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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 5th January 2011
Crawford
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Advice on lenses

Hi folks,joined the forum quite recently and have posted a few pics which have received nice comments.I've had my E-620 with 14-42 and 40-150 lenses since june 2010 and have been very pleased with the results although i use the 14-42 mostly and the 40-150 occasionally,what i was wondering was would it be more beneficial having just one lens that would do the job of the two i have, either Olympus or other make or keep what i have especially when i see the price of some of the lenses,i'm purely amateur and shoot for fun but love to see and hopefully take quality pics,thanks,Crawford.
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  #2  
Old 5th January 2011
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Re: Advice on lenses

There is a PanaLeica 14-150 which will give you exactly what you are after but I believe that it is quite costly. I am sure that there will be others along soon that will sing its praises.
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Old 5th January 2011
photo_owl photo_owl is offline
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Re: Advice on lenses

only you can really answer your question

personally, whilst I will travel with the E30 + 12-60 + fl50, I am also known to only take an E-P1 + 14-42 because I get more shots having the camera than having a bigger better (?) one in the hotel!

if you mainly use the 14-42 you aren't going to find a smaller/lighter lens in that range! having the 40-150 in a pocket works well too.

otoh you could get the 14-150 pan/leica which is big heavy more expensive than all your gear together (by a lot) but is a single lens solution.

you could also get the 18-180 DZ which isn't as big or expensive but has lower optical quality than your existing lenses, weighs as much as them combined, and importantly is only 18 at the wide end which is a lot lot less than 14.

these are the one lens solutions - there are obviously a huge number of other lens options and choices but that's another story!
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Old 6th January 2011
Crawford
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Re: Advice on lenses

Hi,thanks for your feedback,your right it's a personal thing and only myself can answer,i have an e system bag which holds the camera one lens and a few accessories so i suppose it's the ideal set up,one more question,is the 14-54 zoom worth aiming for over the 14-42,would i see a massive difference?i've read a lot of good things about it albeit it is quite expensive,thanks again,Crawford.
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Old 6th January 2011
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Re: Advice on lenses

Well, the 14-42 kit lens as rather good, and there is a strong argument for sticking with it. However if you get the borrow of a 14-54 which comes from the "pro" lens range, you will be most impressed by the build quality. Further (if you are pixel peeper) you will also be impressed by how sharp it is.

So, its heavier, larger and a whole lot more expensive than the 14-42, but its a very good lens indeed.

Pete


Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Hi,thanks for your feedback,your right it's a personal thing and only myself can answer,i have an e system bag which holds the camera one lens and a few accessories so i suppose it's the ideal set up,one more question,is the 14-54 zoom worth aiming for over the 14-42,would i see a massive difference?i've read a lot of good things about it albeit it is quite expensive,thanks again,Crawford.
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Old 6th January 2011
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Re: Advice on lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
....is the 14-54 zoom worth aiming for over the 14-42,would i see a massive difference?...
probably the single most discussed question re 43 lenses since the 14-42 appeared.

I found the subject so enthralling I bought a new 14-54 just to find out the reality (but of course there may also be variation in any individual lens - I tested 2 14-42's against the one 14-54).

Purely optically I actually preferred the 14-42, but it does exhibit barrel distortion which can be seen with architectural and similar shots.

But -

It's faster
If you associate metal construction,weight and bulk with build quality then it's got that (over the 14-42) - me, I'm comfortable with composite engineering.
It works well with the RF11 for close up shooting (fungi etc) rather than macro.
It's longer, although 54 over 42 isn't huge. You get the 12-60 for the 12-14 range not the long end.

My answer to the specific question you pose is 'not when comparing like for like shots'.

Here is one 'test' image from my archives - this is a 100% crop ie you are looking at the output at 1:1. Whilst the 14-42 is at f5.5 that is because it's it's max aperture at 40mm and I wanted to include the 40-150 wide open as well. It's not a DOF shot so it shouldn't impact on the result.



IMO however, the 12-60 does deliver noticeable image improvement as well as other, practical, advantages.
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  #7  
Old 6th January 2011
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Re: Advice on lenses

Quote:
Originally Posted by photo_owl View Post
probably the single most discussed question re 43 lenses since the 14-42 appeared.

I found the subject so enthralling I bought a new 14-54 just to find out the reality (but of course there may also be variation in any individual lens - I tested 2 14-42's against the one 14-54).

Purely optically I actually preferred the 14-42, but it does exhibit barrel distortion which can be seen with architectural and similar shots.

But -

It's faster
If you associate metal construction,weight and bulk with build quality then it's got that (over the 14-42) - me, I'm comfortable with composite engineering.
It works well with the RF11 for close up shooting (fungi etc) rather than macro.
It's longer, although 54 over 42 isn't huge. You get the 12-60 for the 12-14 range not the long end.

My answer to the specific question you pose is 'not when comparing like for like shots'.

Here is one 'test' image from my archives - this is a 100% crop ie you are looking at the output at 1:1. Whilst the 14-42 is at f5.5 that is because it's it's max aperture at 40mm and I wanted to include the 40-150 wide open as well. It's not a DOF shot so it shouldn't impact on the result.



IMO however, the 12-60 does deliver noticeable image improvement as well as other, practical, advantages.
What Photo Owl just said. I sold my sample of the original 14-54 after testing the 14-42 that came with the E-410.
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Old 6th January 2011
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Re: Advice on lenses

Just a comment on the Leica 14-150mm being large and heavy. It is smaller and lighter than the ZD12-60SWD:

Leica: 78.5mm x 90mm, 535g
ZD: 79 X 98mm, 575g

I have a Leica and I find it the most useful lens I have ever had with excellent results, even allowing for the reduced max. aperture over the ZD. I haven't used a 12-60 but I have owned the 14-54, which I sold to buy the Leica. The Leica is expensive (but I bought it mint used at £800) but as it also doubles up as a semi macro (closest focusing distance is 50cm, even at 150mm) it was worth it.

This link gives an idea of the relative compactness of this lens:

http://www.photozone.de/olympus--fou...ica_14150_3856

Regards

David
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  #9  
Old 8th January 2011
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Re: Advice on lenses

I bought an E620 with kit lenses (my first complex digital camera) some 18 months ago and like it very much. I had a (film) Pen FT many years ago which converted me to Olympus.

So far I have acquired a four more lenses:-

- A 35mm macro which I was lucky to snap up at about half price when PC World/Currys were selling them off (only finding out about that from this forum). It’s probably my favourite lens - very sharp, and fast. As well as close-ups and macros it makes an excellent longish “normal” lens and is quite adequate for walking around with. I understand the 50 mm macro is very special indeed but it is way beyond my budget.

- I also have a 70-300 (bought from someone here) which I also like very much although you have to get the hang of it. It doesn’t always want to focus on the area you want it to. I use it a lot in the summer for cricket photos of my son’s team.

Of course sod’s law dictates that you never have the right lens on the camera at the right time. It’s all too easy, (even after spending all that money), to put one lens on at the beginning of your walk and not bother to change it at all. I have often gone out with just the 35mm and 70-300mm, and do tend to neglect the kit lenses. When I go back to them I am usually pleasantly surprised, particularly by the 14-42mm.

I also have a couple of OM legacy lenses, from ebay:-

- a 50mm F1.8 – mainly because it was inexpensive. A very nice lens but I don’t often use it as I have modern lenses optimized for the current cameras to cover that focal length – sentiment really as it reminds me of the old Pen lenses,

- And a 200 mm F OM telephoto which cost some £40. A steal for its build quality if nothing else. It has produced some sharp pictures but I haven’t used it much – when I bought it I didn’t think I would acquire the 70-300 quite so soon.

I am not really looking for any more lenses at the moment - the quality of my equipment outstrips my ability as photographer. If I should get lucky in the lottery I think I would go for a 12-60 at the moment.
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Old 9th January 2011
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Re: Advice on lenses

I have the same combination of digital lenses as Davidsa.

I started with the kit 14-42mm and 40-150mm. I found there was always something 'just out of reach' and managed to buy a 70-300mm second hand, but to begin with I couldn't get the results I hoped for, possibly because I'm not steady enough and need the in-camera IS of the more recent bodies.

Since getting the E-30 last autumn (2009), which has IS, I'm using the 70-300mm lens a lot, far more than I ever expected and I now rarely take the 40-150mm out of the house. I've realised that I tend to put the 70-300mm on the camera most of the time, with other lens(es) in my bag just in case I need them.

I also have the 35mm macro, which is an absolutely brilliant lens - I rarely leave home without it, but if I do I know the 14-42mm will take very good close-ups.
Quote:
i have an e system bag which holds the camera one lens and a few accessories
I usually use a non-photographic backpack when I go out, but have just tested my leather e-system bag, which I'm guessing is the same size as yours (Approx internal dimensions of 21 x 14 x 10 cms (W x H x D)), and if I take the lens off the camera body I can fairly easily fit the E-30 (which is a bit bigger than the E-620), 14-42mm, 70-300mm and 35mm in ... camera body horizontally above the lenses. That's using lens sleeves rather than the separator.

With the 14-42mm on the camera and pointing downwards into the bag I can get the same combination into the bag and also, at a pinch, the 40-150mm as well, with spare battery etc in the front pouch it's just about everything.

In reality the only time I'd take that much out of the house at the same would be when we're going on holiday and need to put the camera etc. into hand luggage - the rest of the time I take the lenses I think I'll need and, when I get to wherever we're going, I carry the camera round my neck which leaves space in the bag for purse and or glasses/a sandwich/pack of juice!
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Old 9th January 2011
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Re: Advice on lenses

My single lens solution is the Leica 14-150. I have only had it for a few weeks now, but it is on my E-3 a lot more than the 12-60, and as David Morison says it is an extremely useful and versatile lens which satisfies most of my requirements.
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Old 9th January 2011
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Re: Advice on lenses

I have an e520 with the 14-42 and 40-150 kit lenses, as well as the 35mm macro lens and a legacy lens (Carl Zeiss Jena Sonnar 85mm)

The Zeiss and the 35mm macro lens are both superb, as is the 14-42, but out of all of them, I use the 40-150 lens the most. If I can only carry one lens with me, this is my lens of choice. I took over 700 images during a canal work camp over Christmas and the New Year and at a rough guess, over 600 of them were taken with the 40-150.

Outstanding quality for kit lenses, which is one of the main reasons I decided to go with Olympus when I bought my DSLR. Although I'd like better lenses (wouldn't we all?), I agree with David, in that better equipment is wasted on me until I learn a whole lot more.

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Old 9th January 2011
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Re: Advice on lenses

Hi Crawford
I bought my e500 in 2006 with the kit lenses then 14-45mm and the mk1 40-150mm, both bigger and heavier than the current versions. For the most part that kit produced really good pics. The only problem was flexibility.

1 Given that I never printed larger than A4 or just looked at them on the screen that was not a problem but then I got an A3+ printer the problem of resolution became more important.

2 The smaller apertures made life slightly more difficult for lower light and differential focus.

I moved on to an e620, 12-60 and 50-200 this year (and am now bankrupt!). This solved all these problems, but brought another. The e620 feels better balanced with these lenses with the grip attached and both lenses are significantly heavier than the kit lenses. The moral is you can never win.

Your two kit lenses are good quality, my advice is to stick with them and really learn what's important to you before rushing out to add lenses. Once you know you can spend wisely. Something I only managed to do when I started for lack of cash.
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Old 9th January 2011
Crawford
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Re: Advice on lenses

Hi Jim and all who have replied,Good advice, as the longer this thread goes on the more i think that what i have is more than adequate for what i do which is taking pics for fun.I bought my E-620 last year after having a few SLR's from the age of 18,the usual suspects,Zenit-E,Cosina and finally an OM10 as i loved the look of Olympus cameras,as the years rolled by i fell away from the hobby and only within the last 10 years bought digital cameras and finally last June took the plunge and bought the 620 so i'll probably stick with the kit lenses unless i win the lottery
If you look at the few pics in my gallery they were all taken using the kit lenses and i'm happy enough with the results,anyway i'll shut up now
thanks, Crawford.
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Old 9th January 2011
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Re: Advice on lenses

The best camera and lenses are the ones you have with you.

Why do I say that well I have two kits the E-30 and 11-22, 70-300mm and 50mm Macro.

The E-620 and 14-42,40-150 and 35mm Macro which is half the weight and bulk and fits in a small lowenpro reporter bag.

Without that second set I know I would leave the camera at home more often and have missed many photo opportunities.
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