1. Reminder: Please user our affiliate links to get to your favorite stores for holiday shopping!

With 12-40mm, Do I need still need primes?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by erwinwee, Mar 27, 2014.

  1. erwinwee

    erwinwee Mu-43 Rookie

    21
    Jan 20, 2014
    Malaysia
    Erwin Wee
    Hey guys, want to ask your opinion. Since I already have a M.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, is it worth it to get a PL 25mm f/1.4 and/or MZ 45mm f/1.8?

    PL 25mm f/1.4 over 12-40mm f/2.8 -> Unique lens character and larger aperture

    45mm f/1.8 over 12-40mm f/1.8 -> Larger aperture, slightly narrower FOV

    Although I feel my 12-40mm is great, sometimes I just wish I could get that little bit more of narrow DOF for better background separation and sometimes in low light, f/2.8 just doesn't get enough light in do get good pictures. With IBIS and all, f/2.8 can get decent pictures, but not great IMO.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. beanedsprout

    beanedsprout Mu-43 Veteran

    429
    Apr 13, 2013
    north central Ohio
  3. jmw

    jmw Mu-43 Regular

    33
    May 20, 2012
    San Francisco, CA
    If shallow DOF is you want, the 45mm is the better choice, since it is both longer focal length and faster than the f/2.8 zoom. It's also cheaper than PL 25mm.
     
  4. Fri13

    Fri13 Mu-43 Veteran

    353
    Jan 30, 2014
    Only for subject separation and 1-2 stops better light gathering I would take a prime lens.

    So if you need those, then it is only way. Just think carefully what focal length is required as with a same aperture, you get same depth of field as long your subject size stay same on the frame. So there is no difference between 25mm @f/1.8 and 45mm f/1.8 if subject is 1:1 by size. And there you get the extra with f/1.4 and in most cases you like more about normal lens than short tele as you can then always step back and crop later and achieve similar if not same DoF. But that extra 5mm (10mm) is not going to matter so much as just crop in post, rescale whole photo first if required too.

    So I would personally go to f/1.4 if needed to choose from those two.

    And for low light environments, I say f/2.8 is the required maximal aperture what is useful but f/3.5 is already too slow and with f/5.6 you really need tripod.

    Like yesterday night I was shooting urban scenes and I chose to use two lenses only, this in street lights only. Samyang f/3.5 fisheye and f/2.8 Pro and I didn't have other "tripod" than one of those silly 10cm long $5 twisted leg ones with me to do long exposure HDR. Otherwise I shot handheld with mostly at 1-4 second shutter speeds and only 1/3 has little shakeblur but 2/3 are perfectly sharp.

    Of course for me the 45mm would have been way too long tele and limited my shutter speed to 1 second, maybe two. But 25mm could be used in few cases but I would have enjoyed from its f/1.4 to freeze motion of subjects little more.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Veteran

    356
    Nov 18, 2011
    Personally, I would need the 45mm and either the P20 or the O17 1.8 In addition to the zoom.
    But that's me...
     
  6. darcius1

    darcius1 Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Jan 6, 2013
    Sandwich Isles
    There is still a place for 12, 20, 45 for me as much as I enjoy the convenience of 12-40 pro. I wouldn't call it a need.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    563
    Sep 3, 2011
    L.A.
    If you shoot indoors or in low light conditions enough of the time, I find the fast primes are a must. If you need good subject to background separation, a fast telephoto is your best bet, starting with the 45 and 75, and ending with the Nocticron.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  8. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I would still need the P14, PL25, and PL42.5. And I wouldn't need the zoom :rolleyes:.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  9. QualityBuiltIn

    QualityBuiltIn Mu-43 Veteran

    351
    Jan 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I think zooms are best for convenience, primes are best for quality. Simple as that.
     
  10. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    673
    Sep 27, 2013
    FR
    To answer your question, only you know what you need. Just no one else can answer that.

    If you only want short DOF and low light, 1.8 won't cut the mustard. Get the 1.4 or the nocticron, or an adapted lens with a booster.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Mu-43 Veteran

    462
    Jun 21, 2012
    Mississippi, USA
    Seems like you've answered your own question and just needed to talk it out :wink:
     
    • Like Like x 2
  12. BobbyTan

    BobbyTan Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Dec 26, 2013
    Long Beach, CA
    The 12-40 makes a great landscape and general-purpose/walk-around lens. The 45/1.8 is a great portrait lens. They do compliment each other. If you can afford it, the Nocticon is even nicer. Both the 12-40 and Nocticron balances very well on the E-M1.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. sdsyver

    sdsyver Mu-43 Regular

    161
    Mar 14, 2012
    Northern Alberta
    Shawn
    I have all the fast primes including the PL25 f/1.4 and the 12-40. I would not get rid of the 25 for anything. Love that lens. The extra speed and DOF is noticeable. Love the pictures I get from that lens. The 45 well, ... I'd sell that one but wife likes it. I just don't use that focal length. Get the 25. It compliments the zoom nicely! The 75mm compliments it very nicely as well. Just in case you wondered.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. erwinwee

    erwinwee Mu-43 Rookie

    21
    Jan 20, 2014
    Malaysia
    Erwin Wee
    I kinda need both fast primes for low light conditions and subject to background separation. I've decided to go with the 25 f/1.4 for now for the extra 2 stops of light compared to my zoom, and then I might add the 75mm later when I save enough money for it XD
     
  15. erwinwee

    erwinwee Mu-43 Rookie

    21
    Jan 20, 2014
    Malaysia
    Erwin Wee
    Yeah, I kinda pretty much decided I need the primes. Just needed to hear from some of the more experienced mu43 shooter on the forum that I'm making the right decision. Also, couldn't decide whether I should get the P25 or O45 first. :p
     
  16. erwinwee

    erwinwee Mu-43 Rookie

    21
    Jan 20, 2014
    Malaysia
    Erwin Wee
    So I've placed an order for the P25. Can't wait to get it and try it out!
     
  17. erwinwee

    erwinwee Mu-43 Rookie

    21
    Jan 20, 2014
    Malaysia
    Erwin Wee
    If i get the P25 and O75, is there still a place for the O45 in my setup? From what I have heard/read, for portraits, usually O75 is used for tight head shots, O45 for shoulder/head shots, and P25/O25 for half body shots. My question, I guess, is, does the 45/1.8 really offer that much more over the 12-40mm at 40mm f/2.8?
     
  18. erwinwee

    erwinwee Mu-43 Rookie

    21
    Jan 20, 2014
    Malaysia
    Erwin Wee
    I've not read or done much research on speed boosters TBH. Would they deteriorate image quality in any way, or introduce any flare effects?
     
  19. BobbyTan

    BobbyTan Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Dec 26, 2013
    Long Beach, CA
    I didn't recommend the 25 over the 45 partly because I was never a fan of the normal/standard lens and have always preferred the 12/17 (24/35) and 45 (85) focal lengths. The 45/85 is ideal as a portrait lens and it does a great job of isolating/blurring the background so you get a nice separation at f1.8 … something you cannot do as well with an f2.8 lens if you are shooting from the same distance. For portrait work, blurring out the background makes a huge difference as your subject will pop because of the less distracting/sharper background. The 75 does this job best actually … even better than the f1.2 Nocticron. Only problem with the 75 for portraits is that you need to be further away from your subject. Other than that the 75 is a fantastic lens that is sharp across the frame wide open. It was my favorite lens before the Nocticron came along. But I would never part with the 75. I am willing to sell my 25/1.4 as the rattle-snaking noise bothers me somewhat, and frankly I don't enjoy using that lens so much - I enjoy using the 45/1.8 more.

    And when it comes to subject separation I do think the 45/1.8 does a better job of bluring out the background than the 25/1.4 … in much the same way that the 75/1.8 does a better job than the f1.2 Nocticron. The longer the focal length the more out-of-focus is your background, given the same or similar f-stop and the same distance from your subject.
     
  20. erwinwee

    erwinwee Mu-43 Rookie

    21
    Jan 20, 2014
    Malaysia
    Erwin Wee
    Thanks for your reply... Does the rattle snaking noise occur on E-M1 as well? I read somewhere in this forum that from EM-5 onwards the noise wasn't a problem, that it only occured on the older PENs?