Lens options for OM-D ???

Started Dec 29, 2012 | Questions thread
Anders W
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Re: The 12-35 is certainly better than the 12-50...
In reply to Gary Hebert, Dec 30, 2012

Gary Hebert wrote:

mring1 wrote:

but is it 3 times better? That's in the eye, and budget, of the beholder. As long as you understand the lens's limitations, I think it works well. First off, understand that still photography is the third priority of the 12-50. Its first priority is video and second is macro. Second: understand that it's a kit lens and needs to be stopped down. That's clearly one advantage of the 12-35 over the 12-50.

Very interesting info. Thank you.

Even as a still camera, the 12-50 has some nice capabilities. From 12-25, stopped down 1/2 stop or so, it's quite good. From 25 - 40, it's very useable if you stop down 1/2 - full stop. Beyond 40, it gets distinctly slower and less sharp. My solution to that problem was the 40 - 150, but the 45 an even better, and very cost effective, solution. That will be my next lens.

I will work with the 12-50mm this way and have a look.

I had an alternate solution, and that was putting an MMF-3 on my 14-54 Mk I. I can manually focus about as fast as it autofocuses, and as long as what I'm shooting is not moving, it works great. Auto focus takes about two seconds or slightly less, but it's right on. I look at the two lenses as complementary.

At lot of folks like the Pany 14-45 for sharpness and contrast. A search on this forum for that lens will provide you lots of info on that option as well. Very compact and cost effective.

And another option. For some reason I missed this option.

The 14-45 is an important alternative to keep in mind and the one I personally prefer for the time being. Compared to the 12-50, it has the advantage of being quite sharp across the entire range (so that I don't really need to bother about mounting a prime unless the light conditions are poor or I want shallow DoF). It is also slightly smaller (shorter) and the OIS on this particular lens (not all OIS lenses) is capable of handling the E-M5 shutter shock better than IBIS (based on my testing). Of course, the 12-50 has  advantages too (longer range, weather-sealing, macro facility, power zoom) so it all depends on what you value most.

Going with a pair of fast zooms, like the 12-35 and the 35-100 is another solution whose main advantage is that it lets you cover the entire range between 12 and 100 with good optical quality and pretty high speed by means of only two lenses. For some uses, that is a significant advantage. However, for my personal needs, I prefer a slow but good zoom like the 14-45 supplemented with a set of primes (12, 20, 45, 75) as well as other zooms (7-14, 100-300). Of course, I normally wouldn't carry all of them on a single outing but would simply bring along those for which I can foresee a need.

The "first lens" option really is wide open (no pun intended), and is really driven by your photographic style and budget. Good luck with your decision-making process.

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