Olympus EM1 with 12-50mm or 12-40 f2.8 for complete novice?

Started Dec 9, 2013 | Discussions thread
photo perzon Veteran Member • Posts: 4,653
Zooms are compromises. Get your 1.8 primes.

NewGirlLiz wrote:

Hi guys

I am totally struggling with a decision that's driving me insane and I would love some help!

I am a complete newbie to this whole CSC thing. (And when I say newbie, I mean I'm coming from compacts and auto settings, rather than coming from DSLRs.) I have bought a beautiful EM1 which I LOVE! But I am completely torn between the two kit lenses. I bought one, then exchanged it for the other, and am now completely confused and unsure. I have another week to make up my mind before I can't return the one I now have. (And I'm nowhere near the shop so they have to send out the lenses, which means I can't try them out together.)

I want to use this camera to learn and to become better and to take photos that are as good as I can get them. For me, the issue is: should I go for the 12-50 lens - so that I have something extremely portable and flexible and a perfect way to learn. The price point is great and I'm sure the shots will be adequate for me - and it's so light and handy. Or do I go for the 12-40, and have undoubtably a richer experience of taking photographs - particularly in low light conditions (including a northern lights trip in a week's time - but the camera is not just for that trip) but struggle with the fact that it is SO big and bulky and heavy and this might put me off having it with me at all times?

It's really a question of better quality lens vs better experience of having the thing on my shoulder all the time! For someone as new to it as me, will there really be enough of a difference in the quality between these two lenses to make a serious difference?

I know that you guys are mostly pros or very serious photographers, so I know that most of you would choose the 12-40 every day of the week - but my question is, do you believe that for ME, the difference between the two lenses is worth the extra bulk, weight and cost? If it is, I'll happily go with the 12-40, but if the difference in quality really won't be obvious at my level, I'd prefer the 12-50.

Any guidance would be extremely appreciated - thank you!

Zooms are compromises.  Get your 1.8 primes.

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