Help please: 75/1.8 instead of 35-100?

Started Jan 27, 2013 | Discussions
S. Miller
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Help please: 75/1.8 instead of 35-100?
Jan 27, 2013

Sorry, here's another one of those "Can you help me decide which lens is best for me, even though you don't know exactly how I'll use it?" threads.

I played around with a 35-100/2.8 and was very impressed with the build and image quality. I viewed that lens as a great walk around mid-tele zoom that could also do double duty as an indoor low light lens. Unfortunately though, for the the typical low light shooting that I do in my home or similar settings, f/2.8 isn't fast enough. I usually shoot friends and family just hanging out.

So now I'm looking at the 35-100 as just an outdoor mid-tele zoom but know that in good light, I can use my cheap Oly 40-150 and get quite nice results, especially in the 40-100 range of that lens. Sure I won't get the relatively shallower DOF of the f/2.8 lens, but I think you can still get good separation with a slower lens based on FL, distance to subject, and subject distance to b/g. In short, I'm not sure if I really need want this lens.

When I look at the 75/1.8, however, things get really interesting. I would get the low light capability of a f/1.8 lens, and also get a great outdoor mid-tele lens (albeit one for which I'll have to walk to zoom). For those of you that considered both of these lenses, I'd love to hear your thoughts. FYI, my other lenses are:

9-18, 17/1.8, 25/1.4, 45/1.8, 12-50 (kit w/ E-M5), 40-150

As to my self-deprecating comment at the top, I always loved shooting tight portraits. Over the past couple of years, I've tried to expand my skill base focusing on wider shots, be they city/landscape, environmental portraiture, or street photography. I have two areas on which I want to focus right now, though they're at opposite ends of the normal FL spectrum (not including long tele): 1) getting back to traditional portraits (think 85mm on APS-C) or 2) forcing myself to get closer to my subjects while including more of the surroundings (thus the reason for the recent 17/1.8 purchase) - I'm a huge Arnold Newman fan.

I realize the last sentence may have answered my own question, but I'd still like to hear your thoughts.

Thanks,

Steve

P.S. Yes, I realize I can save a ton of money buying a legacy lens, but I can't manual focus worth *#$!. Certainly not in situations where I want to maintain some sort of spontaneity.

Fredrik Glckner
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Re: Help please: 75/1.8 instead of 35-100?
In reply to S. Miller, Jan 27, 2013

I think the 35-100mm lens is by far the most versatile of the two.  And the difference in aperture is not that big, around 1.3 stops. Your camera, the E-M5, can handle fairly high ISO, so do you really need the f/1.8?

Besides, you've already got the 45mm f/1.8 for low light portraits.

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ryan2007
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Re: Help please: 75/1.8 instead of 35-100?
In reply to S. Miller, Jan 27, 2013

The difference in light or stops from 1.8 to 2.8 is one stop.  Specifically from 2.0 to 2.8 is one full stop.

All you have to do is up the ISO one step or shoot at a slower shutter speed by one step.  The 35-100 2.8 is like having several 2.8 prime lenses in one.

If you get the 75 1.8 that is it, that is all that lens will ever be.  This also means that you need to physically move a few feet back to re-frame if 75 mm is too tight.  With any zoom you just zoom out even that little bit makes a difference especially if your backed into a wall.

the zoom lens is the better option as a one stop solution.  The 75 mm is fine if you want to carry extra lenses and change lenses, but changing lenses may cost you missing a moment.

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daddyo
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Steve...
In reply to S. Miller, Jan 27, 2013

I understand your dilemma. The 75mm is a jewel of a lens, and I would really like to own it. However, for me the decision was a 'no brainer' -- I need the versatility of a fast zoom. So I opted for the Pany 35-100mm.

I must say that I am glad I did, as it is an outstandingly sharp lens that focuses very fast and accurately. As the other poster mentioned, if I absolutely need the speed and more shallow DOF I can generally fall back on my 45mm.

To me the answer to your question lies in the answer to the main question -- do you need the flexibility of a zoom, if not, the 75mm would not disappoint you.

God Bless,

Greg

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CelticOdyssey
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All Very True, But............. :-)
In reply to ryan2007, Jan 27, 2013

The 75mm 1.8 is the sharpest m4/3 lens I own, by a large margin.

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pinnacle
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Re: Help please: 75/1.8 instead of 35-100?
In reply to ryan2007, Jan 27, 2013

ryan2007 wrote:

The difference in light or stops from 1.8 to 2.8 is one stop. Specifically from 2.0 to 2.8 is one full stop.

All you have to do is up the ISO one step or shoot at a slower shutter speed by one step. The 35-100 2.8 is like having several 2.8 prime lenses in one.

Well...the Olympus 35-100 f2 SHG is like having several primes all in one lens. The Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 isn't at that level.  It is a very nice lens but, the prime comparison is an overreach.

If you get the 75 1.8 that is it, that is all that lens will ever be. This also means that you need to physically move a few feet back to re-frame if 75 mm is too tight. With any zoom you just zoom out even that little bit makes a difference especially if your backed into a wall.

the zoom lens is the better option as a one stop solution. The 75 mm is fine if you want to carry extra lenses and change lenses, but changing lenses may cost you missing a moment.

True.

The  Olympus 75 f1.8 will give you improvements in bokeh, separation of subject and back round because of the shallower depth of field wide open, and better overall IQ across areas of distortion, chromatic aberration, micro contrast, and resolution.

The Panasonic will give more versatility at the expense of the above sacrifices.

Dan

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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: Help please: 75/1.8 instead of 35-100?
In reply to ryan2007, Jan 27, 2013

ryan2007 wrote:

The difference in light or stops from 1.8 to 2.8 is one stop. Specifically from 2.0 to 2.8 is one full stop.

All you have to do is up the ISO one step or shoot at a slower shutter speed by one step. The 35-100 2.8 is like having several 2.8 prime lenses in one.

If you get the 75 1.8 that is it, that is all that lens will ever be. This also means that you need to physically move a few feet back to re-frame if 75 mm is too tight. With any zoom you just zoom out even that little bit makes a difference especially if your backed into a wall.

the zoom lens is the better option as a one stop solution. The 75 mm is fine if you want to carry extra lenses and change lenses, but changing lenses may cost you missing a moment.

I have to agree. And the difference on IQ is not much.


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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: Help please: 75/1.8 instead of 35-100?
In reply to S. Miller, Jan 27, 2013

I understand your indecision, both are great in IQ. The prime should have a bit more resolution, but not much.

The point here is versatility, and here the zoom wins, beside that we are talking about what I consider a high grade zoom very well built, and the AF speed maybe faster on the zoom.

On the other side has already mentioned the prime is a diamond. If you are a fan of good primes, get the 75mm, is not go for the 35-100mm.

Anyway any you choose will be a fantastic lens. I guess the aperture difference is not much a decision point, you can raise the ISO a bit without loosing IQ. Only if you take pictures in very low light the prime wins. You have to think what you really need.


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Vlad S
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Zoom for family
In reply to S. Miller, Jan 27, 2013

S. Miller wrote:

Unfortunately though, for the the typical low light shooting that I do in my home or similar settings, f/2.8 isn't fast enough. I usually shoot friends and family just hanging out.

At 75mm the lens has angle of view so narrow, that you would have to walk quite a significant distance in order to "zoom with your feet." If your primary interest is to take pictures of friends and family hanging out, then you have to understand, you will be hanging out a lot less with them, and walking around them a lot more. This may not only take away from your time with the family, but also annoy them.

The 75 works a lot better when the subject is not changing the location, so you choose your distance, and stay put. Think studios, concerts, etc. At least that's what I think.

And by the way, since you have E-M5, don't be afraid to raise your ISO. You don't need to take family pictures at ISO 200. ISO 3200 would give you quite acceptable results in this context, and f/2.8 should be sufficiently fast.

Vlad

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MAubrey
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Re: Help please: 75/1.8 instead of 35-100?
In reply to S. Miller, Jan 27, 2013

I'm going to be the odd man out. Get the 75mm.

The difference between 75 f/1.8 and 75 f/2.8. Those who say the difference in resolution for the lenses isn't significant to matter aren't taking into account the difference in resolution between ISO 6400 and ISO2500. That's the difference between 8.5 stops of DR vs. 10 stops of DR. And in low light its often the difference between usable and unusable handheld. And if ever want to get even remotely close to freezing movement in lower light, its the 75 that'll get you there, not the 35-100.

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RoelHendrickx
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Re: Help please: 75/1.8 instead of 35-100?
In reply to S. Miller, Jan 27, 2013

S. Miller wrote:

Sorry, here's another one of those "Can you help me decide which lens is best for me, even though you don't know exactly how I'll use it?" threads.

I played around with a 35-100/2.8 and was very impressed with the build and image quality. I viewed that lens as a great walk around mid-tele zoom that could also do double duty as an indoor low light lens. Unfortunately though, for the the typical low light shooting that I do in my home or similar settings, f/2.8 isn't fast enough. I usually shoot friends and family just hanging out.

So now I'm looking at the 35-100 as just an outdoor mid-tele zoom but know that in good light, I can use my cheap Oly 40-150 and get quite nice results, especially in the 40-100 range of that lens. Sure I won't get the relatively shallower DOF of the f/2.8 lens, but I think you can still get good separation with a slower lens based on FL, distance to subject, and subject distance to b/g. In short, I'm not sure if I really need want this lens.

When I look at the 75/1.8, however, things get really interesting. I would get the low light capability of a f/1.8 lens, and also get a great outdoor mid-tele lens (albeit one for which I'll have to walk to zoom).

Interesting reasoning for the choice between a very good zoom and an even better prime within the range.

I went through some of the same reasoning between ZD50-200 and ZD150.

The zoom is more flexible in good light, but the prime shines in certain situations.

For those of you that considered both of these lenses, I'd love to hear your thoughts. FYI, my other lenses are:

9-18, 17/1.8, 25/1.4, 45/1.8, 12-50 (kit w/ E-M5), 40-150

As to my self-deprecating comment at the top, I always loved shooting tight portraits. Over the past couple of years, I've tried to expand my skill base focusing on wider shots, be they city/landscape, environmental portraiture, or street photography. I have two areas on which I want to focus right now, though they're at opposite ends of the normal FL spectrum (not including long tele): 1) getting back to traditional portraits (think 85mm on APS-C) or 2) forcing myself to get closer to my subjects while including more of the surroundings (thus the reason for the recent 17/1.8 purchase) - I'm a huge Arnold Newman fan.

I realize the last sentence may have answered my own question, but I'd still like to hear your thoughts.

Thanks,

Steve

P.S. Yes, I realize I can save a ton of money buying a legacy lens, but I can't manual focus worth *#$!. Certainly not in situations where I want to maintain some sort of spontaneity.

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RoelHendrickx
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Re: Zoom for family
In reply to Vlad S, Jan 27, 2013

Vlad S wrote:

S. Miller wrote:

Unfortunately though, for the the typical low light shooting that I do in my home or similar settings, f/2.8 isn't fast enough. I usually shoot friends and family just hanging out.

At 75mm the lens has angle of view so narrow, that you would have to walk quite a significant distance in order to "zoom with your feet." If your primary interest is to take pictures of friends and family hanging out, then you have to understand, you will be hanging out a lot less with them, and walking around them a lot more.

This is something I agree with.

For taking casual portrait-type shots with natural light of friends-family situations in which you want to participate, 45mm and 20mm are better focal lengths.

This may not only take away from your time with the family, but also annoy them.

The 75 works a lot better when the subject is not changing the location, so you choose your distance, and stay put. Think studios, concerts, etc. At least that's what I think.

And by the way, since you have E-M5, don't be afraid to raise your ISO. You don't need to take family pictures at ISO 200. ISO 3200 would give you quite acceptable results in this context, and f/2.8 should be sufficiently fast.

Vlad

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S. Miller
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Re: Steve...
In reply to daddyo, Jan 27, 2013

daddyo wrote:

I understand your dilemma. The 75mm is a jewel of a lens, and I would really like to own it. However, for me the decision was a 'no brainer' -- I need the versatility of a fast zoom. So I opted for the Pany 35-100mm.

I must say that I am glad I did, as it is an outstandingly sharp lens that focuses very fast and accurately. As the other poster mentioned, if I absolutely need the speed and more shallow DOF I can generally fall back on my 45mm.

To me the answer to your question lies in the answer to the main question -- do you need the flexibility of a zoom, if not, the 75mm would not disappoint you.

God Bless,

Greg

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Greg and everyone else who replied, I really appreciate your comments.

The takeaway is quite clear that the 35-100 gives me so much more versatility. I don't question this at all. However, since I'll be using this outdoors (presumably in decent light), I'm not sure I get so much more benefit than the 40-100 end of my surprisingly good Oly 40-150. Of course, I'm not saying that these two lenses are the same, it's just that in good light, the cheap Oly is pretty good.

What I didn't say in my original post is that $1,500 is a lot for one lens. I have a 70-200/2.8 L IS (I, not II) that is an amazing lens on my 7D. I am therefore well aware of how much of a "bargain" the Panny 35-100 lens is compared to the Canikon equivalent. However, I still keep my 7D/70-200, along with the 1.4x TC for only one reason: sports. If I could use the 35-100 for my kids' soccer with my E-M5, I wouldn't have started this thread because I would have already sold the rest of my Canon gear and bought the 35-100 the day it was announced. Of course, I can't use the 35-100 for sports (to anywhere near the same effectiveness as the 7d/70-200/1.4TC), so now I'm looking at a very expensive lens for non-sports shooting.

Regarding the low light shooting ability and the fact that I'm only losing 1.3 stops, that translates to needing 6400 ISO instead of 2500 for most of the lighting I encounter when shooting indoors. While I think the low-light capability of the E-M5 is great, I generally find that as soon as I bump up to 6400, I'm relegated to converting to B&W. I love B&W, but like to have the color option. So that 1.3 stop gain with the 75/1.8 could be very helpful. Besides, as an outdoor portrait lens, the images I've seen look absolutely amazing.

One area where the 35-100 could be good is for school recitals, etc. There tends to be enough lighting for a 2.8 lens to work.

BTW, the 75/1.8 is hardly a no-brainer as well at $900. Decisions, decisions. Maybe I should just take a Tums to get rid of this GAS.

Steve

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Jeff Tokayer
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Re: Help please: 75/1.8 instead of 35-100?
In reply to S. Miller, Jan 27, 2013

Tough decision.

After seeing a friend's images shot with the Canon 135/2 and a FF camera, I lust for the effect. This is pushing it with the 75/1.8, probably impossible with the 35-100/2.8

I enjoy shooting with the 45/1.8, but I find myself a bit imposing in candid situations. The 75 could be the lens for these situations.

I consider the 35-100, together with the 12-35, more like a pro kit for weddings. I can see these 2 lenses replacing many FF kits in pro situations.

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S. Miller
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Re: Zoom for family
In reply to RoelHendrickx, Jan 27, 2013

RoelHendrickx wrote:

Vlad S wrote:

S. Miller wrote:

Unfortunately though, for the the typical low light shooting that I do in my home or similar settings, f/2.8 isn't fast enough. I usually shoot friends and family just hanging out.

At 75mm the lens has angle of view so narrow, that you would have to walk quite a significant distance in order to "zoom with your feet." If your primary interest is to take pictures of friends and family hanging out, then you have to understand, you will be hanging out a lot less with them, and walking around them a lot more.

This is something I agree with.

For taking casual portrait-type shots with natural light of friends-family situations in which you want to participate, 45mm and 20mm are better focal lengths.

This may not only take away from your time with the family, but also annoy them.

The 75 works a lot better when the subject is not changing the location, so you choose your distance, and stay put. Think studios, concerts, etc. At least that's what I think.

And by the way, since you have E-M5, don't be afraid to raise your ISO. You don't need to take family pictures at ISO 200. ISO 3200 would give you quite acceptable results in this context, and f/2.8 should be sufficiently fast.

Vlad

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Roel Hendrickx
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Some very good points have been raised. I noted that I want to focus on two types of portraiture: environmental, for which I could use the 17/1.8 and tighter shots with the 45/1.8, or possibly the 75/1.8. Roel, your and Vlad's post got me thinking that I would have to be all the way across the room to use the 75 indoors, which I absolutely agree would be weird, and borderline creepy.

However, I just took a shot of my daughter hanging out in our family room and set my 40-150 to 75mm. To fill the frame the way I envisioned for this type of indoor shot (head and shoulders with background blown out), I was no more than 7 ft away from her. So while I immediately thought that there was no use for a 75 indoors for this type of shot, I'm now thinking it could be very fun to shoot with this lens inside.

Steve

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pinnacle
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75mm inside
In reply to S. Miller, Jan 27, 2013

S. Miller wrote:

RoelHendrickx wrote:

Vlad S wrote:

S. Miller wrote:

Unfortunately though, for the the typical low light shooting that I do in my home or similar settings, f/2.8 isn't fast enough. I usually shoot friends and family just hanging out.

At 75mm the lens has angle of view so narrow, that you would have to walk quite a significant distance in order to "zoom with your feet." If your primary interest is to take pictures of friends and family hanging out, then you have to understand, you will be hanging out a lot less with them, and walking around them a lot more.

This is something I agree with.

For taking casual portrait-type shots with natural light of friends-family situations in which you want to participate, 45mm and 20mm are better focal lengths.

This may not only take away from your time with the family, but also annoy them.

The 75 works a lot better when the subject is not changing the location, so you choose your distance, and stay put. Think studios, concerts, etc. At least that's what I think.

And by the way, since you have E-M5, don't be afraid to raise your ISO. You don't need to take family pictures at ISO 200. ISO 3200 would give you quite acceptable results in this context, and f/2.8 should be sufficiently fast.

Vlad

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Roel Hendrickx
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Some very good points have been raised. I noted that I want to focus on two types of portraiture: environmental, for which I could use the 17/1.8 and tighter shots with the 45/1.8, or possibly the 75/1.8. Roel, your and Vlad's post got me thinking that I would have to be all the way across the room to use the 75 indoors, which I absolutely agree would be weird, and borderline creepy.

However, I just took a shot of my daughter hanging out in our family room and set my 40-150 to 75mm. To fill the frame the way I envisioned for this type of indoor shot (head and shoulders with background blown out), I was no more than 7 ft away from her. So while I immediately thought that there was no use for a 75 indoors for this type of shot, I'm now thinking it could be very fun to shoot with this lens inside.

Steve

I use it inside all the time with little problem. It will surprise you.

Dan

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S. Miller
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Re: Help please: 75/1.8 instead of 35-100?
In reply to Jeff Tokayer, Jan 27, 2013

Jeff Tokayer wrote:

Tough decision.

After seeing a friend's images shot with the Canon 135/2 and a FF camera, I lust for the effect. This is pushing it with the 75/1.8, probably impossible with the 35-100/2.8

I enjoy shooting with the 45/1.8, but I find myself a bit imposing in candid situations. The 75 could be the lens for these situations.

I consider the 35-100, together with the 12-35, more like a pro kit for weddings. I can see these 2 lenses replacing many FF kits in pro situations.

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Hi Jeff,

I agree completely that the 12-35 and 35-100 is perfect for wedding shooters. I don't make money from my photos and don't have the same need to be ready for every shot, so at $1,500 the 35-100 is even more in the land of "nice to have". Again, if I thought I could use it well for soccer, that would be a different story. Actually, the lens could be great for my sports needs, it's the body that has the problem.

I also agree with you about the 45 in candid situations. If I want a fairly tight shot, I have to get in pretty close with the 45 (or crop), so the 75 could be quite nice in these settings. Of course, for more of an environmental shot, the 17 or 25 will be perfect. Either way, for wide or tight, I love the tilt screen for a less obtrusive shot.

Steve

P.S. I saw an image the other day on Google+ that blew me away. It must have been from something similar to the 135/2 that your friend has. While the Oly 75/1.8 may not deliver that much wow, it certainly seems quite nice from the images I've seen on the internets.

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Fred K
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The 75mm/f1.8 is a stunning lens.
In reply to S. Miller, Jan 27, 2013

I have the 75mm 1.8 and I think it is the best lens I have ever used.  Stunning sharpness, lovely to hold and use.  It doesn't zoom, but it's an outstanding prime lens.

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S. Miller
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Re: The 75mm/f1.8 is a stunning lens.
In reply to Fred K, Jan 27, 2013

Fred K wrote:

I have the 75mm 1.8 and I think it is the best lens I have ever used. Stunning sharpness, lovely to hold and use. It doesn't zoom, but it's an outstanding prime lens.

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Dr Fred Kavalier
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Hi Fred,

When do you typically use it? What types of photos or settings?

Thanks,

Steve

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acahaya
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Re: Help please: 75/1.8 instead of 35-100?
In reply to S. Miller, Jan 27, 2013

Tough decision, both are excellent lenses but for different purposes.

The 35-100 has one big advantage to me, it is weather sealed which is a plus for outdoor shooting. It also has rather fast AF (tried it on a GH3 and on my E-M5 and liked it very much but my piggy bank is rather slim right now).

The 75/1.8 is my favourite mFT lens, i'lm constantly finding excuses why i have to use it instead of simply mounting the 45/1.8 or the 25/1.4. Spent a whole afternoon in the studio with my back pressed against the wall to be able to take group shots. Call me stupid but that lens is a gem. But versatile it is NOT.

I'd get both if i could. Not exactly helpful, i know ...

Sabine

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