First non-kit lens for a young photographer.

Started 6 months ago | Discussions
Marty Lo Junior Member • Posts: 25
First non-kit lens for a young photographer.

Hi all,

Firstly I'm not a photography orientated guy but have fair technical background and able to research/learn fairly quickly.

I've needed to do this since my eldest child (9) have fallen head over heels with photography.

I familiarised myself with the concepts such as focal lengths, stops/qty of light and can shoot a subject fairly well exposed and focused on subject, they lack any appeal which is fine by me as I'm simply the purchaser, driver, archiver and sometimes settings advisor when light/speed of subject gets a bit challenging.

Recently, I acquired for her an OM-D E-M 5 Mk2 with 2 kit lenses:

1. 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ

2. 40-150mm F4-5.6 R

Along with other improvements to her kit in general such as more comfortable sling, small tripod, spare battery, cleaning kit etc, I'm planning to acquire another lens for her in the near future. Hampered by not having an eye for photography I stuck to reviews and specifications in forming a short list for that fits the budget.

1. 12-40mm F2.8

pros: 1.5-4x more light throughout a focal range she's used to, weatherproof (great where we reside), rated highly by Olympus youtubers(?)

cons: 2x weight of current 40-150.

This one seems to be the easy choice as it's similar yet superior to her current lens in every way except for a near 2x increase in weight and bulk.

The next three are primes:

2. 17mm F1.8

equiv. of ~25mm on Fujifilms that gets raved about for everyday photography

3. 25mm F1.8

equiv. of 50mm. Closest to the eye's perspective. Everyone needs one????

4. 45mm F1.8

Looking at her photo metadata, a lot of her favourited shots were taken between 40-62mm.

They're share common traits being not waterproof but allows > 2x the light again to the 12-40mm. They are all quite compact and seem suitable to have as the lens to leave on the camera ready to go.

To make matters even more complex (to me) I've read that standard lenses are commonly shot with a reduction of 1 stop to the aperture for sharpness and the 12-40mm is equally sharp throughout it's aperture range, so does that mean for optimal use the prime lenses are effective F2.8 lens anyway?

Apologies if I'm way out of my league here, I generally lack an eye for aesthetics and simply thinking in terms I can fathom i.e. amount, duration of light vs amount of signal noise.

Looking forward to your advice.

Thanks.

Marty.

 Marty Lo's gear list:Marty Lo's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Apple iPad Pro 9.7
Tom Axford Veteran Member • Posts: 6,739
Ask her
11

Why not give her a budget and ask her to choose? It is possible that she has her own ideas on what she would like.

Here is the "official" list of lenses:

https://www.four-thirds.org/en/microft/lense.html

Cloud Regular Member • Posts: 208
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.
6

Why not Olympus 60mm f/2,8 macro? He can discover whole new world. And the lens is suitable for portraits or lowlight photography as well.

-- hide signature --

Cloud

 Cloud's gear list:Cloud's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 Samyang 7.5mm F3.5 Fisheye Panasonic 100-300mm F4-5.6 II +3 more
OP Marty Lo Junior Member • Posts: 25
It's kind of hard,

When it comes to weatherproofing it's a yes and it's less stress for both of us. However who doesn't like light and compact.

As to focal length she just seems to pick up whatever and snap away. Currently, all her shots are taken in aperture priority with the exception of sports. ISO is left at 200 or Auto. The only settings she is adamant about is usually during post processing (I'm a fan of machine learning, she abhors it).

I probably should take her into the store again to try them out, that's how we picked out the camera in the end.

 Marty Lo's gear list:Marty Lo's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Apple iPad Pro 9.7
OP Marty Lo Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.

I never even thought of that, didn't know macro lenses were for anything other than really close up subjects.

Thank you. I better take her into the store.

 Marty Lo's gear list:Marty Lo's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Apple iPad Pro 9.7
Jeff Veteran Member • Posts: 6,199
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.
1

There are already some good suggestions, so these are just some additional thoughts ...

... your current lenses are not particularly bright. So an f/1.8 lens would be a nice addition to help with indoor and early evening/morning shooting. The 17/1.8 is a good general purpose lens for that purpose.

... If she likes shooting portraits, pets, small features, etc, the 45/1.8 would be a lot of fun.

.... the 60/2.8 macro would also be good for portrait shooting, and also open a whole new world of macro shooting. She would learn a lot about core photographic principles, too.

Has she expressed any particular interests?

Btw, best dad ever.

 Jeff's gear list:Jeff's gear list
Olympus 45mm F1.2 Pro Olympus E-M1 Olympus OM-D E-M1X Olympus PEN E-P5 Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro +9 more
Peadingle
Peadingle Senior Member • Posts: 1,193
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.
1

I'm teaching my friend's 10 year old granddaughter photography. She likes to get in close at around 12mm so I would say get something that goes that wide.

Weight is an issue with them, and I am also worrying sometimes about an accident happening so I wouldn't want to trust a child with something too expensive.

For the above reasons, I would suggest a 12-32 that produces excellent results, is as light as you will find, and is comparatively cheap to buy.

-- hide signature --

"https://www.flickr.com/photos/6pix/"

 Peadingle's gear list:Peadingle's gear list
Samsung TL500 Canon PowerShot G1 X Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 Panasonic G85 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH +5 more
Ramyeah
Ramyeah Regular Member • Posts: 378
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.
4

Marty Lo wrote:

Hi all,

Firstly I'm not a photography orientated guy but have fair technical background and able to research/learn fairly quickly.

I've needed to do this since my eldest child (9) have fallen head over heels with photography.

I familiarised myself with the concepts such as focal lengths, stops/qty of light and can shoot a subject fairly well exposed and focused on subject, they lack any appeal which is fine by me as I'm simply the purchaser, driver, archiver and sometimes settings advisor when light/speed of subject gets a bit challenging.

Recently, I acquired for her an OM-D E-M 5 Mk2 with 2 kit lenses:

That's a great camera

1. 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ

2. 40-150mm F4-5.6 R

The two kit lenses cover most of the range required to try out different genres of photography, especially, for a beginner. (I started my DSLR journey with similar set 15 years ago, with Oly DSLR). And, are really good quality to provide great pictures.

Along with other improvements to her kit in general such as more comfortable sling, small tripod, spare battery, cleaning kit etc, I'm planning to acquire another lens for her in the near future. Hampered by not having an eye for photography I stuck to reviews and specifications in forming a short list for that fits the budget.

1. 12-40mm F2.8

pros: 1.5-4x more light throughout a focal range she's used to, weatherproof (great where we reside), rated highly by Olympus youtubers(?)

cons: 2x weight of current 40-150.

This one seems to be the easy choice as it's similar yet superior to her current lens in every way except for a near 2x increase in weight and bulk.

The next three are primes:

2. 17mm F1.8

equiv. of ~25mm on Fujifilms that gets raved about for everyday photography

3. 25mm F1.8

equiv. of 50mm. Closest to the eye's perspective. Everyone needs one????

4. 45mm F1.8

Looking at her photo metadata, a lot of her favourited shots were taken between 40-62mm.

They're share common traits being not waterproof but allows > 2x the light again to the 12-40mm. They are all quite compact and seem suitable to have as the lens to leave on the camera ready to go.

I personally feel, 12-40/2.8 Pro would be an overkill (in terms of size, weight and price) though I see your point regarding weatherproof.

To make matters even more complex (to me) I've read that standard lenses are commonly shot with a reduction of 1 stop to the aperture for sharpness and the 12-40mm is equally sharp throughout it's aperture range, so does that mean for optimal use the prime lenses are effective F2.8 lens anyway?

No need to worry on this aspect, they are adequately sharp even wide open.

Apologies if I'm way out of my league here, I generally lack an eye for aesthetics and simply thinking in terms I can fathom i.e. amount, duration of light vs amount of signal noise.

Looking forward to your advice.

Thanks.

Marty.

Marty,

I must say that, you have done your homework pretty well, in order to support the passion of your kid...appreciate the effort put in to understand the subject, and you are not off the mark at all.

I would stress upon learning the basics of photography - the techniques, skills and the aesthetics aspects first and later go for upgrading the gear to overcome it's shortcomings, if any, for a specific use-case.

My general suggestions would be: As a beginner, let her start with the available kit and click all and sundry photos to her liking - which is what she's doing, I guess.

However, learning with a Prime lens has it's own merit, as one has to think of framing and composition, without the flexibility of the zoom. From your data, that looks like 45/1.8 - another exceptional High Quality-High value lens (and so are the other two). Adding that to the kit, would help enhance skills and progress next level

Then, ask her to work on some specific "project' say every week or so, based on her interest and aptitude. You can jointly review the pictures in terms of focus, framing, composition, etc. and discuss how to improve - a great way to learn.

Submitting photos to some photographic forums which are mostly topic specific like street/macro/action/wildlife etc. for Comments & Critics from other enthusiasts/seniors is a great way for learning, especially for a beginner.

Give it a few months and you would know which is the type of photography she's more interested in. Then, it's easy to chose the appropriate lens to suit that genre and help her learn specifics and enhance skills.

My best wishes to your child and cheers to her supporting dad,

Ramesh

 Ramyeah's gear list:Ramyeah's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ Olympus 12-40mm F2.8 Pro Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +5 more
Nikonparrothead Veteran Member • Posts: 5,685
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.
1

It’s helpful that you know the focal range she prefers to shoot in. But ask what types of images she has NOT been able to capture with her current kit.

The lens that helps her capture those images would be the next lens (the macro may be it — though I found them too sharp for most portraits).

Petsonally I’d put the pause on gear purchases and encourage her knowledge of the craft through video tutorials. It sounds like, except for sports, she’s using the camera as a point, zoom and shoot.

-- hide signature --

'Nice pen, bet you write good stories with it.'

 Nikonparrothead's gear list:Nikonparrothead's gear list
Canon PowerShot S95 Fujifilm FinePix X100 Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 Panasonic LX100 Nikon Coolpix A +14 more
David E P Junior Member • Posts: 27
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.
2

I have all of those lenses and use them for the following:

17mm. Travel, landscape, cityscape, architecture and general photography (group snapshots)

25mm. General photography, group portraits, portraits, travel. Sometimes I use it for landscape and cityscpaes.

45mm. Portraits and general photography.

Hope this helps

David

Auf Reisen Contributing Member • Posts: 688
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.
2

I think it's great how much interest you show in your child's hobby.

Ask her what she likes about the pictures she took at 40mm. Was it the tighter framing or the fact that it is easier to achieve subject isolation (blurred background) at this focal length with slower zooms?

If the former, the 45 1.8 is probably a no-brainer. If the latter, a fast prime in the normal range (17-25) would maybe be the better choice.

That said, nothing has helped me improve my photography more than going out shooting with a a prime with an uncomfortable focal length and learning to adjust to the limitations. But that might be a thought for later.

 Auf Reisen's gear list:Auf Reisen's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Tamron 14-150mm F/3.5-5.8 Di III Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +2 more
Bassaidai Regular Member • Posts: 280
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.
1

Haha, Marty, I like your approach. Basically exactly how I got hooked up to photography many years ago (Canon 300D... dinosaur).

Seen the mentioned EXIF stats I might throw in the Sigma 56mm/f1.4 DN DC: native m43, light, small, fast (both aperture & autofocus), relatively cheap (sub 400€), weathersealed, SHARP.

-- hide signature --

Bass
If things appear to good to be true - they're usually neither of both.

 Bassaidai's gear list:Bassaidai's gear list
Panasonic GH5 Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Panasonic Leica 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G 25mm F1.7 ASPH Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro +7 more
OP Marty Lo Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.

Jeff wrote:

There are already some good suggestions, so these are just some additional thoughts ...

... your current lenses are not particularly bright. So an f/1.8 lens would be a nice addition to help with indoor and early evening/morning shooting. The 17/1.8 is a good general purpose lens for that purpose.

... If she likes shooting portraits, pets, small features, etc, the 45/1.8 would be a lot of fun.

.... the 60/2.8 macro would also be good for portrait shooting, and also open a whole new world of macro shooting. She would learn a lot about core photographic principles, too.

Has she expressed any particular interests?

So far it's been varied and on advice from a photographer friend, I haven't placed any constraints for her. I have noticed however she loves to shoot with a shallow DoF whenever she could e.g.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3Vj6RunSSZ/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3O8KCJHy2t/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Sports shooting is a bit more daunting (for the wallet) as we all love grappling and combat sports = mostly limited lighting leads to some scary ISO figures....let's just say it would probably be cheaper to bulk buy lights for the gym than stoop for gear to match lighting.

Btw, best dad ever.

 Marty Lo's gear list:Marty Lo's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Apple iPad Pro 9.7
Leo_B
Leo_B Regular Member • Posts: 407
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.
1

Thoughts in no particular order.

Talk to your daughter and see if she has specific thoughts or wants as far as lenses go. You've come up with a good list but they may not be what she has in mind. She may be thinking about an ultra-wide angle lens or longer reach telephoto or something else.

The 12-40 is an excellent lens. It's currently $800 from Olympus. However, for $850, you could get her both the 17f1.8 and the 60mm macro. That gives her a fast lens for lower light and opens the world of macro photography plus portraits etc. as well.

+1 for take her to the camera store and let her try them out and see what she thinks works best for her at this time. Good luck and be sure to come back and let us know what she chooses.

 Leo_B's gear list:Leo_B's gear list
Olympus E-M5 II Olympus E-M1 Olympus PEN-F Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12mm 1:2 +5 more
OP Marty Lo Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.

Peadingle wrote:

I'm teaching my friend's 10 year old granddaughter photography. She likes to get in close at around 12mm so I would say get something that goes that wide.

Weight is an issue with them, and I am also worrying sometimes about an accident happening so I wouldn't want to trust a child with something too expensive.

- her younger sibling no. I don't even trust him with animals weighing less than him.

For the above reasons, I would suggest a 12-32 that produces excellent results, is as light as you will find, and is comparatively cheap to buy.

I just searched it, is this the Panasonic one? Does OIS on a Lumix lens work in conjunction with an Olympus camera?

Thank you.

 Marty Lo's gear list:Marty Lo's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Apple iPad Pro 9.7
Auf Reisen Contributing Member • Posts: 688
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.
1

With Panasonic lenses on Olympus bodies, you can either use the lens stabilisation or the in-body stabilisation of the camera, but you cannot use both in conjunction. Double IS only works with bodies and lenses of the same manufacturer.

 Auf Reisen's gear list:Auf Reisen's gear list
Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Tamron 14-150mm F/3.5-5.8 Di III Olympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm 1:4.8-6.7 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +2 more
OP Marty Lo Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.

Ramyeah wrote:

Marty Lo wrote:

Hi all,

Firstly I'm not a photography orientated guy but have fair technical background and able to research/learn fairly quickly.

I've needed to do this since my eldest child (9) have fallen head over heels with photography.

I familiarised myself with the concepts such as focal lengths, stops/qty of light and can shoot a subject fairly well exposed and focused on subject, they lack any appeal which is fine by me as I'm simply the purchaser, driver, archiver and sometimes settings advisor when light/speed of subject gets a bit challenging.

Recently, I acquired for her an OM-D E-M 5 Mk2 with 2 kit lenses:

That's a great camera

Our local store had great patient staff, my initial intent was for something compact with interchangeable lenses, they let her try the whole range, canon, Lumix, Sony, Fujifilm. Straight away she preferred a having viewfinder and gravitated to the OM-D after the second visit. Then a week later Olympus cameras were on sale.

1. 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ

2. 40-150mm F4-5.6 R

The two kit lenses cover most of the range required to try out different genres of photography, especially, for a beginner. (I started my DSLR journey with similar set 15 years ago, with Oly DSLR). And, are really good quality to provide great pictures.

Along with other improvements to her kit in general such as more comfortable sling, small tripod, spare battery, cleaning kit etc, I'm planning to acquire another lens for her in the near future. Hampered by not having an eye for photography I stuck to reviews and specifications in forming a short list for that fits the budget.

1. 12-40mm F2.8

pros: 1.5-4x more light throughout a focal range she's used to, weatherproof (great where we reside), rated highly by Olympus youtubers(?)

cons: 2x weight of current 40-150.

This one seems to be the easy choice as it's similar yet superior to her current lens in every way except for a near 2x increase in weight and bulk.

The next three are primes:

2. 17mm F1.8

equiv. of ~25mm on Fujifilms that gets raved about for everyday photography

3. 25mm F1.8

equiv. of 50mm. Closest to the eye's perspective. Everyone needs one????

4. 45mm F1.8

Looking at her photo metadata, a lot of her favourited shots were taken between 40-62mm.

They're share common traits being not waterproof but allows > 2x the light again to the 12-40mm. They are all quite compact and seem suitable to have as the lens to leave on the camera ready to go.

I personally feel, 12-40/2.8 Pro would be an overkill (in terms of size, weight and price) though I see your point regarding weatherproof.

I thought about this a lot. Compared to the 14-42/3.5-56, it's +5x the size 4x the weight for essentially 1-2 steps on the ISO dial or holding the shot a that little longer. Unlike price tag where pain eases heavy things don't lighten with distance...or inclines.

To make matters even more complex (to me) I've read that standard lenses are commonly shot with a reduction of 1 stop to the aperture for sharpness and the 12-40mm is equally sharp throughout it's aperture range, so does that mean for optimal use the prime lenses are effective F2.8 lens anyway?

No need to worry on this aspect, they are adequately sharp even wide open.

Great to hear!

Apologies if I'm way out of my league here, I generally lack an eye for aesthetics and simply thinking in terms I can fathom i.e. amount, duration of light vs amount of signal noise.

Looking forward to your advice.

Thanks.

Marty.

Marty,

I must say that, you have done your homework pretty well, in order to support the passion of your kid...appreciate the effort put in to understand the subject, and you are not off the mark at all.

I would stress upon learning the basics of photography - the techniques, skills and the aesthetics aspects first and later go for upgrading the gear to overcome it's shortcomings, if any, for a specific use-case.

At the moment it's sufficient light, not so much dawn to dusk but whenever we go indoors. Outdoors the sun here is a killer, literally.

My general suggestions would be: As a beginner, let her start with the available kit and click all and sundry photos to her liking - which is what she's doing, I guess.

However, learning with a Prime lens has it's own merit, as one has to think of framing and composition, without the flexibility of the zoom. From your data, that looks like 45/1.8 - another exceptional High Quality-High value lens (and so are the other two). Adding that to the kit, would help enhance skills and progress next level

I'm of a mind to take her to the store to try all 3 and let her decide on the right angled prime. I have a gut feeling that this constraint is a good thing, been stressing to her to only walk forwards but with both eyes open, camera lowered in any other direction.

Then, ask her to work on some specific "project' say every week or so, based on her interest and aptitude. You can jointly review the pictures in terms of focus, framing, composition, etc. and discuss how to improve - a great way to learn.

Have to pass that duty of to her teacher =D, she can compose and post process far better than I can. If someone told me to shoot something, I can pick a lens, dial it in and give a clean, clear photo of the subject in the centre, completely contained in the frame. It's been totally bewildering to me at what and when she decides to shoot along with her choice in lighting and colouring back home.

Submitting photos to some photographic forums which are mostly topic specific like street/macro/action/wildlife etc. for Comments & Critics from other enthusiasts/seniors is a great way for learning, especially for a beginner.

Any recommendations in this regard? She currently uses only an old instagram account converted to her use.

Give it a few months and you would know which is the type of photography she's more interested in. Then, it's easy to chose the appropriate lens to suit that genre and help her learn specifics and enhance skills.

^ That sounds like a fine idea and our most likely course of action!

My best wishes to your child and cheers to her supporting dad,

Ramesh

My thanks.

 Marty Lo's gear list:Marty Lo's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Apple iPad Pro 9.7
Jeff Veteran Member • Posts: 6,199
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.
1

Marty Lo wrote:

Jeff wrote:

There are already some good suggestions, so these are just some additional thoughts ...

... your current lenses are not particularly bright. So an f/1.8 lens would be a nice addition to help with indoor and early evening/morning shooting. The 17/1.8 is a good general purpose lens for that purpose.

... If she likes shooting portraits, pets, small features, etc, the 45/1.8 would be a lot of fun.

.... the 60/2.8 macro would also be good for portrait shooting, and also open a whole new world of macro shooting. She would learn a lot about core photographic principles, too.

Has she expressed any particular interests?

So far it's been varied and on advice from a photographer friend, I haven't placed any constraints for her. I have noticed however she loves to shoot with a shallow DoF whenever she could e.g.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3Vj6RunSSZ/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3O8KCJHy2t/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Those are sweet examples. I assume "#demonmonkey# must be the younger brother.  I took a look at her instagram feed which, for a 9 year old, shows a lot of fun and interests.

From the instagram feed, it's pretty clear that she gravitates towards to portrait shooting, and definitely likes to isolate a subject through selective focus, composition, and lighting contrasts.  She knows her subject, which is something that can't always be said about much older or more experienced shooters. This has to be a lot of fun for everyone.

Based on what I see in these images, the 45/1.8 would seem like a no brainer. It's a small compact lens at a nearly ideal focal length for portraits and isolating a subject.  I used mine for years before trading it on the 45/1.2. You can get them for about $400 new from B&H. The great news is that you can also get it from one of the reputable Hong Kong dealers on ebay for less than $200.  It's hard to go wrong for that price.

Another option might be the 75/1.8 that gives even more subject isolation, and is otherwise a terrific lens.  It's a little over $500 from ebay, and might be a little too long. This is also a favorite of mine, but it doesn't get as much use as the 45.

I don't own the Sigma 56/1.4, so can't offer first-hand experience, but it is a little less pricey (about $430 from HK)  than the 75, a little better focal length, and ought to do a very nice job with selective focus. People on this forum seem to really like this lens.

Hope that's useful.

Sports shooting is a bit more daunting (for the wallet) as we all love grappling and combat sports = mostly limited lighting leads to some scary ISO figures....let's just say it would probably be cheaper to bulk buy lights for the gym than stoop for gear to match lighting.

Btw, best dad ever.

 Jeff's gear list:Jeff's gear list
Olympus 45mm F1.2 Pro Olympus E-M1 Olympus OM-D E-M1X Olympus PEN E-P5 Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro +9 more
OP Marty Lo Junior Member • Posts: 25
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.

Nikonparrothead wrote:

It’s helpful that you know the focal range she prefers to shoot in. But ask what types of images she has NOT been able to capture with her current kit.

The lens that helps her capture those images would be the next lens (the macro may be it — though I found them too sharp for most portraits).

Petsonally I’d put the pause on gear purchases and encourage her knowledge of the craft through video tutorials. It sounds like, except for sports, she’s using the camera as a point, zoom and shoot.

The biggest shortcoming so far is lighting indoors.

 Marty Lo's gear list:Marty Lo's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm F4-5.6 R Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ Apple iPad Pro 9.7
Jeff Veteran Member • Posts: 6,199
Re: First non-kit lens for a young photographer.

Marty Lo wrote:

Ramyeah wrote:

Marty Lo wrote:

Hi all,

Firstly I'm not a photography orientated guy but have fair technical background and able to research/learn fairly quickly.

I've needed to do this since my eldest child (9) have fallen head over heels with photography.

I familiarised myself with the concepts such as focal lengths, stops/qty of light and can shoot a subject fairly well exposed and focused on subject, they lack any appeal which is fine by me as I'm simply the purchaser, driver, archiver and sometimes settings advisor when light/speed of subject gets a bit challenging.

Recently, I acquired for her an OM-D E-M 5 Mk2 with 2 kit lenses:

That's a great camera

Our local store had great patient staff, my initial intent was for something compact with interchangeable lenses, they let her try the whole range, canon, Lumix, Sony, Fujifilm. Straight away she preferred a having viewfinder and gravitated to the OM-D after the second visit. Then a week later Olympus cameras were on sale.

1. 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ

2. 40-150mm F4-5.6 R

The two kit lenses cover most of the range required to try out different genres of photography, especially, for a beginner. (I started my DSLR journey with similar set 15 years ago, with Oly DSLR). And, are really good quality to provide great pictures.

Along with other improvements to her kit in general such as more comfortable sling, small tripod, spare battery, cleaning kit etc, I'm planning to acquire another lens for her in the near future. Hampered by not having an eye for photography I stuck to reviews and specifications in forming a short list for that fits the budget.

1. 12-40mm F2.8

pros: 1.5-4x more light throughout a focal range she's used to, weatherproof (great where we reside), rated highly by Olympus youtubers(?)

cons: 2x weight of current 40-150.

This one seems to be the easy choice as it's similar yet superior to her current lens in every way except for a near 2x increase in weight and bulk.

The next three are primes:

2. 17mm F1.8

equiv. of ~25mm on Fujifilms that gets raved about for everyday photography

3. 25mm F1.8

equiv. of 50mm. Closest to the eye's perspective. Everyone needs one????

4. 45mm F1.8

Looking at her photo metadata, a lot of her favourited shots were taken between 40-62mm.

They're share common traits being not waterproof but allows > 2x the light again to the 12-40mm. They are all quite compact and seem suitable to have as the lens to leave on the camera ready to go.

I personally feel, 12-40/2.8 Pro would be an overkill (in terms of size, weight and price) though I see your point regarding weatherproof.

I thought about this a lot. Compared to the 14-42/3.5-56, it's +5x the size 4x the weight for essentially 1-2 steps on the ISO dial or holding the shot a that little longer. Unlike price tag where pain eases heavy things don't lighten with distance...or inclines.

I have the 12-40/2.8 Pro and it is one of my most-used lenses. Good performer. But I'd have to think a fast prime would open more doors from a photographic perspective.

To make matters even more complex (to me) I've read that standard lenses are commonly shot with a reduction of 1 stop to the aperture for sharpness and the 12-40mm is equally sharp throughout it's aperture range, so does that mean for optimal use the prime lenses are effective F2.8 lens anyway?

No need to worry on this aspect, they are adequately sharp even wide open.

Great to hear!

Apologies if I'm way out of my league here, I generally lack an eye for aesthetics and simply thinking in terms I can fathom i.e. amount, duration of light vs amount of signal noise.

Looking forward to your advice.

Thanks.

Marty.

Marty,

I must say that, you have done your homework pretty well, in order to support the passion of your kid...appreciate the effort put in to understand the subject, and you are not off the mark at all.

I would stress upon learning the basics of photography - the techniques, skills and the aesthetics aspects first and later go for upgrading the gear to overcome it's shortcomings, if any, for a specific use-case.

At the moment it's sufficient light, not so much dawn to dusk but whenever we go indoors. Outdoors the sun here is a killer, literally.

My general suggestions would be: As a beginner, let her start with the available kit and click all and sundry photos to her liking - which is what she's doing, I guess.

However, learning with a Prime lens has it's own merit, as one has to think of framing and composition, without the flexibility of the zoom. From your data, that looks like 45/1.8 - another exceptional High Quality-High value lens (and so are the other two). Adding that to the kit, would help enhance skills and progress next level

I'm of a mind to take her to the store to try all 3 and let her decide on the right angled prime. I have a gut feeling that this constraint is a good thing, been stressing to her to only walk forwards but with both eyes open, camera lowered in any other direction.

Then, ask her to work on some specific "project' say every week or so, based on her interest and aptitude. You can jointly review the pictures in terms of focus, framing, composition, etc. and discuss how to improve - a great way to learn.

Have to pass that duty of to her teacher =D, she can compose and post process far better than I can. If someone told me to shoot something, I can pick a lens, dial it in and give a clean, clear photo of the subject in the centre, completely contained in the frame. It's been totally bewildering to me at what and when she decides to shoot along with her choice in lighting and colouring back home.

Submitting photos to some photographic forums which are mostly topic specific like street/macro/action/wildlife etc. for Comments & Critics from other enthusiasts/seniors is a great way for learning, especially for a beginner.

Any recommendations in this regard? She currently uses only an old instagram account converted to her use.

Give it a few months and you would know which is the type of photography she's more interested in. Then, it's easy to chose the appropriate lens to suit that genre and help her learn specifics and enhance skills.

^ That sounds like a fine idea and our most likely course of action!

My best wishes to your child and cheers to her supporting dad,

Ramesh

My thanks.

 Jeff's gear list:Jeff's gear list
Olympus 45mm F1.2 Pro Olympus E-M1 Olympus OM-D E-M1X Olympus PEN E-P5 Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro +9 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads