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Old Jul 17, 2010, 8:37 PM   #1
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Default What would you reccomed as a general purpose lens?

Hey guys,

I'm in the market for a general purpose lens for my E-620.

As a general purpose lens I will be using this lens primarily at dinners, parties, and street shots. The lens must be good in low light and have relatively fast and accurate focus. I am fine with a prime lens, but if a zoom accomplishes what a prime lens does then that would be great too. My budget is approximately $600.

With this in mind I have looked at:

Sigma 18-50mm F/2.8
Sigma 50mm F/1.4
Sigma 30mm F/1.4
Sigma 24mm F/1.8

Olympus 14-54mm F/2.8-3.5


I have head good things about all of these lenses, but I have also heard that the Sigma primes have a tendency to front-focus. I also hear that the Olympus 12-60mm F/2.8-4.0 is quite good, but to be honest it is out of my budget.

So I was just wondering what you guys would recommend. Thanks in advance.
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Old Jul 17, 2010, 8:47 PM   #2
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the sigma 18-50mm is a good option, depending on how low the light gets at dinner and parties. If they get really low, 1.4 and 1600iso will work way better then 2.8 at 3200iso.

With the crop factor, the 30mm 1.4 would be a good range. 50mm 1.4 will be a bit tight. 24mm is a good eye very at 1/3 stop darker. As I shoot alot in low light I would give up the wider 12mm for the 1/3 stop.
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Old Jul 17, 2010, 11:11 PM   #3
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24-28mm is the minimum wide angle I accept for a lens that's supposed to be a general purpose lens. the 18mm, or 36mm effective focal length at the "wide" end of the Sigma 18-50 would not be a lens I would ever consider because of this.

Of the lenses you named here, the 14-54 is what I would chose.
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Old Jul 18, 2010, 1:26 AM   #4
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35-100 f2 would fit the bill if not the wallet
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Old Jul 18, 2010, 2:01 AM   #5
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Olympus 14-54mm F/2.8-3.5

favorite lens, on my camera more than anything else and just happy with it....I have the 35-100...great as well, but limited IMHO in many areas.
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Old Jul 18, 2010, 6:50 AM   #6
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Hi,
Of the lenses you've mentioned, my choice would be the 14-54mm ZD by Olympus. I have owned the 14-54mm (version 1) and can only say good things about it. It is actually faster than the 12-60mm that is on my camera now.

I agree with Greg's earlier comment on Sigma's 18-50mm lens. While being a good performer and quite sharp, starting at a 36mm (35mm equiv) it is just a bit too limiting to me on the wide end. I tried one and returned it in favor of the 12-60mm.

I find the flexibility that a zoom offers a much better choice as a general purpose lens than a prime.

I don't know if you're interested in used lenses, but, you can find a used 14-54mm typically for around 325 USD.

Good places to look would be B&H Photo.com or KEH.com

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Old Jul 18, 2010, 8:09 AM   #7
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General purpose lens, of specialty low light lens?

I have the 14-54, and for the selling price of the version one, its alot of lens for the buck. Its the one I would choose for "General Purpose" as it does alot of things well and reliably.

By the sound of your post, you do alot of indoor stuff and lighting may leave something to be desired. The Sigma primes will allow quite alot more shutter speed if your not using flash. If you can't use flash and indoors is your main thing, I'd likely go with the Siggy 24mm (if wider is better) or the 30mm. Be aware going in that you may need to send things in for calibration, however.

If you don't mind flash indoors, 14-54 all the way!!!
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Old Jul 18, 2010, 12:22 PM   #8
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All right. Thanks guys! Now I just have to decide. :P

My main dilemma, was deciding how different the Sigma 18-50 was from the Olympus 14-54, but I'm sure that I won't be able to live with the 36mm effective wide angle on the Sigma.

Oh, and flspringer, you are right, I do a lot of low light stuff, and I prefer to use only available light, so I guess I'm looking more for a specialty low light lens than anything else. Also, if I did get one of the Sigmas where would I sent things for calibration?

Thanks!
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Old Jul 18, 2010, 5:28 PM   #9
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miskur, I have the sigma 24mm/1.8 & I have used it at indoor weddings & parties, 2 things I have noticed, it focuses slow, & does not focus in low light as good as the Olympus offerings such as the 12-60mm, or 50-200mm which to me it should because of the brighter max. aperture. That being said, I lose a lot of good candids because even the aforementioned Olympus lenses aren't the best in low light. The 35-100mm F/2 is on my short list for that type of work, but not until my income improves significantly.

Charles
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Old Jul 18, 2010, 8:55 PM   #10
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Hi,
Don't know what part of the world your in but there happens to be a 14-54mm lens for sale at the fourthirds forum. A fellow is selling it for 300USD.

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