I want a better kit lens for travel...where to go?, please no primes...
I use my Oly EP L2 mainly for travel and I have the 14 - 42 & 40 - 150, the last one a great lens, every picture I take with it has great focus and contrast, makes beautiful pictures...but it gets used not that often because of being a long lens. The kit 14 - 42, it is just Ok, but really, doesn't produce great shots, I mean sharp and contrasty. I don't want to go the prime route (I know SIGMAS 19 & 30 are a good option) due to missing shots and the pana 12 - 35 is out of the equation, too expensive...So, what do you use as reasonable kit lens for travel.
You just listed and excluded all of the options.
- 14-42 (soft)
- 12-50 (soft)
- 12-35 (sharp, but expensive).
There's the 7-14mm but that too is expensive and a little wide for a "standard zoom."
I'm onto my second version of the 12-50. Contrary to how many people feel about it (and reviews say) I love mine. Pixel level is not that sharp, but I really like what it produces. Nice and wide and long enough. Focus is very snappy and you have a very usable macro mode to boot. Very underrated in my opinion.
It's not the size of your sensor but how you use it that counts...
The Panasonic 14-45 is well regarded as a decent kit lens, under $300. I'd say the IQ is a notch up from the Oly 14-42 IIR which I rarely use nowadays. The Olympus 12-50 has decent IQ, and I love the macro feature, but with it's internal zoom it makes for an odd walkaround lens with it's long and narrow barrel IMHO.
Then only the pana 14-45 is an option. I have it and love it, but truth be told, since I bought the 20mm pana, I now use the 20mm 95% of the time (mostly leave the 14-45 at home), the prime is that much better. And 20mm is great for zooming with your feet...Just wide enough, yet no perspective distortion.
I agree, the 12-35 is to expensive for me too.
What focal length are you looking for exactly? If you are looking for a high quality replacement for your 14-42 kit lens, there are really only two options in my opinion. Top choice would be the 12-35, but yes it is expensive. The second best option is the Panasonic 14-45mm. It was their first and still best kit zoom. It can be had for $200-300 and it is much sharper than any kit zoom that has come after it.
I have the new small Panasonic 14-42mm II (not the pancake) and very happy with it.
I have Oly 14-150 and it is OK as one lens for travel. Got it refurbished for $300
If you go over to slrgear.com, and bring up both the original 14-42mm and version II, you will see a noticeable improvement.
I've used this as my goto lens when I didn't want to carry around much equipment. This would also be my choice for travel.
I've got the panasonic 12-35f2.8 and it's a wonderful lens. But my 12-50 omd kit lens is really convenient with it's included macro function and waterproof, to boot.
I can see a difference between the two, but the 12-50 isn't that bad a lens. If you don't want to spend the megabucks for the 12-30, give the 12-50 a try
Ok, question...Is it much better than the 14 - 42?...I mean, my kit lens when I take a scene in general it is more or less Ok, but for ambiance portraits which I like when traveling it is very bad, resolution for peoples in scenes is lacking a lot...Is the 12 - 50 better?
Yes, it is sad...There should be a better kit lens...
Thanks, very useful info. If you have both and in general think the 12 - 50 is a good price sensible option to the 12 - 35, then it should be much better then the 14 - 42 RII. Can you elaborate more on your toughs on the 12 - 50 compared to the 12 - 35...I´m not looking for DoF control or low light capability, so in every other aspect, is ti a good lens compared to the 12 - 35?, I mean, is it sharp and contrasty enough for you?
Thank you so much for any further comment.
I do have the second version..maybe mine is not so great.
i Know but currently do not own the 12-35, i own a 12-50 and several versions of the 14-42 kit lens and i usually compare those lenses to the FT 14-54 and 12-60, sadly the latter are still superior to all mFT zooms i know.
In my opinion the 12-50 is underrated due to slow speed and the quality of the copies seems to vary. Maybe i have a good one but i do not hesitate to use it as a walkaround and travel lens, was in Rome last week and very happy. I like the way the lens renders images but YMMV. If you gan find a used one for 150-200$, go and get it but do not buy the full price for a new one.
Another idea is the 9-18, which imo is a perfect lens for walking in cities. It is not as good for environmental portraits due to wa. I used it with a 14-150 as a travel lns combo (for whatever reason it ended in my hubby's photobag). This is a very versatile combination, especially if you want to use the full range between 14-150 but rarely have the time to change lenses.
LOL...Thanks...yes I know I`m asking for the impossible, it´s sad.
Ok, so in your view, there is nothing that takes a place in IQ between the 14 - 42 and the 12 - 35? Two suggestions that have come up are the 14 - 45 original pana kit lens and the newer 12 - 50 from Oly. Do you think there is an improvement for these two options?
Thanks acahaya, I will search for reviews and comparatives between the Pana 14 - 45 & the Oly 12 - 50 to make my mind and try one of those two, I´m not looking for Bokeh or better low light performance, for that I would definitely have to go with a prime, I simply just want sharper and better contrast day to day pictures, a kit lens with the IQ and value of the 40 - 150 is what I´m looking for.
About a year ago I purchased the 14-45 after reading some great reviews on dp and elsewhere.
I was pleasantly surprised at the image quality from the first time I used it on the OMD. It's the best "kit" lens I've used and has become my favorite walk around lens.
It's $289 at B&H.....if you're interested. Well worth it IMHO!