Your recommendation: Single lens

Started Aug 24, 2009 | Discussions thread
Michael Meissner
Michael Meissner Forum Pro • Posts: 25,619
Re: Your recommendation: Single lens

photosen wrote:

I'm a very happy Canon user and people have started to ask me for my opinion on their first DSLR purchase, but I'm seeing a lot of potential in many other brands including Olympus; I'll be posting the same question on the Pentax, Nikon and Canon forums.

I started with a prime (50mm 1.4) and I do think that was the best way to go for me, as you can great results from the get-go if you set your mind to it, instead of the slow and more traditional climb: kit lens, tele zoom, somehow cover the wide perspective... And eventually get into primes.

The only regret I have is that the 50mm on a Canon 30D is really an 80mm - I keep missing that normal perspective.

I know the first question should be: "What do you want to shoot?", but the reality is that most people don't know, so this is the second best question: Knowing what you now know, which Olympus DSLR / single lens combination would you recommend for someone willing to learn? The budget is around $1,500 USD, but this should include at least a bag, additional battery and such.

Without having an Olympus myself, the Zuiko 12-60 and a one of the smaller DSLRs combo looks very enticing. I do realize the Olympus kit lenses have a reputation for being better than those from other brands, but I'm looking for a little more "wow!". I was going to restrict this to primes but I'd rather learn from your opinions, so zooms are welcome if you think they're worth it, and if you think you can squeeze in another lens, all the better - just mind that budget!

If you could squeeze just a little more budget for the accessories, I see B&H has an E-30 + 14-54mm mark 2 lens for $1,439.

And a E-620 + 12-60mm goes for about $1,500.

The 25mm prime that people talk about the most (Panasonic) is about $1k, which also blows your budget. Note, B&H just got some stock, but I suspect it is the last of the production run, and it may not be available in the future.

I have a Sigma 30mm which I really like, but Sigma does have some Q/C issues, and you might not luck out like I did. Price is about $440. Another Sigma prime (24mm) is $480.

So given the budget, I might suggest:

  • E-620 ($600)

  • 14-54mm mark 2 ($550)

  • Olympus 25mm pancake ($225)

which leaves about $100 for other stuff. For many people, I would suggest instead of the pancake getting a FL-36R flash.

Going into kit lenses we have:

  • E-620, 14-42mm, 40-150mm ($800)

which would allow you to get one of the Sigma primes, or the Olympus 25mm pancake + FL-36R flash, plus room for other things.

Given you mention 50mm prime, I suspect you probably want to consider the Olympus 25mm pancake.

 Michael Meissner's gear list:Michael Meissner's gear list
Olympus Stylus 1 Olympus TG-860 Olympus E-5 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54mm 1:2.8-3.5 +20 more
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