Zoom Lens Advice

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by chrism_scotland, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    483
    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I've been looking for a lens to accompany the Olympus 17mm that I got with my EP1, I'm working to a budget (sent back a Panny 20mm I ordered :( ) so I've really been looking at picking up one of the Oly 14-42, Panasonic 14-42 or Panasonic 14-45 lenses as these kit lenses seem to go fairly cheaply used, I'm just wondering which is the best.
     
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I would go with the m.Zuiko 14-42mm Mark II MSC. Well, the Mark II R would be preferred, but that's just been announced. ;) The Mark II MSC is a very good lens.

    The m.Zuiko is a nice collapsible design which is much more practical than the larger, harder to pack Panasonic options, and the MSC lens is very smooth and quiet. Not only is that great for video, but the MSC lens can also be upgraded through firmware to achieve the same focus speed as the new R lenses on the new Olympus bodies, making it a much better long-term investment.

    Out of the two Panasonic lenses, the 14-45mm is regarded as the better lens... they are both rather bulky though compared with the m.Zuiko kit zooms.

    If you have to get a Mark I version of the m.Zuiko lens then look for the really old ones (from the E-P1 and E-P2) which have a metal mount, as opposed to the plastic mounted version that came with the E-PL1. Not that it'll make any optical or performance difference, but it'll help keep the value of the lens at any rate. ;)
     
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  3. Andrew Riddell

    Andrew Riddell Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Aug 21, 2010
    London
    I can't speak for the Panasonics, but I got the Olympus 14-42 Mk.I with my EP-2 and I have no optical problems with it. I thought the collapsing mechanism might be an irritant, but I got used to it very quickly.

    The only issue I have is that, because of the way the focussing motor (I think) works, you have to rotate a polarising filter or a Cokin-type system anti-clockwise (looking from the back of the camera) to avoid changing the focus while rotating the filter.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards,

    Andrew
     
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  4. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    The mkI Oly lens focuses glacially slow.

    The Panny 14-45 is one of those "bag full of primes" zooms, focuses fast, and has OIS (if you do video this can be a plus). It is considerably bigger than the collapsible Oly, but it's not like you're going to be able to put the camera in a much smaller pocket.
     
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  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I've used both version of the 14-42 on my E-P1 as well as the Panasonic 14-45. IMHO the Panasonic 14-45 is the best of the three and focuses quite quickly on the E-P1. It is larger than the Olympus lenses in that it does not collapse but it is still pretty small.
     
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  6. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Like Ned, my choice would be the m.Zuiko 14-42mm Mark II MSC. It's an excellent lens that's under rated.
     
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  7. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    483
    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Thanks guys I think I'll see if I can get the 14-42 mk2 used failing that a Panny 14-45
     
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Both are good options.
     
  9. artsifrtsy

    artsifrtsy Mu-43 Regular

    165
    Jul 2, 2011
    Ozarks
    I just ordered a used Oly Mark II from B&H. It arrived yesterday. I had the original Oly 14-42. The focus speed has increased significantly. It also has a bayonet to attach the conversion lenses. Plus it uses the same size filters as the Oly 17mm pancake.
     
  10. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    483
    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Potential silly question but how can I tell the difference between the MKII OLy 14-42 and the MK1?
     
  11. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Mark II is marked with MSC on the barrel. That's the easiest way to tell.

    Also, the Mark II has a smaller non-rotating front element and 37mm filter size, while the Mark I has a larger rotating (and sloppier) front element and 40.5mm filter size.

    If the lens has a metal mount on it, it is one of the earlier Mark I versions from before the E-PL1 (kit lens for the E-P1 and E-P2).

    The Mark II version also has a bayonet thread on the front element (for lens hood and conversion lenses), and the front barrel sticks out a little when in the retracted position. The Mark I version retracts completely flush with the back barrel.
     
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  12. The MkI has a 40.5mm diameter filter thread and a "twin trombone" collapsible design.

    The MkII has a 37mm filter thread and a "single trombone" design, as well as a bayonet mount on the outside of the filter thread to attach a lens hood.

    EDIT: Oops, beat me to it!
     
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  13. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    483
    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Thanks guys, will keep an eye out!
     
  14. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Hello,

    I think I might take a different direction on this. I've owned both the Oly 14-42 and the Panny 14-45.

    IMHO the panny 14-45 is the best among the kit zooms... not counting the 7-14 which would blow your budget anyhow.

    ps. I don't think you can go too far wrong in this little lens group anyhow..

    -Alan