Drop $350 on a 45mm prime when you've already got the 14-42mm kit lens?

Started May 6, 2013 | Discussions thread
sean000 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,326
Re: Drop $350 on a 45mm prime when you've already got the 14-42mm kit lens?

j y g wrote:

The Oly E-PM2 kit comes with the (non-X) 14-42mm  f/3.5-5.6 lens.  I'm eyeballing the  Oly 45mm f/1.8. Surely the 45mm is much better quality, and f/1.8 is very convenient.  But I'm thinking of the wisdom of having a 42mm-capable lens and then spending $350 on a 45mm prime lens, over 80% of the kit itself. (Obviously I'm not a pro, and I have a less than liberal budget).    The f/1.8 sure would help in doors,  but is 45mm on MFT short enough of a focal length to take photos in doors such that I wouldn't feel cramped when trying to compose?

Depends on what you like to photograph. If you like to take candids of family and friends, usually multiple people together, the 25mm f/1.4, 20mm f/1.7, or 17mm f/1.8 might be a better fit. If you like to take portraits (tighter headshots, waist-up shots, etc.) of one or two people, or still-lifes of fairly small subjects, then the 45mm will be great. I live in a pretty small house with rooms that are not that big, and I use the 45mm indoors all the time to photograph my wife and kids. I never feel like I run out of room to back up. It's a great portrait focal length for indoor use. By contrast the 75mm would be better at home outdoors.

Whichever focal length fits your needs best, f/1.8 vs f/5.6 is a huge difference in both low-light capability and depth of field control.

Sure it seems like a lot when you compare it to the camera with kit lens, but it's not unusual for quality lenses to be more expensive than the cameras designed to use them. The 45mm f/1.8 is actually one of the bargains of m4/3 in my opinion.

Having said all that, you don't necessarily need the prime. It all depends on what you shoot and how you want to display it. For static subjects you an use a tripod. For shots shared on Facebook or printed 4x6, you can use ISO 6400 or higher if need be (sometimes you need f/1.8 AND 6400). Unless you plan to take a lot of low light shots, you might enjoy a lens that gives you more telephoto, a wider angle, etc.


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