Yet another "Lens Reccomendation" thread, OLY 12-50 vs fisheye 7.5

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by sinclair, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. sinclair

    sinclair Mu-43 Veteran

    Yes, I know, yet another one, but I want advice from those that know more than I do, and have experience. And a poll will help me see quickly what direction it's going.

    I'm a train nut. A really big one, I own my own small scale coal fired steam locomotive (I inherited it from my grandfather, from whom I learned to be a train nut from.). Next month on the 11th is National Train day. I plan on going to the Arizona Railway Museum, and while there take lots of photos. I have my GF5, with the 14-42mm kit lens, but I want to get a new lens that's wider. I'm not rich, so that leaves me with 2 choices, one of the 7.5mm fisheye lenses, or the OLY 12-50mm. But I'm not sure which would be better for photographing the tight interiors of railcars, and also getting good exterior shots. There is a decent amount of room between the display tracks, but there may be a number of people there and I won't be able to stand back. I eventually want to get both lenses, but can only afford one now. Plus I have a family reunion this summer, so the more I can get out of the lens, the better I can justify it to my wife.

    I've always liked the fisheye look, as well as super wide shots (corrected from fisheye). But the 12-50mm has a nice draw because of the "macro" option. It'd make a good replacement of my Vivatar 28-80mm with macro that was "glued" to my AE-1 from my film days. Plus the Oly lens would allow me to not have to take my Pany 14-42mm kit lens. So what does everyone recommend? You can see my profile for the other mF and Canon FL/FD lenses I have.
  2. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    The fisheye will be way wider than the 12-50. It's actually sharper,too. I think they're both around f3.5 @ the wide end. You've got the 14-42 so I'd say fisheye!
  3. cookme

    cookme Mu-43 Regular

    May 25, 2012
    oops, voted wrong, please -1 on the 12-50...
  4. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Real Name:
    Go with the fishy, but learn how to use it in order to have less distortion.

    It is a sweet little UWA lens.
  5. PMCC

    PMCC Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 18, 2013
    Pana GWC-1 wide converter.
  6. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Real Name:
    I like the Panny 14/2.5 for tight spaces and better light-gathering than the kit lens. As the previous poster said, you could also add the GWC1 wide-angle converter. That reduces the focal length to 11mm.
  7. sinclair

    sinclair Mu-43 Veteran

    I don't have either of the lenses the GWC1 fits, so if I'm spending that, it'll be on a full lens, but it's a nice idea. Maybe I'll look to see if there are any screw on "filters" that do the same thing.
  8. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    Don't get the 12-50 if you already have a kit zoom. It's not fast, it's not particularly sharp, I don't really see the point of it. Equally you should be aware that fisheye lenses aren't exactly versatile. They do what they do, and you either like it or you don't. It looks like a fun lens, and I'll be getting one at some point for sure, but it's a bit esoteric for a second lens.

    If you want a wide lens, why not go for the 9-18? You can play with perspective without having the deal with the distortion of a fisheye. Just to go completely against the grain, if you don't have the 45mm f/1.8 you need to get that at some point. It would be great for taking pictures of details on the train, and would also let you play with depth of field. Both these lenses would expand you creative options.
  9. tol1l1yboy

    tol1l1yboy Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 12, 2013
    I have the Panasonic 7-14mm lens for my EM5 and I have the fisheye for my XE1. I love both of them. I would take the fisheye over the 12-50 just for the fun-ness factor. If you have the money to get the 7-14mm I would get that just because you can use it in so many different situations but if not then get the fisheye because you will have so much fun with it.
  10. sinclair

    sinclair Mu-43 Veteran

    Well, my budget is $220-$250 USD, so both the 9-18 and 7-14 are way out of my price range, but I have looked at them, and wouldn't mind the Pany. I know that the 12-50 over laps my kit lens, but it also offers slightly more range and the "macro", which I'd use a lot, and it's got to have better IQ than my FD Vivitar 28-80mm with "macro". The Vivitar is very soft, and has CA.
  11. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    Maybe look into a legacy 50mm macro. Olympus, Minolta or Canon's are all under $100. In case you haven't noticed, we like to spend other people's money around here.:drinks:
  12. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    I voted for the 12-50 only because it will offer more flexibility than the 7.5. Don't get me wrong, I love my 7.5 and use it quite a bit, but it's somewhat limited compared to a 12-50 range.
  13. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    I voted to fight the GAS and save until you can afford the 9-18.

    Though if it had to be done. Get the 12-50, sell the existing 14-42.
  14. eff_eight

    eff_eight New to Mu-43

    Feb 26, 2013
    The 12-50mm focal length will seem to be more useful, but I voted on the 7.5mm fish-eye simply because it's such a fun lens...and sharp too...albeit manual focus only
  15. sinclair

    sinclair Mu-43 Veteran

    Well, it looks like to unforeseen expenditures, I've got to use what I have and not get a new lens. Life can be such a pain sometimes. Thanks for the comments.
  16. sinclair

    sinclair Mu-43 Veteran

    Well, the day came and went. I took lots of photos, and my kit lens almost never left 14mm. I definitely need something much wider. So someday I'll have both of the lenses, unless I find a killer deal on the Pany super wide zoom. But I'm sure I'll get the 12-50 first because I have found that just a tad wider would be so much more helpful in my typical shooting. But for the tight spaces of the cars, the 7.5 would be used.