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Good Lenses for Olympus OMD

Discussion in 'Olympus Forum' started by IamPain13, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. IamPain13

    IamPain13 SC Rookie

    19
    Apr 20, 2012
    Hi guys,

    I recently purchased the Olympus OMD EM 5 and it's a wonderful camera. I'm still new to photography and learning so i don't understand much about lenses and what they can do. I have 14-42mm kit lense that came with the camera. My question is that is this a good lense for Portraits, Landscape and Street photography? I do a lot of traveling and like to take pictures of sceneries with family members in it. I've seen a lot of lenses for sale online but not sure which i should get next.

    Anyone can suggest a good lense for these types of photography and where to get them I would really appreciate it.

    Thanks for looking
     
  2. wt21

    wt21 SC Hall of Famer

    Aug 15, 2010
    Portraits: 45 or 75 /1.8
    Landscape: 12 or 7-14
     
  3. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    Do I understand you correctly that you're looking for one lens to do all three? If that's the case, one of the kit lenses will probably be the only option that gives you that kind of versatility. I'm surprised it didn't come with the 12-50mm olympus, by the way, but that's another matter.

    Kit lenses are developed to be jacks-of-all-trades, doing everything at least decently. I don't know how good the various kit lenses are compared to each other, but I don't think you'll get significantly better results by changing from one kit lens to another.

    If you want the best possible portraits, or the best possible landscapes, or best possible street, you're better off looking for a more specialized lens. For portraits: panasonic 25/1.4 or 45/1.8, or olympus 75/1.8 although that's longer than usual for a portrait lens; for landscapes you could think about the Panasonic 7-14 or the Olympus 12/2 or 9-18; bear in mind that you can also take excellent landscape shots at longer focal lengths too; for street, you could think about the panasonic 14/2.5 or 20/1.7 (although the latter doesn't seem to gel with the OM-D very well) or perhaps the olympus 9-18.

    Having said all that, the kit lenses on these cameras are capable of truly excellent photos, and since you say you're new to photography, I strongly advice you to work with the kit lens first, and learn as much about photography as you can until you feel limited by its options, and then start thinking about other lenses. Skill is much more important than gear, and you can't buy it, you can only practice (and learn from others)!
     
  4. pdh

    pdh SC Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    take bartjeej's advice here, you'll have better photographs and more money
     
  5. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    I think the advice to work with the kit lens for a while is good, particularly to find what focal length you like using most.

    But... if you want to add just one prime lens to your lineup, which is a pretty good all-rounder, I would highly recommend the Panasonic 20mm f1.7. It focuses a tad bit slower than some of the latest m4/3 lenses, but it is hard to beat on sharpness and it is fast. I have seen some great landscapes, street and environmental portrait shots with this lens. If you end up not liking it, or moving on the the Panasonic-Leica 25mm or something, you will be able to sell it for pretty close what you paid.
     
  6. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I'll echo what Kyle says. The Olympus 17mm is also a great "normal" focal length and sells for a song on the secondhand market. I'd get either of them, but you don't need both.
     
  7. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    • Like Like x 1
  8. IamPain13

    IamPain13 SC Rookie

    19
    Apr 20, 2012
    Pannasonic also has the 14mm f/2.5 is that a good choice as well?
     
  9. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    +1 on the 17mm. Good stuff done with that lens, as well, and it is pretty cheap.

    It is a great little lens. Tiny and focuses quick and quietly. Double check seller ratings, but a lot of people on mu-43 had success buying on Ebay. These are typically from Asian sellers and they were from camera kits (which they split and sold separately). I think the price is somewhere in the $150 for these and you can get a full black version if you want (versus the standard two tone dark color).
     
  10. IamPain13

    IamPain13 SC Rookie

    19
    Apr 20, 2012
    Thanks i'll look into it on ebay. Amazon sells them for $250 and more. I just don't know where to buy them for good price.
     
  11. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    the 14mm is sharp and compact and you should be able to score one on eBay for around $150 or check the classifieds at Mu43.com
     
  12. bartjeej

    bartjeej SC Hall of Famer

    Nov 12, 2010
    bart
    you're right that this might just be the best all-round prime, with great quality and size and an agreeable focal length, but there've been reports that using the 20/1.7 on the E-M5 at high ISO's can result in severe banding issues. Olympus has recognised this, but as far as I know, no solution has been offered yet.
     
  13. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    Good point about the banding. I am not sure where this starts? I have never seen it, but I am just hardly ever shooting over ISO 1600, given the stabilization and speed of the lens. I did do some 3200 and above stuff during a wedding a couple weeks ago. No banding jumped out at me, but I didn't look for it and I didn't push any of the images.
     
  14. KVG

    KVG SC Regular

    138
    May 24, 2012
    Calgary, Alberta
    Kelly
    The 20mm works amazing on the omd and is the best all around lens, but the af is too slow for some people.
     
  15. IamPain13

    IamPain13 SC Rookie

    19
    Apr 20, 2012
    Will I need any adapter for these lenses or will they fit?
     
  16. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    All of the lenses, I think, mentioned here have been micro four thirds lenses, so no adapter required. Following is a link with a nice table of all of the lenses currently available for the m4/3 mount, including Olympus, Panasonic, Sigma and Voigtlander (manual focus):

    Four Thirds | Micro Four Thirds | Products(Lenses)

    Samyang/Rokinon also makes a fisheye/manual focus for m4/3, and possibly a couple more... think these do not have official support, so maybe no electrical contact with the body.
     
  17. Tilman Paulin

    Tilman Paulin SC Top Veteran

    677
    Nov 15, 2011
    Dublin, Ireland
    anyone used the Sigma 19mm 2.8 yet?
    Supposedly quite good and should have a useful 38mm equivalent?
     
  18. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    I have the lens, but it is the NEX version. I like it quite a bit on the NEX-7 where I am using it for landscapes in the f5.6-8 range (corners are rough until stopping down to f5.6 on the 24mpx sensor, think it is a bit better on the 16mpx).

    I would be surprised if the m4/3 version is better than the 20/1.7 in any way, other than a bit faster focus, though, it is considerably cheaper here (which is a huge plus)!
     
  19. iaeaix

    iaeaix SC Regular

    38
    Nov 16, 2012
    Given recently price drop, why would not you try Panasonic Leica 2.5mm f1.4?
    It could be a little narrow sometimes, but it's truely a performer, and the IQ is the best on M43.
     
  20. serhan

    serhan SC All-Pro

    May 7, 2011
    NYC
    My friend with 2 kids is happy with 14-150mm and 45mm. He came from P&S also. 20mm af is on the slow side, so I recommend 17mm or 25mm instead but 25mm is a bigger lens.

    Popflash has got used 14mm and 45mm for a good price:
    http://www.popflash.com/pre-owned-equipment/