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M4/3 must-have lenses


Chris_L e2
1.5k United Kingdom
16 Aug 2014 2:46AM
I know nothing about m43 lenses and want to know what's sensible and affordable, crazy stuff to lust after and lemons to avoid, but first things first.

For my Canon bodies I have the 24-105L IS which I shoot loads of stuff with (it's my walkaround lens on the 5D) I also have a 70-200f 4.0L for when I need more reach. Got a 17-40L for interiors. I've also got an EF 50mm 1.4 just to sit in my bag for two years and not take any photos with.

With my GX7 I have an 20mm f1.7 and I should be getting a 45-150 as part of a Panasonic promotion.

I think my first purchase should be something to get me a bit wider indoors, fast aperture, equivalent to 24. Maybe a zoom to use as main walkaround, an M43 version of the 24-70?

What would you guys get?

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StrayCat e2
10 15.5k 2 Canada
16 Aug 2014 4:07AM
I shoot nature/wildlife, so my main lens is the Panasonic 100-300mm, and it's a workhorse. However, you don't want, or need that. The Olympus 17mm f1.8 will surprise you in low light, and it's probably in the top 5 for focusing speed; Lemmy could comment further on that. I haven't spent over $500.00 USD for a M43 lens yet, but if money's no object, go for the 12-35mm, the 12-40mm, and/or the 35-100. All have outstanding reviews, and are top line glass. I would also consider the Panasonic/Leica 25mm f1.4, if you have need for a 50mm, it's classy glass.

I would also direct your attention to this early review of the E-M5, and note that the review was shot with another E-M5 and the Olympus 12-50mm, handheld, which is designed specifically for video, I have read. I have it, paid $250.00 USD for it, and it's a bargain. You can get them all over ebay and Amazon. http://robinwong.blogspot.ca/2012/03/olympus-om-d-e-m5-review-butterfly-park.html
StrayCat e2
10 15.5k 2 Canada
16 Aug 2014 5:40AM
The 12-50mm is also weather sealed.
brian1208 e2
11 10.6k 12 United Kingdom
16 Aug 2014 6:19AM

Quote:For my Canon bodies I have the 24-105L IS which I shoot loads of stuff with (it's my walkaround lens on the 5D) I also have a 70-200f 4.0L for when I need more reach. Got a 17-40L for interiors. I've also got an EF 50mm 1.4 just to sit in my bag for two years and not take any photos with


if you are OK splashing a few bob then my suggestions for range and image quality would be

Oly 12-40 f2.8 = 24-105L
Panasonic 35-100 f2.8 = 70-200 f4L
Oly 9-18 = 17-40L (almost but not quite)

I have each of these and can directly compare the first two with the canon equivalents having owned those in my canon days, the latter is an indirect comparison having used the 17-40 but not owned it

The 12-40 and 35-100 are also water and dust resistant (again, confirmed in practical use in pouring rain / salt-spray conditions)
Coast e2
6 1.5k 292 United Kingdom
16 Aug 2014 7:36AM
For zoom lenses to cover the ranges you shoot on your Canon then Brian's 3 recommendations are exactly where I would go too. The 12-40mm f2.8 is a cracking lens. I got to use it on the E-M1 at an Olympus roadshow.

For prime lenses if you want to shoot differently with the GX7 then ones for the kit bag and not overly expensive would be

Lumix 14mm f2.5 for a slightly wider view (28mm). I have this lens since my GF1 days and it is tiny and quality excellent.
M.Zuiko 17mm f1.8 as a standard walkabout lens although the 20mm you have is the alternative with just a slightly tighter field of view.
M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8 - one of the best lenses I have ever had the pleasure to use in any format. Brilliant length for portraiture and crisp and sharp. Can be picked up for a little over 200 and it is the best value lens I know.
M.Zuiko 60mm f2.8 macro - another tremendous quality lens for around 350. Again really high IQ with a fast focussing macro. Has switch on the lens to select focussing range to keep that AF fast and reduce hunting.

I like the primes for their portability and light weight yet they feel quality. I also am bowled over by the quality and sharpness. Most of all I like the way they make me think and consider composition more. Zooms can make you lazy in some respects.
brian1208 e2
11 10.6k 12 United Kingdom
16 Aug 2014 7:37AM

Quote: Zooms can make you lazy in some respects.


maybe that's why I enjoy using them so much Grin
Coast e2
6 1.5k 292 United Kingdom
16 Aug 2014 9:23AM
More expensive lenses on my wish list

M.Zuiko 12mm f2
M.Zuiko 75mm f1.8

Awaiting release but sound exciting and perfect for wildlife or sport

M.Zuiko 300mm f4 (600mm equivalent)
M.Zuiko 35-150mm f2.8 (70-300mm equivalent)

As Denny mentioned the Leica 25mm f1.4 would be a quality lens to own but as you've not used your 50mm on the Canon then I would suggest it may be a redundant choice. Equally it is about 125 more expensive than the M.Zuiko 25mm f1.8 and reviews suggest IQ is pretty much equal standard.
CaptivePhotons e2
11 1.6k 2 England
16 Aug 2014 9:42AM
I'm looking forward to the reviews on this Samyang wide angle lens. I've also heard lots of good reports regarding the 7.5mm fisheye
AndS e2
2 976 England
16 Aug 2014 10:28AM
I've got the Samyang 7.5mm and am really impressed with the quality for the money, likewise I recently bought the 19 amd 30mm Sigma lenses and can't fault them, build quality appears robust, IQ is excellent for 120 each Smile
lemmy e2
7 2.1k United Kingdom
16 Aug 2014 1:23PM

Quote:Maybe a zoom to use as main walkaround, an M43 version of the 24-70?


That'd be the 12-35mm f2.8 Panasonic zoom. Beautiful lens with built in stabilization. There's the 12-40 Olympus zoom but for my money the size of it begins to negate the reason for buying MFT.

As a walkaround combo I like the 12-32 plus the 45mm Olympus. Very versatile, though the little tiny zoom is no faster than usual.

As an alternative, the 17mm and 45mm are a great combo, both fast and sharp and rather like using a Leica with 35 and 90mm in the (good?) old days.
Chris_L e2
1.5k United Kingdom
16 Aug 2014 2:00PM
This is exactly the info I needed. Money is a consideration but I learned long ago not to buy lenses from the false economy range and that good glass keeps its value. I may sell a Canon lens or two or a kidney.

It's got me thinking too about areas I can improve. The 17-40 I only ever use at 17 anyway so it makes sense to look at the Oly 9-18 but also some of the Samyang primes, any other primes to consider at that kind of focal length? On slr the 17 is used to shoot interiors commercially. On m43 it would be wide angle shots in pubs socially but also inside buildings with interesting architecture when walking round town.

I always wanted more reach from the 70-200 but couldn't afford one of the longer big white lenses. If I get something telephoto it will be for amateur garden birds, "supermoons", ships out at sea etc and ideally I'd like more reach than the 70-200. Daren't look at Coast's recommends just yet as I need to get the walkaround zoom, 12-35mm f2.8 Panasonic seems to be first one to look at.

For portraits the consensus is the M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8? In one of your videos Lemmy you mentioned a 45 that you love am assuming it's that one?

I do wonder as I have never been able to break the habit of using my zooms for portraits, despite having nice primes.
Paul Morgan e2
13 16.1k 6 England
16 Aug 2014 5:48PM
In the ideal world money permitting.

OLympus 12, 17, 45, 75mm primes and the 12-40mm zoom.

In my own pretty skint world.

14mm (Pany) 19mm (Sigma) 45mm (Olympus) 60mm (Sigma) and the 12-50mm zoom.

Even the budget lenses are of high or of reasonably high optical and build quality

My most recent buy is the Sigma 60mm that I intend to use for portraits needing a little more reach than the 45mm.

It only arrived yesterday and so far it is looking to be very good, a gem of a lens @ 150.

These people tested a lot of the lens.

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/05/standard-range-micro-43-imatest-results
Chris_L e2
1.5k United Kingdom
17 Aug 2014 10:29PM
The cheapest price I can see for the Panasonic 12-35 f2.8 is 599 - that's from DigitalRev, who I know used to be on eBay and am certain they ship from overseas; I never ever used them, anyone got any feedback on them? I want to avoid paying rip-off Britain prices if possible.

I looked for Kerso on eBay but he hasn't got anything for sale and hasn't for a couple of months
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
17 Aug 2014 10:36PM
DigitalRev seem to be pretty reliable: the only negative is whether ou are comfortable not paying VAT and willing to take the chance with customs should you return from abroad and be stopped by them.


Quote: rip-off Britain prices

is not such a rip-off if compare like with like. Nowt wrong with wanting to save money where you can but this has become a meaningless phrase and justification for some pretty dodgy practices.
Chris_L e2
1.5k United Kingdom
17 Aug 2014 11:34PM
Ha you nailed me I was justifying it by using that phrase, the saintly Robin Hoods of DigitalRev, I dunno if it's just the VAT and Customs Duty though is it? I think with some goods manufacturers have realised we'll pay more in the UK and so they charge more, or perhaps the shops are being greedy. The thing that I'm more wary about, isn't the possible tax avoidance; I'll get in the queue with Starbucks, Google and whoever else, I'd be worried about warranty and service.

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