View Full Version : What lenses?

28th March 2017, 12:25 PM
Am a prospective E-M1 mark 2 owner, hope to make the big jump from Pentax K3/KS2 shortly. Can anyone advise on lenses, preferably the least number to carry around? I like to shoot landscape, street and transport- trains and planes mostly. Since I will be a newbie can you quote 35mm APSC equivelent focal lengths please?


28th March 2017, 12:58 PM
So many choices... but here is a view.

I have recently acquired the new 12-100 zoom. For landscapes and general daytime (good light use), that plus the 7-14 is an excellent two lens kit. Perhaps a bit big for street photography, so add a 17/1.8 for that and low light use and you have an excellent three lens outfit.

28th March 2017, 01:25 PM
I can only relate to full frame 35mm film lenses so I take a m4/3rds lens and double the focal length to get the 35mm film equivalent.

I assume you know the relationship between APSC and 35mm focal lengths, so you can get a relationship.

Just found by a bit of Googling this page


You might find it interesting to read.

28th March 2017, 01:54 PM
Having moved from a Pentax K100d with two lenses to an E-PL5 and now an OM-D E-M10 I can tell you that carrying lenses will be a lot less of an issue than you're used to. Notably smaller and lighter.

I started with the E-PL5 and the cheap extendable 14-42mm (28-84mm on FF) and 40-150mm (80-30mm on FF) kit lenses - under 100 each used.

I now routinely carry this collection and the E-M10 body in an Olympus Street Case L with less hassle than my old Pentax DSLR with just the kit lens attached.
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42 mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm 1:4.0-5.6 R Lens
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ES-M 17mm 1.2.8
Panasonic H-H025E-K 25 mm/F1.7 ASPH Lens
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 45 mm 1:1.8 Lens

If you're going to splash out on the E-M1MkII then I would imagine the f2.8 PRO lenses should be on your list to consider - they would cover 24mm-80mm and 80-300mm in 35mm equivalent.
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-40 mm 1:2.8 PRO
Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 40-150mm 1:2.8 PRO

Don't discount the cheaper zooms and compact primes though - there are some gems.

28th March 2017, 07:21 PM
Two that spring to mind are 9-18 and the 45mm f1.8.

Bikie John
28th March 2017, 07:56 PM
For a versatile walkabout lens the 14-150mm (field of view roughly equivalent to 28-300 on 35mm which I guess is around 20-200 on APS format) is pretty hard to beat. It's not pocket-sized compact, but for what it offers it is quite small. Not very fast aperture-wise, but if it were it would be bigger, heavier and more expensive. It is also weather-sealed, not many of the other lenses are except the fancy pro ones.

An "unsung hero" whose praises we actually sing quite a lot is the 45mm f/1.8 prime (90mm on 35mm so guessing at about 60 on APS). It is tiny, gives very good image quality and is a good price. Often available used at an even better price, I think there may even be one available on here at the moment.

There are also f/1.8 primes at 12, 17 and 25mm (24, 35 and 50 equiv) which are small and good and not too expensive. The 75mm f/1.8 is a beauty, but chunky (inevitably) and pricey.

The "pro" zooms are wonderful but quite heavy both on the hands and the wallet. They are weathersealed - 12-40 f/2.8, 12-100 f/4, 40-150 f/2.8 (24-80, 24-200, 80-300, I'm sure you're getting the idea by now :)). If you are a low-light junkie the 25mm f/1.2 (50mm on film - "standard" lens) is gorgeous. But it is wildly expensive and a bit of a beast by m43 standards.

One thing Oly has mostly not done is provide teleconverters - the only native one for Micro-4/3 is a 1.4x which will only fit on the 40-150 f/2.8 and the super-telephoto 300mm f/4. Stick it on the 300 and you have roughly the field of view of an 840mm on 35mm format - so it's a pretty specialised combo.

Hope this helps a bit. There are also plenty of options from Panasonic and some from Voigtlander I think.

Good luck ... John

29th March 2017, 06:32 AM
All excellent suggestions I'm sure, from people more experienced than me. But here's an alternative thought from an enthusiastic novice with a limited budget but strong arms. If you get a MMF-3 (weather sealed) adapter, you can then use good quality used Four Thirds (not micro four thirds) lenses. They come in three grades: Standard, High Grade (HG) and Super High Grade (SHG). The HG lenses seem to be very high quality and much more affordable than MFT "Pro" lenses. The trade-off is that they are not always as quick to auto-focus, and they are a bit larger and heavier (though not as bulky as most APSC or FF equivalents). Your E-M1 Mark II with PDAF and good grip will work better with them than other MFT bodies.

If you were going down that route, the 12-60 f2.8-f4.0, the 50-200 f2.8-f3.5 and perhaps the 50mm macro f2.0 are all excellent and (at used prices) affordable HGs, and there's a 7-14 f4.0 SHG if you want to go wider. The excellent tele-converters EC-14 and EC-20 work well with the 50-200, though some say AF is a bit compromised with EC-20. (The 50-200 comes in original and more recent SWD versions, with much discussion and little consensus about which is better. The SWD comes with a lens hood almost big enough to cover Wembley stadium.)

29th March 2017, 08:20 AM
I still occasionally use my 12-60 and 50-200 on my E-M5 if I want higher quality or a faster lens but software like DxO Optics Pro can work wonders on the lower grade lenses, removing all sorts of distortions and aberrations. Worth bearing in mind if you're on a budget. My usual walkabout lens is the 12-50 f3.5-6.3 EZ, a surprisingly good performer and also lightweight and weather sealed.

29th March 2017, 08:32 AM
Start with the 12-100 and if you consistently find yourself wanting more or less focal length, then get the next one you want.

Welcome to the forum


Ross the fiddler
29th March 2017, 08:54 AM
Start with the 12-100 and if you consistently find yourself wanting more or less focal length, then get the next one you want.

Welcome to the forum


And for more info, that lens would work so wonderfully with the E-M1 Mk II taking excellent advantage with the outstanding 5-axis Sync IS (https://www.olympus.com.au/Products/Interchangeable-Lens-Cameras/M-Zuiko-Digital/M-ZUIKO-PRO/12-100mm-F4-0-IS-PRO/Features) (image stabilisation).

29th March 2017, 09:03 AM
For street work I'd say a 35mm, or a 28mm if you like to immerse the viewer. For landscape either a 28mm or 24mm I would have thought. Shooting transport depends on how close you are, planes for instance are kept away at a safe distance, but road vehicles lend themselves to a mild wide angle, such as 35mm. (All FF references. I can't think in terms of anything else so I convert u4/3 by a factor of 2).

29th March 2017, 09:28 AM
I've now flipped my mind in terms of the FOV:FL reationship so that I only think in u43 terms. Means I no longer need to remember how to divide by 2!

I still don't understand why the photography world in general doesn't switch to rating lenses in terms of FOV. It'll be a number that is no harder to deal with than FL and it removes all the nonsense about FL, equivalence etc.

29th March 2017, 09:39 AM
Good advice above, but I use several Panasonic lenses which have some specific advantages in some areas (and disadvantages in others, of course).

The 15mm f1.7 Panasonic-Leica is tiny and stunning: it's my favourite street photography lens for the system. I like the slightly wider perspective than the 17 gives, especially for getting in close, and it is sharper (although this is only visible in real life wide open or at very big enlargements). It has an aperture ring which unfortunately doesn't work on Olympus bodies.

12-35 f2.8 (24-70 equivalent) just as sharp as the 12-40 (except wide open at the corners, but again you have to pixel peep to see it) and also weather sealed, but usefully significantly smaller and lighter. Pairs well for travel with the 35-100 f2.8 and they helpfully share the same filter diameter. I find the 35-100 f2.8 just as sharp as the Olympus 40-150 Pro and it seems to focus as fast, and again it's weather sealed and a lot smaller and lighter: less range, of course, and you won't get Pro Capture with the M1 mkii.

(Note that those two zooms are not the 12-32 and 35-100 compact versions that were made for the GM1 and GM5. These are cheap and great for very compact travel, but are not in the same league as the f2.8 versions.)

It's great to have all this choice in native lenses, although it can be confusing!

29th March 2017, 10:01 AM
I still don't understand why the photography world in general doesn't switch to rating lenses in terms of FOV. It'll be a number that is no harder to deal with than FL and it removes all the nonsense about FL, equivalence etc.
Because many of us use cameras with different sensors. For instance I use FF and u4/3, so it's a good idea to normalise the FL to a common standard. I don't find dividing or multiplying by 2 really challenging, and don't need my fingers and thumbs. Now multiplying by 3/2 or 2/3 takes slightly longer :) and as for a factor of 1.6, well I always have my 'smart' phone nearby.

Do photographers really think in terms of FoV in numerical terms?

29th March 2017, 03:53 PM
Do photographers really think in terms of FoV in numerical terms?

No! Mainly because there is a horizontal, vertical and a diagonal FoV that varies with each aspect ratio. For those that use different ratios, it is a lot to remember.

The focal length is a fixed factor of the lens, and while the effective fl changes it remains the same.

At least with a 2x crop the maths is easy:rolleyes: