Micro 4/3 Your Treasured M43 'Sleeper Lens"?

Stu

Veteran
Location
Melb. Aus.
'Sleeper Lens'?
I guess it could be called...'The Best Lens I Have Ever Owned But Nobody Else Is Smart Enough To Realize It!' :geek:
But to be a bit kinder, there are definitely good lenses that slip under the radar.
Panasonic certainly has a few in my opinion....the 35-100mm f/4-5.6 and the 45-175mm come to mind.
Olympus?....the 30mm f/3.5 .....a seemingly ridiculous f/3.5 max aperture but plenty sharp with very good magnification.
Which brings me to my latest acquisition....the 9-18mm M43 lens.
Small! [how can anything that small be any good???]
[Retracting Zoom Lock??...too inconvenient!] Plastic!!!....Oh NO!]
There certainly are lots of people who love this lens but it's not as sexy as, say, an Oly 75mm f/1.8
Anybody got some other 'sleepers'?
 
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John King

Member of SOFA
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Name
John ...
Stu, I find both the 14-42 EZ and 12-50 macro to be far better than they are given credit for.

The 14-42 EZ on my E-PM2 makes for a ridiculously tiny package, that weighs less than 360 gms. It's also ridiculously capable!

Not about to mistake either of them for my FTs 14-54 MkII, 8-25 or 12-100, but still very good.
 

Lumixdude

Regular
The tiny little Lumix 12-32 is way better than it has any right to be. I've taken some great pictures with it, without really even thinking about the gear. It's so tiny, light, inexpensive and unassuming that you kind of just relax, point, and shoot. Without any real pressure to "get the most out of your investment" And I think it shows. The tiny little Lumix 14 & 20mm pancakes fall into the same category too I think. Lumix has a wealth of small, light & inexpensive "kit" lenses that perform very very well. Well above their price point.
Years ago, people used to say not to worry about the body so much, but buy the very best lenses you can afford. I honestly don't think that's true any more, you can spend up a bit on a better, more capable featured camera body, and even the cheapest lenses will produce some fabulous results.
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Location
East Frisia, Germany
Name
Michael, goes by "oppi"
the 9-18 is a very capable lens, nicely corrected in cam or OM workspace and so light you can always carry it in addition...
the 12-50 is robust, sealed and can do close-ups. Not the sharpest but one of the most versatile lenses.
I like them both.

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gryphon1911

Hall of Famer
Location
Central Ohio, USA
Name
Andrew
For me it was always the Olympus 40-150/4-5.6 R

Such a range and for a basically mostly plastic lens, you wouldn't think it had any real redeeming value to it, especially since you could get it new for $99 and used for about half that.

Back in the day, Olympus used this image in an email marketing blitz, taken with said lens:
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Location
Switzerland
Name
Matt
We're talking about "sleepers" here, not "staples", right?

Somewhat sadly, this'd have to be a lens I no longer own (too many good alternatives in my collection overall - it went the way of the Fujifilm 90mm f/2 as well as the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G back in the day): the Sigma 60mm f/2.8 Art. A fantastic performer, compact and reliable. When I had it, it did a good job of keeping me from craving the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 as well as the Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 (II) - a lens which I eventually acquired to fill the niche (after also selling my Olympus 14-150mm II, that is).

EDIT: It was kind of difficult to unearth an image taken with the 60mm, but here's one I like:
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(untitled) on Flickr

Not a sleeper, but definitely a keeper: the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7. My first :mu43: lens, still one of my favourites for the system. That said, I usually pick the Panasonic 15mm f/1.7 and 25mm f/1.4 II nowadays because they have tangible advantages. However, I'll never sell the 20mm - it's kind of the quintessential :mu43: lens for me.

M.
 
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Herbert Hound

Veteran
Location
The Welsh Borders
Name
Colin
The Oly 45mm f/1.8 is small, cheap and very capable. I just finished going through the photos I've only just taken while out with the hound, my E-M10ii and the 45mm/1.8... so here's three very different piccies taken with it hot off the press...

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Location
Oregon Coast
Name
Andrew
I will always speak up for the Panasonic 20mm f1.7, but it's not a sleeper - it gets evangelized often enough for folks to know how good it is. My pick is the newer TTartisans 23mm f1.4, which is a well-built manual lens with a supremely useful 46mm equivalent field of view, and shoots extremely sharp photos. Even wide open center sharpness is really surprising, especially given the crop which tends to magnify inconsistencies in sharpness with cheaper third-party lenses. The closer you are to wide open, the more the colors stand out: super saturated, glowing but not really glowy.

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P5100156 by Andrew Lossing, on Flickr

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P5040128 by Andrew Lossing, on Flickr
 

Stu

Veteran
Location
Melb. Aus.
As MoonMind said, we are looking for 'sleepers' rather than 'staples'. But a lot of the picks are a reminder of the wealth of cheapish, small, light lens, with far better than expected IQ , available to M43 shooters.
Agree the Sigma 60mm gets a bit ignored when surrounded by the Oly 75mm and a swag of 50ish lenses available.
Same with the Pana 14mm, squeezed in between the Oly 12mm and the PL15.
I know John is a great advocate of the Oly 12-50mm. A much disregarded lens but where else will you find a 'kit' lens with internal zoom, weather sealing, a programable button and macro capability?
I must get one one day! ;)
 

Tili

Regular
Location
Ireland

For me, its highlights some great m43 qualities. It's very small and quite light for what it is. I believe its one of those lenses with "3d pop".

I don't think many people have this one.
 
Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
Perhaps my favorite of all time is the 9mm BCL. Cheap as dirt, fun as heck.

Have to agree with you on that. The 9mm Olympus fisheye is such a great little lens. So cheap and inexpensive and truly flies under the radar. And I don't have any other lenses which can give me the angles it does. Like...the headlight on my scooter---

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And the other thing about the 9mm Olympus fisheye is, when I put it on my EP5, it looks so cool... it cures me of any desire to buy a Ricoh GRiiix ;)

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Lumixdude

Regular
We're talking about "sleepers" here, not "staples", right?

Somewhat sadly, this'd have to be a lens I no longer own (too many good alternatives in my collection overall - it went the way of the Fujifilm 90mm f/2 as well as the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G back in the day): the Sigma 60mm f/2.8 Art. A fantastic performer, compact and reliable. When I had it, it did a good job of keeping me from craving the Olympus 75mm f/1.8 as well as the Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 (II) - a lens which I eventually acquired to fill the niche (after also selling my Olympus 14-150mm II, that is).

EDIT: It was kind of difficult to unearth an image taken with the 60mm, but here's one I like:
View attachment 339144
(untitled) on Flickr

Not a sleeper, but definitely a keeper: the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7. My first :mu43: lens, still one of my favourites for the system. That said, I usually pick the Panasonic 15mm f/1.7 and 25mm f/1.4 II nowadays because they have tangible advantages. However, I'll never sell the 20mm - it's kind of the quintessential :mu43: lens for me.

M.
I'd add the Siggy 56 as well. Doesn't seem to be that well known in m4/3 circles, I myself was pretty hesitant in buying it as it was my first, non first party lens, but it's stunning for the $$$. Plenty have compared it to the PL 42.5 1.2 as well as the Oly 45 Pro, and it stands shoulder to shoulder with both of those apparently. Big fan of mine, if I've got the working distance
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Aaron English

Regular
Location
Idaho
Mine are the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, Panasonic 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6, and the Olympus 45mm f/1.8. The Panasonic 20mm has to be my favorite slow focusing and all. That said, I recently acquired a EM1.3 and the Panasonic 20mm on it is a different lens all together. Much faster to focus than on my Pen-f, EM5.1, and EPL-2. I have had this lens for a long time and plan to keep it. It provides a 40mm field of view which is the same as the Ricoh GRiiix. It provides that sweet spot when 35mm is too wide and 50mm is too tight.
 

P9F4

Regular
Location
Germany
Name
Dennis
I don’t know if it fits the criteria 100% because it isn’t exactly unknown, but my vote goes towards the Panasonic 14mm f2.5.

There are several lenses with relatively similar focal lengths, and I’d say all of them are „better“ from a technical point of view: the Olympus 17mm, the Panasonic 12-32, the PL15, the Olympus 12mm…

The P14 has crucial advantages though: ridiculously light, ridiculously small, autofocus is fast, it’s affordable…the big thing about it is its rendering, though. I’ve owned this lens for a couple of years and a lot of times I looked at the photos I took with it and was baffled. It really has no right to be this good.

One thing to know: corners aren’t perfectly resolved, I’d say it isn’t a lens for pixel peeping. It’s the only lens I kind of regret selling, even though I own the PL15.

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rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Location
London
I don’t know if it fits the criteria 100% because it isn’t exactly unknown, but my vote goes towards the Panasonic 14mm f2.5.

There are several lenses with relatively similar focal lengths, and I’d say all of them are „better“ from a technical point of view: the Olympus 17mm, the Panasonic 12-32, the PL15, the Olympus 12mm…

The P14 has crucial advantages though: ridiculously light, ridiculously small, autofocus is fast, it’s affordable…the big thing about it is its rendering, though. I’ve owned this lens for a couple of years and a lot of times I looked at the photos I took with it and was baffled. It really has no right to be this good.

One thing to know: corners aren’t perfectly resolved, I’d say it isn’t a lens for pixel peeping. It’s the only lens I kind of regret selling, even though I own the PL15.

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I agree, not everyone can see the rendering difference but I can.
 
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