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

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.

The teleconverters will go in a coat pocket, saving you weight. How often do you use the 40-99 focal length? There may be scope to leave the 40-150 at home if you're taking the 100-400, especially with the Sony covering that range.

Don't forget the weight of the bag.

7kg isn't much, but is also one reason I haven't sold any of my lenses. I could put together a range of 3 lens options in that weight limit, all supporting 12-300 or more, with or without a x2.

I really shouldn't have bought so many lenses but I've used them all and only one has let me down - the Panny 20mm pancake. Just too slow to focus :(
 
The teleconverters will go in a coat pocket, saving you weight. How often do you use the 40-99 focal length? There may be scope to leave the 40-150 at home if you're taking the 100-400, especially with the Sony covering that range.

Don't forget the weight of the bag.

7kg isn't much, but is also one reason I haven't sold any of my lenses. I could put together a range of 3 lens options in that weight limit, all supporting 12-300 or more, with or without a x2.

I really shouldn't have bought so many lenses but I've used them all and only one has let me down - the Panny 20mm pancake. Just too slow to focus :(
That intermediate range is something I've been looking at recently and found that there were a number of times where I needed around 75mm and 100 was just too much. If I had the 12-100, then that and the 100-400 might be a very simple choice, but I don't believe the cost of the lens is warranted. I don't have much need for a coat, it will be more like t-shirt and shorts temperatures, but the Sony will indeed go in my pocket.
 
That intermediate range is something I've been looking at recently and found that there were a number of times where I needed around 75mm and 100 was just too much.

So a short zoom, a long zoom and a small lightweight prime in-between? The 60mm macro, or the Oly 75mm f1.8 is considered one of the best lenses in the system.

My current first-choice three lens line up takes that approach, except for the small and light bit - 12-40, 150-400 and the 90mm macro for those mid distances.

Great for 'drive there' photography, but not a hope of getting that trio onto an aircraft :( My travel kit is likely to remain the 12-40, 100-300 and I may leave the third lens at home or take the 60mm macro.

This is why all lenses are good. I still use my 12mm prime too and find it highly underrated.
 
So a short zoom, a long zoom and a small lightweight prime in-between? The 60mm macro, or the Oly 75mm f1.8 is considered one of the best lenses in the system.

My current first-choice three lens line up takes that approach, except for the small and light bit - 12-40, 150-400 and the 90mm macro for those mid distances.

Great for 'drive there' photography, but not a hope of getting that trio onto an aircraft :( My travel kit is likely to remain the 12-40, 100-300 and I may leave the third lens at home or take the 60mm macro.

This is why all lenses are good. I still use my 12mm prime too and find it highly underrated.
The Sigma 56/1.4 is definitely worth a look. The 75/1.8 is too long for general use (travel/family/Cityscapes etc.) IMHO. I even find the 56mm too long at times hence why I'm considering the 45/1.2 Pro to replace it. I've not convinced myself yet though.
A quality review by Rich here (Sigma 56mm vs Pana-Leica 42.5/1.2 :
 
So a short zoom, a long zoom and a small lightweight prime in-between? The 60mm macro, or the Oly 75mm f1.8 is considered one of the best lenses in the system.

My current first-choice three lens line up takes that approach, except for the small and light bit - 12-40, 150-400 and the 90mm macro for those mid distances.

Great for 'drive there' photography, but not a hope of getting that trio onto an aircraft :( My travel kit is likely to remain the 12-40, 100-300 and I may leave the third lens at home or take the 60mm macro.

This is why all lenses are good. I still use my 12mm prime too and find it highly underrated.
With the size of some of the bugs where I'm going, the 40-150 will give some quite good results. Stripped of the tripod collar and lens hood it is quite compact really. Rainy season too, so I might have issues with the 60mm macro.
 
Heh,

I think the list of lenses I haven’t owned at one point or another is much shorter than the list I have.

My current lens lineup.

12-35f2.8, 12-100f4, PL 50-200

8f1.8, 17f1.8, 56f1.4, PL 200

Both panny TCs

Lenses I regret selling.

Really only two - the 20f-1.7 , and the panny 45-175.

Lenses I regret buying:

This list is a lot longer and some may surprise folks -

12-100f4 - it’s a great lens but both too big, and not really long enough. Yes I still have it. It’s very sharp but kind of unwieldy.

PL 100-400 - it a pretty good lens but just ho hum.

35-100f2.8 - conceptually fantastic. Small, light f2.8 but it’s soft and vignettes a lot wide open at the long end. It’s better stopped down but that kind of misses the point.

12-40f2.8 - soft on the long end and quite front heavy. I kept it for a week. The silver lining I traded it for the 75f1.8.

14-35f2 - another fantastic truly huge lens. See the 12-100.

ED50-200f2.8-3.5 - great lens. AF never really worked well enough. The SWD version is much better

Actually - all the normal zooms I’ve had except the 12-35. I keep trying to find a better solution but I keep coming back to it.
 
I've just bought my second Lumix 20mm f1.7. I traded in my original to help fund a second OM-1 body (just days before the OM-1 Mk2 was announced!) and regretted the loss immediately. It's so small, lightweight and sharp!
 
During my foray into M43 with a Panasonic G3, the Lumix 20mm f1.7 was on the camera more or less permanently. I took more with this lens than the other three combined. In my experience, the L20 was not as sharp as the Oly 45mm f1.8 but it was just right for family stuff especially indoors.

Darn it, I might have to visit mpb.com.
 
If 12-45mm f/4 had been out by then, I probably would have gotten that with E-M5 III but instead I reluctantly went with the 12-100mm f/4 with E-M1 II. I was planning a trip (before COVID) and 12-100mm f/4 was kind of the "last resort", but maybe it was the best choice.

I don't remember why I avoided the 7-14mm f/2.8 and waited for the 8-25mm f/4. Maybe it was on the road map. There is a big difference between f/2.8 and f/4, and 7mm and 8mm, but weight too similar to the 12-100mm f/4. At the same time, not as wide or as bright as the 8mm f/1.8 which I got last year.

And I probably should have gotten a bright prime much sooner. I never used a bright lens or prime before. I never held an interchangeable lens that small before, I was very surprised when I opened the box. Like 90% of my photos last year were taken with the 8mm.
 
If 12-45mm f/4 had been out by then, I probably would have gotten that with E-M5 III but instead I reluctantly went with the 12-100mm f/4 with E-M1 II. I was planning a trip (before COVID) and 12-100mm f/4 was kind of the "last resort", but maybe it was the best choice.

I don't remember why I avoided the 7-14mm f/2.8 and waited for the 8-25mm f/4. Maybe it was on the road map. There is a big difference between f/2.8 and f/4, and 7mm and 8mm, but weight too similar to the 12-100mm f/4. At the same time, not as wide or as bright as the 8mm f/1.8 which I got last year.

And I probably should have gotten a bright prime much sooner. I never used a bright lens or prime before. I never held an interchangeable lens that small before, I was very surprised when I opened the box. Like 90% of my photos last year were taken with the 8mm.
I waited for both the 12-100 and the 8-25 because of their beautiful focus transitions. Never harsh or sharp, as those of the 12-40 and 40-150 can be.
 
A bit tangetial to the main topic of the tread, but returning to this a few weeks after my initial post, with the trials of the 40-150 f:4Pro I outlined there and with the event shoot over: This is what I found, I think that the pair of f:4 would/will be a winner for me, if and when I get another body with the stacked sensor that is in the OM-1.

The OM-1 handles higher ISO values rather splendid SOOC and adding the LRC NR, it yields results that more than make up for the 1 stop lost going for f:4 over f:2.8, in my opinion and I havent even gone towards the upper ISO limits of the body, but kept it at a conservative ISO6400. A number I find usable in the EM5MkIII with AI NR, and very good in the OM-1.

Peter Forsgard on youtube states in one of his videos on the OM-1 that he holds ISO25600 from the OM-1 to be about equal to ISO6400 from the older 20MP sensor and based on some limited testing of my own, I think he is on to something.

Going off that, and that I somewhat habitually works with the auto capped at ISO3200 on the older bodies (anything before the OM-1 in this case), but did the April shoot at 6400, I think the f:4 pros is GTG for paid stuff with the stacked sensor caveat.

My set will not be going anywhere, anyhow. A matched pair of very sharp lenses with fixed aperture and weatherproofing covering 12-150 mm, weighing in at 630 grams can hardly be beaten by anything. Slipping the EM5mkIII in a bag with either of the pair mounted and the other one tucked alongside makes for a very nice General Purpose Photography set. Even better would be with a OM-5mkII, with the stacked sensor, I fail to see how that could be beat for convenience and unobtrusiveness of carry.
 
I waited for both the 12-100 and the 8-25 because of their beautiful focus transitions. Never harsh or sharp, as those of the 12-40 and 40-150 can be.
Focus transitions? You mean transition from in-focus to out-of-focus? Or do you mean "busy" background and halos around highlight?

Bokeh wasn't on my mind when I bought a f/4 superzoom, but 12-100mm definitely has more pleasing results than my C-7070. Although my E-M1 II seems to focus in front the subject by default and I had to adjust it.

I also had problem with 12-100mm making weird noises and not being able to focus anywhere. Sometimes I have to turn the camera on/off or take the lens off and put it back on so that it can focus again and stop making noise.
 
Focus transitions? You mean transition from in-focus to out-of-focus?
This, mainly, David.
Or do you mean "busy" background and halos around highlight?
I don't like the "shivery" background that the f/2.8 lenses often display.
Bokeh wasn't on my mind when I bought a f/4 superzoom, but 12-100mm definitely has more pleasing results than my C-7070. Although my E-M1 II seems to focus in front the subject by default and I had to adjust it.
Agree. Same with the 8-25. I've never had any focus problems with mine on my E-M1 MkII. Other than me stuffing it up, of course.
I also had problem with 12-100mm making weird noises and not being able to focus anywhere. Sometimes I have to turn the camera on/off or take the lens off and put it back on so that it can focus again and stop making noise.
That's never happened to me, mate.
Have you tried cleaning the lens and body contacts?
 
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.

The real problem, for me at least, with answering this question is... that it presupposes that I know more now than I did back then.

All kidding aside, that's the crux of the issue for me.
My main issues, early on, were not quite having the budget to buy always buy the cameras I wanted. Lenses were a bit easier, especially the Holy Grail of Mu-4/3 lenses, the Lumix 20mm lens, which amazingly enough has always been one of the truly affordable lenses.

Surprisingly, I don't have a P20 now - mainly because I replaced it with a PL15 and liked it so much more. But I'd buy either again.
Other superb lenses include the PL45mm Macro, an amazing lens - and also the Lumix 12-35mm zoom, perhaps my favorite MU43 zoom ever.
Technically I think the 12-35 overlaps with kit zooms - and is not only a million times better than any kit zoom I've ever had, but not all that large.
The other inclusion in my Yes pile is a lens I've only owned for a few years - the 2nd generation Olympus 75-300mm zoom - but it is so versatile and so lightweight and take-everywhere-friendly that it's hard to understand how I lived without it for so long.

My Maybe list is short and includes the superb PL45mm Macro lens which I briefly owned and still miss.
Probably the legendary Zuiko 60mm Macro is also on the list.
And probably a copy of the 56mm Sigma prime, because it's so fun.
And lastly the Rokinon/Samyang 7.5mm fisheye. Manual focus only, but such a cool lens. And stunning (almost too) sharp.
I could easily live without all of them but they would all be worthy acquisitions.

My No list is a tad more generic but probably includes every 'kit' zoom ever made. Also the cool lightweight Olympus 40-150 zoom, which is fun but seriously eclipsed, for my own purposes, by its larger and pricier 75-300mm Zuiko sibling. Also the tiny 12-32mm pancake-y zoom, which I used to find a lot of fun... but it was never a lens I reached for or felt either that I needed... or one that opened up pathways to more interesting photographs.

Thanks for starting this thread, Mark. It's really made me think. And also, sigh, has made me realize how much I miss the tiny 12-35mm Lumix zoom. I may need to get one again.
 
the 2nd generation Olympus 75-300mm zoom - but it is so versatile and so lightweight
I haven't owned the 75-300II but I've had access to it a few times. It's a really undervalued lens. My only wish is that it was weather sealed.

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