Which wide lens? 12/2, 14/2.5, PL15

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by Generationfourth, Dec 16, 2015.

  1. Only 12mm f/2

  2. Panasonic 14 f/2.5

  3. Panasonic/Leica 15 f/1.7

  4. Rokinon 12 f/2

  5. Be happy with what you have

  1. Generationfourth

    Generationfourth Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 11, 2015
    I’ve been looking for a wider prime for landscape and astrophotography to use with my GM5. Originally I was leaning toward the PL15 but I don’t think it’s wide enough. I’ve been shooting a lot lately with my kit 12-32 at 12mm and I really enjoy the 24mm equivalent FOV. I prefer a really light kit (under 1#) for backpacking in the summer.

    Oly 12mm f/2
    Pros: 24mm equivalent that I’m looking for, fast enough for astrophotography.
    Cons: Ridiculously expensive

    Panasonic 14 f/2.5
    Pros: Cheap, very small, relatively sharp. Could possibly get the 11mm adapter?
    Cons: Might be a hair too slow for astro and for handheld low light, not sure if I’ll be happy with 14mm FOV

    Panasonic/Leica 15 f/1.7
    Pros: Would fit on the GM5 perfectly, aperture dial for added physical control on the GM5
    Cons: Expensive, 15mm is a big difference compared to 12mm imo, narrow FOV for astro. maybe too close to my 20mm

    Other options:
    Rokinon 12 f2: cheap, but the GM5 would be locked on e-shutter which has a 1 sec restriction on SS. Wouldn’t work for astro.
    Panasonic 12-32: this lens is really starting to win me over and I already own it. Just keep it, save money and space, and forget about astro photos?
  2. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 25, 2014
    Real Name:
    Optically, the 12-32mm punches way above its weight, and it's got O.I.S., so it's a quite capable when the light is a bit lower. I also think it's a very sharp, at least as sharp as the 14mm overall (though that's perhaps a bit better in the center). The 12mm is sharper, but also a bit more clinical. My absolute favourite of the bunch would be the 15mm - but if you find that too expensive (at least at the moment), there's nothing wrong with sticking with the tiny zoom.

    I'm not an expert on astrophotography, though - so others might see things differently.

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  3. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Get the Olympus 12mm f/2 used. I've seen them go regularly in the $400-$500 USD range since that lens has been out for awhile. Don't mess around with the other lenses if it won't fit your needs.
    • Agree Agree x 5
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  4. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    Real Name:
    If you want one lens to use for everything and you're ok with the aperature, I would stick with the kit lens. I've also used it (with the GM1) for backpacking and it's a great lens for that. The 12mm may be the best for landscapes but going backpacking with just a 12mm would be a little limiting for me. I would also want to take the kit lens or a more normal prime as well. If I were going with a single prime, I would go with the PL15 if I had one or the P14 which I have and use extensively. But it all comes down to personal preference and I have no idea about astrophotography.
  5. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    Supposedly it IS possible to use the GM1/GM5 with manual lenses with exposures up to 60 seconds if the e-shutter is set to Auto, and it will use the mechanical 2nd curtain if you set the flash on. Which shouldn't be a problem with astrophotography (or at least can be worked around...bring a black velvet bag to cover the flash?)

    Long (1+ second) exposures not possible on GM1/GM5/GF7 on manual lenses?: Micro Four Thirds Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

    That would allow you to use the Rokinon 12mm/f2. Which is definitely much better value than the Olympus 12mm. It's what I would pick for all around use, but especially astro, personally, as I prefer having a true mechanical focus ring. Though maybe the MF clutch on the Oly would be mostly the same.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    This is the one time I'm jealous of Sony. Put the Rokinon 12mm on a Sony and you get 18mm equivalent f2.0.

    Out of those options, I think the 14mm with the 11mm adapter or the Olympus is what you want. 15mm is a favorite of mine, but not for your goals listed above. And it's not really any cheaper than the 12mm anyway.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Nathanael

    Nathanael Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2015
    P 14mm f2.5 is cheap and awesomely small.
    Here's a 20s exposure with a $10 Fuji 0.7x wide adapter.

    And an attempt at a stacked exposure of the Milky Way. Also with the Fuji wide converter. Forgive the overcooked post processing, it was a bit of a learning experience. Anyways 11-12mm is still a bit narrow if you're looking for big sweeping milky way shots, I personally want the Samyang 7.5mm for that.

    Finally a landscape that illustrates the downside of the Fuji converter, which is soft corners. For me soft corners aren't the end of the world, your needs may vary.
    [​IMG]P1040815.jpg by n8myton, on Flickr

    So I guess my takeaway is that the 14mm + wide converter is pretty capable of some astro at roughly 11mm f2.5, which is very hard to match for the price. BUT, if you don't need the extra stop then your 12-32 will be sharper and you already own it.

    For that matter give some astro a try with it before you buy anything, I bet you can get some really decent results at f3.5. Then you could spend your money to go ultra wide or some other lens that doesn't overlap with focal lengths you already have.
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  8. zensu

    zensu An Old Fool

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama, USA
    Real Name:
    I'll second that :thiagree:. I have the 15mm and I love it! For what you need though I think the 12mm would be the one to get. Most of my lenses are used but they are all very sharp. Don't be afraid of used lenses.
    Bobby :coffee-30:
  9. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    My other, unpopular opinion, will be that even 12mm is not wide enough for astrophotography, at least not if you want to include a landscape in it as well.

    I tried to use the Olympus 11-22/2.8 for astro-landscape and found it really frustrating, because I couldn't fit the foreground in with the Milky Way (at least not without standing in the lake!). I just put my 7.5mm/3.5 fisheye on and went for it, and was much happier.

    The light that that you lose from the f3.5 aperture you can make up for with the longer 30 or 40s exposure. And it's a bargain. And crazy sharp.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2015
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  10. spdavies

    spdavies Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 9, 2013
    Real Name:
    Not a good idea - with flash you're going to get that pasty over-exposed look on the closer planets and stars and then too dark in the background.
    Maybe if bounced . . .
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
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  11. JoFT

    JoFT Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 11, 2014
    Real Name:
    I do have the 12/2 as well as the PL15 f1.7.

    Both are great - and I have always with me...

    I do not know what else you have. But the 15 is not a classical wide angle lens: it´s an alway on lens. The really wide angle is the 12mm f2.0...
    • Like Like x 2
  12. JoFT

    JoFT Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 11, 2014
    Real Name:
    just another shot with the 12/f2.0 [​IMG]
    • Like Like x 3
  13. exakta

    exakta Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 2, 2015
    I would take the 12/2 if the speed is important and you can afford it. The only things I do not like about that lens is the price and the lens hood...not just that the hood is an extra expense but that it is not a bayonet mount. Every time you put the hood on, you have to align it properly. Whose dumb idea was this?

    Otherwise stick with your zoom.

    I don't get the appeal of manual lenses whether native like Rokinon or adapted. But that's just me.
  14. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Real Name:
    Reza Travilla
    choose the 12mm F2.0 secondhand. The price will be cheaper and honestly speaking it's sharp (bloody sharp). I have tested and honestly i am considering to sell my kit lens to buy the 12mm.
    • Like Like x 1
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  15. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 18, 2015
    If you only want one lens keep the 12-32 or get the Oly 12. If you might be willing to carry two add the samyang/rokinon/bower Fisheye. It will be quite useful for landscape astro (at least from what I can see in the astro forum, can't vouch for it personally) and it will give you a different perspective in addition to your kit zoom. All the Oly does is give you a bit less than 2 stops of light.
  16. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    near Longview ~1hr from PDX
    Real Name:
    Jim R
    I've no proof yet, just getting restarted in the :mu43: world - but I feel OK about my bargain team of 12-32 and 7.5mm fisheye for my wide-view needs. Deals are available for the patient or lucky :p and both receive high praise. The 12/2 sounds really nice to me, but not until I see issues with what I have.
    We've had 14" of rain this month so astrophotography is but a dream! :flypig:
  17. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Real Name:
    I've got the Panny 15mm. Its a shame there isn't a 14mm f1.8 lens out there. As much as I'm enjoying the lens, I long for something wider, but not 12mm wide.
  18. shermanshen

    shermanshen Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 28, 2014
    Have you considered the Panasonic 7-14 f4? I know it's not a prime, it's bigger, and it's f4; but it's a hell of a lens. When I got my 12-40, I noticed that I was also shooting a lot at 12mm. Going ultra wide opens things up creatively and is a lot of fun to use. Plus, you can find used ones for the mid $500's and a new one is $700.
  19. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    Real Name:

    Your post sounds like you are budget conscious. Have you considered the Panasonic GWC-1 adapter on the 14?
    in my view ...: Panasonic 0.79 wide adaptor on the 14mm (image quality)

    Perhaps not as perfect at the edges as the 12mm, but still about f2.5, which isn't much difference in f-stops

    For instance:
    • $800 for the 12mm f2 (130g)
    • $1000 for the Oly 12-40 f2.8 (382g)
    • $1300 for the 12-35 zoom f2.8 (300g)
    • $500 for the 12-50 zoom f3.5 ~ 6.3 (211g darker and quite a bit bigger too)
    • curve ball : $330 14mm f2.5 + $150 0.79 adapter = $480
    or just $120 to put this onto your existing pancake 14mm when you just want that wee bit wider than the 14 gives. The adapter only weighs 70g so including the 55g of the 14mm lens you have a total weight of 125g (which you don't have to keep on the camera at all times). This is lighter than anything in the zoom range and about on par with the 12mm f2 (and actually nearly exactly the same size too).
    Or buy both used ...