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Thread: Newbie confused w lens

  1. #1

    Default Newbie confused w lens

    Hi guys, I used to have EPL2 + 20mm 1.7 Panasonic pancake and was pretty happy with the quality, but later realized that it's not a one fit all scenario (yeah, could have read about it). The size (even w the pancake) bothered me and my wife... so, we sold that and bought a XZ1, used it, happy with it due to is size and performance (based on what a compact can offer). Recently... I looked back at the photos taken w EPL2 and the panny... and missed the quality dearly... and decided to sell the XZ1 away few days back... bought at Harvey Norman an EPL3 that comes with kit lens and the f2.8 pancake.

    I shoot mostly indoors (kids, portraits) at home and sometimes at work and plan to use the camera extensively during our holidays. My wife use it to take photos of products for her online business, but colour reproduction is critical. Low light is quite important and i try not to use flash as much as possible. (I hate to have to plug in that flash into the EPL3 body... sigh)

    I plan to keep the kit lens (14-42mm), not because it is good.. but because it has a practical range (in my humble opinion though). i am in the process of selling off the f2.8 Olympus

    Now... the dilemma.....I am looking to get either the 20mm f1.7 Panasonic or try out the 45mm f1.8 M.Zuiko Olympus lens.

    I have looked through some threads on the photo qualities on the two lenses mentioned and I am happy with the quality. The price for both these lenses (used) are more or less the same ironically..... Care to give me your opinion on which one and why?

    Thank you all in advance for your opinion, have a great day!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Newbie confused w lens

    neither
    if u dunno what u wan, then u dun need it.

    as u mention, there is no 1 lense for all jobs.

    u mention ur wife use it for product photos, what type of stuffs? if it's clothes, the 20mm f1.7 should b ok.
    if smaller things like earrings etc, then the oly 60mm f2.8 marco lense should get the job done.

    if size doesn't bother u, consider getting a 4/3 to m4/3 adaptor and get the 14-54 f2.8-4
    it's good as a general lense and it can focus really close for close-up shots.
    Stirring up emotions with pics - cyliew

  3. #3

    Default Re: Newbie confused w lens

    thanks ijnek, it's mostly clothes, fabric, shawls etc for my wife's usage.

  4. #4
    Member kaxdd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie confused w lens

    If color reproduction is important, try using a grey card to get your white balance right. 20mm on a crop body will be 40mm which is ideal for clothes and shawls etc. 45mm will become 90mm, which will be very tight on your composition. If you have a huge room where you can move back to, then the 45mm will do the job. IMO, I think 20mm will suit your needs better.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Newbie confused w lens

    the 20 f1.7 should b fine if it's clothes etc.

    to poison u further n deeper, u can consider the 25 f1.4....
    Stirring up emotions with pics - cyliew

  6. #6
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie confused w lens

    Quote Originally Posted by olioli View Post
    Hi guys, I used to have EPL2 + 20mm 1.7 Panasonic pancake and was pretty happy with the quality, but later realized that it's not a one fit all scenario (yeah, could have read about it). The size (even w the pancake) bothered me and my wife... so, we sold that and bought a XZ1, used it, happy with it due to is size and performance (based on what a compact can offer). Recently... I looked back at the photos taken w EPL2 and the panny... and missed the quality dearly... and decided to sell the XZ1 away few days back... bought at Harvey Norman an EPL3 that comes with kit lens and the f2.8 pancake.

    I shoot mostly indoors (kids, portraits) at home and sometimes at work and plan to use the camera extensively during our holidays. My wife use it to take photos of products for her online business, but colour reproduction is critical. Low light is quite important and i try not to use flash as much as possible. (I hate to have to plug in that flash into the EPL3 body... sigh)

    I plan to keep the kit lens (14-42mm), not because it is good.. but because it has a practical range (in my humble opinion though). i am in the process of selling off the f2.8 Olympus

    Now... the dilemma.....I am looking to get either the 20mm f1.7 Panasonic or try out the 45mm f1.8 M.Zuiko Olympus lens.

    I have looked through some threads on the photo qualities on the two lenses mentioned and I am happy with the quality. The price for both these lenses (used) are more or less the same ironically..... Care to give me your opinion on which one and why?

    Thank you all in advance for your opinion, have a great day!
    Read through your comment briefly... and two questions popped into my mind,

    1) the reason for you to sell away ur EPL2 + 20mm f1.7 was mainly due to size? If that is the case, I assume that the colour reproduction is up to your satisfactory? If that is the case, the EPL3 might give you about the same result because they use the same graphic processor (although different sensor).

    2) Do you shoot in RAW or JPEG.

    The reason for the second question was that, if you shoot in RAW, then you could still set your white balance to AUTO and tune the white balance using whatever photo processing you are using (LR, photoshop, GIMP, etc) to give you the closest color reproduction as compared to your actual object. However do note that you need to calibrate your monitor to give you the most accurate result or it will differs from monitor to monitor.

    Anyway, both 20mm f1.7 and 45mm f1.8 are great lenses, they are of different focal range though... since you have the kit lens (14-42mm), I would suggest that you use that lens to see which focal length you used most (although your kit lens didn't have a 45mm but I would imagine that 42mm is close enough), and if you find yourself using 20mm more often for whatever you are shooting, then get the Panny 20mm f1.7, or if you shoot at 42mm more often, then its the Oly 45mm f1.8.

    To complete your collection, you should look at getting the 60mm macro too (pretty good lens for smaller product shoot too - things like ear ring, rings, watches, etc).
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  7. #7

    Default Re: Newbie confused w lens

    Aha.... I have been using white piece of paper and the colour is off..... i spent an hour trying to get it right but could not... damn!... i thought i read somewhere that mentioned white paper... let me try this trick! thanks

  8. #8
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie confused w lens

    Quote Originally Posted by olioli View Post
    Hi guys, I used to have EPL2 + 20mm 1.7 Panasonic pancake and was pretty happy with the quality, but later realized that it's not a one fit all scenario (yeah, could have read about it). The size (even w the pancake) bothered me and my wife... so, we sold that and bought a XZ1, used it, happy with it due to is size and performance (based on what a compact can offer). Recently... I looked back at the photos taken w EPL2 and the panny... and missed the quality dearly... and decided to sell the XZ1 away few days back... bought at Harvey Norman an EPL3 that comes with kit lens and the f2.8 pancake.

    I shoot mostly indoors (kids, portraits) at home and sometimes at work and plan to use the camera extensively during our holidays. My wife use it to take photos of products for her online business, but colour reproduction is critical. Low light is quite important and i try not to use flash as much as possible. (I hate to have to plug in that flash into the EPL3 body... sigh)

    I plan to keep the kit lens (14-42mm), not because it is good.. but because it has a practical range (in my humble opinion though). i am in the process of selling off the f2.8 Olympus

    Now... the dilemma.....I am looking to get either the 20mm f1.7 Panasonic or try out the 45mm f1.8 M.Zuiko Olympus lens.

    I have looked through some threads on the photo qualities on the two lenses mentioned and I am happy with the quality. The price for both these lenses (used) are more or less the same ironically..... Care to give me your opinion on which one and why?

    Thank you all in advance for your opinion, have a great day!
    If the size of EPL2 and 20/1.7 lens bothers you and your wife, then it's gonna be pretty tough to find something that will fit your requirements
    Difference in the angle of view between 20mm and 45mm will be quite significant. I would imagine that (focal length) to be the biggest determining factor.

    As for colour reproduction, well, I believe shooting in RAW will give you most flexibility to adjust as close as possible later on. Alternatively you have to tweak your white balance settings on-the-spot in order to get accurate JPGs.

    My opinion is that the 20/1.7 will be more useful for what you've listed down as your intended usage.
    Exploring! :)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Newbie confused w lens

    hmm... i think someone is selling in the classifieds for like 700bucks or something.... hmmm...... think i broke liaoz this month.. hahahah.. thanks bro

  10. #10
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie confused w lens

    If you're taking photos of products that do not move, it may be worth exploring the use of a tripod and longer exposures w small aperture, so that you have more of the product(s) in focus.
    Exploring! :)

  11. #11
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie confused w lens

    Quote Originally Posted by olioli View Post
    hmm... i think someone is selling in the classifieds for like 700bucks or something.... hmmm...... think i broke liaoz this month.. hahahah.. thanks bro
    Actually as of Oct 2012, the 20mm f1.7 lens is going off at around 4xx in the BnS section. in ebay, you are looking at S$5xx for a brand new one and I believe brand new ones in Singapore will cost around S$570.

    Macro four third Camera and Lens - Camera,Lens,Flash,Tripod,Bags and Studio Products!
    Last edited by rhino123; 14th February 2013 at 04:36 PM.
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  12. #12

    Default Re: Newbie confused w lens

    Quote Originally Posted by rhino123 View Post
    Read through your comment briefly... and two questions popped into my mind,

    1) the reason for you to sell away ur EPL2 + 20mm f1.7 was mainly due to size? If that is the case, I assume that the colour reproduction is up to your satisfactory? If that is the case, the EPL3 might give you about the same result because they use the same graphic processor (although different sensor).
    ANS : I fought hard to get the right colour for the shawl that is sitting pretty in front of me. Tried different presets, i mucked around with the cam and decided to switch over to RAW and use Olympus viewer to further play around. What i saw on the EPL screen and my Airbook screen and my external monitor..... they are all different!!! HEADACHE however... i found that at the very least... the EPL3 screen and the airbook is quite close... the external monitor is way off. But to answer your question, we did not know what we were missing, hence we now have decided to forgo the issue with size and welcome back mirrorless option and enjoy better IQ. I was contemplating to get a used EPL2.. but the EPL3 has now a sleeker body which is "female" friendlier... and the tilt screen is so so very practical.

    2) Do you shoot in RAW or JPEG.
    ANS : I started doing both recently.

    The reason for the second question was that, if you shoot in RAW, then you could still set your white balance to AUTO and tune the white balance using whatever photo processing you are using (LR, photoshop, GIMP, etc) to give you the closest color reproduction as compared to your actual object. However do note that you need to calibrate your monitor to give you the most accurate result or it will differs from monitor to monitor.
    ANS : Yup, learnt this the hard way .. as per my experience above....

    Anyway, both 20mm f1.7 and 45mm f1.8 are great lenses, they are of different focal range though... since you have the kit lens (14-42mm), I would suggest that you use that lens to see which focal length you used most (although your kit lens didn't have a 45mm but I would imagine that 42mm is close enough), and if you find yourself using 20mm more often for whatever you are shooting, then get the Panny 20mm f1.7, or if you shoot at 42mm more often, then its the Oly 45mm f1.8.
    ANS : I browsed through my old collection of photos i took with the F1.7.... and looking at the EXIF data, most of them have F2.5, focal length 14mm.....

    To complete your collection, you should look at getting the 60mm macro too (pretty good lens for smaller product shoot too - things like ear ring, rings, watches, etc).
    ANS : Fortunately, we are not into those "micro" level products... so, perhaps i could pass that for now.

    Dude... thanks heaps for the thoughts, very much appreciate that!

  13. #13
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie confused w lens

    Quote Originally Posted by olioli View Post
    ANS : Fortunately, we are not into those "micro" level products... so, perhaps i could pass that for now.

    Dude... thanks heaps for the thoughts, very much appreciate that!
    I think the main reason for your camera's LCD, Airbook and external monitor having different results was mainly because none of them are calibrated. The camera LCD cannot be calibrated yourself though, and I believe EPL2 is using a not too great resolution LCD thus the colour reproduction is not too fancy too. The EPL3 had a better LCD though. I normally don't trust liveview too much though, I only use it to preview once in a while the composition of my shots.

    So to get a more accurate color and contrast reproduction of the actual object, you need to calibrate your monitor first. You could get the equipment from a number of shops like Cathay Photo.

    And yeah, do shoot in RAW, I did that 100% of the time. Because I find it easier to edit using the photo editing software, and I can tune the white balance easily to give me the closest thing to the real object. Well... if you are comfortable with the 20mm f1.7 (since you have been using it for sometime), then get the 20mm f1.7. It is not exactly very expensive at the moment (S$5xx for a brand new one with local warranty follow my link in previous thread).
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  14. #14

    Default Re: Newbie confused w lens

    as we speak.... i am negotiating w a seller on the 20mm f1.7 hope to seal the deal

  15. #15

    Default Re: Newbie confused w lens

    The 17mm 2.8 lens is actually quite competent for indoor uses, especially to take product pictures. I find the 20mm a bit slower to focus indoor. You may want to invest in setting up for lighting in the room where the product shots are taken. May actually be cheaper option and gives better results. Personally, i would get the 45mm f1.8, which takes such nice portraits, or the 17mm 1.8, which is so fast on the epl3
    Last edited by trelch; 14th February 2013 at 08:54 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Newbie confused w lens

    Maybe something for me to ponder after I get my hands on the 20mm... thanks for the thoughts bro

  17. #17

    Default Re: Newbie confused w lens

    off camera flash and strobist, anyone?
    宁愿遇见丢失幼崽的母熊,也不愿碰上做蠢事的愚人

  18. #18

    Default Re: Newbie confused w lens

    Thanks guys! Just collected a used 1.7 20mm and enjoying it its true.. not too fast.. but I guess I better save up for future investment

  19. #19
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie confused w lens

    Quote Originally Posted by olioli View Post
    Thanks guys! Just collected a used 1.7 20mm and enjoying it its true.. not too fast.. but I guess I better save up for future investment
    Enjoy your lens
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

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