which walk around prime lens under $300 do you recommend for the omd?

Started May 18, 2012 | Discussions thread
3dwag
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Some things to consider when making your choice...
In reply to eliehbk, May 19, 2012

eliehbk wrote:

Actually I like the 17mm but I didn't hear good things about the oly 17mm

I don't know what you mean by your comment - that you literally have not heard any good reports, or that you have read only bad reports about the Olympus 17mm f/2.8? or, are the "bad" reports only when compared with Panasonic 20mm f/1.7?

I have seen "good" reports about the Olympus 17mm, as well as negative comments, but these all (both pro and con) have to be taken with a grain of salt and placed into some perspective. I have two Oly 17mm f/2.8 lenses, both excellent copies, and I have taken some fine photos with them. Furthermore, my own shooting style prefers the slightly wider field of view of the 17mm compared to the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, and I don't need the Panasonic's +1.5 stops of light or shallower depth of field. Besides, you said "under $300" - I paid about $200 for my first 17mm several years ago, and the second came for + $100 as a kit lens with my E-P3.

The Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 is a bit sharper and slightly less CA out to the corners, but for me at the time was much more expensive than the Oly 17mm, and I preferred to compromise slightly in favor of slightly lower IQ instead of higher cost and longer focal length. On the wider end, 14mm is too wide for my style, too much rectilinear (inherent optical) distortion closer up or out to the wide ends for street shooting - but that's just me, your needs may be different.

In the end, you should consider your style (focal length, maximum aperture), what other lenses you might need to fill out your kit down the road, cost vs IQ, and camera body.

Something I've been contemplating recently - back in the day of film, I was at my peak of lens satisfaction when I carried around two Pentax Spotmatics, one with an SMC Takumar 35mm f/2, the other with an SMC Takumar 85mm f/1.8. I also kept a 21mm f/3.5 (or near that f=) in my bag, but I seldom used my 50mm f/1.4. I later regretted "upgrading" to the Pentax MX...I did it mainly because I tired of the stop-down metering and screw-mount on the Spotmatic - the MX fixed both of those problems, plus were a bit smaller (near OM size) and had easy-to-read LEDs for metering -- but I could never again afford those 2 favorite lenses in the K-mount (35mm and 85mm), let alone the 21mm, as my family was growing and my $$ had more important uses.

Back to the present - I have had my OMD EM5 for going on 4 weeks now, and I am "in love again" (the camera, I am forever in love with my wife ). Yes, I've used the 17mm with the EM5, and recently was out on three company outings as "the photographer", and for two of those I had the EM5/12-50mm + EP3/17mm.

Good luck with your decision!
-Dennis.

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-Dennis W.
Austin, Texas

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