Would you go... 12-40mm or 17mm + 45mm on EM-1?

Started Dec 11, 2013 | Discussions
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Richard Lomas Forum Member • Posts: 53
Would you go... 12-40mm or 17mm + 45mm on EM-1?

Hi all.

Looking to lean on some experience from the group here and get some general thoughts.

Using an EM-1:

Would you go with the new 12-40mm Pro zoom only...

..or a combo of primes, in my case the 17mm & 45mm (I realize this doesn't cover precisely the same range).

I keep reading how great people think the 12-40 is, but I'm curious "how great" relative to going with some primes to cover a similar range.

Thank you for your thoughts and please be easy on me!  I'm a 1st time poster!  

Torsten Hoff Veteran Member • Posts: 3,301
Re: Would you go... 12-40mm or 17mm + 45mm on EM-1?
2

I have all three lenses. If I could have only one, I would take the 12-40 unless you really need the faster maximum aperture for low-light performance and can live with the fixed focal length. The lens renders out-of-focus areas beautifully, but of course has more DOF than the other two lenses. Also, the 12-40 is weathersealed, making it the logical choice for adverse conditions.

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sbszine
sbszine Regular Member • Posts: 477
12-40 + 75/1.8 (n/t)
1

No text

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Jasonmon Forum Member • Posts: 60
Re: Would you go... 12-40mm or 17mm + 45mm on EM-1?

I think it depends on yourself.

I have the 17mm & 45mm on my EM-5. I like 17mm f1.8's small size and focal length, and the focus speed is fast, and also f1.8, good for low light. I only use the 45mm sometimes.

When shooting for events, I prefer to have 1 lens that can zoom. You don't want to miss the moment when changing lens (unless you have 2 bodies, no need to worry about changing lens).

I don't have the 12-40mm now, but I would love to have one in future. And I'm still gonna keep my 17mm and 45mm, because of f1.8 and size.

If I were you, I would take the 12-40mm with EM-1, because of it's versatility and, it's weather sealed with the EM-1. The other 2 prime lens are not weather sealed.

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Digitall
Digitall Regular Member • Posts: 417
Re: Would you go... 12-40mm or 17mm + 45mm on EM-1?

Buy the 12-40 first and then the primes. Anyway, the 12-40 + 75mm is a good combo.

Kim Letkeman
Kim Letkeman Forum Pro • Posts: 33,363
Re: Would you go... 12-40mm or 17mm + 45mm on EM-1?

Richard Lomas wrote:

Hi all.

Looking to lean on some experience from the group here and get some general thoughts.

Using an EM-1:

Would you go with the new 12-40mm Pro zoom only...

..or a combo of primes, in my case the 17mm & 45mm (I realize this doesn't cover precisely the same range).

I keep reading how great people think the 12-40 is, but I'm curious "how great" relative to going with some primes to cover a similar range.

Thank you for your thoughts and please be easy on me! I'm a 1st time poster!

If you have any experience at all, you should go with what you already like. Everyone shoots differently and it makes no sense to try to adopt someone else's style to add a few lines of resolution to an image ...

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photo perzon
photo perzon Veteran Member • Posts: 4,272
always go primes

Torsten Hoff wrote:

I have all three lenses. If I could have only one, I would take the 12-40 unless you really need the faster maximum aperture for low-light performance and can live with the fixed focal length. The lens renders out-of-focus areas beautifully, but of course has more DOF than the other two lenses. Also, the 12-40 is weathersealed, making it the logical choice for adverse conditions.

I have only one word for you: 1.8

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Bonsainz Regular Member • Posts: 229
Re: Would you go... 12-40mm or 17mm + 45mm on EM-1?

Go with the 12-40 to start fantastic lense then add what you want, This is what I have done now got the pani 20m 1.7 and the 60m macro.

Camera is the best that I have ever used and now selling my D600.

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slimandy Forum Pro • Posts: 16,637
Re: Would you go... 12-40mm or 17mm + 45mm on EM-1?

It's up to how you like to shoot.

I have the primes. I like primes and I want the fast aperture. They are small enough to carry several. That said, I will buy the zoom too at some stage. There are times when convenience and speed become a priority. For events where I don't want to miss a shot, or family travel where I don't want to keep them all waiting, having it all in one lens is an advantage.

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Paul De Bra
Paul De Bra Forum Pro • Posts: 12,114
17 as the widest is somewhat limiting
1

Not having a long lens means you can crop and still maintain some detail (depending on how much you crop). Not having a wide lens means many scenes you simply cannot capture.

So independent of whether you feel the need for zoom like I do with primes you should cover something from 12mm onwards. 17 as the widest too often doesn't cut it for general use.

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RealPancho
RealPancho Senior Member • Posts: 1,306
oooooh - nice call, but

My current 99% coverage kit is the 12-40 + Panasonic's 35-100. I was hoping the upcoming (next year) Olympus 40-150 2.8 would supplant the 35-100, but if we can believe first looks, it's just too big.

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RealPancho
RealPancho Senior Member • Posts: 1,306
+1 (nt)
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Frank

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Brendan Delaney Contributing Member • Posts: 674
Re: +1 (nt)
2

If YOU dont know whether YOU prefer a zoom or two primes, I can't help you.........

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Pixnat2
Pixnat2 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,323
Re: Would you go... 12-40mm or 17mm + 45mm on EM-1?
2

Torsten Hoff wrote:

I have all three lenses. If I could have only one, I would take the 12-40 unless you really need the faster maximum aperture for low-light performance and can live with the fixed focal length. The lens renders out-of-focus areas beautifully, but of course has more DOF than the other two lenses. Also, the 12-40 is weathersealed, making it the logical choice for adverse conditions.

Agree 100%

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Ulric Senior Member • Posts: 3,610
Re: Would you go... 12-40mm or 17mm + 45mm on EM-1?
1

Going with primes means you trade a bit of flexibility for size and speed. I've used primes almost exclusively all my life and find the risk of missing a shot due to not having the right focal length less than the risk of missing a shot due to the lens being too slow. YMMV, as always.

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DLBlack Forum Pro • Posts: 12,065
Re: Would you go... 12-40mm or 17mm + 45mm on EM-1?

I have these three lenses. The f1.8 of the 17 and 45 is nice in low light. Plus the shallow dof of the 45 f1.8 is nice. Still I end up using the 12-40 f2.8 most of the time and carry the PL 25/f1.4 for low light.

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CharlesTokyo Contributing Member • Posts: 705
Re: Would you go... 12-40mm or 17mm + 45mm on EM-1?

It seems like you should have a preference one way or another.

I have all three lenses. The 12-40 would probably be the logical choice, but I'd take the 17mm if I could have one. If the 45mm came with it, I'd take it, but I don't shoot long that much. To be honest I really like having the smaller size and I'd rather not carry around the 12-40 all the time.

I'm leaving a trip this Saturday for three and half weeks and all I'm taking with my E-M1 is the 12-40 and 17mm. Tempting to leave the 12-40 at home though.

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lambert4
lambert4 Senior Member • Posts: 1,924
Which better suits your uses?

I think IQ you will be happy either way, but form factor in the primes is small and inconspicuous as well as low light you are talking 2 stops of light that is significant.  But if weather sealed was a selling point for you with your EM1 then the choice has to be the 12-40.

I personally am working to get the 12-40 and will most likely part with the 45/1.8 but I will keep my 17/1.8 I like the FL and did extensive shooting and looking at my images to see which FL was my most popular.  I sat between 15mm and 20mm predominantly.

Stand alone the 12-40 offers the most range and weather sealed.  I would recommend looking through your image library and seeing where your comfort zone is.

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JoanOfMay New Member • Posts: 10
Re: Would you go... 12-40mm or 17mm + 45mm on EM-1?

Hi, such questions are always interesting. What if ... . With my E-M1 I also bought the 12-40 (price reduction in combination with the E-M1) and used it on several outings (had to return it for exchange because of left-sided decentering, now waiting for its replacement) and loved it very much. It is really a wonder lens, I think, also because it focusses so close by. That is very valuable to me, the ability to go from close-up to infinity, and not just at one fl., but at all. It may be a bigger lens to hold, but if it is the only one you bring, well, should that matter. It is of course not as in-conspicuous as a 17mm 1.8 in black. Which also focusses close. And is f/1.8. I have that lens too and don't consider selling it at all, because I need it for musea and the likes. But on walks, give me a 12-40. Thanks. The 45 I had and already sold, because of this 12-40. I felt I didn't need that one any longer, but that is also because I have the 60 and 75. Still, even if I had not had these, I would have sold that 45. Never really liked it, actually prefer the 12-40 at 40, even though it isn't equally sharp at 40. Maybe even just because of that. It is nice at 40mm. I also have the 12mm, but I am inclined to say, that if one doesn't need its smaller size, the either f2 or f2.8 isn't a big deal, at least not for me. But indeed, for its smaller size for discreet indoor use, I shall keep it. And because I love it. It renders cooler then the 12-40, that is in jpeg. But a combination of 12-40 and a 17 is just wonderful, I think. It is all wonderful of course, the problem lies in limiting yourself if you can't afford it all. I never think not being able to bring it all in one time is not the problem: it is great to be able to choose from your arsenal what to bring. Happy choosing!:-)

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SpikeT Regular Member • Posts: 101
Re: Would you go... 12-40mm or 17mm + 45mm on EM-1?

I did a quick comparison against some other MFT lenses here:

http://www.microfourthirds.info/2013/12/olympus-12-40mm-review/

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