Zoom Or Primes?

Started Dec 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
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dgnelson Contributing Member • Posts: 927
Zoom Or Primes?

Just got my OM-D a little over a week ago.  And what a lovely camera it is.  I feel like I finally have a real camera.

But it's apparent that the 12-50 kit lens has its limitations so I'm thinking about what lenses I want for it.  The question has come down whether to save for the 12-35 f2.8 zoom or else go for some primes.  I like the idea of using one lens without the hassle of carrying several that I'd have to change as the need arises.  The question is how much am I limiting myself with the 12-35?  I'm thinking that two primes might be a good start, say the 45mm along with either the 20 or 25mm.  And then collect some others as I go along.

Here's a brief history of my photography background and what kind of shooting I do.  I actually like taking all kinds of photos, landscapes, portraits, street, macro etcetera.  I've been taking photos on and off for some 45 years, although more off than on.  Started with a simple SLR with not even a meter and developed my own film and prints.  After a long hiatus I bought one of the very first Sony digital cameras somewhere around 1999, but found it too difficult to use and so again drifted away from my hobby.  Started taking photos last year when I got an iPhone.  Took some nice snaps and liked the "the best camera is the one you have with you" philosophy.  But the iPhone's limitations soon became apparent, it's just a pain to take photos with.  So decided to get the smallest camera that would take reasonable photos and got the Olympus XZ-1.  Nice little camera, but again, quite limiting.  Started looking for something better but still wanted something small and decided that the OM-D was the best I could do (sizewise) if I wanted a viewfinder on a quality camera.  And it is indeed a good camera and such a joy to use!  I feel like I've finally got a camera that I can do something with.

Although I take lots of different kinds of photos, I'm probably interested in doing some landscape photography.  The wide angle lenses are a bit on the dear side, so might have to rely on the kit lens for now for landscapes.  I'm thinking that I might be best off starting with the 45 as a first buy (not for landscapes, obviously, but for my other interests).  The price is such that I can probably get it sooner rather than later.  But the question comes up, should I start saving for the 12-35 that might be more versatile?  The question of carrying lots of gear around is a big one for me, I like to travel light.  But having said that, I've realised that small is not always better.

Thanks for any suggestions.


Olympus XZ-1
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