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How to upgrade from Olympus kit lens 12-140mm


Cliff Wee

New Member
Oct 26, 2017
2
0
1
Clementi
#1
I currently own the Olympus Em5mk2 with the 12-150mm kit lens. I love this lens for its wide zoom, and the ease of shooting a wide focal range without the need to change lenses.
However, I've seen sharper pictures taken by fellow photographers, and thus, am getting poisoned.
However, budget is tighter than a jammed lens.
My question is:
If there is one lens I should get so that I can have sharper images, which lens would you recommend? Prime? Zoom Pro?
I used to shoot film in the 80s (with the Canon T70 and 35mm, 70mm and 70 to 100mm; all sold long ago), and have just entered the digital scene, so the myriad of different types of lens is making me as blur as an unfocused shot.
I am still exploring my genre but is leaning more towards Urban Landscapes, Multi-row Panorama, Night Scenes, Light Trails, Fireworks, and Golden Hour, and anything with bright colours. I also love to render photos into colourful art, especially Fantasy Art.
So which lens should I buy first? Laowa 7.5? Oly 7-14mm Pro? 14-35 or 14-40? Prime? 20mm? 17mm?
I am only able to spare 1K.
Thanking you in advance.
 

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Octarine

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 3, 2008
12,647
52
48
Pasir Ris
#2
If unsure, rent the lenses and do extensive tests over a weekend. You might find out that there are more factors determining the perceived sharpness of an image.
 

one eye jack

Senior Member
Jun 11, 2011
888
24
28
#3
Yes there are other factors affecting sharpness, one is perception..better contrast makes for sharper image provided focusing is spot on.Better lenses have better contrast control via improved design and lens coatings.That said the kit lens does a good job overall but do note that your kit lens have a longer zoom range and that is harder to design and don't do well from wide to telephoto end.Normally it's sharpest at the middle range.

The aperture you use or shoot at also play a part, as is common knowledge aperture wide open don't perform well unless you use pro lenses even that is at best optimised.In general it's sharper when aperture is stopped down 2 stops ie. F5.6 to F8 is where the sweet spot is.Any smaller it's just depth of field and you will hit the diffraction problem.But that does not mean you can't use small apertures especially in lanscapes and since you are at infinity focus F8 is best.

Exposure is another part you need to understand, the camera meter has it's limitations if you fully trust it then in extreme lighting conditions it will be fooled and give a wrong setting you have to compensate via aperture,shutter speed or ISO.Remember correct exposure gives best contrast trying to fix it in editing stage can only improve what is already bad.
Accurate or correct focusing also means good contrast.

Lastly the shutter speed you use for the focal length of the lens in theory should be 2X focal length. Eg. 50mm = 1/100 sec. Of course image stabalisation helps.The way you hold or steady your camera also affects the resulting image or photo. Read and watch youtube videos then your knowledge
improves and your enjoyment in photography too.:)
 

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dennisc

Senior Member
Oct 24, 2002
2,050
5
38
Freezing Upp Thomson/Mandai!
#4
The Pro ver of your kit lens equivalent is good, tack sharp and contrasty, surprisingly good as macro cost below 1k used. Don't touch primes lah, unless you're into portraits like me.
 

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Cliff Wee

New Member
Oct 26, 2017
2
0
1
Clementi
#5
My mistake. It should be the 14-150mm kit lens.
Thank you for your replies. I guess I will continue to try out the lens before I make my decision.
I've tried the 40-150mm Pro but did not notice much difference. Besides, the 40-150 Pro doesn't have the reach of 14-40, which means I have to get the 14-40 Pro and maybe even the 7-14 Pro.
Maybe I'm pixel peeping. Maybe I'm not used to digital. Maybe I can't discern the difference. Maybe I'm not using PP to sharpen my image.

I'm told that Pro lens are sharper, but by how much? I can't really tell, yet. If the difference is not significant, then shall I use my kit lens and do stitching to increase the resolution instead?
I'll continue to educate myself more through reviews and Youtube.
All your feedback is greatly appreciated.
 

one eye jack

Senior Member
Jun 11, 2011
888
24
28
#6
My mistake. It should be the 14-150mm kit lens.
Thank you for your replies. I guess I will continue to try out the lens before I make my decision.
I've tried the 40-150mm Pro but did not notice much difference. Besides, the 40-150 Pro doesn't have the reach of 14-40, which means I have to get the 14-40 Pro and maybe even the 7-14 Pro.
Maybe I'm pixel peeping. Maybe I'm not used to digital. Maybe I can't discern the difference. Maybe I'm not using PP to sharpen my image.

I'm told that Pro lens are sharper, but by how much? I can't really tell, yet. If the difference is not significant, then shall I use my kit lens and do stitching to increase the resolution instead?
I'll continue to educate myself more through reviews and Youtube.
All your feedback is greatly appreciated.
As I said in my earlier post your kit lens has a wide zoom range, 14-150mm with 2X m43 crop factor
is the equivalent of FF/35mm format 28-300mm.A 10X ratio. It would be nice if you can afford the pro lenses listed but since you are considering landscape as perhaps a more walk about lens that can do more then consider a recent olympus 12-100mm pro (24-200mm FF).A super zoom that is sharp center to corner but At F4 constant throught out the zoom range if the review is to be believed as reviewer have since stop working for olympus malaysia.Do note it's all metal construction and heavy.It would be out of your budget but save more to get this.;) Review below:

https://blog.mingthein.com/2017/09/08/review-the-olympus-zuiko-digital-zd-12-1004-pro/

For more understanding between sharpness and resolution:

http://www.photoreview.com.au/tips/shooting/sharpness,-acutance-and-resolution

https://blog.almalence.com/introduc...rpness-of-digital-images-and-digital-cameras/

https://retouchingacademy.com/qualities-of-digital-images-sharpness-vs-focus/
 

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thoongeng

Senior Member
Jan 26, 2010
1,322
24
38
#7
My mistake. It should be the 14-150mm kit lens.
Thank you for your replies. I guess I will continue to try out the lens before I make my decision.
I've tried the 40-150mm Pro but did not notice much difference. Besides, the 40-150 Pro doesn't have the reach of 14-40, which means I have to get the 14-40 Pro and maybe even the 7-14 Pro.
Maybe I'm pixel peeping. Maybe I'm not used to digital. Maybe I can't discern the difference. Maybe I'm not using PP to sharpen my image.

I'm told that Pro lens are sharper, but by how much? I can't really tell, yet. If the difference is not significant, then shall I use my kit lens and do stitching to increase the resolution instead?
I'll continue to educate myself more through reviews and Youtube.
All your feedback is greatly appreciated.
If you don't see a difference between your kit lens and the Pro lens then maybe it's good enough for you. And yes the main advantage of the 14-150mm is the big zoom range at a relatively small size.
And as you already know, there are other ways to get more resolution or a wider field of view by using software.
Do read around, there are many free resources available
And you will know when the time comes that it's time to spend some $$ heh...
 

sk_tan

New Member
May 19, 2018
10
2
3
27
#8
You can consider the 12-100mm f/4 lens.. Slightly better than what you have now but lose out on focal length.
 

Edwin Francis

Senior Member
Mar 24, 2006
887
3
18
www.sgwriter.com
#9
Your problem is GAS. Gear Acquisition Syndrome. We all have it from time to time *haha*.

Look, your've said you cannot see the improved sharpness from the 40-150/2.8 Pro lens -- you can't get much sharper in the m43 world. It's NOT your lens. About 95% of the time when people have problems with sharpness, it's NOT the gear. Unless you have faulty gear.

You also said you've seen sharper shots by other photogs -- were these of the same subject, in the same situation?

Go to pixelpeeper.com and look at shots taken with the 14-150 (https://pixelpeeper.com/lenses/?lens=13301). Sharp enough?

Like you, I started in the film days, back in the 80s. Today's budget lenses are good! Not like the crappy budget zooms back then.

I always tell people to save money on gear and go on shooting holidays (don't have to spend much) -- you'll have more FUN and probably come away with good photos -- there's something about going abroad that frees up your creativity ;)
 

Oct 12, 2004
495
5
18
#10
The 75/1.8 is a stunning lens for m43. See if you can get your hands on one to try. The Olympus showroom most likely will have one available to try, at least at the old River Valley showroom but I have a feeling they've moved.
If you can't get excellent results out of this lens, there are other issues at play.
To be honest, there are a lot of very good (and sharp) and cheap lenses in the m43 system eg. Olympus 45/1.8. and Panasonic 20/1.7
If you don't mind buying second hand, you can own and try it and if it isn't for you, offload it for little loss.
 

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