they cheaped out on m43 in this aspect).
     
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  7. st3v4nt

    st3v4nt Mu-43 Veteran

    317
    May 26, 2011
    Jakarta, Indonesia
    To those that already use mZuiko 14-150 and Lumix 14-140 which lens do you think much more faster in AF? And which lens more sharp between the two. I still need to decide which of lens I want to buy. thanks
     
  8. PointZero

    PointZero Mu-43 Regular

    31
    Apr 28, 2011
    California
    I think we'd be more capable to answer if we knew where you will be "walking around."

    The 14-150 or 14-140mm are both great wide to telephoto lenses, but they're not necessary if you don't need the telephoto reach. If you're not trying to get some wildlife in, you might not need it. I personally think the Panasonic 14-45mm is the perfect walkaround lens. One of the sharpest zoom lenses, and still sought after today for this purpose. The 14-42mm mk II MSC is a great alternative, if the AF speed matters a bit more to you.
     
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  9. strang

    strang Mu-43 Veteran

    287
    May 7, 2012
    I'm a fairly frugal person. My planned kit will consists of 14-150mm for permanent lens while outside, 20mm for low light and compact, 45mm for portraits, 12-50mm for weather, macro and video.

    I think that will be a fairly complete kit. If a constant f/4 zoom comes out with relatively good range then I would contemplate swapping the 14-150mm for it.
     
  10. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    713
    Sep 24, 2011
    14-150 sacrifices too much sharpness from what I've read in the lens reviews. So I go with the sharp 14-42 kit zoom + the Oly 40-150 zoom. The 40-150 is very small, light, sharp and fast focusing. So it's not a burden to carry around. I think it's only around $150-200 at Cameta Camera.
     
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  11. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    The lens is VERY sharp through out it's entire zoom range, there are many samples on this forum and tons more on varies sites to confirm this. If people can't get excellent results from this lens, it's not the fault of the lens. This would most certainly be my choice for the perfect walk around lens, 28mm - 300mm (35mm equiv. focal length), min. focus distance of 19", very light and compact, and on a P3 or M5 the focus is very fast in good light (daylight hours), and moderately fast during twi-light hours.
     
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  12. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    It all depends on your most important criteria I guess. If size and weight or price are paramount, you can't beat the 14-42mm. If versatility, the 14-150. If you want the wider end, reasonable price and versatility balance (including some macro) the 12-50mm would be a good choice.

    It's still new to me, but right now it's very likely the Panasonic 14-140mm will become my go-to walkaround zoom. I have the Oly 14-42mm and Panasonic 14-45mm (replacing the the 14-42 mainly for the OIS). The 14-42mm was one of my only two lenses for quite some time, so I've used it a decent amount. Based on that and my experience so far with the 14-140, the extra reach is very nice to have for general walkaround photos. Obviously it depends on your style and subjects; for me being able to isolate a subject from a distance or zoom out for as wide as 14mm is about as versatile as I could ask for.

    Of the ones you mentioned, my second choice would be the 12-50mm. I like the macro capability, and the wider 12mm end I've come to appreciate a lot after owning the Oly 12mm f/2.
     
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  13. strang

    strang Mu-43 Veteran

    287
    May 7, 2012
    I agree with this. For a super zoom you won't find one sharper. Don't forget this is also video optimized though no power zoom.
     
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  14. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I assume you mean other than the (moderately) sharper Pana 14-140 :smile:
     
  15. strang

    strang Mu-43 Veteran

    287
    May 7, 2012
    When the Nikon 18-200mm VR came out it was almost impossible to find one for like 6 months. The Oly is only a 1/3 stop slower, but so much lighter and priced competitively!

    No image stabilization but if you're on an Olympus body then the IBIS is good enough. OM-D would be amazing.
     
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  16. strang

    strang Mu-43 Veteran

    287
    May 7, 2012
    But it's not sharper at 150mm because it's only 140mm. The Panasonic is also slightly slower at 140mm and weighs 280 g vs. 460 g. The Olympus is almost half the weight.
     
  17. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    USA
    Good point asking about "where' the walking around will be taking place :)
    in a built up urban area, I think the kit zoom would be fine. the 10x zoom is probably not terribly necessary. if anything , the new Olympus 12-50 zoom would probably be nice. Actually scratch that, the pricey new Panasonic 12-35 zoom is the best walk around zoom ( if money is no object) :cool:
     
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  18. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    A native version of the 12-60 f2.8-4 would be wonderful for walkaround...
     
  19. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    713
    Sep 24, 2011
    SLR gear review shows the Oly 14-150 is quite good, but also shows the Oly 40-150 is significantly sharper overall,
    has less chromatic abberation, lighter, smaller and 60% less expensive.

    40-150: Olympus Lens: Zooms - Olympus 40-150mm f/4-5.6 ED M.Zuiko Digital (Tested) - SLRgear.com!
    14-150 Olympus Lens: Zooms - Olympus 14-150mm f/4-5.6 ED M.Zuiko Digital (Tested) - SLRgear.com!
     
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  20. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    I have both, can't tell the difference between the two at the same given focal lengths. Lighter and cheaper yes, but not smaller.