Zoom Or Primes?

Started Dec 5, 2012 | Discussions thread
mrxak Regular Member • Posts: 218
Re: Zoom Or Primes?

dgnelson wrote:

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.

By all accounts, the four lenses you listed off as possibilities are all excellent. The 12-35 is relatively new, but people are raving about it on the internet. I have no experience with it or the 45, but I have the 20 and 25 and they are great. Of the two, the 25 is considered to be optically better, autofocuses faster, and it's certainly faster (aperture) so you can shoot in slightly less light, or get a little more control over depth of field. The 20 is cheaper, much smaller if you're concerned about weight and pocketability, and still quite remarkable optically. You might get slightly better image quality and speed out of the 25, but the 20 will feel right at home on your small OMD and be a very portable system.

Personally, I'm a fan of primes. I think in the long run as I slowly work through my wish list, I'll own more primes than zooms, and that is true currently as well. They are, perhaps, less versatile. In exchange, you generally get more speed and sharpness. For my part, I like how they make me think and see the world. It's easy to just zoom. It's challenging, in a good way, to be at a fixed focal length and move your body to get the shot. I got started in photography at fixed focal lengths, and it's how I prefer to work.

So it's really up to you. The 12-35 is on my wish list, too, but I'm going to wait a while before I get it and hope the price comes down a bit more. That does seem to be a must-have lens, though. I think you'll be happier waiting a bit and going with some nice fast (older/cheaper) primes to start.

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