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Old Nov 5, 2006, 6:15 AM   #1
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I have yet to purchase a dSLR but from what I've researched, the E-500 is a good choice, and in about 3 minutes it's going to be on the annual Christmas list my wife has asked me to come up with.

I had considered going with the 2-lens kit but now I'm having second thoughts, having seen some reviews.

I've read the John Foster and J. Andrzej Wrotniak reviews, and both gentlemen agree that the 14-54 is better than the 14-45. (I'm an intermediate photographer.) My question is, while they have been tested against each other, have these lenses been in a shootout against aftermarket lenses, such as the comparable model from Sigma?
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Old Nov 5, 2006, 12:00 PM   #2
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The fact is, the 2 lens kit is a great deal, because the telephoto comes in it for only $100 or so more, and if you tried to buy the 40-150 tele separately, it will cost you nearly $200 - and the body with 14-45 costs only around $50 to at most $100 more than the body alone would cost you.

What you should do is get the two lens kit, and see whether or not you are happy with the 14-45. I believe that you will definitely be happy with the 40-150.

If you are not pleased with the 14-45, you can easily sell it for $80 or so on ebay, and replace it with either of the better 11-22 or 14-54 lenses. (If you really know how to sell on ebay, you can get at least $100 for it by listing it with a buy now price and a high starting bid).

BTW, I did exactly this, after getting the 11-22, I sold the 14-45 on ebay, for over $100. So my 2 lens kit, gotten this way is the 11-22 and the 40-150. This ended up being alot cheaper than if I had bought the body, and both of the lenses separately


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Old Nov 5, 2006, 12:10 PM   #3
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If you are an intermediate, you may or may not be happy with the kit lenses, depending on your demands. I will add that many people have complained about the (cheaper) Sigma lenses being softer than the Zuikos (Olympus). Personally I'm still using the kit lenses and tollerate their faults (even though I have tried the 14-54 & 50-200, they're just too heavy to lug around the city compared to the kit lenses).
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Old Nov 5, 2006, 12:19 PM   #4
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http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/len...0_28/index.htm
http://www.photozone.de/8Reviews/len...2835/index.htm

The Sigma 18-50 f2.8 is even sharper in the center. But it also suffers from CA, and sometimes has focus problems (such as back focus or slow focusing) on some cameras.

It has only just become available in four thirds, so it is hard to find a fair head to head comparison on the same camera body. But the Olympus does very well on the photozone user survey. And you can compare to how the Sigma was rated by Canon, Nikon, or Pentax users. Herre are the ratings for the 14-54 compared to the Sigma 18-50 ratings from Canon users:

http://www.photozone.de/active/survey/querylenstxt.jsp?filter=%22brand='Olympus%20Digita l%20Zuiko%20(4/3)'%22

Olympus Digital Zuiko (4/3) 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5
very good (****-)
very good (****)
very good (****-)
very good (****)
little distortions (****-)
little distortions (****+)
little vignetting (w/o) (****-)
little vignetting (w/o) (****)
slightly warm little flare (****-)
good - very good (3.95)
Ok (***-)
very good (****)
53

Sigma AF 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC
Ok (**-)
good (***+)
Ok (**)
very good (****-)
heavy distortions (**)
little distortions (****)
heavy (**)
little vignetting (w/o) (****)
warm quite heavy (**)
average (2.61)
slow (**)
good (***)
65

Despite it's good MTF scores, the Sigma likely gets only OK ratings wide open due in part to edge softness.

Still, if you trust the MTF scores, the Sigma may in fact be even sharper through most of it's range. Still, the 14-54 is very sharp throughout, and seems to have better coatings, where the Sigma suffers from flare and CA. And, while vignetting is low to begin with, what is there will be corrected automatically in camera on the Olympus models. I'm not sure if this feature is supported by third party lenses. Moreover, 14-54 is a pro build, weather sealed, which will hold up better against dust and the elements.

It's interesting that the 18-50 survey overall score is actually more similar to those of the 14-45 kit lens (2.59 overall). I suspect that this is because lens coatings (and build quality) are similar there, and in lenses of this quality that is more important than MTF results.

So unless you feel you really need the f2.8 on the long end, I'd guess the Zukio is probably the better choice.

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Old Nov 5, 2006, 12:21 PM   #5
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I don't think that the 40-150mm kit lens has any significant faults - compared to the 50-200, it's simply 2/3 stop slower and a bit shorter but gains the advantage of being far more compact and light.
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Old Nov 5, 2006, 12:58 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies, it is the information I was looking for. I don't mind a lens that's a little heavier, since I'm gaining performance in return. Looks like I'll have to do some wheeling and dealing!
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Old Nov 5, 2006, 5:37 PM   #7
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You'd asked about some airplane pictures and, having just found this thread, I've added a few pictures to my gallery that were taken with the 14-45 kit lens. All pics here were taken with the E-500 and the kit lenses.

The indoor pictures are with the 14-45.

Some things to note: The Viscount cockpit was absolutely pitch black. I couldn't even see the controls on the camera. But I managed to get focus on the windshield frame and I got a darn good picture using the built-in flash. And the picture of the Dart engine is pretty sharp at F3.7 (you can read the EXIF for all photos).

Check the gallery link:

http://s132.photobucket.com/albums/q14/Brent_Gair/
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Old Nov 6, 2006, 1:40 AM   #8
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Decisions, decisions! Now somebody in another forum is telling me to pass on the E-500 in favor of a Nikon because the latter has a bigger sensor and a smaller magnification factor (1.5 vs. 2.0) which means better pictures. If I can't afford an E-500 without starving for 3 months, how can I possibly afford a Nikon?
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Old Nov 6, 2006, 4:16 AM   #9
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The Nikon D50 2-lense kit is about the same price as the E500 2-lense kit.

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Old Nov 6, 2006, 9:15 AM   #10
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jbigfoot wrote:
Quote:
Decisions, decisions! Now somebody in another forum is telling me to pass on the E-500 in favor of a Nikon because the latter has a bigger sensor and a smaller magnification factor (1.5 vs. 2.0) which means better pictures. If I can't afford an E-500 without starving for 3 months, how can I possibly afford a Nikon?
I'm really geting fed up with this nonsense about sensor size, "full frame" and magnification factors. Most of it is just a bunch of hooey.

For 170 years, film cameras have employed RADICALLY different sized "sensors". You could buy an 8x10" Deardorff view camera, a 2 1/4" square Hasselblad, 4x5" Sinars...plus Horsemans, Speed Graphics, Leicas and so on. Nobody ever complained about the image from a Hasselblad even though it only has about 25% of the film area of a Sinar.

There is a wide range of sensor sizes. Somebody very arbitrarily decided that a certain film frame size represented a "Full Frame" sensor. That, in itself is nonsense. There are already cameras with sensors bigger than full frame. What do we call them...Full and a half frame?

The 4x3 sensor is smaller than the misnamed "Full Frame" and the APS-C. But it's slightly smaller. The difference simply isn't a big deal although some people imagine it is. Sometimes I wonder if people who make a big deal about sensor size know ANYTHING about film formats. The size difference between the 4x3 and APS-C sensor is splitting hairs. It's like fretting over the difference in image quality from a Pentax 6x7compared toa Mamiya 6x9. It's just not a real issue.

Furthermore, I will state again that I think the slightly smaller size of the 4X3 offers some potential advantages particulalry with aftermarket lenses. I have read lens tests that show significant vignetting when some lenses try to cover large sensors. Furthermore, almost all lens become slightly softer towards the outer edges. The 4x3 sensor captures the brightest, sharpest are of the image circle.

The "magnification factor" is another fake issue in my opinion. In fact, it isn't really a separate issue. It's the same issue as the sensor. So to convert a focal length to it's 35mm equivalent, some cameras is a 1.6 conversion and ours use 2.0. Is that a big difference? Not to me.

There simply isn't a big enough differnce in sensor size for this to be a real issue.
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