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Old May 17, 2012, 3:45 PM   #1
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Default Need lens advice for landscapes

Hi,

First time posting here, although I've been reading for a while. I'm an owner of an EP-L1 and I'm looking for a new lens for landscapes. So far I only have the 1st generation 14-42 kit lens, and I've used it for some landscapes of Yosemite and Washington state, with some mixed results...I'll post some pictures in a bit.

I'm planning a 110 mile hiking trip to Corsica for late summer and would like to purchase a new lens for the trip. While it is a backpacking trip, compactness isn't too much of a factor (I've taken the EP-L1 on several trips with the kit lens and it packs ok). It doesn't necessarily have to be a zoom lens. I can pack the zoom lens with me as well, but thats it as far as carrying camera gear (couple spare batteries of course).

I definitely would like something that works in low light (i.e. sunset pictures).

Price isn't too much of an issue. I'm probably going to upgrade the camera to the OM-D in the next year, so anything compatible would be another requirement, but I don't imagine that is an issue.
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Old May 17, 2012, 4:01 PM   #2
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Some recent landscape shots from the past year:

Yosemite





Maine:








Also, I definitely need to work on my processing skills. A couple of these aren't done at all, but just wanted to give you an idea of the types of places I want to shoot.
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Old May 17, 2012, 4:02 PM   #3
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As a 4/3 user, I love the Olympus 9-18 for landscapes ... it is a very wide angle lens which gave me some very good results.

You can then go the the 4/3 version and get the adapter for Micro 4/3 or go directly to the m4/3 version.
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Old May 17, 2012, 4:15 PM   #4
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This may be a dumb question, but why go with the 4/3 version with adapter, if I don't plan on using it on any 4/3 systems? Will the larger lens perform that much better?
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Old May 17, 2012, 4:25 PM   #5
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As Folob has mentioned, the microFT 9-18mm lens by Olympus is a perfect choice for landscapes applications.

But, in low light landscape shooting what really is an important addition to your kit is having a mini tripod such as a Gorilla Pod that allows you to keep the camera and lens stable solving the problem of blur when you use a very long shutter setting in low light situations.
Another benefit is that you can simply continue to use the lens you have, taking a series of 3 to 4 shots and panning in-between exposures. You can then stitch the shots together to get a super high resolution panorama.

I realize you made it clear that this was a backpacking trip and packing was an issue. But, the gorilla pod weighs around 6 ounces and is 10" long. Cost is $40bucks.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ni_Tripod.html


By the way, I would NOT get the full sizeFT version of the 9-18mm lens. The microFT 9-18mm lens is specifically designed for the microFT focusing system. It is smaller, lighter and actually better for your particular needs.

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Old May 17, 2012, 5:03 PM   #6
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Welcome Drew. You took some pretty nice shots.
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Old May 17, 2012, 7:19 PM   #7
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I agree with both folob and Zig. I recently had usage of a FT 9-18 and fell in love with it on both my E-3 and E-P3 via the MMF-2 adapter. I will be buying a FT 9-18 soon and use it mostly on the P3 but also on my E-3.

The FT 9-18 does work well on the PEN, but if you only have a PEN then it makes system sense for the mFT 9-18 and needless to say, it will pack very well for size and weight.
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Old May 17, 2012, 11:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drew881 View Post
This may be a dumb question, but why go with the 4/3 version with adapter, if I don't plan on using it on any 4/3 systems? Will the larger lens perform that much better?
Here is my 2 cents.
If you have a 4/3 adapter you will have a MUCH larger selection of Olympus
lens.
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Old May 18, 2012, 6:36 AM   #9
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A word about the use of FourThirds vs MicroFourThirds lenses.

The MicroFourThirds cameras all employ Contrast Detect Auto Focus CDAF while the FourThirds camera bodies all use Phase Detect Auto Focus or PDAF.
While it is true that you can easily use a FourThirds lens on a Micro Four Thirds body with the aid of the proper adapter, that does not mean that the lens will perform as quickly as one designed for the MicroFourThirds bodies.

Granted, there is a greater lens selection in FourThirds. But, generally, the full size lens will focus slower than one designed for MFT. Now, this may not be an issue for a particular style or type of photography. It may be factor to you if you are going to shoot videos. This is especially true in the earlier Pen bodies i.e. E-PL1 and E-P2.

As an example, I use a 35mm macro Four thirds lens on my E-P2. I use this combo primarily to shoot flowers. The lens has a nasty habit of zooming in and out until it finally finds focus. Now, since my subject is static, it is not an issue for me. But, to some, it may become a nagging issue.

The greatest benefit of using full size FourThirds lenses on MicroFourThirds bodies are for those who already have an investment in lenses and are migrating to MFT. If you're not in that situation, then I don't think an advantage exists.

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Old May 18, 2012, 10:53 AM   #10
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It is normal to relate landscape photography with wide angle lenses. However, depending on where you go, there are plenty of shooting opportunities that will greatly benefit from a zoom lens. Yosemite is a good example. With a zoom lens, you can capture far away waterfalls or get a closeup of a rock formation not to mention the capture of wild life. Your kit lens already covers the WA side of the spectrum. So, I'd go with the Zuiko 40-150mm. It's light, compact and very sharp. I use it on my EPL1 with great results.
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