New lens for E-PL1 - Suggestions?

Started Mar 18, 2013 | Questions thread
Philly Senior Member • Posts: 1,156
Re: New lens for E-PL1 - Suggestions?

another vote for the Panny 20, which is the most frequently mounted lens on my e-PL2. The Panny 14 is nice also for street but the extra speed of the 20 gives you more room for exploring variations on depth of field which is something you said you wanted to do and is better for shooting in less than great light than the 19. I won't ignore your post by recommending anything too expensive or plainly designed for a purpose other than the one you are seeking to fill. As for the Sigma 19, by all accounts a fine lens but the extra speed of the Panny 20 is what you want for the purpose you have defined. The Sigma does not gain you much speed over your kit lens.

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I am not sure if the above underlined comment is a remark about my suggestion to consider the Olympus 14-54mm.  But I will provide the following additional comments for the OP regarding my suggestion:

1) adding the VF-3 will enhance the usability of your E-PL1 system and extend the usable life of your equipment.  Others who may not have used a VF on an E-PL1 (or E-PL2) may not understand the benefits.  It will enable shooting in bright sunlight and provide a different shooting approach that may help stimulate your creativity.

2) the Oly 14-54mm is a fast lens (f2.8 - 3.5 wide open) that covers all the prime focal lengths that you mentioned.  You expressed a desire for more flexibility with just one lens which has good low light quality, so I believe that it will provide those benefits to you.  However, it will not be as portable as a small prime--but may be more convenient than carrying two lenses with you in the city.  I know no one has bothered to look at your gallery to see which focal length you use most often.  It's much easier for some to just recommend a focal length that they like.

3) In reviewing your gallery, it appears that you do not have a need for fast AF.  As I mentioned, the manual focus with the Oly 14-54mm when paired with the VF-3 (or even just using the LCD) is quite doable--especially for the type of photos as in your gallery.

4) if you wish to experiment with the look of narrower depth of field, you will be able to accomplish this much more with the Oly 14-54mm @ 54mm and f3.5 than with the 20mm @ f1.7.  Example:  depth of field @ 5' is 0.27 ft. with the 54mm and 0.96 ft. with the 20mm @ f1.7.

5) as I've said, the total cost of my suggestion may be higher than $400, but maybe not by much.  It is certainly not near the $700 that you mentioned as prohibitive.  You need to do your own research on pricing, if you think that my suggestion may be a viable solution for you.  But I think flexibility in focal lengths offer through a high quality zoom has good benefits.  Don't just discard it out of hands like others because they do not understand it.

6) Oly will be announcing a camera or cameras later this year that will enable full, fast AF with lenses such as the Oly 14-54mm.  So such a lens may be a good investment towards a potential upgrade path for you in the future.

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