Lens decision; Olympus 14-150mm or combo of 12-55/40-150

Started May 3, 2012 | Discussions
Bruadair
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Lens decision; Olympus 14-150mm or combo of 12-55/40-150
May 3, 2012

I'm headed to India in a few weeks and would love to take a new OMD with me. I was waiting for a kit with the 12-50mm and had planned on adding either the Olympus 40-150 or Pentax 45-175mm lens. Now I see that there is a body only available which means I would have to buy a lens. So the 14-150 seems appealing as I wouldn't have to change lenses between the range (and I know I loose a small bit on the wide end). Most of my photography is in markets and street photography. Not much on landscapes. I do like getting candids of people from a distance.

But I'm concerned about image quality. I won't be doing large prints. Is there a significant difference in IQ between the Olympus 14-150mm and the combo of the 12-50mm and 40-150 or 45-175mm? The price among these particular lenses are not an issue as the difference isn't huge, but the difference of IQ is imjportant to me.

My primes will be the Olympus 45 f1.8 and either the Olympus 17 f2.8 or the Panasonic 20 f1.7. Would these two compliment the 14-150?
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desmond2046
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Re: Lens decision; Olympus 14-150mm or combo of 12-55/40-150
In reply to Bruadair, May 3, 2012

If you have several primes already, get 14-150,
If you want to use only one lens, get 12-50.
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kimchiflower
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Re: Lens decision; Olympus 14-150mm or combo of 12-55/40-150
In reply to Bruadair, May 3, 2012

If you have the 20mm and 45mm already, then supplementing them with a single walkaround superzoom would seem like the best option. Taking both a normal zoom and tele zoom would be overkill imo and you'd be carrying more weight.

I've just come back from a trip to the Mekong River with the 20mm, 45mm, and 9-18mm.

I was forever changing lenses and I sorely could have used a 14-150mm.

My normal photography is street/urban and for that I have little use for a superzoom.

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Gregm61
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Re: Lens decision; Olympus 14-150mm or combo of 12-55/40-150
In reply to Bruadair, May 3, 2012

Isn't there some kind of special right now where you could buy the E-M5 with either the 14-42 or 12-50 and get the 40-150 for something like $100 extra?

I would get the 12-50 with the body, but that's me...

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vbloomfield
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Re: Lens decision; Olympus 14-150mm or combo of 12-55/40-150
In reply to Gregm61, May 3, 2012

The 14-150 is a wonderfully versatile lens, and image quality is just fine.

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Bruadair
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Re: Lens decision; Olympus 14-150mm or combo of 12-55/40-150
In reply to vbloomfield, May 3, 2012

Thanks for all the replies. I don't yet have the prime lenses, I was going to wait until I had the M5 before I order any.

I initially wanted the kit with the 12-50mm and was going to buy the 40-150 for $150 extra. The con is carrying two lenses and switching out. The pro is I would like the weather resistant lens of the 12-50, plus the little extra wide.

Of course the pro of the 14-150 is not having to change out lenses which for me I think is important. But I believe I'll miss the weather resistant lens as I'll be in India during monsoon season.

These decisions aren't easy.

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caloymiranda
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Re: Lens decision; Olympus 14-150mm or combo of 12-55/40-150
In reply to Bruadair, May 3, 2012

Get the 12-50 and 40-150. when it starts raining, you will be glad you have a versatile weather sealed lens to fall back to. This is only my opinion though.

A few months ago I went hiking with the intention of getting sunrise shots at the summit. Unfortunately it was raining all day and all night at the top. I wasn't able to take any pictures for fear of breaking my camera. I would have loved to have a weather sealed OMD at that moment. Instead i had to make do with a backup underwater point and shoot.

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Michael Kaufman
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How you use them is important to the decision
In reply to Bruadair, May 3, 2012

ONe thing you should think about is how you use the lenses. I have the 12-50 and the 40-150, because I almost never am in a situation where I switch between them. The 40-150, for me, is my shots of the kids from a distance lens. I never use it for street photography and I never use it for landscapes/architecture. For those I use primes and sometimes the 12-50. If this matches your use, then you are much better getting two separate lenses.

Now, if your style of shooting says that at any given moment you might want to shoot at 14 or at 150, then you should probably get a superzoom.

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pocketpygmy
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Re: Lens decision; Olympus 14-150mm or combo of 12-55/40-150
In reply to Bruadair, May 3, 2012

weathersealingness is overrated -- even if you can take a picture in the rain, with the kind of light you're gonna have, would you even really want to? and if it's an absolute must-have kind of shot, well, you can sacrifice, work quickly and wipe away the water. and anyway, the dust, dirt, and smog of just about any indian urban area will certainly make you think twice about exposing your camera's sensor while switching lenses -- making the 12-50's weathersealed nature a little moot if you need to use another lens or don't happen to have it mounted at the time in question.

the convenience and efficiency of a single superzoom lens in a travel situation in a fast-paced place that you don't see just every day will far outweigh any differences in IQ anyone can discern between the 40-150 and 14-150.

if you already have (or are set on having a certain set of) primes, the last thing you'll want is yet another lens to juggle. you'll appreciate paying less attention to gear and more attention to time (i.e. timing) and place (your surroundings), both in terms of personal wellness and photographic output.

14-150 + 20 + 45 makes a lot more sense to me than 12-50 + 40-150 + 20 + 45.

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YeoHoon Bae
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Re: Lens decision; Olympus 14-150mm or combo of 12-55/40-150
In reply to pocketpygmy, May 3, 2012

Do you like taking shots at 12mm rather than 14mm? There's significant differences here. Also, are you into macro photography? 12-50 gives you a mild macro capability.

If you are not interested in either of these, then its a no-braner, 14-150+primes.

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Bruadair
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Re: Lens decision; Olympus 14-150mm or combo of 12-55/40-150
In reply to YeoHoon Bae, May 3, 2012

I have only dabbled in macro but it's not a typical thing for me. I've never shot at 12mm and I like that additional wide part of the 12-50 but it seems like the 14-150 might suit me best. When I was in India for three months last fall I had a Canon SX40HS super zoom. It worked fine but I was disappointed in the IQ, thus the reason for wanting an M5. With the Canon I did switch quite often from wide to telephoto because of the fast paced environment. My upcoming trip will have me in India for six months. It appears that the 14-150 will suit my needs and provide better IQ over my Canon SX40HS, which is what I'm looking for. I know I won't have the same reach with the 14-150 but I don't think I need more than that.

The 45m f1.8 is on my purchase list as well, on the fence about the 20mm or 17mm.

If price were not object then I would order the kit with the 12-50mm and the 14-150. I would keep the 14-150 on for every day use and plan on the occasional use of the 12-50 during monsoon season. But now I'm begging to think that the 12-50 might be overthinking it.

Thank you again for the feedback

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peevee1
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Re: Lens decision; Olympus 14-150mm or combo of 12-55/40-150
In reply to Bruadair, May 3, 2012

It is just a tourist trip, not some job? I'd take only 12-50 to India, and leave 40-150 home. Then put "Digital Teleconvertor" on a button and use it only in those rare moments when I have to. And put shooting mode to 5mpx Fine. 12 mm wide is more important for shooting street, architecture, interiors etc.

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rockygag
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Re: Lens decision; Olympus 14-150mm or combo of 12-55/40-150
In reply to Bruadair, May 3, 2012

Candids at a distance ..... This really means the zoom is needed.

My personal preference for street, epically crowded ones is 14mm on M4/3.

I got the 9-18 for just this type of shooting .... Wide enough for environmental, long enough to just touch normal.

There are tons of threads on which is preferable, paparazzi zooms or wide primes for street. At the end of the day, its what you are comfortable with.

The OP seems to prefer the zoom style, so that means needing a zoom.

When I am not specifically shooting street, I tend to have the 14-140 on, and it is a better all rounder.

I recently shot some street in London, and found the 20mm just a bit long for what I was doing, so switched to the 9-18, and really had fun. While I could have got the same FOV with the 14-140, the rig is just heavier.

I have a bunch of experience in Asia, BKK, KL, Singapore, and for those cities, It take wide over long almost all the time.

Dave

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Michael Meissner
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Re: How you use them is important to the decision
In reply to Michael Kaufman, May 3, 2012

Michael Kaufman wrote:

ONe thing you should think about is how you use the lenses. I have the 12-50 and the 40-150, because I almost never am in a situation where I switch between them.

I dunno, on the other hand, I bought 14-150mm specifically so that I didn't have to change lenses. For example, when I'm on vacation, I might go between photographing people on the street, and then zooming in to catch details of the carvings on the cathedral. At the larger renaissance faires, I'm often at the back of the audience, and I might use the wide angle to catch the whole crowd, and then use the telephoto to capture close ups of the performer on stage within seconds. Going with a superzoom lens, means I can leave the camera bag at home, and just carry camera + flash on a shoulder strap.

When I'm doing events, whale watches, etc. where you don't have time to change lenses, I will often go out with two cameras, one with the wide angle and one with the zoom mounted. While a superzoom lens might have some design compromises, it can be more convenient, and weigh a lot less that multiple cameras.

However, in the case of the E-M5, I tend to think the weather sealing might trump the superzoom. just because it gives you more options.

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Michael Kaufman
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Re: How you use them is important to the decision
In reply to Michael Meissner, May 3, 2012

Michael Meissner wrote:

Michael Kaufman wrote:

ONe thing you should think about is how you use the lenses. I have the 12-50 and the 40-150, because I almost never am in a situation where I switch between them.

I dunno, on the other hand, I bought 14-150mm specifically so that I didn't have to change lenses. For example, when I'm on vacation, I might go between photographing people on the street, and then zooming in to catch details of the carvings on the cathedral.

Read my post again. I think you missed the point.

I said if you do go form 14 to 140 at any given moment (as you do) get the superzoom. If you don't (as I don't) then get two lenses.

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Michael Meissner
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Re: Lens decision; Olympus 14-150mm or combo of 12-55/40-150
In reply to pocketpygmy, May 3, 2012

pocketpygmy wrote:

weathersealingness is overrated -- even if you can take a picture in the rain, with the kind of light you're gonna have, would you even really want to?

I find I'm often leaving the E-P2 home because when I go out in the morning, there might be rain for parts of the day. Most of the day will be clear, but maybe you have an hour or so of downpour. If I'm away from my house or hotel for hours at a time with camera in hand, it is important that I can deal with the elements.

For example,we were in Disneyworld in June 2010. During the time we were there, we often had a storm in the afternoon. Theme parks like Disneyworld also have water rides, and it is very useful to not have to worry about your camera when riding on the ride, or have to waste about an hour of time going to the front of the park to rent a locker and coming back to the ride.

I also like going to renaissance faires, which are recreation of England in the 1600's. Sometimes I'm just a patron, but other times I am the faire photographer. I've had several faires that turned to rain in the middle of the faire. On one of the faires, it is impossible to get back to the car during the day without paying another entrance fee coming, and on others it is a very long way to the parking lot. Now, if I'm just a patron, I can put the camera away when it turns to rain, but if I'm the official photographer, I feel it is my duty to capture the show if it is still going on due to light rain.

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Bruadair
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Re: Lens decision; Olympus 14-150mm or combo of 12-55/40-150
In reply to peevee1, May 3, 2012

peevee1 wrote:

It is just a tourist trip, not some job? I'd take only 12-50 to India, and leave 40-150 home. Then put "Digital Teleconvertor" on a button and use it only in those rare moments when I have to. And put shooting mode to 5mpx Fine. 12 mm wide is more important for shooting street, architecture, interiors etc.

Yep, just a tourist trip. I went last November for 3 months and the photography opportunities were endless and indescribable. So I'm leaving my Canon SX40 behind and looking to take an M5 with me.

I don't do a lot of architecture or interior photos but more of street and candid people doing what they do in every day life. I did just order my camera though about five minutes ago and the only one available was the 12-50mm kit, and I think I'll be happy with that.

Thank you for the tips too.

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Optical1
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Re: Lens decision; Olympus 14-150mm or combo of 12-55/40-150
In reply to Bruadair, May 3, 2012

Bruadair wrote:

I'm headed to India in a few weeks and would love to take a new OMD with me. I was waiting for a kit with the 12-50mm and had planned on adding either the Olympus 40-150 or Pentax 45-175mm lens. Now I see that there is a body only available which means I would have to buy a lens. So the 14-150 seems appealing as I wouldn't have to change lenses between the range (and I know I loose a small bit on the wide end). Most of my photography is in markets and street photography. Not much on landscapes. I do like getting candids of people from a distance.

But I'm concerned about image quality. I won't be doing large prints. Is there a significant difference in IQ between the Olympus 14-150mm and the combo of the 12-50mm and 40-150 or 45-175mm? The price among these particular lenses are not an issue as the difference isn't huge, but the difference of IQ is imjportant to me.

My primes will be the Olympus 45 f1.8 and either the Olympus 17 f2.8 or the Panasonic 20 f1.7. Would these two compliment the 14-150?

Go with the 14-150. The manual zoom vs the 'by wire' or motorized zoom option seals it for me in this regard. Much better, more intuitive control with the 14-150. This is a great lens. If you stop it down to f7.1 or f8 at the long end, it is sharp enough I suspect you'll have a hard time telling the difference without pixel peeping.

I'm not sure what other lenses you have, but I would suggest a fast prime lens for low light shooting to complement this lens.

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g2van
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Re: Lens decision; Olympus 14-150mm or combo of 12-55/40-150
In reply to Bruadair, May 3, 2012

If weather sealing of the 12-50 is not important to you and since it's not part of your kit order, then I would suggest you get the 14-150 plus the 20/1.7. For image quality, seriously, unless you are are printing very large prints, I doubt there is that much difference between the 14-150 and the 40-150 on that front. So the 14-150 is better for convenience since you don't have to change lenses very much. The 20 is a great pancake and it's main advantage is its size and quality of images. Both of these "older" Oly lenses will focus slightly slower than the "newer" range like 12/2, 12-50, 45/1.8, but the OMD is already mighty fast so this is not a big problem in my opinion.

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Bruadair
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Re: Lens decision; Olympus 14-150mm or combo of 12-55/40-150
In reply to rockygag, May 3, 2012

rockygag wrote:

Candids at a distance ..... This really means the zoom is needed.

My personal preference for street, epically crowded ones is 14mm on M4/3.

I got the 9-18 for just this type of shooting .... Wide enough for environmental, long enough to just touch normal.

There are tons of threads on which is preferable, paparazzi zooms or wide primes for street. At the end of the day, its what you are comfortable with.

The OP seems to prefer the zoom style, so that means needing a zoom.

When I am not specifically shooting street, I tend to have the 14-140 on, and it is a better all rounder.

I recently shot some street in London, and found the 20mm just a bit long for what I was doing, so switched to the 9-18, and really had fun. While I could have got the same FOV with the 14-140, the rig is just heavier.

I have a bunch of experience in Asia, BKK, KL, Singapore, and for those cities, It take wide over long almost all the time.

Dave

As the body only wasn't available I just ordered my 12-50mm kit a few minutes ago. I have seen some great examples coming from the 9-18mm and am drooling over that lens. Unfortunately, like most others, I do have a budget.

Right now I'm on the fence for a zoom. The Olympus 40-150 is $200 and the Panasonic 45-175 is $350, not sure which one I'll decide on, if any.

Then I need to choose a prime or two. I am considering the Panasonic 14mm f2.5, Olympus 25mm f2.8 and the Sigma 19mm f2.8. I would like to take night shots of street life including street food vendors, I'm not sure which prime here would be appropriate.

I was considering the Olympus 45mm f1.8 as I really like taking people photos and want the bokeh but I don't know if this lens would really be necessary, I was thinking that the 45-175 might be able to accomplish what I want.

Below are some types of photos I enjoy taking when I'm in India. So for these general types of shots would the 45mm make more sense than a wide angle prime?

In the end I really don't want to go with a bunch of lenses. The 12-50 is coming with the camera. Might consider a zoom. But for shooting street and portrait type photos I would really like to get some crisp looking photos. Any recommendation on which prime would suit my needs best.

I am new to having to choose lenses for a camera, I've only used point and shoot cameras until now and feel like I have a lot to learn about lenses.... Advice is always appreciated.

thanks again guys/gals

These were taken at a distance greater than 100 feet

These were taken at a distance between 20 and 50 feet

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