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Lens focus The place to talk about your camera's glassware.

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Old 12th October 2012
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Lens decision dilemma

I have a question on lens requirements, I'm just trawling for opinions really. It's a bit of a long post, so I apologise for that.

I was talking to Ulfric this morning about thinking of selling my Panny 14mm and getting Oly 12mm + Oly 17mm. But now I've looked at the prices of this strategy and abandoned it. In fact I don't REALLY need these two (they'd be nice, mind).

On the other hand, I don't have a lens in the range 45mm - 100mm. The trouble is I'm not sure whether I need one. I never used the old 45-150 on my 4/3 kit very much.

So what do you guys think? Would you be needing that range? Would it be one of those purchases that just sits in your cupboard?

Here are the gory details of my lenses + requirements

I have:
7-14 4/3 SHG - can't bear to part with this!
14mm Panny 2.5 - pretty good quality, tiny - lovely on the E-PM1. But not quite wide enough, 12mm would suit me better I think.
25mm Panny 1.4 - very good quality, a bit big but FAST
45mm Oly 1.8 - very good quality, tiny and fast
100-300 Panny - OK quality, a bit slow. It's a bit of a M4/3 weak spot long fast lenses. I guess they'd be big and expensive.
14-42 Oly kit. Basic, but small. Surplus to requirements I think.
12-50 Oly Kit. OK quality, versatile, showerproof, reasonable macro.
And I'm in the process of adding an OM 50mm 3.5 macro (for well under £100 ).

I'm looking to cover 3 scenarios:

Mountaineering: Here I need light, small with decent low light capability. I need wideish plus telephotoish. So I'm thinking 14mm Panny + 45mm Oly, but this is a scenario where the Panny 40-150 f2.8 may be very useful.

Holidays: We travel light, and go to sunny places. So Oly 12-50 +14mm Panny for indoor stuff.

Photographic jaunts: depending on what I'm doing, a combination of:
7-14mm 4/3, Panny 25mm, Oly 45mm, something to cover 45-100, OM 50mm macro. But generally I just take the lot. That's the joy of M4/3

I'm looking for moral support here, would you feel you need that 45-100 range?

Thanks for reading
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m4/3: E-P2, EM-5, 100-300, 14-42mm 12-50mm, 45mm, panny 14mm. 4/3: 7-14 + Flashes & tripods & stuff

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Old 12th October 2012
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Re: Lens decision dilemma

I too have been through this and decided to do some simple analysis of my images to see what focal lengths I use the most.

Simply let it loose on all your images and then look at the graphs

http://www.wega2.vandel.nl/

I ended up getting a 14-35 f/2 and never once regretted it...
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Old 12th October 2012
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Re: Lens decision dilemma

That's a good idea, cheers.
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John

m4/3: E-P2, EM-5, 100-300, 14-42mm 12-50mm, 45mm, panny 14mm. 4/3: 7-14 + Flashes & tripods & stuff

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Old 12th October 2012
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Re: Lens decision dilemma

Hi John,
I don't have any micro gear, yet, but on my recent backpacking trip thought the weak link in the whole chain was having to change lenses. I had the 14-42 and 40-150 plus the EX-25, plus an e-620. I missed some good rain shots, that's life, and its not that changing lenses put the gear at risk too often, but the awkwardness of fumbling around with a pack on my back made me wish for something like a 14-150. At least my lenses and camera body were not individually valuable, but dropping on rocks would have made me very sad.
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Old 12th October 2012
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Re: Lens decision dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewart G View Post
Hi John,
I don't have any micro gear, yet, but on my recent backpacking trip thought the weak link in the whole chain was having to change lenses. I had the 14-42 and 40-150 plus the EX-25, plus an e-620. I missed some good rain shots, that's life, and its not that changing lenses put the gear at risk too often, but the awkwardness of fumbling around with a pack on my back made me wish for something like a 14-150. At least my lenses and camera body were not individually valuable, but dropping on rocks would have made me very sad.
Thanks for commenting. I agree, zooms are much more convenient so long as they are not too big. In N England, where I live, the light is usually pretty poor and fast lenses are a big advantage. And fast zooms are usually pricy and large. Having said that a factor must be the high ISO capabilities of the E-M5 which weighs against the need for the fastest possible lenses.

Hmm.. it's a tough call.
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m4/3: E-P2, EM-5, 100-300, 14-42mm 12-50mm, 45mm, panny 14mm. 4/3: 7-14 + Flashes & tripods & stuff

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Old 12th October 2012
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Re: Lens decision dilemma

The Oly m4/3 40-150 is a fantastic lens and very light, if you can't justify the new 60mm (which I'm trying to do!)
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Old 12th October 2012
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Re: Lens decision dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdal View Post
7-14 4/3 SHG - can't bear to part with this!
14mm Panny 2.5 - pretty good quality, tiny - lovely on the E-PM1. But not quite wide enough, 12mm would suit me better I think.
25mm Panny 1.4 - very good quality, a bit big but FAST
45mm Oly 1.8 - very good quality, tiny and fast
100-300 Panny - OK quality, a bit slow. It's a bit of a M4/3 weak spot long fast lenses. I guess they'd be big and expensive.
14-42 Oly kit. Basic, but small. Surplus to requirements I think.
12-50 Oly Kit. OK quality, versatile, showerproof, reasonable macro.

... the Panny 40-150 f2.8 may be very useful.

Photographic jaunts: depending on what I'm doing, a combination of:
7-14mm 4/3, Panny 25mm, Oly 45mm, something to cover 45-100,
After having a chat in the bus stop I'm surprised you don't use your 7-14 more for proper landscape pictures : image quality and range of view are great, what with the mZukio 12-50 being not so great with regard to aperture.
The new 12mm sounds expensive and yet you have the Pana-Leica 25mm!
The even newer Lumix 35-100F2.8 is going to cost a lot too.

I use the 40-150 range a lot and my silver Olympus version gets plenty of use, but I see things differently to yourself.
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Re: Lens decision dilemma

Ulfric,

Thanks for commenting. Our chat was very helpful in making me think about what I actually need, and sorting out priorities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulfric M Douglas View Post
After having a chat in the bus stop I'm surprised you don't use your 7-14 more for proper landscape pictures : image quality and range of view are great, what with the mZukio 12-50 being not so great with regard to aperture.
The new 12mm sounds expensive and yet you have the Pana-Leica 25mm!
The even newer Lumix 35-100F2.8 is going to cost a lot too.

I use the 40-150 range a lot and my silver Olympus version gets plenty of use, but I see things differently to yourself.
I use the 7-14 exclusively for wideangle when I go out with the "Full Monty" kit. I use the Panny 14mm when travelling light and as a walkaround on the E-PM1 - it fits into my pocket nicely. I'd prefer the 12mm for these uses, but it's just too dear when I have the 7-14 for top quality.

The Panny 25mm was bought because (a) I didn't have a good quality lens in that range and (b) it's fast and I'll likely use it in indoor situations. It's a tad large, but otherwise spot on.

I agree re the 12-50 and aperture, in fact I'm not using it all that much at the moment. Less so if I get that OM macro. I may sell it eventually.
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m4/3: E-P2, EM-5, 100-300, 14-42mm 12-50mm, 45mm, panny 14mm. 4/3: 7-14 + Flashes & tripods & stuff

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Old 12th October 2012
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Re: Lens decision dilemma

Did an analysis of m4/3rds lenses a while back . . . if I were to re-kit in m4/3rds, the core of my style of shooting would best be served by:

Panasonic f2.8 12-35mm

Panasonic f2.8 35-100mm (yet to hit market, I know, but Panny has it sussed exactly right with this one)

Then . . . depending, likely the Olympus f4.0/5.6 9-18mm and a piece of long glass, which is where the whole thing falls apart for me. There is a black hole in m4/3rds where my 50-200swd fits.

I admit it would be an awfully attractive compact and light, high performance kit with the three lenses above ( that's 18-200mm in 35mm film terms!), but without that piece of long fast glass . . .

Nonetheless, food for thought.

John
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Old 12th October 2012
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Re: Lens decision dilemma

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post
Well I ran this, and it's an excellent piece of software. Thanks for the tip Graham.

It showed that whilst I was sure my 45-150 was unused for several years, I forgot about 12-60 with the 1.4 adapter. And the 50-200.

Looks like I'll miss that range.
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m4/3: E-P2, EM-5, 100-300, 14-42mm 12-50mm, 45mm, panny 14mm. 4/3: 7-14 + Flashes & tripods & stuff

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Old 12th October 2012
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Re: Lens decision dilemma

Well John I find myself in the position of being able to help a fellow forum member out of trouble.
If you want to ease your lens pain I could see my way clear to taking the Panny 25mm f1.4 of your hands .
I really covet one of these beasts and the thought of it causing you distress when I could willingly take it on board has made me decide to help.
So you don't feel robbed I would be more than willing to making a small token payment for same.
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Old 12th October 2012
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Re: Lens decision dilemma

Hi -

My walk-around kit is the EPL1 with VF2, the Panny 14 f2.5, the Panny 45-200 and the Olympus 50 f2 with adapter. The 45-200 is, however, not very fast, but is extremely compact and can be a great performer, as long as you learn how to work with the lens' limitations (needs to be shot at f8-f11 at the long end for decent sharpness). The 14 is joy to use, and while the 50 can hunt at times for focus, it is just plain wickedly sharp.

JohnF
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