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Old Jul 19, 2008, 11:26 PM   #1
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My wife and I are buying an E3 in the next two weeks. We've researched the heck out of dSLRs and find the E3 to be our best match. (We now use P&S cameras and a Panasonic FZ50, with previous SLR experience in film only.)

One quandary. Money is a factor. So we've decided to get the 70-300mm (for wildlife, a mutual passion). But we're in limbo between the 12-60mm and the 14-54mm. I realize it's a common dilemma, but we still can't decide. From a budgetary standpoint, the 14-54mm seems like a winner.

I've also read some of the discussions here. So my question is -- if we go with the 14-54mm, will we regret the $400 that we should have applied to the 12-60mm? Would it be prudent to swallow the cost at the start and just get the 12-60mm? Or, will the 14-54mm be a decent enough walk about lens.

Usage: General daily use -- city photos, people photos, some landscape (but no need for super wide angle right now), macros, nature.

Thanks for your kind insight.

~ Jack
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Old Jul 19, 2008, 11:41 PM   #2
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Have you seen the deal where B&H has the E3, 12-60 AND FL50R as a "kit"..


It's like buying an E3, 12-60 and getting the flash as athrow in....at least, based on B&H prices, which are always competitive.

Are you eventually planning to buy a wide lens? The 12-60 extends the wide end enough to almost eliminate the need for the 11-22 Zuiko, although you probably should not tell that toanyone that owns an 11-22!

I already own the 14-54 and would probably "upgrade" to the 12-60 if I were not going to buy something wider later, which I am. I've owned the 7-14 once in my lifetime and will be soon again...this time for keeps, so the 14-54 is going to remain a part of my outfit....at least until the day comes that I can pick up a 14-35 f2.....I'm thinking much bigger than the 12-60....literally.

The 70-300 Zuiko is a winner....great lens. You'll like that a lot.

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Old Jul 20, 2008, 5:57 AM   #3
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Not to add to your dilemma.... but, in case you haven't read it, here is a link to an article written by Wrotniak relative to the 12-60mm lens with detailed comparisons to the 14-54mm. It just might mitigate the pain of spending that extra cash.


good luck!!


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Old Jul 20, 2008, 1:18 PM   #4
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H Jack

Thought I'd just chip in as well..Greg's goven some sound advice and being able to add to it is going to be difficult.

The main thing that the 14-54ZD has going for it compared to the 12-60ZD are:

* faster aperture - f2.8->f3.5
* smaller and lighter size
* price
* If you get a good one it'll be pretty sharp too.

Check out the biofos review of the E3 - its got a nice comparison of both lenses.


Here's some user reviews of the 12-60 over at SLR gear:


Some 14-54 reviews at SLR gear:


From my own exp. with the 14-54 it is softer at F2.8 than I would like but there's a good chance that's down to my copy of the lens. Personally, I'm kind of itching for the 14-35F2 and from what I've seen it looks to be just as good as its bigger brother but the only thing stopping me is the price - where's those lottery numbers ??!!



:? :O

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Old Jul 20, 2008, 3:41 PM   #5
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I to was in the same boat. But I bought the 12-60mm. Why ?

1 I was goiing to upgrade to E3 from E330, This happend sonner than I thought. :-)

2 The 12-60mm is wider plus more telephoto. those extra mm at each end do make a diffrence.

3 It is SWD Drive. Making it a faster lense to work with.

4 It is fully manual Focus I thought this to be better in my opinion.

and it slightly looks better, platinum ring round the front lens, I have the 50-200mm SWDto making the lenses look the same.

Im not disapointed in any way with the lense butthen Olympus do not make bad lenses even the standard lenses are Great. I know what ever lense you go for you will not be disapointed in quality.

Good Luck on your new Purchase.

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Old Jul 20, 2008, 3:50 PM   #6
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Thanks very much. The information and the review links you all provided are extremely helpful -- and detailed. (I'm re-reading the reviews in more depth, as we speak.)

We've got two weeks to make up our minds -- we're both too anxious to put off the purchase any longer than that. Given our previous vacillations on equipment, I'm guessing this choice is still a work in progress over the next few days. But your commentary goes a long way toward helping us decide on where to place that $400.

Your generous help, kindly appreciated.

~ Jack
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Old Jul 20, 2008, 8:10 PM   #7
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Might I add one more thing to think about when deciding between these two lenses: The 14-54mm is a bit faster than the 12-60mm at any given point within their shared focal range. That is to say, at any point from 14-54mm, the 14-54mm lens is a bit faster. Yes, they both start at f/2.8. But don't think for a minute that both lenses are equally fast until the older lens stops at 54mm. The older lens is faster, by perhaps a third to a half stop, all the way up to 54mm. Now, this is not to take away from the 12-60mm lens in any way. It still has superb optics. But if you're trying to draw every last ray of light you possibly can into the sensor - if that is necessary for your kind of photography - then you have been advised. Good luck and let us know how it goes.
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Old Jul 22, 2008, 9:42 PM   #8
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Thank you some more. We're now leaning a bit toward the 12-60mm, but we're still reviewing. And we both still see the 14-54mm as a viable choice. All quandaries should be so pleasant.

~ Jack
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