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View Full Version : Best walk-around lens for the E-1/3


E-P1 fan
14th July 2008, 10:52 AM
Having just lost a 14 - 54mm ZD on eBay yesterday - I'm having a little think about it all before going straight into grey import land and ordering one.

I know the 14-54mm used to be the best walk-around lens available in 4/3rds - is it still? Or is there a better option?

Love to have your views

andym
14th July 2008, 10:56 AM
What can I say but the 12-60mm.The 14-54 is good but the 12-60 is better.Downside is its a lot more money.

E-P1 fan
14th July 2008, 11:35 AM
Hmmnn - twice the price - I should hope it's better :)

Out of my range atm - is there anything in a similar price range to the 14-54mm or is it actually still the best at that medium price level?

HughofBardfield
14th July 2008, 11:42 AM
The 14-54 is certainly better than the kit lenses - not in a major or stunning way, but in lots of incremental improvements that make a big difference overall. Mine is almost welded to my camera. As far as I'm concerned the only downside over the kit lens is the extra weight.

A number of people seem to like the Sigma 30mm as a walk-around. Certainly seen some super results here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/sigmafourthirds/

Graham_of_Rainham
14th July 2008, 01:55 PM
It really will depend on what end of the spectrum you want to work at.

I did a walkabout in London with my 7-14 and got some great shots.

The 14-54 lives on the camera most of the time and is a really good lens. I think better than the 12-60, because I like the better low light level capabilities.

If you want long range the 70-300 is brilliant and so flexible.

I did spend quite a bit of time with the new 14-35 and that is simply stunning but it is a tad expensive.

In summary: if I had to choose, I'd go for the 14-54.

*chr

StephenL
14th July 2008, 03:09 PM
IMO the 12-60 is too bulky for a walkaround lens, but the 14-54 is ideal.

E-P1 fan
14th July 2008, 05:27 PM
Thanks everyone - I'd like more than one of these lenses obviously but - your comments do seem to echo my own thoughts so I feel a trip to GrayImportland will not be too long in becoming accomplished. *chr

Chillimonster
14th July 2008, 05:31 PM
12-60 SWD for me. Just that little bit longer and wider than the 14-54mm, so for me it makes it a liitle bit more versatile.

Size is all realative and on the E-1 (With grip) or the E-3 (without grip) it just feels 'right'. The quality is fantastic and the SWD just gives it the edge in focussing speed.

Whichever way you go, don't forget to drop Ian (Kerso) a PM for his latest price :)

Chris

E-P1 fan
14th July 2008, 06:48 PM
I've pm'd him Chris - thanks. I'd much rather deal with someone on here :)

yorky
14th July 2008, 07:44 PM
One to consider is the 35mm Macro, I often take that if I am walking far

Zuiko
14th July 2008, 07:59 PM
It really will depend on what end of the spectrum you want to work at.

I did a walkabout in London with my 7-14 and got some great shots.

The 14-54 lives on the camera most of the time and is a really good lens. I think better than the 12-60, because I like the better low light level capabilities.

If you want long range the 70-300 is brilliant and so flexible.

I did spend quite a bit of time with the new 14-35 and that is simply stunning but it is a tad expensive.
In summary: if I had to choose, I'd go for the 14-54.

*chr


Just a tad? :eek:

If money was no object I'd have the 14-35mm and be more than willing to live with the slightly shorter focal range and greater bulk and weight in exchange for it's superb performance, incredible low light capability and differential focus possibilities.

Second choice - probably, I've not yet tried one - would be the 12-60mm which offers a remarkably wide range of focal lengths to cover almost any situation.

Third choice, and the one I've got, is the 14-54mm. But it is by no means a poor alternative for the photographer on a tight budget, it's a superb lens in its own right and actually scores over the other two in certain respects. For instance, its much lighter and more compact than the 14-35mm and a useful bit brighter than the 12-60mm but still with great performance.

With two other kit standard zoom lenses available that are probably the best in their class plus an ultra compact 25mm prime us Oly owners are spoilt rotten for choice. Can Nikon and Canon owners claim the same? :p

*chr

E-P1 fan
14th July 2008, 08:09 PM
One to consider is the 35mm Macro, I often take that if I am walking far

I've got the 35mm and often use it - but find it sometimes a bit restricting as a walk-round

E-P1 fan
15th July 2008, 05:50 AM
Are there any other lenses - non Zuiko - that should be considered - ie lenses in the price range of the 14 -54mm from say Leica or Sigma?

Malcolm Cousins
15th July 2008, 08:07 AM
IMO go for the 14-54. I bought one and am still amazed by the versatility of this lens. It compares equally with my 24-70 2.8 L canon pro lens. For the price it's a bargain.:)

Steve Lane
15th July 2008, 01:17 PM
I seem to favor the 11-22mm lens for general walkaround stuff. I don't seem to miss a telephoto option very often!
Cheers, Steve.

blu-by-u
16th July 2008, 12:49 AM
Actually we are spoil for choices. It would be better to self evaluate before deciding.

1) Weatherproof y/n
2) Wide (how much?)
3) Zoom (how much?)
4) Budget.

A fellow Oly shooter uses the 35-100/2 as his walkabout lens. Another uses the 14-35. but those are the exceptional ones. While I prefer the Leica 14-150.

If Weather proofing is required then only the Zds. 11-22, 7-14 for wide lovers, 12-60, 14-54 and 14-35.

If weather proofing is not a requirement issue, ZD 18-180, Leica 14-50, 14-150, Sigma would offer the 10-20 and 18-50/2.8.

So who says we, Olympus users, are not spoil for choices!!!

theMusicMan
16th July 2008, 06:52 AM
If I had the 35-100mm I imagine it would be almost glued to my E-3, but alas... as I don't have this lens, nor doubt I ever will, my trusty 14-54 is my preferred choice of walkaround lens though this comes close to the wonderful 70-300mm lens too. I guess it would depend where I am walking about.

Last night was my daughters end of school play and I had the 70-300mm attached. Managed to get some decent shots with it in the low light conditions.

So 1st choice = 14-54mm, 2nd choice = 70-300mm but if I had the money, would certainly be the 35-100mm.

ndl0071
16th July 2008, 07:11 AM
For a walk 'round lens I am also in the 14-54 club.

Neil

E-P1 fan
16th July 2008, 09:23 AM
Actually we are spoil for choices. It would be better to self evaluate before deciding.

1) Weatherproof - Not really a factor
2) Wide - 14 is fine for me
3) Zoom - no set number here
4) Budget - there's the rub - 200-250. (new/s'hand)

Answers above- :)

===================================
Number 4 is usually the killer and in this case cuts out the ZD 35 - 100mm

I like the look of your Leica lens but it's right at the top of the posibility range re price. Seems to leave the following contenders to the ZD 14-54mm

ZD 18 - 180mm
Sigma 18-50mm

and maybe just (if lucky)
Leica 14-50mm ( I do like the look of this)

Thanks -that's a great board name too

blu-by-u
16th July 2008, 12:30 PM
If it's the Leica, then look out for the 14-50/2.8-3.5 and not the newer 14-50. The Sigma 18-50/2.8 would be a choice lens too but that too have an evil sibling..18-50 but a lot darker and non macro.

E-P1 fan
16th July 2008, 01:10 PM
The14-54mm is looking pretty certain given the price of the other lenses. Does seem the best pound for pound buy - especially if one takes the leap into GreyImportland stock - which I'd need to do I think - or s/hand of course (just missed EyeSpy's at the weekend by a tenner)

blu-by-u
17th July 2008, 06:08 AM
For the price and performance, the 14-54 is the sure winner.

E-P1 fan
17th July 2008, 10:58 AM
any specific views on the Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC Macro

blu-by-u
18th July 2008, 03:04 AM
What sort of views?

I like that lens. There is a AF/MF button on the side and hence easier for Panorama shootings. I AF then off the AF and continue the sequence. The color are not as contrast as the Leica (that can be adjusted in camera or in OM2)

The shots tend to have a very slight blue tint. That makes the sky shots very nice.

This Panorama is shot with the 18-50/2.8
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2217/2327870365_8cdb2957c5_m.jpg (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2217/2327870365_8cdb2957c5_b.jpg)


A macro
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2082/2088326400_9bee1ec727_m.jpg (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2082/2088326400_9bee1ec727_b.jpg)
Oops just checked..this is with the EC14 added to the 18-50

E-P1 fan
18th July 2008, 06:06 AM
Thanks BBU - those are impressive enough to put this lens into contention for me with the 14-54mm.

It's a price issue really. My photography is of the budget hobby level - especially these days - when every penny you spend needs to be justifiable.
The prevailing economic slow-down and high fuel costs are even affecting where and when I drive my car for pleasure so it's certainly going to impinge on my other hobbies - of which photography is but one.

E-P1 fan
18th July 2008, 01:04 PM
I'm assuming that the good opinions wouldn't apply to the much cheaper
Sigma 18-50mm f3.5-5.6 DC?

E-P1 fan
18th July 2008, 05:59 PM
Academic now - just bought a mint 14-54mm :)

blu-by-u
21st July 2008, 01:17 AM
.....
The prevailing economic slow-down and high fuel costs are even affecting where and when I drive my car for pleasure so it's certainly going to impinge on my other hobbies - of which photography is but one.

That is making it's mark felt on everything.

I'm assuming that the good opinions wouldn't apply to the much cheaper
Sigma 18-50mm f3.5-5.6 DC?

That is a totally different lens. Sorry to say, also to be avoided.

Academic now - just bought a mint 14-54mm :)

Congratulations to the new add on. Next would be an external flash as that 14-54 blocks the built in flash.!!! Sorry I forgot to warn you.:o

E-P1 fan
21st July 2008, 07:20 AM
Congratulations to the new add on. Next would be an external flash as that 14-54 blocks the built in flash.!!! Sorry I forgot to warn you.:o

Luckily an FL-36 already resides in my gadget bag :)

The EC14 is the new 'target' I think - but it might be a while.

Zuiko
21st July 2008, 08:37 AM
Academic now - just bought a mint 14-54mm :)

Congratulations, I think that in terms of value for money and getting the best possible quality for your budget you've made a sound choice. *yes

E-P1 fan
21st July 2008, 10:37 AM
According to Royal Mail tracking it's 'on the van' and due before 1pm today :)

Zuiko
21st July 2008, 01:41 PM
According to Royal Mail tracking it's 'on the van' and due before 1pm today :)

Should see some pics from it on the forum this evening then! :D

E-P1 fan
21st July 2008, 07:14 PM
I took my newly arrived 14-54mm for a walk in the woods this afternoon and started to get to know it better.

I LOVE this lens - even the OH can now appreciate the difference some decent glass makes to my E-1 (ha ha - hope for the future maybe).

Expect new pics popping up in my gallery *chr

Thanks for all your comments btw - they really helped me choose