Olympus 17mm f1.8

Started Apr 15, 2013 | Discussions thread
azazel1024 Senior Member • Posts: 1,139
Re: The old half step selection of lenses.

shihhan wrote:

Guy Parsons wrote:

lester11 wrote:

Off topic I know, but I've been looking for ways to express the 12 - 17 - 25 sequence, hadn't come across "half-stop differences" before (smile).  How are these "half stop", please?  Are there different terms other folks use for this kind of sequence?

A nice logical way is to work outwards from your favourite focal length to build a sensible set of primes. Use 2x if prepared to do some cropping and the pixel count allows it, but better is the root 2 spacing which makes cropping a bit less destructive. Put the 17mm in the middle as my most used focal length (35mm) in film days and expand out a few each way......

8.5, 12, 17, 24, 34, 48, 68, 96, 136 is a good set, or select focal lengths available close to that set. Of course not everyone wants or needs that number of primes to carry, choose as needed.

But hey, I find zooms so useful now that the primes are only for special purposes like the 60mm macro.

Regards....... Guy

Yes, funny how 'focal length' preferences have changed with times. 28 now replaced by 24. 135 has in all aspects vanished.

Personally I think 24, 35, 50 follow the half-stop rule ok. Until you get to telephotos, then it becomes 2x FL rule.

Pretty much where I am.

I am also considering the Olympus 60mm f/2.8 macro. A lot of it just depends on the price of the Sigma 60mm f/2.8 whenever it hits. If it hits at $199 and is at least as high resolution as the 30mm f/2.8, if not better (I'd hope for better) then it isn't much of a choice for me. I don't use longer focal lengths enough to justify spending 2x or more on such a lens to get the 60/2.8 macro or 75/1.8.

However, if it is more like $299 or more, then it is going to be a harder choice with the 60/2.8 macro and 75/1.8 being so darned good.

Eventually I REALLY hope someone does an 8 or 9mm prime. Say, a 9mm f/2.8 or something. Hopefully below the 12/2 in price (hopefully free, but I am a little dellusional like that). I can and plan on doing focus stacking for wider angle shots than 12mm...but you know what, it wouldn't be such a terrible thing to have an even wider prime as an option sometimes.

For me I've heard of "half stop focal length" a couple of times before, so I am not exactly inventing the term, but I do find it works the best for my photography and generally means little cropping. Also my mind works a bit better in pre-visualizing with that flexibility. It doesn't work as well with either more or fewer choices in there.

My small camera bag, Lowe pro Nova Mini AW fits my OM-D E-M5, 12/2, 17/2.8, 25/1.4, 45/1.8, FL300r, extra battery, 46mm lens hood, 46mm polarizer, 46mm 3-stop ND filter, 37-46mm adapter and a few extra memory cards just fine. 17/1.8 could easily be swapped in for the 17/2.8 with some room still. You could probably cram in a couple of extra batteries as well if you got mildly creative and/or a couple of 46mm collapsable lens hoods. One spare battery has always been more than enough for me though.

My big camera bag is a Lowe pro Nova 2 AW and that could easily fit all of the above plus 40-150mm f/4-5.6 and probably a 60mm macro or 75mm f/1.8 as well, though it would be rather cramped.

For me I like choices. Ignoring some of my very seldom used lenses (like my 50/2.8 macro and my long telephotos), I had something like 8 "regularly used" lenses for my OM-1. I certainly never bothered taking all of them with me. I generally only had 4-5 lenses stuck in my camera bag at a time, but it was nice having the flexibility of choice so I could load up what I thought I might use before any given outting.

My "collection" at its height was two Olympus OM-1 and Olympus OM-1n, Sigma 14mm f/3.5, Zuiko 24mm f/2.8, Sigma 28mm f/1.8, Zuiko 35mm f/2.8, Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 (several), Zuiko 50mm f/1.4, Sigma 50mm f/2.8 macro, Zuiko 85mm f/2, Zuiko 100mm f/2.8, Zuiko 135mm f/3.5, Sigma 400mm f/5.6 APO, Vivitar series 1 70-210mm f/3.5, Sigma 70-210mm f/2.8 APO.

So having only an OM-D E-M5 12/2, 17/2.8, 25/1.4, 45/1.8 and 40-150/4-5.6 seems like a pitiful selection to me, even though now with the 12/2 I can cover basically 95% of my photographic needs/wants.

I do still have a single OM-1, 24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.8, 85mm f/2 and 400mm f/5.6 APO. The 400mm I kept because I use it on my OM-D occasionally for moon/astro/wildlife pictures. It is rather hard to get a super sharp picture even on a tripod, but it works in a pinch and does deliver pretty good pictures. I keep telling myself I need to take my OM-1 out one of these days, but honestly I haven't used it since I got my OM-D. Life has been too busy to add in the time required to develop the film and then scan it. I will use it again one of these days, but it might be another year or two before I finally do (and probably just for B&W).

To the m4/3 stuff though, for telephoto I really wish someone made a 135mm equivelent as I really loved my 135mm f/3.5 as a short wildlife and long portrait lens. Without having used it, the 75mm f/1.8 just seems a little too long for that, though it might not be. The expense though...yowch. 60mm seems too short to me, but maybe not. The price is a heck of a lot more resonable though. I just wish there was a slightly faster option, like a 60mm f/2.5 or f/2.2 or something (or f/2). Really I wish someone would make a high quality 67.5mm f/2 lens for around $499-599. Anyway, if money were no object and/or some year, I am thinking I may eventually settle on the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 and the Panasonic 150mm f/2.8 once it comes out and that'll cover me for all of my telephoto needs (unless someone comes out with a 200-250mm f/4 or 300mm f/4.5 or something, in which case some day I might consider a really long telephoto for those rare times I'd do sports/long wild life pictures).

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