Help on choosing new lenses

Started Aug 7, 2014 | Discussions thread
Robbster Regular Member • Posts: 304
Re: Help on choosing new lenses

Rjansenbr2 wrote:

I currently have a three lens set, with a pana 20mm (my favorite by far), a 45mm (which I haven't used much) and a 14-42mm (rarely used, too slow).

Since I am giving up my full frame equipment in favor of m43, I thought I should add a few lenses to my kit.

One first addition should probably be the Oly 12-40 2.8. With its relativity fast aperture, I believe it can be one of my most used lens. The only drawback I see is its size. Is it too big and heavy?

Would it be terribly unbalanced with an em-5, without grip (which a don't intend to buy anyway)?

Second, the oly 40-150 seems to be cheap enough to buy without much thinking.

Lastly, I have always craved for the 75mm 1.8. This lens should cover what I believe is the main disadvantage of the m43 compared to full frame: too much DOF.

But still, I worry that I may not use this lens enough to justify paying USD 900 for it. Has anyone regretted buying it? Keep in mind I already have the 45mm 1.8 that should play as a portrait lens.

Any other recommendations?


Took a look at your flickr stream, and believe you'll not only enjoy the Oly 12-40, but you'll hardly ever take it off I love the 12-40 and keep it on my EM5 almost all of the time myself.  I've also sold some lenses as a result of having the 12-40, it's just a great lens enabling lots of flexibility in combination with the EM5.  Sell the 14-42 unless it is the compact zoom, (love the compact zoom for street work in good light just for size and discretion, and also for video work).

Regarding the 40-150, I bought and sold it in favor of the Oly 14-150.  What I found is that there were plenty of times I wanted the reach of the 150, but once on, I could get nice shots on the short end as well.  More shots with fewer lens changes = more fun in my book.

Can't advise on the 75mm f1.8, never owned or even tried it out, but seems to me it would not get much use once you have the zooms covering the fl and your 45mm f1.8 for shallow DOF work.

Other recos/experiences...

Oly 75-300.  I've found the 75-300 a great long zoom for those times you need the reach.  I can get some unique shots that just would not otherwise be possible, and quality of my copy is very good.  It's a keeper for me.

Oly 9-18.  Sold my Oly 9-18 in favor of the Oly 12-40 f2.8.  9-18 is a great lens, a marvel really when you see shots at the wide end with little/no barrel distortion, but just did not generally need quite that wide, and 24 eqiv. FL winds up being very useful as a WA for my needs.  And the change frequency came into play again.  For example, was hiking in Colorado with the 9-18, and kept wanting to get some tighter shots as well, but boy did I hate changing out the lens in the weather conditions we encountered!  Net, happy to get what I can at 12mm and call it good.

Pany GM1 with the 12-32.  WOW, what a carry-everywhere tool this has turned out to be!  Immediately retired my RX100, no comparison in image quality and flexibility, and I can mix and match all my lenses with the two bodies, EM5 and GM1, as conditions/desires indicate.  For example, took the GM1 + 12-32, Pany 20mm and my 14-150 all packed in a TINY camera case on a recent trip to Bermuda and was all I needed.  Amazing.

Sigma 19mm and 30mm f2.8.  These were great when first got them for relatively fast primes at the time, but feel they are obsoleted by other lenses now in my collection.  Still have them, tho, as they just aren't worth enough to sell, and so no harm in keeping around.

Pany 20mm II.  Yeah, great walk around lens for fairly optimum Prime FL and DOF flexibility/low light. Actually SOLD my original Pany 20mm (version 1) due to the extremely slow focus/hunting on the EM5 when it first came out.  Resolved now, and recently purchased the updated version for use on the GM1.  But in good light on the street I still prefer the 12-32 (or would consider the Oly compact zoom as well), so relegated to specific low light or shallow DOF needs.

I'm sure you'll have a blast working through new lens selection.

All the best!

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