Lens question for Lumix GX1?

Started Feb 11, 2013 | Discussions thread
shihhan Regular Member • Posts: 307
Re: Lens question for Lumix GX1?

shihhan wrote:

Glad to know you're getting used to the camera! It's really a hidden gem that many people look over if you're willing to forgo the EVF for something compact and small.

So the GX1K kit comes with the Lumix G 14-42 f3.5-5.6 lens. The lens is *OK* in terms of image quality for general shooting, but as a stock lens (ie. cheap to produce), it does have various shortcomings.

The reason why you're finding it hard to get decent enough bokeh (background blur), is probably a mixture of 'slow aperture' and image quality issues. f3.5 is not bad at the wide (14) end, but yes, as you've mentioned, f5.6 is pretty horrible for the tele (42) end / zooming into branches / portraits. You've just kind of have to accept that as a cheap stock lens, there is very little you can do about tele end performance on this lens.

The question of lens choice is really up to you. What sort of photography are you most likely to use?

- Landscapes: your 14 f2.5 prime will beat the 14-42 any day. But it depends on how wide you need your photos to be. If you feel that 14 f2.5 (28mm equivalent) isn't wide enough, then you'd really have to look at other manual focus + adapter primes. Current Panny/Oly wide angle offerings are pricey! (Olympus 9-18 f4-5.6 is more affordable, but its still £400...)

- Architechture: I'd be indecisive about the 14 vs. 14-42 since zoom is useful for composing, although the counter argument would be to zoom with your feet (but sometimes it's just *not* that practical).

- Portraits: 14-42/45 can shoot portraits at the wide end, though neither would be great. A 45-150/175/200 f4-5.6 telephoto would be more acceptable at the short telephoto end (f4 is not bad). Butt if you really want a nice blurred background (larger aperture) I'd recommend you getting a prime (start with a cheap manual focus one with adapter until you can buy something pricey).

- Telephotos: animals, birds, across the street paparazzi shots etc. You really need a 45-150/175/200 in this case. 45-150 is the safest bet (and cheapest). 45-175 is pretty decent (i use it myself), and I feel that the shutter shock blur issue is over talked about on forums (but if you really don't want to risk it, then just get the 45-150).

I've never really liked the 45-200 as it is a lot more bulkier and the image quality at the 200 end is terrible. If you really need anything longer you'd need the 100-300, but thats £400!

Trade the lens: yes ebay it... if you trade it at a camera shop, they'll value it at £30... whereas ebay is selling 14-42 at £70-80 new. Another way to get lenses is to buy a kit (12-35 with GH3, and sell the GH3 lens-less, but I don't recommend it unless you have some money and like a gamble!)

This is my (personal) grading of Panny lenses

Wide Zooms:
all pricey (if you have money to burn, get the 7-14)

Std Zoom:
12-35 X f2.8 (best, but pricey £600)
12-45 f3.5-5.6 (decent for a stock lens)
12-42 X / 12-42 / 12-42 II f3.5-5.6 (they're all stock lenses, 12-42 X is the only portable one)

Short/Medium Tele Zoom:
35-100 X f2.8 (best, but pricey £800)
45-150 / 45-175 X f4-5.6 (both are practically the same, price is £250, avoid 45-175 if you dont like made in Japan and scared about the overrated shutter shock issue)
45-200 f4-5.6 (big and bulky, sell and trade for 45-150/175)

Long Tele Zoom:
100-300 f4-5.6 (only zoom in this range, £400)

Super Zooms:
14-140 f4-5.6 (big and bulky and avoid like the plague)

Wide Primes:
Panny 8 f3.5 fisheye (fun if you're into fisheyes, but pricey, £500)
Oly 12 f2 (good wide angle prime, pricey £500)
Panny 14 f2.5 (not bad, but barely a stop faster than 14-42/45)

Std Primes:
Oly 17 f1.8/2.8 (not bad, f1.8 is £350, f2.8 is £200)
Sigma 19 f2.8 (not bad, and cheap £99)
Panny 20 f1.7 (not bad, but some people experience slow AF issues)
Panny 25 f1.4 (great, but pricey...)
Sigma 30 f2.8 (not bad and cheap)

Tele Primes:
Oly 45 f1.8 (great for portraits, and reasonable £200)
I think there is also a sigma announced, but I can't think off the top of my head which one

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