Pancake/Prime Lens Shopping

Started Jan 29, 2013 | Discussions thread
Neil
Regular MemberPosts: 121
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Re: Pancake/Prime Lens Shopping
In reply to tjdean01, Jan 29, 2013

Firstly of course, primes will usually always gives you better, more versatile performance (ie. shooting at night, available light, indoors) ... whereas a lot of zooms start slow and just get slower - they need a lot of light for reliable focusing etc.

I am exclusively a primes-guy because I like the added performance they give indoors & out.

Had both the Panny 14mm & 20mm. Each were very good lenses, but eventually sold both. I did really like the 20mm initially (stayed as my one & only lens for over a year), but eventually got really tired of the buzzy and slow auto-focus on my E-P2 - it wouldn't always reliably lock in low-light. Optically, it's absolutely top-notch, but mechanically it is for sure a little long-in-the-tooth ... even on a newer body like an E-PL5.

I liked the 14mm optically too. Very nice lens with fast focus but also a little buzzy - so not ideal for video either. I also didn't particularly grow to like the FL as much as I thought that I would. For me, it was just that little bit too wide and I had serious trouble preventing big-noses & other distortions in several quickly framed, candid photos of my fast-moving son for instance. Really, the 14mm (28mm equiv.) is essentially more of a landscape lens anyway and I like portraits more ... so yah, it never fit my style of shooting comfortably.

The first prime I bought for my E-P2 that I really loved strictly on focal length and color-rendering was actually the old Oly 17mm 2.8 ... and while some will criticize it as "average" optically, it is actually still fairly capable. Of course, now with the release of the newer 17mm 1.8, it has become instantly redundant and I would only recommend purchasing the 2.8 if you could acquire at a cheap used $.

BTW, I also have the Oly 45mm 1.8 which is a truly terrific lens for portraits. An absolutely essential buy for any m43 photog, no question. For me, the new Oly 17 & 45 have become my perfect combo. Some folks really like & prefer the Panny 25mm over the Oly 17mm, but I personally like the wider 35mm equivalent FOV vs a more normal 50mm. And one big advantage the newer Oly 17 & 45 have over the older Panny 14 & 20 is a more advanced fast & silent internal focusing.

Just my two cents. YMMV.

Cheers,

Neil

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