Which kit lens for olympus om-d em-5?

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Stevedore87
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Which kit lens for olympus om-d em-5?
5 months ago

Hi,

I posted this elsewhere, but was recommended I post here under micro four thirds forum!

I will soon be purchasing an Olympus Om-D Em-5 and have the choice of a twin lens kit (MFT 14-42mm II R + MFT 40-150mm R Lens) or single (12-50mm) for approximately the same price.

I will be travelling through Asia this year and am unsure as to what is the best option for me. Any help offered would be greatly appreciated.

I am particularly interested in scenery shots. I will look to get a zoom lens when I return however as I'd love to take shots of my soccer team.

Thanks!

Steve.

socal4142
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Re: Which kit lens for olympus om-d em-5?
In reply to Stevedore87, 5 months ago

If you are interested in light weight and small size, I'd encourage you to consider the Panasonic 12-32mm. It's a great, tiny lens. You might want a zoom to go with it, though.

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-interchangeable-12-32mm-F3-5-5-6-H-FS12032/dp/B00FYK2LE4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396670152&sr=8-1&keywords=panasonic+12-32mm

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EarthQuake
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Re: Which kit lens for olympus om-d em-5?
In reply to socal4142, 5 months ago

socal4142 wrote:

If you are interested in light weight and small size, I'd encourage you to consider the Panasonic 12-32mm. It's a great, tiny lens. You might want a zoom to go with it, though.

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-interchangeable-12-32mm-F3-5-5-6-H-FS12032/dp/B00FYK2LE4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396670152&sr=8-1&keywords=panasonic+12-32mm

Yeah I picked up the 12-32mm and its perfect on the EM5, my wife uses it mostly while I have the 12-40 or primes on my EM1.

I would get the 12-32 or one of the 2.8 zooms (12-35 or 12-40), the regular kit lenses are pretty big and not really any better than the 12-32, most of them less wide as well. Only thing you really lose is the long end (which to me isn't a big deal in a kit lens, maybe to others, I would much rather have the wide end) and the weather sealing of the 12-50mm of course.

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sigala1
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Re: Which kit lens for olympus om-d em-5?
In reply to Stevedore87, 5 months ago

Stevedore87 wrote:

Hi,

I posted this elsewhere, but was recommended I post here under micro four thirds forum!

I will soon be purchasing an Olympus Om-D Em-5 and have the choice of a twin lens kit (MFT 14-42mm II R + MFT 40-150mm R Lens) or single (12-50mm) for approximately the same price.

I will be travelling through Asia this year and am unsure as to what is the best option for me. Any help offered would be greatly appreciated.

I am particularly interested in scenery shots. I will look to get a zoom lens when I return however as I'd love to take shots of my soccer team.

Thanks!

Steve.

The 14-42mm II R is the sharper and superior lens when stopped down, compared to the 12-50mm. Plus it's smaller and lighter and less expensive. Win-win-win.

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Steven Wandy
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Re: Which kit lens for olympus om-d em-5?
In reply to Stevedore87, 5 months ago

Of those two choices I would go for the two lens kit. I had the 12-50 and while I liked a lot of its features I did not feel it was any better IQ wise than the 14-42 while being quite a bit larger. And the 40-150 is a very good long zoom considering the size/weight/price.
Others have suggested the Panasonic 12-32 and I would add the Olympus 14-42EZ pancake. While the Panasonic is a bit wider the Olympus is 33% longer (64-84 equivalent) which might mean less lens swapping. And while the Oly has a power zoom (which did take getting used to) it also has a manual focusing ring for those times you might want to use it. IQ wise people have said that the Pana is a bit better but I have been very happy with the Oly pancake.

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Robbster
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Re: Which kit lens for olympus om-d em-5?
In reply to Stevedore87, 5 months ago

Stevedore87 wrote:

Hi,

I posted this elsewhere, but was recommended I post here under micro four thirds forum!

I will soon be purchasing an Olympus Om-D Em-5 and have the choice of a twin lens kit (MFT 14-42mm II R + MFT 40-150mm R Lens) or single (12-50mm) for approximately the same price.

Hi, Steve. I've owned all three of these lenses for my EM-5, and my reco would be the 14-42 II R + the 40-150. I've never really liked my copy of the 12-50 (though I still have it since it fills the "sealed lens" niche in my collection). The 14-42 II R is much more compact and would therefore be my walk around choice, while the 40-150 is a very good long zoom.  The one trade-off on the 14-42 II R is that it is a retractable lens, so not quite so quick to use for street shooting etc. unless you leave it extended.

I have quite a few m4/3rds lenses, and couple EPL1 bodies as backups. Here is how I have my copies of your kit lenses distributed today - Sold the 40-150 and bought the 14-150 instead, fit my walk around style better when I needed long zoom, though the quality of the 14-150 is not quite as high as the 40-150. Keep the 14-42 II R on one of my EPL1's that I keep out at our lake house, great for quick shots under range of circumstances. Have the 12-50 stored with my other specialty lenses (150-300, 9-18, primes). Keep the 14-150 on much of the time. Other times the 19mm Sigma prime for it's faster f2.8 speed.

In terms of lens envy, I agree with other posters: The Oly 12-40mm f2.8 would be my top choice, followed by the Pany 12-30 compact as it's so small. Might also consider the 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ as a compact zoom, would have to compare it more closely to the Pany.  You can always sell off your kit lenses and get better glass.

I will be travelling through Asia this year and am unsure as to what is the best option for me. Any help offered would be greatly appreciated.

One thing to consider is rain. If you expect to be out shooting in it much, then perhaps the 12-50 is the better choice.

I am particularly interested in scenery shots. I will look to get a zoom lens when I return however as I'd love to take shots of my soccer team.

If you opt for the 40-150 in your kit, you have a nice long zoom with which to start.

Thanks!

Steve.

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krugman
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Re: Which kit lens for olympus om-d em-5?
In reply to Stevedore87, 5 months ago

Stevedore87 wrote:

Hi,

I posted this elsewhere, but was recommended I post here under micro four thirds forum!

I will soon be purchasing an Olympus Om-D Em-5 and have the choice of a twin lens kit (MFT 14-42mm II R + MFT 40-150mm R Lens) or single (12-50mm) for approximately the same price.

I will be travelling through Asia this year and am unsure as to what is the best option for me. Any help offered would be greatly appreciated.

I am particularly interested in scenery shots. I will look to get a zoom lens when I return however as I'd love to take shots of my soccer team.

Thanks!

Steve.

Well I am not sure this  will be helpful or is what you want to hear, but today I had an interesting experience.

I looked through a 14-42 Oly kit lens set at 42mm at a display in the camera store,  and then looked at the same display  through the Oly 45mm f18.

There has been a lot of debate as to whether that kit zoom is as mediocre as some critics have claimed. I can't answer that, but I can say that  I was amazed that the view through the viewfinder was much sharper with the  Oly 45mm.

I asked the camera store person about this and he replied that the viewfinder shows  you the image on the sensor.

I recognize that zooms are very convenient, but I thought you might like to hear my experience.

Krugman

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Glen Barrington
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Well for a trip like that . . .
In reply to Stevedore87, 5 months ago

Stevedore87 wrote:

Hi,

I posted this elsewhere, but was recommended I post here under micro four thirds forum!

I will soon be purchasing an Olympus Om-D Em-5 and have the choice of a twin lens kit (MFT 14-42mm II R + MFT 40-150mm R Lens) or single (12-50mm) for approximately the same price.

I will be travelling through Asia this year and am unsure as to what is the best option for me. Any help offered would be greatly appreciated.

I am particularly interested in scenery shots. I will look to get a zoom lens when I return however as I'd love to take shots of my soccer team.

Thanks!

Steve.

I think I would prefer to have the 2 lens kit. It offers the greatest range of focal length.   And those Olympus kit lenses are pretty decent lenses.

I'm not sure what  you mean by 'buying a zoom lens' when you return from your trip, both options you list contain zoom lenses.

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Paul De Bra
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From these two... or other options?
In reply to Stevedore87, 5 months ago

From the two choices the 2-kit version gives you the longest range, but the 12-50 goes wider. I can recommend the 12-50 if you buy early enough and with good return policy and if you are willing to return bad and mediocre copies until you get a good one. A lot of people complain that the 12-50 is not a great lens, but I'm sure the top 20% or so of the range are really good. (I had the 12-50 but mine was most likely in the bottom half. Not great and not completely centered either.)

Other options are the latest models of the Oly 14-150 or Pana 14-140. They are really good (barring bad copies) and having a single lens significantly reduces the risk that while you are using one lens your second lens gets stolen (seriously!).

But another serious contender is the 14-42EZ which will make you look much less conspicuous and will give you opportunities where any bigger lens will attract too much attention. (I have the Pana 14-42X on the E-M5 whenever I am in casual mode instead of picture taking mode.)

On the other hand, when I'm going on a trip to take pictures there really is only one absolutely must-have lens and that is the 12-40 f/2.8. But you're talking serious money of course.

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SkiHound
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Re: Which kit lens for olympus om-d em-5?
In reply to Robbster, 5 months ago

I basically agree with everything here. The 12-50 has lots of great features and perhaps I had a poor copy but I never warmed up to the lens. I sense there is quite a bit of variation between copies of that lens. I've never used any of the 14-42 versions so can't compare directly. The 40-150 is remarkably good for the price. Needs good light for hand holding at longer focal lengths but that's true of any of the kit type tele zooms. Of the options I'd go for the two lens kit. I've rented the 12-35 and thought it was excellent but I was waiting for the Oly high grade standard zoom. I have the 12-40 and it's excellent optically. The but is that it's considerably more expensive and it's pretty chunky. Been reading really good things about the new Panny 12-32. If you get the 2 lens kit and can swing it, I'd try to add one of the fast normalish primes: Oly or PL 25,  or Oly 17 f/1.8. the large aperture of these lenses really opens up opportunities in poor light.

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sigala1
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You need to stop the lens down
In reply to krugman, 5 months ago

krugman wrote:

Stevedore87 wrote:

Hi,

I posted this elsewhere, but was recommended I post here under micro four thirds forum!

I will soon be purchasing an Olympus Om-D Em-5 and have the choice of a twin lens kit (MFT 14-42mm II R + MFT 40-150mm R Lens) or single (12-50mm) for approximately the same price.

I will be travelling through Asia this year and am unsure as to what is the best option for me. Any help offered would be greatly appreciated.

I am particularly interested in scenery shots. I will look to get a zoom lens when I return however as I'd love to take shots of my soccer team.

Thanks!

Steve.

Well I am not sure this will be helpful or is what you want to hear, but today I had an interesting experience.

I looked through a 14-42 Oly kit lens set at 42mm at a display in the camera store, and then looked at the same display through the Oly 45mm f18.

There has been a lot of debate as to whether that kit zoom is as mediocre as some critics have claimed. I can't answer that, but I can say that I was amazed that the view through the viewfinder was much sharper with the Oly 45mm.

I asked the camera store person about this and he replied that the viewfinder shows you the image on the sensor.

I recognize that zooms are very convenient, but I thought you might like to hear my experience.

Krugman

The viewfinder shows you the view with the aperture wide open, and the 14-42 is definitely blurry wide open at 42mm. Stop it down to f/9 and it's a LOT sharper and the image quality is very decent.

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Stevejac
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Re: Which kit lens for olympus om-d em-5?
In reply to Stevedore87, 5 months ago

I'll give a much more positive view of the 12-50. 18 months ago I bought the om-d em-5 almost on impulse. I was about to go to Peru for 2 wks and the weather forcast was for rain the whole time. I studied the owners manual on the flight down. I also took my panasonic 7-14 and 50-200 zooms.

As it turned out we only saw rain one afternoon for a few minutes. Nonetheless, I think I used the 7-14 about 5% of the time and the tele zoom maybe only once or twice. I learned to love the 12-50. It is small, light, has a nifty macro mode and, of course, it's water resistant. I found the images to be quite good, and not swapping lenses all the time was an advantage.

Is it as good as my 12-40f2.8 that I now own? Nope, but regardless of how it does photographing charts for websites, in the real world it was great. The zoom range was good and it was easy to use.

What it isn't is fast. Have you considered a fast prime for indoors? Consider the 20f1.7 panasonic or the 17 f1.8 from olympus.

Do you really need a tele zoom? I have the 75-300 Olympus. It's pretty good but heavy. You can zoom when you process your images, up to a point. The high quality of the em-5's sensor gives you a lot of leeway.

If I had to haul my camera equipment on my shoulder for a whole year in asia, I'd just take just take the 12-5o and a fast prime.

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Stevedore87
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Re: Which kit lens for olympus om-d em-5?
In reply to Stevedore87, 5 months ago

Awesome!

Thanks so much guys. These forums are great, so much information from people who speak from experience. Love it.

So another question, with regards to shooting at night (city skylines etc) would I be correct in saying that I should be looking for a prime lens that allows lots of light in?

Steve

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Stevedore87
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Re: Which kit lens for olympus om-d em-5?
In reply to Robbster, 5 months ago

Thanks for the response,

Would you happen to know how the quality of the14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ compares to the MFT 14-42 II R?

Steve

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Zensu11
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Re: Which kit lens for olympus om-d em-5?
In reply to Stevejac, 5 months ago

Stevejac wrote:

I'll give a much more positive view of the 12-50. 18 months ago I bought the om-d em-5 almost on impulse. I was about to go to Peru for 2 wks and the weather forcast was for rain the whole time. I studied the owners manual on the flight down. I also took my panasonic 7-14 and 50-200 zooms.

As it turned out we only saw rain one afternoon for a few minutes. Nonetheless, I think I used the 7-14 about 5% of the time and the tele zoom maybe only once or twice. I learned to love the 12-50. It is small, light, has a nifty macro mode and, of course, it's water resistant. I found the images to be quite good, and not swapping lenses all the time was an advantage.

Is it as good as my 12-40f2.8 that I now own? Nope, but regardless of how it does photographing charts for websites, in the real world it was great. The zoom range was good and it was easy to use.

What it isn't is fast. Have you considered a fast prime for indoors? Consider the 20f1.7 panasonic or the 17 f1.8 from olympus.

Do you really need a tele zoom? I have the 75-300 Olympus. It's pretty good but heavy. You can zoom when you process your images, up to a point. The high quality of the em-5's sensor gives you a lot of leeway.

If I had to haul my camera equipment on my shoulder for a whole year in asia, I'd just take just take the 12-5o and a fast prime.

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Steve Jacobs

I agree with Steve 100%. I'd go for the 12-50 and many times you can find a new 40-150 for less that $200. I got mine on sale for $100 last year!

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Bobby

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