Micro 4/3 If you'd known then what you know now.....

Location
Gloucester, UK
Name
Mark
I’ve noticed a few threads mentioning repeated purchases of the same lens. This got me thinking about the large number of lenses we micro four thirds users have to choose from and, if I had my time over or had to start from nothing, would I pick the same glass I have now.

Here’s the results of an honest think over a cuppa (with biscuits).


Yes =

Oly 17mm f1.8 - my go to 'out & about' lens.

Oly 45mm f1.8 - love this one for portraits.

Oly 12040 f2.8 Pro - the all rounder for family stuff.


Maybe =

Oly 40-150 f2.8 Pro - OK it’s (a lot!) lighter than the old Canon kit I used to lug around and it’s never let me down, however… I’d be tempted to sacrifice the wider aperture and go for the smaller & lighter f4 Pro version.

Oly 60mm f2.8 macro - bought for a forthcoming project to digitise old 35mm slides and negs but after that I’m not sure I’ll have a use for it. The 17mm has a very short minimum focussing distance and the 45mm is, IMHO, better for portraits.

Oly MC-14 1.4 Tele Converter - undecided on this one possibly because I've not used it much. It was an impulse buy as the eBay seller listed it in the wrong section and I got it for a good price.


No =

Oly 300mm f4 Pro - a stonkingly good lens: fast focussing, small (relatively) and excellent IQ. Great for planned shoots from a fixed vantage point. I suspect I’d have been better off with the greater versatility of the Oly or Panny 100-400. I console myself with the knowledge that I got this off eBay, pre-loved, for a great price. Plus it oozes quality both in the hand and in what it produces. Maybe I should just use it more.


I’m curious to know what others would do differently and why.
 
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What I know now is that you don’t have to get hung up about too much overlap in getting similar focal lengthed primes. I’m talking about the Oly 12mm F2 and Pany 14mm F2.5 as well as the Pany 20mm pancake and Leica badged Pany 25mm F1.4. They’re different enough in haptics and rendering to warrant getting them all. The main exception to this is the Oly 45mm F1.8, looking back it would have been better to just go straight to the Oly 75mm F1.8.
 
All you need is the Panasonic 20mm f1.7!

Okay, joking, but only partly so. If I'd been aware of Micro Four Thirds earlier (and had some disposable income, which I really did not in my early-mid 20s), I believe a Panasonic GF1 and a 20mm (available at the time) would have rocketed both my eye and my enthusiasm in photography by a considerable amount.

Most of my "if I'd only known" thoughts regarding photography actually don't apply to M4/3 (for example, when I first bought my Nikon D40 DSLR in 2006, I should have bit the bullet and bought an AF-S Nikkor 35mm lens instead of keeping the lackluster kit zoom and then going with the cheapest 50mm f1.8 I could find in the Nikkor fold and having to focus it manually with that tiny APS-C viewfinder because it didn't have the built-in focus motor). But I could certainly have opted for a few different choices if I'd known what I wanted from the format when I first got into it.
 
Having more M43 lenses than I can shake a stick at, I am somewhat leery towards what to cull, as I like most of them.

I have had 3 of the Oly 45 and none has been kept, as well as two of the Lumix 25mm f:1.7 and the Lumix 40-150s, and neither of those remains. Also sold the Oly 17 f:1.8 with not much regret, as I did the Oly 40-150 f:2.8.

The kit zooms comes and goes, I stick to the 12-32/35-100 matched pair and the Oly 14-42EZ (two of this one due to the ribbon cable issue) with a trio of dark horses in the Oly odd duck 12-50 and the Lumix 14-42 and 45-175 X lenses. I also have one of the 14-45 thats being kept with the intention of it actually being used some day. I also plan to keep the rest of the pancakes, iow Lumix 14 and 20 as well as the Oly 17 f:2.8 and the 9 and 15mm body cap lenses.

As of the other primes, I have the P-L 9, 15 and 25 as well as the Lumix 42.5 and the Oly 60mm. I could see me upgrade the 25 f:1.4 to the weatherproofed MkII version somewhere down the line, but its not a high priority.

Of the "premium" zooms, I have the Lumix 12-35/35-100 set, the Oly 12-45/40-150 f:4Pros and the Pana-Leicas 8-18/12-60 and 50-200 with 1.4TC. This line-up is excessive and should really be culled.

I have been dabbing with the idea of selling off the P-Ls, but they are so dang nice and the rendering is just splendid.
The Oly f:4s are very nice, compact and unobtrusive to carry and is probably what I have used the most over the last year to year and a half-ish, and the Lumix f:2.8s, which I have used for paid work over the last year.

Going into town for a two day gig tomorrow and will bring the 40-150 f:4 along to see how that fares, if I feel that the f:4 is not really hampering the work, I could possibly look at getting the 12-40 f:2.8, and sell off both the P-L and the Lumix sets. I have held the Oly f:2.8 to be a bit on the big side and lumpy side of things, but after getting to finger-oogling it on the OM-5 last week, I`ll admit I was mistaken in that assessment. That said, I do like my lenses in pairs or trioed, on the notion of matched sets has "identical" rendering.

Also in the pile of possible sales, is the Lumix 14-140 f:3.5-5.6MkI iow non-weatherproofed, as I am not really bonding with it.

The one lens I somewhat "regret" selling is the Lumix 100-300MkI. I found it to be a decent piece of unobtrusive kit to carry on the off chance of needing a longer telephoto lens, but it was sold off along with the Oly 40-150 f:2.8 to fund the P-L 50-200 with 1.4 TC. Its probably the one lens I could see myself buy again, but in its MkII version. It would primarily be for the unobtrusiveness of carry, as I do have the Oly 100-400 for "planned" tele outings, but that one is not very unobtrusive and will not get carried for a possibilty of use.

Of lenses I havent owned or tried, I have an interest in giving the Sigma 56mm f:1.4 or the Oly 75mm a try, probably in that order.

If I really, really needed to trim down, I would probably stick with the Lumix 12-32/35-100 for its compactness and pocketability, the Oly 12-45/40-150 f:4s for quality and weatherproofing, the Pana-Leicas 9 and 15mm for UW and fast apperture and the Oly 60mm Macro, adding the Lumix 100-300 for telephoto.

Don't believe I would feel to be lacking in choice, nor possibilities with those arrows in the quiver. :drinks:
 
Adding a macro adapter (either tube or the MCON-P02) to the 45mm 1.8 turns that lens into a monster for me. I can't state enough just how much more versatile that lens becomes by simply shortening the MFD. I use it a ton.

So yeah, I think I'd probably state my current collection is pretty solid--mostly primes, which was something I avoided in early days due to my thinking they had limited versatility. So definite yes to the 25mm 1.8 and 45mm 1.8, and even the 17mm 1.8. The 75-300ii is also a really good lens for as compact and light as it is.

I'm in a "mostly yes" stance on the 9mm 1.7. I think I like it, even with some flaring challenges. It's really good when you can keep that at bay (or make it work for you).

There really isn't a lens I'd say no to, though all of the heavier ones just aren't where I'm at these days--so the 40-150 2.8 and PL100-400. Both are amazing, but just not for me at this point. If I had them, I'd use them, I'm sure.
 
Adding a macro adapter (either tube or the MCON-P02) to the 45mm 1.8 turns that lens into a monster for me. I can't state enough just how much more versatile that lens becomes by simply shortening the MFD. I use it a ton.
Interesting. I just sprung for a "like new" MCON-P02 on MPB for a big $28 based on your info (I already have an O 45mm 1.8). Now that I've relieved my GAS, can you tell me how you use the combo?
Edit: I just looked some more on this forum and found another thread from 2022 with me speculating about whether I should get this adapter (I didn't then). Well, I have now! We shall see...
 
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I would like to revamp my mft gear towards telephoto specifically. But every time I look at the options, I compare them to the results I get out of the old Panny 100-300 and I just don't see much of an improvement. It has kept me from pulling the trigger multiple times. At some point I will upgrade to a 20mp body, but I am not certain I need to upgrade the lens just yet.

So I guess I am too stubborn to have regrets... yet.
 
Interesting question, but I won't bore everyone with the full list*.

But what would I definitely buy again if I returned to m4/3?
  • Pan 14mm f/2.5
  • Oly 20mm f/1.4
  • Sigma 56mm f/1.4
Which would I debate about?
  • Oly 9-18
  • Oly 8-25
  • Oly 12-100
  • Oly 12-45
  • Oly 25 f/1.8
This would be assuming I got both a smaller and larger body as I had before, a Pen and an OM.

* I've owned 45 different m4/3 lenses, 5-6 might have been different versions of the same lens (vI & vII for example). But more than half of the 45 I have owned multiple times (the Pan 12-32 was packaged with so many bodies I've owned 7 of them).
 
I'd buy the 14-140ii again, without a doubt. It's my favourite lens, and the one I use most.

I'd probably pick up a 45 1.8 - it's cheap, and takes a lovely portrait.

Everything else - I'd be much less certain. I've taken photos I like with most of the other lenses I've owned/tried, but I haven't found them to be nearly as pleasing or consistent as the two above.
 
Interesting. I just sprung for a "like new" MCON-P02 on MPB for a big $28 based on your info (I already have an O 45mm 1.8). Now that I've relieved my GAS, can you tell me how you use the combo?
Edit: I just looked some more on this forum and found another thread from 2022 with me speculating about whether I should get this adapter (I didn't then). Well, I have now! We shall see...
Just thread it on and get close to stuff, and start smiling. Just some recent snapshots:

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I’m curious to know what others would do differently and why.
Yes: Olympus 9-18 f/4-5.6, Panasonic 12-60 f/3.5-5.6, 45-200 f/4-5.6 II, 100-300 f/4-5.6 II, Panasonic-Leica f/2.8 macro
Maybe: Panasonic 45-175 f/4-5.6

Triple zoom plus long glass and a macro's been my set up for some time across multiple systems. Works well for everything I need to do and this μ43 implementation's compact, cost effective, and not especially heavy. I'd like it if the 9-18 had sharper corners but it's not like I use it enough to justify any of the other ultrawides.

There's the obvious redundancy between the 45-175 and 45-200 II but I got the latter for cheap as a kit sell off at a time when Panasonic was bundling it at low cost. Wouldn't get much selling the 45-175 and, since the 45-200, it has gotten occasional use as a lightweight and fixed length tele alternative. So it's an ok bonus lens.

Maybe I should just use it more.
Maybe. FWIW I've had various 300 and 400 f/4s and, with a 2x crop factor, my motivation to carry more than 300 f/5.6 is fairly low. Spent enough time with big glass I've gotten to be pretty much, eh, if it doesn't work by 600 mme it's more fun and less hassle to use binoculars. Wouldn't want less, though, so the 100-300 II's close to an ideal compromise.
 
On paper 100-400mm f/5-6.3 would be a good complement to my 12-100mm, especially as they both take 72mm filters. But with half the resolution at 400mm compared to the 300mm f/4, the 300mm f/4 image cropped down to 3888 pixels wide will have much more detail, and of course it will not be limited to f/6.3 max. The f/6.3 and lack of Sync IS also increases the risk of loss of resolution due to camera shake. So the 300mm f/4 ends up being the more versatile lens.

In the past, I used a point-and-shoot camera with a variable max aperture zoom lens, and that was a constant source of frustration. So when I decided to get my first interchangeable lens camera in 2019, I decided I would only use zooms with constant max aperture. Certainly if I ever get a telephoto lens, max aperture will be an important consideration, even if that means a prime instead of a zoom.
 
I've not been into M43 for long (6 months) after many years with Pentax, Nikon and Sony (since the original A7) so I don't have the wealth of experience with M43 lenses of some here.

That said my first major error was spending too much on too many Sony cameras (I had 4 on the shelf before selling a couple for funds to buy into Olympus) and lenses (32+) ! I still have my A7r5 and maybe 13 lenses at last count but I'm slowly selling off whatever is surplus to fund my M43 adventure (and loving it).

As a serious shooter the lenses fall into two brackets for me a) travel kit and b) harsh conditions and higher level IQ. I generally like to have both but obviously in M43 it's baby steps (though I now own 9 lenses with another on the way).

For my travel kit :

2 cameras (choose your poison)
Laowa 6mm f2 and 10mm f2 (these are both awesome lenses, high IQ, great distortion with the 6mm for unique looking shots) and super tiny and light.
Oly 17/1.8 - a lovely walkaround lens (I tried 2 copies of each vs the Pana 20mm in shop and the 17mm had far better edges and corners).
Oly 12-40/2.8 - cracking walkabout lens
Sigma 56/1.4 - I keep thinking about swapping for an Oly 45/1.2 Pro but the Sigma is so good !
-----

When higher IQ is required or in rough conditions :

I'd still take the two Laowas as they are unique in size, weight and still having a great IQ (6mm + 10mm).
Oly 12-40/2.8
Oly 25/1.2 Pro (used, on order)(because I love the 40-50mm FL and this is a much better lens than the 20/1.4 Pro)
Oly 40-150/2.8 (incredible lens and range for relatively ligh weight compared to say a Sony 70-200/2.8).
Contemplating the Oly 45/1.2 or Pana 42.5/1.2 instead of the Sigma 56mm. Decisions decisions.
 
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I've just started 'fine-tuning' gear to take on my next trip in May. Carry on bag is limited to 7kg, so I weighed the following at 3.832kg:
OM-1
12-40 2.8
40-150 2.8
1.4 & 2.0 teleconvertors
Sony RX100 and accessories
10.9" Samsung S9 Tablet

With sundry chargers, batteries etc. perhaps a little over 4kg.
Looking a bit tight for the 1.6kg of the 100-400 and 60mm macro and I'm not game to put them in checked baggage.
The enforcement of the 7kgs is a bit pot-luck and flexibility can't be relied upon.
 
By a happy coincidence, the YouTube channel Micro Four Nerds posted this video a couple of day ago.


I think some of Emily's videos are channel 'fillers' presumably to maintain an income stream and I'm not a fan of her sometimes harsh looking photographic style. However, I do find her enthusiasm infectious and some of her videos genuinely useful and engaging, as in this case where she makes some interesting lens choices and, I think, some valid points about the M43 format.
 
I've not been into M43 for long (6 months) after many years with Pentax, Nikon and Sony (since the original A7) so I don't have the wealth of experience with M43 lenses of some here.

That said my first major error was spending too much on too many Sony cameras (I had 4 on the shelf before selling a couple for funds to buy into Olympus) and lenses (32+) ! I still have my A7r5 and maybe 13 lenses at last count but I'm slowly selling off whatever is surplus to fund my M43 adventure (and loving it).

As a serious shooter the lenses fall into two brackets for me a) travel kit and b) harsh conditions and higher level IQ. I generally like to have both but obviously in M43 it's baby steps (though I now own 9 lenses with another on the way).

For my travel kit :

2 cameras (choose your poison)
Laowa 6mm f2 and 10mm f2 (these are both awesome lenses, high IQ, great distortion with the 6mm for unique looking shots) and super tiny and light.
Oly 17/1.8 - a lovely walkaround lens (I tried 2 copies of each vs the Pana 20mm in shop and the 17mm had far better edges and corners).
Oly 12-40/2.8 - cracking walkabout lens
Sigma 56/1.4 - I keep thinking about swapping for an Oly 45/1.2 Pro but the Sigma is so good !
-----

When higher IQ is required or in rough conditions :

I'd still take the two Laowas as they are unique in size, weight and still having a great IQ (6mm + 10mm).
Oly 12-40/2.8
Oly 25/1.2 Pro (used, on order)(because I love the 40-50mm FL and this is a much better lens than the 20/1.4 Pro)
Oly 40-150/2.8 (incredible lens and range for relatively ligh weight compared to say a Sony 70-200/2.8).
Contemplating the Oly 45/1.2 or Pana 42.5/1.2 instead of the Sigma 56mm. Decisions decisions.
Welcome to the forum and the world of M43.

If you're a lens addict then M43 is certainly the right format to adopt. Nine lenses already is impressive. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with using your new kit.
 
By a happy coincidence, the YouTube channel Micro Four Nerds posted this video a couple of day ago.


I think some of Emily's videos are channel 'fillers' presumably to maintain an income stream and I'm not a fan of her sometimes harsh looking photographic style. However, I do find her enthusiasm infectious and some of her videos genuinely useful and engaging, as in this case where she makes some interesting lens choices and, I think, some valid points about the M43 format.
Yes I generally feel the same as you. However I made a negative post on her video of the best ever M43 cameras, where she literally trashed the OM1ii (possibly as a joke but it really wasn't that funny when she then goes and puts ancient cameras top of the pile simply because she used them way back) and she promptly deleted it. Definitely she doesn't want balanced views !
 
Welcome to the forum and the world of M43.

If you're a lens addict then M43 is certainly the right format to adopt. Nine lenses already is impressive. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with using your new kit.
Cheers Mark !

You can find my work on IG here (virtually everything going back to the safari posts are from Olympus, however not the pinned posts from the Notting Hill carnival or Iceland) : https://www.instagram.com/thedragonsfather/
My website here but not many Oly on there yet (most Sony) : https://www.thedragonsfather.com/
 
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