I want a better kit lens for travel...where to go?, please no primes...

Started Jul 25, 2013 | Discussions
JMaldonado01
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I want a better kit lens for travel...where to go?, please no primes...
Jul 25, 2013

Hello,

I use my Oly EP L2 mainly for travel and I have the 14 - 42 & 40 - 150, the last one a great lens, every picture I take with it has great focus and contrast, makes beautiful pictures...but it gets used not that often because of being a long lens. The kit 14 - 42, it is just Ok, but really, doesn't produce  great shots, I mean sharp and contrasty. I don't want to go the prime route (I know SIGMAS 19 & 30 are a good option) due to missing shots and the pana 12 - 35 is out of the equation, too expensive...So, what do you use as reasonable kit lens for travel.

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Manip16
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Re: I want a better kit lens for travel...where to go?, please no primes...
In reply to JMaldonado01, Jul 25, 2013

You just listed and excluded all of the options.

- 14-42 (soft)
- 12-50 (soft)
- 12-35 (sharp, but expensive).

There's the 7-14mm but that too is expensive and a little wide for a "standard zoom."

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Gottschalk
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Re: I want a better kit lens for travel...where to go?, please no primes...
In reply to JMaldonado01, Jul 25, 2013

I'm onto my second version of the 12-50. Contrary to how many people feel about it (and reviews say) I love mine. Pixel level is not that sharp, but I really like what it produces. Nice and wide and long enough. Focus is very snappy and you have a very usable macro mode to boot. Very underrated in my opinion.

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It's not the size of your sensor but how you use it that counts...

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ohwellOK
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Re: I want a better kit lens for travel...where to go?, please no primes...
In reply to JMaldonado01, Jul 25, 2013

The Panasonic 14-45 is well regarded as a decent kit lens, under $300. I'd say the IQ is a notch up from the Oly 14-42 IIR which I rarely use nowadays. The Olympus 12-50 has decent IQ, and I love the macro feature, but with it's internal zoom it makes for an odd walkaround lens with it's long and narrow barrel IMHO.

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secretworld
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Re: I want a better kit lens for travel...where to go?, please no primes...
In reply to JMaldonado01, Jul 25, 2013

Then only the pana 14-45 is an option. I have it and love it, but truth be told, since I bought the 20mm pana, I now use the 20mm 95% of the time (mostly leave the 14-45 at home), the prime is that much better. And 20mm is great for zooming with your feet...Just wide enough, yet no perspective distortion.

I agree, the 12-35 is to expensive for me too.

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uberzone
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What focal length?
In reply to JMaldonado01, Jul 25, 2013

What focal length are you looking for exactly? If you are looking for a high quality replacement for your 14-42 kit lens, there are really only two options in my opinion. Top choice would be the 12-35, but yes it is expensive. The second best option is the Panasonic 14-45mm. It was their first and still best kit zoom. It can be had for $200-300 and it is much sharper than any kit zoom that has come after it.

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bryanchicken
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Re: I want a better kit lens for travel...where to go?, please no primes...
In reply to JMaldonado01, Jul 25, 2013

14-150 Oly or one of the 14-140 Panas to cover both?

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leendertcv
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Re: I want a better kit lens for travel...where to go?, please no primes...
In reply to JMaldonado01, Jul 25, 2013

I have the new small Panasonic 14-42mm II (not the pancake) and very happy with it.
Sharp lens!

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AG
AG
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Re: I want a better kit lens for travel...where to go?, please no primes...
In reply to bryanchicken, Jul 25, 2013

I have Oly 14-150 and it is OK as one lens for travel. Got it refurbished for $300

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Atlasman
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Oly 14-42mm II M.Zuiko - a huge improvement
In reply to JMaldonado01, Jul 25, 2013

If you go over to slrgear.com, and bring up both the original 14-42mm and version II, you will see a noticeable improvement.

I've used this as my goto lens when I didn't want to carry around much equipment. This would also be my choice for travel.

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Stevejac
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Re: I want a better kit lens for travel...where to go?, please no primes...
In reply to leendertcv, Jul 25, 2013

I've got the panasonic 12-35f2.8 and it's a wonderful lens. But my 12-50 omd kit lens is really convenient with it's included macro function and waterproof, to boot.

I can see a difference between the two,  but the 12-50 isn't that bad a lens. If you don't want to spend the megabucks for the 12-30, give the 12-50 a try

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JMaldonado01
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Re: I want a better kit lens for travel...where to go?, please no primes...
In reply to Gottschalk, Jul 25, 2013

Ok, question...Is it much better than the 14 - 42?...I mean, my kit lens when I take a scene in general it is more or less Ok, but for ambiance portraits which I like when traveling it is very bad, resolution for peoples in scenes is lacking a lot...Is the 12 - 50 better?

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JMG

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JMaldonado01
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Re: I want a better kit lens for travel...where to go?, please no primes...
In reply to Manip16, Jul 25, 2013

Yes, it is sad...There should be a better kit lens...

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JMaldonado01
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Re: I want a better kit lens for travel...where to go?, please no primes...
In reply to Stevejac, Jul 25, 2013

Thanks, very useful info. If you have both and in general think the 12 - 50 is a good price sensible option to the 12 - 35, then it should be much better then the 14 - 42 RII. Can you elaborate more on your toughs on the 12 - 50 compared to the 12 - 35...I´m not looking for DoF control or low light capability, so in every other aspect, is ti a good lens compared to the 12 - 35?, I mean, is it sharp and contrasty enough for you?

Thank you so much for any further comment.

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JMG

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JMaldonado01
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Re: Oly 14-42mm II M.Zuiko - a huge improvement
In reply to Atlasman, Jul 25, 2013

I do have the second version..maybe mine is not so great.

Thanks,

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JMG

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Einst Stein
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dont want 12-35 nor prime? Then stay with 14-42mm
In reply to JMaldonado01, Jul 25, 2013

Pray for a magic lens Is your only hope if you don't want prime nor 12-35mm.

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acahaya
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Re: I want a better kit lens for travel...where to go?, please no primes...
In reply to JMaldonado01, Jul 25, 2013

i Know but currently do not own the 12-35, i own a 12-50 and several versions of the 14-42 kit lens and i usually compare those lenses to the FT 14-54 and 12-60, sadly the latter are still superior to all mFT zooms i know.

In my opinion the 12-50 is underrated due to slow speed and the quality of the copies seems to vary. Maybe i have a good one but i do not hesitate to use it as a walkaround and travel lens, was in Rome last week and very happy. I like the way the lens renders images but YMMV. If you gan find a used one for 150-200$, go and get it but do not buy the full price for a new one.

Another idea is the 9-18, which imo is a perfect lens for walking in cities. It is not as good for environmental portraits due to wa. I used it with a 14-150 as a travel lns combo (for whatever reason it ended in my hubby's photobag). This is a very versatile combination, especially if you want to use the full range between 14-150 but rarely have the time to change lenses.

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JMaldonado01
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Re: dont want 12-35 nor prime? Then stay with 14-42mm
In reply to Einst Stein, Jul 25, 2013

LOL...Thanks...yes I know I`m asking for the impossible, it´s sad.

Ok, so in your view, there is nothing that takes a place in IQ between the 14 - 42 and the 12 - 35? Two suggestions that have come up are the 14 - 45 original pana kit lens and the newer 12 - 50 from Oly. Do you think there is an improvement for these two options?

Thanks again,

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JMG

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JMaldonado01
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Re: I want a better kit lens for travel...where to go?, please no primes...
In reply to acahaya, Jul 25, 2013

Thanks acahaya, I will search for reviews and comparatives between the Pana 14 - 45 & the Oly 12 - 50 to make my mind and try one of those two, I´m not looking for Bokeh or better low light performance, for that I would definitely have to go with a prime, I simply just want sharper and better contrast day to day pictures, a kit lens with the IQ and value of the 40 - 150 is what I´m looking for.

Thanks again,

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JMG

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Marla
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Re: I want a better kit lens for travel...where to go?, please no primes...
In reply to JMaldonado01, Jul 25, 2013

About a year ago I purchased the 14-45 after reading some great reviews on dp and elsewhere.

I was pleasantly surprised at the image quality from the first time I used it on the OMD. It's the best "kit" lens I've used and has become my favorite walk around lens.

It's $289 at B&H.....if you're interested. Well worth it IMHO!

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/657970-REG/Panasonic_H_FS014045_Lumix_G_Vario_14.html

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Maria

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