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Old Jul 6, 2016, 6:03 AM   #1
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Default Which lens should I use?

Hey guys - my brother has been working on luxury yachts around the world for a number of years and always sends amazing photos of his travels. He recently upgraded his DSLR and kindly gave his old camera and lenses to my daughter. They have just arrived and she is super excited but we seem to have too many options and don't really know which lens should be used for which situation and I am hoping that somebody wiser than me might be able to shed some light. The equipment that she received is as follows:

Olympus E-420 DSLR body

Olympus lens 14-42 mm 1:3.5-5.6

Olympus lens 40-150 mm 1:4-5.6 (with lens hood)

Olympus lens 50-200 mm 1:2.8-3.5 (with lens hood and sticker on it says 100-400 mm equivalent)

Olympus lens 50 mm 1:2 macro

Olympus digital 2x tele converter EC-20

Olympus lens 8 mm 1:3.5 fisheye

He also gave her a really nice Lowerpro camera backpack and a tripod!!

She is only just starting to get into photography and has been using my Olympus E-PM2 camera to take some pretty nice shots but she is keen to get into it a bit more and I think she now has the tools to take it to the next level.

So is there any basic online guide that anybody could recommend in terms of which lens for which situation? e.g. Portraits, Landscapes, low light with no flash (i.e. photos of a band performing in a small venue), sports/action shots.

Any advice or direction would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,

Gags
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Old Jul 6, 2016, 8:27 PM   #2
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Hiya Gags

For your first posting here you certainly are opening "with a bang"
Welcome to Steve's ... there's plenty of others here with similar kit as you have described

I personally cannot imagine anyone serious with their Oly camera giving away such a collection - so your daughter should be very pleased.

ps- you haven't said her age - primary school / high school / college??? Along with what does she want to do with the camera & lenses - it will make a difference

However, you ask a basic question - so for a basic answer ...

The top 2 lenses on your list are the 2 lenses that most Oly users start off with ... the others listed are 'specials', each with specific uses & the associated pros & cons

I would suggest she spends a few months only using these 2 lenses while she discovers all the vagaries of exposure, composition etc before becoming straddled with the huge offerings from the additional lenses

hope this helps
Phil
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Old Jul 6, 2016, 9:36 PM   #3
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Hi Gags and welcome to the forum.

What a great assortment of lens!!!!

Good advice from Phil. Just keep in mind that her E-420 camera does not have Image Stabilization, so stick with the basics to start off with and practice with the shorter focal lengths. Sounds like a great opportunity for her.

(The 50-200 is my personal favorite, but not sure how well she could use it on the small unstabilized E-420 until after she has gotten a lot of practice.)
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Old Jul 7, 2016, 4:35 AM   #4
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I agree with Phil and Steven, although that doesn't preclude her trying a shot or two with the other lenses, just to see what they do. But staying with the two basic lenses to get used to the camera is what she should concentrate on.

Given her windfall, it might be worth looking for a decent used E-3, E-30 or E-5 to get the best out of the system, especially the larger lenses. Also useful to have two bodies available for different purposes.

Hope to see some of her results on here.

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Old Jul 7, 2016, 8:52 AM   #5
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Thanks for the quick responses guys - much appreciated.

My daughter is 16 and up to now has been taking lots of photos of our dog, quite a few close up photos of plants (mainly succulents which she loves), and recently she took photos at a gig for a friend of hers who is in a band.

I really don't know a lot about photography - I have got an old 35 mm Canon EOS 500 that I got in about 1992 and I know the very basics about ISO, aperture, shutter speed but my only real experience with digital cameras has been to "point and shoot" and let the auto function do the job for me!! When my daughter went to the music gig last week she said she didn't want to use a flash and so I suggested using the Aperture Priority mode and setting it as low as possible. I also suggested that she takes lots of photos and hopefully some will turn out OK!!! She did both of these things and ended up with some pretty nice shots that her friend's band really love so my daughter was pretty chuffed. Now that she has got the DSLR and a collection of lenses she is really keen to take photos at another gig soon.

I think I will suggest that she sticks to the two basic lenses initially as you guys have suggested and then get her to experiment with taking shots using the different modes and various settings so that she starts to get a feel for what works and what doesn't.

John, I can only assume that the E3, E5, and E30 are Olympus models of a higher specification than the E-420? I will do some google searches to confirm and that might be a good way to upgrade for her if she really gets into it.

BTW - I just did a search on some of the lenses and saw how much they cost…I think I need to call my brother again and say a bigger thank-you

Cheers,

Gags
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Old Jul 7, 2016, 9:46 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gags View Post
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John, I can only assume that the E3, E5, and E30 are Olympus models of a higher specification than the E-420? I will do some google searches to confirm and that might be a good way to upgrade for her if she really gets into it.

BTW - I just did a search on some of the lenses and saw how much they cost…I think I need to call my brother again and say a bigger thank-you

Cheers,

Gags
Yes, the E-3, E-5, and E-30 are much more advanced cameras than the E-420.

And if your brother has any more lens, then I would be tempted to adopt him!!
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Old Dec 13, 2016, 10:13 PM   #7
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That's a great camera to start off with and it has some really good lens with it.
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Old Dec 15, 2016, 8:52 AM   #8
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That is quite the kit your brother was kind enough to gift to your daughter.

As for your question regarding where to start, the internet is full of great information starting with Olympus's main site and, of course, this forum.
I think it's also safe to say that most of the members here, have more than once, referred to: wrotniak.net. A site that was once quite active and managed by Andrzej Wrotniak.
Even though he has not updated the site since 2013, it still remains the most complete body of work having to do with Olympus E type four thirds cameras.
This includes breakdowns of the cameras, (E-420 included) and the differences in each.
Also included are complete reviews on each of the lenses made by Olympus.

Hope this helps
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Old Dec 15, 2016, 9:13 AM   #9
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Forgot to add another important website still active:
Biofos.com a site also devoted to all things having to do with Olympus digital cameras, is managed by mr. John Foster living in England.
What makes his sight valuable to new users is his recommendations for camera settings as well as operating manuals.

You'll also find detailed breakdowns and reviews on ALL four thirds lenses.
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Old Dec 16, 2016, 6:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gags View Post
Hey guys - my brother has been working on luxury yachts around the world for a number of years and always sends amazing photos of his travels. He recently upgraded his DSLR and kindly gave his old camera and lenses to my daughter. They have just arrived and she is super excited but we seem to have too many options and don't really know which lens should be used for which situation and I am hoping that somebody wiser than me might be able to shed some light. The equipment that she received is as follows:

Olympus E-420 DSLR body

Olympus lens 14-42 mm 1:3.5-5.6
Olympus glass is generally excellent, but I've used the 14-42mm and it is the, um, least excellent. It's fine for a starter lens but that focal range is likely to be used a lot more than the long lenses. In the long run, if she really gets involved with photography the Oly 12-60mm f/2.8-4, albeit way more expensive than the 14-42, would be great for her if you can find a used one in good shape.
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