Need advice: Panny 14-45, 12-35, or 14-140 for travel lens.

Started 5 months ago | Discussions
Len_Gee
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Need advice: Panny 14-45, 12-35, or 14-140 for travel lens.
5 months ago

Hello,

I'm thinking of adding one of the following lenses for current GX1 kit.  A lens for general travel, cruises, walk around photography.  Not a pro just a weekend snapper.

Considering one of the following:

  • 14-45 (not expensive, slow f3.5-f5.6, older design)
  • 12-35 (expensive but "pro quality" f2.8)
  • 14-140 ( one lens does all, but reportedly afflicted with "shutter shock")

What lens would you suggest?

I'm  leaning heavily towards either 14-45 or 12-35.

Just not sure if 12-35 @ $1000 is that much  better than 14-45 @$300.  Is it?

FWIW, I have 7-14, and 25 PanLeica, and plan to keep both, adding Oly 45 in future.

Also planning to add GX7 or M10 body in future.   Want to carry 2 MFT cameras when traveling to avoid lens swapping as much as I can.

Considered GM1 kit, but my hands are XL.

Thanks for any practical as well as technical advice.

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James Pilcher
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the most versatile lens
In reply to Len_Gee, 5 months ago

I will always take speed over a slower "versatile" lens. I find that a lens that works easily in a larger range of lighting conditions is the real winner in versatility.

Go with the Lumix 12-35mm or Olympus 12-40mm. You get the best overall image quality with these lenses too.

Jim Pilcher
Summit County, Colorado, USA

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honeyiscool
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Re: Need advice: Panny 14-45, 12-35, or 14-140 for travel lens.
In reply to Len_Gee, 5 months ago

So much happens after sunset that f/5.6 can often prove useless in so many settings. Go with f/2.8.

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jeffharris
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Re: Need advice: Panny 14-45, 12-35, or 14-140 for travel lens.
In reply to honeyiscool, 5 months ago

honeyiscool wrote:

So much happens after sunset that f/5.6 can often prove useless in so many settings. Go with f/2.8.

After sunset, even an f2.8 will struggle.

Go for an f1.4, or faster, prime to augment whatever convenience lens… I mean… zoom lens one might choose.

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honeyiscool
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Re: Need advice: Panny 14-45, 12-35, or 14-140 for travel lens.
In reply to jeffharris, 5 months ago

jeffharris wrote:

honeyiscool wrote:

So much happens after sunset that f/5.6 can often prove useless in so many settings. Go with f/2.8.

After sunset, even an f2.8 will struggle.

Go for an f1.4, or faster, prime to augment whatever convenience lens… I mean… zoom lens one might choose.

In my experience, as long you're willing to push it to ISO 6400 (and you have to be, at night), f/2.8 is usually enough to take people shots at 1/40 or faster if you have some light (street light, etc.). At the same setting, f/5.6 is 1/10.

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Chez Wimpy
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Re: Need advice: Panny 14-45, 12-35, or 14-140 for travel lens.
In reply to Len_Gee, 5 months ago

Len_Gee wrote:

Just not sure if 12-35 @ $1000 is that much better than 14-45 @$300. Is it?

Stopped down, no... but indoors, sure.  The focal range is actually superior on the 14-45 because you can turn the camera and stitch for wider FOV (with the added benefit of more pixels than a single shot at 12mm), while reach is limited by the max focal length on hand.  Given this versatility and IQ across the full range, I wouldn't trade my 14-45 for the 12-35 for landscapes (not for even money) though there have been rare occasions hiking back after sunset where f2.8 vs f5.6 does make the difference between a keeper and noisy(-or-blurry) mess.  Optically the 14-45 is as good as kit lenses get, and though I print very large (A1+) the results are at least as good as I have ever gotten from a zoom (Canon L-zooms on FF included).  The Olympus 12-40 is tempting, but it is larger, and given the cost I am not sure I would ever get my money's worth since I habitually shoot in the f5.6-f8 range.

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richarddd
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Re: Need advice: Panny 14-45, 12-35, or 14-140 for travel lens.
In reply to Len_Gee, 5 months ago

Are you likely to want to shoot longer than 45mm?

Are you likely to shoot much in dim light or want somewhat shallower DOF? If so, do you believe your 25 and future 45 would suffice?

It really depends on your photo needs. From a recent poll I did here on travel kits, different people make different choices. http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3625142

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drtmw
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Re: Need advice: Panny 14-45, 12-35, or 14-140 for travel lens.
In reply to Len_Gee, 5 months ago

Hi,

It's not clear what you want to carry, one lens or two? For me, I found that I really used the 12 mm end of my 12-35 last year in Europe (indoors in churches, and outdoors for wider scenics).  Nearly 1/2 of my shots with this lens were at the wide end.  I would not travel without it. But you do have a 7-14 so if you carry that you have the wide end covered.

I had a 14-45 and it was very nice but like my 12-35 better. Now I carry a GX7 the 12-35, a 20 f 1.7 for stealth and indoor uses, and the 35-100.  I really don't like to change lenses much so this is the most I'll carry.

good luck,

Tom

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tjuster1
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Re: Need advice: Panny 14-45, 12-35, or 14-140 for travel lens.
In reply to Len_Gee, 5 months ago

Any reason you're not considering the new Panasonic 12-32mm? Sure, it's not as fast as the 12-35mm, but so far it seems every bit the equal of the well-regarded 14-45mm, except it's a little wider and a little shorter, a trade-off I'd gladly make. And it's TINY!! I think it would be a perfect match for the GX1.

Also has the latest greatest OIS, which seems to work well too.

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LMNCT
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Re: Need advice: Panny 14-45, 12-35, or 14-140 for travel lens.
In reply to Len_Gee, 5 months ago

The 12-35 f2.8 would be a good choice.  Your GX1 does not have internal stabilization, but the 2-35 has excellent in-lens stabilization.  You might want to pick up a fast prime as well.

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eques
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Re: Need advice: Panny 14-45, 12-35, or 14-140 for travel lens.
In reply to Len_Gee, 5 months ago

Taking into account what you have and what you plan to get, I personally would get the 45 and just use the 7-14, the 25 and the 45 for travel. This is a beautiful 3 lens set, and with a close up filter is good for everything except wildlife (birds, safaris, ...)

I have the 14-45 and like it, the 12-32 seems to be even better, I have read; the 12-35 is just a bit better IQ wise and obviously faster.

Peter

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jeffharris
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Re: Need advice: Panny 14-45, 12-35, or 14-140 for travel lens.
In reply to honeyiscool, 5 months ago

honeyiscool wrote:

jeffharris wrote:

honeyiscool wrote:

So much happens after sunset that f/5.6 can often prove useless in so many settings. Go with f/2.8.

After sunset, even an f2.8 will struggle.

Go for an f1.4, or faster, prime to augment whatever convenience lens… I mean… zoom lens one might choose.

In my experience, as long you're willing to push it to ISO 6400 (and you have to be, at night), f/2.8 is usually enough to take people shots at 1/40 or faster if you have some light (street light, etc.). At the same setting, f/5.6 is 1/10.

Even with the improved higher ISO performance of the latest generation M4/3 cameras, ISO6400 doesn't really cut it because of increased amounts of noise. ISO3200 is okay, but not that great. I rarely shoot above ISO800 or ISO1250 even with my GX7, but then, I use fast primes.

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jeffharris
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Re: Need advice: Panny 14-45, 12-35, or 14-140 for travel lens.
In reply to eques, 5 months ago

eques wrote:

Taking into account what you have and what you plan to get, I personally would get the 45 and just use the 7-14, the 25 and the 45 for travel. This is a beautiful 3 lens set, and with a close up filter is good for everything except wildlife (birds, safaris, ...)

I tend to agree, except for one longer lens, like a 75mm.

On my last few trips my basic kit was… 7-14mm, 17.5mm and 42.5mm. Even though I carried a couple other lenses… 12mm T1.6 and a 105mm f2.8 macro (doubles as telephoto)… the majority of my shooting was with those 3 lenses.

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Ulric
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Re: Need advice: Panny 14-45, 12-35, or 14-140 for travel lens.
In reply to Len_Gee, 5 months ago

Is your gear list up to date, i.e. are the Pansonic 7-14 and 25 the only MFT lenses you have?

If you're going to use this new aquisition alone on the GX7, i.e. unaccompanied by other lenses, then f/2.8 is just barely sufficient and slower zooms need not apply. Otherwise, any zoom plus the fast prime might do.

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Jim T
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Re: Need advice: Panny 14-45, 12-35, or 14-140 for travel lens.
In reply to Ulric, 5 months ago

Not what most of the others are saying but I'd get the 14-140.  You have the wide angle 7-14 covered and the PL25 should give you the low light prime performance.  Only thing missing is the long end.  The 14-140 is IMO a fine lens with a very versatile range for the regular use needed for travel.  If you get the Oly45 later that will add another option for portrait shooting if that's what your after and the lower aperture.

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Lumixdude
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Re: Need advice: Panny 14-45, 12-35, or 14-140 for travel lens.
In reply to honeyiscool, 5 months ago

honeyiscool wrote:

jeffharris wrote:

honeyiscool wrote:

So much happens after sunset that f/5.6 can often prove useless in so many settings. Go with f/2.8.

After sunset, even an f2.8 will struggle.

Go for an f1.4, or faster, prime to augment whatever convenience lens… I mean… zoom lens one might choose.

In my experience, as long you're willing to push it to ISO 6400 (and you have to be, at night), f/2.8 is usually enough to take people shots at 1/40 or faster if you have some light (street light, etc.). At the same setting, f/5.6 is 1/10.

In my experience this is bad technique... If you were shooting with a film SLR you wouldn't all of a sudden come to the conclusion that you're going to stop shooting in the middle of a roll and load ISO6400 film. You would attach a faster lens... ISO is not a real solution... Although maybe I'm just cranky because I actually remember how to shoot with a film SLR.

To answer the question... you have a 14 to 28mm lens equivalent already, so grab the 14-140 and spend the rest on a cheap prime like the 14mm F/1.8 if you need to shoot in low light.

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a13
a13
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Re: Need advice: Panny 14-45, 12-35, or 14-140 for travel lens.
In reply to Lumixdude, 5 months ago

Lumixdude wrote:

In my experience this is bad technique... If you were shooting with a film SLR you wouldn't all of a sudden come to the conclusion that you're going to stop shooting in the middle of a roll and load ISO6400 film. You would attach a faster lens... ISO is not a real solution... Although maybe I'm just cranky because I actually remember how to shoot with a film SLR.

To answer the question... you have a 14 to 28mm lens equivalent already, so grab the 14-140 and spend the rest on a cheap prime like the 14mm F/1.8 if you need to shoot in low light.

It's called progress. Limitations of the past are hardly a good reason to not take advantage of options you do have today. That's like a compact camera shooter refusing to take multiple lenses because "I'm used to having to find other solutions" and not solving whatever problem you have with the smartest/easiest/most effective solution you can employ.

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Lumixdude
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I still see no point
In reply to a13, 5 months ago

You get the most out of your camera by using an appropriate lens, not using ISO unnecessarily. In the 1% of shots you can't get with a fast enough lens then boost your ISO... not until... Particularly with Micro Four Thirds where using higher ISO figures than 200 has obvious effects on your shots. I'm not saying its bad... it's just obvious and oneof the main reasons for not shooting film is to reduce unnecessary noise and image degradation...

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Fredrik Glckner
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Re: Need advice: Panny 14-45, 12-35, or 14-140 for travel lens.
In reply to Len_Gee, 5 months ago

For travel, I would definitively go for the 14-140mm lens.

http://m43photo.blogspot.com/2013/08/lumix-g-hd-14-140mm-f35-56-review.html

I have used this lens also at dusk and even when it is pretty much pitch dark. I have done that by pushing the ISO up, and also supporting the camera against something. If you need to capture moving subjects, though, that can be more difficult.

I guess it comes down to whether or not you like to use the tele end. Some people just hate tele images, and for those, the 12-35mm lens makes much more sense, of course.

Personally, I like the tele end, which is why I often pick up the 14-140mm lens over the 12-35mm lens.

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D200_4me
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I only had the 14-140 and....
In reply to Len_Gee, 5 months ago

I was happy with many images I took while traveling. I had the older 14-140 on the GH2 back when I had that camera. That's the only used I used with the GH2 and I think the photos speak for themselves:

http://www.openbloom.com/CAMERAGEAR/Panasonic-Lumix-GH2/

If I were in your position, I would take the 14-140 (new version) over the much shorter and only mildly 'faster' (aperture) 12-35.  I want to get the shot, period.  I don't want to have the 12-35 and regret not having the lens that has the reach to get the shot I just missed.  Go for versatility, not limitations simply because others think you need the very best optical performance, even if it means you miss a lot of shots or framing that you want.

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