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/ Micro four thirds prime lens?

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The Lemming - on 11 Jan 2018

I'm umm-ing and arr-ing about possibly buying a prime lens and I'd appreciate views of any micro four thirds users on them compared to a zoom.

 

Yes I know a zoom zooms and a prime does not.  But are primes sharper than MF3 zoom lenses?

 

As for focal length, what would be a good choice for my first, and possibly only prime?

 

I'm not after a lens for portraits or big primes for wildlife.  It would be more of a walk-around prime landscape potential sort of thing but not too fisheye.  I've got a 12-35mm lens at the moment and the majority of my shots are at either end of the focal range.  So maybe I've answered a bit of my question about a lens being at the lower end of that scale.  I'm open to any help or constructive comments.

 

I've only ever owned two prime lenses for a crop sensor but filled the "nifty 50" focal range when compared to a full frame camera.

 

I'm open to any help or constructive comments.

Toerag - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to The Lemming:

>  But are primes sharper than MF3 zoom lenses?

Normally yes, but if you consider the expensive olympus pro or panny f2.8 zooms, not necessarily. I think the Oly 12-40 is sharper than all the olympus non-pro primes in it's focal range. You looks at internet reviews, MTF charts, pays your money and takes your choice.

> As for focal length, what would be a good choice for my first, and possibly only prime?
> I'm not after a lens for portraits or big primes for wildlife.  It would be more of a walk-around prime landscape potential sort of thing but not too fisheye. 

Olympus 17mm f1.8 or 12mm I guess. The 17mm is the classic focal length for 'environmental portraiture' i.e. a craftsman in their workshop, or a climber and some of the route/scenery. I've used one for the past couple of years and was happy with it for much of my shooting (I've now gone to the 12-40pro to reduce lens changes on the mountain). It's got less 'character' than the panny 20mm, but it has the useful manual clutch focus system so I could use it at night unlike the panny. I've not used the 12mm, but it's supposed to also be good. Both are available secondhand for a reasonable price on ebay.

The reasons for going for a prime on m43 are mainly smaller size and wider aperture than the zooms, but they'll also be sharper than the kit zooms. You've made the sensible step of looking at the focal lengths you shoot at which will narrow things down a lot.

 

HeMa on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to The Lemming:

> Yes I know a zoom zooms and a prime does not.  But are primes sharper than MF3 zoom lenses?

Generally yes, but depends on the prime and zoom...

Hard data here:
http://www.photozone.de/m43

> As for focal length, what would be a good choice for my first, and possibly only prime?

>  
> I'm not after a lens for portraits or big primes for wildlife.  It would be more of a walk-around prime landscape potential sort of thing but not too fisheye.  I've got a 12-35mm lens at the moment and the majority of my shots are at either end of the focal range.  So maybe I've answered a bit of my question about a lens being at the lower end of that scale.  I'm open to any help or constructive comments.

 ~15 t 20mm focal is quite good as walk around lens. In fact, thats what my wifes PL5 has (20mm/f1.7) and also the one I'm after for my GX800 (14mm/f2.5).

If you get something closer to 35mm, well they are more in the portrait lens category.

 

malk - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to The Lemming:

sigma 30mm 1.4 gets best dxo score? just stand a bit further away or stitch for wider shots;)

Post edited at 14:55
jethro kiernan - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to The Lemming:

I have the Panasonic 15mm 1.7 which is an ideal walk around lens definitely worth trying to find second hand, I have however ordered the 12-40mm pro lens for mountain/climbing versatility 

 

The Lemming - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to The Lemming:

Thanks everybody for replying and for the comments that MFT zoom lenses are narrowing the perceived  gap of sharpness between modern zoom and prime lenses.

 

I've got the Panny 12-35mm pro lens.  I realise that everything is subjective, but would I actually see any real-world benefits of getting a prime lens compared to my zoom lens?

 

I don't want to spend a small fortune for a lens if I can't tell the difference even if it gives me an extra stop, aperture wise.

 

I've read a few reviews that suggest that the Olympus and Panasonic pro lenses are optically on a par with each other.  And a few replies so far, from what I can guess, hint that there would not be much advantage getting a prime.

 

I could be wrong though.

HeMa on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to The Lemming:

Pros of prime would be size and aperture. But perhaps not worth it for ya. 

 

Oh, for video, there would be more benefits.

richlan - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to The Lemming:

Love my Olympus 25mm 1.8, rarely off the camera, I reckon I could live with 12,25 and 45 primes and nothing else

The Lemming - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to richlan:

Would the 12mm be a good landscape lens especially for astro stuff?

richlan - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to The Lemming:

I haven’t got one as they are a bit speedy but I reckon it would be prettty spot on, gets cracking reviews

Adam Long - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to The Lemming:

Is that 12-35 your only m4/3 lens at the mo?

An Oly 45mm might complement it nicely - classic focal length for portraits and the wider aperture should give a look you can't achieve with the zoom. And of course it's tiny and very sharp.

One of the fun things about primes tend to be that they prompt you to engage and work a bit harder to frame the shot rather than just twiddle the zoom. If that approach doesn't appeal then stick with the zoom.

I've been tempted by m4/3 a few times but the lack of an appealing wide prime is one of the reason's I've never jumped. There is quite a bit if choice now but none of them really grab me, either massive, pricey or not wide enough.

The Lemming - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to Adam Long:

> Is that 12-35 your only m4/3 lens at the mo?

 

 

I do have another lens which is 100-400MMS and I find that great for portraits.

 

 

Adam Long - on 11 Jan 2018
In reply to The Lemming:

Ah. Presumably it's fairly enormous though? 100mm/ 200mm equiv would classically be regarded as too long for portraits, due to the flattening perspective effect, but it depends how tight you're framing. Or I guess you could be using the long end to pap' the neighbours?


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