Zooms or Primes (I know...both)

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by DynaSport, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 5, 2013
    I just did some quick math based on B&H's current prices (some of the lenses are on sale right now) and this is what I came up with.

    P14, O17, PL25, O45, and O75 total about $2491.

    P12-35 and P35-100 total about $2535.

    The zooms get you wider and longer, add image stabilization (which may not be important to you depending on which body you use) and mean you need to carry fewer lenses and change lenses less often.

    The primes mean that you have extra speed. Of course, if you substitute the 012 for the P14 you get wider, but spend several hundred more.

    So, which kit would you guys prefer?
  2. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    I would prefer the zoom because it is a 2-lens package, I go for the least amount of lens changes espcially when on the go.

    For the prime kit, I will go for a 3-lens combo: 14 + 25 + 75 and save some $$ along the way.
  3. zap

    zap Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 23, 2012
    all of it *if possible* :wink:
  4. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    For ultimate flexibility I'd get the zoom, plus 1 fast prime either ah 17mm f/1.8 or 25mm f/1.4 depends on which FL you'd like.
  5. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    or a 12-35 + 75? :biggrin:
  6. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    Of course!! :2thumbs::biggrin:
  7. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    I'm guessing size doesn't matter to you, so in that case I'd probably go with the zooms too. But, depending on your body, the 14mm will give you a truly small "pocketable" camera, which is something you might value. On the other hand, the 14mm is so cheap you could get the zooms AND it if that's what you wanted to do.
  8. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 5, 2013
    Oh, size definitely matters to me. It's what drew me to M43 in the first place. I'm just curious what you guys prefer.
  9. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    Size... hmmm I have no experience with these two pana lenses but for size 14mm f/2.5, 20mm f/1.7 and the Oly 45mm f/1.8 is probably the smallest very decent package you could get. Couple it with something like an E-PM2 and all could literally fit in your palm hehe
  10. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    I like primes: they force me to think more about position and framing, and I dislike flash, so they are more useful indoors. But for some reason, I don't resonate with the 'normal' focal lengths, so the 20-40mm range is not for me.

    So I have the 17 1.8, the O45 and 75. I would really like a UWA prime, but am happy to live with the 9-18 until one turns up.

    When I need maximum flexibility, and still want a small kit that fits in my Hadley Digital, I take the 9-18 for wide, the 40-150 for long and the 17 1.8 for general and low light.

    The 12-35 simply isn't wide enough for me and wouldn't replace my 17. And I prefer the 45 and 75 to the 35-100.
  11. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    Everyone have different preference for the kit. I like having a ultra-wide zoom, a bright normal and a telephoto zoom.

    So ideally, my kit would look like: P7-14 or O9-18 + O17 or P25 + P35-100.

    Since I'm having trouble with saving for the P35-100, a O45 and a O14-150 is currently substituting it. I got the O14-150 because it was a great deal refurbished and because I missed the $99 deal for the O40-150.

    You can probably substitute the UWA zooms with a prime like P14 or O12 if you don't want that exaggerated perspective.
  12. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    For a lower cost prime set up, consider the 60mm macro or the sigma. 12 or 14, (17,20,25), and 60mm
  13. Anthonys

    Anthonys Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 17, 2011
    I'm thinking a mix of primes and zooms means best of both worlds. From those lenses I think the ideal would be: 12-35mm, O45/60/75.

    Could always add 7-14, 9-18 or 7.5 if you need UWA, or 100-300 for long telephoto.

    DoF is thinner at longer focal lengths, good for portraits, and wider angles are mostly used for landscapes where you need longer DoF anyway.
  14. pbasswil

    pbasswil Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2013
    You know what, you can take your best guess, but you'll never know what lens(es) you're going to enjoy shooting most until you try.

    So I'd say, if you can swing it, start with one mid-range zoom, and one fast-ish prime.

    Then it's out to shoot. You'll see if the prime's possibilities of bokeh (selective focus), and low light speed matters to you; or conversely if just having the range of the zoom ready is more important to you.

    That'll help you pick your third lens, and so on.
  15. Dools009

    Dools009 New to Mu-43

    Sep 5, 2013
    zoom plus prime

    +1 on the zoom plus a lowlight/compact prime (I love the panny 20mm/1.7 for its size and discretion)
  16. Always preferred primes and never been disappointed with my preference.


    It is a personal preference... no one can deny the value of a zoom for flexibility.

    For MFT, I have both...
  17. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 5, 2013
    Well, I now have 2 of each. I have the kit Oly 14-42 and 40-150. I have since purchased the P14 and O45. Right now I am carrying the P14 and O45 to force myself to use them. I really like the quality and size of them right now. We'll see how I like changing lenses and what I end up using the most. I could see me going O9-18, P25, O45 P100-300. But I wouldn't want to carry all those all the time.
  18. Let's not forget that this doesn't have to be Zooms OR primes.

    When I travelled light with Canon, I traveled with 24-105L plus a 50mm f/1.4. Perfect combination for someone on a walk about. I used this ALOT even though a 24-70 f/2.8L was also available.

    Similarly, a decent kit lens 12-50 plus a 20mm f/1.7 or 12mm f/2 has served me well as well.

    Doesn't even have to be the same camera... Leica 35mm f/1.4 accompanies my OMD with 12-35mm f/2.8 a few times with satisfaction.
  19. STR

    STR Mu-43 Veteran

    May 16, 2013
    Haha...no way you should pay anything close to that. Look for importers. You could get those two lenses for $1900 tops (12-35 $900, 35-100 $1000). With that kind of difference, the warranty isn't even worth it. An OOW repair on both would still leave you ahead a few dollars.
  20. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    I'd have to go with a mix of zooms and primes.

    Either 7-14 or 9-18 is a MUST for me. (I have both and wouldn't want to give either of them up.)
    12-35 or upcoming 12-40 would be a must. (I have the 12-35.)
    17/1.8, 20/1.7, or 25/1.4 would be a must. (I have all three.)
    45/1.8 or 75/1.8 would be a must. (I have both.)
    35-100 would be a very much would like. (This is one lens I still need to pick up!)

    That's four to five lenses for me, at minimum. (I have about fifteen m4/3 lenses at present.)
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