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Archive 2012 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?
  
 
bikemore
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?


I've been thinking about a new pocket camera; a Fuji F20 has served me well over the past several years.
I started looking at Olympus m4/3 bodies- mainly a closeout E-PL2 and and maybe a kit lens to start.

Has anyone here in the Nikon forum used Olympus? The online reviews and tests seem to all like the OM-D, 12mm f/2, 45mm f/1.8 and 75mm f/1.8. Maybe I'm cheap but close to $1k for a 12 or 75 seems a bit of a reach.



Dec 10, 2012 at 09:26 PM
Steve Beck
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?


The 75mm is a work of art. I shot with one for about a month and it is sharp, very harp and the bokeh is beautiful. I never ventured into the 12mm but I did shoot with 45 and it is a hidden gem for the price. The new 60mm macro is extremely sharp as well. I shot these on a OMD...


Dec 10, 2012 at 09:48 PM
krickett
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?


Yeah, the 45 1.8 is a great lens, but the other two are a bit off-putting in terms of price. Perhaps you can consider the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5. It's not as wide or fast, but for less than 1/5th the price, it's not bad if the 24-28 focal length (35mm equiv.) isn't your bread and butter. The Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 is also a great lens, although the AF is slower, and just a tad noisier.

I use Panasonic m4/3rd camera body but I enjoy a few Olympus lenses (9-18mm, 45mm).



Dec 10, 2012 at 09:59 PM
RCicala
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?


Another vote for the 14mm pancake, and either of the 45s. I also think the 9-18 is excellent.

If I recall the Panasonic 20mm has been reported to have problems on the OM-D, though, causing electrical noise if I recall correctly.



Dec 10, 2012 at 11:38 PM
musashi808
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?


Yet another vote for the 14mm. Small, cheap and great walk around lens. A good lens to start with if you're not 100% sold on the M43 system.


Dec 13, 2012 at 04:51 PM
fsiagian
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?


I use E-PL2 and am very happy with it. I'm waiting for my 19mm sigma. I read good things about the lens and the $149 price is great. One day I may get the Olympus 45mm or the Panasonic Leica 25mm.


Dec 13, 2012 at 05:00 PM
curious80
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?


First, I hope you are aware that you can use Panasonic m43 lenses with olympus m43 bodies.

Panasonic 20mm is a very nice lens in $300 range. Optically I found it to be slightly better than the Nikon 35mm 1.8 which I owned in the past. Haven't used the Olympus 45mm 1.8 myself but it gets great reviews and sells for $300-400. Panasonic/Leica 25mm 1.4 is also great though a bit expensive at $500, but then it has "leica" name on it.

If you want to go further down in price than you have 14mm 2.5 which is pretty good (not as good as Olympus 12mm f2 but very good for a $200 moderately-fast wide angle lens). Can be found for $150 used. In terms of kit lenses the original 14-45mm kit lens that came with the Panasonic G1 is considered the best though the Oly kit lens should also be on par with typical 18-55mm DSLR kit lenses.

Personally I think that the older sensor of the E-PL2 paired with a slow kit lens doesn't offer enough advantage over high-end P&S cameras like Canon S95, Panasonic LX7, Samsung EX2 etc. I no longer have an m43 camera but if I were to get a starting m43 kit again, I would go for an E-PL5 or E-PM2 (both of which have the same excellent sensor as in the OMD E-M5). And for lenses I would start with the 20mm and 45mm, with possibly the 14mm f2.5 also thrown in the mix. In fact this setup would be good enough for me to take care of 90% of my shooting needs.



Dec 14, 2012 at 12:44 AM
SSISteve
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?


I have the OM-D and recently got the Panasonic 25mm f/1.4. This is a special lens that is very sharp and worth a look.


Steve



Dec 14, 2012 at 04:27 AM
Wilbus
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?


I sold my D700 a couple of months ago together with a Nikon 24-70, kept a 50mm 1.4 prime and a 70-300 just in case. I sold it to fund the OM-D and a couple of lenses because I wanted something smaller and lighter, easier to carry around and something that would give me the mental kick to start with street photo more (unfortunately it is all still in the head so the camera didn't help with that :-P ).

I don't regret selling the 24-70, I have come to the conclusion that I'm not much of a zoom guy, I love primes. I do regret selling the D700 and will probably get a new Nikon next year, maybe a used D3s or a D800 (don't like the housing of the D600).

I now use the OM-D and mainly two lenses. The Panasonic 25mm F1.4 and the Olympus 45mm F1.8. The Olympus 45mm F1.8 is nice and sharp, very very small and light, it's almost like looking at a toy, great little portrait lens.

The Panasonic 25mm is in another league though, this is without a doubt the best lens I have tried. It gives a lovely rendering, beautiful bokeh and it's sharp, very sharp, even at F1.4 it's sharp enough that I never think about stopping down unless it's for other reasons such as DOF. Comparing it to my older Nikon AF (not the new one) 50mm F1.4 the Nikon can't compete unless it is stopped down by a stop or two.

I also use the Olympus 12-50mm mm kit/movie lens (olympus actually named the OM-D+12-50 mm kit as a "movie kit"). It's OK and sometimes good. Very nice for macros even though it's not a dedicated macro lens.

So, all in all, there are some extremely good Olympus and Panasonic m43 lenses out there. Some of them easily compete and sometimes beat Nikon's and Canon's similar lenses.

I am however still a bit skeptical to their pricing, especially Olympus. How come the 45mm F1.8 costs twice as much as a Nikon or Canon 50mm F1.8? And how come the 75mm F1.8 costs twice as much (almost) as the Nikon 85mm F1.8? There could be a reason for it I am sure but it is more expensive to develop lenses for m43? To me it feels like Olympus is marketing the prices and lenses against the field of view of FF, say a 45mm gives the same field of view as the 85mm (really 90 mm but let's not be picky) then they price it closer to the Nikon/Canon 85mm counterparts even though the 50mm cost would make more sense, to me at least.

The Panasonic Leica 25mm F1.4 I can understand though no matter how you put it, a 25mm F1.4 should be more difficult to produce then a 50mm mm F1.4, I think :-P

Simply put, the lenses are there and m43 is one of the fastest developing mounts, the release lenses pretty fast, wether you will like the m43 system or not is another question. I really like it but like I said, I should have kept my D700 and gotten an OM-D as a light carry around. It gives the quality you need for pretty much everything but I miss the ergonomics of the D700 when shooting portraits for example.

Hope the post wasn't too long for you.



Dec 14, 2012 at 07:39 AM
Wilbus
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?


Ps. I've still got a Nikon F3 that I use, recently bought a Nikon 50mm F1.2 Ai lens for it and the OM-D so I've allowed to be here! :-P


Dec 14, 2012 at 07:46 AM
 

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Tete
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?


owning both and just about every m43 body as well ( except omd ) it seems that panasonic lumix lenses are better but olympus makes the better bodies. JMO


Dec 14, 2012 at 11:42 AM
cputeq
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?


bikemore wrote:
Has anyone here in the Nikon forum used Olympus? The online reviews and tests seem to all like the OM-D, 12mm f/2, 45mm f/1.8 and 75mm f/1.8. Maybe I'm cheap but close to $1k for a 12 or 75 seems a bit of a reach.


Yep, in fact I completely switched over from DSLRs to a dual-camera m43 setup.

I currently run a Panasonic GX-1 and OM-D for bodies.
Owned lenses include 14 2.5, 100-300, 45 1.8, 25 1.4, 12-50 kit, Rokinon 7.5mm FE.
I've also rented the 75mm from Lensrentals.

First, don't think m43 is necessarily supposed to be cheaper than any other system - it's just smaller.

That said, the system is pretty damn good. The 45mm makes a great short portrait lens and it's amazingly tiny.

The PL25mm 1.4 (Panasonic/Leica) is an awesome lens and actually converted me to a 50mm FOV shooter - it renders fairly distinctly (so can the 45mm PL macro, from what I've read and seen of samples, but I've never used it).

The 75mm is a nice work of art - it's a lot of metal and glass - primo construction and performance, which definitely plays into its price.

I haven't used the 12mm f2 - instead, I went for the smaller (and cheaper) 14mm 2.5 A great little pancake lens. Not horribly sharp wide open, but more than sufficient and makes a great little companion for my GX-1.

I would strongly recommend perhaps trying out a m43 camera with either the 14mm or 20mm pancakes (I will probably get the 20mm next, even though I own the 25mm).

There are some reports of the 20mm pancake displaying banding on the OMD, supposedly in high ISO situations. Also, some people have claimed that "warming up" the lens through a few AF cycles will tame this. Panasonic and Olympus have no idea why this particular lens does that.


The sensors in both the GX-1 and OM-D have come a long way since I was last a 43 shooter with the E-5 (ahh, the 43 lenses are such a dream, though) - Much improved DR and noise performance.



Dec 14, 2012 at 12:06 PM
Hrow
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?


I also am running a double system and agree in total with cputeq. The thing I don't like is the bodies. They don't feel like "real" cameras and I can't get used to the EVF. Took only an OM-D to England and I am sorry I left the D800 at home. Sure, it was lighter but at the end of the day the loss of functionality to my way of shooting and the reduced speed of use wasn't worth it. YMMV.

Will be selling a pretty complete OM-D system with some nice glass as soon as I get some time (ripped out our kitchen - no, not in anger) so if anyone is interested drop me a PM.



Dec 14, 2012 at 12:41 PM
Wilbus
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?


Hrow wrote:
I also am running a double system and agree in total with cputeq. The thing I don't like is the bodies. They don't feel like "real" cameras and I can't get used to the EVF. Took only an OM-D to England and I am sorry I left the D800 at home. Sure, it was lighter but at the end of the day the loss of functionality to my way of shooting and the reduced speed of use wasn't worth it. YMMV.

Will be selling a pretty complete OM-D system with some nice glass as soon as I get some time (ripped
...Show more

Pretty much the same reason I am looking into getting a Nikon again as well as keeping the OM-D.
The OM-D is actually too small, I think had it been the size of an old OM-1 or even a Nikon F3 it would have been perfect. Right now unfortunately everything is a little bit too cramped, I noticed this even more yesterday when shooting with gloves (thin very good gloves). I could change aperture and exposure compensation with the wheels but all the button pushing was a royal pain in the a**. It's a great carry with you camera, it's a great everything camera as long as you don't have to focus track but I have to say I miss the ergonomics of the bigger DSLR's when it comes to prolonged portrait sessions. I might get used to it though, only time will tell.



Dec 14, 2012 at 02:45 PM
cputeq
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?


^ Yeah I agree - the only time the OMD really frustrates me (or the GX-1) is event shooting. At times I really, really need to change a setting rather rapidly, I'm more at-home with a larger body.

However, focal point changes on the OM-D are ridiculously easy - remove eye from EVF, point to LCD, focal point in place, fire away. That's pretty nice and certainly (to me) a huge advantage over current DSLRs - pressing buttons or joysticks (or spinning a huge wheel, if that's how you roll) are nothing compared to just pointing to a 3rds intersection then firing the shot (or having the camera take the shot as you point, but I don't do that).




Dec 14, 2012 at 02:49 PM
pr4photos
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?


I run a GX1 with a 14mm lens and its a fantastic combo. Nice and small, and the image quality is great - keeping the ISO below 2000 I could and have used it and supplied clients with it and they haven't seen a difference between the images from the GX1 and my D700 - I can if I pixel peep but at normal viewing its superb. Best 'compact' I've ever bought! I bought it as a travel camera and for that purpose its wonderful. It can't compete with my D700 for action photography etc though


Dec 14, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Hrow
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?


The main problem for me is the focusing. Hate it. The focus areas are way too big and it is very difficult to get a proper focus on the portion of the image that you want. If you are used to doing a lot of critical focus work then it gets really frustrating. While trying to shoot a small bird perched on a pier I had it find the background, the pier, the boat in front, and almost got the bird in focus as it flew away after getting tired of waiting for me to take its picture.

Spoke to an Olympus rep about and it seems like they are aware that it pretty much sucks and are hoping nobody notices. If Nikon or Canon had released the same system they would have been crucified by every reviewer, blogger, and forum contributor out there.



Dec 15, 2012 at 04:22 AM
pr4photos
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?


Can't you reduce the size of the focus area? You can on the GX1


Dec 15, 2012 at 12:49 PM
cputeq
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?


pr4photos wrote:
Can't you reduce the size of the focus area? You can on the GX1


I believe he's talking about after he's reduced the box size. And yes, you can (though you can't do tiny pin-point like the GX1)

I haven't noticed the level of trouble he's referring to, though - I mean, I guess if I'm trying to focus on something smaller than the smallest box, there's certainly a potential for misfocus, which seems to be what he's talking about "small bird on a pier" or something. In that instance, a quick magnify + MF would remedy that.




Dec 15, 2012 at 05:04 PM
MarcG19
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Your thoughts on Olympus m4/3 lenses?


re: the OP, I learned photography from Nikon DX cameras, and got an OM-D as my first m4/3 camera on its release.

My "serious" photography is landscape and (a nascent hobby) large birds. Occasionally I do street and "general" casual photography of friends, family and the like. Output sizes are generally iPad size, though ones I like better I print.

IMO, for landscape, I would be fine with a wide zoom, a tele-zoom, and a manual focus body. Priority is portability (since going to cool landscapes often requires traveling and hiking and I want to minimize the amount of gear I take) and final image quality. The savings in weight and bulk, as well as some excellent lenses, give the OM-D no weaknesses for this purpose over the D7000. I've been more than happy with the 40-150 f/4-5.6 and the 12mm f/2.8 (which I will probably downgrade since the 9-18 is more useful for me).

For birds, the OM-D is useless nearly unless you want to manually focus (which it can do well), in which case it becomes a 2X TC for many possible long primes.

For general photography of friends, family, and the like, I think it works well. Street photography is entirely up to the preferences of the photographer. I would not use it for serious wedding or event photography.

I'm not at all opposed to the prices, especially on the used market. The 14mm, 40-150 are all very good lenses AFAIS. The $4-500 or so 60mm f/2.8, (supposedly - I don't own one) 45 f/1.8 and Pany-Leica 25mm f/1.4 are also extremely good. That being said, I believe the OM-D's build quality is cheap. I also personally don't get any benefit from many its features over the $450 EPM2

Your mileage may vary. One thing you see on these forums a lot is that people's opinions on a piece or gear is a function of how they use it. That why I've tried to give you so much context.



Dec 16, 2012 at 01:54 AM
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