I want a better kit lens for travel...where to go?, please no primes...

Started Jul 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
jimoyer Senior Member • Posts: 1,879
Re: I want a better kit lens for travel...where to go?, please no primes...

You're in a tough situation.  You want want want want, but don't want to pay and don't want primes.  I don't mean that to be smart, you're just hamstringing yourself.

The superzooms for m4/3 are decent lenses but in my experience not really significantly better than the kit lenses.  There are certainly some exceptional copies out there and there are some not so exceptional.  All are very good lenses but not significantly better than an equivalent copy of the kit lenses.

The 14-42 you would have gotten with your E-PL2, and the new 14-42 II R are supposedly optically the same lens.  I can tell you that my 14-42 IIR that came with my E-PL5 is a SIGNIFICANTLY better lens optically than the one that came on my E-PL2.  It's on par with, and probably slightly better than my Panasonic 14-45.

So your choices are really limited.  All involve hoping you get a GOOD copy or you're going to see very little improvement.  The 14-45 if nothing else will give you much better build quality but also at the expense of size and weight, but the E-PL2 handles it very well.  The 12-50 that some have recommended is the same...hope for a good copy, and plan on little extra but build quality.  Superzooms?  Same thing.  They're all very good lenses (especially for "kit" lens caliber) but I don't know that you're going to see appreciable image improvement.  The only way to guarantee that is primes, pay the price of admission for the high end zooms, or perhaps the least expensive for you at this point would be to upgrade to a newer body with the 16mp sensor.

 jimoyer's gear list:jimoyer's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Nikon 1 V2 Nikon D7100 Olympus E-M1 Nikon D4S +14 more
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