What cheap m43 'kit lens' to use for the OM-D E-M1? I have the 4/3 12-60 F2.8-4.0..

Started Dec 2, 2013 | Discussions thread
mpwolf Regular Member • Posts: 109
Re: What cheap m43 'kit lens' to use for the OM-D E-M1? I have the 4/3 12-60 F2.8-4.0..

DLGW wrote:

.. which I'll be using most of them, however it's a bit of a beast and doesn't autofocus in movie mode.

I'm currently leaning towards the original 14-42 from olympus as it's both very small, very light, and very cheap (all things the 12-60, bless it's beastly heart, isn't).

Is it any good? Are the other kit lens options from Oly or Panasonic much better?

The 12-40 f 2.8 looks like a cracker of a lens, but I'd miss the reach on the 12-60 and I don't want to spend the extra difference - and sometimes I just want something lighter and more portable and/or discreet.

In my opinion, once you get below the f/2.8 zooms from Olympus (12-40) and Panasonic (12-35), you're probably splitting hairs on m43 standard zoom lenses. They're all decent but I don't think one truly outperforms the other, save for some unique features (e.g., weather sealing and macro on the Olympus 12-50, small size on the Panasonic X 14-42).

If you consider this sort of stuff, DxO just did a comparison (and this may be in one of the other posts, I haven't read them all) on the "best" standard zoom on the E-M1.

http://www.dxomark.com/Reviews/Best-lenses-for-the-Olympus-OM-D-E-M1-Short-telephoto-and-standard-focal-lengths/Best-standard-zoom-lenses-for-the-Olympus-OM-D-E-M1

Ming Thein had some positive things to say about the Panasonic X 14-42: http://blog.mingthein.com/2013/06/14/lens-review-panasonic-14-42-3-5-5-6-x-g/

Among the standard zooms, I'd probably go with the Olympus 12-50 F3.5-6.3 for the weather sealing, extra reach on both ends (especially the extra 2mm on the wide end) and the useful macro ability. My sense is you can get a very good used sample for ~$200-250 on eBay. There seems to be a pretty deep secondary market for this lens as I suspect a lot of folks bought as part of the E-M5 kit as an ingress into m43, decided to stick with it and bought a bunch of other lenses, leaving the 12-50 relatively unused and redundant (ask me how I know...).

One of the super zooms could also be an option, although probably a notch down optically from the 12/14-42/50 variety. I have the Olympus 14-150 and, while nothing special optically, it's been a useful lens for it's versatility. I'm suspect the Panasonic 14-140 is similarly useful.

Good luck.

- M

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