Olympus UK E-System User Group
Olympus UK E-System User Group

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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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Old 12th November 2007
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Olympus 35mm macro or Sigma 24mm?

Hi. First of all, I'd like to say how pleased I am to see a dedicated E-System forum!

Right - now to the dilemma. As a newbie to the DSLR world (recently upgraded from a digital compact), I could do with some advice.

I'm wondering whether to go for the Olympus 35mm f3.5 macro or the Sigma 24mm f1.8 EX DG aspherical macro (at least that's what they call it - I thought 0.37x magnification made it not a macro?) to whack on my E-410. It's largely because I love taking pictures up close, and it might be useful for product photography (I sell jewellery among other small things), but also because I like the idea of a fixed length lens - better optical quality, and learning to compose the shot by thinking and moving rather than lazy zooming.

Looking at (what I perceive to be) the pros and cons of each:

Pros: Cheap, small and light
Cons: Only f3.5, 35mm maybe a little long?

Pros: Big aperture, focal length similar to "standard" lens (50mm lens on 35mm camera)
Cons: About twice the price of the Olympus, almost twice the size and three times the weight!

I'm very tempted to just go for the Olympus, but the cons I listed above do concern me slightly. I do quite a lot of general shooting in low light levels (I live in Northumberland - it's the norm here!), and I think I might really appreciate the extra couple of stops the Sigma would give me. I also love a shallow DOF, and the f1.8 would give me that in spades.

I don't know if I'm putting too much emphasis on the whole "standard" lens thing, but I've heard from a few sources that using a 50mm-equivalent fixed lens is a great way to learn more about composition and technique, as the lens sees a roughly equivalent field of view to the human eye. Any views on this?

Anyway, if anyone has experience of either of these lenses - or even better, both! - and has any pointers either way, your views would be greatly appreciated. In fact, in the unlikely situation that anyone has both lenses and could post some pictures of the same subject shot with both lenses, that would probably help me settle this once and for all!

Sorry to ramble on in my first post!


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