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Standard zoom and mid range Lenses with focal lengths larger than 12mm, but no longer than 60mm, includes standard zooms and portrait primes plus some macro lenses.

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  #1  
Old 8th August 2010
Bromptonbloke
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Is f2.8 enough?

Hi all,

I'm using the standard 14-42 kit zoom with and E-500, set to 25mm to mimic a 50mm prime.

I'm wondering whether the f2.8 of the 25mm pancake is going to improve the reduction in DOF and low-light performance significantly?

With the kit zoom the max aperture is around f5.6 I think.

I'm cost-conscious and read that the E-500 is difficult to use with a manual focus OM set-up.

Thanks

Richard
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  #2  
Old 8th August 2010
Howi Howi is offline
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Re: Is f2.8 enough?

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Originally Posted by Bromptonbloke View Post

I'm cost-conscious and read that the E-500 is difficult to use with a manual focus OM set-up.

Thanks

Richard
Nope! not difficult at all, but you won't find anything with the sort of aperture you really need (f1.8) at 25mm. There are plenty of OM 50mm F1.8's out there going for peanuts, if you can't hack it manually, stick it back on ebay.

There's nothing wrong with the E-500 (has the Kodak sensor), while it may have been superseded by lots of newer models, it's still quite capable.

There's a photo on another 4/3 forum that was taken on a camera phone, and as someone commented, it just goes to prove it's the photographer not the camera........
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Old 8th August 2010
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Re: Is f2.8 enough?

Excellent, sounds promising.

What should I look for in a 4/3 adaptor?

I presume I would be buying a 25mm OM lens with manual aperture ring.

Richard
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Old 8th August 2010
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Re: Is f2.8 enough?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bromptonbloke View Post
Hi all,

I'm using the standard 14-42 kit zoom with and E-500, set to 25mm to mimic a 50mm prime.

I'm wondering whether the f2.8 of the 25mm pancake is going to improve the reduction in DOF and low-light performance significantly?

With the kit zoom the max aperture is around f5.6 I think.

I'm cost-conscious and read that the E-500 is difficult to use with a manual focus OM set-up.

Thanks

Richard
Hi Richard, and welcome.

One of the disadvantages of Four Thirds is that it is more difficult to achieve a shallow DOF. Conversely, of course, it has an inherant advantage if you want a large DOF. The f2.8 pancake will certainly give a more shallow DOF than the kit zoom but f2 with the 50m macro would be better still, although I appreciate that is currently beyond your budget. I can only dream about that lens too!

Regarding the E500, manual focus is not helped by the rather small viewfinder. This is compounded by the fact that OM lenses on 4/3 work with stopped down apertures only, so if you are working with a smaller aperture than the maximum the view will also darken, making focus even more difficult.

However, if you are after minimum DOF you will be using the lens pretty much wide open anyway so that's not really an issue. Also, reasonably priced 3rd party OM to 4/3 adapters that are chipped for focus confirmation are available on ebay. I have no direct experience of these but I understand they do work rather well.

I would imagine that you are thinking of an OM 50mm f1.8. I use one occasionally and it is a very good lens with effective differential focus. I have a friend who keeps a 50mm f1.8 almost permanently mounted on his e-500 and he loves it.
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Old 8th August 2010
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Re: Is f2.8 enough?

Thanks for the warm welcome and forthcoming advice!

I presume though that the 50mm OM lens will be 100mm equivalent with 4/3?

100mm is a bit long for my emerging interest in street photography, even though they seem to be cheap and plentiful on ebay.

So is it correct to assume that the f2.8 of the pancake is not worth the expenditure?
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Old 8th August 2010
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Re: Is f2.8 enough?

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Originally Posted by Bromptonbloke View Post
Thanks for the warm welcome and forthcoming advice!

I presume though that the 50mm OM lens will be 100mm equivalent with 4/3?

100mm is a bit long for my emerging interest in street photography, even though they seem to be cheap and plentiful on ebay.

So is it correct to assume that the f2.8 of the pancake is not worth the expenditure?
The f2.8 of the pancake is about a stop better. Whether that is worth it in terms of DOF I really need someone with direct experience of the lens to answer. In the OM range at around this focal length you are looking at a 24mm f2'8 which is going to cost a fair bit more than a 50mm. The 24mm f2 is quite rare and probably too expensive to consider. Also, fast aperture legacy wides often do not perform well on a digital sensor. Unfortunately the choices do seem quite limited for you.

Why not use the forum lens hire service to try out the 25mm pancake before you buy and then look for a second hand one if it suits you? Hire would cost you 8.68 for 3 days and this would be refundable if you then bought a new lens.
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Old 8th August 2010
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Re: Is f2.8 enough?

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Originally Posted by Howi View Post
Nope! not difficult at all, but you won't find anything with the sort of aperture you really need (f1.8) at 25mm. There are plenty of OM 50mm F1.8's out there going for peanuts, if you can't hack it manually, stick it back on ebay.

There's nothing wrong with the E-500 (has the Kodak sensor), while it may have been superseded by lots of newer models, it's still quite capable.

There's a photo on another 4/3 forum that was taken on a camera phone, and as someone commented, it just goes to prove it's the photographer not the camera........
Well I can think of the OM 24mm f2, 28mm f2 and Vivitar 28mm f1.9 off the top of my head but I'm sure there are others I've forgotten.
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Old 9th August 2010
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Re: Is f2.8 enough?

I reccomend the Vivitar 24mm f2.8, should fit the bill nicely. Until I can get hold of a Zuiko 21mm at a non stupid price it will remain my main lens.

I assume that from your shallow DOF requirements you're going to be shooting pretty close up, in which case focussing is a breeze. It's really not as much effort as people seem to think, plus when you do set it to F22 you are getting the DOF of F22 in the viewfinder, not F2.8 so theres so little out of focus even if you can't see what you're focusing on chances are it'll be fine!

Here's a sample, and if you want more then have a look in my Holes in Walls thread, and on fiur thirds user look at my Granite Quarry thread, all taken with this lens.



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Old 9th August 2010
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Re: Is f2.8 enough?

25mm @ f/2 the dof is 0.46 feet with the subject at 4 feet from the camera.
25mm @ f/2.8 the dof is 0.65 feet with the subject at 4 feet from the camera.
25mm @f/3.5 the dof is 0.8 feet with the subject at 4 feet from the camera.
50mm @f/1.8 the dof is 0.41 feet with the subject at 8 feet from the camera.

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Old 9th August 2010
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Re: Is f2.8 enough?

There is a very tasty Vivitar 28mm f2.0 close focus lens. They are quite rare, made by Komine and make ever such nice pictures. I had one in Konica AR bayonet converted for 4/3 and can I recommend it if you can find one, and don't mind the manual focus hassle.

http://www.snaar.co.uk/lenses/viv28a.jpg

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Old 9th August 2010
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Re: Is f2.8 enough?

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Originally Posted by David M View Post
Well I can think of the OM 24mm f2, 28mm f2 and Vivitar 28mm f1.9 off the top of my head but I'm sure there are others I've forgotten.
Yes! but at what price???

Also I would have thought that for street photography 50mm (100mm) would be better than 25mm (50mm standard) especially when wanting to control depth of field or perhaps I am thinking of a different form of street photography....
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Old 10th August 2010
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Re: Is f2.8 enough?

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Originally Posted by Howi View Post
Yes! but at what price???

Also I would have thought that for street photography 50mm (100mm) would be better than 25mm (50mm standard) especially when wanting to control depth of field or perhaps I am thinking of a different form of street photography....
I think I paid 29 for my Vivitar 35mm f1.9 so it paid for itself the first time I licensed a photo from it.

I got it because I needed a disposable fastish wide angle I could afford to lose.
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Old 10th August 2010
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Re: Is f2.8 enough?

[QUOTE=David M;81612]I think I paid 29 for my Vivitar 35mm f1.9 so it paid for itself the first time I licensed a photo from it.

QUOTE]

Yes! but 35mm is not the 24/25mm FL he was looking at
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Old 10th August 2010
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Re: Is f2.8 enough?

Ah but 35m(70mm) is closer to the 25mm(50mm) than the 50mm (100mm) so if at a good price may be more suitable
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Old 10th August 2010
Bromptonbloke
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Re: Is f2.8 enough?

As ever, these innocent questions become much more complex.

I hadn't considered the distance to the DOF area, but even though I can try shooting at 84mm (42 on the kit zoom), the aperture is f4.2 maximum.

So I'm concluding so far that it's probably worth trying the 50mm OM solution first (I've seen an f1.4 on ebay), and get used to composing photos at 100mm.
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